Steve G.

Barr vs. Paul On The Issues: Barr Comes Out Ahead

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Personal Responsibility, Politics on June 16, 2008 at 4:29 am

After reading a great hue and cry about my comments supporting our Party’s ticket in 2008, many people compared Bob Barr unfavorably to other Libertarians (as well as Ron Paul) on a whole host of issues, including DOMA and immigration.  So let’s look at the individual candidates and see who is closer, today, to the Libertarian Party platform on two issues often invoked by self-described “principled purists” when attacking the Libertarian nominee.

Immigration

The LP platform says that “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.”  Where do Bob Barr and Ron Paul stand on this?

Barr says that “we must be aggressive in securing our borders while at the same time, vigilantly fighting the nanny state that seeks to coddle even those capable of providing for their own personal prosperity.”  He proposes an approach identical to the LP platform — maintaining control over the borders to allow peaceful people in, while denying entry to criminals.

Ron Paul, in contrast, favors the imposition of visas, including demanding that federal bureaucrats “track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa.”  He also complains that open borders will “allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the [arch-conservative] Heritage Foundation.  This is insanity.”  He advocates an end to citizenship by birth, a concept of American law since the beginning of the Republic.  He also ran one of the most anti-immigrant television advertisements in the Republican primary.

Most Libertarian candidate of the two on immigration: Bob Barr.

The Defense of Marriage Act, Marriage Equality, and Sexual Freedom

Bob Barr co-sponsored and authored the Defense of Marriage Act.  Ron Paul supports DOMA and declares that he would vote for it in its entirety.

The Libertarian Party platform says that “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.”

Barr has advocated a repeal of the DOMA provisions that force the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriages performed by states that do recognize them.  In his nomination speech at the Libertarian National Convention, he declared that “The Defense of Marriage Act, insofar as it provided the federal government a club to club down the rights of law abiding citizens has been abused, misused and should be repealed. And I will work to repeal that.”  This position moves the federal stance on this issue significantly closer to the Libertarian Party platform.

Ron Paul, in contrast, has declared that “I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act… to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a ‘same sex’ marriage license.”  That’s directly opposed to the Libertarian Platform.

On the California same-sex marriage ruling, Barr released a press release applauding the California Supreme Court’s ruling, stating that “The decision in California is an illustration of how this principle of states’ powers should work.”

In contrast, Ron Paul has declared his undying opposition to same-sex marriage in his own state (in opposition to the LP platform), stating that “If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage,” effectively nullifying the equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.

Worse still, Paul strongly supports state governments as sex police, declaring on the floor of the House that “the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards” — a position that no serious libertarian could possibly take.

Most Libertarian candidate of the two on these issues: Bob Barr.  By far.

Now, you may be wondering why I am focusing on these two issues.  It’s mostly because so many purists for Paul have attacked the LP (and Barr) on the basis of his positions on immigration and DOMA, while ignoring their own preferred candidate’s positions.

Many have lectured me, declaring that “conservatism isn’t libertarianism” and other 50 cent cliches, while ignoring the fact that their own ideal candidate is more conservative on these issues — to the point of citing conservative groups like Heritage on hot-button social issues.

I could continue comparing the records of the two candidates in this regard on many more issues, and on most of them, Barr will not come out waving the white flag based on the Libertarian Party platform.

In short, if you’re proposing that Ron Paul is the antidote to conservatism as represented by Bob Barr, you need a remedial course in the positions of the two candidates.  It’s time for Ron Paul partisans to drop their “revolution” pipe dream and take an honest look at the Libertarian Party’s candidate and positions — while also honestly acknowledging their own tone-deafness on many areas of personal liberty crucial not only to American libertarians, but all American citizens.

  1. Very well then, I’ll concede Barr’s superiority on those two minor-level issues. However, when we go to top issues, we see Paul’s libertarianism outshine Barr’s. For example, whereas Paul would legalize competing currencies to help abolish the Fed, Barr thinks a magic wand is required. Whereas Paul believes in replacing the income tax with nothing, Barr wishes to replace the income tax with a national sales tax. Whereas Paul would reinstate of foreign policy of non-intervention and withdraw from internationalist organizations and the 730 military bases around the world, Barr scoffed at immediate withdrawal from Iraq and wished to help Columbia fight their civil war as recently as a year ago. Whereas Paul believes in ending the drug war completely at the federal level, Barr refused to commit to legalizing hard drugs. Yeah, gay rights and immigration are way more important than monetary policy, economics, foreign policy, and drug legalization.

