Just this week in politics there has been an interesting new change in the tone of the race for President and for the first time in a long time Americans are hearing of a party known as the Libertarian party. The Libertarians have been a party for quite a while now, but in 2016, for the first time in a long span of presidential election cycles, the Libertarian party is gaining steam as the two Democratic and Republican nominations seem to be too divisive for voters.
The significance of the Libertarian party’s getting attention from the media is that the Libertarian party has never been a major force in the American election. Of course, there were one or two cases decades ago when the Libertarian candidate did change the course of the American election cycle but, as we all have seen, it’s been a long while since the Libertarian cause was broadcasted live on CNN through town hall events.
Another big question in regards to the significance of the Libertarian party is why suddenly, now, mass media has decided to shed a light on the Libertarian Party’s cause. Many regard the Libertarian party as the ‘freedom party’ or the party that is for small government and individual freedoms. There are many big names in politics who sympathize with the Libertarian cause but are, however, on either the Democratic or Republican side. In fact, most purveyors of Libertarian cause are not attached to the Libertarian Party at all; rather, they become Democrats or Republicans simply because they know that by becoming a Libertarian their chances at elected office goes down exponentially.
In history, the reason why Libertarians have never gained much traction in the political world is because our elections are based on a two-party system. This year, however, with the additional light being shed on the Libertarian Party, we might embark on a three party election. The Paul family, including Ron and Rand, has been known for its Libertarian views in terms of individual freedom. At the same time, Bernie Sanders is well known amongst Democrats as a socially Libertarian candidate.
Many people think that the reason mass media is suddenly noticing the Libertarian cause is in order to deplete one candidate or the other. Ultimately, the addition of the Libertarian party is just another wild turn in an election this year that has turned out to be very surprising.
The Libertarian nominee for president this year is Gary Johnson and his running mate is Bill Weld. Who knows what the effect of the Libertarian party’s notice will be. One thing that is for sure is that in most current polls the Libertarian Party is pulling a significant percent of voters away from both the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee Donald Trump. Some polls even suggest that the Libertarians have gained as high as 10% of the vote. Now while this may seem surprising, the Libertarian Party has always had very loyal followers. This year that following base can be expanded in ways that the Libertarian party never expected.