Libertarians, The Libertarian Movement, and The Libertarian Party
I am a libertarian, but what does that really mean? Am I a member of the Libertarian Party? Have I declared my allegiance to the Libertarian Party “approved platform?” Really, what does it mean to be a Libertarian?
The Libertarian Party –
To understand the different parts of Libertarianism we have to break down the different functions of the movement. The first function of Libertarianism is the Libertarian National Committee often referred to as the “Libertarian Party.” The LNC is the national political party which directs all party-related activities like approval of the official platform and issue advocacy, along with member and candidate support. The LNC strives to help the American People understand there’s more than two options when it comes to elected officials, that there is a political philosophy centered around individual autonomy, freedom of choice, and highly-limited government. The LNC maintains data of members, donors, affiliates, and all of the different moving pieces of a political party. Registered LNC members choose our official presidential candidates and other local candidates. A good way to look at the “party” is it is the collective group of members, candidates, and administrators whose purpose is to advocate for Libertarian principles through the education of the general public.
The Libertarian Movement –
Libertarianism, a term that describes a variety of schools of thought, but for now, we’ll focus on its political application in the United States since the party’s inception in 1971. For nearly 50 years there has been a growing number of citizens concerned about the two-party stranglehold and the failures of those two parties to maintain the principles which purport to stand on. Republicans push moral agendas while failing to protect economic liberty and fiscal responsibility. Democrats push social agendas while using welfare programs to enslave minorities and low-income earners and trying to limit individual freedom. BOTH Republicans and Democrats grow the government every time they’re elected. BOTH expand departmental structure allowing the federal government to subvert the American People’s choice by eliminating the electoral process of checks and balances. Twenty years of polling shows a large majority of American Citizens are suspicious of the two-party system. They question the two party’s actions and intentions: the corruption and money involved in politics and campaigning, and the increasing size and scope of our government without the benefits and infrastructure to justify the expansion. For these reasons and many others, people are turning their political ideology more and more towards American Libertarianism.
Libertarians support maximum individual liberty in personal and economic matters. We advocate for a more limited government focusing on protecting individual rights and following the constitutionally-enumerated powers. We embrace individual responsibility and promote philanthropy and diversity. All those who agree with these simple fundamental principles, and advocate for them, are considered part of the Libertarian Movement.
Finally, you have Libertarians themselves – individuals who have adopted the political position of the Libertarian Movement. Libertarians come from all backgrounds:
- Entrepreneurs wanting to be free to innovate and provide services the market demands without the burden of government interventionism or suffocating taxes and fees.
- Culturally-diverse people just wanting to share the same liberties and freedoms to live their lives as they chose.
- Citizens wanting the freedom of choice to seek out their own solutions to their afflictions.
- Immigrants seeking to come to this country and build a better life without the indignity of a dangerous black-market human smuggling system to be productive members of our nation.
- Everyday working Americans wanting to keep the money they make and use that money how they choose.
- Mothers wanting the freedom to choose where her child goes to school.
- Fathers wanting their sons to protect America, not foreign interest when they join the armed forces.
- And families, who just want the security of knowing they can protect their home from any enemy, foreign or domestic; suffering to have the freedom to seek whatever remedy to their affliction that works best and is most affordable.
There are 340 million different stories in America and two things are true about every one of them. First, we are all born with certain inalienable rights promised at our birth, and sworn to be protected by our government. Secondly, those rights are being systematically taken away by the very government that was created to protect them. We have not lost hope. We have not lost our spirit to fight. We will continue to work diligently and tenaciously until our nation is restored to the glory, freedom, and prosperity that it was founded on. We. Are. Libertarians.