Sometimes people ask, what is a Libertarian? What does the Libertarian Party believe?
It’s pretty simple. We believe that you have the right to live your life as you see fit, so long as your actions do not prevent another person from living as they see fit.
Call it live and let live, if you like.
We all do this every day. Go to the grocery store, and you might see someone and think something along the lines of, “Well, they’ve made some choices in their life I wouldn’t make.” But we don’t start a fight, we don’t create confrontation, we just go on about our business and let others do the same.
Some people think it’s a good idea for the government to step in and tell people how to behave. We Libertarians say, as long as what “those people” are doing does not impact anyone else’s freedom, it’s not the government’s business. (It’s also very expensive and usually not very effective.)
We support laws that prescribe penalties for damage done in driving while intoxicated, because that puts other people’s lives and rights at risk. We don’t support prohibition on the grounds that someone MIGHT overindulge and then MIGHT drive a car.
As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, we all have an inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The proper role of government – indeed, the only reason to establish a government at all – is to protect those rights. When our state government goes beyond that role, it is overstepping its bounds, and needs to be reeled back in.
As our presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, Harry Browne, famously said, “I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.”
We need strong Libertarian voices at the Capitol to make sure that laws that infringe on our rights are opposed. We need representatives whose vote will not be affected by lobbyists, or by party leadership. We need independent voices for personal freedom.
You can read some of the stances of the Libertarian Party of Utah here.
And you can read the platform of the national Libertarian Party here.