a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade."
Michael Badnarik website Michael Badnarik, a computer programmer from Texas, won the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination yesterday in Atlanta. Badnarik, 49, of Austin, defeated former Hollywood movie producer Aaron Russo on the convention's third ballot, after former radio host Gary Nolan, who was eliminated on the second ballot, endorsed Badnarik. The Libertarian Party, formed in 1971, stresses the rights of individuals over the power of government.
Mr. Badnarik wrote to SelectSmart.com, "Yes, the principles outlined (mostly by Harry Browne) are very accurate from the Libertarian perspective. However I took the survey and had some issues with the limited choices for some of the questions." We subsequently added his specific examples below.
A former presidential candidate, Harry Browne, supplied us with most of the following Libertarian positions. Special thanks to Michael Badnarik and Christopher S. Powell for additional position clarifications and advice.
Taxes & Spending: "Libertarians believe that if government's role were limited to protecting our lives, rights and property, then America would prosper and thrive as never before. Then the federal government could concentrate on protecting our Constitutional rights and defending us from foreign attack. A federal government that did only those two things, could do them better and at a small fraction of the cost."
Social Services Funding: "Let's get government out of the charity business."
"Should be eliminated entirely." Welfare is theft.
Welfare: "The bulk of your welfare tax dollars goes to pay the handsome salaries of well-educated welfare workers. The poor get little from government welfare except meager handouts and a cycle of despair." "Private charities and groups do a better and more efficient job of helping the truly needy get back on their feet."
"No one has the right to cover his losses at taxpayer expense -- and yet wealthy corporations demand exactly that. The federal government has bailed out railroads, banks, and other corporations with your tax dollars. This must stop!"
"Should be eliminated entirely." Welfare is theft.
Security & Terrorism: "The Libertarian National Committee has voted to call for the repeal of the USA/Patriot Act, charging that it "sacrifices" the liberties of American citizens."
Foreign Affairs: "For about a year, we've been hearing how intensely George W. Bush wants to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Mr. Bush has made all sorts of accusations against Hussein, but offered no public evidence to support his assertions. Finally, this past Monday evening (2003 State of the Union Address) we were to hear the full case for going to war against Iraq.
Unfortunately, all we heard Monday were more assertions with no offer to make public any 'evidence' the Bush administration claims to have." - Harry Browne
"The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between governments. The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration."
Education: Position provided directly to SelectSmart.com by Mr. Browne: "I would remove the federal government from education entirely. I would repeal the income tax immediately, so parents can afford to send their children to schools of their own choice, or to home-school their children, without having to get vouchers or approval from government."
"(The Dept. of Education is unconstitutional, AND they are doing a lousy job.)" - Michael Badnarik
Healthcare: "...proposals for socialized medicine are worse than the disease."
"All health care options should be completely privatized, eliminating any government influence.
(Government influence over medicine has caused the outrageous prices and made it unaffordable.)" - Michael Badnarik
Social Security: Libertarians would replace a "failed Social Security system (with) healthy system based on individual retirement accounts."
"People should be allowed to opt out of government controlled social security completely and allowed to provide for their own retirement." - Michael Badnarik
Illicit Drugs: "It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for themselves. Drug abuse is a tragedy and a sickness. Criminal laws only drive the problem underground and put money in the pockets of the criminal class. With drugs legal, compassionate people could do more to educate and rehabilitate drug users who seek help. Drugs should be legal."
Trade: Support removal of all trade barriers.
Ex-felons' Voting Rights: Libertarians generally agree that ex-felon voting rights should be restored.
Gun Policy: "Law-abiding, responsible citizens do not and should not need to ask anyone's permission or approval to engage in a peaceful activity. Gun ownership, by itself, harms no other person and cannot morally justify criminal penalties."
Abortion Policy: "Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question." "We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization, or any other forms of birth control."
Environmental Policy: "The environment would benefit immensely from the elimination of sovereign immunity coupled with the privatization of "land and beast."
"Confirming former Libertarian Party member Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior would be 'one giant leap' towards more sensible federal environmental and land-use policies, the Libertarian Party said today." LP Press Release Jan 17, 2001
Minority Issues: Position provided directly to SelectSmart.com by Mr. Browne: "I oppose Affirmative Action. The federal government should be color-blind, and not take race or gender into account in any way in any matter."
Civil Liberties: Libertarians are in agreement with the ACLU more than half the time. Libertarians oppose the ACLU's defense of entitlements, but support their defense of rights and liberties.