  2. You call them “minor,” yet they’re both issues with large constituencies in the United States and Libertarian Party, and issues that impact more people than the war on drugs, or military bases, or “internationalist organizations.”

    They’re also the two clubs most frequently used against Barr.

    As for prioritizing rights (not just gay rights, but sexual rights in general), I would say that most Americans (and perhaps even most Libertarians) would prioritize their own sexual freedoms over gold-buggery, drug legalization, etc.

    Immigration, of course, is a central tenet of economics — another point you miss.

    However, the greatest irony is that you’re doing the very same thing you condemn Bob Barr for supposedly doing — proposing that people accept “the least of a number of evils.”

    That, more than anything else, underscores the “Ron Paul is a pure libertarian” thing to be a fraud.

    You have your own priorities — you have prioritized fringe issues like the gold standard and getting out of the United Nations over more mainstream economic and personal liberty issues like immigration and sexual freedom. That’s cool. Just don’t pretend that you’re “more libertarian.” You’re just pursuing a statist who happens to agree with you on a couple of your pet issues.

    Ironically, if people who were most concerned about immigration and sexual freedom focused on those, to the detriment of everything else — effectively emulating your approach — many Libertarians would be Democrats.

    *Real* principle is standing up for everyone’s rights, all the time. Which is why I support the Libertarian ticket, not the far-right-fringe Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin tickets.

  3. Well said, Mr. Miller.

  4. Since when was Barf running against Ron Paul?

  5. Kevin Barrett on barf:

    “Barr opposes impeaching the Constitution-shredding Cheney regime; Barrett demands impeachment, conviction, and treason trials. Barr is willing to keep the U.S. spending more on the military than every other nation on Earth combined; Barrett wants to end the empire, return to a defend-the-borders posture, and cut military spending by at least 90 percent. Barr will not endorse Ron Paul’s call to abolish the private money monopoly known as the Federal Reserve; Barrett strongly supports abolishing the Fed. Barr is unwilling to end the bogus “war on drugs” and the even more bogus “war on terror”; Barrett will work to expose and end both of these horrific, government-bloating hoaxes.

    Barr could become a real Libertarian — and a force in the presidential race — just by adding an “-ett” to his name.”

    http://www.madison.com/tct/opinion/letters/291455

  6. Let’s not forget that Barr is the one who authored the DOMA. While I have said that I disagree with Ron Paul on a few issues, I believe that Miller is mistaken on this front . . . Ron Paul doesn’t oppose civil unions. If the traditional definition of “marriage” is one man and one woman, who cares? Ron Paul has said repeatedly that is none of the government’s business in regulating private behavior. Can Bob Barr, the author of DOMA say the same thing. If he can or has, I have yet to hear it.

    Also, here is the quote, expanded which Miller so conveniently truncates

    “Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states’ rights – rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.”

    Paul indicates that he is inclined to believe (at least from this quote) that sodomy laws are ridiculous. Has Bob Barr said this?

    Secondly “social matters like sex”, is clearly not private behavior . . . social behavior is “public”, in society, and not private.

    Ron Paul is clearly only addressing constitutional issues in the quote Miller cites, but Ron Paul has stated many times, in speeches, writings etc that individuals have the right to privacy, regardless of whether or not the constitution addresses it, and that individuals have rights to free association . . . as any libertarian should believe. Can Barr say the same? I highly doubt it.

    Unless it can be shown where Barr says these rights exist regardless of what level of government he is speaking about, Barr has yet to prove he is a libertarian.

    On other issues, Ron Paul has Barr beat hands down from the libertarian perspective, such as war, drugs, money, taxes, entitlements, federal spending. To borrow Miller’s phrase, “I could continue comparing the records of the two candidates” but the records are clear, and Ron Paul’s is much more consistently libertarian than Barr . . . and much more believable as he has held his libertarian beliefs for over 30 years. Barr, somewhat less than 3 years, if such a rash of epiphany’s over 3 years can be believed, which I think cannot.

  7. Barr says that “we must be aggressive in securing our borders while at the same time, vigilantly fighting the nanny state that seeks to coddle even those capable of providing for their own personal prosperity.” He proposes an approach identical to the LP platform — maintaining control over the borders to allow peaceful people in, while denying entry to criminals.

