Why should a radical Libertarian support Bob Barr?

by Gene Trosper

I have been a self-identified Libertarian since 1988 when I cast my vote for Ron Paul. When I officially joined the LP in 1990, it was a learning experience, to say the least. Because I was moderately libertarian by Nolan Chart standards, there was sufficient room to grow and become educated on the finer points of property rights, self-ownership, and the Non Aggression Principle. Attending my first county LP meeting in October of 1990 awoke me to possibilities of human freedom not yet considered in my mind. In due time, I grew stronger in my libertarian beliefs. No longer would I be satisfied with merely getting off the “Freedom Train” at whatever stop was convenient for me; I was on until it reached the final destination! Radical Libertarian? You’re damned right!

Looking at the campaign of Bob Barr, I see much of myself in him. The vast majority of his life has been spent outside the libertarian sphere of influence and now he finds himself willingly in that sphere, learning and growing. No one forced me to join the Libertarian Party and no one forced Bob Barr into the party either. I believe intent says a lot here: joining a political organization that has had (at best) pitifully small victories speaks more to a sincere alignment with the ideas of liberty than it does the seizing of political power. Why not go along with the majority? The path to political power is always easier that way. The life of an underdog is never easy and the path is always fraught with obstacles. Again, intent says a lot.

A hardcore, uncompromising message always appeals to Libertarians such as myself. It is the promise of reaching that final destination aboard the Freedom Train. Unfortunately, reality is much harder to deal with. I am now 42 years old. Will I live to see real freedom in my time? Very doubtful. However, I will be joyous beyond belief if we receive some small, but significant advancements. I hate taxes, but I’d love to have a much smaller tax burden. I hate the Drug War, but I’d love to see marijuana relegalized. I despise the government “educational” system, but I’d love to see home schooling fully legalized. Granted, these are not exactly visions of Libertopia, but I am sure any of us would be happy to see the above enacted. It’s not about compromising one’s beliefs, but rather fighting tooth and nail to regain any portion of liberty that has been lost. Every dollar in taxes we don’t have to pay is one less dollar in the government’s treasury. That is a great thing!

Although Bob Barr doesn’t represent libertarianism at it’s most hardcore level, his campaign promises a more libertarian America. Before we can regain those liberties in the political arena, we have to be able to enter that arena. Bob Barr is a candidate who can get the “foot in the door” for libertarians. He’s media savvy, is well known, and credible. Just as important, he will speak to those in his former party who are disaffected by McCain.

An active Bob Barr campaign should be welcome. It can be an effective tool for all Libertarians – radical and moderate – to further the cause of liberty beyond it’s current moribund state. Is some liberty better than none? Clearly, yes. It’s up to delegates to decide whether they want more liberty or remain satisfied with the status quo of diminishing freedoms in favor of an “all or nothing” approach. I strongly encourage delegates to consider the alternatives and support the best candidate going into Denver: Bob Barr!

Gene Trosper is a former chairman of the Riverside County (CA) LP, who has organized successful campaigns against school bonds and property tax assessments, which lead to the elimination of a parks district in 1998. His “Libertarian Social Contract” has been used in the past as Libertarian outreach in the United States and Costa Rica. He currently lives in Wildomar, CA with his wife Shannon.

103 Responses to “Why should a radical Libertarian support Bob Barr?”

  1. Steve LaBianca Says:

    “An active Bob Barr campaign should be welcome. It can be an effective tool for all Libertarians – radical and moderate

    Effective how? I submit that a Barr campaign, as currently structured around his positions only “effectively” distorts the Libertarian message. Who knows how long this might take to offset the damage done by a Barr campaign.

    How many core libertarian ideas will effectively be badly damaged (foreign interventionism, self ownership, drastic taxation reduction-Fair Tax . . . NOT!), and how much time and energy will be needed to be exerted to “right the libertarian ship”, which could effectively be sunk by a conservative lean?

    The only lasting effect of Barr as our presidential candidate (as currently construed) is damage to liberty. I for one, do not want to spend the next ten years explaining that libertarianism isn’t conservatism, nor simply “federalism”.

  2. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Is some liberty better than none? Clearly, yes. It’s up to delegates to decide whether they want more liberty or remain satisfied with the status quo of diminishing freedoms in favor of an “all or nothing” approach.

    This might be a relevant argument if Barr had any greater chance of getting elected than a more radical Libertarian candidate does. But of course he doesn’t.

    All the evidence points to Barr not being able to deliver ‘more liberty’, and to significantly confusing voters as to just what the Libertarian message is.

    So it’s ‘all or nothing’ versus ‘some or nothing’. In light of those terms, I’d rather have all or nothing, because at least at the end I’d be sure that those who heard the message heard a truly libertarian message.

  3. Susan Hogarth Says:

    This seems like a good place to interject my Open Letter to Barr:

    http://www.colliething.com/2008/05/open-letter-to-bob-barr-some-questions.html

  4. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Susan,

    Agreed, a Barr candidacy is unlikely to win. That’s not the only metric, IMO. Barr is more likely to get people thinking about a third party and liberty in different ways than the rest of the field, I suggest. He’s already gotten more hard news coverage in major media than any L prez candidate, I’d estimate. Indeed, he may have had more coverage than ALL candidates since 1972 combined!

    I’d say that’s worthwhile, even though on some issues I don’t entirely agree with him. Of course, I don’t agree with ANY candidate 100%...do you? Does anyone?

  5. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Agreed, a Barr candidacy is unlikely to win. That’s not the only metric, IMO.

    I agree, but I was replying to Gene’s logic that we should select ‘some’ rather than ‘all’. If we’re not going to get either as a result of this election, why would we prefer ‘some’ to ‘all’? It says we’re dreaming of being a-bit-more-free. We’re offering a grand vision of… less government. Boooorrring.

    Barr is more likely to get people thinking about a third party and liberty in different ways than the rest of the field, I suggest.

    Absolutely. That’s what scares me.

    Barr will ‘get people thinking’ that libertarianism equates with states’ rights, marriage defined by government as one-man-one-woman, states should regulate drug use (and do it good and hard), and the U.S. should continue to intervene abroad.

    That’s not the way I want people to ‘think about liberty’.

  6. Mike Gravel Fan Says:

    Mike Gravel & Bob Barr grow the Libertarian Party, and the entire third party movement.

  7. Grand Poobaa Says:

    From the Ali-Babaa Temple of the Shrine’s Royal Order of the Buffalo. Last night a vote was taken amongest the Pure Libertarian committee and he voted to rule out all Libertarian Party Candidates for they fall short of the “Test” that was given to us from “he who cannot be named”. It was also determined that the doctrine that cometh from “he who cannot be named” clearly states that “be it known to be truly libertarian one must not involve one’s self in politics’ it was voted that the true followers of libertarian values, shall invest their time in learning to spell and type so the two of us can better talk to one another. Also, per the holy one (who cannot be named) we will continue to drink beer and smoke cigars.

    Purge the Party of everyone… for they all fall short..

  8. Gene Trosper Says:

    Just to let everyone know: It wasn’t meant for publication. I simply meant it for internal distribution. However, I thank Stephen for asking for it to be published here.

    I welcome all comments, good or bad. Still, I stand by what I wrote.

    Have a nice day and a wonderful weekend, everyone! : )

  9. Flyer Says:

    Bob Barr promotes Himself. A Republican reject who still supports Republican candidates. He brings nothing to the table for the Libertarian Party. Nothing will be gained with Barr as the Presidential nominee.

  10. Justin Grover Says:

    “Who knows how long this might take to offset the damage done by a Barr campaign.”

    Mr. La Bianca:

    Not that I agree, but what exactly would he be “damaging”? Our constant internal infighting? That is the only thing we are truly successful in spreading the word about. Otherwise I’m assuming you are talking about the philosophy o libertarianism, which almost no one in America has actually heard of, or maybe you are afraid he will poll less than Badnarik’s 0.3% of the vote, or maybe you are talking about our party’s vast sea of donors, volunteers and voters?

  11. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Susan,

    Yes, Barr—like Ron Paul—uses federalism on some of the issues that L’s disagree about, such as abortion. Ruwart, for ex., does not, taking the position she does on child pornography production.

    I hope that these issues are low priority ones for any L campaign, especially Barr’s, if there is one. He seems to emphasize spending cuts, exit Iraq, and privacy, which I believe he articulates his views well. Personally, I agree with his approach, although I’m sure I might quibble about some of his program and positioning.

    Politics—including L politics—involves some calibration, some weighing of overall positioning. The only alternative for a delegate is to run him or herself, unless you expect a candidate to adopt a plumbline that you establish. That seems highly unrealistic to me.

    Ls, like the Rs and Ds, sometimes disagree.

    I suspect there’s SOME disagreement in your Radical Caucus, even. You, for ex., don’t believe there’s a right to private nukes. I can almost guarantee that some of your members disagree with you on that one, yes? ;-)

  12. Tom Bryant Says:

    Bob Barr has nearly raised $100k according to his website.

    It’s been reported that one of his PACs has another $160k, which I assume (and could be totally wrong) could all be used for his Presidential campaign.

    I would also imagine he’s wealthy on his own being an attorney and lobbyist.

    I would be interested in hearing how much of his own money Barr plans to use if nominated.

    A Barr campaign with $1M versus a $1M Ruwart campaign, I would go for Ruwart.

    A Barr campaign with $10M versus a $1M Ruwart campaign, I would go for Barr.

  13. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Yes, Barr—like Ron Paul—uses federalism on some of the issues that L’s disagree about, such as abortion.

    Right, and that really controversial LP issue: whether pot smoking should be legal.

    Puh-leeze.

    I suspect there’s SOME disagreement in your Radical Caucus, even.

    Ya think?

  14. Susan Hogarth Says:

    I would be interested in hearing how much of his own money Barr plans to use if nominated.

