Montreal, October 15, 2004  /  No 147  
<< INDEX NO 147 
Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian presidential candidate.
The War in Iraq 
          The War on Iraq has been a colossal failure – first under the guise of "an imminent threat" later found to be based on erroneous evidence, and subsequently "liberation" – a monumental bait-and-switch the American people have not forgotten about. Americans deserve the hard truth: The U.S. Government's foreign imperialism has always ended with horrendous results. How do the other candidates propose to "fix" this quagmire? Kerry calls for "internationalization" by invoking NATO's assistance and by dedicating 40,000 more troops to Iraq. Bush calls on Americans to "Stay the course." This is unacceptable to the American people.
          While both Bush and Kerry supported the War in Iraq and continue to do so against the wishes of a majority of Americans, only Michael Badnarik offers up a solid exit strategy to bring our troops home and prevent further imperialism – the costs of which can not only be totalled in dollars, but, more importantly, in American lives. By promoting national defense rather than international offense, Badnarik would bring home our troops from the over 130 countries where the U.S. Military currently maintains a presence, and subsequently secure America more than any current plan offered by the Democrats and Republicans. 
Civil Liberties 
          In the post-9/11 world, Americans' civil liberties are in danger. Though not a unique situation in the United States, it is irrefutable that, through such legislation as the PATRIOT Act and the continuing wars on terror and drugs, the American people are once again at a crossroads in the fight to retain their very rights under the Constitution. 
          While George Bush and John Kerry both supported the PATRIOT Act, Michael Badnarik opposes any attempt to curtail the civil liberties of Americans – including those made under the guise of "security." As president, his goal will be to to reverse the erosion of civil liberties and to restore, respect and enforce the Bill of Rights. 
The Economy 
          Have you lost your job to downsizing or corporate mergers? Are you fearful that you might? If so, you won't want to vote for the Democrats or Republicans this November. Republicans and Democrats think that larger, more elaborate government jobs programs are the solution to your problems. However, since these programs must be funded by taking money from the private sector, even more jobs are destroyed – more jobs than the government programs can ever create. 
          So, why all the corporate mergers and downsizing? The answer is too much regulation and too much government spending. More government regulation and spending translate to more unemployment and less wealth creation. Less wealth creation leads to a lower standard of living, resulting in needless death. One such study estimated that the death toll from regulations that do more harm than good cost 60,000 American lives each year. As President, Michael Badnarik will promote a true free market and ensure prosperity for America, for years to come. 
          Violence seems to be a hallmark of our society. Our homicide rate is higher than most European nations; our children are even gunned down in their schools, often by other students. To stem the tide of crime, Republicans and Democrats have both used "get tough" laws, including more gun control laws, longer prison sentences, and larger police forces. Yet robberies, rapes, and homicides go down when states permit civilians to carry concealed weapons. In 1999, 824 people died from firearm accidents, while the defensive use of guns saved approximately 400,000 lives, in most cases without even wounding the aggressor. 
          In tandem with empowering citizens, Michael also proposes a refreshing, but tested and proven way of ensuring justice is served – restitution. For example, only one industrialized nation has succeeded in consistently lowering its crime rates since World War II: Japan. Japan emphasizes restitution to the victim, rather than punishment of the criminal. Once caught, offenders must formally apologize to their victims and enter into a compensation agreement in order to get leniency from the court. Such restitution is the most effective rehabilitation known today. 
Health Care 
          Health care costs are soaring. Health insurance premiums reflect these increases, making coverage unaffordable, for both individuals and businesses. If these trends continue, few people will have access to state-of-the-art health care. In addition, malpractice insurance costs are driving many long-time, highly-qualified physicians out of the industry completely. 
     “To stem the tide of crime, Republicans and Democrats have both used 'get tough' laws, including more gun control laws, longer prison sentences, and larger police forces. Yet robberies, rapes, and homicides go down when states permit civilians to carry concealed weapons.”
          While Kerry promotes burdening the taxpayers even further with a national healthcare system and Bush pulls the wool over the eyes of seniors regarding prescription drugs, Michael Badnarik offers a fresh, common-sense prescription to cure America's ills by ending excess regulation of pharmaceuticals, health care providers, and insurance companies, while slashing costs across the board and saving taxpayers billions in the process. Michael Badnarik's "Prescription for America" will truly ensure the American standard of healthcare remains among the highest in the world. 
