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Essentially, libertarianism stands for three broad principles.

1. People may do as they wish as long as their actions do not infringe on another person's rights.
2. A principle of nonaggression.
3. Governments are formed in order to ensure that the first two principles are upheld and for those reasons only.

Some quick notes about these three principles.

Principle one encourages the free exchange of ideas and seeks to allow the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It is the entire reason for the formation of a written constitution.

Principle two seeks to limit the use of force as best we can. It's not pacifistic as it allows one to use force in retaliation to force but it forbids initiating force. The idea here is to allow someone to personally defend himself if he is attacked..

Principle three acknowledges that a limited government is needed to ensure that the principles of liberty and nonaggression are allowed to continue. To this effort, people form governments for the establishment of a military, police force, and a judicial system in order to protect the citizens from a forceful invasion by someone else, normal street violence between citizens, and adjudication of disputes as they arise within the citizenry.

If you look closely at the wording of the Declaration of Independence ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...", "that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted...") and the Constitution ("The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights,
shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"; "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people") you can see the words of libertarian thought. Libertarian is what used to be called liberal but is now referred to as "classical liberalism" due to the modern usurpation of the word by those who clearly do not stand for a limited government. Take the time to read the Declaration and Constitution and you'll notice many things that are wrong with our government. Things that were fought for and paid for in blood. If you are going to vote, please be responsible and read these documents to ensure that our country remains a truly wonderful thing.

The Declaration of Independence can be found at:

http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html

The U.S. Constitution can be found at:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.overview.html

Also, you should find the time to read a book written by David Boaz in 1997 called "Libertarianism: A Primer". It took me about a week to read and does a good job of introducing concepts to the lay person. Excerpts from the book can be found at the web site:

http://www.libertarianism.org/

The following article makes many of the points that illustrate my feelings of how far modern government has strayed from the principles that the constitution represented. It's only about two pages, so check it out if you can.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081600.asp

Well, there's my views in a nutshell. I apologize for the length, but summarizing an entire political philosophy in just a few words is difficult. Feel free to give this to people you think are willing to be responsible for helping keep America free.