    And, of course, how he intends to use it.

    Because if past history and his comments on Charlotte talk radio are any indication, he plans to continue supporting downticket Republicans.

    Not a misprint.

    Republicans

  15. Tom Bryant Says:

    Susan,

    Am I right to think that you believe Barr will not spend his money on his Presidential race, and instead will give it all away to his Republican friends?

  16. DrGonzo Says:

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with Barr because of his stance on issues. Why does everyone have to be hardcore? I have a problem with Barr because he is suddenly against everything he was once for. How can he change his views that quickly?

    I’m not denying his candidacy could be good for the party. But I’d much rather see Gravel (a candidate I actually like) win the nomination.

  17. Jim Lesczynski Says:

    One thing I find curious about the Barr campaign is that there is almost no mention of RKBA on his website. That issue would seem to be one of his greatest strengths as a candidate—an issue that’s actually popular with a large part of the electorate, an issue where he has an impressive record of achievement, and an issue where he doesn’t have to apologize for or “regret” his past voting record.

    He’s on the board of the NRA for goodness sake! (Yes, I know it’s not always the most hardcore gun lobby, but still.) Yet that factoid is just barely mentioned on the “Meet Bob” page, and RKBA is not mentioned at all on his “Issues” page.

    If we were to end up with Barr as our candidate, one potential upside would be his appeal to gun owners. Obama versus McCain with his lifetime F rating from the NRA versus Barr as a longtime NRA board member. Actually it would be funny to see the NRA try to explain why they’re endorsing the Republican anyway.

    I really don’t understand why the Barr campaign isn’t giving RKBA more play.

  18. NewFederalist Says:

    I agree with the Grand Poobaa.

  19. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Am I right to think that you believe Barr will not spend his money on his Presidential race, and instead will give it all away to his Republican friends?

    No, you’re not right. Of course he is not stupid enough to “give it all away to his Republican friends.”

    I assume he will spend what he raises for his presidential campaign on his presidential campaign. But I also assume he will continue to send letters to his PAC mailing list and oversee the disbursement of those funds to both Libertarian and Republican (perhaps even Democratic) candidates, as well as a mixed bag of ideological groups, including such groups as the anti-immigration Minutemen.

    Why do I assume this? Because this has been his behavior as a leader of the Libertarian Party seated on the Libertarian National Committee. If he is willing to fundraise for Republicans as an LNC representative, I don’t see why he would not be willing to continue to do so as a Libertarian candidate. In fact, a fellow LPNCer who listened to him give an interview with a Charlotte radio station remarked on his concern over Barr’s mention of how his run would encourage McCain-disliking Republicans and get them to vote for ‘down-ticket Republicans’. Since Barr has said nothing (as far as I can tell) about supporting down-ticket Libertarians, and since many of his positions (state-level drug prohibition, for example) are incompatible with the majority of Libertarian campaigns, I’m not sure just how effective he can be for Party-building through downticket support.

    This is a serious issue he will have to address in a credible way – and frankly I don’t see how he can pull it off. I will do my best to ensure that no delegate votes for him without understanding that he was willing to fundraise for candidates of a rival political party (and we’re not talking about Ron Paul who might reasonably be viewed as an exceptional case) while serving as a representative of the LP. Whether he will view his obligations to the LP as ‘candidate’ any differently than he does as ‘representative’, and whether such serious cross-party potential conflicts of interest are acceptable is up each voting delegate, but whether each delegate understands the situation is up to those of us who do view it as unacceptable.

  20. Tom Bryant Says:

    After the election, I can see Barr going back to fundraising for his PAC. I don’t see it happening during his race though.

  21. Susan Hogarth Says:

    After the election, I can see Barr going back to fundraising for his PAC. I don’t see it happening during his race though.

    Well, I wouldn’t have expected it of someone sitting on the LNC, so I’m not sure what would make him behave more decorously as a candidate than as a Party leader.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Which part of “Barr publicly stated that he regards the LP presidential nomination as a bully pulpit from which to promote Republican, rather than Libertarian, congressional candidates” does anyone NOT understand?

  23. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Which part of “Barr publicly stated that he regards the LP presidential nomination as a bully pulpit from which to promote Republican, rather than Libertarian, congressional candidates” does anyone NOT understand?

    Thank you, Reader’s Digest, for the Condensed Version.

  24. Bill Wood Says:

    Bill Wood Says:

    May 15th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
    Nice surprise today. I heard Bob Barr on the Mike O’Meara Radio Show today. Bob did a very good job. He was to the point and he showed some personnality and humor with the Borak question. He did not hide the fact that he is a Libertarian. He admitted that he has lost a lot of business since joining the LP. He was very proud of his fellow libertarians and proud to be a Member. He also mentioned the winning attitude of those in the LP that he has met. He never mentioned helping republicans and when asked if he would return to that party he said no. I didn’t count the number of times he said he was a libertarian, but it was several times. He sounded like an add for the LP.

    It is refreshing to hear a Libertarian Party Candidate that wants the LP to win political office to push forward the idea of Liberty and to grow the Party instead of just using a Campaign to educate the public.

    Great job Bob!

  25. Grand Poobaa Says:

    From the Ali-Babaa Temple of the Shrine’s Royal Order of the Buffalo.

    NewFederalist, you are wise beyond your years. Your name will be given to the “One who cannot be mentioned” so it can be added to the “mentioned list of those who can’t be mentioned again”

    Purge the Party of everyone… for they all fall short..

  26. BobBarrForums Says:

    Barr gave the National LP $8500 in the 2007-2008 cycle

    $1000 in 2006

    Barr gave $4K to Bob Smither’s race (against Tom DeLay) in ‘06. He also flew out to host a fundraising event there at his own expense. Barr also made fundraising calls for Smither. Barr was not a LP member yet, at this time.

    Other donations:

    8/2007 $500 CA LP
    11/2007 $250 TN LP
    4/2008 $1000 Buckley for Senate (GA)
    9/2007 Arin Sime $500
    10/2007 $1000 Oklahomans for Ballot Access Reform
    6/2007 $1000 Ron Paul

    2/2007 $1000 GA LP
    5/2007 $1000 GA LP
    4/2008 $1000 Ga LP

    2/2007 $500 Common Cause (About Us)Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

    A few (of many) trips on behalf of LP:

    4/2007 NC LP Convention
    6/2007 MS LP Convention
    6/2007 AL LP convetion
    9/2007 St. Louis LP Fundraiser
    10/2007 Orange County, CA LP
    10/2007 OK Libertarian Fundraiser

    2/2008 St. Louis Area Lib. Caucus

    2008 may be looked at as campaigning but original intent was as LNC Region 4 Chair:

    3/08 GA LP Convention
    3/08 TN LP Convention
    3/08 Florida LP convention
    4/08 NC LP convention
    4/08 AL LP Convention
    4/08 NY LP Convention
    5/08 CT LP Convention

    Barr endorsed Michael Badnarik in 2004, which was worth a significant amount of credibility for Badnarik and a source for lost income/”respectability” for Barr.

    QUESTION: How much money has Mary Ruwart’s Leadership PAC contributed to the LP over the last couple of yeats? How much has Wayne Allyn Root contributed? How much has Susan Hogarth’s Leadership Fund contributed to the LP since 2006?

  27. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Mr Grover asks “Mr. La Bianca:

    Not that I agree, but what exactly would he be “damaging”? Our constant internal infighting? That is the only thing we are truly successful in spreading the word about.

    Let’s see, when it was being circulated that Lyndon LaRouche was a”Libertarian Party leader” by th Associated Press in 1992, we certainly got A LOT of publicity for it. Was it damaging? We are STILL counteracting that backlash from that.

    With the Howard Stern run for the Governorship in New York (which I wasn’t necessarily opposed to), the association of a “shock jock” and all that goes with it was associated with the Libertarian Party. We are STILL working on recovering from that to some extent. These were things that happened 15 or more years ago!

    Barr is a conservative. How long will it take to shake the “libertarianism is a branch of conservatism” characterization (which preceded Barr) which a Barr candidacy will only perpetuate? How long will it take to shake that off?

    These are damages to the concept of and achievement of liberty. I am not opposed to incrementally recouping our liberty, but a Barr candidacy, in my view does more damage than the (allegedly achievable) few extra votes are worth. Ron Paul is not nearly as compromising than Barr, so I would support a Paul Libertarian run, but that isn’t going to happen.

    BTW, I am not convinced that a Barr candidacy can get us more votes than a Ruwart or other candidacy can get.

  28. Pepe Johnson Says:

    Going back to the article itself, I would like to thank Mr. Trosper for such a well-written piece. It is perhaps the clearest, easiest to understand article I have read lately.

  29. Steve LaBianca Says:

    BobBarrForums Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Barr gave the National LP $8500 in the 2007-2008 cycle

    [. . .]

    QUESTION: How much money has Mary Ruwart’s Leadership PAC contributed to the LP over the last couple of yeats? How much has Wayne Allyn Root contributed? How much has Susan Hogarth’s Leadership Fund contributed to the LP since 2006?

    And how much has the Steve LaBianca PAC given to the LP?

    This is a ridiculous gauge of any relative value that an activist, candidate, party officer, etc has.

    What IS important as a gauge however, is that the Barr PAC gave money to candidates who ARE being opposed by Libertarian candidates. Even if these Libertarians hadn’t filed to run when the PAC made the contributions, Barr should have done something; inquiring, recruiting, anything at the very least within his own LNC region to recruit candidates for these positions. Did he?

    Again, Barr, as an officer of the LP, has a fiduciary responsibility to its members to refrain from supporting competitors.

    Try as you might, to run from that, but you can’t hide however!

