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The Libertarian Party Needs to Rediscover Private Property Rights

Already the Libertarian Party, and Gary Johnson in particular, are showing that they are clueless politically. I know, politics is not the moral or practical way to spread the word of liberty. In fact it is the opposite. But if you are going to use the political process and the political system, then you need to at least play the game in some way, if you’re serious toward the goal of getting elected, or at least getting more than 200,000 votes nationally.

For instance, Gary Johnson, if he is to be the LP nominee for President, should want to attract all those disillusioned Republican conservatives out there who will not vote for Donald Trump because they know Trump is a left-liberal progressive who wants nationalized health care-single payer, and so on. And Johnson should want to attract social conservatives. Now, Johnson is not a social conservative. He not only supports LGBT “Civil Rights,” and thinks the Christian baker should be forced to have to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding, but he really believes that a Jewish baker should be forced to bake a Nazi wedding cake. So picking a fellow like-minded social liberal like Bill Weld for VP will not get those conservatives to his side.

And it isn’t just that Weld wants to punish discrimination against people based on color, race, ethnicity or sex. No, Weld thinks it should also be based on people’s lifestyles, as well. According to Ontheissues.org, Weld stated in 1996, “I think it’s very important that we not have discrimination in housing, employment against people who may be of any, any particular, particular lifestyle.”

Additionally, as far as political “strategy” is concerned, Gary Johnson already is a governor, he doesn’t need a second governor on the same ticket. So if he is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President, he would do better by picking a social conservative and perhaps someone with the kind of legislative experience that Ron Paul has.

Wait a minute! There’s an idea. How about Ron Paul for VP, if Gary Johnson (or anyone else) is the LP nominee? With the Libertarian Party, however, the delegates to the convention have a separate nominating process for Vice President. I don’t think that Ron Paul would actively run for that. But they should consider him as a possibility.

But one thing that the Libertarian Party needs to work on — and they need a LOT of work in this area — is communicating the actual principles of libertarianism. After all, the LP has boasted all these years as “The Party of Principle.” But in recent years they have shown utter abandonment of libertarian principles.

Among the important principles of libertarianism are private property, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. These are concepts the ACLU still does not get, which is why they back LGBT “Civil Rights” laws. While part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is good in that it forbids the government from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, etc., it is bad because it forbids private people from discriminating, it empowers particular groups of people to enter the private property of others without the others’ consent, and it imposes violations of individuals’ freedom of thought and conscience. If you are going to say that someone’s reasons for banishing certain others from one’s property should be forbidden, then you are talking about thought crimes. No, private property owners have the absolute right of freedom of association to determine for themselves with whom to associate or not associate, and the right of freedom of thought and conscience to have any damn reason they want to exercise that control.

And by the way, by “private property,” that includes one’s person, one’s mind, one’s labor, as well as one’s home, land or business.

And private property owners have the private property right to control who goes onto or into their property, whether it is residential or commercial. Commercial property is no less private property than residential regardless of its being commercial. Why do liberals or progressives, the NAACP, ACLU, LGBT activists not insist that Civil Rights laws also cover the private residential property of others? Why should people be allowed to discriminate and prevent certain groups of people from entering their homes as well as their businesses? As Jacob Hornberger wrote a few years ago,

How would things have turned out if businesses had been left free to discriminate? Well, does anyone today get into an uproar over the fact that people are free to discriminate in their homes? And yes, people get into an uproar over a Nazi march in Skokie, just as they get upset over the periodic burning of the flag, but how many people lose sleep over the fact that people have such rights?

Freedom necessarily entails the right to make choices that other people find offensive, abhorrent, unpopular, and irresponsible. If people are free only to make the correct choices, then they are not truly free.

Liberals understand this principle, but only up to a point. That’s why they support the right of homeowners and Nazi sympathizers to discriminate. But they steadfastly refuse to extend their principles to private businesses.

Why?

I suspect that the answer lies in the long-time, deep antipathy that liberals have to the free market — to free enterprise — to capitalism — to profit. This of course raises the ugly head of socialism, the economic philosophy that has long attracted the liberal community.

Now, it isn’t just free enterprise which is why the people on the Left want to intrude and impose into private businesses, it’s also a cultural matter as we are seeing with the transgender restroom and locker room issues now. But the people on the Left are using the cultural and social intrusions as a way to aid them in further bringing about their beloved socialism.

Thomas DiLorenzo recently quoted Ludwig von Mises in this post, What the (Anti-) Cultural Marxists Are Up To:

Same thing that all varieties of Marxists are (and have been) up to, as explained by Ludwig von Mises:

“Socialist policy employs two methods to accomplish its purposes: the first aims directly at converting society to Socialism; the second aims only indirectly at this conversion by destroying the social order which is based on private ownership . . . . the second is the weapon of revolutionary Socialism” and “sabotage.”

“Thus the beginning and end of the socialist policy, which has dominated the world for decades, is destruction . . . .  Our whole life is so given over to destructionism that one can name hardly a field which it has not penetrated.  ‘Social’ art preaches it, schools teach it, the churches disseminate it.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism (first published in 1922), pp. 424-425

Now, I know many in the Libertarian Party wants to be socially “liberal,” but they have to find a way to reintroduce the actual principles of private property and freedom of thought and freedom of association into the Party. The society is in desperate need to restore freedom. These principles, by the way, are not at all understood by the conservatives, as their rationale for opposing the transgender laws is “religious liberty.” That is not at all the case, because their religious liberty is not at issue. The rights being threatened involve private property, mainly.

People who want to advance the case for liberty will have difficulty considering a statist Gary Johnson or a statist Bill Weld, or most of the other statist LP candidates, just as we wouldn’t think of considering ultra-statists Bernie, Hillary or Donald.

The Libertarian Party, “The Party of Principle,” needs to stop compromising those important principles of liberty.

Published inCivil rightsLibertarian PartyLibertarianismSocial Justice