What does the Libertarian Party stand for?
The Libertarian Party stands for small government, less taxes, individual rights and free market solutions to our nation's problems. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, want to use government power to impose their social and economic agendas. Consequently our property rights and personal freedom are taken away by an ever-growing government, which increasingly dictates every aspect of our personal lives.
Why don't you guys unite with other third parties to unseat the Democrats and Republicans?
We're not simply anti-Democrat or anti-Republican. We stand for things such as the right to keep and bear arms and the relegalization of drugs. As such we oppose the left-wing program of the Green Party and the right-wing proposals of the various Conservative parties as much as we do those of the Republicans and Democrats. Most third parties are simply groups that have splintered from the old parties because they feel the Democrats and Republicans are too moderate on one or more issues. The Libertarian Party is a true independent opposition party.
Wouldn't it be more effective to work within one of the major parties, such as the GOP?
Experience says no. Most of the time your candidate will lose the party primary and you'll be without a decent candidate in November. If he or she does win then the party deserts the candidate in November. The Democrats and Republicans confidently ask "Where else can they go?" and so take your support for granted while they run the usual high-tax, big-government politicians.
Realistically, you can't win. So wouldn't I be wasting my vote?
Actually we do win; the 500 or so Libertarians in public office nationwide are evidence of that. But if you vote for politicians who'll raise taxes and pass repressive laws, well, you'll lose, and that's the important thing. In the long run you'll win by helping to build a new party that truly represents the hardworking taxpayers of America.
Sometimes the Republican candidate is slightly better than the Democrat, sometimes vice versa. Isn't it better to vote for the lesser of two evils?
The overwhelming majority of the time there is no fundamental difference between the Republican and Democrat. On the rare occasion when there is a slight difference -- perhaps on an issue or two -- once in office the winner governs no differently than his or her opponent would have. In any case, by failing to vote for what you truly want you're telling the politicians that you endorse their high-tax, big-government agenda -- after all, you helped elect them.
But what if the Libertarian Party vote total is large enough to cause the worse of the two candidates to get elected?
Since their agendas are virtually identical, and they all govern pretty much the same way once in office, there is no real danger in such a scenario. And something very good will come of it. When politicians realize there are votes -- enough for victory -- to be had by supporting small government and true tax relief they'll finally start changing their tune.
Why don't you guys run for local office or nonpartisan offices like school boards?
We do. And sometimes we win. But it's important to challenge the Democrats and Republicans at all levels regardless of the outcome. It not only gives voters a real choice, high profile races such as those for the US Senate or Governor provide a forum for reaching voters. Odds are you've heard of one of our presidential candidates rather than an elected Libertarian city council member.
I'm fed-up with politics and politicians. Wouldn't it be better to stop participating and thus withdraw our support from the system?
Sorry, that wouldn't work. There will always be those who'll use the ballot box to implement their personal moral agenda or enact their favorite "entitlement" program. And they'll be politicians who'll be happy to accommodate them. Staying apart from the fray will just make their task easier.
What's the difference between joining the Libertarian Party and registering Libertarian?
By becoming a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party you can vote for party officers and help shape the LP program and its activities. When you register Libertarian with the county election board you withdraw your support from the old parties and their failed programs. Your registration is a brick in the edifice of a new political party. In New Jersey we only recently won the right to register Libertarian. It's a first step to winning full, legal equality with the Republicans and Democrats.
Is there a difference between joining the national or state Libertarian Party?
Currently membership dues are the main source of funds for our state party. So by joining the NJLP you provide sorely needed dollars to help build the party here in the Garden State. If you join only as a national member you will not be considered a member of the NJLP and won't be able to vote at our state convention.