  30. Pepe Johnson Says:

    As a member of a third party, I know that my party’s candidates for national offices – such as the House, the Senate, the President – have little chance of actually getting elected. But as a libertarian, I know that we also have a philosophy we would like to advance. If I knew that my libertarian candidate wasn’t going to win, but I wanted to have some influence with the candidate who does win, then I would probably want to give that candidate some money. Of course, if I start a PAC and raise lots of money, then I could have influence with lots of potential Congresspersons and Senators. That influence would then allow me to advance the cause of liberty even without having elected Libertarians to national office. Hhmm.

  31. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Pepe Johnson Says:
      May 16th, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    . . . if I start a PAC and raise lots of money, then I could have influence with lots of potential Congresspersons and Senators. That influence would then allow me to advance the cause of liberty even without having elected Libertarians to national office. Hhmm.

    Fine. Don’t do it while on the LNC. It is a moral and (likely a) contractual obligation NOT to support the competition.

    Though I am not well versed in these candidates the Barr PAC supported, I have heard that more than a couple of them are quite less than supporters of liberty.

    How about this as a novel idea . . . recruit these Republicans to run as Libertarians. Did Barr try that?

  32. Roscoe Says:

    We need tens of thousands of Gene Trospers: voted for Paul, joined Party, became more hardcore as he learned more about libertarianism.
    So what is it we are afraid of with Cong. Barr – that he will attract too many quasi-libertarians that we can’t educate? That they will take over the LP? Too many times, the LP hasn’t looked beyond an election to prepare the infrastructure (state, county groups) that can gather in those who voted Libertarian and get them active in the next campaign. If lightning struck and Bob Barr won the presidency, I can just hear the bitching from all those who were afraid they’d no longer be a big frog in a small pond. Let’s get the voters in our door and figure out a way to teach them about “real libertarianism.” If they take over the Party and make it something else, then we start a new Party to keep dragging voters in our direction.

  33. DrGonzo Says:

    We need tens of thousands of Gene Trospers: voted for Paul, joined Party, became more hardcore as he learned more about libertarianism.
    So what is it we are afraid of with Cong. Barr – that he will attract too many quasi-libertarians that we can’t educate?

    I think that is a great point. We need to attract moderate Americans with the message of freedoms and civil liberties, and then further educate them on the true Libertarian message.

    For some reason we are a party who constantly criticizes everyone who isn’t hardline Libertarian.

  34. NewFederalist Says:

    Oh Grand Poobaa… thank you thank you thank you! I am NOT worthy…

  35. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Roscoe says “Let’s get the voters in our door and figure out a way to teach them about ‘real libertarianism.’

    The problem is, they won’t come through the door until they feel ready. If we give them quasi-libertarianism, they aren’t ready. You assume that once in the door, they won’t leave. That is only going to be true if they get the “real libertarianism” . . . and Barr doesn’t provide that.

  36. Brad Says:

    How exactly would Bob Barr be an effective presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. His past history will alienate the group that the Libertarian Party needs to target if it is ever going to win (the left). Let’s face it, every Republican knows about libertarianism and these days, the GOP has at most 10% that are libertarian (and the LP has no real chance trying to convert large numbers of the Neo-Cons and Theo-Cons). Because of this, running a presidential candidate who led the campaign to impeach Clinton (yes, Clinton deserved to be impeached, but the left perceived the impeachment to be entirely about whether or not Clinton had the right to engage in consensual sex, so I doubt any left-winger would even consider voting for a leader in the Clinton impeachment), was a fanatical supporter of the War on Drugs and still opposes legalization of hard drugs (this will definitely alienate the drug users, a vital constituency), supports sending a 17-year-old to jail for 10 years for having oral sex with a 15-year-old (see: http://www.bobbarr.org/default.asp?pt=newsdescr&RI=864 ), and has still never apologized to that religious group he attempted to persecute and promised to try “again and again” to persecute after his attempts failed (the Wiccans, a group whose main values are basically libertarian).

    Besides that, Barr supports invading Iran and attacking Columbia and is a “former” CIA agent (former is in quotes because many “former” CIA agents are still CIA operatives). At a time when the anti-war left doesn’t fully trust either nominee that the Democrats have put forward (or the Democrats in Congress who have been passing crap such as the “Protect America” Act), does the LP really need a warmonger as its nominee?

    If Barr gets 10% of Republicans and 5% of Independents, as well as 0% of Democrats, for a total of 5% of the vote (and it is hard to see him doing better than that), he still won’t win the election. Since Bob Barr can’t win anyway, shouldn’t the LP candidate be somebody who has the ability to grow the party instead of alienating critical constituencies (do any of the Barr supporters really want to make the LP persona non grata for the left?)?

    Although I’m not a radical by any sense, I think Ruwart is the best nominee. She isn’t going to win, but she can at least appeal to the left and grow the party. The LP needs to recognize that libertarianism is a left-wing, not a right-wing, movement ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard33.html ) and improve its outreach to the left (which already has strong anti-authoritarian tendencies) instead of trying to convince right-wingers who are solidly authoritarian (the main things the right supports right now are murdering foreigners, denying rights to immigrants, and imposing their moral beliefs on everybody else). Bob Barr would misrepresent libertarianism to the left.

    I understand the desperate desire to finally win, but Barr sends the wrong message to the constituency that the LP most needs to convert to actually win and nominating him would likely make it impossible for the LP to achieve victory for 30 years by alienating large numbers of potential libertarians. The LP never nominated Lyndon LaRouche (who was falsely identified as a Libertarian by the media about 20 years ago) for president, yet the media associating that fascist crank with the LP did alot of damage (by misrepresenting libertarianism). Think about how damaging nominating a far-right archconservative would be, especially to a party that must reach out to the left if it ever desires to be elected.

  37. BobBarrForums Says:

    Though I am not well versed in these candidates the Barr PAC supported, I have heard that more than a couple of them are quite less than supporters of liberty.

    How about this as a novel idea . . . recruit these Republicans to run as Libertarians. Did Barr try that?

    Is it possible that the people Barr Pac supported were sponsoring or voting for pro-liberty legislation? Were they supporting pro-liberty legislation Barr was promoting at the time?

    How could Barr try to recruit Republicans to run as Libertarians? What would be the selling point he would use? I know what the selling point would be. Join the LP so Hogarth and LaBianca can make you feel welcome by trashing you all the time. I can see why they would join the LP, as radicals would certainly welcome them with open arms.

  38. Bill Woolsey Says:

    I am a libertarian centrist/moderate. My favorite campaign
    so far was Clark. That campaign leaned left. The hope was that
    stagflation would cause left/liberals to abandon the Democratic
    Party. So, the LP ran heavy on nonintervention and personal
    liberties. Heavy on cuts to military spending and corporate welfare.
    Light on cuts to social welfare (though they were there.)

    I don’t know that it was the best approach. But it was plausible.

    I think the notion that the LP can compete with Obama for
    left/liberals is foolish.

    Sure, maybe we could try to appeal to “Reagan Democrats,” (older,
    union, white people…..) What? We are going to go straight for
    the “populist/authoritarian” quadrant that for some reason likes Clinton
    better than Obama?

    The libertarians that have habitually supported the Republicans are
    the best place to go.

    Only Barr will get attention. He has a good message. I think it
    is the best way to go now.

  39. Bill Wood Says:

    Interesting that those of us that came frome the right are authoritarian..LOL..I think it is more like many of us who were republicans did not know about the Libertarian Party. I find it more difficult convincing large government womb to tomb democrates to join the LP than small government republicans. Someone here once said we’re not looking for Ds and R’s, but we are looking for libertarians,I agree.

    “solidly authoritarian (the main things the right supports right now are murdering foreigners, denying rights to immigrants, and imposing their moral beliefs on everybody else). ”

    Another BS opinion and don’t believe everthing you read and be careful with Lew Rockwell stuff.

  40. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Forims says “How could Barr try to recruit Republicans to run as Libertarians? What would be the selling point he would use? I know what the selling point would be. Join the LP so Hogarth and LaBianca can make you feel welcome by trashing you all the time. I can see why they would join the LP, as radicals would certainly welcome them with open arms.

    Of course they won’t run as Libertarians . . . they’re basically conservative Republicans. And Barr should refrain from supporting conservative Republicans while sitting on “the Board” of the LP.

    How is it that I am trashing people . . . I’ve been trashed, but I won’t bring that “THING” up again. I’m trashing because I disagree with being a party which promotes a branch of conservatism, because Barr isn’t libertarian . . .yet. Because W.A.R. has flipped more than any LP candidate in memory?

    If these folks can’t take criticism, they shouldn’t run for president! If their supporters (or shills) can’t take criticism for the positions they take, then maybe they shouldn’t post comments.

    I am not character assassinating anyone. Well W.A.R. maybe, but then, he doesn’t have any dignity, as a candidate at least.

    I fully expect people to disagree with my positions. I’m all ears . . .I’m listening. If all that can be said is that I support keeping the party small for believing that the party ought to stay principled, I can handle the misunderstanding of desiring to be a big fish in a small pond, or purposely capsizing a potential vote getting candidate.

    The truth is simple with me . . I believe that compromising the principles of liberty for the expediency of fleeting votes, is just that . . . fleeting. The principled strategy is a slowly, deep rooting process. It builds dedicated life long libertarians. Fleeting candidacies builds one shot vote getting.

    Barr is in my view, the latter. Mary Ruwart is very definitely the former. I’ve chosen her as my candidate because she fits my priorities of what a candidate ought to be and do . . . not because I fundamentally oppose Barr and W.A.R.

    You want to criticize me for this . . . have at it.

  41. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I said “I’m trashing because I disagree . . .” well maybe this was a freudian slip but I meant to say “I’m trashED because I disagree . . .” That’s quite different.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    In the list of trips that Bob Barr made at his own expense, I see the following:

    “9/2007 St. Louis LP Fundraiser”

    This seems to imply that the fundraiser was for the LP. It was not. It was for a factional group within the Missouri LP. I don’t know whether or not Barr was even aware of that, and I’m sure he was just there to support the party, but the fundraiser was sponsored by, and benefited, the “Coalition for Libertarian Responsibility.”

