Hi all, more on deck for the Libertarian National Committee happening in New Orleans in just a few days. This time we're reviewing the draft Platform motions. Please do note these aren't final until the June 30 Platform Committee meeting.
Link to the draft document: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_rYXVlZQaSnV5Smsd9YPBgCIfNxpYqwS/view
As usual, these are purely my own personal opinions and do not reflect any official position of the Libertarian Party of Florida nor of the Libertarian Party of Orange County.
A. Amend Preamble
This is a minor set of changes that converts one clause from present to perfect tense and changes gendered to non-gendered language. This is not a priority for me, and while I'm not a fan of the singular "they" I don't really care enough to oppose it. I will likely abstain from this vote.
B. Amend Current Plank 1.0 "Personal Liberty"
This motion adds a clause that specifies that Libertarians do not support collective or group rights, only individual rights. In terms of opposing both ethno-nationalism and social justice leftie types - opposite sides of the same coin - this is a good clarification. I will support it unless given a good reason otherwise.
C. Amend Current Plank 1.0 "Personal Liberty"
This motion changes "should be" to "inherently are" to make a stronger statement - our rights aren't conditional on government recognition. It also adds a clarification that initiation of force is immoral, the current wording incorrectly implies it to be impossible. I agree with this change entirely.
D. Amend Current Plank 1.0 "Personal Relationships"
This motion adds a clause that states that the government has no valid authority to license or restrict relationships "regardless of the number of participants." As someone who is personally very socially conservative, I struggle with social positions like this one. I personally disapprove of polyamory. However, I have to agree that the government does not have the right to initiate force against any consensual and voluntary relationship, so I will consider supporting this motion after listening to further discussion.
E. Amend Current Plank 1.7 "Crime and Justice"
This motion does a couple things - it clarifies some unclear wording that could be misreading as implying the government has a mandatory role (a no-no in the Dallas Accord) and adds gambling and prostitution to the specific list of victimless "crime" laws that should be repealed. It also takes a stand against prosecutors intentionally over-charging to intimidate folks into plea deals. I've personally seen that during my own day in court - they tried to do it to me. So I'm considering supporting this after listening to further discussion.
F. Add New Plank "Religious Freedom" to Section 1
This motion adds an explicit defense of religious liberty to the platform, including opposition to the government either supporting or opposing any religion. As a religious person who is socially conservative at a personal level, this plank would reassure me that I am in the right party. I don't agree with forcing my beliefs (or anyone else's) on others, but it's nice to know that the party supports my rights too. I believe adding this plank would encourage others like me that the Libertarian Party isn't inherently hostile to religion, even if some of its members very vocally are. I will vote aye pending any discussion of possible unintended consequences.
G. Amend and Split Current Plank 2.4 “Government Finance and Spending”
This motions strengthens the anti-tax position of the platform, and splits off the opposition to debt into a separate section. Overall, I like that. However, one corner case of this is that I oppose targeted tax cuts - in that I oppose tax breaks being awarded to specific individuals, businesses, or classes of individuals or businesses. This language would seem to support even these tax breaks and oppose undoing them, even though I think the damage they do the free market and the increase in cronyism outweighs the benefit of those who did see their taxes reduced. I'll have to listen to discussion to decide if I can support this.
H. Amend Current Plank 2.6 “Money and Financial Markets”
This motion updates our monetary policy section to explicitly oppose student loan subsidies and special treatment. This is a major issue that is a large source of education cost inflation, and very relevant to students and youth. I think it helps being explicit.
I. Add New Plank “Sex Work” to Section 2
This motion adds a plank explicitly (heh) covering prostitution and pornography. I'm not a fan of how some glamorize prostitution and try to dignify it. But I have to agree that the government has no valid authority to regulate it so long as it is voluntary and does not involve force or slavery.
J. Add New Plank “Licensing” to Section 2
This adds a plank explicitly opposing occupational licensing and endorsing free markets. Seems good to me.
K. Amend Current Plank 3.2 “Internal Security and Individual Rights”
This adds a clause explicitly opposing torture and cruel and unusual punishment. This is straight from the Constitution, and is sadly a relevant issue.
L. Amend Current Plank 3.4 “Free Trade and Migration”
This removes the one concession clause in the plank to members of the party that support some form of reasonable border control. While I'm not a huge fan of the clause myself - it is awkward and implies more action than I'd necessarily like - this seems unnecessarily divisive. I'd prefer to see it reworded rather than removed outright.
Also, referencing the rationale, I'm a bit tired of seeing the term "dog whistle" which, ironically enough, is a dog whistle itself.
Proposal PC-20 Add New Plank 1.0 “Implementation”
This plank is a lot of word salad, in my opinion. I don't see the need for it.
Proposal PC-21 Amend Plank 4.0 “Omissions”
This amends the catch-all omissions plank to be consistent with the Dallas Accord and to clarify that in all situations that the platform doesn't explicitly cover, our guidance is non-aggression and individual rights. Seems reasonable to me.
Proposal PC-22 Amend Plank 1.2 “Expression and Communication”
This amends the relevant plank to literally just state the 1st Amendment. While I see the value in that, the current wording is actually somewhat cleaner in more modern language. So I will decide based on arguments presented on whether the value is worth it.