(Wes Benedict) – Today is Bill of Rights Day. I don’t know how much we’ll hear about it in the media, but you and I know how important the Bill of Rights is. The Founders recognized that it was important to be specific about what government must not do.
The Libertarian Party platform expresses support for the Bill of Rights in many places. For example:
“We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.” (1.1)
“We affirm the right to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.” (1.6)
“We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property.” (1.2)
Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments:
“We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, and the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, must not be denied.” (1.5)
Of course, one of the most serious problems America faces today is that the federal government completely ignores the Tenth Amendment, which says the federal government only has the limited powers granted by the Constitution, and no other powers. Unfortunately, our federal government has usurped a long list of powers that are not granted by the Constitution — far too many to list in this email.
The Democratic and Republican parties, and their politicians, have very little respect for the Bill of Rights. The Bush and Obama administrations have been especially destructive, not only continuing the expansion of federal power far beyond what is allowed by the Tenth Amendment, but also trampling on due process, privacy protections, and free speech.
Most Americans admire the Bill of Rights, but I think many of them are unaware how much our government violates them. If you run for office as a Libertarian candidate, you can help inform people. We not only need Libertarian candidates elected, we also need to convince Americans to demand that the government must get back inside the limits of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
(Wes Benedict is the Executive Director of the Libertarian National Committee)