    Then again, the “Coalition for Libertarian Responsibility’s” principals appear to be 2004 Missouri LP lieutenant governor candidate Mike Ferguson, who publicly endorsed the GOP’s candidate for governor rather than supporting his own party’s ticket; and the Missouri LP’s chair at the time, Bob Sullentrup who, while not overtly endorsing the Republican, slagged the Libertarian in the state’s largest newspaper.

    So maybe Barr did know who he was supporting with that trip.

  43. Stewart Flood Says:

    You missed at least one contribution. The SCLP received a $500 contribution last summer from his PAC.

  44. Ayn R. Key Says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

    If he would actually address the concerns the rest of us have, he’ll have a better chance of winning us over. His refusal to answer questions such as those by Marc Montoni for example do far more harm to his campaign than giving answers that might not be fully 100% libertarian.

    Asking those questions isn’t a “purist inquisition” thank you very much. Asking questions is how you find out where a candidate stands on issues the candidate hasn’t addressed yet.

  45. Gene Trosper Says:

    Pepe Johnson Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 11:59 am
    Going back to the article itself, I would like to thank Mr. Trosper for such a well-written piece. It is perhaps the clearest, easiest to understand article I have read lately.

    You’re welcome!

    On another note, whether people agree with me or not isn’t the point. I am happy that there is a discussion about this. Hopefully, I will have opened a few minds not necessarily about Bob Barr, but about a more strategic way of accomplishing what we so desire: LIBERTY.

    Thinking outside the box really isn’t such a terrible thing.

  46. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Stewart Flood Says:
      May 16th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    You missed at least one contribution. The SCLP received a $500 contribution last summer from his PAC.

    Well at least we know it is HIS PAC.

  47. David F. Nolan Says:

    Why would a radical Libertarian support Bob Barr?”

    Because he’s the party’s nominee? Until he is, however, I suspect virtually all “radical Libertarians” (i.e. people who want a consistently libertarian spokesman for the LP) will do their best to prevent him from attaining that status.

  48. Gene Trosper Says:

    Roscoe Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 12:22 pm
    We need tens of thousands of Gene Trospers: voted for Paul, joined Party, became more hardcore as he learned more about libertarianism.

    Yikes! I don’t know if tens of thousands of me would be a good thing for this planet! ; )

    We need tens of thousands of people who are open to the ideals of liberty. Yes, it would be wonderful if they all came to the party as hardcore anti-statists, but realistically, that’s not going to happen.

    Liberty can be a very scary thing for many people. As Libertarians, we know that there is nothing scary about liberty, but to a citizenry weaned on statist propaganda, liberty represents so many things that could potentially go wrong. We have to wean these people off statism and onto liberty. A candidate like Bob Barr can present our ideas in a way that Americans can accept more readily than a hardcore Libertarian campaign can.

    Oh sure, I’d LOVE to have another hardcore Libertarian presidential campaign, but in the end, we will just be preaching to the choir. Most people will simply close of their minds to what we have to say. That’s the unfortunate truth.

    Let’s get our foot in the door first!

  49. Gene Trosper Says:

    David,

    I count myself among the “radical Libertarians”, but I have grown beyond the psychological need to have a hardcore candidate. The time to wait is over. Maybe it’s because I have grown impatient, but offering a badnarik, a Ruwart, or (as much as I like and admire the man) a Kubby just isn’t going to work.

  50. Brian Miller Says:

    I’m all for strategic accomplishments. The basis of the debate, in my view, should be over the purpose of the presidential run—as well as the long-term consequences of policy decisions.

    A candidacy by a Mike Gravel or Bob Barr will indeed attract a lot of media attention.

    However, a lot of that media attention will be focused upon the records of the candidates themselves and their positions on the issues, which will be assigned ipso-facto to the entire LP (whether that’s fair or not).

    Taking positions on issues not only opens doors, but it also closes doors.

    For example, when Libertarians declare that they oppose a federal government health care monopoly, the candidates open the door to those who agree—but close it to those who want to see a federal health care monopoly.

    When positions by candidates are inconsistent with at least a broadly Libertarian position on the issues, what we are doing is closing the door on ALLIES who should be with us, in order to win support from groups who will not hang around after the candidate is part of the past and not the future.

    When we embrace a national government health system, or laws like DOMA, the benefit is temporary—a pop up in votes from people who agree with these positions (but who are only going to be around so long as the candidate himself is running). But we also create long-term damage by harming the Libertarian Party’s relationships with health care free marketeers, or the supporters of LGBT Americans. That erodes trust in our party’s commitment to its core values and also creates an additional mountain to climb for people who should be natural supporters.

    Our biggest challenge in growing the party is convincing natural allies to take that big, scary, chasm-crossing jump to the LP and staying with us. We aren’t going to be able to do that if we become a political entity that embraces flaky populism every election cycle. If natural constituents cannot have a reasonable expectation that they won’t be thrown under the bus in a given election year by the LP for political expediency’s sake, they’ll just stay attached to the old parties they already know that often do the same thing—yet at least offer access to significant electoral influence and legislative power.

    Our value proposition has to be different because our relative position is different.

  51. Jerry S. Says:

    I feel Susan Horgarth’s questions should be answered in full by Mr. Barr before any undecided delegates give him their vote and support.

    Susan Hogarth Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 8:55 am
    This seems like a good place to interject my Open Letter to Barr:

    http://www.colliething.com/2008/05/open-letter-to-bob-barr-some-questions.html

    ***

    I also wonder if the LP will not nominate a former two term U.S. Senator somewhere on the national ticket (POTUS/VP) ? This would truly be something if the convention rejected both Gravel and Barr. However, a party of PRINCIPLE could certainly do so…

    *(Please don’t post Gravel won’t take the VP position on the ticket, he, Barr, Root, Philles, Kubby, etc would all be STUPID to pass it up !)

    My (UNPAID) mission now until the deadline is to humbly request that enough of you delegates PLEASE give your debate token to longtime LP member James Libertarian Burns. I want him in the debate. He deserves to be included. He’s been fighting for the LP longer than some of you have been alive. I think he’s been a member longer than any candidate even Ruwart. An overall likable gent. A sense of humor might be a breath of fresh air in this years debate ! Don’t you think ?!

    LET JIM DEBATE
    give him a debate token, thx

  52. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Oh sure, I’d LOVE to have another hardcore Libertarian presidential campaign, but in the end, we will just be preaching to the choir. Most people will simply close of their minds to what we have to say. That’s the unfortunate truth.

    There’s a lot to be said for preaching to the choir – especially when you’re trying to bootstrap/snowball a small bunch of hardcore activists into a major force. (Have I mixed enough metaphors in that sentence? Sheesh.)

    But also bear in mind that many of us doubt whether Barr’s version of ‘what we have to say’ would be either heard by significantly more people or listened to openly by them. And there are those of us who hope that would be the case, because we fear Barr’s message is so far from the Libertarian Party’s message that it will give those who do hear it and listen a very misguided view of libertarianism.

  53. Lidia Seebeck Says:

    Tens of thousands of Gene Trospers?

    looks around wildly

    sees the onrushing army

    finds a Gothic Veil to hide underneath, not that it will be effective

    Just kidding of course.

    Congrats Gene

  54. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Trosper says:

    “Oh sure, I’d LOVE to have another hardcore Libertarian presidential campaign, but in the end, we will just be preaching to the choir. Most people will simply close of their minds to what we have to say. That’s the unfortunate truth.

    Let’s get our foot in the door first!”

    Ron Paul, ran a fairly radical, but mostly conciliatory campaign on the transition of where we are, and where we want to be. He was thoroughly trounced by the Republican Party primary and caucus voters.

    Why would you expect the Republicans to support Barr over more principled LP candidates, like Ruwart and Kubby?

  55. Brian Miller Says:

    Which brings up the question—what’s the purpose of the Libertarian Presidential campaign.

    Is it to communicate Libertarian values to the world, or is it to bring supporters to the Libertarian Party regardless of their positions on liberty?

    Is it useful to the liberty movement to grow the LP to a massive size through agglomerating an entity of folks who are “sorta Libertarian” on some issues and “sorta statist” on others?

    Or is the purpose of the LP to convince people to re-examine their assumptions about government, and challenge them to think differently?

    How you answer these questions will probably determine your position on the question of who should be presidential nominee.

  56. Jonathan Cymberknopf Says:

    the article is right on !

  57. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Brian M: Is it to communicate Libertarian values to the world, or is it to bring supporters to the Libertarian Party regardless of their positions on liberty?

    Bob: Both and more, much more. Persuasion takes time. But elections are immediate. Say a conservative votes for Barr, mostly because he or she hates McCain. We should take that vote, yes? After that, the conservative might think about his or her position on, say, medical marijuana. Hmm, maybe I was wrong.

    Say a liberal votes for Barr, for his ACLU background. Maybe later he or she might say, you know, maybe taxes are too high. Maybe we don’t need such big Nanny State.

    Of course, I’d like to see the conservative and liberal adopt all libertarian positions in one moment of epiphany. But I suspect most voters don’t have such epiphanies. They’ll come to our views over time.

    The shock-to-create-a-cadre model hasn’t worked to well. Why not try to make-progress-every-day model?

  58. Gene Trosper Says:

    Steve LaBianca Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Ron Paul, ran a fairly radical, but mostly conciliatory campaign on the transition of where we are, and where we want to be. He was thoroughly trounced by the Republican Party primary and caucus voters.

    Why would you expect the Republicans to support Barr over more principled LP candidates, like Ruwart and Kubby?

    And Ron Paul garnered over a million votes, massive media attention and the imagination of countless voters who have NEVER voted Libertarian before.

