Monday, May 26, 2008

Libertarian Party nomination of Bob Barr is good news for Democrats

The Libertarian Party yesterday nominated Bob Barr for President and Wayne Allyn Root for Vice-President. Mr. Barr was elected on the 6th ballot. The nominees on this ballot, in addition to Barr were Mary Ruwart, Wayne Allyn Root and None of the Above. Barr won with 54% of the vote.

Shortly after the results of the 5th ballot were announced Root took the podium to endorse Barr in hopes (or probably more accurately, after a non-smoking back-room deal) to become his VP.

It’s not hard to predict that this effort will probably be as big a failure as previous elections. The Libertarian Party rarely gets more than 1 percent of the vote.

But this year could be different. Bob Barr is a very eloquent politician. He may be a Johnny come lately to libertarianism but he seems to be a dedicated convert. His VP, Wayne Allyn Root, is also a newcomer and he too comes from the Republican Party. Mr. Root is an extremely eloquent and energetic man. He has a certain charisma that Mr. Barr does not. They will make a good team.

Hence the problem for Republicans; Georgia could easily go to the Democrats with native son Barr in the race as a Libertarian. Georgia is probably one of the most libertarian states in the country. Neal Boortz , a very popular nationally syndicated radio talk show host broadcasts from WSB in Atlanta. He’s a pro Iraq War libertarian who seems to be leaning toward John McCain. But Barr is very popular; popular enough to pull enough votes from McCain to put Georgia in the Democratic column.

Georgia has 15 electorial votes, that’s 5.5% of the 270 needed to win. In a very tight election this could be very significant.

I promoted John McCain to become the Republican nominee and he is the best one for the current climate as only he can appeal to moderates and independents. His veto pen would be the only hope for slowing down what will be an avalanche of spending and tax increases once the Democrats get in office with their increased majority in Congress.

But here’s another thought; the Libertarians have an opportunity to improve their brand this election. There may still be a spark of liberty within the American people. And we need that spark to become a conflagration if we’re going to save this republic. Barr and Root could tap into the large donor list of Ron Paul and compete and in the process awaken a latent libertarianism that I have to believe still exists. They won’t win and they could guarantee a Democratic victory but to quote P.J. O’Rourke, “There is only one thing that gives me hope as a Republican, and that is the Democrats. It’s going to be hard to do a worse job running America than the Republicans have, but if anybody can do it, it’s the Democrats.”

The question is what is better for America in the long-run? Is it better to elect John McCain and hope he will be a bulwark against a Democratic Congress creating gridlock and thereby basically maintaining the status-quo. Or should we vote Libertarian help the only party that has a long-term chance to restore our republic to its founding principles.

Right now I just don’t know.