Libertarian Party (United States) – Wikipedia, the free …

Libertarian Party Chairman Geoff Neale Founded December 11, 1971 (1971-12-11) (42years ago) Headquarters 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 200 Washington, D.C. 20037 Student wing College Libertarians Membership (January 2013) >330,811 [1] Ideology Libertarianism (American) Internal factions: Anarcho-capitalism[2] Paleolibertarianism[3] Classical liberalism Minarchism Austrian economics Left-libertarianism Non-interventionism Voluntaryism Political position

Economic policy: Free market, Laissez-faire[4] Social policy: Civil libertarianism, Cultural liberalism[5]

The Libertarian Party is an American national political party that reflects, represents and promotes the ideas and philosophies of libertarianism. The Libertarian Party was formed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the home of Luke Zell on December 11, 1971.[7] The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Vietnam War, conscription, and the end of the gold standard.[8] Although there is not an explicitly-labeled "left" or "right" designation of the party, many members, such as 2012 presidential nominee Gary Johnson, state that they are more socially liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than the Republicans. The party has generally promoted a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the modern liberal and progressive platform of the Democrats and the more conservative platform of the Republicans.[9]Current policy positions include lowering taxes,[10] allowing people to opt-out of Social Security,[11] abolishing welfare,[12] ending the prohibition on illegal drugs,[13] and supporting gun ownership rights.[14]

In the 30 states where voters can register by party, there is a combined total of 330,811 voters registered under the party.[1] By this count the Libertarian Party is the third-largest party by membership in the United States and it is the third-largest political party in the United States in terms of the popular vote in the country's elections and number of candidates run per election. Due to this, it has been labelled by some as the United States' third-largest political party.[15] It is also identified by many as the fastest growing political party in the United States.[16][dated info]

Hundreds of Libertarian candidates have been elected or appointed to public office, and thousands have run for office under the Libertarian banner.[17][18][19] The Libertarian Party has many firsts to its credit, such as being the party under which the first electoral vote was cast for a woman in a United States presidential election, due to a faithless elector.[20] The party has also seen electoral success in state legislative races. Three Libertarians were elected in Alaska between 1978 and 1984, with another four elected in New Hampshire in 1992.[21][22]

The first Libertarian National Convention was held in June, 1972. In 1978, Dick Randolph of Alaska became the first elected Libertarian state legislator. Following the 1980 federal elections, the Libertarian Party assumed the title of being the third-largest party for the first time after the American Independent Party and the Conservative Party of New York, which were the other largest minor parties at the time, continued to decline. In 1994, over 40 Libertarians were elected or appointed which was a record for the party at that time. 1995 saw a soaring membership and voter registration for the party. In 1996, the Libertarian Party became the first third party to earn ballot status in all 50 states two presidential elections in a row. By the end of 2009, 146 Libertarians were holding elected offices.

Tonie Nathan, running as the Libertarian Party's vice-presidential candidate in the 1972 Presidential Election with John Hospers as the presidential candidate, was the first female candidate in the United States to win an electoral vote.[7][20] The 2012 election Libertarian Party presidential candidate, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, was chosen on May 4, 2012 at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention in Summerlin, Nevada.[23]

In 1972, "Libertarian Party" was chosen as the party's name, selected over "New Liberty Party."[24] The first official slogan of the Libertarian Party was "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" (abbreviated "TANSTAAFL"), a phrase popularized by Robert A Heinlein in his 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, sometimes dubbed "a manifesto for a libertarian revolution". The current slogan of the party is "The Party of Principle".[25]

Also in 1972, the "Libersign"an arrow angling upward through the abbreviation "TANSTAAFL" (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch)was selected as the party's emblem.[24] Sometime after, this was replaced with the Lady Liberty, which has, ever since, served as the party's symbol or mascot.[26][27]

In the 1990s several state libertarian parties adopted the Liberty Penguin ("LP") as their official mascot.[28] Another mascot is the Libertarian porcupine, an icon designed by Kevin Breen in March 2006 and is often associated with the Free State Project.[29] Unlike the Republican and Democratic logos, the stars in the porcupine are not inverted, and as such are not considered Satanic or evil references.

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