    The LP on the other hand…...

  59. Justin Grover Says:

    “How you answer these questions will probably determine your position on the question of who should be presidential nominee.”

    Mr. Miller:

    While I respect you, I don’t think that those questions were written in an even vaguely nonprejudicial way.

    Is the purpose to educate the public about libertarianism, or to focus on drawing more people into the party?

    Is it useful to the liberty movement to grow the LP trough incorporating people who range the full quadrant of “libertarian” on the Nolan Chart, even if they firmly disagree with some LP platform statements or is it the purpose of the LP to challenge the public perception of government?

    Those might be more evenly balanced questions, although your questions are really just one question, stated two different ways.

    I consider myself pretty “pure” in ideology, but I’m going to have to say the answer is that we seek out more “libertarian” or “semi-libertarian” people, so as better to fund, publicize and elect OUR candidates.

    There are many more able and learned institutions for the “education” purpose, and the best way to challenge the perceptions of the public is to provide a slate of candidates whom the public can relate to, and who can speak well, and who have some connection with their audience. Of the people I have “converted,” not one tried to climb back out through the rabbit hole once they had firmly taken their first step. Once your eyes are open to freedom, it takes a lot to close them.

  60. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Another thing to bring up here:

    Lately, I’ve heard two characterizations of “radicals” that don’t pass the smell test.

    One is that “radicals” are going to “bolt the party” if their preferred candidates don’t win. So far, I’ve seen little support for this claim. I don’t know if ALL the “radicals” who comment at TPW have said that they’ll be sticking with the LP even if they lose this particular battle, but a number of them—including Susan Hogarth and myself—have.

    The second is less succinctly expressed, but amounts to the notion that “radicals” are being self-centered or solipsistic in demanding answers to their questions (of Barr, of anyone).

    Here’s the deal, folks, for those of you who read TPW but maybe aren’t actively involved in a political party or haven’t attended a political party’s national convention:

    There will be a maximum of a little more than 1,000 delegates in Denver. They will be in a room. They will vote. Whoever wants to be the LP’s presidential nominee has to garner the support of 50%+1 of those delegates.

    Period.

    You can make all the arguments you want about how popular your preferred candidate would be with the public, how much media he’d get, what his upside vote potential is, etc. Those arguments, as well as the ideological arguments, are important. And maybe you’re right that this or that candidate should be cut some slack in one area because he or she is superior in another area.

    But at the end of the day (or, rather, on Sunday morning) those 1,000 or so delegates are going to decide who the nominee is, and if a substantial portion of those 1,000 delegates want to answers— “boxers or briefs?” or “do you like broccoli?” or “what’s your favorite baseball team?”—then the candidate being asked is going to answer the fucking question, if that candidate wants to be the nominee.

    The candidates don’t have to like that. The candidates’ supporters don’t have to like it, either. Fox News doesn’t have believe it, and the New York Times doesn’t have to consider it sane. But that’s the way it is, folks.

    We all hope that every delegate going to Denver takes this thing seriously, weighs all the issues carefully, chooses wisely, and so forth. And I think most of them DO. I know I try to.

    Nonetheless, hands will be kissed, babies will be shaken and if some sizeable bloc of delegates wants to see the candidates in a semi-nude dance competition, the smart ones will run like hell to get their tap shoes and g-strings and shake some booty.

    That’s how it works, folks. Like laws and sausages, sometimes you’d rather not see presidential nominees being made.

  61. Gene Trosper Says:

    Susan Hogarth Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    There’s a lot to be said for preaching to the choir – especially when you’re trying to bootstrap/snowball a small bunch of hardcore activists into a major force. (Have I mixed enough metaphors in that sentence? Sheesh.)

    But also bear in mind that many of us doubt whether Barr’s version of ‘what we have to say’ would be either heard by significantly more people or listened to openly by them. And there are those of us who hope that would be the case, because we fear Barr’s message is so far from the Libertarian Party’s message that it will give those who do hear it and listen a very misguided view of libertarianism.

    You can mix whatever you like Susan, so long as it’s peaceful: I’m a libertarian. : )

    The party’s message is total liberty. I absolutely agree with that message and want to go as far as possible on that “Freedom Train”. Many don’t want to go that far, so should they be denied access to the Freedom Train? I say: hitch a ride and let’s have some fun! So long as we are heading in the same direction, I have no issue at all. Though they may not go as far as you or I want, they still serve a very important purpose because they help to moderate our radical views with the voting public simply by aligning themselves with us. The more people who can identify with middle-of-the-road libertarianism, the easier it is for us to keep pushing the edge for greater liberty.

    Take for example Greenpeace and Earth First!

    Greenpeace used to be viewed as wacky radicals, then along came Earth First! Suddenly, Greenpeace looked damned near respectable. People began hitching onto the Greenpeace train and slowly, they became THE voice of the environmentalist movement. Though the entire Earth First! agenda wasn’t adopted, the debate moved more toward their favor.

    It’s pretty simple: do you want the debate to move more toward our favor? Move further away in the opposite direction or stay the same?

    I want my liberty NOW. To hell with waiting on the public to finally “get it” and support one of our lesser known hardcore candidates. I want progress. Isn’t that what the Libertarian Party is supposed to accomplish?

    We can unite as a party for once and get some things accomplished. The only thing stopping us is ourselves.

  62. Gene Trosper Says:

    Steve LaBianca Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 12:34 pm
    Roscoe says “Let’s get the voters in our door and figure out a way to teach them about ‘real libertarianism.’”

    The problem is, they won’t come through the door until they feel ready. If we give them quasi-libertarianism, they aren’t ready. You assume that once in the door, they won’t leave. That is only going to be true if they get the “real libertarianism” . . . and Barr doesn’t provide that.

    In order for then to become “real libertarians”, it’s up to us, utilizing a good internal education program to do so. The job of the presidential candidate is to retain ballot access, get as much media as possible, and attract people to our cause/party. Education is OUR job.

  63. Stewart Flood Says:

    Steve LaBianca Says:

    Well at least we know it is HIS PAC.

    Yes, but when I called to thank him, he didn’t know that we’d received a contribution. Like all organizations—and this includes PACs—the guy who’s name is on the front door doesn’t always know everything that is being done.

    But on another note…a question for Susan: What brand of vodka? Rick and I were figuring out the booze budget for the suite and there are at least twenty brands of vodka in the store. Whisky is easy pick: Jack Daniels.

  64. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stewart,

    Stolichnaya is the stuff, vodka-wise.

    I was born in Tennessee. I have friends in Tennessee and visit as often as possible. I LOVE Tennessee. But dude, they don’t know how to make whiskey in Tennessee. Do yourself a favor and pick up a 1.5 of Old Crow, or if you’re a snooty elitist, Jim Beam. Straight Kentucky Bourbon is much better than that Volunteer State stumpwater and it’s cheaper, too.

  65. mdh Says:

    I feel much the same way about Gravel as you do about Barr. The difference is that I’ve met Gravel and spoken with him on a number of occasions, and I get a genuine feeling of humility, honesty, and passion from him. I don’t know Barr, so I can’t say the same is true in his case. His campaign never responded to my invitation to be represented at our LPWV state convention.

    The other thing worth noting is that Gravel’s honesty makes it very easy to go down a list and check off where I agree and disagree with the man, and try to talk to him about things on which we disagree. If Barr were a lot more up-front with his stances on issues, instead of dancing around them and making somewhat ambiguous statements, I’d be a lot more apt to see him as a great candidate.

    One can learn libertarian theory. There are tons of wonderful books on the subject. I’m not so sure, on the other hand, that one learn the sort of candor and honesty that makes a lot of us feel comfortable with a candidate. In the case of Bob Barr, time will tell.

    In all fairness, Barr has been an active member of our party for some years now, and seems to be well liked by those who know him. This is wonderful, and I’d gladly support him at this point for an administrative role. For a political role – possibly the most important political role in the party for the next 2 years – I think we need some more clarification on his policies and such.

  66. Pepe Johnson Says:

    “Steve LaBianca Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 12:21 pm
    Pepe Johnson Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 12:14 pm
    ‘. . . if I start a PAC and raise lots of money, then I could have influence with lots of potential Congresspersons and Senators. That influence would then allow me to advance the cause of liberty even without having elected Libertarians to national office. Hhmm.’

    Fine. Don’t do it while on the LNC. It is a moral and (likely a) contractual obligation NOT to support the competition.

    Though I am not well versed in these candidates the Barr PAC supported, I have heard that more than a couple of them are quite less than supporters of liberty.”

    The moral obligation of supporting or not supporting a non-Libertarian candidate is up for debate. As I, and others, have posted there are legitimate freedom-advancing reasons why someone would support another candidate.

    Would you care to expand on the contractual obligations to not support the competition? I read through the bylaws and nothing “jumped” out at me.

    And if you are not well-versed in these candidates, are you just tossing out accusations in hopes of what? As I posted in another forum, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Mr. Allen (D-ME) are both gay-friendly candidates who are currently serving in Congress. (And therefore, successful candidates.) So while they may not have done everything you would like to see them do on each and every issue, they clearly value individual liberties for gay people more than a some of their colleagues do. A loss on one issue is better than losing on several issues.

    I also think Mr. Flood has an excellent point. The PAC is an organization made and administered by a number of people and more accurately represents the varied interests of those people and are not narrowly focused on Mr. Barr.

  67. Tom Bryant Says:

    I like that Freedom Train metaphor!

    I’m wondering…after 30+ years, when do you think we’ll realize we need to put coal in the engine in order to leave the station?

  68. Gene Trosper Says:

    Tom Bryant Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 3:58 pm
    I like that Freedom Train metaphor!

    I’m wondering…after 30+ years, when do you think we’ll realize we need to put coal in the engine in order to leave the station?

