Monday, June 16, 2008

Fool me once, shame on you ...
fool me a hundred times ... ?

Having once been a rabid attack-dog Republican, I am tempted to give Bob Barr the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he really has rethought his positions about the war on drugs, gay rights, freedom of religion, and all of the other areas where he once was as libertarian as Barack Obama or John McCain ... as John Roberts notes ...

Though he has softened somewhat with regard to the drug policy reforms so popular with Libertarian activists, for instance, Barr was once an ardent critic of medical marijuana and an over-the-top advocate for militarizing the "war on drugs."

Barr has also been a big-government man when it comes to restricting abortion rights (he's 100 percent anti-choice), marriage rights (he sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act) and freedom of religion (he once pressured the Pentagon to bar the practice of Wicca in the military).

When Barr was booted from Congress in 2002, Libertarians ran television ads condemning him.

Now he's their candidate.

Now, 10-12 years ago I may have held some positions that seem foolish to me now, so I will not spend any time questioning whether Bob Barr is sincere or just looking for a side road to the White House. After all, the next Libertarian presidential candidate to win the election will be the first one, so either he's sincere or he's insane enough to commit political suicide.

But there are some crystal clear facts about life. One of them is that states exist to suppress individual rights, even those states based in documents that assert states are created to "secure those rights." That's why 18th-century individualists insisted on another document that spells out some of the rights that the state is not allowed to suppress. That even seems to work from time to time, although most rulers feel free to ignore those documents with impugnity.

Another crystal clear fact is that going to a polling place operated by an oppressive state lends a false sense of legitimacy to that state. Barr is welcome to campaign for president, and he certainly offers a better statist alternative to those offered by the two branches of the major political party. Again, though, the least of three evils is still evil.

Liberty will be advanced outside of this political process, which has been corrupted beyond recognition. Freedom will be advanced one nonviolent individual act at a time, including the act of rejecting the charade that free people choose our leaders. Free people lead our own lives.

Once upon a time we thought of choosing representatives to represent our political views in the halls of government, but those representatives inevitably confused themselves with rulers. Give it a try if you wish, Mr. Barr. Just don't come to this corner looking for aid or comfort.

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Anonymous Shawn Levasseur said...

"Liberty will be advanced outside of this political process, which has been corrupted beyond recognition. "

Why does it have to be one or the other? In fact, I believe that both are needed.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Kirsten said...

Why? Being fooled thousands of times isn't enough?

8:42 PM  

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