Phillies: Help me beat Bob Barr

Libertarian Party presidential candidate George Phillies sent the following to TPW. I assume it is intended for public disclosure:

An Open Letter to American Conservatives

I’m George Phillies, candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential nomination.

Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr has launched a Presidential Exploratory Committee. He wants to be the Libertarian nominee. It’s no secret. He wants to capture millions of conservative votes.

2008 is already a challenging year for conservatives.

How many conservative political parties does America need? Aren’t Republican and Constitution enough? Do you want Bob Barr to split the conservative vote even more?

That answer was “NO!”, wasn’t it?

Fortunately, you can do something about Barr. You have a strategic option. Barr has a real libertarian opponent. Me. If I beat Barr at the Libertarian Party convention, he will not be the nominee, and one of your right-wing flanks is safe.

Canny conservatives will ask: If I help a Libertarian, won’t that hurt us in the fall? That’s a fair question. You don’t want to poison your own well.

Consider some facts. You decide.

I’m a real Libertarian. I’m anti-war, pro-choice, unimpressed by the war on drugs, and an ACLU activist. To read more on my campaign: http://ChooseGeorge.Org.

My credentials will draw votes from liberals, the people who inhabit Daily Kos, not good conservatives.

Do you want Bob Barr to split the conservative vote? It’s your choice.

Will you keep Bob Barr from splitting the conservative movement? Your donation, sent to http://phillies2008.org/donate (full instructions for checks on that page), will be spent thriftily on my campaign.

Help me Beat Bob Barr, and keep the conservative vote united.

79 Responses to “Phillies: Help me beat Bob Barr”

  1. LifeMember Says:

    I’ve been holding back about Phillies because I think he is a nice guy, but this does it. George Phillies has just joined the ranks of Robert Milnes and Daniel Imperato with this garbage.

  2. NewFederalist Says:

    Geez George, lighten up! Rep. Barr is perfectly capable of beating himself.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    LifeMember,

    Precisely what constitutes “garbage” about it?

    I don’t think it will gain the nomination for Phillies by any stretch of the imagination.

    However, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Damn near the entire focus of Barr’s public relations so far has been “true conservatives want an alternative.” He’s pimping the party to disgruntled conservatives as a GOP overflow area. What’s wrong with doing the opposite—appealing to conservatives to help hold their sinking party together by ensuring that the LP runs a libertarian, rather than conservative, campaign?

    When you get lemons, make lemonade. In 2004, the Badnarik campaign’s response to Republicans screaming that we would “steal” their votes was to fundraise from Democrats—“help us ‘steal’ votes from Bush in close states.” I don’t know how well that worked out, but once again if the GOP campaigns against Libertarians because we steal their votes, what’s wrong with Libertarians capitalizing on the same sentiment?

    We have at least two candidates—Root and prospectively Barr—targeting the conservative vote. Maybe that’s a good strategy, maybe not. It’s certainly not the only admissible strategy. Targeting conservative MONEY on the premise that a strong Libertarian campaign will hurt Obama or Clinton rather than McCain is probably not only at least as good an idea, it’s probably also more likely to be true.

  4. Robert Milnes Says:

    I like this tactic. It is a possible equivalent to a Ron Paul reimbursement. I wish I had thought of it.

  5. Chris Moore Says:

    “Help me win the LP nomination, and I guarantee that the LP won’t be a factor in 2008!”

    How exactly is this supposed to help Phillies win the LP nomination?

  6. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Chris,

    It wouldn’t help Phillies win the nomination … if that was what he said. But it’s not what he said.

    At this time, it’s looking to be a close election. The LP could be a factor by taking votes “from” the Democrats or from the Republicans.

    Taking votes from the Republicans has been an eminently unsuccessful strategy in the past. Harry Browne carried the “balance of power” in New Mexico and Florida in 2000, and we saw what happens when a Libertarian presidential candidate carries the balance of power versus a Republican—the Republican shuts down the process and steals the election.

    Even without the GOP election-stealing machine probably remaining in high gear, it would be a tough row to hoe (Republicans are notorious for abandoning principle to stick with their club)—getting voters “from” the left should be much easier than doing so “from” the right (see Ed Clark 1980), especially this year when the Democratic Party doesn’t represent its own voters as well as the LP does on the war, on immigration, on gay rights, etc.

  7. svf Says:

    he needs to drop out and endorse someone else. at this point he’s just embarrassing himself, much like Dave Hollist.

  8. Robert Milnes Says:

    Bob Barr shares the same delusions & misnomers as Ron Paul. They have their conservatives & libertarians confused. C-Pac should have thrown them both out except they probably were scheming on them too. Like how to get RP’s $ & how to use Barr against the LP.

  9. Robert Milnes Says:

    By the way in case anybody noticed, my main campaign website is down. I can’t afford the domain annual fee. Next I can’t make a credit card payment & then I can’t drive one of my van’s because I can’t get it past inspection. Can’t get “good” computer repaired. Will lose second van to mechanic’s lien. & downhill from there. I would like to thank the ex-con real estate lawyer for cheating my father. & the State of New Jersey for not having legal assistance for indigents in civil matters & the City & County of Camden for not assisting fire victims. & my political friends for not supporting me.

  10. Jared Says:

    The difference between Paul and Barr is Paul was running for the GOP nomination with a very libertarian record and platform, sure his immigration stuff sucked and his pork spending was a nuisance but I could accept that since he is running for the GOP nomination. Barr is running for the LP nomination with very wish-washy platform and a mediocre record at best.

    I don’t think many Paul supporters, myself included, back Barr. The reason Paul was appealing was his record and because he was the most libertarian candidate running from either party. There wasn’t an LP primary here and I wasn’t going to just stay home (I would have voted for Gravel had Paul not been running).

    The LP will not win elections if they are wishy-washy on the issues. They will also not win (federal) elections if they are principled. If the LP has to become a party of non-principal to get elected then they aren’t libertarians at all and I will not be able to support/vote for that.

  11. Carl Says:

    This is why third parties should focus on two-way races and on three-way races that they could possibly win.

    Of all the potential LP candidates, Barr is the one I could in good conscience vote for to actually be president. But given the threat of socialized medicine, I doubt I will vote for any third party presidential candidate this year unless said candidate has a real shot at winning.

    If Barr can really split off the conservative vote and make this a serious three-way race, then I am interested.

    On the other hand, if the LP is shooting for a million votes, then I say “Go Christine Smith!” Or better yet, draft L. Neil Smith.

  12. Free Al Says:

    I have to say, I think the LP would benifit more by focusing on the left. While I agree with Phillies that the LP should run a libertarian, I don’t think it should be Phillies. Ruwart would be better. For a libertarin ticket, Ruwart/Phillies wouldn’t be bad. I think Barr/Gravel has the potential to get more votes, but kinda blurs he message we want to send. As a political move, I think it would be good for the Party, but as far as philosiphy goes, I’m not sure Ruwart Phillies wouldn’t be better.