    Barr’s position, other than quoting the 2006 LP Platform:

    “# Resolving this issue will be a challenge for America as it means that we must be aggressive in securing our borders while at the same time, vigilantly fighting the nanny state that seeks to coddle even those capable of providing for their own personal prosperity.
    # Until all governments are willing to take a unified front to confront this problem, it is the duty of the federal government to secure our borders from criminals, terrorists and those seeking to take advantage of the American taxpayer. ”

    I see nothing about him being in favor of ending immigration quotas or employer sanctions.

  8. The portion of the plank Barr quotes:

    platform of the Libertarian Party paints a bright and accurate picture regarding the issue of immigration: “Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure. This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.”

    The full 2006 plank

    IV.1 Immigration

    The Issue: Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure. This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.

    The Principle: The legitimate function and obligation of government to protect the lives, rights and property of its citizens, requires awareness of and control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demands that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.

    Solutions: Borders will be secure, with free entry to those who have demonstrated compliance with certain requirements. The terms and conditions of entry into the United States must be simple and clearly spelled out. Documenting the entry of individuals must be restricted to screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. It is the obligation of the prospective immigrant to demonstrate compliance with these requirements. Once effective immigration policies are in place, general amnesties will no longer be necessary.

    Transitional Action: Ensure immigration requirements include only appropriate documentation, screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. Simplifying the immigration process and redeployment of surveillance technology to focus on the borders will encourage the use of regular and monitored entry points, thus preventing trespass and saving lives. End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the country illegally. Repeal all measures that punish employers for hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.

    Notice how leaving out those parts creates a different impression?

  9. he declared that “The Defense of Marriage Act, insofar as it provided the federal government a club to club down the rights of law abiding citizens has been abused, misused and should be repealed. And I will work to repeal that.”

    Glad for the last part if true, but it has not been abused or misused. Interviews with Barr and speeches he made at the time the law was proposed make clear that it has been used in the way intended.

  10. Glad for the last part if true, but it has not been abused or misused. Interviews with Barr and speeches he made at the time the law was proposed make clear that it has been used in the way intended.

    Unless he’s come to his senses and now sees the law itself as abusive. Hey — it //could// happen.

  11. Worse still, Paul strongly supports state governments as sex police, declaring on the floor of the House that “the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards” — a position that no serious libertarian could possibly take.

    I’m sure that explains Bob Barr’s take on Genarlow Wilson.

    http://www.conservative.org/columnists/barr/070704bb.htm

    That’s July 4, 2007.

    “Wilson committed acts that the people of Georgia had determined through their lawful, elected representatives across the state—Republican and Democrat, black and white, rural and urban—should be punished. Whether one agrees or not with that decision or with the subsequent one not to soften the law retroactively, both decisions were arrived at lawfully and properly”

    Wilson v. State was a Georgia court case brought about to appeal the aggravated child molestation conviction of Genarlow Wilson (born April 8, 1986).

    Wilson had been convicted of aggravated child molestation because, at the age of seventeen, he had engaged in oral sex with a consenting fifteen-year-old at a New Year’s Eve party. Wilson was African American and the fifteen-year-old was white.

    At the time of his conviction, provisions for similarity in age that allowed underage consent to be taken into account were only applicable to vaginal sex. Because the case involved oral sex the consent of the girl was not at that time legally relevant.

    On October 26, 2007, the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that Wilson’s sentence was cruel and unusual (“grossly disproportionate”). He was released later that day, after serving over 2 years of his 10 year prison sentence in the Al Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia.

  12. The LP platform says that “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.” Where do Bob Barr and Ron Paul stand on this?

    While I can’t defend Ron Paul on this issue, I too would like to know where Barr stands on this, since it is not the part of the plank he quotes.

  13. On the California same-sex marriage ruling, Barr released a press release applauding the California Supreme Court’s ruling, stating that “The decision in California is an illustration of how this principle of states’ powers should work.”

    Nice press release. It is not very truthful about DOMA, however.

    http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2008/04/bob-barr-feels-heat-so-he-lies.html

  14. You call them “minor,” yet they’re both issues with large constituencies in the United States and Libertarian Party, and issues that impact more people than the war on drugs, or military bases, or “internationalist organizations.”

    I would submit that the war on drugs, as well as the taxpayer money spent on the military, the blowback of terrorism and double-blowback of privacy destruction affect everyone.

  15. Steve, your myopic support of Ron Paul illustrates the myopia and double standards I am illustrating perfectly.

    Ron Paul doesn’t oppose civil unions.

    Firstly, I’ve seen no evidence that this is true.

    Secondly, “civil unions” are a form of sexual segregation, no different than segregated schools.

