As Kentuckians, we share a tradition of independence and personal responsibility. We stand against any government that would tell us how we should live our lives. We take care of each other and do so voluntarily. We believe in freedom, and believe that the more government we have the less free we are.
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 disassociate from, political entities, private groups, or individuals. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.
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.
Since 1971, the United States government has been at “war” with drugs. As with alcohol prohibition, the “war on drugs” causes violence which is far more destructive to individuals and society than the behaviors themselves. We call for decriminalizing the use, distribution, and manufacture of all drugs. Kentucky’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control should be shut down, along with the three-tier system. People have a right to choose what they consume.
Government should not have the authority to define, license, restrict personal relationships, or 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 straight and gay relationships as equal 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.
2.4 Health Care
The crisis in health care, especially with respect to ever-rising prices, is due to government regulation. Health care laws and programs should be repealed in favor of a free market in health care that is patient-centered. Competition in a free market for healthcare works to make health care services more abundant, which lowers healthcare costs.
2.5 Marketplace Freedom
Libertarians support free markets. We defend the right of individuals to form cooperatives, corporations, and other types of entities based on voluntary association. We oppose all forms of government subsidies and bailouts to business, labor, or any other special interest. 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 favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Those that enjoy the possibility of profits must not impose risks upon others, such as through government guarantees or bailouts. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use any money or tradable commodity they want. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and legal tender laws.
2.8 Voluntary Charity
We believe that it’s important to care for neighbors and friends who are unable to provide for themselves, whether it’s a permanent inability or a temporary one. We also believe that governmentrun systems are inherently inefficient and counterproductive. We call for the phasing out of government assistance programs and for individuals and private charitable organizations to reclaim these responsibilities.
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. Further, 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. We call for an end to all taxation without representation.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people, including Libertarians can hold good-faith views on all sides, individual candidates and party members should be asked their view on the 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.
The Libertarian Party of Kentucky calls for a voucher system to open the school systems to the free market, quickly improving the quality and lowering the price of education in the state of Kentucky. In the long-term, we call for the complete separation of school and state, which means the repeal of compulsory school attendance laws and school taxes. This would mean a completely free market in education, in which parents decide the best educational vehicles for their children.
3.4 Criminal Justice
There are criminal offenses that have no victim. We call for a repeal of all laws against victimless crimes, and for the immediate and automatic restoration of constitutional and civil rights for people who have completed the terms of their sentence. Lastly, we support jury nullification, which is when the jury acquits the defendant because the law itself is unjust.
3.5 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.
3.6 Death penalty
We oppose the death penalty by the state.
3.7 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.
Governments are the largest destroyers of the environment. Most environmental problems can be traced to public, not private, 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.
3.9 Religious Law
Laws should be impartial to religion. The court system should not base rulings on religious law.
Our silence about any other particular issue should not be construed to imply approval.