  13. paulie Says:

    Good one, George!

  14. paulie Says:

    I have to say, I think the LP would benifit more by focusing on the left. While I agree with Phillies that the LP should run a libertarian, I don’t think it should be Phillies. Ruwart would be better.

    I agree. Or Kubby.

  15. paulie Says:

    Even without the GOP election-stealing machine probably remaining in high gear, it would be a tough row to hoe (Republicans are notorious for abandoning principle to stick with their club)—getting voters “from” the left should be much easier than doing so “from” the right (see Ed Clark 1980), especially this year when the Democratic Party doesn’t represent its own voters as well as the LP does on the war, on immigration, on gay rights, etc.

    Too true, but how do we get the existing LP members to recognize that, since the party has been recruiting relentlessly and almost exclusively from the right for decades now?

  16. Jose C. Says:

    George made a mistake again. There he goes criticizing one of his opponents again.

    George don’t question Bob Barr’s stand on the issues. Don’t question his views on the Fair Tax (fraud tax), the drug war, gay rights, abortion, immigration, . . .

  17. Geoffrey the Liberator Says:

    Good lord, this makes me glad to be on the other side of the pond! Sir George should be embarrassed to put out this message, at least the way I’m reading it: “vote for me, I’ll take so few votes that it will not matter?”

    Dear sir, if you desire to have Mr. Mc Cain in the White House, then I would suggest you resign from your Party, register as a Republican, and promote your candidate of choice honestly. Obviously, you sir, have no principles and should not be in the party of such!

    Now I shall have my biscuit and try to calm my stomach!

  18. Trent Hill Says:

    “By the way in case anybody noticed, my main campaign website is down. I can’t afford the domain annual fee. Next I can’t make a credit card payment & then I can’t drive one of my van’s because I can’t get it past inspection. Can’t get “good” computer repaired. Will lose second van to mechanic’s lien. & downhill from there. I would like to thank the ex-con real estate lawyer for cheating my father. & the State of New Jersey for not having legal assistance for indigents in civil matters & the City & County of Camden for not assisting fire victims. & my political friends for not supporting me.”

    Wow Milnes. You really ARE a Green.

  19. Gary Odom Says:

    I guess this is barely applicable to the thread, but I feel that the word “conservative” stopped meaning anything many years ago, if it ever did. The reference to the Republican and Constitution parties being “conservative” is understandable from Mr. Phillies point of view, but as a member of the Constitution Party, and speaking only for myself, I consider myself a consitutionalist, not a conservative. After 37 years in politics I don’t even know what “conservative” means. Chances are that everyone on this thread and in the public will have a different definition of the word which to me would suggest that the word is actually meaningless, and that probably the same could be said for the word “liberal.”

  20. Stefan Says:

    Wow, Bob Barr has not officially entered yet, and there is already an attack “add” on Barr. Dr. Phillies keep saying we have two parties on the right (GOP & CP) and do not need another one. Well, consider, there are already two parties on the left (Democrats and Greens and now also Nader/Gonzalez as Independents), so it could also be asked why another party on the “left”?

    I think the LP would do best by defining itself in the middle, neither only conservative, nor only liberal, but more a healthy balanced, principled “mix”. One can attack the positions of the other, but there should also be a true team- spirit, especially with diverse individuals and a political “ideology” that bind all together. So the LP should attract votes from both the “conservative” as the “liberal” spectrums. Strategically it should see that it can attract most of the fiscal conservatives that are tired of big govt. of the GOP.

    Now, I have listened to interviews with Barr in 2003 and 2004 and it is clear that he already had a conversion to the LP long time before he officially joined in end 2006. One should add that “Mr. Privacy” has worked with both the ACU, NRA as well as the ACLU, thus he has the potential to attract votes also from moderates and Independents as well as some liberals, e.g. not only “conservatives” in the GOP. Yes, he does not have the same voting record as Paul, but he has left congress in 2003, so his changed “vote” and views could not be registered. In a blogspot radio interview with mainstreamrepublican yesterday he spoke highly of Paul as the actual role model of consistency.

    One thing IRS tax (Paul, Kubby, Ruwart, Smith, Phillies etc.) and the fair tax (Barr and Gravel) (not sure where Root stands) have in common is the phasing out of the IRS. This process will take some time also. In the case of no tax IRS abolishment, the deficit have to be sunk radically first before substantial tax cuts can be made. Thus although no new tax would be instated, the taxes cannot be reduced in the short term drastically. In the case of the fair tax, one can see it as an intermediate step towards the no-tax position as well, not as the end goal. The candidates have to speed their position out and discuss. You first have to save drastically overseas, and then also in the country in steps according to congress decisions. One has to be practical and realistic and know it is going to take a substantial time to persuade congress and implement the changes. In this sense, I think the LP should not fight within themselves too much about the pros and cons of the fairtax, it should rather concentrate on combined action and attack of the two big parties.
    Regarding candidates, a case could be made for having a more know, connected candidate as nominee that represents perhaps 80% of the LP policy and positions and then having a 100 % LP candidate as the running mate. In this way people not so familiar with the LP and/or those that have a false perception of the LP as a “hippie type cult” can be swayed and “converted”. One can argue on the one hand that it is good to have a 100% LP nominee on the ticket. On the other hand having a more recently “converted LP candidate” would enjoy faster trust with people that need to be “converted” and can “convert” easier with the knowledge the leader has gone through the same process.

  21. Chuck Says:

    Talk about the perfect being the enemy of the good. You guys are rejecting a great candidate (Barr) because he won’t take politically suicidal positions. Do you seriously require your canidate to advocate the unregulated sale of heroin to 6 year olds? Is this your litmus test? This is why there are so many people like me lost in the no man’s land between libertarianism and conservativism.

  22. Andrew Taylor Says:

    “By the way in case anybody noticed, my main campaign website is down. I can’t afford the domain annual fee. Next I can’t make a credit card payment & then I can’t drive one of my van’s because I can’t get it past inspection. Can’t get ‘good’ computer repaired. Will lose second van to mechanic’s lien. & downhill from there. I would like to thank the ex-con real estate lawyer for cheating my father. & the State of New Jersey for not having legal assistance for indigents in civil matters & the City & County of Camden for not assisting fire victims. & my political friends for not supporting me.”

    Mr. Milnes, I’ve been hard on you in the past, and some of my posts have been sarcastic and uncharitable. I apologize to you for that. There was no need to act in such a manner towards you.

    While I’m sympathetic to your struggles, and I’m not trying to kick you when you’re down, I must ask: Why are you not gainfully employed? Are you somehow disabled? It appears that you are seriously struggling for money simply to survive. Perhaps it would be time better spent for you to seek employment, rather than to waste time seeking the LP presidential nomination (which you will not receive), and making posts related to your quixotic quest on TPW and elsewhere. I’m not trying to be offensive, but it seems to me than any self-described “libertarian/Libertarian” would want to pay his or her own way in life, rather than expect anyone else to do so.

