Article two of three about the dangers of a two-party system. Read the first part here.
This party is focused on individual rights and denies that the government should have any power outside of what the Constitution gives it. They push for social changes such as drug legalization, a completely free market, and complete freedom with the Second Amendment. People in this party claim as long as you are not hurting the civil liberties of others, you should be able to do whatever you want. Libertarians are also against the death penalty because they see it as an overstep of governmental power; the government shouldn’t have the power to decide who lives and who dies.
In terms of the economy and government spending, libertarians advocate for a truly free market. This includes removing all protective tariffs and all regulations on private businesses. However, there is some split in the party when it comes to monopolies. Some argue that the government feeds monopolies by giving them tax breaks and subsidies, and therefore, they cannot exist without governmental help. If the government was limited and unable to hand out this money, monopolies would never come to power. Others argue that it is still possible for a private company to gain enough influence to the point where there is no competition, and therefore, monopolies are dangerous to the free market and need to be controlled.
In foreign affairs, the Libertarian Party believes that the U.S. should not have troops anywhere but in the U.S. This includes bringing troops home from allied countries such as Germany, Italy, Japan, and any other country in which troops are stationed. On top of this, libertarians advocate for the end of American deployment in the Middle East.
Jo Jorgensen was the 2020 presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. She was a Senior Lecturer at Clemson University before she won the libertarian nomination. On election night, the party pulled approximately 1.8 million votes, the second best they’ve ever performed. In the 31 states where one can register libertarian, there are a total of 609,234 voters.
This party focuses on individual liberties given by the Constitution and only the Constitution. People who identify themselves with this party believe that the government has proved itself irresponsible with the power it possesses and needs to be constrained back to what the Constitution gives it. They also believe that the Constitution should be interpreted very simply, and how it’s worded is how we should perceive and apply it to modern-day life.
They believe that abortion is wrong because the government is supposed to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. Because of this, they believe that abortion should be illegal as well as any abortifacients. Like the libertarians, constitutionalists also believe that the death penalty is a major overstep of governmental power. This party also deeply believes in religious freedom. They cite that any taxing of churches or praying locations is a step toward the government controlling these religious institutions, and therefore, is unconstitutional.
Within this political sphere are pure constitutionalists and originalists. These two groups are differentiated by their views on amendments. Constitutionalists believe amendments are necessary and are an addition to the Constitution. On the other hand, originalists believe only the original document of the Constitution is valid and amendments are not part of the Constitution. However, these two groups agree that the Constitution should be interpreted very bluntly, just how it was written.
In 2020, the party nominated Don Blankenship, the former CEO of the engineering and construction firm, Fluor Corporation. He placed eighth overall in the election with 59,924 votes. There are a total of 137,367 people in the U.S. officially registered with this party.
The Reform Party of the United States of America focuses on reforming the current systems in place rather than scrapping them completely and implementing new systems. Additionally, this party values honesty and transparency in government.
This party believes that government officials should be held to a much higher standard than they currently are. They believe that public officers should not be able to accept gifts from any other political influence, that the healthcare officials currently have should be taken away and replaced with the one common citizens have, as well as that laws should be passed which put in place significant penalties if officials break laws.
This party also believes in mass election reform. For example, they believe that having a photo ID to vote is essential to the integrity of elections as well as that fundraising should be prohibited by the incumbent while in public office. They believe that with these two main reforms, Americans will regain full faith in their democracy.
To support their pride in governmental transparency, the Reform Party believes that the government is responsible for writing out an annual financial report in common English that all Americans can understand. They believe that part of the government’s duty to its people is to actually make sure their citizens understand what they’ve done so the people can form their own opinions on the current administration.
Like the two other parties in this article, the Reform Party also holds individual civil liberties in high regard. They believe that everything stated in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence outlines the rights of citizens and provides a skeleton for their beliefs on modern-day issues.
This party was very popular in the 1996 election when they were able to get 8% of the popular vote. However, they lost a lot of their influence after the election because they weren’t allowed to enter the presidential debates by the Commission for Presidential Debates after the qualifications changed for a candidate to be eligible.
This party nominated Rocky de la Fuente for their 2020 ticket. He did not receive enough votes to be in the top ten candidates. This party currently has 6,665 members.
In the next week, a second article will be coming out outlining another group of three parties one can choose to affiliate themselves with. If you want to learn more about any one of the three parties, click their names at the start of their section. This will bring you to their official page with more information about their beliefs.