Bob Barr: Why not vote Libertarian?

This November Oregon is certain to go to Obama. Thus, a friend reasons, true limited-government Republicans, who are less-than-enthralled with McCain, should vote for former Congressman Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate. The reasoning goes, a vote for McCain is a wasted vote, so there’s no guilt, and much value, in checking the Barr box: Son of Read-My-Lips Bush, Sr. and his Rhino ilk far down the partisan line deserve to be purged. Having recently read “Our Collectivist Candidates,” which describes their philosophical sameness, my friend’s idea merits serious consideration. There comes a time to raise the Barr — and to quit voting for the evil of two lessers.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 10 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • RinoWatch


    I have to ask….What exactly is a R*h*ino?

    I’m all for purging “RINOs” and tired of voting for the “lessers”……

  • Jerry

    Yes, Kurt got caught by errant spell check no doubt.

    Anyway, these losers have got to go. We don’t want everyone to get along. Not at all. That is crazy.

  • Dan Estes.

    Kurt, I understand what you are saying, and under a different system of elections, I might agree. But there is a very good reason for keeping John McCain competitive in Oregon…and we proved it with Bush in 2000.

    The more competitive Oregon is (even if we acknowledge the chances of an outright win are slim to none), the more time, energy and money will have to be spent here to shore up a “sure thing.” We lost Oregon by 6700 votes in 2000. We were outregistered by 70,000. Every dollar they spent in Oregon and every visit Gore and his surrogates had to make was time and money NOT spent in Florida.

    McCain’s not perfect. Far from it, and most folks will agree. I expect he will disappoint me in a myriad of ways. But we know what Obama is all about. We KNOW what we will get. This is politics and we will always seemingly get a choice between two evils, because that’s who will ultimately win. Picking the lesser one doesn’t seem to be such a bad idea. Unless you have absolutely no stake in the outcome whatsoever and will piss away a vote just to make a statement and get all wrapped up in your own sense of self-importance and self-righteousness.

  • Steve Plunk

    Dan’s arguments are spot on and I would like to add another. Voting for Barr encourages other third party runs which could actually influence an outcome negatively for conservatives.

    I firmly believe believe the way to conservative success is within the Republican party, not outside of it. Barr has the political experience to know his bid is futile and is unlikely to send any message to the political establishment.

    My vote will go to McCain.

  • Dan Estes

    And just to carry this a step further….what would the positive net outcome be if some people decided to cast a vote for Bob Barr? What does that actually accomplish, other than giving people the ability to feel happy that they railed against the establishment? How does this move the ball down the field? How does this encourage limited government? Some will say that people will wake up and pay attention to the voices of the disaffected who voted for Barr. But is there really any evidence of that happening? That’s an honest question – I’m not trying to be smug or smarmy – does that really have a measured effect on those in government? In all these years, few words make me cringe like “We have to send a message.” That has been the rallying cry of both Perot and Nader. And no matter which side of the aisle you are on, everyone got screwed. Under this logic, we would do better to encourage a third party candidate who LEAST resembles our values and hopes…and split the votes of our opponents.

    For the most part, I like Libertarianism. I would suspect most people here do, and most Republicans when it comes right down to it. It seems to be a great philosophy and set of principles, but a poor governance model that operates best in a vacuum or petri dish, unhindered by real world problems, human weakness and harsh reality.

  • Harry

    ” What does that actually accomplish, other than giving people the ability to feel happy that they railed against the establishment? ”

    Exactly!! The Naderites and their Democrat Brothers have been very happy the last 7+ years. If only more of them voted for Ralph, then Ralph could have gotten almost 10%. So what?

    Bob Barr will get less than Nader (2nd time) which was like 2%.

    McCain will win. And yes, he is not ideal. But his two Supreme court appointments will more than make up for having Obama pick Clinton and Clinton for the Supreme Court.

  • Gullyborg

    I disagree with the whole premise of this article as laid out in the opening statement:

    “This November Oregon is certain to go to Obama.”

    No, it ain’t certain. GWB came close to winning here, and McCain is FAR more respected among the many moderates and independents in Oregon than GWB has ever been. Oregon is a competitive swing state, in a year when some previously reliable Red states are not looking so sure. It is entirely possible that McCain might win in Oregon while losing a “sure thing” Red state like Colorado, Indiana, or Virginia. With the electoral vote probably being another squeaker, every state counts. If we take the maps of electoral votes from 2000 and 2004 and then give a state to Obama, then all of a sudden the possibility of winning Oregon for McCain should jump right out at you as CRITICAL.

    So shame on you for even suggesting that Oregon is going for Obama anyway and we would all be better off with a protest vote for Barr. By the way, Barr is a KOOK and I wouldn’t vote for him even if you could guarantee all 50 states for McCain (or Obama). Bob Barr is opposed to the war on terror and went from extremely pro-life to extremely pro-choice in order to win the Libertarian nomination. John McCain is far more inline with my way of thinking on the issue that matters most – the war. And McCain is at least consistent on an issue that, admittedly is not so important to me personally, but is the cornerstone issue for many conservatives – abortion.

    PS: the Libertarian Party is so wrong on immigration they make even McCain look good! At least McCain is willing to try “enforecement first.”

    Only an idiot would claim to be “conservative” and still vote for Bob Barr – doing so risks handing the election to the extremely liberal Obama, and doesn’t even allow the voter to fall back on “principle” when Barr has demonstrated far less of it than McCain.

  • Richard B

    Once again, you show why Libertarianism is not an effective voting strategy. First you make an assumption that can proven; he fact is McCann has a chance and the republican party is pouring resources in to Oregon. Second the libertarian never gotten beyond 10% of the vote. It would be waste to vote otherwise. Finally the Libertarian Pay had over 50 yeas to make it point, instead it waste its time of contradictory fanatical beliefs within the Party and out a la Ron Paul.

  • R.A. Roll

    Libertarianism as an intellectually motivated and pragmatically applied political philosophy is fine and dandy. Libertarianism the partisan movement is an extremist joke.

    Our system of governance is exceedingly conducive to a two party system. Want more options? Change the way government works.

  • Gullyborg

    How’s this for an idea:

    How about all members of the Libertarian Party join the GOP and help defeat socialist democrats who are far more destructive to the concept of individual liberty than Republicans?

    Or, if you simply can’t stand “faith based” leadership, or are convinced the biggest threat to your freedom is the PATRIOT act, then how about you Libertarians join the DNC instead and help them break away from ideas like gun control, redistribution of wealth, etc.?

    Because all you are accomplishing where you are is muddying up the waters and driving the two parties that can actually win towards bigger government – GOP on social issues and DNC on other issues.

    In other words, the more appealing you make the Libertarian Party, the less libertarian the ruling parties become.


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