    I do wish you nothing but the best in your efforts to get back on your feet financially. Perhaps someday you will be in a better position to be involved in Libertarian politics once again.

  23. Robert Milnes Says:

    Stefan, your gobbledegook actually made a lot of sense after I sat for a while & figured it out. Unfortunately Barr et al will keep the LP tilted firmly to the right.

  24. G.E. Says:

    Milnes - I agree. Please kill yourself or at least stop posting so I can pretend you did.

  25. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Do you seriously require your canidate to advocate the unregulated sale of heroin to 6 year olds?

    No. I’ve never heard a Libertarian advocate the sale - regulated or unregulated - of heroin to children. Or to anyone, really; heroin is nasty.

    What Libertarians advocate - and (I hope) require their candidates to advocate - is getting the government out of the business of trying to raise six-year olds to be responsible adults who can make their own choices. What Libertarians advocate is not using your money and restricting your freedom to try to keep me from making a bad choice about heroin.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Chuck,

    You write:

    “Talk about the perfect being the enemy of the good. You guys are rejecting a great candidate (Barr) because he won’t take politically suicidal positions.”

    Which politically suicidal positions has anyone demanded that Barr take? Hell, I’d be happy if we could get him on the record with any discernible positions at all aside from the “Fair” Tax. So far, he isn’t running on positions, he’s running on a vague perception that he’s a “conservative who left the GOP,” apparently trying to avoid saying what the hell that means and hoping nobody looks to closely at his record or past statements.

  27. Geoffrey the Liberator Says:

    We have a “conservative” party here over on our side of the pond and the LP is not it. The Conservatives brought us socialized medicine, high taxes, and our petro runs twice what yours does. We here like to think of the LP as economically responsible and socially tolerant. Neither “Liberal” nor “Conservative.”

    Obviously Sir George is advocating larger government, more taxes and less freedom by his support of (we presume) Mr. Mc Cain—not too mention 100 years of war.

    Sir George, perhaps you can explain why you are still running for office as a Libertarian yet do not wish to expand and grow your party to that it can have more influence to actually accomplish some of its’ goals?

    Frankly, if you are seeking to gain some control of the political debate in your country, in the only non-aggressive and legitimate means open to us, then that would be via the ballot box.

    If you are saying Sir George “vote for me because I will not get any votes” then are you not basically saying you and your party should not have any influence? Please sir, join a small elitist club if that is what you truly wish to lead, in your country I believe that’s called the Republican Party!

  28. G.E. Says:

    This is the lamest thing I’ve seen from Phillies yet. I would turn his proposition against him—in McCain and Hillary/Obama, Americans already have two liberal, centralist candidates to vote for. Why should the LP offer them a third?

  29. johncjackson Says:

    I don’t really advocate the unregulated sale of heroin to 6 year olds, but I do oppose the state murdering people for using or growing marijuana, imprisoning paraplegics for using pain pills, stealing private property and prosecuting currency, Or throwing doctors in jail for prescribing medicine,etc. That’s a view I would expect any decent person to support, let alone an LP candidate.

  30. G.E. Says:

    Andrew - Don’t apologize to Milnes. I did it once. And I regret it almost as much as I regret ever acknowledging his existence.

  31. G.E. Says:

    Chuck - I expect a candidate to, at the least, acknowledge that the federal government has no authority to prohibit the sale of heroin to six year olds. Is it too much to ask elected officials to follow the highest law of the land?

  32. Tom Says:

    Stefan, to see Root’s plan to cut governement spending and his workable plan on taxes check out www.RootforAmerica.com His post on TPW was altered and burired in the muck but those that saw it said positive things. Even Kanpp. Root isn’t for “Fair Tax” or any tax per se.

    As for this post by Dr P. Huh?

  33. Chuck Says:

    Sorry if I misunderstood. My take is that there is backlash against Barr because he isn’t “libertarian” enough on drugs and immigration, plus maybe gay marriage. Virtually nobody wants to live in a community where hard drugs are legalized, and almost nobody wants to open our borders (whatever that means). If you insist on candidates that take these positions, don’t be surprised when you stay in the 0-2% range.

    Regarding the “heroin to 6 year olds” thing, if you oppose that (think it should be illegal) but support sales to 18 year olds, you have a philosophical inconsistency to resolve.

  34. Chuck Says:

    G.E., Barr has said that. He’s taken Paul’s position and said it is a state issue. Go find the Hannity radio interview.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Chuck,

    You write:

    “Sorry if I misunderstood. My take is that there is backlash against Barr because he isn’t ‘libertarian’ enough on drugs and immigration, plus maybe gay marriage.”

    That’s probably true. However, you characterized this as demanding that he take “politically suicidal” positions, when the alternative to his actual positions aren’t necessarily “politically suicidal” by any stretch of the imagination.

    The LP’s presidential candidate typically polls from 0.3% to 0.5% in the general election. It would be hard to find a position set that would drive that vote total down much further. The metrics on which the total rises and falls tend more toward media penetration and personal presentation (and, if we ever started doing much of it, real political organizing from the precinct level up).

    “Regarding the ‘heroin to 6 year olds’ thing, if you oppose that (think it should be illegal) but support sales to 18 year olds, you have a philosophical inconsistency to resolve.”

    Those who think that have made arguments to resolve the apparent inconsistency (most of those arguments going to when rights become operative). However, the question is something of a trick, insofar as:

    - Heroin (like crack, methamphetamine, etc.) is a substance that exists because, and only because of, the drug war itself. Until prohibition, addicts bought morphine, laudanum or raw opium. Heroin was developed because it’s easier to smuggle a stronger drug that fits in less space.
    - Until 1906, any six-year-old could walk into any apothecary and buy morphine, laudanum, etc. without any legal restrictions whatsoever. The pharmacist might want a note from mom or something, of course, but there was no law preventing it.

    Question: Is drug use more or less pervasive now than it was in 1905?

    Question: In terms of crime rates, gang presence and other ills blamed in some measure on drug use, would you rather live in an American city circa 1905 or an American city circa 2008?

    Obviously, yes, it would be “politically suicidal” to phrase one’s position as “heroin for six-year-olds!” That doesn’t mean that one must take Barr’s apparent position (“states rights, and I hope that the states continue a policy that’s failed every time, in every place it has been tried, for more than a century”).

  36. Brian Miller Says:

    George isn’t saying he’ll deliver fewer votes to the LP.

    He’s simply asking conservatives on the right whether they want the right-wing vote split.

    The Libertarian Party is in the vital center of politics—we are pro-liberty in personal as well as economic issues. George is simply pointing this out and noting that it’s better for both conservatives and real libertarians if the LP runs a candidate who is unabashedly pro-freedom in every regard, in the vital center.

    Not a bad tack to take, and one that should appeal to those in the electorate who want a pro-freedom candidate. Both the socialists and the social control freak right will have candidates in this race already.

