Seeds: 2016 is the year of the monkey and also, apparently, the year of the Libertarian Party. You know, the Libertarian Party, the one that your weird Uncle Rick tells you about every year at Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you don’t know, the Libertarian Party is a small third party that thinks of itself as the “party of principle” and runs on a platform based in the idea that the government should not interfere in anyway with the lives of citizens. This means that they are basically pro-choice on everything and believe in traditionally Democratic ideas such as the legalization of gay marriage, abortion, and marijuana. However, they also believe in traditionally Republican ideas such as the right to bear arms and the lowering of taxes (Although Libertarians believe in going a step further and abolishing the income tax altogether). Their platform is encapsulated by their motto, “minimum government, maximum freedom.” Essentially it’s the Ron Swanson of the political parties, hands off and simplistic. Their ideals are reflected all throughout the party, even in their merchandise.
Core: This year, as we head deeper into a presidential election with two candidates who have historically bad favorability ratings, the Libertarian Party is eyeing a chance for success. The party recently held its convention and nominated former Governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson for president.
Skin: As the American public becomes increasingly disillusioned with the candidates presented by the two major political parties, it seems more and more likely that the Libertarian Party could actually win a state in November, a feat that has not been accomplished by a third party since 1968. Many have been surprised to find that, in a general election, Johnson is polled to win up to 11% of the national vote.
Leaves: Although the likelihood of the Libertarian Party actually winning the election is really, really, really, really, really low (maybe add a few more reallys to that), Libertarians view it as an opportunity to grow the party. If the party is able to poll a few points higher nationally by this September, we will see the Governor Johnson debating alongside the Republican and Democratic nominees.
Food For Thought: Do you think there should be more than two candidates in the general election? Do you think the Libertarians really have a shot at expanding their party?