Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Libertarian means “libertarian”

Update 25 May 2008: the photo illustrates the new face of the Libertarian Party. The LP's presidential candidate, populist-conservative Bob Barr, vows to aggressively shut down the borders. The photo shows a few of the victims of the recent ICE raid in Postville Iowa. They were arrested because their "dokyumenti" weren't in order.

The "Libertarians" will now be free to start making their case for building walls around the country, shutting down free trade, discriminating against gays, and the like. No "purism" will taint this campaign. I wonder how they'll excuse Barr's racist connections?

To hell with them.

(photo from Des Moines Register)

My original post follows...

Note the small "l."

I’ve just emailed a letter to the twenty-five members of the Libertarian party National Committee (including, somewhat ironically, the Region 4 Representative, Bob Barr). Here’s the letter:

Dear LP friends,

In every presidential election beginning 1976 I have voted for the Libertarian Party presidential candidate. I've done so proudly, because every one of the LP candidates was a libertarian. Some of the candidates were much better than others, but every one of them was a consistent supporter of individual liberty, so I was proud to vote for them.

I believe the LP is now in danger of sacrificing its consistent support for individual liberty by nominating a conservative like Wayne Root, or even worse, Bob Barr.

Wayne Root tells us "Come to think of it, almost every social issue of our day is a States' Rights issue." This is anti-libertarian nonsense: states do not have rights, and "social issues" are matters of individual rights, and not matters for whatever state political processes happen to choose.

Bob Barr: anti-gay, anti-immigrant, closed borders, anti-free trade... how can any libertarian even think he's vaguely a fellow traveler?

I respectfully ask you to pick a genuine libertarian for the LP candidate, and not a "states-rights" conservative. I certainly will never vote for the likes of Barr or Root. The LP is the only remaining voice in American politics that speaks for consistent *individual* liberty. Please do not betray this proud and vital role.

Charles N. Steele, Ph. D.

Compromising on fundamental principles in order to make short run political advantage is a terrible thing. And it’s a stupid thing, if the "advantage" is as miniscule as a Barr or Root candidacy would provide. I hope the LP does the right thing and resoundingly rejects these "states rights" conservatives and picks a genuine libertarian to run. How about an all-woman ticket of Dr. Mary Ruart and Christine Smith?

If you’d like to send your own message, here is the LPNC contact info. For maximum persuasiveness, be sure to be direct, clear, and polite.

Steele, the worst part, and I imagine you've guessed at it, is that the ideological equivalent of 100% pure Isopropyl alcohol will have to get dumped on the libertarian rank-and-file in order to undo the damage. It's that or wait for Giuliani/Gonzalez in '12...

To put it another way, the only way to save the Libertarian party is takeover of key offices by hardcore cadres. On the other hand, such cadres, if they even still exist, are probably smart enough to not waste their time on the LP.
I think you mean formaldehyde. Or maybe jet fuel & a match?

Actually, there's been a sort of takeover of key positions, e.g. Mary Ruwart and a few similar people are now on the LPNC.

It's maybe a little late, though, and if the current conservatives get record numbers of votes it'll be called a grand success by the "reformers." I am not hopeful.
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