The South Dakota affiliate of the
Libertarian Party of the United States 

South Dakota Libertarian Party

The Party of Principle

No one -- neither a mugger in some alley nor a group of suits in some capitol -- no one
has the right to initiate force or commit fraud to achieve personal or political goals. 


What is a Libertarian?

Platform and By-Laws
     Social Security now called "Federal Benefit Payment"

Contact us

Support the SDLP
2014 SDLP Convention
2012 SDLP Convention

Elect Gary Johnson President

Brandon Taliaferro is tried for protecting foster kids from rape

Links to informative sites

Libertarian Party of the United States

The Price of Liberty
(edited by Nathan Barton of SDLP)

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
(SDLP vice-Chair Tony Ryan is a LEAP speaker)
Opposition to the most destructive public policy since slavery
     SoDakNORML engages the system

SoDakLiberty blog
     Ken Santema moderates a wide-ranging forum

Decorum Forum blog
A blog in So. Dak that discusses libertarianism, from time to 

Fall River Forum
A Hot Springs-based site that proposes libertarian solutions



To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality. --Pierre-Joseph Proudhon





Proposed SDLP Party Platform

SDLP member Ron Leeper, Yankton, has told the SDLP that he plans to propose a platform statement for the SDLP at the convention, Aug. 9, in Sioux Falls. While the SDLP at the moment takes no position on Leeper's proposal, we thought it advisable to allow the members of the SDLP, as well as anyone else, to take a look at his proposal, to familiarize themselves with its provisions, and to prepare statements of opposition to or approval for any or all of the provisions. If Leeper presents this proposal at the convention, we will discuss it and either adopt it as is, adopt it with changes, or reject the proposition in entirety.

Statement by Ron Leeper: Here is a draft of the SDLP party platform I will be proposing for adoption at the convention in Sioux Falls. As a member of the South Dakota Libertarian Party I well understand that everyone concerned will have their own opinions on each of the state's party planks that are proposed and may agree with them entirely or may disagree completely or to any degree in between. Other issues could be addressed as well, but it is my thought that this is good place to continue the process of developing our own identity as a state party as well as giving anyone interested (with the caveat above) an idea of were we stand on a given issue. Having said that here goes...and let the slings and arrows fly...

Proposed SDLP Party Platform (2014)

Preamble: In addition to our endorsement of the National Libertarian Party's Preamble to its Platform, and our endorsement of the National Libertarian Party's Platform; as members of the South Dakota Libertarian Party we hold 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 rights of others to live in whatever manner they choose.


Indivdual Rights: We hold that, where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual, which include: (1) the right to life...we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others and support the right of people to pursue happiness so long as they do not interfere with other's rights. (2) the right to liberty of speech and action...we oppose all attempts by any government to abridge the freedoms of speech, press and electronic media, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to private property...we oppose all government interferences with the indivdual ownership of private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass and fraud.

Contracts: Since governments must not violate private property rights and the right to self-ownership, we oppose all interference by any government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals.

Same Sex Marriage: We hold that government has no right to regulate what sort of contractual arrangements adult citizens enter into and support the overturning of the state of South Dakota's ban on same-sex marriage.

Reproductive Rights: We hold that the decision to have an abortion is a private one between the patient and her doctor and is not something that is subject to governmental authority to forbid and thus we oppose the state of South Dakota's restrictions on a women's reproductive rights and seek their immediate repeal.

Gun Owners’ Rights: The right to possess firearms for self-defense and to protect against tryanny is clearly enumerated by both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the constitution of State of South Dakota. We hold that the government should not interfere with the ability of adults to seek firearms in order to secure their persons, families and homes against aggression and tyranny and support the elimination of the state of South Dakota's concealed carry permit requirement as well as the abolishment of gun-free zones within our state.

Cannabis: Since citizens may choose to exercise the right of self-ownership by controlling what they put into their own bodies we oppose the state of South Dakota's prohibition on the use of cannabis by adults and support the immediate repeal of those laws.

Medical Cannabis: Because the decision of what type of medical treatment is appropriate is only to be discussed and decided upon by a patient and their physician we oppose any laws that prohibit medical professionals from prescribing cannabis for any condition they deem suitable and seek the immediate repeal of those laws.

