Spencer Grant / Contributor / Archive Photos / Getty Images
Like most political platforms, the Libertarian Party platform is turgid, vague, and abstract. It also tends to be a little bit utopian in its approach, which can make it difficult to ascertain where the Party stands on specific issues facing the country right now.
This is not a specific criticism of the Libertarian Party, mind you; the Democratic and Republican party platforms are much, much more turgid (to the point where they can't be read in one sitting), much more vague (to the point where they often sound as if they're advocating the same policies), and much more abstract (relying on Mom-and-apple-pie patriotic rhetoric instead of concrete policy proposals). But the difference is that the Democratic and Republican parties have enough money to pay people to run campaigns that give us an idea of what the parties stand for.
The Libertarian Party doesn't have that much money, so I'm proud to present the world's shortest platform summary of the party that brought you the World's Shortest Political Quiz.
Fiscal Policy: Very right-libertarian. The Libertarian Party opposes taxation in pretty much all forms, and deals with the revenue loss by opposing entitlement programs in pretty much all forms. This means that people keep more of what they earn, but it also means that there is no social safety net. And ambitious new proposals--such as universal pre-kindergarten and universal health care--are obviously not compatible with this objective.
Corporations: Eliminate all federal subsidies to private corporations, as well as all antitrust laws.
Public Services: Eliminate the Postal Service. Transfer all government services, from public schools to landfills, to private ownership.
Property Rights: Would restrict public domain to immediate public use, and sell or give away most public property to private owners.
Criminal Justice: Would eliminate all antidrug laws and legalize prostitution. Would end random police roadblocks.
Free Speech: Would abolish the FCC and allow private ownership of broadcast frequencies. Opposes all restriction of free speech, including free speech restricted in the name of national security.
Church and State: Calls for reduced IRS regulation and monitoring of tax-exempt churches.
Second Amendment: Strongly opposes all gun control, as well as regulation of alternative weapon technologies (mace, Tasers, and so forth).
The Draft: Calls for the abolition of the Selective Service System and amnesty for any citizen who has ever resisted the draft.
Reproductive Rights: Pro-choice, but opposes all federal funding of abortion and most federal entitlements for women who choose to carry their pregnancies to term, including the child tax credit. Opposes involuntary or fraudulent sterilization.
LGBT Rights: Opposes "don't ask, don't tell." Believes that marriage is a private contract, and should yield no government benefits regardless of the gender of the partners.
Immigrants' Rights: Argues that borders should be open but surveilled--everyone who does not pose a threat to public health or national security should be allowed to enter the country legally. Would eliminate all federal benefits to undocumented immigrants.