Libertarian Party Ideology: Libertarianism
Libertarian Party Website: www.lp.org

The Libertarian Party is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism and shrinking the size and scope of government. The party was conceived at meetings in the home of David Nolan in Westminster, Colorado in August 1971, and was officially formed in December 1971 in Colorado Springs. The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Nixon administration, the Vietnam War, conscription and the end of the gold standard.

The party generally promotes a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the Democratic Party’s modern liberalism and progressivism and the Republican Party’s conservatism. Gary Johnson, the party’s Presidential nominee in 2012 and 2016, has stated that the Libertarian Party is “more culturally liberal than Democrats, and more fiscally conservative than Republicans.” Current fiscal policy positions include lowering taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, decreasing the national debt, allowing people to opt out of Social Security and eliminating the welfare state, in part by using private charities. Current cultural policy positions include ending the prohibition of illegal drugs, advocating criminal justice reform, supporting same-sex marriage, ending capital punishment and supporting gun ownership rights.

While it is currently the third largest political party in the United States by voter registration, the Libertarian Party currently has no members in Congress, state legislatures, or governorships. There are half a million voters registered as Libertarian in the 31 states that report Libertarian registration statistics as well as Washington, DC.

1972 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Tonie Nathan was the first woman and first Jew to receive a vote in the Electoral College when Virginia Republican and faithless elector Roger MacBride voted for that year’s Libertarian ticket.

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