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Will he raise the Barr?

(Credit: Politirazzi)


By Jeff

Bob Barr isn’t going to be president; we know that for sure. He knows he’s not going to be president, and his ardent supporters know he isn’t going to be president. Third-party candidates don’t run to get elected, they run to gain visibility for their message, hoping that some of their core issues will gain traction and force the general election candidates to take a favorable stance.

Barr is certainly the highest-profile candidate to start a third-party run in my lifetime (nobody knew who Ross Perot was before he started). But the concern about Barr is how genuine are his beliefs. Barr was a Democrat in the '60s until being exposed to Ayn Rand. Then was a Republican until 2004, and has been a Libertarian since.

Now changing political parties isn’t a huge red flag since the move from Democrat to Republican in many cases really isn’t a very big difference; Reagan did it. Jim Webb did it. But Bob Barr sure seems to be changing his mind a lot, and we’ve learned from John Kerry, flip-flopping can paralyze the effectiveness of a candidate’s message.

(continued) The reason I’m hesitation about Bob Barr is I don’t know just how Libertarian he is. He voted for the Patriot Act, before he came out against it. Barr was a well-known “Drug Warrior”, who fought medical marijuana votes in Washington D.C.. But he’s now changed his tune on that, too. During Barr’s Republican days, he was also an isolationist regarding free trade. He authored the Defense of Marriage Act; though his argument now is that it was merely to prevent states from being required to recognize other states’ marriage definition.

Barr is also chided for leading the impeachment charge against President Clinton. Of course, Clinton should have been impeached and removed from office. Clinton clearly lied under oath. It really doesn’t matter what it was that he was lying about. If he thought it was petty and beyond the scope of Congress; he shouldn’t have answered. Instead, we know for a fact that Clinton committed the crime of perjury. Regardless, the biggest surprise is that when posed with the question “George W. Bush or Bill Clinton," he chose Bill Clinton.

I still don’t know what to think about Bob Barr. I don’t know how genuine he is. But since he really has no chance of getting elected, I don’t need to worry how genuine are his beliefs. I just want him to be an effective promoter of the Libertarian message. It would be preferable if there were a more “pure” Libertarian to be this voice, but it is what it is.

Hopefully, the message of smaller government will help move McCain back into the center on social issues and pull back Obama’s extreme left-wing economic positions (like making social security another welfare program instead of a contributory pension).

Tags: bob barr , third-party candidates , jeff akston , third-party politics

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