          Since 9/11, immigration has become a hot-button topic from Capitol Hill, to small-town America. By any reasonable measure, immigration is not just beneficial to the American economy but indispensable to the goal of a nation of freedom and opportunity. This nation was built on immigration. Allowing peaceful people to enter our country is not just an option – it's a benchmark by which we measure whether or not we're living up to the American ideal. That said, the question remains: How should we handle immigration in a new era of terrorism and war? There's no easy answer. 
          In this new era, it would be folly not to devote the proper attention to our national security, while giving peaceful immigrants a chance. As president, Michael Badnarik supports the entry of peaceful immigrants at conveniently located Customs and Immigration stations, subject only to brief vetting to ensure that they are not terrorists or criminals. In addition, Badnarik will work to eliminate the Border Patrol and treat border issues as what they are: defense issues coming under the mission and scope of the armed forces. In an age where the equivalent of a large invasion force can be packed into a suitcase-sized box containing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, no lesser response will do. 
Empowering Minorities 
          Most minorities feel that something about our "system" still discriminates against them, but can't quite identify its cause. Republicans and Democrats favor quotas and affirmative action, creating animosity between those who are favored by such legislation and those who are not. Because these programs must be funded by taking money from the private sector, jobs, primarily those held by unskilled minorities, are destroyed. The few who benefit from quotas and affirmative action do so at the expense of their less advantaged brethren. 
          Michael Badnarik believes minorities don't need preferential treatment to get ahead they are just as intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious as other Americans. As President, Badnarik would work to empower minorities by championing the elimination of excess regulations and licensing laws that have long stood in the way of this vital element of America's economic landscape. 
Gay Rights 
          Should gay marriage be permitted? Is such marriage a basic human right or an abomination that should never be sanctioned? Gay Marriage is a topic that has not only divided the politicians in Washington D.C, it has also divided families and even individuals. Perhaps it's time for America to ask a different question: "Should lovers jointly decide what their marriage will be or should government dictate the terms of their most intimate union?" 
          Today, of course, government decides if a couple is even permitted to marry through a licensing process. In their dubious past, however, marriage licenses were denied to interracial or other politically incorrect couples, just as it can and is being denied to gay couples today. While both Conservatives and Democrats believe they should have the power to dictate marriage laws, Michael Badnarik believes you, and only you, have the freedom to choose your partner for life. When marriage is taken out of the legal realm, it will again be seen for what it has always been: a matter of heart and soul. 
The War on Drugs 
          It has funded terrorists, endangered our neighborhoods with violent crime and gang warfare, developed a flourishing black market, and destroyed millions of lives in the process. In addition, it has been used to rationalize an unprecedented erosion of civil liberties inside America's borders through property forfeiture and jailing millions of Americans for victimless crimes. 
          Welcome to the Federal "War on Drugs." 
          The Drug War has led to some of the worst violations of the constitutional liberties of Americans, as well as to the worst wave of violent crime in American history since Alcohol Prohibition. While Bush continues to declare warfare on ordinary American citizens by jailing medical marijuana users and both Bush and Kerry promote the support of failing policies such as "Plan Colombia" through increased drug interdiction efforts, Michael Badnarik supports ending the insane "War on Drugs" – and drug prohibition entirely. 
Gun Control 
          In order to accurately interpret the Second Amendment, it is not only necessary to understand the common Revolutionary War-era definitions for the words from which it is comprised, but also an understanding of rights versus privileges as laid out in the Constitution. While Democrats may argue the definition of a "well regulated militia," they consistently fail to accurately interpret the meaning in its true historical context. 
          In addition, we must look to the statistics of today tell the real story of gun control's toll on everyday American life. Washington DC, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles have the strictest gun control policies in the United States, and as such they also suffer from the highest murder rates in the United States. But, what are the effects of less gun control? Again, we must look to the numbers to discover the answer. In 1999, 824 people died from firearm accidents, while the defensive use of guns saved approximately 400,000 lives, in most cases without even wounding the aggressor. It's time we as Americans stand up for our right to arm ourselves as outlined by the true historical interpretation of the Second Amendment – not only for a safer, more secure America, but because it's our inalienable right.