First, congratulations on your nomination.
I am writing this open letter as a registered Democrat whose views are very compatible with Libertarian views on justice reform, civil liberties, non-isolationism, and non-interventionism, among other things. However, my biggest concern about the Libertarian Party is that I’m afraid that its economic policies will leave people–most importantly, marginalized communities–without a safety net. In order for me to consider a Libertarian candidate, I need to feel like policies will benefit all, not just a select few.
I don’t need you to bash other candidates–I need to know what you would do to address the issues we face in America.
Universal Basic Income: From what I understand, some Libertarians support UBI and others do not. Where do you stand? Is UBI something you would consider? If so, which government programs could you cut in order to fund UBI? Do you think that UBI might make other capitalist positions/policies more palatable? If UBI were implemented, how could we ensure that inflation wouldn’t cancel out the benefit?
Health care: My understanding is that Libertarians do not want the government involved in health care. Do you support providing a basic level of health care to citizens who are unable to purchase private insurance? And if you were able to change the healthcare system–to remove government control–what should people expect to be the most difficult transition in the beginning?
Justice reform: Most importantly: How will you police the police? What is your plan for those currently imprisoned for non-violent and victimless crime? Would you support abolishing the death penalty? Would you be for, or against, for-profit prisons, and why?
Education: It is my understanding that you would like to eliminate the Department of Education, and that the Libertarian Party opposes public schools. Do you envision the government no longer funding education at all? How could you ensure that poor and rural children would still have access to education, and that their education would not be inadequate?
Immigration: It is my understanding that the Libertarian Party supports freedom of movement. Would you seek to suspend work on the border wall? What do you envision happening to immigrants who are currently in detention, or whose visas have expired, or who are otherwise in danger of deportation? Would you seek any security measures that monitor entry into the United States?
Laissez-faire capitalism: If we transitioned to a free and de-regulated market, would that mean leaving people exposed to harm as we waited for the market to correct itself? In that environment, how would companies be held liable for wrongdoing or misrepresentation? Would there be any consumer protection in that world, or would it be a blanket “buyer beware” society? Do you envision any checks to ensure we wouldn’t end up with monopolies that left people with total lack of choice? If there’s no money to be made in providing products or services to the poor, where does that leave them?
Voter access: How would you ensure that every American citizen has equal, convenient, barrier-free, secure access to voting?
Term limits: Would you seek to impose term limits on any particular political offices?
Military: My understanding is that the Libertarian Party is non-interventionist, which would mean there would be less military engagement. How would you go about scaling down military presence around the world? What do you envision being the primary function of the Department of Defense? Would you seek to eliminate Selective Service registration?
Second Amendment rights: From what I understand, the Libertarian party rejects gun control. However, are there circumstances where you believe it would be appropriate to deny someone a gun? Circumstances where you believe it would be appropriate to limit the types of weapons people can have? Circumstances where you believe it would be appropriate to confiscate a gun?
Taxes: It is my understanding that the Libertarian platform calls for the repeal of income tax. How would the government meet its past, present, and future financial obligations if there were no income tax? What are your feelings on replacing a portion of income taxes with a consumption tax? Do you support or reject capital gains taxation?
Environment: What is your first priority when it comes to protecting the environment? How can we mitigate pollution, climate change, etc.? Would you protect the existing National Parks? Do you support fracking? How will you ensure that Americans have access to clean water?
Abortion: What is your stance on whether abortion should be legal?
Labor laws: It is my understanding that the Libertarian Party does not support labor laws. Are there specific labor laws that you do support?
Legalization of marijuana: Would you seek to federally legalize marijuana? How will you convince the opponents of the legalization of drugs?
Free trade: How will you seek to remove trade barriers? What do you say to American workers who believe that tariffs help them keep their jobs? What tools would be used to gain access to foreign markets?
Intelligence community: What would your plans for the intelligence community be? Would you continue to utilize intelligence or would you aim to disassemble parts of the intelligence community?
Privacy: How would you protect the privacy of American citizens? Are there specific laws you would seek to repeal?
In general, how will your policies support the marginalized–including, but not limited to, Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+, the homeless, veterans, rural Americans, etc.?
How will you navigate the bipartisan world? How will you work with Congress and get Congress to work with you? Are you open to compromise?
How will you change the perception of the Libertarian Party being a fringe party? How will you move away from the perception that the Party can’t be taken seriously?
Which of your policies do you think will best combat institutionalized racism?
What importance do you place on diplomacy?
What would a Libertarian response to a pandemic such as COVID look like?
What from your background do you believe makes you ready and able to become the next President of the United States?
How will you approach a debate with Donald Trump and Joe Biden?
How can I reconcile what I perceive as a Libertarian society being “Every man for himself,” if I am someone who believes we are all in this together?
I am 100% open to the idea that a Libertarian candidate can be the superior candidate in this race. I’m asking you to convince me that you are, indeed, that candidate.
Best of luck,
Kari Ann Martindale