In 2016, the United States had one of the most interesting election cycles in recent history. The two major political parties were represented by two presidential nominees that were the least "liked" ever. The winner of the 2016 presidential election even set the record for having the lowest approval rating upon entering office and popular confidence in Congress is at an all time low. With people more dissatisfied than ever with their elected officials it is not surprising that only 55.3% of the electorate bothered to show up to vote on election day.
Of the nearly 136 million Americans that did cast their vote, nearly 5% did note vote for either "major party" candidate. Even by conservative estimates, even if less than half of the voters that did not turn out would have otherwise voted for neither of the major party candidates, these Americans would constitute a very influential voting block that could seriously impact future elections. Already in my home state of New Hampshire the plurality of registered voters are not registered with either the Republican or Democratic parties.
I believe that there is a growing demand for a centrist movement in the United States; one that blends the fiscally responsible ideas of the right with the socially tolerant views of the left. People are tired of the reckless federal spending that will saddle their children with debt; people are fed up with constant war and failed foreign interventions; people are sick of the war on drugs and the practice of civil asset forfeiture; people are disgusted with warrantless searches and seizures and general disregard for their property and privacy rights. Elected members of both parties have continually voted to continue these failed and unethical policies. I believe that most people in the United States would align themselves with a movement aiming to rectify these systemic problems if only they knew of such a movement.
In 2016, there were four presidential tickets on the ballot in enough states to feasibly win the presidency. Gary Johnson and William Weld were the only third party candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency in 2016 who had electors on the ballot in all 50 states. This is the first time a third party candidate had achieved ballot access in all 50 states since both Ross Perot/James Stockdale and Andre Marrou/Nancy Lord achieved it in 1992. The Johnson/Weld ticket recieved nearly 4.5 million votes. This was roughly 3.28% of the popular vote, the majority of the "3rd party vote", and the highest ever vote total for a Libertarian presidential candidate.
Now regardless of what you thought of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld they proved something very important: that there is a market for principled, radically centrist ideas in the United States, and that the market is rapidly growing. The Libertarian Party is the only political party that will support individual rights and liberty on every single issue, every single time. We are the party of principle and we do not compromise those principles for anything or anyone. We believe that we represent the majority of this "new center" in American politics.
Our ideas are not new, but they are revolutionary. The libertarian political movement has already inspired a renaissance of classical liberalism and rational political discourse that has influenced elections across the country. Even with a minimal presence in state and local governments we are shaking things up and openly rejecting the status quo. We understand that the same political factions that have created such a dysfunctional government cannot be trusted to rectify it.
In the coming years we will continue to grow and reach new heights. Across the nation in 2018 we will submit a record number of candidates for local, county, and state offices. We will cement ourselves as a permanent fixture of the political landscape by securing ballot access in all 50 states; to ensure that every American is able to support us with their votes, not just their wallets. If we spread our message clearly and effectively it will ring out across the nation and inspire thousands more to abandon the politics of fear and division and choose a true, principled alternative. I believe that libertarianism and the Libertarian Party are the natural home of the American political center. I'm in, are you?