5 Things The Libertarian Party Stands For

Tyler Durden's picture

With Libertarian Party registrations soaring, and the two establishment party presidential candidates vying for most-hated in history, The Hill's Ben Kamisar, explains the five major pieces of the party's platform...

Billionaire reality TV star Mark Cuban was asked last Sunday if he would run for president as a Libertarian. And like a majority of Americans, he admitted he didn't really know where the party stands on issues.  


Thanks to how unpopular the likely Democratic and Republican nominees are, top Libertarians hope that the increased focus on their party as an alternative will help shed light on the Libertarian message. 


But many Americans remain in the dark—a 2014 Pew Research survey also showed that 44 percent of Americans didn't know the correct definition of the party. So the challenge the party faces as it holds its national convention this weekend is familiarizing Americans with its platform.

Here are five major pieces of the Libertarian Party platform, as well as some issues its platform committee on Saturday is looking to change for this year:  

Individual freedom 

The idea of individual freedom defines the libertarian movement—it’s the party of limited government, in all forms.  

“We are the only political party that stands for your right to pursue happiness in any way you choose as long as you don’t hurt anyone else and as long as you don’t take their stuff,” party chairman Nicholas Sarwark told The Hill.  

This year, the party’s platform committee is looking to highlight how that differs with the two main parties with a new addition to the platform preamble: “Our aim is to keep the Republicans out of your bedroom and the Democrats out of your pockets, so that you can make your own choices and live your life as you choose.” 

That push for individual freedom colors the views of the party on just about every issue—including drug legalization, free trade, and free-market health care, as well as the elimination of campaign finance and gun control laws.  

Social liberals

The push for individual freedom puts libertarians toward the left side of the political spectrum on many of the major social issues.  

The 2014 platform argues that “government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships,” adding that “consenting adults” should have freedom to chose what makes them happy. 

The same goes for drug legalization—the party considers drug use and possession as victimless crimes that should be fair game unless the user hurts someone else in the process.  

The platform does not currently address the death penalty, but the platform committee has proposed an indefinite suspension of the practice, noting the number of exonerations since 1973 and the disproportional use of the death penalty based on race. 

Economic conservatives

Libertarians have faith in the free market and believe that there’s little the government can do to pressure businesses or individuals that would be better than the power of the “Invisible Hand.”  

That means unrestricted competition among financial institutions as well as the elimination of the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security and income taxes.  

The main argument is that social pressure and the free market will convince individuals and companies to donate to charity to help the less fortunate -- replacing the need for the government-run social safety-net -- or make business decisions to protect the environment in the hopes of being rewarded by the market for those efforts.  

And in the free market, companies live and die without the help of the government, so no bailouts.   

But that doesn’t mean taking the government entirely out of the equation—the platform committee has proposed clarifying that victims of a company’s disregard for the environment should be given restitution when "damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law.”   


Despite the socially liberal bent, this is an issue where libertarians disagree.  

The 2014 platform echoed an effectively pro-abortion rights position, arguing “government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.” 

But this year, a potentially contentious change recommended by the party’s platform committee includes a complete retool of that platform, shifting the rhetoric back toward the center. 

If adopted, the plank will declare that Libertarians believe that taxpayers should not "forced to pay for other peoples' abortions." That's a dramatic shift from the previous assertion that the issue should be left solely to the individual.  

A proposal would add to that new wording that Libertarians “respectfully disagree” on abortion and where life begins, while another proposal would simply note that "Libertarians along the spectrum present logical arguments in support of their principled positions on abortion." 

A fourth proposal by the platform committee calls to eliminate regulations on “over-the-counter” contraceptives to help prevent unwanted pregnancies.  

Non-interventionist foreign policy

Libertarians want America to “abandon its attempts to act as a policeman for a world,” and its platform on defense reads like a criticism of America’s foreign policy direction.  The party’s goal is to maintain a military devoted only to national defense, while shutting down foreign military and economic aid.   

Along with that de-emphasis on the offensive, the platform repudiates the tradeoff between liberty and security by declaring that national defense “must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens.”  

