By Mike Tront
Understandably, many libertarians are not enthused about Gary Johnson being the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president this year. He has many good libertarian views, but he just doesn’t seem to apply these principals across the board. To make matters worse, his running mate, Bill Weld, is on record supporting many anti-libertarian policies over the years. For these reasons, it is becoming trendier in libertarian circles to throw their support behind other candidates. Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee, is one of them.
I can respect someone who isn’t supporting the Johnson/Weld ticket on the account of their flaws. What doesn’t make sense is to say Johnson isn’t a good enough libertarian, but then support someone like Castle!
To be fair, Castle says many good things in his platform. Right away he talks about ending the federal reserve system as well as ending overseas interventions. However, just like Johnson, he has many core beliefs that are directly opposed to libertarianism.
Darrell Castle’s immigration policy looks like it was stolen from Donald Trump! In an interview with LibertyHangout.org, when asked about immigration, Castle said this:
I believe that securing the border, i.e. protecting it so that no one enters without consent and halting immigration completely until that is accomplished is one of the most important issues America faces. The halt to immigration would last until we could be sure who is coming in and with what intent.
Castle doesn’t say build a wall, but I’m not sure how else he’s planning on “halting immigration completely.” For a guy who’s interested in smaller government, this immigration policy would amount to a massive federal bureaucracy. To be effective it would need powers beyond our imagination.
Even when asked this: “Should the government increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers?” he replied with “decrease.” What is libertarian about using force to stop American companies from hiring much needed engineers, doctors, designers, and scientists?
His party, the Constitution Party, holds this view:
The law of our Creator defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The marriage covenant is the foundation of the family, and the family is fundamental in the maintenance of a stable, healthy and prosperous social order. No government may legitimately authorize or define marriage or family relations contrary to what God has instituted. We are opposed to any judicial ruling or amending the U.S. Constitution or any state constitution re-defining marriage with any definition other than the Biblical standard.
Sounds like same sex marriage is off the table! Castle himself said this: “Take the government out of marriage and instead make it a religious decision.” Libertarians can agree that government shouldn’t have any role in defining marriage, but religion has nothing to do with it. It is simply a contract made between two people, one that can’t be stopped by any government or church.
His stance, then, seems a bit murky. He seems to want government out of the way, but he stops short of saying same sex couple should have the right to get married if they wish.
When it comes to same sex couples adopting children, however, he is not murky at all! He flat out says “gay couples should not be able to adopt children“
Whatever you personally believe, I can’t imagine any libertarian worth their salt that would say we need government to flat out ban adopting children to same sex couples.
Another big issue is eminent domain. Self-ownership and private property are the two basic principles we libertarians adhere to. Eminent domain, the ability for the government to take private property without consent, is the opposite of libertarian. Castle supports eminent domain as long as “fair market value is paid to the property owner.” Value is subjective, however, and if someone is not willing to voluntarily sell you something, that means they personally value it more than what you’re offering. Just because you take something by force, and give the victim what you feel is “fair value,” it doesn’t make it right.
Although Castle supports ending the drug war, he apparently doesn’t want marijuana legalized. In his own words when asked “Do you support the legalization of Marijuana?” his response was “i support decriminalization not legalization“
This is a pretty big distinction. Decriminalization means the government can, and most certainly will, fine people for consuming marijuana. This will also keep it on the black market, as legitimate companies wouldn’t be able to sell marijuana. Thus the crime and violence associated with prohibition will continue, just with fewer prisoners. This is hardly a libertarian position.
Whether or not you think capital punishment is moral, I think we can at least agree that government shouldn’t ever administer it. I myself wrote that in a completely private criminal justice system, capital punishment may be used from time to time for certain heinous acts.
Castle, however, fully supports government use of the death penalty.
Women in Combat:
This is a bit off the wall, but apparently he was asked “Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?” and he said “No”!
If the U.S. is ever attacked, I don’t see any reason why anyone should forcibly stop a woman from defending herself, her family, her property, and her community.
Castle vs. Johnson
Clearly if we pick and choose there’s plenty to like and dislike about both of these candidates. If you just happen to like one more than the other based on your personal ranking of importance on their different issues, I can respect that. But if you’re in the “We need a true libertarian candidate and Gary Johnson isn’t it!” camp than there’s no way you can support Castle either. He is far from a libertarian.
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