The Libertarian Party (LP) is a libertarian political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism and shrinking the size and scope of government. The party was conceived at meetings in the home of David F. Nolan in Westminster, Colorado during 1971 and was officially formed on 11 December 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Nixon administration, the Vietnam War, conscription and the end of the gold standard.
The party generally promotes a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the Democrats' modern liberalism and progressivism and the Republicans' conservatism. Gary Johnson, the party's presidential nominee in 2012 and 2016, states that the Libertarian Party is more culturally liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than the Republicans. Current fiscal policy positions include lowering taxes, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), decreasing the national debt, allowing people to opt out of Social Security and eliminating the welfare state, in part by utilizing private charities. Current cultural policy positions include ending the prohibition of illegal drugs, supporting same-sex marriage, ending capital punishment and supporting gun ownership rights. Many Libertarians believe in lowering the drinking age to 18.
While it is the third largest political party in the United States, it currently has no members in Congress or governorships and only a handful of state legislative seats. As of mid-2017, there were 511,277 voters (0.46% of total) registered as Libertarian in the 30 states (and District of Columbia) that report Libertarian registration statistics. The Libertarian Party was the party under which the first electoral vote was cast for a woman (Tonie Nathan) for Vice President in the 1972 United States presidential election due to a faithless elector.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Libertarian Party (United States)" as of 16 Jul 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.