Platform of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky
As Kentuckians, we value our long-held traditions of independence, personal responsibility, and taking care of each other voluntarily. We oppose any government dictating how we live our lives. The best path to greater civility, stronger communities, and more prosperity is to reduce government and maximize freedom.
1.1 Personal Liberty
Individuals are inherently free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may rightly initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Libertarians believe rights only belong to the individual.
1.2 Self-Ownership and Consent
Our most fundamental belief is that individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life. We build our platform on this core value of self-ownership and mutual consent.
1.3 Civil Liberties
Libertarians are firm defenders of all your civil liberties. As long as you do not force or fraudulently coerce someone else to participate, you have the right to live as you see fit.
Libertarians advocate individual privacy and government transparency. We support the rights recognized by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, property, and communications, and oppose the collection of data about American citizens and other individuals by government.
1.5 Free Association
As the right to free association is paramount to a peaceful society, we recognize the right to voluntarily associate with, or dissociate from, political entities, private groups, or individuals. We believe that individuals must be allowed to decide for themselves how they will be governed, should they choose to be governed at all. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter it, abolish it, or dissociate and agree to such new governance as they see fit.
2.0 Personal Liberties
2.1 Right to Self Defense
People have an individual human right to protect themselves. We call for a repeal of all laws that violate our right to bear arms.
2.2 Digital Rights
All persons have a right to control the use of their data and personal identity online. The rights of the people including, but not limited to, free speech, free association, self-defense, and privacy (to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects), should be safeguarded in all digital spaces.
We oppose all laws and regulations which restrict the free expression of individuals and the development of new software and technologies.
We call for decriminalizing the use, distribution, and manufacturing of all drugs and alcohol. Since 1971, the United States government has been at “war” with drugs. The “war on drugs” causes violence which is far more destructive to individuals and society than the behaviors themselves. Businesses within every county of the state should be able to acquire, distribute, and sell drugs and alcohol without a license or other restrictions, and Kentucky’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) should be shut down. People have a right to choose what they consume.
Additionally, all persons currently incarcerated for drug-related non-violent offenses should be released and their charges expunged.
We affirm the right to subvert state controls through black and gray market activity, so long as such activity does not violate individual rights and liberties through theft, fraud, or violence.
Government should not have the authority to define, license, or restrict personal relationships, or to force anyone to participate in any relationship they do not consent to being involved with. Consenting adults, each with their own values and beliefs, should be free to choose who to love and what marriage and divorce terms they want. Government should treat relationships equally before the law, including in cases of fostering and adopting. We further call for the repeal of onerous regulations that hamper the ability of adults to adopt children.
2.6 Health Care
We advocate a complete separation of medicine and state. Accordingly, we support a free market health care system and oppose state mandates in insurance and healthcare. Certificate of need laws, medical licensure, pharmaceutical regulations, restrictions on medical research, and other governmental factors combine to make healthcare significantly more expensive and less effective. Competition in a free market for healthcare works to make health care services more abundant, which lowers healthcare costs. We advocate replacing compulsory or tax-supported plans to supply health services or insurance with voluntarily supported efforts.
2.7 Marketplace Freedom
Libertarians support free markets. We defend the right of individuals to form cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, firms, and other types of entities based on voluntary association. We oppose all forms of government guarantees, protectionism, subsidies, and bailouts to business, labor, or any other special interest. We also oppose anti-trust laws as a manipulation of the natural actions of the free market. The government should not compete with private enterprises.
Kentucky farmers face many government restrictions on their free trade, which unnecessarily raise costs for both producer and consumer. So-called “food safety” laws, many of which are arbitrary or were written by lobbyists, have created a market that favors factory farms over smaller, family farms, distorting the market without actually making food safer at all. We seek to remove these obstacles to allow farmers and consumers to engage in free trade of agricultural products and services.
We oppose legal tender laws and favor free markets regarding both financial services and mediums of exchange, such as precious metals and cryptocurrencies. Fiat currency and the fractional reserve banking system undermine economic stability. This scheme eats away at the purchasing power of the people and enriches the privileged. Therefore, we seek to end the Federal Reserve.
2.10 Voluntary Charity
Charitable giving is an essential function of a free society and should not be corrupted by government. Voluntary efforts are a more effective means to care for disabled and indigent people while promoting community, empathy, and direct responsibility by the citizens who are in the best position to creatively address the underlying needs. We call for the phasing out of government assistance programs and for individuals and private charitable organizations to reclaim these responsibilities.
