The Lesser-known Presidential Candidates and Parties

November 2024 will see the American electorate picking a new head of state. Despite low levels of approval, it seems as though the two major party candidates will again be Donald Trump and incumbent Joe Biden. I’ll cover them below, but let’s face it: You’re probably sick of hearing about them by now.

Besides, they are not the only candidates for president this year; each party still has a few token candidates and there will also emerge third-party and independent candidates.

Who are these people and parties with little to no chance to win? What might they and their eventual candidates think about the United States border debate and illegal immigration? What about minimum wage increases, and the 1st and 2nd amendments? (Related: 8 Facts about the 2nd Amendment.)

Most importantly, can a self-respecting libertarian get behind any of them? Let’s find out, starting with one of the most interesting.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

At one point running as a Democrat, he has since chosen to run as an independent. His policy positions are all over the political spectrum. He supports a national minimum wage increase, wants to increase childcare subsidies, and is generally for increased environmental regulations.

He wants to cut a lot of foreign aid and bring American troops out of conflicts around the world. He is a strong supporter of the 1st and 4th Amendments, while not emphasizing a particular gun policy or stance on the 2nd Amendment.

His strong stance against government censorship and the American empire can be commended by libertarians, but his environmental and economic policies are shared by much of the Democratic party.

Marrianne Williamson

Author Marianne Williamson has little chance of winning the Democratic nomination for president, due mostly to the DNC’s explicit support for the incumbent, Joe Biden. However, she is possibly the most pro-immigrant candidate out of all the Democrats running.

On the other hand, she supports universal, single-payer healthcare and an economic system that is essentially democratic socialism. She is “100% pro-choice” and supports ending drug prohibition. She has no voting record to analyze.

A libertarian can appreciate her pro-immigrant and anti-drug prohibition stances, but she clearly gives too much credit to the state when it comes to other policy issues.

Political Parties

The American electoral system makes it difficult for third-party and independent candidates to win at the national level. (For more, see our friend Antony Davies’ podcast, Words & Numbers, He interviewed Spike Cohen, 2020 Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential nominee about just why it’s so difficult. See Episode 370: An Interview with Spike Cohen, pt. 1 and Part 2.)

But despite electoral hurdles, independent and third-party candidates consistently do run for federal office.

The Libertarian Party

The Libertarians will nominate their candidate at the national convention in May of 2024. None of the candidates have a voting record to analyze and all emphasize libertarian policy positions, with some nuances and differences from candidate to candidate. Those interested in supporting their favorite candidate for the Libertarian nomination should contact their state party in order to be a delegate to the national convention.

Jo Jorgensen was the party’s presidential candidate in 2020. She spoke at LibertyCon International in 2022 on the subject of feminism. Watch HERE.

The Green Party 

Dr. Jill Stein and party co-founder Randy Toler are both seeking the Green Party presidential nomination. The Green Party is generally very socially progressive, pro-social welfare, and favors extreme state-imposed environmentalism, instead of the much more realistic and helpful free-market environmentalism approach.

Libertarians can appreciate the Green Party’s stances on criminal justice reform, the drug war, and foreign policy. (Here’s our take on foreign policy, if you’re curious.) However, little-l libertarians usually see the party as a supporter of too many big government policies.


Dr. Cornel West is running as an independent candidate. His policy positions are generally left-wing. He supports a wide range of additional economic and tax regulations, as well as universal basic income. A large increase on the national minimum wage and mandatory six months paid maternity leave are also part of his agenda.

He supports national, racial reparations, extreme environmentalism, and the nationalizing of multiple industries. His website lists multiple new pieces of gun control legislation that he supports.

Dr. West’s policies are extreme. His presidency would undermine key aspects of the 2nd and 10th Amendments, while greatly supporting the 1st and 4th Amendments. His positions on foreign wars, criminal justice reform, immigration, and the war on drugs would make many libertarians very happy. Here’s how and why the war on drugs failed, by the way.

Unfortunately, Dr. West’s economic, healthcare, and education policies show that he places entirely too much trust in the centralized state.

Overall, supporters of liberty will have little electoral hope on the national level this cycle. The good news is that there are always a host of other minor candidates on ballots around the country. In addition to the minor candidates mentioned above, the recently created No Labels party is considering candidates, but though window is closing. The Constitution Party regularly nominates a candidate to represent small-government, nationalist policies.

And now, drumroll please …

Democrat: President Joe Biden

President Biden has largely continued former President Obama’s legacy in the domestic policy sphere, but with less success. He regularly speaks about pushing for more gun control but has not succeeded thus far. His college loan forgiveness program has largely been stopped. His infrastructure program has not positively impacted most Americans, with inflation and job instability continuing. Luckily, most of his domestic policies have been all talk.

His foreign and trade policies have been a departure from President Obama’s. On foreign policy, he has at least not started any new wars. Libertarians would ideally see the U.S. stop sending foreign aid to other countries in general, but no new American wars is a step in the right direction. 

President Biden followed his predecessor’s plans and pulled the U.S. out of Afghanistan, although that was a fiasco, as this Learn Liberty video showed:

Biden has surprisingly not deployed American troops to Ukraine or Israel as of this writing. He also slowed American assistance in the Saudi war against the Yemen Houthis. Biden unfortunately has not made progress in restoring a nuclear deal with Iran and is much more partial toward Israel than President Obama was. President Biden has largely continued Trump’s economically foolish trade war, as well as his inconsistent immigration policies. Libertarians have little to appreciate when analyzing President Biden.

Republican: Donald Trump

Donald Trump has a record to analyze, as well as an ever-changing portfolio of policy positions. His Supreme Court appointees have been relatively good on the 1st, 2nd, and 10th Amendments, but he himself has not. He has spoken in favor of gun control, even allowing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to ban bump-stocks under his watch. 

Trump is consistently against making immigration easier and has put further pressure on the immigration process while in office. He did sign some criminal justice and business deregulation legislation but his appointed attorney general was unfriendly to states which decriminalized marijuana.

The former president increased American cooperation with the Saudi royal family and was antagonistic toward Iran. Trump went against international consensus and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also declined to recognize the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, recognizing Morocco’s claim over the territory rather than supporting self-determination. President Trump was known for speaking against journalists and the media but did little to act on those words.

Libertarians might see a mixed bag when it comes to President Trump. The former president greatly increased the national debt, which goes against libertarian values. He contributed greatly to the current economic situation by forcing the federal reserve to artificially drop interest rates and by passing extensive economic stimulus packages toward the end of his presidency. 

He can be commended for not starting any new wars and for pushing some criminal justice reform. Unfortunately, his stances have seemingly gotten worse since last being in office. He has railed against other candidates who have supported cutting spending and benefits. Libertarians ultimately should consider his general lack of firm policy stances when analyzing his record.

Are you a student interested in getting involved in pro-liberty activism? By applying to join Students For Liberty’s Local Coordinator Program, you can be supported in promoting the ideas of liberty while also developing your skills and meeting many like-minded students from across the world. Click on the button below to find out more and get involved!

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.