Guest Commentary

Sharon DuBois: Libertarians offer a choice of freedom

Sharon DuBois, vice-chair of the Libertarian Party of Kansas
Sharon DuBois, vice-chair of the Libertarian Party of Kansas

With the turmoil surrounding the new administration escalating, this seems to be a good time to remind the public that their choices are not limited to the duopoly commonly presented to the voters. There is a third choice available when examining and embracing a political ideology: the Libertarian Party.

Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the third-largest and fastest-growing political party in the nation. Fiscally responsible and socially accepting, the Libertarian Party believes that all people have the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not interfere with or take that same right away from others. We also believe that when people are free to make choices about their own lives, they have an obligation to accept and live with the consequences of those choices.

We believe that over the past several decades, government at every level has taken from American citizens the control over — and responsibility for — their lives and has replaced it with a clutter of incomprehensible rules and regulations, ineffectual programs and a bureaucracy whose only goal is self-perpetuation.

We believe that the primary function — some would say the sole function — of government is to protect the people’s lives, liberty and property. We want to return government to its constitutional limits.

Unfortunately, the American public has grown so used to the government “taking care of things” that they can no longer imagine another way. Frederic Bastiat, whose political and economic ideas strongly influenced libertarianism, once wrote, “Every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.” Indeed, modern-day Libertarians hear that criticism all the time.

In fact, Libertarians are very much in favor of helping the poor, educating children and myriad other activities that benefit our fellow citizens and make our society a better place in which to live. We just think that the government is one of the worst vehicles for delivering those services.

We believe in the free market and are opposed to using your tax dollars for corporate welfare.

We believe that decisions affecting our lives should be made at the level closest to the people who will have to live with those decisions.

Would a libertarian society be a perfect society, a utopia? Frankly, this writer believes that no society can be perfect until humanity is perfect, and it doesn’t look as if that’s going to happen any time soon. But allowing people to make decisions about how to live their lives, educate their children, spend their money and make charitable donations — and holding them responsible for the consequences of their decisions — is far preferable to continuing to tolerate the over-reaching, invasive behemoth we have allowed our government to become.

Readers are encouraged to visit TheAdvocates.org to take the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” to see where they fit in the political spectrum.

For more information about Libertarian platforms and statements of principles, visit the National Libertarian Party at LP.org, the Libertarian Party of Kansas at LPKS.org, and the Libertarian Party of Missouri at LPMO.org.

Sharon DuBois is vice-chairwoman of the Libertarian Party of Kansas.

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