The Libertarian Party advocates for minimal government with a focus on individual liberty and personal responsibilities.
The party’s core platform argues that people have the right to do as they wish as long as their actions don’t violate the rights of others.
Through careful fiscal management, Libertarians promote minimal government spending to reduce the debt and the powers of all federal programs and services not required under the constitution.
James Lark, a Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee, said that governments aren’t pre-existing and that people form governments, which is why they don’t have organic validity.
Because of their establishment, Lark said governments are too big and too intrusive, vastly expanding their legitimate power.
“People have the right to life, liberty and personal property,” said Lark. “When government goes beyond its narrow limitations of rights, we feel the right to abolish it.”
John Wilford, the state chairman for the Libertarian Party of Texas, said while the third party shares commonalities with both major parties, like social equality, the Libertarian Party advocates for little government interference among human decisions and interactions.
“We’re trying to get into office and replace those with more authoritarian beliefs,” Wilford said.
While recent patterns of voting for the “lesser of two evils” have dominated the way voters cast their ballots, Wilford said the most effective way of voicing an opinion is through voting for what you want and not just for the candidate that is likely to win.
“A vote is an expression of your beliefs to the government,” said Wilford. “So if you truly side with a third party, your vote tells the government you approve of a third group.”
Some voters have long stigmatized a vote for a third party as ineffective.
Wilford said the term “Libertarian” has become a term in people’s minds promoting “anti-establishment” and risky behavior causing them to cast a ballot siding with one of the major parties and ignoring their true beliefs.
Ballot success for the Libertarian Party relies in the hands of the voters, and if voters continue to vote for the candidate with the highest chance of winning rather than their actual beliefs, the government’s actions won’t reflect their wants.
“A third party vote is more likely to mean something because you’re actually saying what you want,” Lark said. “A vote for something else.”