    Thirdly, “civil unions” are in opposition to the Libertarian Party platform.

    Fourthly, DOMA as Ron Paul supports it (and Bob Barr now opposes it) prevents the federal government from recognizing “civil unions” for purposes of taxation, insurance, immigration, etc.

    If the traditional definition of “marriage” is one man and one woman, who cares?

    All of us who are taxed to make “marriage” happen, who are not permitted to access it simply by dint of our sexual orientation, for starters.

    Ron Paul has said repeatedly that is none of the government’s business in regulating private behavior.

    Yet he continues to support laws where government defines “marriage” and also has proposed laws that would restore “sodomy laws” to the political landscape.

    What he says and what he does are two different things.

    Can Bob Barr, the author of DOMA say the same thing. If he can or has, I have yet to hear it.

    Because you haven’t been listening. Barr’s been working hard for the ACLU on privacy issues, while Ron Paul has been introducing legislation to restore “sodomy laws.”

    Paul indicates that he is inclined to believe (at least from this quote) that sodomy laws are ridiculous.

    Who cares what his “inclination to believe” is, when he’s introducing laws to restore those laws? It’s the policy, not the “feeling,” that counts.

    Secondly “social matters like sex”, is clearly not private behavior . . . social behavior is “public”, in society, and not private.

    That’s the most laughable bit of myopic apologia I’ve read yet, and underscores the sheer delusion to be found in the hard-core pro-Paul camp.

    Ron Paul’s law was designed to overturn the Supreme Court’s “Lawrence vs. Texas” ruling that overturned the “sodomy laws” of Texas (and every other state) and established a constitutional right to sexual privacy.

    The genesis of Lawrence vs. Texas was two men, who were arrested by police *in the privacy of their own home* for having consensual sexual relations in violation of Texas law banning same-sex relations.

    It had absolutely *nothing* to do with “public activities.” The law was used to kick in the doors of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case and arrest the two partners and convict them for sexual activity IN THEIR OWN HOME.

    And Ron Paul supported the sodomy law and declared the Constitution didn’t guarantee their right to privacy (I guess that pesky Fourth Amendment isn’t in his copy). He also asserted that the State of Texas had the right to regulate their own private consensual sexual activity IN THEIR OWN HOME.

    This is fact.

    Ron Paul is clearly only addressing constitutional issues in the quote Miller cites

    Ron Paul is ignoring the pieces of the Constitution he doesn’t like — the fourth and fourteenth amendments — and is justifying his own position that the state government should serve as the sex police.

    Ron Paul has stated many times, in speeches, writings etc that individuals have the right to privacy, regardless of whether or not the constitution addresses it, and that individuals have rights to free association . .

    Speeches don’t matter.

    Policy and votes matter.

    Ron Paul’s policy and votes indicate a right-wing conservative Republican who believes that state government “should regulate social issues like sex.”

    Ron Paul’s policy and votes indicate a right-wing conservative position of anti-gay discrimination in marriage, adoption, and military service — in opposition to the Libertarian Party platform.

    Ron Paul’s policy and votes indicate a right-wing conservative position seeking to restore “state sodomy laws.”

    All of those positions are opposed to the Libertarian platform and Bob Barr opposes all of those positions. Period.

    Unless it can be shown where Barr says these rights exist regardless of what level of government he is speaking about, Barr has yet to prove he is a libertarian.

    As an officer in the LP’s primary organization on these issues, I can say two things:

    1) Barr has proven himself on these issues in his platform;

    2) You’re completely misinformed on the issues — to the point of self-deception — to make you feel good about your guy.

    And that’s the thing. Demanding purity when you’re willing to sell the rights of other Americans down the river for your guy Ron Paul is despicable and doesn’t put you in a position to critique others’ “principles.”

  16. Bob Barr’s take on Genarlow Wilson

    What’s Ron Paul’s take on Genarlow Wilson?

  17. What’s Ron Paul’s take on Genarlow Wilson?

    Dunno. Barr’s, however, is published, and seems to be exactly what you characterized as “a position that no serious libertarian could possibly take”.

  18. Ron Paul doesn’t oppose civil unions.

    Firstly, I’ve seen no evidence that this is true.

    I believe this was in a speech/ Q and A at Google HQ

  19. Speeches don’t matter.

    Policy and votes matter.

    If that’s the case, that does not make the case well for Barr.

  20. Ron Paul’s policy and votes indicate a right-wing conservative position seeking to restore “state sodomy laws.”

    All of those positions are opposed to the Libertarian platform and Bob Barr opposes all of those positions. Period.