  37. Preston Says:

    I will actually take the unpopular view and agree with Phillies on this one. I find myself tending to agree with him. On a related note—not only are conservative and libertarian mixed up, as Phillies correctly points out, but so our ‘constitutionalist’ and ‘libertarian’. It seems like at least half of the “libertarians” on this board advocate anti-federalism, not libertarianism. If a state is tyrannical, instead of the federal government, is that libertarianism? Not how I understand libertarianism. But what do I know, I’m just a Green.

    I have no problem with anti-federalism. I’m just saying its a different position with different philosophical grounding.

  38. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Sorry if I misunderstood. My take is that there is backlash against Barr because he isn’t “libertarian” enough on drugs and immigration, plus maybe gay marriage. Virtually nobody wants to live in a community where hard drugs are legalized, and almost nobody wants to open our borders (whatever that means). If you insist on candidates that take these positions, don’t be surprised when you stay in the 0-2% range.

    Regarding the “heroin to 6 year olds” thing, if you oppose that (think it should be illegal) but support sales to 18 year olds, you have a philosophical inconsistency to resolve.

    It’s not so much a ‘backlash’, as that Barr got a bit of a free pass when he came into the party and buckled down to help with the LNC work. Although there were some questions there, too, regarding his extensive fundraising for Republican candidates while serving on the governing board of the Libertarian Party, he was generally very welcome. He never explicitly disengaged himself form many antilibertarian positions, and although that was worrisome to some folks, most were happy to take his word and the word of those around him that he really was ‘right there’.

    Now Barr wants to be the LP nominee for president, and that’s a pretty visible position. For that, we tend to want candidates who are committed ideologues. We know there’s scant chance a Libertarian will be in the White House next spring, so our goal is to at least have a strong advocate of libertarianism on the campaign trail. Anything less will tend to associate the LP with positions that our contrary to our ideology - such as advocating new taxes, foreign interventionism, etc. So the standard is pretty high for the presidential candidate.

    Barr has not made his positions clear on many of the issues he was very clear about when he was demonstrably on the wrong side of them (from our perspective, of course). Naturally that concerns many Libertarians and makes them suspicious that Barr hasn’t really changed his positions an awful lot. If he has, he is obviously not the best spokesperson the LP could put out there, because he does not seem to be comfortable and straightforward answering even questions that are libertarian softballs.

    Heroin and 6 year olds: Some Libs beleive in limiting government as much as possible, but are not fully comfortable with the total political freedom implied in the idea of total government non-interference in parenting or child-rearing (I am not one of them, but I think I have that about right). Call it an inconsistency if you like, or a striving toward greater freedom for the individual and greater personal responsibility.

    Personally I think the heroin and six-year olds thing is a red herring. Saying that something should not be in the purview of government is in no way advocating that thing. A much more realistic example is beer and wine. Should parents be prosecuted for letting their children take wine at communion? For having a sip of beer at table, and learning that drinking is no big deal but has to be treated responsibly? I think we can all agree that would be absurd. But that doesn’t mean that Libertarians think that bars should have ‘six year old shooter night’ - just that we trust that social mechanisms are vastly more effective at preventing abuse than government, and that when government gets involved it weakens rather than strengthens those social mechanisms.

  39. ElfNinosMom Says:

    Mr. Milnes, I am very sorry to hear of your difficulties, and I hope things look up again for you very soon.

  40. LifeMember Says:

    For that, we tend to want candidates who are committed ideologues.

    And if we vote this way in Denver, the only votes we will get in November are from those who are committed and ideologues.

    With this line of reasoning, we should start shooting for the lowest vote totals possible just to prove to the world how pure we are. With a good enough anarchistic candidate, perhaps we can declare the ultimate libertarian victory by winning exactly one INDIVIDUAL vote.

  41. LifeMember Says:

    Precisely what constitutes “garbage” about it?

    I don’t think it will gain the nomination for Phillies by any stretch of the imagination.

    If it came from a candidate with a higher profile, it might be more realistic. This came from a man with just a few supporters in a small political party. He’s delusional because he thinks he can win the nomination and that he has many supporters.

  42. G.E. Says:

    Chuck - The backlash against Barr is 99% because of his support for the FraudTax. Everything else is piling on. His liberal understanding of the Constitution, his praise for Reagan, his PC speech policing against Obama, etc., as well as his less-than-libertarian stances on other issues would be given much less scrutiny if he did not openly call for the initiation of force through a NEW tax.

  43. Susan Hogarth Says:

    With this line of reasoning, we should start shooting for the lowest vote totals possible just to prove to the world how pure we are.

    Perhaps we should describe libertarianism and freedom the best that we can, and argue for it as persuasively as possible, and let each individual voter worry about who he thinks represents him best.

    I know that sounds a bit innovative as political ideas go, but there you have it. Let’s try honesty and intelligence and persuasion! We’ve got a great ‘product’ - so let’s sell it, not try to dress it up as crap because crap happens to be ‘selling’ better these days!

  44. Kelly Parker Says:

    This is all very confusing to me. I’m a conservative and a Paul supporter. I’ve switched to the Libertarian Party and back Barr because the GOP no longer seems to have room for small government/market economy conservatives like me and I think Barr has the best chance of growing the LP and drawing Paul supporters like myself. I believe the government that governs lest governs best. I believe in private property and individual freedom. I don’t believe any kind of service(like health care) is a ‘right’. I don’t believe the government providing services is a good thing while private businesses who provide the same services better and cheaper but for profit is a bad thing. This, in my mind, makes me a conservative. I’m an atheist so I’m obviously not a religious conservative and have no home in the Constitution Party. So will someone be so kind as to define for me just what you all consider a ‘conservative’ to be? Also explain to me how Bob Barr drawing small government conservative Paul supporters to the LP is a bad thing. What party should conservatives like me back?

  45. LifeMember Says:

    Kelly,

    Welcome to the LP. Disregard some of these people here trying to legalize heroin for six year olds. This isn’t the way most people in the LP think and George Phillies won’t come close to winning the LP nomination.

    I would like to say one thing to George, though. Thanks for scaring away possible LP members.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Kelly,

    William F. Buckley once quoted another conservative intellectual (I can’t remember who) defining conservatism as:

    The paradigm of essences toward which the phenomenology of society is in continuing approximation.

    If that sounds a little thick, perhaps Mark Twain’s comment in the same vein will be more helpful:

    The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them

    You list above a bunch of libertarian views which at one time were held by many conservatives because at the time those ideas were the received wisdom and the practice of the status quo.

    These days those views, no longer being the received wisdom or the practice of the status quo, are also no longer the mainstream of conservatism. There are those in the conservative movement who still hold to them, but they’re a minority in the movement—the Old Right rump—who look fondly backward further into history than most conservatives do. The mainstream of conservatism would be happy rolling back history to 1986 or perhaps even 1966, but is no longer interested in revisiting 1936 or 1896. That would mean giving up, rather than conserving, the welfare-warfare state the last group of radicals built for them, and would also require confrontation with the anti-freedom elements of the conservative movement’s own past (such as the invocation of “states rights” to preserve Jim Crow).

