So What Exactly Does The Libertarian Party Stand For Anyway?

Let’s face it. Donald Trump is a very unpopular guy.

As of last week, 55% of Americans have a negative view of him. 40% of Republicans say they will not vote for him, and 19% would vote for Hillary Clinton.

However, what about the remaining 21% of Republicans who would not vote for Trump or Clinton? Would they vote at all? Some, if not many, will not.

Others, however, are contemplating third party options.

The same logic applies to the 31% of Bernie Sanders supporters who may or will not cote for Clinton, and the 20% who would vote for Trump.

Perhaps the most frequently discussed of those options is that of voting for the Libertarian Party, whose online search results have reportedly surged since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican primary on May 3.

On Sunday, the Libertarian Party nominated former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson for President, and former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld as his running mate.

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In an era where it seems that the Republican and Democratic parties are the only political parties around, and where dissatisfaction with them is near historical highs, it seems only fitting that additional options be shown to and discussed with the general public. Therefore, this article will be dedicated to doing so with the Libertarian Party.

Former Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for President. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Former Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for President. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Like all political parties, the Libertarian party determines its platform at its national convention. The result of this convention (aside from the nominees) are as follows:

-The Libertarian Party places emphasis over individual sovereignty over all else. It criticizes both the Democratic and Republican parties as being too regulating and authoritarian. It demands that the government not deny the right life, liberty, and property for the sake of itself or others.

-Under this philosophy, the following policy positions are advocated:

1. Individuals should be able do whatever they want to their bodies (appeals to liberals).
2. The government should not control the internet of mass media (appeals to elements of both sides).
3. The government should not spy on everybody (appeals to elements of both sides).
4. The government should not classify anybody by sexual preference (appeals to liberals).
5. The government should not regulate abortion (appeals to liberals).
6. Criminal laws should be limited to those involving person-to-person interaction (appeals to liberals).
7. The government should not regulate guns (appeals to conservatives).
8. The government should not interfere in property ownership (appeals to conservatives).
9. The government should not interfere in pollution regulation, for it is less trustworthy and effective than innovative civilians who seek to do the same (appeals to conservatives).
10. The government should not interfere with the energy market (appeals to conservatives).

11. The government should not rely on income taxes to produce a balanced budget, which should be mandatory (appeals to conservatives).

12. The government should not interfere in non-fraudulent banking practices (appeals to conservatives).

13. The government should not interfere in the free market (appeals to conservatives).

14. The government should not interfere in worker-employer relations (appeals to conservatives).

15. The government should not interfere in education, which should be determined by parents (appeals to conservatives).

16. The health care market should serve as any other market that operates across state lines, and not be subjected to government intervention (appeals to conservatives).

17. Social Security should be replaced with private retirement planning (appeals to conservatives).

18. Military service should be limited to voluntary defense of the country’s territory (appeals to elements of both sides)

19. Internal security should not trump individual liberty (appeals to elements of both sides).

20. All foreign aid should be ended (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to paleoconservatives).

21. Trade and immigration should not be restricted unless there is a threat to national security (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to liberals).

22. The government should not interfere in private practices of discrimination (appeals to conservatives).

23. The government should not try to rig electoral systems to create a party system with a limited number of parties (appeals to elements of both sides).

24. The people have the inherent right to self-determination (appeals to conservatives).

At the end of the day, this party is very socially liberal but very fiscally conservative.

This unique platform has the potential to either attract or repulse people on both sides of the political spectrum.

If the party wants a chance of growing to substantial polling numbers, it may have to target single issue voters.

Given that single-issue voters appear to be significant in numbers, as indicated by Gallup polls on the level of priority voters have on issues such as abortion and gun control, perhaps that may be all it needs to do, especially if it succeeds in attracting protest votes from disillusioned Republicans and Democrats.

Do you wish this party good luck in its quest? Feel free to comment and share your opinion below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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About the Author
James Kardys is a fourth year student at the University of Miami. He majors in political science and international relations. He has written articles for RISE NEWS since May 2016, and for Turning Point USA since November 2014.
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