Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two More Points Against Barr

I don't hate Bob Barr. I think it's admirable that, after leaving Congress, he's repudiated many of his far-right positions, including support for the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. Barr and I agree on many issues. But I have trouble believing that the possible Libertarian Party presidential candidate is actually a libertarian, rather than a philosophical conservative who holds many libertarian positions.

As I wrote earlier, Barr opposes abortion and immigration (illegal and legal) and believes that it's fine for the State of Georgia to give a 10 year prison sentence to a teenager who received oral sex because
"the people of Georgia had determined through their lawful, elected representatives" that this is an appropriate penalty.

Now, LP presidential contender George Phillies gives me two more reasons to suspect that Barr isn't fully committed to liberty:
- Last year, while campaigning for the Republican governor of Kentucky, Barr attacked the Democratic candidate because she doesn't support prayer in public schools. Phillies puts it well when he says: "
No real Libertarian could endorse school prayer: forcing a Christian prayer down the throat of every schoolchild legally required to appear in school."
- Barr runs a PAC (political action committee) that gives money to conservative Republicans, such as Senators
Saxby Chambliss and John Sununu - both supporters of such un-libertarian positions as greater government spying, confronting Iran and not easing immigration restrictions.

"But Obama holds un-libertarian stances on plenty of issues too," you might argue.

He does. But I think there's a difference. Obama supports some non-libertarian legislation, while also believing in libertarian values like tolerance, individual choice and separation of church and state. Barr holds libertarian positions on many issues, while demonstrating intolerant, authoritarian and theocratic tendencies.

Voting for Barr - who can't be elected - instead of Obama - who can - in the hope that you're making a statement for libertarian values is truly a wasted vote.


Anonymous said...

Barr sounds like he has similar positions on issues that Ron Paul does. Everything should be up to the states, except abortion - that should be banned at the federal level. And anything else he wants banned he'll amend the constitution for. This is a real question about what libertarianism really is. I think it comes down to pre and post civil war and the 14th amendment. Im for the post civil war interpretation. Paul and Barr seem to be for the pre civil war. I think they lost, they should accept that.

Anonymous said...

Your blog made me very happy to hear I'm not the only one who thinks Barr is hardly Libertarian. Anyone who supports international interference, the invasion of privacy in the Patriot Act, anti-drug, anti-freedom of religion in the military, and so-on, is no advocate for individual rights. I would have never voted for this hypocrite if it were done on paper instead of the 'pay-for-your-vote' convention held.

Anonymous said...

Barr never was a Libertarian. He is an insult to true libertarians. He is an opportunist who is using our party for his own gain.

I find it amazing that he got the nomination. It is also a sad day in the history of the Libertarian Party.

He will have thousands of libertarians voting against him.

Libertarians against Barr