Steve G.

The Barr is closed, the W.A.R. is over

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics on September 13, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Unless some major uproar takes place between now and 51 days from now — and in Libertarian politics it seems there has been a major uproar every 20 minutes or so for the past week and a half — I do not plan to comment publicly any further on the LP’s Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root ticket until at least Election Day. I have made up my mind about the ticket, and to engage in further carping would be counterproductive. This is not to say the efforts of those in the LP who are working to replace Barr are “carping”; just that since I have no official role, my own input will not help anyone much.

For those who wish to see Barr off the ballot and a more palatable candidate inserted, I wish you luck. For those who have decided to continue to back Barr despite all the hullaballoo, I wish you luck as well. In the end, this presidential campaign is about expanding the libertarian cause, and I hope any sincere effort at doing so will be fruitful.

Despite my fears last weekend that I might not be long for the LP, I have actually become more committed to it over the past few days. I see a lot of good folks trying their best to deal with difficult realities, and to work through genuine differences on approach and philosophy. So I will be sticking around, and after the election is over, I hope to help re-establish the LP of the District of Columbia. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I am not a leader — I’ve discovered throughout my career that I’m bad at running the show, though I am a fine lieutenant. I again offer my help to any credible libertarian effort that could use it.

While I am sticking with the LP, I also have worked through my concerns about the Boston Tea Party and gotten involved with it as well. (I expect to vote for the BTP’s Charles Jay/Thomas Knapp ticket in November, though I always reserve the right to change my mind right up until I cast my wasted vote.) I do not see the LP and BTP as competitors but as complements. I do not feel the need to restrict myself to one favorite food, favorite film, or even favorite religion, so why should I feel bound to support only one political party? The goal is the expansion of freedom, not the triumph of a faction. I am favorably disposed to Dr. George Phillies‘s new Liberty For America organization as well.

I admit to early skepticism about the BTP. When I thought about it, the only reasons were that it was tiny and new, and the LP was long established. But those who first heard about the “Livingroom Party” in December 1971 must have found it tiny and new as well, and I expect more than a few felt sheepish about casting their votes for John Hospers, on the ballot in two states. Is that much different from Charles Jay in 2008, on the ballot in at least four?

It was perhaps fate that led me to start reading “Radicals For Capitalism” by Brian Doherty (a.k.a. Mr. Angela Keaton) this week. As a reasonably bright fellow who has a hard time getting his head around theory and philosophy, I am finding it very helpful in understanding the philosophical roots of what we, and I, believe. So until the election, I will stick to my studies (and to my IPR reporting and LFV commenting), and leave the LP political battles to the warriors.

  1. Smart thinking.

  2. Brian Doherty is married to Angela Keaton? I did not know that. Interesting little tidbit.

    I agree that really the most productive thing that can be done now is to a) support downticket candidates like Mike Munger, and b) start looking beyond this election to the future of the LP and the libertarian movement. the 2010 LNC will be crucial to the future of the party. My hopes aren’t too high, though. Troofers vs. closet Republicans vs. statist centrists, all apparently incapable of building up the party. Ugh.

  3. Yes, Angela is married to Brian. Since she’s become famous, maybe wikipedia or LPedia should have a biography on her. (I like Gholston’s idea, but every time I read LPedia, I think of other words involving the root “ped” for some reason.)

    The Boston Tea Party is on the ballot now in three states, Tennessee thanks in part to Steve Trinward, Florida thanks to yeoman’s effort by John Wayne Smith, Darcy, Charles, and others, and Colorado thanks to Wes Pinchot and Dan Kilo, among others. I actually haven’t heard anything about Utah, where the Personal Choice Party was supposed to get him on the ballot. Richard Winger’s chart doesn’t seem to speak to this point.

    Even with three, it is still one more than the LP had for its first presidential nominee. So, an honorable beginning. There are now more than 400 people interested in the party on Facebook, and quite a few hundred who are members of the party. I think it’s here to stay.

    Which, as Peter says, does not need to take anything away from the LP. The LP could become successful, ethical, principled, and win elections. If it became just two of those things, ethical and principled, I would be interested in joining it. And, I think those two things would also be needed before it became successful or won lots of elections.

    But, if it does not, it need not be the only basket with eggs in it. I really like Peter’s idea of hedging his bets. Or doubling down on libertarian parties.

  4. In his message about “snubgate”, Charles Jay said something about being on in four states. I’m not sure which the fourth is, but I’m pretty sure it is not Utah.

  5. Well it’s a mystery to me. Do tell if you find out which one.

  6. The press release on Tennessee says Louisiana, but I think the people who were working on the BTP ballot access there went to work for putting Ron Paul on the ballot instead. Anyway, I have not seen anything to confirm Louisiana. But I am kinda out of touch.

  7. I might just follow your lead, Peter. Too many books waiting to be read, and all this third party shit is drowning them out. Sucking the friggin’ life out of me!

  8. This sums it up, the truth the Barrflies don’t want to see, hear or acknowledge:

  9. Meanwhile, in response to the remove Barr motion, as covered at

    I receive an email from Andrew Davis saying
    “There is no truth to those claims. Barr will not be removed.”

    Assuredly, the claims that there is such a motion are true.
    Like the other motions, it appears not to be getting much progress yet.

    Apparently the notion that the staff should not involve itself in party politics, dead since Mr. Cory used the front page of the April LP News to shill for the candidate who later hired him for his campaign, has taken another lethal wound.

  10. […] who will be one of two Libertarians on the New Hampshire ballot unless a lawsuit throws him off, says that “the notion that the [LPHQ] staff should not involve itself in party politics, dead […]

  11. Unfortunately, ‘Radicals’ is very misleading and misses a lot of the key stuff. He simply didn’t research with the activists. The LP historian was never consulted. Vince Miller said his account of ISIL is bizarre and he seems unaware that there has been a Libertarian movement in America complete with pledge since before the Revolution. What the LP called its 3 great success stories namely deregulation, the fall of the dictators, and the opening of ballot access especially in Florida, are unmentioned.

  12. seems unaware that there has been a Libertarian movement in America complete with pledge since before the Revolution.

    So was I. Where can I read more about this, preferably on the internet?

  13. The LP historian was never consulted.

    Who is the LP historian? Is a detailed LP history — a book-length one — available?

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