    It looked like 1980 was the year Libertarians decided to put coal in the engine, but soon afterward, some people weren’t happy with the coal and wanted to utilize an alternative form of energy. It’s been a debate ever since on what to use. Thus far, the only real alternative form of energy I have seen utilized is wind…lots of wind eminating from our privately held windbags.

  69. NAMBLA FOR MARY '08 Says:

    ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING! ALL OR NOTHING!

  70. Kenny Says:

    Don’t these Root trolls tire of making themselves look foolish? Fuck off back to your GOP bigots you sad cunts!

  71. Justin Grover Says:

    I think most of us think they are inappropriate, Kenny, you sure didn’t enlighten the discussion or tone much. Feeding trolls is bad.

  72. Michael Seebeck Says:

    Nicely written, Gene.

    I agree, we need to quit bitching about how to power the train and what the final destination is, we just need to get it going and get there.

    People can get off where they want and others will get on board.

    But the train has to be moving.

    The question is who can sell the most tickets?

    That’s TBD in Denver.

  73. David K. Williams, Jr. Says:

    How about trying to get votes with a well-known semi-libertarian Libertarian and a little known hardcore libertarian Libertarian?

    Barr-Ruwart 2008

  74. David K. Williams, Jr. Says:

  75. Michael Seebeck Says:

    David,

    To extend the train metaphor a bit longer, it depends on who can best help us all build the tracks, too.

    Lot of pieces to come together to make the train run, folks. We need the tracks (infrastructure) on which the train can run, we need the financing to operate the train (fundraising), we need train operators (members), we need an ops plans and schedule (marketing and intermediate goals) and we need good ticket sellers (candidates).

    Nonetheless, David, you do ask a great question: what’s the best answer or even a compromise to maximize our press coverage, unite the party, and move forward?

    That’s the big question.

    Bitching about anarchist vs. minarchist, reformers vs. radicals, etc., is just pointless complaining about destinations and routes.

  76. David K. Williams, Jr. Says:

    Check out this out. I think it is a great video and is a good starting point for LP discussions.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE&feature=related

  77. Kenny Says:

    Fair point, Justin. I find that abuse sends the knuckle-dragging trolls back to their caves. The only exception is the moronic and delusional Robert Milnes who needs a psychiatrist or a lobotomy.

  78. George Dance Says:

    Susan Hogarth: “’Is some liberty better than none? Clearly, yes. It’s up to delegates to decide whether they want more liberty or remain satisfied with the status quo of diminishing freedoms in favor of an “all or nothing” approach.’
    This might be a relevant argument if Barr had any greater chance of getting elected than a more radical Libertarian candidate does.

    It’s also a relevant argument if Barr has a greater chance of spoiling the election than a Phillies or a Ruwart. He does.

  79. Jonathan Says:

    Come on people $400 more to $100,000 please donate to www.bobbarr2008.com

  80. mdh Says:

    George Dance,
    Are you saying you really think that spoiling the election one way or the other for the big party with two wings really matters? Seriously… that’s a naive world view. They’re all the same.

  81. Stewart Flood Says:

    Tom,

    As far as brand goes, growing up in Philly I was “raised” on Jack Daniels. If you can’t light it—don’t drink it. Besides, Tennessee is in my region and Kentucky isn’t. :-)

    Only 1.5 liters? That’s hardly enough. I’ve got a frik’n presidential suite for the weekend. We’ll got through that much a day. I remember back when I lived in Valley Forge (I’d say King of Prussia, but nobody knows where that is), we’d go through a liter or two of Jack every weekend—as well as a few thousand rounds of ammo. We kept the loading press in the corner of the basement that was under the dining room in case of accidents.

    Stolichnaya? When I drank a lot (in my youth) the only vodka on the shelf at the state store was Smirnoff. Never liked the stuff. Susan hasn’t answered my question yet, so if she doesn’t then I guess I’ll go with your recommendation.

    Are you going to be in Denver? I’ve been following a lot of the threads on TPW, but I’ve lost track of who’s going and who isn’t.

  82. Stewart Flood Says:

    Correction to above: loading presses. I think there were at least three at most times. That was 25 years ago, so my memory of what the h*ll was in the basement is a bit unclear.

  83. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stewart,

    “As far as brand goes, growing up in Philly I was “raised” on Jack Daniels. If you can’t light it—don’t drink it. Besides, Tennessee is in my region and Kentucky isn’t. :-)

    Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? ;-)

    “Only 1.5 liters? That’s hardly enough. I’ve got a frik’n presidential suite for the weekend. We’ll got through that much a day.”

    Maybe I wasn’t clear—that 1.5 liter is for me, for the ride from St. Louis to Denver.. If I’m going to be somewhere for more than a day or two, Fortune Brands / Beam Global Spirits usually sends out a site team with tanker truck and portable IV rig. My endorsement contract requires them to keep my blood alcohol content at a constant, healthy 0.15-0.2.

    “Stolichnaya? When I drank a lot (in my youth) the only vodka on the shelf at the state store was Smirnoff. Never liked the stuff. Susan hasn’t answered my question yet, so if she doesn’t then I guess I’ll go with your recommendation.”

    Smirnoff was allegedly the Romanov family’s approved brand (“by appointment to His Majesty” and all that), but I’ve never liked it much. Stolichnaya is way pure—no hangovers, but don’t drink it straight or get it in your eye. If not mixed, it tastes and acts pretty much like rubbing alcohol.

    “Are you going to be in Denver?”

    Yep. And no, I really don’t drink that much. Matter of fact, I’m a wuss. I can knock back a shot of bourbon, but usually I just keep a running glass of bourbon and cola (preferably RC, but I’m not sure them yankees and westerners have it).

    Hey, isn’t the New Belgium Brewing Co. located somewhere out in Colorado? I do love a Fat Tire, too.

  84. Andy Says:

    “David F. Nolan Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 2:12 pm
    Why would a radical Libertarian support Bob Barr?”

    Because he’s the party’s nominee?”

    So are we supposed to blindly support whoever wins the nomination? “My party right or wrong” doesn’t fly with me. A candidate has to EARN my support.

  85. Stewart Flood Says:

    Ok…1.5 liters for the ride makes more sense.

    I don’t drink much anymore, but this is a convention. I’m not sure what is available out there, but my initial plan to buy stuff here and put it in the car has been squashed.

    WHY is it illegal for me to buy alcohol in SC, put the unopened bottles in the car (the back in the luggage of course), and then drive to Denver? When we told the guy at the liquor store that we were going to Denver he said we’d be breaking the law. He wanted our business, but he didn’t want to sell us a few STUPID BOTTLES OF BOOZE (Large bottles of course)

    Someone tell me…how statist is this? The taxes here are actually HIGHER than in Colorado, so I’m not trying to cheat the g*d d**n m*th*r f*****g revenuers. This is rediculous!

    All I’m trying to do is save time by purchasing a few things here rather than trying to find stores in downtown Denver.

    What moronic m*th*r f*****g statist regime do we live under?

    Oh yeah…I forgot…we’re the only people who actually think this is wrong. The mindless sheeples that vote for the republicrats and the democans think it’s ok to have stupid laws like this.

  86. Stewart Flood Says:

    Oh…and a funny side-note to this. When we were parking outside the store, there was a somewhat disheveled looking guy in a wheel chair bumming money from people. He was, of course, telling people he needed money for food not booze.

    I didn’t give him money (he actually didn’t ask us, but hit up another guy getting out of his car). While we were in the store, he came in—of course—to buy something to drink.

    HE PAID WITH A CREDIT CARD.

    So now the professional bums on the street even have credit cards? And our government, of course, wants to bail out the banks. He probably also gets free government cheese.

    We’ve got to get rid of the government cheeze.

  87. Andy Says:

    “Oh yeah…I forgot…we’re the only people who actually think this is wrong. The mindless sheeples that vote for the republicrats and the democans think it’s ok to have stupid laws like this.”

    Is it still illegal to buy alchohol on Sunday in South Carolina? I always found that to be ironic in Myrtle Beach given all of the bars and strip clubs that are there.

  88. Stewart Flood Says:

    It depends on where you live. We eliminated the mini-bottles a few years ago, which was a major step forward.

    Charleston has a very strange border line and there are literally hundreds of “doughnut holes” where pockets of the county are surrounded by the city.

    In the city, you can’t smoke in bars. You can’t have a bar open past 2am. There are places where right across the street the bars are open until 4am.

  89. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Gene Trosper Says:
      May 16th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Steve LaBianca Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    And Ron Paul garnered over a million votes, massive media attention and the imagination of countless voters who have NEVER voted Libertarian before.

    The LP on the other hand…...

    Mr. Trosper, you just solidified my point. I million votes for Ron Paul DOES NOT transfer over to 1 million votes for the LP candidate, Ron Paul or not. Most primary voters vote very differently than in the general election.

    As I said, I’m not convinced that Barr would do any better that many of the other LP candidates. I give Barr a ceiling of about 1 to 1.2 million votes. The other candidates ceiling would vary from about 300,000 to 1 million.

    Again, this is how I see it, and I personally don’t see the slightly higher potential as worth nominating a conservative (Barr) over a real libertarian.

  90. Stefan Says:

    “Ron Paul, ran a fairly radical, but mostly conciliatory campaign on the transition of where we are, and where we want to be. He was thoroughly trounced by the Republican Party primary and caucus voters.

    Why would you expect the Republicans to support Barr over more principled LP candidates, like Ruwart and Kubby?”

