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The Libertarian Party is the third-largest political party in America. They’re active in all 50 states and have more than 280,000 registered voters, or... 0.1% of the United States eligible voting population. (In fairness, it's just mathematical fact that under First-Past-the-Post all systems will trend towards two-party.)
Libertarians are basically Democrats who want to pay less in taxes. Some people who do not understand libertarianism erroneously see them as Republicans with training wheels, which simply isn't true. Libertarians want less government, whereas Republicans want just as much government as Democrats, but instead have everything run on a state level (except abortion, of course, once the Court makes a ruling on their side). Libertarians simply want to get rid of all big government. The policies of the party include laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally-regulated borders, and non-interventionism in foreign policy. There is a plot out there to take over New Hampshire, because fuck seatbelts.
Libertarians believe that the one-dimensional scale of the political "left-right" is insufficient to describe the many philosophies held by the general public. They introduced the Nolan Chart, which measures two dimensions of political opinion instead, conveniently placing themselves at the top, opposite Hitler, which is literally the truth. Of course that wasn't enough; they had to add a big arrow toward their position, mangling evolution in an effort to encourage people to join them.
As with many parties, the party has much untapped potential locked in the two main parties by first past the post. A pretty decent portion of Republicans oppose the party's conservative views, while supporting its neoliberal economics. A pretty decent portion of Democrats oppose the party's moderately left-leaning economics, while supporting its progressive views. These people would line up with the Libertarian Party's social liberal, neoliberal platform, but can't out of fear of splitting the vote, which is why so many Democrats and Republicans oppose MMPV, IRV, and TRV, knowing they would lose much influence[note 1]. To that end, it can probably be argued that most people are closet Libertarians.
2008 Presidential nominating process
Several candidates were seeking to become the party's 2008 presidential nominee. Mike Gravel changed from the Democratic Party to the Libertarian Party. Bob Barr, a former Republican U.S. Congressman, announced on May 12, 2008 that he would seek the nomination. The final choice of Bob Barr (and his running mate, Wayne Allyn Root) was made at the 2008 national convention in Denver, Colorado in late May.
Ron Paul, who was the party's 1988 candidate, had been mentioned as a possible nominee as well, but has officially denied any intent to run under any third-party banner. On December 12, 2007, the Party adopted a resolution requesting Paul to run on the Libertarian ticket if he does not win the Republican Party nomination.
- John McAfee, a filthy-rich burn out psycho with an endearing amount of honesty but little understanding of the government's complexity. (Trump on steroids.) He'd be the best for getting name recognition up, if only because he could generate the most bizarre headlines. On the other hand, he'd be the worst for winning over anti-Trump Republicans, for the same reason.
- Gary Johnson would be the best for actually winning over Independents...but he's basically a Republican. He's what white bread conservatives become when they go to college. Still, could do worse. Update: But remember, cakes were the most important issue of the 2016 campaign. It is better to vote for someone who isn't libertarian at all than someone who deviates from libertarianism on one issue.
- Austin Peterson is pretty much any rando you've met on Reddit. His argument style is literally repeating libertarian memes. "Muh roads! We're we're going, we don't need roads! Because we will have jetpacks!"[No, not The Onion] If Libertarians want to be a party of internet trolls, vote Petersen.
Johnson has stated that he will run again in 2016, "as long as he's relevant," whatever that may mean. Some reports had him running for the GOP nomination and if unsuccessful seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, in a replay of 2012. Considering Johnson's relative level-headedness in comparison to the mainstream GOP, his support of gay and immigration rights, and love for pot, this is likely to happen. If he can gain one percentage point he is on track to win the general election by 2412 with a literal Ron Paulbot as his running mate.
As for the up-coming 2020 US presidential election several people have thrown their lot in for the Libertarians, the most notable among them being former Republican and anti-war activist Adam Kokesh and the nutty, tax-evading inventor of antivirus software John McAfee.
The Libertarian Party website also has some polls for its members, with results that can turn out only slightly saner than WND polls.
- "The White House is starting a media war against Rush Limbaugh. What does Obama hope to distract attention from?" Highest result (48%; 1491 votes): "Economic research showing Obama’s spending plan prolongs the recession and eliminates jobs"
- "What is the cause of "global warming"?" Highest result: (47%; 249 votes): "Cycles of nature"
- "How should we deal with the financial problems of the Social Security system?" Highest result: (53%; 2392 votes): "We should completely get rid of Social Security."
- "Is human-generated global warming a myth?" Highest result: (56%; 220 votes): "Yes"
- "Should we go back to the gold standard?" Highest Result: "No"... Just pulling your leg, it was actually "Yes" with 64% of the vote (194 votes).
- "Do you believe people have a "right" to healthcare?" Highest result: "No" with 59% of the vote (547 votes)
- "Do you consider Obama to be a "socialist?" Highest Result: Take a wild guess.
- Ron Paul - A Lifetime Member, although his beliefs line up closer with Pat Buchanan's. Paul is irrefutably a huge racist and conspiracy nut, and Rand has embraced his father's legacy by showing up on Alex Jones, opposing the Civil Rights Act, and hiring numerous racist staffers.
- Despite the fact that TRV perpetuates the Two-Party system, IRV perpetuates the Two-Party system BUT allows for more minor party representation, giving the illusion of being a solution, and MMP, similar to IRV, creates a ONE-Party system (CDU/CSU in Germany, which is bad, and Labor in New Zealand, which is good) with enough allowance for minor party representation to act as if the majority party doesn't always decide everything. Whether the Democrats and Republicans intentionally abstain from openly opposing actual solutions (like Approval Voting or STAR Voting from the Range/Score family of voting methods), and instead focus on opposing IRV and others that would not actually harm their seats of power as scapegoats is up to debate.
- Well, that's what they say!
- As of Feb. 2012
- Since populations evolve, not indvididuals
- Official Website of the Libertarian National Committee
- "Barr launches Libertarian White House bid"
- Libertarians want Paul back. Libertarian Party resolution as reported by SmallGovTimes.com. 12-12-2007.
- Reason:Gary Johnson Pulls One Million Votes, One Percent
- Yahoo! News: Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson open to running for president again in 2016
- See the Wikipedia article on 2020 Libertarian Party presidential primaries.
- Less than a quarter believe it's manmade
- You'll get the elderly vote anyday now
- They had to be certain is wasn't real apparently
- "Yes" with 65% of the vote (856 votes), if you were really curious