The Libertarian Party is an American political party. This political party, which is now the third largest political party in the United States behind the Republican and Democratic parties, was formed in 1971. Libertarian political ideologies are based on the supremacy of individual rights.
Founded on 11 December 1971, the first Libertarian Party meeting was held in co-founder David Nolan's Westminster, Colorado home. Libertarian candidates for national offices have included Theodora Nathan (b. 1923) for Vice-President in 1972, Ron Paul for President (b. 1935) in 1988, and Robert Barr Jr. (b. 1948) for President in 2008. Nathan was the first woman to receive an electoral vote during her campaign in the history of the United States.
According to the Libertarian Party platform, government rights should not take precedence over individual rights. The party's platform is based on the notion that people have the right to life and using physical force against others is wrong. The party also believes in the right to free speech and action, so it opposes attempts by the government to suppress free speech or a free press, or to censor anything in any form. The third plank of the Libertarian platform is a belief in the right to property, which means the party opposes government interference with private property. Libertarians oppose government confiscation, eminent domain and other actions that infringe on the right to private property.
The Libertarian Party platform states that the government should not become legally involved in abortion, gay marriage, gay adoption practices, or gays serving in the military. These matters should be left to the individual or individuals involved. In addition, the government should not subsidize or set pricing standards for energy, should not subsidize retirement for individuals, and should not be involved in health care or health care insurance.
Libertarians believe that income tax should be abolished, that laws about victimless crimes such as prostitution should be repealed, and that farm subsidies be discontinued. Party members maintain that individuals should be able to travel as they please as long as this traveling does not interfere with the rights of others. This means that immigration laws should be changed.
The Libertarian Party supports abolishing the minimum wage and that schools should be managed locally. In addition, the Libertarian Party supports a balanced budget for the United States government unless funds for balancing the budget come from taxation. Party members want to disengage from agreements with foreign countries, stop supplying foreign economic aid, and focus on defending the United States on home grounds.