    It seems to me the Ron Paul platform would not satisfy the LP. Barr runs on pretty much the same platform (not so extensive in going on the Fed etc.). Paul did not emphasize the war on drugs every time and in congress he has the medical marijuana bill together with Frank, and a general ending of the war on drugs would take much longer time. Paul is perhaps a bit more radical than Barr, but both believe in federalism (which the radicals like Susan Hogarth and Steve LaBianca do not) and an incremental approach in change.
    The Ron Paul movement grew into much bigger than the LP (he also had an appeal to Greens, Democrats (who believed in big govt. and in process of “evolving”, they joined Paul because of the anti-war appeal etc.) . We know both of them are pro-life, with which radical LP strongly disagree. Paul faces this issue in 1988 as well and am sure he does not want to go though all party infighting as an LP candidate and struggle with LP’s that do not like him and not supportive of him.

    The radicals, who accept an “all or nothing approach”, NO incremental change (like Paul,Barr) should ask themselves why Mary Ruwart has supported Paul ever since 1988. If a “more liberty”, but not “hardcore libertarian” campaign/approach would give people a “false sense of liberty” and even damage the LP (in the long run), e.g. mean a “watered down message” and “compromise with principals” (one has to consider which basic principals as there is not a single definition of libertarianism), neither Paul nor Barr seem to contribute towards liberty? or they contribute towards liberty, but it does not represent “the real thing” (in their reasoning) and give people a “false sense of what liberty means”.

    I listened to a very informative interview in 2004 with LP co-founder David Nolan. In it he mentioned sen. Barry Goldwater as being the modern day political founder of the ideas of the LP. Well Barry Goldwater very strongly believed in “states rights”, federalism throughout his career. You can also read more about it in the new book “Pure Goldwater” by RW Dean and Barry Goldwater Jr (who endorsed Ron Paul).

    I do think “libertarianism” has the tendency to be a more “right wing” politicla belief, while “anarchism” a more “left wing” tendency.

    Personally I do think a Barr-Ruwart ticket would be the ideal in many ways.
    In order to attract the maximum amount of voters for the LP , they could campaign together and also seperately whereby Barr could target more “conservative’ traditionally Republican audiences and Ruwart more “liberal” traditionally Democratic and Green audiences (and radio interviewers), whereby they can empathize their own strength more. Note that Barr can appeal to “liberals” as well, to a lesser extent, and Ruwart also to a “conservatives”, to a lesser extent. On the Nolan chart one could place Barr perhaps somwhere between conservative and libertarian and and Ruwart somewhere between libertarian and liberal…? Many people paint themselves on the top of the Nolan chart, but I am a bit sceptical whether one can do this 100% in reality. Libertarianism is understand in short as “classical liberalism”, which means a tolerance and integration for both “conservative and “liberal” ideas. Also, the average voter have a “simplistic” conservative-liberal scheme, so it is best to go to their level and explain liberarianism as having the ability to integrate both liberal and conservative policies. It makes IMHO no sense to explain it as something “beyond” conservatism and liberalism/progressiveness.

    Barr uses “conservatism” to appeal with “libertarian ideals” to traditional Republican voters. Most people do not even know about the LP and many do not understand “libertarianism” yet. It would also take some time to explain to especially older voters. Young voters can research on the internet etc. Reagan also explained true conservatism as libertarisnism once, so when Barr refer to “conservatism”, he means “fiscal conservatism” especially which means limited/smaller government and more individual rights for many Republicans.

    This year is very crucial to the LP, it can finally make a big breakthrough and achieve much more than 1%, even double digits plus and it has to go for it with a win attitude, otherwise many people will not be inspired. The LP has been in existance for over 3 decades about, yet its best performance was in 1980 with only 1,3 2% about and it has to ask itself with the hunger for a viable third party, why was the Reform Party being able to be successful in getting 19% with a non-politician Perot that were at a time of his campaign dropping out for a while and even the election year thereafter 5% plus. The Reform party also fielded a governor in Minnesota. The LP should do some critical introspection and ask themselves have he not given people the false perception and how to combat this false perception effectively. The best way to combat the imagine of a dope smoking, anarchist party is to nominate a reformed conservative congressman with name recognition and can represent the basic libertarian philosophy of non-interventionism, radical more civil liberties, smaller government (now the only small government party of the 3).

    2008 is do or die in a certain sense for the LP. If it does not use the exceptional chance this year and seize the opportunity and achieve more or less the same as in the past, it may well rename itself to a debating society club from a political party. It should also try to concentrate of a few congressional seats where it stands the best chance and give everything, rather than fielding candidates in too many districts and then see if it can achieve some successes in seats. Senate races will be more difficult. I believe, especially in a 4 party race and very good local candidates (also some of the contenders for the LP nomination?) and ample money it can upset, surprise and win.

  91. Stefan Says:

    “I million votes for Ron Paul DOES NOT transfer over to 1 million votes for the LP candidate, Ron Paul or not. Most primary voters vote very differently than in the general election.

    As I said, I’m not convinced that Barr would do any better that many of the other LP candidates. I give Barr a ceiling of about 1 to 1.2 million votes. The other candidates ceiling would vary from about 300,000 to 1 million”.

    Steve, being a “radical” party (Latin meaning of radix means going to the “root”)
    should the LP not think about a radical aggressive strategy and being different than before, with the braod principles, and propmoting not all, bute the most relevant one’s that affect people the most, e.g. health care, economy, Iraq war,
    privacy (vs. Patriot) act, to a lesser extent medical marjiuana.. If you make the legalization of prostitution, hard drugs, gay marriages your main points in the lection it is a recipe for total disaster and these issues affect the least amount of people, while the first mentioned issues, the msot amount of people, if not all.
    It is really not so difficult to understand.

    Now regarding voter projection:
    Firstly I do believe there were some electronic voter fraud in the primaries in at least certain states in the primaries with regard to Ron Paul. Also consider he fared much better in caucuses than primaries. So I think based on this alone Paul has (much?) more than 1 million votes.

    Then there is also the issue that some Democrats and Independents registered or were too late in some states with Republican only voters, so that you can also count them to Paul’s totals. This is an unknown amount obviously.

    Then there is also the issue of people who wanted to vote for Paul, but voted for Romney, Huckabee or any of the other GOP candidates instead as they thought they were more electable. They probably thought Paul would not last til Super Tuesday, or shortly thereafter, including the astute David Nolan (and Paul himself as a certain stage). ANd look where he is, he is still running and campaigning. There are delegates that voted for Romney, Huckabee etc that now voted for Paul, not McCain. Some people have said they wished they have voted for Paul instead. This also means more votes for Paul at this stage.

    Then there are also even Paul supporters that thought Paul had dropped out, and they would have voted for Paul if they knew he was still in the race. This is all due to the media black-out and false reporting.

    Paul’s message has reached more people all the time.

    ALL this means that Paul represents much much more than 1 million people. It would simply be foolish to put the ceiling to say 1,2 million people. Say maybe 3 million plus?

    Now regarding Barr, one can speculate that not all that voted for Paul would vote for Paul. I do think that most voters for Paul would be inclined to vote for Barr or Ruwart (or SMith), rather than any other Lp candidate, given their close association with Paul. Barr could perhaps get the most votes from Paul supporters?

    It is unknown how many Paul supporters would vote for Baldwin. I think – from what I have read – many of them would vote for Barr if Barr is the LP nominee, otherwise they may vote for Baldwin, especially if a more “liberal”, strong “pro-choice”, Paul critic like Dr. Phillies is elected. (I know Ruwart is personally pro-choice, but she has not made it a big issue, and Barr has also not made his pro-life a big issue, unlike Dr. Phillies who has made PR statements about this).

    Now, I do think that while Barr may not attact as many as Paul from the 1 million we know of, he can “counter-balance” and attract more ‘mainstream” Republican voters, like Romney and Huckabee, and Thompson voters (I do think most Giuliani type voters would vote for McCain). Eeven among McCain voters there have been defections to Paul, in ALaska among the delegates for instance, and they could also vote for Barr. Most of the people supported the war, all or most of the 25-33% anti-war Republicans could vote for Barr AND Barr could also attract voters from GOP who were pro-war, but have doubts now and very dissatisfied with McCain regarding illegal immigration, the constitution, the economy, false promises about smaller government etc. etc.

    COncerning Ruwart, whom I also like as person, she could bring in a lot of women voters Paul could not bring in, and perhaps more minorities and left wing voters than Paul. She may attract these people as VP candidate as well. She may not attract so many traditional conservative Republicans as Barr.

    For this and more reasons I do think – on paper at least – a Barr-Ruwart ticket could prove to be the very best option for the LP and one should think in terms or 3-5 million voters plus, and NOT 1 - 1,2 million only. The more money the Lp can raise, and actively and enthusiastically spread the message, the better and more people it can attract. In Russ Varney with the Barr campaign, the LP has access to a person with national campaign experience (Perot with 19%). A good campaign should also involve some of Ruwart’s people. Who knows, the LP could fare even better than 20%, it may sound extremely optimistic, but with enough money and zeal, even with not a lot of media attention, possible. IMHO certainly possible if the Lp could raise 30,50, 80 million. With a few money bombs and pro-active campaign, it has a lot. Many Paul supporters justly fight with Paul till early September with the RNC, and wait to see what happens. Although remote, there is still a chance Paul might get the nomination (for different reasons I do not want to go into here). If not, and the GOP HQ “reject” him, many Paul supporters would be angered and throw their weight full time behind the LP nomination (if it is Barr-Ruwart) as well as Ron Paul Republicans, Libertarians, Constitutionalists in their local areas.

    SO if the LP can build some substantial momentum till September and then receive more impetus in September till November. You must communicate the message you can win and fight to win. This will also inspire more people to vote their conscience and not for the “lesser of two evils”.

  92. NAMBLA FOR MARY '08 Says:
    1. Kenny Says:
      May 16th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Don’t these Root trolls tire of making themselves look foolish? Fuck off back to your GOP bigots you sad cunts!

    JESUS LOVES YOU KENNY, WE FORGIVE YOU! GOD BLESS MARY AND GOD BLESS CHILD PORN!

  93. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Like all organizations—and this includes PACs—the guy who’s name is on the front door doesn’t always know everything that is being done.