2.11 Intellectual Property
US Intellectual property practices have often become a barrier to the progress of science and useful art antithetical to what is authorized by the US Constitution. When intellectual property exists, it should be reformed to minimize the costs and harm imposed by the system while maximizing the innovation incentives of the system.
Gambling is a voluntary activity for consenting adults, which the state has no authority to restrict. We seek the abolition of all anti-gambling regulations in Kentucky.
3.0 Public Policy
All individuals are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of income and inheritance taxes. We oppose all new taxes, increases of existing taxes, and the creation of state debt. Instead, we call for a significant reduction in spending and the sale of state assets to pay for existing debt. Furthermore, most “Special Taxing Districts” are ruled by unelected boards, with no accountability to the public. Kentucky voters, or their elected representatives, should vote on any proposed tax.
Individual candidates and party members should be asked their view on this issue. We share a common goal of reducing unplanned pregnancies, and we oppose government funding of abortion. We encourage voluntary efforts for age-appropriate reproductive education and call for the removal of government-imposed barriers to adoption and contraception.
Education is paramount to the success of future generations. Such an important issue can only be entrusted to a free market in education, in which parents and guardians choose the best educational solutions for their children. Therefore we call for beginning the absolute separation of school and state.
3.4 Criminal Justice
We call for a repeal of all laws that criminalize acts for which there are no victims. We also call for the immediate and automatic restoration of constitutional and civil rights for all people, including felons, who have completed the terms of their sentences. We oppose the practice of mandatory minimum sentencing as it inherently fails to take the circumstances of each case into consideration. Lastly, we support jury nullification, which is when the jury acquits the defendant because the law itself is unjust.
3.5 Qualified Immunity
We favor an immediate end to qualified immunity and prosecutorial immunity. State agents must be personally subject to civil and criminal liability for any damages caused by their actions, without regard to whether those actions occurred during the course of their duties. These settlements must never be paid by the agencies or taxpayers. Neither state agencies nor their representatives shall be exempted from laws, statutes, and regulations applicable to anyone else.
3.6 Civil Asset Forfeiture
The United States Constitution reads, “No State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Today, police and courts often seize property without charge or trial through civil asset forfeiture, bypassing this constitutional safeguard against tyranny. Governments must meet the requirements of due process prior to any confiscation or infringement on an individual’s liberties and possessions. Such due process should include the formal charging of a crime based on evidence and a trial by jury.
3.7 Eminent Domain
We oppose eminent domain. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution states “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”, but compensation that is not consensual cannot be just. Governments have no right to expropriate property.
3.8 Death penalty
We oppose the administration of the death penalty by the state.
3.9 Ballot Access
The Kentucky Bill of Rights, Section 6 states: “All elections shall be free and equal.” Kentucky publicly funds primaries for the two old parties, but not for any other parties. We envision a more egalitarian ballot access system, employing representative democracy to adhere to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Each party should fund their own primary or caucus to select their favored candidates for the general election.
3.10 Immigration and Expatriation
All peaceful people have the right to move between countries at will. Federal policy currently denies people that right. Therefore neither the Kentucky government nor any local government within should assist federal organizations such as ICE in enforcement of federal immigration policy. Furthermore, should Americans choose to leave the country, they should be free to do so without restrictions or obligations.
Governments are the largest destroyers of the environment. Most environmental problems can be traced to public, ownership of resources. We call for the privatization of public property to the maximum extent possible and oppose the government’s use of sovereign immunity to avoid paying for their environmental damage. No person has the right to pollute the property of another. Laws should provide restitution for harmed parties.
3.12 Religious Law
Laws should be impartial to religion. The court system should not base rulings on religious law.
Government licensing limits competition and prevents the exercise of natural rights by converting these rights into a granted privilege. Rights are inviolate, therefore we oppose all forms of government licensure.
We support the separation of science and state. Governments should not fund, manage, or control it. Science is an ongoing process by which we increase our understanding of the natural world, always seeking better models, not a set of facts that can properly be the subject of legislation or edict.
3.15 Government Employment
An economy that includes hundreds of thousands of government jobs is not a free market economy, and it is not the role of governments to serve as an “employer of last resort.” We support removing government jobs through eliminating government functions, terminating agencies and departments, and privatizing remaining services.
Our silence about any other particular issue should not be construed to imply approval.
Platform of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky; as amended in state convention on March 4, 2023