That means vigilant oversight on national security programs to ensure no rights are infringed upon as well as getting rid of any security classification that could keep information out of the hands of the public.


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Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is very like Libertarian philosophy! Where is sign up?

Billy the Poet's picture

You just go right ahead and do it. Freedom, baby.

MalteseFalcon's picture

Didn't the Libertarian party run a guy for office with blue tinted skin?

If the Libertarian party gets more than it's usual .05%, which mainstream party will be affected?


Stan Jones, a Montana libertarian widely known for his peculiar blue skin, […]

It is an ashen blue-gray, a flesh tone more suited to the undertaker's slab than the politician's stump.

He is a perennial loser in Montana politics, a kind of Harold Stassen of the interior West, a fringe candidate who sometimes has to sue to get invited to television debates. He is also a man who accidentally turned his skin blue by drinking a homemade antibiotic laced with silver.

He first took the medicine in 1999, he said, fearing that the year 2000 would wreck computers, spread terrorism and disease, and make prescribed antibiotics unavailable. He concedes now that he miscalculated.

But another longtime expert on Montana elections, Jerry W. Calvert, a professor of political science at Montana State University in Bozeman, said there is "no question" that Jones took votes from the incumbent. "The rule of thumb in Montana is that libertarians take votes disproportionately from Republicans," Calvert said.

Jones said he was not aware that he had argyria  [blue skin] until he participated in a televised debate as part of his failed 2002 campaign against Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat.

"After the debate," Jones recalled, "a reporter came up and asked me: 'Are you okay? Your face is really blue.' "


Kissy Ass's picture

Kissy is Libertarian!

And when Kissy says 'Kissy it Bitches', it's your choice. I'm not telling you to Kissy it nor am I asking you to!

TruxtonSpangler's picture

1. Weed

2. Bitcoin mining

3. Hacking

4. ?

5. ?

Still Losing Money's picture

1. weed

2. weed

3. weed

4. weed

5. weed

6 - 100 weed

and then some passing talk about other stuff that makes no sense when actually put to the test

Kitler's picture

Same place as the rest so basically any masonic temple will do

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

What is Masonic Temple? Is Jewish or Buddhism?

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Russian bitches for every deserving man.

A Pimp's love is different's picture

@ Boris... Hope this helps


"Billionaire [JEW] reality TV star Mark Cuban was asked last Sunday if he would run for president as a Libertarian. And like a majority of Americans, he [DIDN't] admit, he is a JEW because he still wants to portray the image that he's a successful white caucasian who never had the deck stacked in his favor..."



Cuban was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[7][8] His father, Norton Cuban, was an automobile upholsterer[9][10][11] and Mark has described his mother, Shirley, as someone with "a different job or different career goal every other week."[12] He grew up in the affluent suburb of Mount Lebanon, in a Jewish[13] working-class family. His paternal grandfather changed the family name from "Chabenisky" to "Cuban" after his family emigrated from Russia through Ellis Island.[14][15] His maternal grandparents were also Jews who came from Romania.[16] Cuban's first step into the business world occurred at age 12, when he sold garbage bags to pay for a pair of expensive basketball shoes.[7][17] At age 16, Cuban took advantage of a Gazette strike by running newspapers from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.[18] Despite a slightly privileged upbringing, it is said he lived off ketchup and mustard sandwiches at points in his early life.[19]

Rather than attending high school for his senior year, he enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Pittsburgh where he joined the Pi Lambda Phi International fraternity. While attending the University of Pittsburgh he held a variety of jobs including a bartender, disco dancing instructor, and a party promoter. After one year at the University of Pittsburgh, he transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and graduated from the Kelley School of Business in 1981 with a B.Sc. in Business Administration.[20] He chose Indiana's Kelley School of Business without even visiting the campus because "it had the least expensive tuition of all the business schools on the top 10 list". During college, he had various business ventures, including a bar, disco lessons, and a chain letter.[7][21]

N0TaREALmerican's picture

How many white guys had life stacked in their favor.   White guys that (perhaps) avoided the draft?    You know,   life stacked in their favor.