    I guess he can’t wait to fire the jackasses who made him look like such a bozo by funding warmongering antilibertarian Republicans while he was serving as a leader in the LP, then.

    But on another note…a question for Susan: What brand of vodka? Rick and I were figuring out the booze budget for the suite and there are at least twenty brands of vodka in the store.

    Let’s save the bonhomie attempts for after we’re both well drunk. Before is too painful.

  94. Susan Hogarth Says:

    All I’m trying to do is save time by purchasing a few things here rather than trying to find stores in downtown Denver.

    Suggest you stop taking your rage out on poor bums, and just pack the car and travel. Getting arrested would make you a martyr to the cause. But the truth is, no one cares if your trunk is full of booze.

    Grow some ovaries and take charge of your life, man!

  95. Susan Hogarth Says:

    The mindless sheeples that vote for the republicrats and the democans think it’s ok to have stupid laws like this.

    Way to talk about people whose votes we want, Mr. Big Tent.

  96. Kenny Says:

    NAMBLA Root troll, Jesus is dead, just like the chances of your Republicrat hero!

  97. Shawn Levasseur Says:

    Thanks Gene for this article.

    Though hardly a radical Libertarian myself, I still have been trying to wrap my mind around a Barr candidacy, as I’m uncertain about how I’ll be voting at the convention. Hearing from a self proclaimed radical in this manner has been helpful.

    At the very least, it was reassuring to hear from someone acting maturely about differences within the party. The doomsayers on all the various sides seem to get a disproportionate amount of attention.

  98. Stewart Flood Says:

    Susan,

    If my comments had been made in “rage”, I wouldn’t have used asterisks. I was making a point that you clearly missed.

    In case you haven’t noticed, there are mindless sheeples out there. Regardless of anything that we do, there is a certain portion of the electorate who vote for a party simply because their parents did and they were raised a “republican” or a “democrat.”

    You have to be able to understand freedom to vote for it. Sheeples believe that they are already free (they call it being protected), and therefore cannot understand anything we propose to them. If we were to effect change, they’d go along simply because they don’t know how to do anything other than follow whoever is leading.

    But sheeples are not the entire universe of eligible voters. They are just a subset of those who vote. There are also people who claim to be for freedom and against government interference in their lives who actually refuse to vote. Some of these are people that you’d normally think of as being intelligent, yet they act stupidly (and clearly emotionally) by refusing to vote. These people actually disgust me. Sheeples can’t help themselves. These people refuse to.

    There are, of course, those in the other parties who are in leadership positions and work to destroy our freedom. While far from a majority of the electorate, they are dangerous and are in control. Their votes will never be cast for anyone who wants to take their power away.

    There are others—the majority of voters—who vote out of fear and anger against the enemy. To them, one side is right and the other is wrong. They are emotionally attached to the concept of “good” politicians and “bad” politicians and cannot see that at the top, both sides are actually working toward the same goal. The Democrats and Republicans want voters to be afraid of what the other party’s candidates will do.

    While you are certainly at liberty to throw insults like “Grow some ovaries and take charge of your life, man!” or “Way to talk about people whose votes we want, Mr. Big Tent.”, the truth is that you use exactly the same emotional fear mongering tactics that the Republicans and Democrats are famous for.

    You want “purity” and “perfect” libertarian candidates. You try to make people afraid of candidates like Bob Barr, Mike Gravel and Wayne Root by claiming that they are either still Republicans or Democrats.

    You fail to remember that you too were once a member of another party. Your conversion to libertarianism is allowed under your rules, but their’s isn’t. Regardless of what issues you may agree with a candidate on, you use fear tactics to point out what you consider to be their failings.

    Candidates must be emotional about the message to win voters over, but we can’t be emotional about our candidates. Support based on emotion takes us down the same path that the Republicans and Democrats travel.

    You and I disagree on where government reduction should end, but we both agree that we are far beyond anything acceptable and live in an oppressive and statist society.

    I have no emotional attachment to any candidate, even the ones I support. I will accept someone who is working toward the goal of restoring our liberty and stripping government of the many powers they have taken without legitimate cause. I will even consider candidates like Mike Gravel, who is far from libertarian in some areas, but clearly libertarian in others.

    The party needs a candidate who will actually advance the cause and not just “unite the party”—a term taken straight from the tactics manual of Atwater.

    The truth is, you fear success. You fear having any candidate, whether Gravel, Root, Barr, or even your beloved Ruwart actually advance our cause. You want candidates to talk about the message of liberty, yet state quite clearly that you’d rather have the message than win votes that could influence downstream candidates or secure future ballot access.

    You fear losing power. What power is that? The power to be in charge of the debating society where you get to set the rules and say who is libertarian enough to be a member. Wake up Susan. This isn’t a debating society. You are running for an at-large seat on the LNC, yet you don’t want the party to actually be a party. You don’t want freedom, you simply want to talk about freedom.

    I don’t plan on getting drunk in Denver—or even drinking at all—so don’t expect any “bonhomie attempts” from me. I was simply trying to be polite. Your comments clearly indicate that would be a waste of time. That’s unfortunate.

    It’s also unfortunate that you fail to understand where we stand as a party and what our opportunities for success are this year.

    The comments by Gene Trosper were well written and were clearly thought out. He makes the case perfectly for why this needs to be a non-emotional decision by delegates.

  99. Gene Trosper Says:

    # Steve LaBianca Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 12:56 am

    1. Gene Trosper Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Steve LaBianca Says:

    May 16th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    And Ron Paul garnered over a million votes, massive media attention and the imagination of countless voters who have NEVER voted Libertarian before.

    The LP on the other hand…...

    Mr. Trosper, you just solidified my point. I million votes for Ron Paul DOES NOT transfer over to 1 million votes for the LP candidate, Ron Paul or not. Most primary voters vote very differently than in the general election.

    As I said, I’m not convinced that Barr would do any better that many of the other LP candidates. I give Barr a ceiling of about 1 to 1.2 million votes. The other candidates ceiling would vary from about 300,000 to 1 million.

    Again, this is how I see it, and I personally don’t see the slightly higher potential as worth nominating a conservative (Barr) over a real libertarian.

    Thank you for your response, Stephen.

    I am not claiming that 1 million votes for Ron Paul will translate to 1 million for Barr, Kubby, Gravel, Root, Phillies or Ruwart. I was merely showing what is possible with the right candidate and a message that resonates beyond the traditional LP vote base. Ever since 1980, meeting or exceeding 1 million votes has been THE hope and dream of Libertarians. Could you imagine the media coverage? Could you imagine the gigantic boost in morale? Could you imagine being able to have more influence in the “Freedom versus Statism” debate?

    Ron Paul reached out BEYOND Republicans. A Libertarian candidate will have to reach out BEYOND Libertarians. You admit that Bob Barr would likely gain more votes than the other candidates. I will venture to say it’s because Bob Barr will likely resonate with voters more than the alternatives.

    We (radicals and moderates, anarchists and minarchists) CHOSE to join the LP and work within the electoral system as a means of maximizing liberty. Since we have committed to that, why not do what we can to move our political system toward the right direction?

  100. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stewart,

    You write:

    “Oh…and a funny side-note to this. When we were parking outside the store, there was a somewhat disheveled looking guy in a wheel chair bumming money from people. He was, of course, telling people he needed money for food not booze.”

    Great, I get to pull out MY political bum story!

    A few years ago, I was at a local Green Party meeting (I interface with those guys when possible—I think I was there to try to set up a debate between one of our candidates and one of theirs or something). It was in a little coffeehouse in a part of town that’s not bad, but that verges on crackhouse/panhandler territory.

    Anyway, we’re sitting there at a table (it was their local executive committee and two or three other people), and this guy shuffles in, walks over and launches into his sob story.

    So, how do the Great Socialist Protectors of the Poor react? The head cheese turns around and says “we’re trying to talk here—GO AWAY.” Guy shuffles off, walks out.

    I followed him out and talked with him for a minute. He had a great story. This was at the peak of the West Nile Virus mini-scare, and he said his cousin in Illinois had died of it and that he was trying to get together enough money to buy a suit for the funeral. His story was so good, I had to give him $5. It didn’t hurt to be a Libertarian doing so outside a large street-facing window with all those deeply caring Greens who’d just chased the guy off looking out.

  101. Stewart Flood Says:

    That’s a good story. The guy we ran into was obviously running a business. It is much more likely that your’s was legitimately in trouble.

    I’ve had better run-ins than the one we had yesterday. This guy was just so obvious that it shocked me when he actually paid with a credit card. That floored me. He got his booze, then went outside to make more money.

  102. mdh Says:

    Tom,
    The point is clear – those who’d have the government rob us to do a job don’t want to do the job themselves.

  103. kevintheelder Says:

    Let an outsider comment. “what exactly would he be “damaging”? Our constant internal infighting? That is the only thing we are truly successful in spreading the word about. Otherwise I’m assuming you are talking about the philosophy o libertarianism, which almost no one in America has actually heard of, or maybe you are afraid he will poll less than Badnarik’s 0.3% of the vote, or maybe you are talking about our party’s vast sea of donors, volunteers and voters?”

    Looooong ago, I was anti-establishment (press & government) and Conservativism was the best alternative for surviving the Liberal juggernaut. There were many of us pre through Goldwater ‘fanatics’ that needed something. I certainly don’t like its end result but it slowed the tide. What little I know of Libertarianism tells me it ‘might’ be the best way, but like the above insider noted, people like me no so very little, and it would seem that you’re more involved with infighting than getting your message out to lure me in with facts of what you stand for and why. I suspect that you’ll be forever on a merry go round. With Bob Barr, maybe you should be concerned with telling the world your message, and that you’re backing him in spite of your differences.

    It would seem that the alternative is to continue leaving messages between yourselves.

    Regards, my friends.

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