    He is, as far as I can tell, in favor of state sodomy laws, judging by his opinion on Genarlow vs. Wilson.

  21. Miller: You make lots of statements about Paul with nothing to back them up.
    What Paul says is that the federal government should have nothing to do with marriage and that marriage is a religious matter.

  22. On the contrary, Brian backs what he says up with links.

    You can argue that the links are selective, but he’s trying to make a point.

    So far, it seems that he’s not really backing up the part of his point which involves defending Barr as much as he is the part about questioning Ron Paul:

    for instance, see our exchange on Genarlow Wilson to date.

  23. “As for prioritizing rights (not just gay rights, but sexual rights in general), I would say that most Americans (and perhaps even most Libertarians) would prioritize their own sexual freedoms over gold-buggery, drug legalization, etc.”

    First of all, gays consist of a mere 2% of the population, whereas the economy affects 99% of the population. Second, I’m sure the ‘right’ to have a marriage license is lower on most people’s list than how much value the dollar is worth. Surely you realize that heterosexuals with a stake in the dollar are a larger demographic that gays.

    “However, the greatest irony is that you’re doing the very same thing you condemn Bob Barr for supposedly doing — proposing that people accept “the least of a number of evils.”

    That, more than anything else, underscores the “Ron Paul is a pure libertarian” thing to be a fraud.”

    No, you were dong that the somehow prove that barr was more libertarian than Paul. I merely beat you at your own game. Also, you have been caught red-handed with regard to marriage, since Paul said in the June GOP debate that marriage should be a private institution, significantly more libertarian that Barr. You claim that Barr’s superior stance on immigration makes him better on economics, but Paul’s promise to legalize competing currencies and end the income tax clear puts this idea to rest. Obviously Paul was a pure enough libertarian to have been nominated during the radicals’ peak during the 80s, whereas Barr was barely able to win in a Libertarian Party with reformers on the rise. It would also seem that you are the pot calling the kettle black, since you couldn’t even fathom private water and flood control.

    “It’s time for Ron Paul partisans to drop their “revolution” pipe dream and take an honest look at the Libertarian Party’s candidate and positions ”

    Is this the same pipe dream that got more votes that the Libertarian Party’s best candidate?

  24. “Hugh,” ignoring your incorrect statistics for the moment, Libertarians don’t prioritize the rights of other people based on what proportion of the population they represent.

    Principled Libertarians understand that rights are rights. They don’t pooh-pooh the natural rights of others based on how many of them they are, and they don’t do things to undermine the rights of others.

    Using your “test,” Dennis Kucinich is as libertarian as Ron Paul because Kucinich is libertarian on social issues but not economic issues (just as Paul is only libertarian on some economic issues, but not social issues).

    I prefer a higher standard, and guys like you can hardly cite “principle” when critiquing others.

    As for the number of “votes” Ron Paul received, they were meaningless primary “votes.” All wasted, alas. Ron Paul, when he was on the presidential ticket in 1988, almost certainly received fewer votes than more libertarian follow-up candidates with the LP — and probably will be outperformed by Bob Barr in 2008 as well.

  25. Let’s watch Brian Miller contradict himself:
    Here he is explaining why gay issues are more important than monetary policy:
    “You call them “minor,” yet they’re both issues with large constituencies in the United States and Libertarian Party, and issues that impact more people than the war on drugs, or military bases, or “internationalist organizations.””

    And here he is when confronted with being proven wrong:
    “libertarians don’t prioritize the rights of other people based on what proportion of the population they represent.”

    I’m not prioritizing rights. Everyone has their key issues. Mine are monetary policy, foreign policy, and gun control. Yours are immigration and gay rights. I am merely arguing that from a strategic standpoint, it would make sense to emphasize the issues the affect the most Americans.

    Also, your Dennis Kucinich comment made no sense. Kucinich is libertarian on drug use and civil liberties, but not on affirmative action, marriage, or abortion. Paul is libertarian on drug use, civil liberties, and affirmative action. Paul beats Kucinich on social issues. And since Paul is libertarian on all major economic issues spare immigration, he outflanks Kucinich on that too.

    “I prefer a higher standard, and guys like you can hardly cite “principle” when critiquing others.”

    Sounds like someone here is eating sour grapes.

    “As for the number of “votes” Ron Paul received, they were meaningless primary “votes.” All wasted, alas. Ron Paul, when he was on the presidential ticket in 1988, almost certainly received fewer votes than more libertarian follow-up candidates with the LP — and probably will be outperformed by Bob Barr in 2008 as well.”

