What is a Libertarian?
Let’s start with Webster’s definition:
libertarian: A person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action.
Libertarian: a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles.
Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.
Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.
In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
Are Libertarians liberal or conservative?
Libertarians are neither. Unlike liberals or conservatives, Libertarians advocate a high degree of both personal and economic liberty. For example, Libertarians advocate freedom in economic matters, so we’re in favor of lowering taxes, slashing bureaucratic regulation of business, and charitable — rather than government — welfare. But Libertarians are also socially tolerant. We won’t demand laws or restrictions on other people who we may not agree because of personal actions or lifestyles.
Think of us as a group of people with a “live and let live” mentality and a balanced checkbook, or “Fiscally responsible and socially tolerant.”
Some people see the Libertarian platform as “borrowing” parts from conservatives and other parts from liberals. But it’s much more than that. The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government’s only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud.