Don’t blame me! I voted for Mary Ruwart.
I donated to her campaign, too! (Full disclosure: I donated to Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root as well.)
I don’t know for sure what the future holds for the Libertarian Party. Some people are excited to have Bob Barr as the nominee and think he’s our silver bullet for success, while others think that nominating a recent former Republican with a conservative voting record in Congress will destroy the Libertarian Party.
While I gather that hundreds if not thousands of Americans have strong opinions on this, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the vast majority of the nearly 300 million Americans couldn’t care less who the Libertarian Party nominee is or what the Libertarian Party is about.
I’m not saying that’s a good thing. I’m just saying that’s the way things are until a lot more people get involved. The Libertarian Party is quite small and has only a small impact on public policy, and I think that will be the situation we’ll find ourselves in come January 2009 as well, despite some of the bold predictions of record success or eminent demise. It will take lots of hard work on the right things to change that, but that’s for a future post.
Back to the Mary Ruwart campaign.
Mary jumped into the race at the urging of quite a few people (including myself). On just a shoestring budget of about $20,000, she came within about 4% of winning the Libertarian Party nomination for President against a former Congressman who had former billionaire Ross Perot’s presidential campaign manager, Russ Verney, working for him.
Even though Mary didn’t win the nomination, I think by being in the race she forced Bob Barr, even if only temporarily, to lean a lot more libertarian than he might have otherwise.
The moderate reformist faction of the Libertarian Party got their way at the Denver 2008 convention, but just barely. And, we’ll all get to see how this plays out at the polls in just a few months.
Again, the votes were close in Denver plus the turnout was quite low and I expect the same in the near future. That tells me a small dedicated effort can still quite easily affect the direction of the Libertarian Party.
I recently contributed $200 to Mary Ruwart’s campaign (on top of $500 I previously donated) to help pay off some of her debt which is still above $6,000. If you’d like to see Mary run for president again in 2012, or at least show your appreciation to her and encourage real libertarians to run in the future, please visit her website and make a contribution of $500 or $200 or whatever you can do: http://votemary2008.com/
If by next Monday Mary raises $6,000, I’ll shave my head bald again as it was in 2002 when we had a radical platform. Please help. People are complaining about the little hair I’ve got.