The Libertarian Party has been around since 1971. It is active in all 50 states and has permanent ballot status in 27 of the 50 states. According to its website, there are currently 143 Libertarians holding elected office in the U.S. Its presidential nominee, Gary Johnson is expected to be on the ballot in all 50 states this fall. In 2012, Mr. Johnson won just less than 1% of the vote; in 2016 most polls show him with the support of around 9% of the public.
Libertarians believe government should not interfere
The following preamble to the Libertarian Party platform was adopted in May 2016:
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
— Libertarian Party Platform Preamble
The Libertarian Party has policy positions that straddle both sides of the traditional liberal - conservative line. According to Conservapedia here’s where the Party stands on some of the most controversial issues:
Abortion: The Party believes that the government should not be involved in decisions regarding abortion nor should the government participate in funding for programs such as Planned Parenthood.
Gay Marriage: Libertarian’s believe that consenting adults should be allowed to choose their own sexual preferences and practices without government intervention.
Gun Control: The Libertarian Party is firmly on record of supporting the right to own a gun. The Party believes that the responsibility for violence resides with the gun owner, not the gun.
Health Care: Believes that there is too much government in health care, which is creating the current health care crises. Feels that deregulating the healthcare industry will lead to cost savings and advocates replacing the Food and Drug Administration with a more efficient free market alternative.
Taxes: Supports cutting taxes. Feels that the size of the government can be drastically lowered by cutting wasteful spending.
Immigration: Supports allowing free immigration and would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country.
Gary Johnson was former governor of New Mexico
Gary Johnson, the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, was the former Republican governor of New Mexico. Johnson cut New Mexico’s spending and takes pride that he “never raised a penny of tax.” At the same time, he rejected the Republican Party’s social conservatism and embraced the freedom of choice Libertarian option for some statewide social issues.