A Pimp's love is different's picture

Are you REALLY asking me this question?


Well, all I can say is that, not that I ever wanted it, a school administration job was out of the question for me...



A Pimp's love is different's picture

I'm a human fucking being... LABELS don't interest me (other than watching all of them scuffle around trying to lobby for printed money to support their collective cause)...


Get a fucking clue! Mark FUCKING CUBAN wants to call himself a 'Libertarian' and make a bad name for others who'd considered themselves 'Libertarians'?


Fuck that... Mark Cuban is just another of the many jews out there who will say anything of do anything for a fucking printed buck. & if & when this comment gets deleted, & I get kicked off for saying that, MAYBE then you'll know WTF I'm talking about.

N0TaREALmerican's picture

Well, you gotta admit.   The jews are smarter-n-savvier that your average white-dumbasses who (apparently) still can't figure out the jew's scams, even after 3000+ years.

Survival of the fittest is a bitch when you're not at the top of the food chain.   ANY libertarian would tell you that.

A Pimp's love is different's picture

"Well, you gotta admit.   The jews are smarter-n-savvier that your average white-dumbasses"


That must be true! After all:


I saw something about that on TV, & read about it in the NY Times, alongside all the casual reminders about how EVIL I've been all my life, &, if I just became a liberal homosexual, and borrowed a billion dollars, (at interest), from a bank that printed the money out of thin air, and produced my daily quota of milk, my life would INSTANTLY become better!


So you see... The only "smart & saavy" (in my thought process), would apply to people who RESISTED the temptations, & whereby, didn't succumb to drinking the kosher kool-aid that was hoisted upon me in a waterboard fashion.


But that's just me.

Escrava Isaura's picture



You can’t make this stuff up

A Pimp's love i...  I'm a human fucking being... LABELS don't interest me

However, few posts up:

A Pimp's love i... "Billionaire [JEW] reality TV star Mark Cuban

Well, Pimp’s is just another “US libertarian” talking from both sides of his mouth.

Should anyone here be surprise, namely of unaccountable stupidity? Not me.


N0TaREALmerican's picture

A temple to the bricklayers who build temples. 

razorthin's picture

Yes. And, Christian and Muslim, and ...

peddling-fiction's picture

@razorthin Yes, everybody who believes in a supreme creator, and is invited.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

We libertarians like freedom, organize not so much, all those rules.  Don't have psychopath control-freak gene.

So, no place sign up, really.  Maybe one day.

Fester's picture

Where do I sign up for the keg party?

knightowl77's picture

I believe Libertarians are also open borders folks.....?


They don't believe in deporting folks , which means the 30 million or so illegal aliens get to stay, which is a non-starter for me...


I don't know where they stand on all the legal and illegal people on welfare, cuz that shit has got to stop!

fpdguy's picture

You know where libertarians stand on welfare -no welfare of any kind.  No welfare to the guy slanging drugs all day.  No welfare to the banksters slanging fiat ponzi's all day.  And, maybe more to your point, how's the "closed" border policy working out for ya'?  It's been great for blocking educated folks from western and eastern europe and asia while letting in folks that have, on average, very little skills, education, and opportunities.  That "closed" policy will continue to perpetuate a larger welfare voting block.  Or, you can open up borders and allow the best and brightest to come over and share their knowledge and more of a pro-freedom/anti-authoritarian vote.

fpdguy's picture

Taking it further, you could argue that a closed border is anti-white, anti-asian, anti-protestant, and anti-family.  The current closed policy (of Obama, of Bush, of Clinton, of Regan, et. al), in practice, keeps the Nicolas Tesla's of the world out of the US while allowing the Hugo Chavez's in.  Maybe all of the Bernie supporters should be screaming for closed-borders as the policy actually ends up helping their cause -sort of like the war on drugs ends up benefitting shady drug dealers.

fpdguy's picture

Taking it further, you could argue that a closed border is anti-white, anti-asian, anti-protestant, and anti-family.  The current closed policy (of Obama, of Bush, of Clinton, of Regan, et. al), in practice, keeps the Nicolas Tesla's of the world out of the US while allowing the Hugo Chavez's in.  Maybe all of the Bernie supporters should be screaming for closed-borders as the policy actually ends up helping their cause -sort of like the war on drugs ends up benefitting shady drug dealers.