    Are you suggesting that primary votes mean less than general election votes? Both count for only one person, meaning that Paul has at least 1.1 million supporters, and that’s just in the Republican Party. Who knows how many more supporters are independents, Greens, Constitutionalists, Democrats, Libertarians, and anarchists. Any way you cut it, Paul still has more support than any Libertarian nominee has ever had. BTW, Paul’s 1988 showing was the party’s third best, only outshadowed by Clark 80 and Browne 96. Whether Barr can beat >1.1 million or not remains to be seen.

  26. Are you suggesting that primary votes mean less than general election votes?

    Absolutely. Primary “votes” mean less, since they’re simply nods to a private political party to choose an individual as a nominee for office of that private organization.

    Real votes — either directly for federal and state officers, or indirectly for electors — have much more validity and meaning.

    That a million Republicans want Ron Paul to be their party’s nominee means very little. The general election is what counts.

    Paul’s 1988 showing was the party’s third best, only outshadowed by Clark 80 and Browne 96

    If Barr gets a similar total to Browne 1996 (as present polling data suggests), he’ll have had more real electoral impact than Paul ever had.

    Regardless, even if you accept your dodgy thesis that primary “votes” = real votes, Ron Paul’s “revolution” is barely statistical noise in the general electorate. While I don’t intend to bash my own party, claiming “success” due to a 30% “outperformance” of the Libertarian presidential candidate’s best-ever performance is elevating oneself with faint praise.

    That you cannot even do that with real votes, but rather have to talk about Republican party primary votes, dulls said “revolution” even more.

    And to the degree that people are conflating Ron Paul conservatism with real libertarianism, any success in messaging he has is detrimental to our efforts to reach mainstream people who think that racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, border-closing, etc. is wrong. It makes the term “libertarian” appealing only to the teeny-tiny zany fringe right in American politics, rather than the broad center who represent the vast majority of voters.

  27. “Absolutely. Primary “votes” mean less, since they’re simply nods to a private political party to choose an individual as a nominee for office of that private organization.

    Real votes — either directly for federal and state officers, or indirectly for electors — have much more validity and meaning.

    That a million Republicans want Ron Paul to be their party’s nominee means very little. The general election is what counts.”

    Obviously they would want Paul to be the next president if they wanted him to be their nominee. Your trying to say that he has less support simply because he ran under the GOP label doesn’t make sense.

    “If Barr gets a similar total to Browne 1996 (as present polling data suggests), he’ll have had more real electoral impact than Paul ever had.”

    That’s nonsense, though. Browne had less than half as many supporters in 96 as Paul has currently. Paul, unlike Barr or Browne, had access to several debates, in which he won the subsequent text polls. It is also nonsensical considering that Barr is trying to ride on Paul’s coattails, something that someone with a larger impact would not do.

    “Regardless, even if you accept your dodgy thesis that primary “votes” = real votes, Ron Paul’s “revolution” is barely statistical noise in the general electorate. While I don’t intend to bash my own party, claiming “success” due to a 30% “outperformance” of the Libertarian presidential candidate’s best-ever performance is elevating oneself with faint praise.”

    If Paul’s showing deserves faint praise, than Barr’s eventual showing deserves no praise.

    “And to the degree that people are conflating Ron Paul conservatism with real libertarianism, any success in messaging he has is detrimental to our efforts to reach mainstream people who think that racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, border-closing, etc. is wrong. It makes the term “libertarian” appealing only to the teeny-tiny zany fringe right in American politics, rather than the broad center who represent the vast majority of voters.”

    I agree with you about confusing conservatism with libertarianism. However, the Paul campaign never advocated racism, homophobia, or anti-semitism, so I would check with a doctor to see if you suffer from schizophrenia. Also, you well know that Paul by his own admission attracted supporters from across the political spectrum, making the fight between Nader, Barr, and Baldwin for his supporters possible, so don’t try to say that all of Paul’s supporters are far-rightists.

  28. […] one hand, a member of the LP, speaking out on any controversial issue, can expect a cacophony of responses to that issue… ranging from how principled and brave he […]

  29. […] ticket in 2008, many people compared Bob Barr unfavorably to other Libertarians as well as Ron Pahttps://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/16/barr-vs-paul-on-the-issues-barr-comes-out-ahead/Supreme Court gives license to kill – San Francisco ChronicleThey also overlooked these words, […]

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