Y’all know that line from Auntie Mame, right?—“Life is a banquet, and most poor bastards are starving to death.” Well, that mind-set applies to more than big, old-fashioned Hollywood movies. Take, for example, the food fight that is American politics. While we’re on the topic of politics, let’s take a look at some of the alternate choices on the menu, starting with the Libertarian Party.
The underlying Libertarian philosophy seems to be: “I’ll stay out of your life, you stay out of mine, and the government had damn well better stay out of both!”
Let’s take a closer look at this attitude, and how about using marriage rights as a litmus test?
The national Libertarian Party (LP)’s platform (Section 1.3— “Personal Relationships”) states: “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.”
Sounds pretty good, eh?
At the LP National Convention, held earlier this year, Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root were selected as the respective candidates for President and Vice President.
Barr’s opinion is somewhat different: “The federal government should neither regulate personal relationships nor discriminate against individuals for their personal preferences. Laws regulating marriage should be left to the states, precisely where the Constitution places the issue. Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same-sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions ought to be made by each state rather than imposed as a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government. Any federal laws that prevent states from determining their own standards for marriage should be repealed; the federal government should not define marriage, whether by statue or constitutional amendment. In this way, every state would remain free to determine for its citizens that basis on which marriage would be recognized within its borders, and would not be forced to adopt a contrary determination legislated by another state.”
Having the “state” determine such an issue seems antithetical to Libertarian thought, plus, it would be interesting to see if Barr is really ready to have the validity of his marriage tested under the above guidelines.
As of this writing, Charles Aldrich is the only Libertarian candidate listed on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s 2008 Candidate Filing page at http://candidates.sos.state.mn.us. According to firstname.lastname@example.org, some of Aldrich’s concerns are: drilling for domestic oil (no information on whether this means offshore or not); ending subsidies for corn-based ethanol; support for active troops and veterans; and ending federal funding of child support. It has no information on his views on marriage.
However, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota’s platform is: “We hold that unions between adults are a private matter, and should not be the subject of government licensing, regardless of sex. We call for the State of Minnesota to not restrict or give preferential treatment to private contracts between adults.”
Aldrich’s Campaign Manager is James Sherrill. The campaign can be contacted at (952) 905-1817, or at 1012 Carroll Ave., St Paul, MN 55104.
For more information: on the national Libertarian Party, visit www.lp.org; and on the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, visit www.lpmn.org.
Watch for more profiles of third parties in upcoming issues of Lavender.