DerdyBulls's picture

If only they could put forth a candidate that doesn't sound a dweeb I think many could get behind the party. 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

…but, but, but, by definition, Libertarian is not party, because individual is triumph over tribe or state…?

Billy the Poet's picture

No, that's anarchy which is where you'll want to get to in the end.


"I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — "That government is best which governs least" and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have." -- Thoreau

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Bill, do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell we'll ever 'be prepared for it'?

Neither do I.

Billy the Poet's picture

Only the fit survive, multi-generational welfare cheats and couch potatoes notwithstanding. How do fit individuals prefer to organize themselves?

N0TaREALmerican's picture

You mean fit adult individual or fit childlike individuals?

Billy the Poet's picture

childlike individuals


Can you provide any concrete details to flesh out that undocumented assertion?

N0TaREALmerican's picture

Yeah,  libertarians are mostly semi-autistics who can't comprehend duplicity, which is what separates the child from the adults.    This is also true of the fantasy-socialists.   Which is why the libertarians and fantasy-socialist argue so intensely:  both are children.

The adults who run things, who don't care about ISM's - having learned that duplicity is much more lucrative,  actually run the world for their own benefit.

But, regardless,  "concrete details"..   Come-on, man, this is ZH.   Maybe I should just blame it all on the jews or "those people".   (got concrete details...)

Fuck off.

Billy the Poet's picture

There's no need for you to tell me to "Fuck Off" when you don't bring anything to the fight. Fucking off was apparently your strategy from the beginning. Com prepared next time.

N0TaREALmerican's picture

libertarians are mostly semi-autistics

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Boris, is not possible be Libertarian in any totalitarian regime.

Can indulge be Libertarian only in West, where ideological tolerance is allowed.

So can play in Libertarian sandbox, and not have to commit to do more.  No need to organize, commit, spend, or risk anything.  Be 21 forever, do own thing, and talk about virtue of do own thing.

What not to like?

p.s. Big Brother like Libertarian, know they blow off steam, shoot off mouth, but not organize or fight Gov.  If you want to know what Libertarian up to, make Libertarian web site with Comments.  They happy to tell you what they think, what they plan.  Is naive.  Maybe.  But is Amerika.

fpdguy's picture

The websites have done well.  From the websites came an expanded awareness of the ideas of Mises, Rothbard, Hayek, Bastiat and others.  That's expanded into a participative audience for podcasts (like the Tom Woods Show, Anarchast, The Jason Stapleton Show, Lew Rockwell show, Lions of Liberty podcast, Mises Daily, the Ron Paul Liberty Report, and many others).  Those have helped educate and organize the strongest libertarian set of debates that has taken place yet (there's no prior comparison to what was put together with the recent debate moderated by Stossel or the vegas debate hosted by Penn Jillette).  While it's still early days, and the libertarians and anarchists, no doubt, have their share of oddballs, there is a very visable shift of those clinging to the democrat & republican regime decending towards incoherent gibberish while the libertarians and arachists are doing a better and better job of articulating a message that is both easy to understand and actually works mathematically.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Once again, is no other comment than Boris…?

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Okay, this is like Ghost Town, is not Amerikansky care about libertarian movement more than poor slug in Minsk?

WTFUD's picture

44% of US don't know libertarian policy and 99% don't know Dem or Repub policy because there's no policy. It's all a sham! Fuck the USSofA.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Ben Dover for President of USSA!

Fisherman Blue's picture

He is in there , has been for 7+ years, ask Reggie or Mike or some other brown snake. .

N0TaREALmerican's picture

Like most libertarians they are obsessing about the black woman who ripped off the government and bankrupted the entire country.

Most libertarians, aren't.   They're all talk.