Libertarian Party

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Libertarian Party
Party Chairman Nick Sarwark
Senate Leader
House Leader
Founded 1971
Headquarters 1444 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA
Political ideology Anarcho-capitalism
Libertarianism
Political position Fiscal: Free Market
Social: Libertarian
International affiliation International Alliance of Libertarian Parties (IALP.com)
Color(s) blue and gold
Website www.lp.org

The Libertarian Party (LP/L) of the United States is an American political party founded in 1971 that advocates libertarian political views as part of the worldwide libertarian movement. In terms of Presidential elections, the party hit a new high in popularity in 2016, receiving over 3% of the vote.[1] In terms of political activity (number of candidates, access to the ballot, and elected office holders), the Libertarian Party is the third-largest political party, although it is still much smaller than the biggest two American political parties.

It is active in all 50 states and has more than 200,000 registered voters. The Libertarian Party has between 150-200 elected officials serving in public office across the country in 2016, mostly at the local level of government.[2] As of 2016, the party has permanent ballot status in 37 out of 50 states and runs candidates in all 50. In 2008, the party nominated Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman from Georgia, as its nominee for the 2008 Presidential Election. In 2012 and 2016, Gary E. Johnson, formerly the Republican governor of New Mexico, was the party's presidential candidate.

Party Platform

The Libertarian Party platform is a combination of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism with a strong emphasis on individual liberty and responsibility. Libertarians believe in free market economics, protection of private property, and the individual's right to perform any action which is peaceful and honest. These are the fundamental principles which guide the rest of the platform.[3]

Abortion

The Libertarian Party believes that there are good-faith arguments on both sides of the abortion debate. It therefore thinks that the government should stay out of the issue entirely, letting individual decisions and morality dictate action.[4] It is adamantly opposed to government funding for programs such as Planned Parenthood, but does not support outlawing abortion entirely.

Gay Marriage

The Libertarian Party believes that consenting adults should be allowed to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships free from government intervention. It believes that much of the cultural tension involved with gay marriage and gay rights would go away once personal relationships are kept private, solely defined by the persons involved.[5] However, many in the party would support privatizing the definition of marriage. A press release from the party implied that this would effectively permit polygamy as well, saying "We should settle for nothing less than a society in which the legal code is wiped clean of references to a person's sexual identity or depends on how many sexual partners they have." [6]

Gun Control

The Libertarian Party believes that gun ownership is one of the fundamental rights laid down in the Constitution, and, since ownership is a peaceful action, criminal penalties against such cannot be morally justified. It also believes that gun prohibition would not prevent people from owning guns, and that Americans have the right to decide how to best protect themselves. Lastly, since the Libertarian Party believes strongly in personal responsibility, it believes that the responsibility for violence should rest on the gun owner, not the gun.[7]

Health Care

The Libertarian Party believes that government bureaucracy and spending are the reasons that the health care system is currently in crisis. The party endorses establishing health savings accounts, deregulating the health care industry, and replace the Food and Drug Administration with a more efficient free-market alternative.[8]

Taxation

The Libertarian Party strongly supports cutting all taxes. It believes that the size of government can be drastically lowered by cutting wasteful spending and privatizing certain services.[9]

War on Drugs

The Libertarian Party believes that, while drug abuse is deplorable, the war on drugs has caused more problems than it has solved. Libertarians see prohibition as a threat to civil liberties and a huge drain on taxpayers, and believe individuals have the right to choose what to put into their own bodies, but that they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions when they affect others.[10]

Immigration

The Libertarian Party supports the "freedom of movement", including both immigration and emigration, as a fundamental human right, and asserts that governments have no right to discriminate on the basis of nationality, parentage, or where a person was born. Thus the party supports amnesty for undocumented persons, aka illegal aliens, and immigration with few to no restrictions.

See also

References

  1. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  2. Frequently asked questions about the Libertarian Party
  3. Libertarian Party, National Platform of the Libertarian Party
  4. Libertarian Party, National Platform of the Libertarian Party
  5. Libertarian Party, National Platform of the Libertarian Party
  6. Libertarian Party release, June 10 2011
  7. Libertarian Party: Issues & Positions. Making Healthcare Safe and Affordable
  8. Libertarian Party: Issues & Positions. Making Healthcare Safe and Affordable
  9. Libertarian Party: Issues & Positions. The Libertarian Party: Working to slash your taxes!
  10. Libertarian Party, National Platform of the Libertarian Party