    The new generation of radicals, who are also libertarians, want to move society forward into freedom rather than pining away for a non-existent time machine.

  47. G.E. Says:

    Kelly - Your self-profile is of a libertarian, not a conservative. Classical conservatives were loyal to the Crown and the Cross; they detested freedom and capitalism. Their opponents were the classical liberals. Libertarians are the heirs of classical liberals, while conservatives are the heirs of classical conservatives. When modern liberalism arose under FDR and the New Deal, conservatives and classical liberals (who became known as “libertarians” to differentiate themselves from the modern liberals) united against it. This is the cause of confusion between conservatives and libertarians and why many people wrongly believe that libertarianism is a form of conservatism. In fact, many libertarians (such as yourself) actually think that they are conservatives, because the terminology has been so perverted. It’s Orwellian.

    Those of us who are opposed to Barr are opposed to him primarily because of his advocacy of the “Fair Tax,” then national sales tax combined with monthly universal welfare “prebate” check to all citizens, which would conscript all business owners and private-sector service providers into service for the federal government as unpaid agents of Internal Revenue. This is NOT something Ron Paul would ever advocate. Ron Paul is thoroughly libertarian, with only a few very minor discrepancies from the libertarian plumb line in his entire congressional career. Bob Barr is a heavy-handed, anti-intellectual, bigoted nationalist conservative who’s trying to piggyback on Ron Paul’s legacy. There is a stark contrast between these two men, and it is the difference between conservatism and libertarianism.

  48. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    LifeMember,

    I’ve known George for 8 years, don’t support his candidacy, and don’t think he’s delusional—or that he thinks, or ever thought, he’d win the nomination. I’m not sure exactly what all he hopes to accomplish with his campaign, but he’s not a stupid man and he can do math, so he knew from the beginning that that was never going to happen.

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  49. Dave Williams Says:
    1. ElfNinosMom Says:
      April 16th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Mr. Milnes, I am very sorry to hear of your difficulties, and I hope things look up again for you very soon.

    I’m not…go get a fucking job and stop your belly aching!

  50. G.E. Says:

    Dave Williams - Word up.

  51. Dave Williams Says:
    1. Kelly Parker Says:
      April 16th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    This is all very confusing to me. I’m a conservative and a Paul supporter. I’ve switched to the Libertarian Party and back Barr because the GOP no longer seems to have room for small government/market economy conservatives like me and I think Barr has the best chance of growing the LP and drawing Paul supporters like myself. I believe the government that governs lest governs best. I believe in private property and individual freedom. I don’t believe any kind of service(like health care) is a ‘right’. I don’t believe the government providing services is a good thing while private businesses who provide the same services better and cheaper but for profit is a bad thing. This, in my mind, makes me a conservative. I’m an atheist so I’m obviously not a religious conservative and have no home in the Constitution Party. So will someone be so kind as to define for me just what you all consider a ‘conservative’ to be? Also explain to me how Bob Barr drawing small government conservative Paul supporters to the LP is a bad thing. What party should conservatives like me back?

    Kelly,
    Wikipedia breaks down all political ideologies, parties, etc… spend a few hours over there. Just type in terms like ‘libertarian conservative’ & ‘libertarian communist’. One reason you may be confused is there are many ‘anarcho-capitalists’ posting on this site who essentially want to see all govt abolished, and they are hard to please. The radicals have their place and they know it, kinda like the class clown or the playground bully. lol

  52. Dave Williams Says:

    Kelly,
    I’m a newbie too…I get my ass handed to me on a daily basis. But I’m learning (G.E.’s always smacking me around). I couldn’t bring myself to join the CP because of their Social platform (I’m very liberal socially).

    I think we’re both on the right track. None us will ever agree on all of the issues, but I do believe we can make a difference, and push this party forward to contend with the majors.

    One thing I’ve observed is that the LP has ballot access in almost all of the states. If Barr’s nominated, this isn’t just about the LP anymore. I’m sure that his strategy is to unite the CP, LP, AIP, moderates from both majors and other disgruntled independents. So Barr must determine who he is ready to disenfranchise. I think he already has, it’s the LP hardliners.

    Barr’s past voting record for many in the LP is a hard pill to swallow. And I agree, he needs to come clean on the issues.

  53. Brian Miller Says:

    I think Barr has the best chance of growing the LP and drawing Paul supporters like myself

    Not to be mean, but drawing in Ron Paul Republicans is hardly going to grow the party to significant levels.

    Considering that Ron Paul drew an average of 4% support of GOP voters (who represent under 25% of the total electorate), Ron Paul Republicans represent a tick under 1% of the total national electorate.

    If the LP is going to grow, it’s going to do so by appealing to a broad cross-section of Americans for whom our platform resonates as a tool for achieving the sort of change they want to see.

    To put it bluntly—campaign 2008 proved the Ron Paul “path to growth” to be a failure. While I welcome the support of Ron Paul folks who want to make a commitment to the LP, catering excessively to their small numbers—especially when one considers the much larger groups of unaffiliated or tenuously affiliated voters that a Libertarian candidate can appeal to—is foolhardy.

    As for comments about George Phillies’ chances, I’m certainly on the record as a Phillies supporter. I find it rather interesting that the same people who are calculating he has no chance (despite having the largest war chest by far of any Libertarian candidate in the 2008 race to date) were the folks calculating that Ron Paul had a serious shot at the GOP nomination.

    Their math skills aren’t too good—I suggest they stick to more qualitative pursuits. ;)

  54. Kelly Parker Says:

    “Not to be mean, but drawing in Ron Paul Republicans is hardly going to grow the party to significant levels.”

    800,000+ votes and around $35 million raised. I wouldn’t call that insignificant. With all due respect Mr. Miller, your doing the same thing to Paul supporters the GOP did. Your speaking as if we are a small, unimportant lot. Does the LP NOT want 1 million more members? Does it not want to raise the money Paul did? Do they not want the creative energy our grassroots showed during the Paul campaign? The Paul campaign was empowering. It showed us the individual can make a difference. Even if you could do no more than donate $5, you could see right away your contribution add to the total on Paul’s website. If the LP is going to grow, it will need Paul supporters. Not because of the numbers but because most were activists. We were willing to organize ourselves, go out and knock on doors, hand out literature, etc. You can’t tell me the LP doesn’t need more activists.

  55. Wes Benedict Says:

    Susan makes me want to be a better libertarian.

  56. Denver Delegate Says:

    I welcome center-right libertarians like Bob Barr and center-left libertarians like Mike Gravel to the Libertarian Party.

    If either are the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, I will gladly support his campaign.

    But guess what Reformers?

    Although I welcome all people into the Libertarian Party, including those who fall outside of the libertarian quadrant on the Nolan Chart, I have my preference of what kind of candidate I want to be the Libertarian Party’s standard-bearer.

