Frequently Asked Questions
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. (small “L”)
Libertarian : A member of a political party advocating libertarian principles. (Capital “L”)
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 with whom 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.
In a sense, Libertarians “borrow” from both sides to come up with a logical and consistent whole — but without the exceptions and broken promises of Republican and Democratic politicians. That’s why we call ourselves the Party of Principle.
How large is the Libertarian Party?
In terms of political activity (i.e. number of candidates, access to the ballot, and elected office holders), the Libertarian Party is the third-largest political party in America. We’re active in all 50 states and have more than 250,000 registered voters. We have more elected officials in public office than all other minor political parties combined.
How is the Libertarian Party organized?
The Libertarian Party has a national office in Washington, DC. There is a Libertarian National Committee (LNC) that meets at least once per quarter (3 months). The LNC consists of four officers, five at-large members, and nine regional representatives and alternates. They make strategic policy decisions and supervise our national staff. The LNC recognizes state party affiliates. There is a national convention every even-numbered year to elect the LNC and nominate the Presidential ticket when applicable.
The Libertarian Party of Texas has an office in Austin near the UT campus. There is a State Libertarian Executive Committee of Texas (SLECT), also known as SLEC, composed of four officers and two representatives from each State Senate District. Williamson County is currently represented by State Senate District 5. Steven Harris and Erik Ellison are currently serving a two-year term as your representatives to the SLECT. There is a state convention the second Saturday of June in even-numbered years to elect SLECT members, and nominate statewide candidates.
Matt Whittington is the current chair of the Williamson County party. We meet monthly. Click here for a current schedule of events. County conventions are held in March on even-numbered years to elect County Officers.
What kind of offices do Libertarians run for and hold?
Around the nation there are Libertarian mayors, county executives, county council members and even a Libertarian sheriff! Libertarians also serve on school boards and in hundreds of local offices. In 2008, more than 15 million votes were cast for Libertarian candidates around the nation.
While we are most successful at the local level for now, we run candidates at all levels of government, even President of the United States.
Our elected Libertarians are hard at work saving you money and protecting your civil liberties. In fact, Libertarians saved Americans over $2.2 billion in 2004 alone.
What kind of people join the Libertarian Party?
People like you. People who used to be Republicans, Democrats, and independents – from all walks of life. They joined us because they realize that we’re the only political party working for their best interests.
Those who join us realize that, unlike the two major parties, we place the interests of our nation ABOVE the interests of our political party. While the Republican and Democratic parties exist to maintain their own power, we exist to grasp power for the benefit of you and millions of other Americans across our nation.
How can I become a Libertarian?
For the reasonable fee of $25 per year, you can become a Basic Member of the Libertarian Party and a real, card-carrying Libertarian. After you join, you will receive a year’s subscription to our publication, LP News, along with regular updates on our national activities.
More importantly, if you join our political party and become a Libertarian, you will stand with thousands of other Americans who are proudly committed to bringing about true freedom within our nation.
To join us and become a Libertarian, click here.