Hemp: Since hemp has been utilized throughout history as a valuable agricultural commodity with a large number of beneficial applications we oppose any government prohibition on it's cultivation and production and seek the immediate repeal of those laws.

Tribal Sovereignty: We hold that the tribes of Native Americans who have established reservations within our state's boundaries are in fact sovereign nations separate from the state of South Dakota who are able to administer their own political and judicial systems without any interference from our state and further we hold that the treaty agreements which those nations entered into with the federal government of the United States should be honored.

Death Penalty: We hold that any act forbidden to an individual citizen should never be committed by the state and since South Dakota's death penalty is in fact homicide we seek its immediate repeal.

Privacy: We hold that citizens have the right to privacy and that any monitoring of individuals by the government should be conducted only in strict accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and must only take place upon the review and authorization of the judiciary.

Sales Tax On Food: Since the state of South Dakota's sales tax means that lower income people pay a larger proportion of their income for a necessity such as food which is vital to the health of children and families across our state we oppose the state sales tax being applied to food purchases and seek its immediate repeal.

South Dakota National Guard: Because numerous citizens of our state have given their lives or have been maimed in unconstitutional wars of aggression overseas which have been conducted by the federal government of the United States we ask the Governor of the State of South Dakota to cease placing our service men and women in harm's way by no longer allowing them to be sent outside the borders of the United States to perform their military service.



From a post to the Decorum Forum blog (you'll have to go there or to the Wikipedia link below to access all the links to sub-definitions and footnotes):

As for the Libertarian "definition" on Wikipedia: It outlines a wide range of thought, often contradictory, about what, exactly a libertarian is, so it's not really a definition--more a discussion. To distinguish "libertarian" from "Libertarian," a Libertarian is anyone who has registered Libertarian with the State, or who has contributed to the Libertarian Party. People who hold at least one belief fundamentally at odds with one or more of the really defining beliefs of a libertarian have run for office as Libertarians. Every political group is forced by state laws to accept lunatics as their nominees for just about any political office.

The base-line defining characteristic of a libertarian is that (s)he believes that it is immoral to initiate force to achieve personal or political goals. A "pure" follower of the philosophy of the Democratic Party thinks it's okay to hire folks to shoot you if you don't give over a bunch of your paycheck to support their charities. A similarly-minded Republican will gladly shoot you and your doctor for "killing babies" or "doing dope."

I found it odd, for example that this appears below:  "Libertarian historian George Woodcock defines libertarianism as the philosophy that fundamentally doubts authority and advocates transforming society by reform or revolution." About half of everyone falls through that gravel screen. If he's a "Libertarian historian," he's gotta know there's more to it than that.

This statement probably is the truest of all below: "Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced." I'll venture that libertarians agree that the pursuit of happiness is more often successful under the least coercive of societies.

The passage from Wikipedia:

Libertarianism is generally considered to be the group of political philosophies which emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association. There is no general consensus among scholars on the precise definition. Libertarians generally advocate a society with a government of small scope relative to most present day societies or no government whatsoever.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines libertarianism as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things.[1] Libertarian historian George Woodcock defines libertarianism as the philosophy that fundamentally doubts authority and advocates transforming society by reform or revolution.[2] Libertarian philosopher Roderick Long defines libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals", whether "voluntary association" takes the form of the free market or of communal co-operatives.[3] According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.[4]

Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. Anarchistic schools advocate complete elimination of the state. Minarchist schools advocate a state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. Some schools accept public assistance for the poor.[5] Additionally, some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.[6][7][8] Another distinction can be made among libertarians who support private ownership and those that support common ownership of the means of production; the former generally supporting a capitalist economy, the latter a socialist economic system. Contractarian libertarianism holds that any legitimate authority of government derives not from the consent of the governed, but from contract or mutual agreement, though this can be seen as reducible to consequentialism or deontologism depending on what grounds contracts are justified.[9][10][11] Some Libertarian socialists reject deontological and consequential approaches and use historical materialism to justify their political beliefs.[12]

Political scholars such as Noam Chomsky assert that in most countries the terms "libertarian" and "libertarianism" are synonymous with left anarchism.[13] It is only in the United States that the term libertarian is commonly associated with those who have conservative positions on economic issues and liberal positions on social issues, going by the common meanings of "conservative" and "liberal" in the United States.[14]

Jackley Resigns