    I prefer “plumb-line” libertarians, but I’ll compromise a little if a less than plumb-line candidate brings other qualities to the table (experience, charisma, strong oratorical skill, financial/organizational resources, etc.).

    As a self-described “radical pragmatist,” right now I count seven current or prospective candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination that I could support.

    How many candidates are worthy of receiving the votes from the members of the supposedly more-inclusive Libertarian Reform Caucus?

  57. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Brian,

    You write:

    “I find it rather interesting that the same people who are calculating [George Phillies] has no chance (despite having the largest war chest by far of any Libertarian candidate in the 2008 race to date) were the folks calculating that Ron Paul had a serious shot at the GOP nomination.”

    Not.

  58. TAO Says:

    Wow. I’m so glad I’m not a part of the LP, even though I vote for these idiots every go around.

  59. G.E. Says:

    Dave - I wasn’t aware I smacked you around even once, but if so, you’re welcome. I took some hard lumps from Andy (and some others) before I came to my senses.

  60. Kelly Parker Says:

    Denver Delegate

    In your position, I would want to know what level of commitment these newcomers have to the LP. If Gravel, Root, or Barr do not win the nomination will they support whomever the nominee is? Will they commit to helping the LP grow?

  61. Susan Hogarth Says:

    Susan makes me want to be a better libertarian.

    Is that a compliment, an insult, or a line from a country song?

    ;-)

  62. James Hines Says:

    Dear George,

    I don’t quite understand what you’re saying here…
    If Bob Barr secures the Libertarian Party’s nomination and conservatives vote for him …exactly how will that “split” the conservative vote?
    Surely you don’t mean to suggest that John McCain is a CONSERVATIVE! L.O.L. ...of course not …that would be ridiculous!
    McCain and the Democratic nominee will already be splitting the LIBERAL vote, George! Of course, if YOU want to split that vote 3 ways I see no reason for you not to try!
    The Ron Paul rEVOLution is dead: LONG LIVE THE rEVOLution!
    BOB BARR IN 2008!

    In Liberty!,

    James Hines

  63. Brian Miller Says:

    800,000+ votes and around $35 million raised. I wouldn’t call that insignificant. With all due respect Mr. Miller, your doing the same thing to Paul supporters the GOP did. Your speaking as if we are a small, unimportant lot.

    Not really. I’m just challenging the idea that Ron Paul people should get an automatic veto over everything the Libertarian Party does, by dint of their numbers.

    In a worst case scenario, they all go away and we lose access to less than 1% of voters.

    Does the LP NOT want 1 million more members?

    Depends, really, on the character and motivations of the new members.

    Does it not want to raise the money Paul did?

    There are lots of ways to raise money that differ from the Ron Paul campaign. Considering that the primary effect of the Paul campaign was to (temporarily) harm funding of the LP, I don’t see it as a net positive in this election cycle.

    Do they not want the creative energy our grassroots showed during the Paul campaign?

    What’s “creative energy?”

    The Paul campaign was empowering. It showed us the individual can make a difference.

    Sorry, but I’m going to be a wicked, disempowering realist.

    The Ron Paul campaign didn’t make an iota of difference, for individuals or anyone else.

    It did demonstrate that a group of committed activists who donate the maximum contribution allowed by law could squander $30 million on blimps and such and still not break 1% of the total vote.

    If the LP is going to grow, it will need Paul supporters.

    Some Paul supporters, perhaps. But again, this idea that we should bend entirely to the will of my-way-or-else Paul people is a fallacy.

    You can’t tell me the LP doesn’t need more activists.

    I welcome activists. I don’t welcome veto-demanding Republicans who are my-way-or-else activists.

    There are plenty of other demographics the LP can appeal to—take my area of specialty, for instance. I hear constantly about how gay and lesbian voters in this country are “too small a group to target,” yet they constitute about 8% of the total electorate—over 8x the size of the Ron Paul people. If just 15% of them started voting Libertarian and became Libertarian activists, that would dwarf the entire “Ron Paul movement” in terms of activism, creativity, money, etc.

    Yet you wouldn’t accept the notion that “the gays” should have a veto over every candidate the party runs. Nor would you accept the concept that any LP idea that runs counter to some orthodoxy in the LGBT world must be eliminated to “grow the party.”

    I don’t see why Ron Paul people should be treated any differently, or get any sort of similar special treatment.

    If Bob Barr secures the Libertarian Party’s nomination and conservatives vote for him …exactly how will that “split” the conservative vote?

    They’ll be splitting their votes up between the GOP, the Constitution Party, and the LP.

    And yes, John McCain is a conservative. A big-government conservative, but he has the pro-war and socially conservative policies in sufficient quantity to be called one.

    And we’re not the Conservative Party, we’re the Libertarians. We are advocates of personal freedom in all areas, not just economic ones. One of the crucial documents in our founding history is Rothbard’s “Why I Am Not A Conservative.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that!

    Incidentally, we’re as liberal as we are conservative, but there’d be a massive uproar from the right of the LP if a candidate attempted to appeal to liberals to the same degree that he appeals to conservatives. The constant George Phillies bashing here on TPW is ample evidence of that, as Phillies is reaching out to both groups, as well as disaffected and independent voters.

  64. ElfNinosMom Says:

    George Phillies has a very real campaign. He’s already advertising;
    he’s already doing direct mail. He’s already recruited a large core and
    volunteer staff. He’s already reaching out to internet social groups.
    If he gets the nomination, he’s already prepared to represent the
    Libertarian Party.

    Bob Barr’s committee tells us on their front page how they’ll spend
    their first $50,000 or more. They are spending on a baseline poll,
    professional staff, and office setup (the website must be included in
    that somewhere).

    How did George Phillies spend his first $40,000? Lots of travel.
    Direct mail. Mailing lists. Campaign literature. Website Design and
    Hosting. LP News ads. Accounting services. Bumper Stickers.

    Oh, yes, and he also spent it on strengthening the party, through ballot
    access money for North Carolina.

    Who is doing real politics? Who is building up a baseline operation,
    just the way Badnarik 2006 did?

    For the new libertarian who wondered if George is delusional, I can
    assure you that he is not; quite the contrary, in fact, he’s one of the
    most intelligent people imaginable, and certainly one of the most
    intelligent in the LP, since he has a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT, and
    teaches Physics and Game Design at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. So
    while he’s running a very real campaign, he is also not kidding himself
    about whether he will win the White House. He knows he won’t, and he is
    running in order to grow the Libertarian Party, and fill it with Libertarians; not Republicans, not Democrats, but real honest-to-goodness libertarians.

    Growing the party is what all of the LP candidates should be doing,
    since we all know we are not going to win the general election. Any
    candidate who actually believes they can win is indeed delusional. Bob
    Barr is not going to win either, though. While I recognize and respect
    that Bob Barr does have some following, that following is mostly
    Republican, as Dr. Phillies has pointed out. However, Republican Lite
    is not the same as Libertarian, just as Bob Barr is not the same as Ron
    Paul.

