Libertarian Party Response to Biden Address

In President Biden’s address before Congress Wednesday evening, the American people heard a lot of proposals and promises, but all were based around the same old, exhausted idea — that giving government more power to issue mandates and to move around untold trillions more dollars of our money is the answer to the problems that government has created.

From educational freedom to health care, President Biden’s overarching theme was government control. His message to Americans was that they cannot be trusted to make the best choices for themselves and for their families. We know this is not what Americans want nor is it what they deserve.

Americans want a strong economy that creates not just jobs, but careers. Many millions of Americans are unemployed and many tens of millions more struggle to make ends meet. Entire communities face bleak economic futures, and young people, in particular, have been promised a bright future dashed by student loan burdens driven by badly-designed subsidy programs, out-of-reach housing prices driven by government restrictions on building, and the slowest economic growth of our recent history. Imagine if a President or Governor had the courage to say that anyone who wants to start a new business will be able to do so tomorrow, all licenses and regulations and permits sorted out in 24 hours. Imagine if a President or Governor had the courage to say let’s end the destructive and counterproductive trade wars with other nations, now and unconditionally. Imagine if a President or a member of Congress had the courage to end all tax and subsidy and protection programs that give advantages to politically-connected businesses at the expense of small businesses. America has always been the place where all it takes to succeed is to have an idea. It’s getting harder and harder, and nothing President Biden offered will make it any easier.

Americans want substantially improved access to healthcare, which means removing burdensome regulations and allowing medical providers to practice to the fullest extent of their license. Americans want the freedom to choose for ourselves which treatments to pursue. While private individuals and businesses are and should be free to set their own policies and standards, there is no role for government in creating, mandating, or subsidizing so-called vaccine passports.  The most valuable contribution government can make to healthcare is to remove the barriers that government itself has erected. A healthcare system driven by patient choice, free markets for both care and insurance, and the same fast-track through the slow, risk-averse, and deadly regulatory bureaucracy for all new treatments that was extended to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines, will see more Americans with access to affordable, high-quality care. And that is exactly what Libertarians are fighting for.

Americans want freedom and choice in education. If 2020 taught Americans anything, it is that when our system of education fails to be there for our children, new solutions will be found. In the wake of closures and disruptions to the public school system, an additional 1.5 to 2.5 million students have become homeschoolers. Yet the rigid system of public instruction in many states makes it difficult for students and their parents to become masters of their own educational destiny.  Millions of parents are realizing the extent that government-controlled education has largely failed their children and our society. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars a year are taken from communities, sent on a roundtrip to Washington and state capitols back to schools, to be spent putting kids through a one-size-fits-all model that fits few. Libertarians advocate for decisions on education to be students-first, left to parents and teachers and children not because we do not care about educational outcomes, but precisely because we do. A free marketplace in education will see an expansion of education opportunities and allow for a proliferation in the number of techniques and approaches that families have available to support their student’s success.

Americans want a humane immigration system where we welcome people seeking a better life. President Biden conveniently breezed past the reality that America has spoken clearly that the keeping of children in cages is an unconscionable reflection of a deep moral failing to recognize the core humanity of our fellow man. Yet his Administration continues the practice of separating immigrant children from relatives such as grandparents and older siblings and warehousing them for weeks on end. This practice should end immediately. America also cannot afford and should not condone the continuation of the impractical, ineffective, and ill-conceived plans of the prior administration for a wall along the southern border. Yet this Administration is quietly utilizing eminent domain to seize vast stretches of land from private citizens for that very purpose. Free movement is an inherent right of peaceful people.

We grant that it is heartening to hear mention of the ending of America’s two-decades-long conflict in Afghanistan. However, the American people have heard the same promise from the past two administrations, yet the conflict continues to drag on. It is troubling that this Administration has in its first one hundred days already postponed, rather than accelerated, the return of American servicemen and servicewomen to their homes and their families. Two decades of war, the longest period without even a single day of peacetime in this nation’s history, must come to an end —  in Afghanistan and everywhere else around the globe. Many young Americans now have no memory of an America not at war. We must have the courage to end the endless war. The Libertarian Party embraces resolutely an America at peace with the world.

We must also be an America at peace with ourselves.

The political culture of the two old parties is increasingly built around division and outrage. It is another example of the subterfuge where those in power get the American people to fight with each other in order to distract them from what’s happening in Washington and in state capitols. In the area of criminal justice, for instance, there is a lot of divisive rhetoric but not much in the way of advancing solutions. Libertarians embrace policies that would work to heal this divide and make both officers and communities safer.  We support ending qualified immunity so that those who are sworn to serve and protect are also held to the same standards of justice they are charged to enforce.  We support ending the drug war and drug prohibition, ending civil asset forfeiture, ending mandatory minimum sentencing, ending the militarization of police, and ending police action for victimless crimes. It is unfair to both law enforcement and the communities they serve to create danger where none exists by demanding enforcement of statutes regulating individual activities where no one is harmed. No one should die or be injured, and no law enforcement officer should be placed in harm’s way because someone wanted to sell a loose cigarette or hang an air freshener from their mirror. Instead of leading on ending overcriminalizing, this Administration is criminalizing menthol, starting the horrible prohibition cycle all over again.

America deserves better. America wants better. What we need in government is not more spending, not more restrictions, not more regulations, and not more top-down direction. What we need is a unifying voice that recognizes the essential humanity and fundamental liberty of all people. The Libertarian Party is that voice.

For 50 years, the Libertarian Party has been at the forefront of defending the rights of all people all the time.

Thousands of our candidates and activists have carried that message to town halls and to debates, to the airwaves and to mailboxes, to diners and to doorsteps in campaigns all around the country. Today, 235 of them in 37 states carry that message with them in their elected office. People still say to us that they would support Libertarians if only we could win. The truth is that we can win, we do win, and we are winning more and more offices because voters are sick and tired of being told they have to choose between the same two options that have failed them time and again. We are town councilors, mayors, county supervisors, and commissioners. And for the first time in a generation, there are Libertarian state legislators in office championing serious legislation to expand freedom, and the prosperity that flows from freedom, in their states.

Millions of voters have already joined us in casting their ballots for Libertarian candidates. Join us and them in rejecting the stale policies and divisive tactics of the other parties. Join us in expanding the American discourse with a message of hope, mutual respect, and individual dignity. Join us now, and be part of the movement to truly set Americans free.

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