Peter Solie is a proud member of the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party is a place where freedom of choice and liberty of thought is a core belief. If you are a typical Kansan, you may be surprised to learn that you are probably more aligned with the values of the Libertarian Party than either the Republican or Democratic parties.
Overprotective government policies may have the objective of saving lives and protecting us from injury; unfortunately, many of these policies cause unexpected harm and create a major barrier to solutions that might be better but are in violation of the current policy. Individuals and organizations have a strong incentive to seek actions and an environment that is safe from harm. Nor every harm can be eliminated, and the State of Kansas should not be in the business of trying to eliminate every harm that can happen.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Every state should be given the authority to exempt itself from legislation and policy that does not meet the ethical and practical concerns of the people of that state. If a state concern would be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of the United States may block such a decision by a state. This is a way to make the 10th Amendment work for states again.
Constitutional Amendment to the State of Kansas Constitution:
Neither the State of Kansas nor any political subdivisions thereof shall fund a different subdivision of the State of Kansas. (There would need to be many changes to how local and county governments get their funding. This could not be implemented without those significant changes) It has become standard practice for local governments to turn to Washington DC and Topeka for funding. In part because the Federal and State governments collect so much revenue from the local tax payers and because they seem eager to help us solve our issue. Unfortunately, the offer of financial assistance is always tied to requirements and policies that are not needed or wanted.
I don’t have a specific recommendation, but I am concerned that we send too many offenders to prison and that they spend too much time there. At the same time, I recognize that some individuals are dangerous and need to be removed from society for the remainder of their lives. For the past five years I have taught college classes to the inmates at Ellsworth Correctional Facility. They have committed serious crimes and they need to be appropriately punished for those crimes. Not for all, but for some, reform actually works.
As an outsider, it appears to me that there is no serious mechanism for determining when a person is on the road of reform or has achieved that status. If they are reformed, should they be in prison, or should they be on the pathway out of prison. I'm not approaching this as a "bleeding heart liberal," I'm looking at this as a former Bishop that has taught his congregation about the need for repentance and forgiveness, that a person can be changed, and that forgiveness is real. I'm approaching this as someone that works in the prison as an educator and with prison ministry. I am simply open to ideas on how to reform the system to better serve those that have truly reformed while maintaining public safety.
The State of Kansas should further enact laws that protect unborn children. I recognize an exception to this policy in the case of rape/incest or if the life of the mother is threatened. The entire pro-life/pro-choice debate is not about abortion, it is about how a person views the fetus. I view the fetus as a living human being. I would strongly encourage mothers who are the victims of rape or incest to make every effort to allow the child to live and be placed in a loving home.
I advocate for a VOTE YES on the constitutional amendment issue that will be on the August 2 primary ballot. Since this is a critical issue facing voters, I have further explained my principled decision on this matter.
DRUG LAW REFORM
The State of Kansas should not follow the pack by enacting “recreational marijuana” laws. Rather, the State of Kansas must approve sweeping changes to how we treat all drugs. We must be a leader in drug reform policy. I believe that all drugs, including marijuana, are dangerous and foolish to use unless prescribed by a doctor. I have not partaken of these drugs and if they were legalized, I would not use them. In fact, I would continue to encourage people not to use them. I view legalization very differently from the freedom to use. The State of Kansas and its counties and cities spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on police, courts and the Kansas Department of Corrections fighting illegal drugs. I would much prefer that the residents of Kansas and the organizations they support invest their money in mental health and drug rehabilitation programs. People should be charged and tried for the crimes of assault and theft. If a person assaults me or steals from me that is a crime. If that same person makes foolish mistakes with his or her life it is not a crime.
Directly related to the legalization of drugs is the Opioid crisis of the past several years. I have repeatedly asked people who should know, and I am not aware of any person that has died from taking an opioid as prescribed by a medical doctor. The deaths that we see in the news are the result of people taking a drug that has been laced with Fentanyl. I’m not happy that people have become addicted to opioids, but the solution to this issue is not to criminally prosecute the individuals addicted to the drug. The solution is to offer for legal sale opioids that are not laced with Fentanyl.
Only Citizens of the United States should be permitted to vote in local, state, and federal elections. Reasonable efforts should be made to ensure that only eligible citizens vote in our elections. Efforts should also be made to encourage, support, and assist citizens wishing to vote. Requiring a voter I.D. is not a barrier to voting.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES -
LIBERTARIAN PARTY of KANSAS
We, the Members of the Libertarian Party of Kansas, believe in the people of Kansas. We hold that all adults are capable of deciding what is best for themselves, their families, and their communities. We recognize that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
The Libertarian Party of Kansas is resolutely pro-individual and pro-community, holding that all decisions are best when made at the most local possible level. Our principles naturally lead to advancement of maximized individual liberties and local control, while limiting government expansion.
We hold that where governments must exist, they must not violate the rights of the individual: namely, (1) the right to life — accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts of government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property such as confiscation, nationalization and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY NOT EQUITY
It is not the job of the State of Kansas to achieve equity for all residents. Rather, it is the job of the State of Kansas to maintain laws and policies that protect individual and corporate rights for freedom of expression and economic opportunity. In short, the State of Kansas can promote economic growth by getting out of the way.
This is a federal issue. We must end the lie of asylum. There are valid claims of asylum, but economic distress is not a valid asylum claim. The federal government must provide a system for valid documentation and authorization for temporary and permanent residents to live and work in freedom if they can provide for themselves or secure the support of private organizations.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY
I was taught by my parents and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that I should judge people by the “content of their character and not the color of their skin.” CRT and other race-based philosophies are wrong-headed and should not be any part of the foundation for education in the State of Kansas. Because I am a Libertarian, I am not proposing that CRT be banned (Libertarians do not tell other people what they can do or not do). The decision on what is taught in schools is up to parents, educators, and school boards. The final decision always rests with the parents.
DE-REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS
De-regulation of professions will bring creativity and economic opportunity for many Kansans. Asking “permission” from the State of Kansas to perform a service for others is not needed. Concerned residents could receive confirmation of skill or expertise from trade associations, independent watchdogs and other organizations that would certainly be created in the absence of a state stamp of approval. Recommendations from friends and observation should be valued.
I am not a scientist, but I have every reason to believe that the global temperature is rising. I am certain, however, that the solutions offered by climate activists will be disastrous. If carbon is the problem, then we should be very busy building nuclear power plants. New, much safer plants that are “walk-away safe" and produce a fraction of the waste. We also should be focused on carbon removal technology. Those currently in charge of climate policy seem most concerned about raising ocean levels. If that is true, we should dam our rivers just before they empty into the ocean and use that water to make the deserts bloom, recharge the aquifers and rebuild the glaciers. All of that would cost billions of dollars, but the current proposals cost even more, and they won’t work! The people have never really had a debate on this issue. I reject the term “climate denier.” Most of those whom others might label as “climate deniers” have only rejected the activist's solutions, not the changing climate.