    Bob Barr would pull Republican votes away from McCain. He will also give more votes to the Democratic candidate, because many left libertarians will
    not vote for a Republican of any stripe; and Barr’s congressional voting record is going to become public knowledge as a matter of course, thus sending even more libertarians to the Democrats. Should we hand the election to the Democrats? That’s the question you must ask yourself, and the question no one but you can answer.

    I personally have to admire how much George Phillies has managed to do,
    as well as the fact that most of it was done with his own money. The
    truth is, I like a candidate willing to put their own money where their
    mouth is, like George has done. Given that he has committed another
    $100,000 of his own money to his campaign if he gets the nomination, I
    wouldn’t discount him quite so easily.

  65. LifeMember Says:

    Get real. $100000 is chump change in a real election.

    If you want Badnarik results, here’s the answer:

    How did George Phillies spend his first $40,000? Lots of travel.
    Direct mail. Mailing lists. Campaign literature. Website Design and
    Hosting. LP News ads. Accounting services. Bumper Stickers.

    If you wanna play with the big dogs, this at least indicates a coherent plan:

    Bob Barr’s committee tells us on their front page how they’ll spend their first $50,000 or more. They are spending on a baseline poll,
    professional staff, and office setup (the website must be included in
    that somewhere).

  66. Andy Says:

    “One thing I’ve observed is that the LP has ballot access in almost all of the states.”

    I think that the LP currently has ballot status in 28 states. There are currently petition drives going on in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and a few other states so this number will be going up.

    The Green Party is currently on the ballot in 21 states and the Constitution is currently on the ballot in 16 states.

  67. Dave Williams Says:
    1. G.E. Says:
      April 16th, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Dave - I wasn’t aware I smacked you around even once, but if so, you’re welcome. I took some hard lumps from Andy (and some others) before I came to my senses.

    G.E.,
    I’m Joking around. We did have those ‘= moron’ exchanges.

    Andy,
    That’s what I get for remembering what Barr had mentioned on C-SPAN (I think it was), thanks for the correction.

  68. Dave Williams Says:

    ENM,

    I’m a WAR supporter, but if George is nominated I’ll vote for him. Frankly I’d like to see a Root/Phillies ticket. A fusion ticket if you will. Perhaps that would help keep rifts between any party factions to a minimum. This would allow pressure to be applied as needed to whomever is number 1.

  69. Yank Says:

    I will vote for the candidate who can draw the best ass into the party.

  70. Dave Williams Says:

    Yank go here!! http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/02/26/hooters-and-lp-presidential-campaigns/

  71. Stefan Says:

    The main question here is: is “conservative” and “libertarian” mutually totally exclusive? I think not, they probably agree on 80% or almost 80% of the issues, so the LP would be foolish to not consider this. Important could be to get a “balanced” candidacy with president/vice-president nominees to include both spectrums in the LP. The big parties have the same philosophy with their candidates, like with Reagan-Bush or Clinton-Gore for instance. The LP would not be wise to not adopt such a strategy, it could also help in unifying people in the LP around the candidates.

  72. Stefan Says:

    Prof. Phillies should do his research in politics well, just as he does with his scientific work. In this case he will know that although CP leadership often comes from the GOP, the actual votes for the CP come from both the GOP and the Dems.
    The propogate a fair trade, not a free trade, and this mor eprotectionist economic policy is attractive to Democrats.

    Jim Clymer with the CP also mentioned Dems. can change party easier than the GOP, which could favor Phillies’s argument, only in this year there are some 1/3 plus of the GOP that is anti-war and there are also conservatives (whether pro- or anti-war) that would not vote for McCain in any case if he is to be the GOP nominee and it makes sense providing them an opportunity and give an alternative to vote.

    Dr. Phillies mentioned in his 2 closing remarks during the Heartland COnference that the LP would be going the false way if it were to base its political strategy and power base on that of Ron Paul. Well, this is at max only very partly true. He should also keep in mind that Dr. Paul received quite a lot of Independents, former Reform party voters as well as minorities (more than any other GOP candidate) along with traditional GOP voters, thus a very mixed or diverse field. The LP should focus on votes from both the right, middle and left, not only right and also not only left and it can this year without changing its platform in any way. Dr. Phillies wants to attract the dailykos voters/readers, well they support Obama strongly, and Clinton not even allowed there, so with a possible Obama nomination for the Democratic candidates, how is he going to comete with Obama for this vote and how will he differentiate himself from Obama?

  73. George Phillies Says:

    Let me make a few points that may be of some interest.

    1) Let me expand on what I said at the Heartland event.

    With respect to Ron Paul supporters, I haven’t been planning to recruit them, I have been trying to do it. There are some completely usable lists of supporters for direct mail, there are donor lists that can’t be used for fundraising, and there are some other extremely large lists.

    Phillies 2008 has actually done direct mail, some thousands of pieces, spread over much of America. We’ve also done electronic mail, and we’ve done targeted Google Adwords. Finally, I’ve had supporters physically visit Ron Paul meetup groups. At the front end, we did some market research, comparing large lists of Ron Paul donors and large lists of current and recent national party members.

    By direct measurement, most national party members are not Ron Paul donors, and most Ron Paul donors are not national party members. The overlap is around 10%. While we are still trying different marketing approaches, so far Ron Paul supporters have not been notably interested in our direct mail or electronic contacts. These outcomes match the experience of my volunteers.

    Conclusion: Having actually looked, I believe that the LP is not going to get a significant influx of Ron Paul supporters this year. That’s not a ‘we don’t want them’, it’s a ‘not an expected event’.

    There could be a radical and unexpected change in the situation. On the bright side, claims that the Ron Paul campaign has diverted much of the money that would otherwise have gone Libertarian is not defensible. The LP and its candidates may not be happy about finances, but Ron Paul is only a very modest part of the reason.

    2) With respect to my appeal to conservatives, everything I said is true. If you want to read who my campaign is targeting, please look at my major issues pages http://www.ChooseGeorge.Org/major_issues . I am going to target the very large majority of all Americans, left and right, who want to end the war, support civil liberties, and restore fiscal sanity to Washington. That tends not to include the people who McCain would fear losing to another conservative party. With respect to targeting, Stefan and I are thus approximately in agreement.

  74. Denver Delegate Says:

    Kelly Parker Says:

    Denver Delegate

    In your position, I would want to know what level of commitment these newcomers have to the LP. If Gravel, Root, or Barr do not win the nomination will they support whomever the nominee is? Will they commit to helping the LP grow?

    Agreed … past and future commitment to the party’s growth is another important quality I’ll be looking for and encourage other delegates to consider as well.

  75. Barrnone Says:

    What can I say about Phillies? For starters I’ve heard him speak. I think that if Phillies were giving a speech and Dr. Kervorkian were to walk into the room people would line up begging Kervorkian to put them out of their misery. On the other hand his speaking style is close to inducing permanent sleep itself.

