The Libertarian Party hit itself pretty hard after their recent convention. It the Libertarian Party and libertarianism are to survive, the Party must unite and fight the two statist parties. by Michael P. Weinheimer
Friday, June 6, 2008
"The enemy is not here! The enemy is out there! The enemy is not our fellow Libertarians!" - George Phillies (LP National Convention May 25, 2008)
It took six ballots, but Bob Barr became the Presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party. His nomination left a bitter taste in the mouths of Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby supporters. Some, like Christine Smith, left the party in disgust.
Bob Barr does not have a libertarian past worth boasting about. He is the nominee, however; and if the Libertarian Party is going to get more candidates in office, then we are going to have to show an united front.
The Libertarian Party needs Bob Barr to sound more libertarian and less conservative. Bob Barr is going to have to do some campaigning with downticket candidates to show unity within the party.
Those who are not happy with Barr as the nominee have to realize that he does bring some good credentials to the Libertarian Party. He has served in Congress and he has name recognition. He says he has changed his ways and has become more libertarian in his beliefs. People make mistakes and learning from them is part of the maturation process,
A large portion of the Libertarian Party message is mainstream and the party should emphasize the portions that most Americans can relate to while we have the opportunity to make our case to a larger audience than the Libertarian Party is used to.
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I believe Bob has been pulled far enough into the LP that I am no longer worried about him going back to "the Dark Side". You have to admit, we couldn't have found anyone better to persuade "true Conservatives" to give the LP a look ( besides the glaring, disdainful ones they always have).
I would like to see him hammer the War Issue more, if only to maximize our appeal to young "rookie" voters that may otherwise go to Obama. While I'm convinced that Obama will win this Nov. with enough space to "fist bump" everyone cheering for him at the finish-line, I'd still like to see us make inroads with this bloc of voters.
My first question is whether Ron Paul will run as a write-in candidate. I think this is still possible but it requires some work. In my home state of Michigan a write-in candidate must file a declaration of intent to run, a list of electors, and the name of his VP. That has to be done by September 5, 2008. I don't know what is required in other states, but the Michigan requirements are not difficult. If Ron Paul intends to do that I'll vote for him. Unfortunately the Paul campaign hasn't answered my question as to whether they intend to run a write-in campaign.
But if RP doesn't run a write in campaign I'll vote for Barr or Baldwin.
Still incredible to me that the Party of Principle suddenly changed its principles and all of you are fooled by this bait-and-switch game. This is not a popularity contest - it's a Presidential election. Barr is an imposter.
"Bob Barr does not have a libertarian past worth boasting about. He is the nominee, however; and if the Libertarian Party is going to get more candidates in office, then we are going to have to show an united front."
You sound just like the Republicans. "McCain isn't a very good conservative, but he is the nominee so we should vote for him regaurdless."
An (L) next to his name is not going to get me to vote for a man who sounds weaker than even Hillary Clinton on troop withdrawl on Iraq (watch him on Glenn Beck's program if you don't believe me), who wants to subsidize oil companies who drill offshore (a real free market supporter there), and says he'd only consider cutting spending by 10% in unconstitutional departments. And these are just his current positions (I won't get into Iraq, the USA PATRIOT ACT, Wiccans, or drugs).
Posted By: Michael P. Weinheimer
Date: 2008-06-07 21:03:07
There is one big difference: The Republicans do not have to worry about ballot access. McCain will get at least 2% of the vote in every state. I am not suggesting to vote for Barr because he is the least of the three evils. What I meant to imply by the statement that you quoted is that the downticket candidates are going to need Barr's media savvy to help them.
I vote for the Libertarian Party candidate for president because I can leave the polling place with a clear conscience. The Libertarian Party has chosen not to give me that opportunity this year.
Barr was nominated so the Party could make a minor splash--by getting a number of votes (largely from undesirables) who will never vote for another Libertarian candidate. It will no more change the political landscape than did the candidancy of Ralph Nader.
This was a major sell out, for a little bit of attention. Count me out.
“It is commonly said, If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome. The opposite is true. By playing the game, voters agree to the rules. Only those who don’t play and withhold their consent have a right to complain about the outcome, especially since the winner will have his hand in the non-voter’s pocket. Voting is not an act of political freedom. It is an act of political conformity. Those who refuse to vote are not expressing silence. They are screaming in the politician’s ear: You do not represent me. This is not a process in which my voice matters. I do not believe you." Wendy McElroy
"Viewing the nation as divided into two camps ignores the largest single group of Americans, namely, those who don't vote at all. In the 2000 election only about 54 percent of eligible voters actually turned out to vote. In 2004, despite expensive get-out-the-vote campaigns by both ideological camps, the percentage who voted rose only a few points from the previous election. In fact, in 2004, an all-time record was set when more than 80 million eligible voters failed to vote; this number was far greater than the votes secured by either Bush or Kerry, by a substantial margin. In fact, no Republican or Democratic nominee has attracted as much as 30 percent of eligible voters since Ronald Reagan in 1984." [link edited for length]
But can he govern? Nope. He can legislate, and his record on that is horrible. and no mea culpas for it either.
He might be good for an extra precent or two in the long run, and maybe some ballot access preservation, but I don't see him helping out where the rubber meets the road: building the party at the grassroots level, raising funds, and in general working the local circuits, which is where the votes are at.
Bob Barr CAN govern, and he will do so in a way much more palatable to libertarians than either of the two big government statists the other parties have put up. LP members have got to start winning more than just arguments; they need to start winning elections if we're going to redirect this nation. Is Barr the libertarian ideal in a presidential candidate? Obviously not! But if he can win a larger percentage of the vote than previous candidates have--and bring some exposure to libertarian ideas--he has done the party and the nation a great service. Do you libertarian "purists" actually believe the country is ever going to just suddenly become what you want it to be? Dream on! Nations just don't work that way. America will become libertarian a little bit at at time, not all at once. Would I like to see a 100% libertarian America today? Of course. But that's not reality. Reality is that if we turn the right face to the American voter, we might have a nation that is making real inroads toward a libertarian future. It will come little by little but it will come. Bob Barr is going to "raise the bar" on that goal.