ON THE ISSUES
The Party of Principle
With our principles always in mind, we strive to find new strategies for dealing with the unique challenges that face Mississippians. From education to criminal justice reform, we believe our solutions will position the state as one of the countries best states to live, work, and enjoy life.
We believe that the rights of all people matter all the time. No exceptions. Other political parties prioritize the rights of some, but not others. Libertarians value the right of all to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose. We also believe that the government must treat all people fairly and equally before the law.
Towards this end we seek to:
Protect freedom of religion, association, speech, press, and assembly; Protect the right for individuals to marry who they chose; Reverse the militarization of law-enforcement agencies; Reform asset-forfeiture laws; Restore Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures; Restore voting and gun rights for those convicted of non-violent drug offenses; Fight against government overreach; Restrict law-enforcement use of general surveillance technologies; Protect internet freedom & privacy.
CRIME & JUSTICE
We believe that the existing justice system is seriously flawed. The label of “crime” should be limited to actions of force or fraud against another individual or group. We believe that such crimes should be prosecuted and punished by our justice system but that actions that don’t involve force or fraud should not be criminalized or penalized in the first place. We believe that ending the War on Drugs is an essential part of any plan to improve our justice system. Millions of people, disproportionately people of color, are arrested, jailed, and given a criminal record because they voluntarily chose to consume something. This has led to MS having one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. Not only is it immoral for the government to decide what is and is not acceptable for people to consume, criminalizing drugs does nothing to reduce the scourge of drug addiction and abuse. The War on Drugs hurts the people we should be trying to help and diverts criminal justice resources away from prosecuting actual crimes committed against people and property. For more information on Libertarian opinions on the War on Drugs, visit here.
We also believe that our current justice system has many punishments that far outweigh the crimes committed. We believe that punishments should be proportional to the crime committed and should be fair and humane. Our prisons need to be as safe, clean, and humane as possible. Additionally, our justice system currently sets up former inmates for failure. When someone is released from prison, the goal is for them to find a steady job, stable living situation, and avoid criminal activity. Evidence shows that overly long prison terms do very little to reduce recidivism and may actually make it more likely for someone to re-offend. Currently, recidivism rates are very high. These rates could be easily reduced by making prisons more humane (so that prisoners are not physically and psychologically traumatized by the experience), making sentences more reasonable and proportional to the offense, and welcoming offenders who have served their sentences back into society and the workforce.
We believe that all people have the right to freely offer goods and services on the market and that free-market approaches are the most effective at improving people’s lives. Our current economy is more crony capitalist than it is free, and that is responsible for the majority of problems that some try to blame on capitalism. The free market, when it is allowed to do so, provides tremendous opportunity for people of all backgrounds, interests, and abilities. Crony capitalism, however, benefits the wealthy, powerful, and special interest groups who know how to influence policy makers.
Libertarians default towards freedom in all things, including economics. When people are allowed to run their businesses the way they see fit, without inappropriate government interference and meddling, those businesses are able to innovate and create tremendous value for consumers and more jobs for employees.
The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. Unfortunately, the vast majority of regulations on the books do not do that. These regulations are heavy burdens on businesses and people who are just trying to make a living, and often prevent new businesses from starting, prevent existing businesses from hiring new employees, and even force businesses to close. This violates the rights of people to engage in peaceful and honest trade. Additionally, it actively hurts people by stifling human energy, innovation, and well-being. Libertarians advocate removing unproductive regulation, reducing and eliminating taxes, and getting government out of the way of innovation and job creation.
We advocate for free-market education where parents, teachers, and students, not the government, make their own choices on education. One-size-fits-all education, as mandated by the Department of Education, is holding Mississippi’s children back. Every child is different. Every community is different.
Education should fit the needs of each child, and teachers, parents, and students should be able to make their own choices. They are far better able to assess the needs of a particular child than an agency far off in Jackson or Washington, DC.
We believe that every person has the right to arm themselves in self-defense. The right to self defense is one of our most fundamental rights. Few people will argue against that. However, some believe that people should not be allowed to arm themselves. Libertarians strongly disagree. Imagine a small person, walking home after a late shift at work. Imagine that person is attacked by someone twice their size. The victim fights back but is unable to defend themselves against the much larger attacker. Now imagine if the victim was armed. With the help of a gun, the victim has a chance at self defense against the much larger attacker. Gun rights are important for everyone, but especially those that are physically weaker or are more prone to being victims of violence, such as women and minorities. Banning guns do not curb violence or deaths; it just changes the nature of violence and deaths. It would result in violent criminals having more power to perpetrate violence against innocent people. Violent criminals will be emboldened if they know that average Mississipian is unable to defend his or herself. Banning guns would mean people who should be free to go about their business, for example traveling home from work after dark, will live in greater fear. It will mean that people who live in more dangerous areas (and who are typically poorer) have fewer options to defend themselves and their families.
Virtually every person wants access to quality healthcare at an affordable price. Libertarians think the best way to achieve this is by removing government interference and enabling free markets. Government regulates where medical facilities can be built, who can build them, and when. The process for applying for permission to build facilities is very costly and very slow, thus it favors the biggest corporations and prevents smaller organizations from opening new facilities that could serve patients. This greatly limits patients’ access to medical care and increases costs compared to a system where government permission was not required.
Institutions such as the Food and Drug Administration also limit cost-effective access to quality care. The approval processes for new drugs and technology is lengthy and expensive. Because of this, the process favors the biggest companies with the most lawyers. There are many stories of patients dying while waiting for approval of a new device or medicine. Instead, Libertarians call for free-market testing which will be inherently incentivized to be efficient and fair in their processes. Additionally, Libertarians believe in the “Right to Try”, especially in situations with a terminal diagnosis. The government must not be permitted to deny patients access to new medical advances.
Tort reform would also greatly reduce the cost of health care. The current tort system raises the cost of care by encouraging unnecessary testing and procedures which increase the cost of medical care by forcing medical teams to devote significant time and resources to preventing or defending against unwarranted legal actions. When legitimate claims arise, they should be taken seriously and resolved fairly through the courts. However, frivolous and fraudulent claims should not be tolerated, as our current system does. These disparage our healthcare providers and the quality of medical care they can provide and that we can receive.