There is a disease spreading in North Carolina and the country and health care reform is not the cure but one of the symptoms, the chair of the North Carolina Libertarian Party told delegates gathered for the party’s annual state convention in Burlington April 10.
"If I had to name the disease, I'd have to say we have a fast-spreading cancer called big government,” said Barbara Howe in her state of the party address. She said the prescription for the disease is the Libertarian Party and its message of more freedom and less government.
“Probably most libertarians agree that heath care has some serious problems,” Howe said. “But as Mike Munger is fond of saying, there's no problem so great that government cant make it greater.”
Munger is chair of the Duke University political science department and was the 2008 Libertarian candidate for governor.
Howe said that some of the symptoms are “clueless elected officials, power-seeking elected officials and unelected bureaucrats.”
“Other symptoms include bank bailouts, seemingly endless wars, a continuation of the failed war on drugs, the mountains and mountains of rules and regulations on business, an education system with too much central control, and taxes that require most tax-paying Americans to work exclusively for the government for more than a quarter of the year,” Howe said.
“The prescription for this disease is the Libertarian Party and the people in this room,” Howe told the delegates.
In keeping with the Libertarian belief in limited government, the convention passed a resolution encouraging recipients of the 2010 U.S. Census to refuse to answer most of the questions.
The resolution said question one on the census form, which asks the number of persons living at the address, “is the only question needed to serve the Constitutionality-stated purposes of the census of apportioning federal, representation and direct taxes.”
The main order of business was the revision and amendment of the party’s platform.
The convention adopted a new Criminal Justice plank advocating the concept of restitution. It says, “The proper focus of a system of criminal justice is to require criminals to provide restitution to the victims of their crime. We recognize the right of the victim to pardon or come to a private settlement with the criminal.”
The existing Crime plank was replaced with two planks. The first, entitled The Law, says, “The LPNC advocates a code of law the defines crime only for acts that result in specific harm to a person or property.” The plank calls for the repeal of all statutes criminalizing acts where there is no specific victim or property damage identified. Anyone convicted of such crimes should be pardoned and their criminal records expunged, even if they have already served a sentence.
In the second plank, The Law Knows No Exception, Libertarians took the position that public officials who commit crimes, even in performance of their official duties, should not be immune from prosecution.
Delegates elected at-large members of the state executive committee. They are David Grimm of Burlington, Tom Hohmann of Monroe, Michael Shanklin of Erwin, and Aaron Yeargan of Hampstead. The also selected delegates to the Libertarian National Convention to be held in St. Louis May 29 to 31.
Read the unofficial text of the platform revisions and the census resolutions here.