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.