    Barr is clearly NOT a libertarian. He supports US interventionism. While he opposes it in Iraq he supports it in South America. Barr is in favor of government schools using tax funds to promote prayer. Barr tried to get Wiccans to be forbidden to practice their religion if in the military. Barr has said that he opposes any legal rights for gay couples. “To be clear, I am absolutely not a supporter of granting marriage rights for same-sex couples any sort of legal recognition…”

    He tried to make it illegal for individuals to burn flags—even if they were the owners of the flag. He voted to make it illegal to give so-called “soft money” donations to political parties.

    He is big on the war on drugs. He recently said the US should give more foreign aid to Colombia because they are so important to our war on drugs.

    He blamed the Columbine shootings on not having the Ten Commandments in the schools. He ranted on about atheists supposedly trying to “infiltrate” the Boy Scouts. He voted against allowing individuals to seek the help of a physician to end their lives when they are terminally sick.

    So we have a man who is anti-gay, pro war on drugs, opposes separation of church and state, is happy to restrict freedom of speech, wants to intervene in South America, believes in foreign aid, etc. And this is what this website is trying to promote a “libertarian”. Barr is no libertarian and Gordon needs a reality check. But, of course, Gordon is paid by Barr so what do you expect?

  76. Stefan Says:

    Dear Prof. Phillies,

    thank you for your response, much appreciated. I understand your position a bit better now, though I would not make the same conclusions in every respect. I must congratulate you on your (new) website, it looks colorful (personally I like the green and orange from an aesthetic perspective), perhaps a bit more color and style would be even nicer, but this is only a personal opinion and this is not about a beauty contest for websites, but about the issues.

    The LP in Arizona especially took a lot of initiative with the Ron Paul revolution.
    My thinking is that as Ron Paul is still in the race, they are still supporting him and financially they are also supporting candidates for congress on his platform, which include GOP, LP, CP and Independents (one even a Democrat), few have been endorsed by Ron Paul, it is more they that endorse Ron Paul’s platform. He has said that the movement is bigger than the LP, which is true. Some people from for instance the Democratic Party that wanted to vote for him, registered too late and could not vote and some newly party switches were even turned down, like with the caucus in LA. Obviously Dr. Paul cannot choose all his supporters, so there may be some non-LP members under them, but of them many have been introduced to the basic philosophy of the LP, which is good. It is a very diverse group. Well, it could also be that many (not all) of them are pro-life and of that some would not vote for a pro-choice candidate.
    I think they are still waiting and still active in the current campaign and with issues and with the caucuses and party meetings becoming delegates, as the primary/caucuses are just like a glorified straw-poll. If Dr. Paul would not be on the ballot box, they would tend to vote for a candidate that resembles the closest to the position of Dr. Paul and with whom he has some relationship. I do not think he will endorse anyone (officially), in any case not before September when the RNC. Some on gopusa.com have even threatened to kick him out of the GOP should he endorse a LP candidate or nominee.

    I listened to a view interviews with Dr. Phillies and find him very organised, with conviction, and definitely not dry as the previous poster (falsely) tried to suggest. My father has also completed his PhD at MIT (my parents were married in Boston), in Mechanical Engineering, in 1957 I think.

  77. Will Says:

    The Libertarian Party is at a crucial point in their history and the direction they take now could have significant consequences on not only this election but the shape and success of the party for the future. In response to Prof. Phillies, the “radical and unexpected change” that would be required to allow an influx of libertarian-leaning conservatives currently behind Ron Paul into shifting that support to the libertarian candidate is simply for the libertarians to nominate Bob Barr and wait for an endorsement from Dr. Paul. I don’t think these people are ready to give up on 2008 and I see the majority of them flocking to whomever gets the Paul endorsement of which Barr would make the most sense. Whether or not you think Bob Barr is libertarian enough, if he is nominated he will receive more votes than any other Libertarian in history and I believe could break the 5% barrier. I think this is a climate where a significant portion of people could be looking for an alternative perspective in contrast to one of the least popular governments in American history and more importantly a financial crisis on the horizon. Whether or not you believe there is a crisis coming you can’t deny the sentiment is out there and it is growing. A financial crisis on the mind brings issues like the national debt, taxation, social security to the forefront as well; issues the libertarian party own in comparison the democrats and republicans. The dismal economic sentiments in 1992 were the leading contributer to the success of Ross Perot (compare it to his disappointing 1996 run when the economy was better). The sentiments today feels eerily similar to 1992 even arguably worse. Whichever third party gets even moderate media attention is going to get votes this year. I think there are a lot of people out there like me that aren’t necessarily looking for an alternative candidate that I agree with 100%, but one that that is going to address the issues that the other parties aren’t addressing. I believe there’s a group of people like me who followed Paul’s campaign with intrigue but didn’t actually contribute or vote for him in the primary. I was raised a democrat (the first president I voted for in my life was John Kerry) but this year I’m voting for whichever third party has the best chance at making the most impact and if Bob Barr gets the nomination the libertarians will be that party.

  78. Will Says:

    I also would like to add that I don’t think that scenario can play out if any of the other libertarian candidates get the nomination. I’m sure they’re all wonderful people, but as candidates they are just too flawed. The fact that Barr has been elected to public office numerous times recently is such a huge advantage it’s almost unfair. You could argue Gravel might bring some attention with his history, but ultimately I don’t think he would catch on. It’s why back in April-May last year when comparing the two party’s debates you could tell Paul was going to be the guy that was going to catch on and not Gravel. Aside from being too old what really hurt him was how he was how angry he was coming across. When your running for office you cannot come off as angry. Frustrated sure, but never angry. People are afraid of angry. Part of why Ron Paul caught on wasn’t just his ideas but how calmly, confidently, and intelligently he articulated them and what I’ve seen of Bob Barr and his oratory skills looks promising.

  79. Tom Says:

    So by this statement below, Phillies is more of a Libertarian than a small-l unalienable rights misesian libertarian and I would never support this guy as he doesn’t get it:

    “I’m a real Libertarian. I’m anti-war, pro-choice, unimpressed by the war on drugs, and an ACLU activist.”

    Really? This makes you a REAL libertarian? I thought libertarianism is upholding our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property? Is he Ron Paul anti-war or is he a pacifist that wouldn’t respond to an act of aggression by another individual? Is he a Constitutionalist or a strict anarcho-capitalist that thinks we can implement anarcho-capitalism already at the federal level. What is pro-choice? Does that entail protecting individiual life or allowing for the murder of it as it takes it’s first gasp of air? Unimpressed by the war on drugs meaning there’s a better way to do it or simply eliminating the war on drugs? ACLU activist? So does this mean that he doesn’t believe in freedom of speech when it involves faith?

    God I hope the Republican convention goes brokered. How Ludwig would’ve loved to have seen President Paul.

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