Defending the Libertarian Brand: We Are a Recognized Political Party
The elements of the Libertarian Party platform have been well-established since it was founded in 1971. Our guiding principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, economic freedom, property rights, and non-intervention in other nations' conflicts have gained traction in the mainstream of political awareness.
As other parties and grass roots groups become concerned about restoring our constitutional liberties, they have incorporated many of the ideals of libertarianism into their lexicon. The phraseology having ‘libertarian leanings’is often appropriated by candidates or applied by the media to describe policy position. Libertarian leaning has become ideological jargon to gain the growing Libertarian voter support at the polls, without the assurance those principles will be advanced once candidates are elected to public office.
For a candidate to describe themselves as libertarian leaning, that leaning should include being balloted on the Libertarian Party ticket, rather than borrowing the label to run under the flagship of another party. Identity theft of libertarianism is political plagiarism. There is nothing more distressing to musicians than for their music to be misappropriated for political messages they do not advocate. Libertarians have similar concerns for the brand. To be nominated as a Libertarian candidate for office is an honor. Libertarian candidates who have won office have an excellent record of upholding libertarian values. And what are those?
Libertarians acknowledge that individuals have preferences and paradigms from culture, environment, family upbringing, personal desires, and life experience. We are not a homogeneous group, nor seek to be by defining what is right for one or for all of society. This excerpt from the preamble of the Libertarian Platform sums it up best:
“We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."
Further we maintain that no government, political party, or any societal group ever has the right to impede those individual freedoms by legislation, blunt force, taxation, or other types of coercion. For those who value our nation's Bill of Rights, and believe they should be applied consistently, we commend you for being a libertarian free thinker. If you support the libertarian philosophy of smaller government and peaceful foreign policy we salute you. If you support prohibitions against government debt and intrusion into our personal lives, please vote for the real Libertarians on your ballot -- not the imposters.
As Libertarians, we are quite different from all other political parties. These differences make us lively debaters, and a most entertaining crowd to socialize with. We openly invite those who ‘lean libertarian’, or who are just curious, to please come and see for yourselves. Join us at a monthly Libertarian social meeting where you can be heard and make a difference.