George Phillies to conservatives

From the Phillies 2008 campaign:

Libertarian Party Presidential candidate George Phillies today issued an open letter to American conservatives, urging them to protect American conservatism by supporting his Libertarian nominating campaign. “Good conservatives already have the Republican and Constitution Parties. Support me against Bob Barr. Barr’s drive to become the Libertarian Party nominee would fatally divide the American conservative movement.

“Normally, Libertarian candidates draw about equally from liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans,” Press Director Carolyn Marbry explained. “That’s because we want to keep Uncle Sam both out of your wallet and out of your bedroom. As George Will and Hannity& Colmes have said, Bob Barr gave us the Clinton impeachment and the Defense of Marriage Act. As the Libertarian nominee, Barr will only draw conservative votes, strengthening the Democratic campaign in November.”

“You can safely support me,” Phillies reassured conservatives. “I’ll draw equally from both wings of the political spectrum. I’m one hundred percent pro-choice. I was against the Iraq War before it started. I want a massive reduction in Federal spending.”

29 Responses to “George Phillies to conservatives”

  1. Paulie Says:

    How is this different from


  2. Trent Hill Says:

    This is stupid. Phillies is profitting from the “we own your vote” syndrome.

  3. John Lowell Says:

    “That’s because we want to keep Uncle Sam both out of your wallet and out of your bedroom. ”

    How nauseatingly superficial. If we could only keep Phillies from taking the lives of our kids, I might accept Uncle taking a shot at my wallet. This guy is every bit as dangereous as the system candidates and just as lost. Liberty starts with the right to life, Phillies. Knowing what a human being is is prerequisite to serving them. I mean, really.

  4. Stefan Says:

    Dr. Phillies makes a few false assumptions IMHO:

    • The GOP has NOT been a conservative party the past 7 years and under

    McCain even less so. The spent money like drunken sailors, more than
    Clinton and increased the federal government

    • The CP is attractive to some conservatives, but it also attracts Democrats

    with a more protectionist type of trade policy “fair trade, not free trade”

    • Many conservatives would have no party to vote for.
    • Though a Bob Barr candidacy would attract probably more conservative

    than liberal voters, he can attract liberal votes also with his dealing with
    the ACLU and privacy issues. (Hannity and Will are conservatives, so
    obviously they will only ask him from that side. Hannity did critcize Barr
    on the war and legalization of certain drugs. When will Dr. Phillies be
    interviewed by Hannity and Colmes?).

    • While Dr. Phillies has campaign experience, Bob Barr has even more,

    and successfull ones also, serving in congress. He has a PAC also with
    support and did endorse the LP candidate (M. Badnarik)in 2004 He is an
    articulate and principled politician. It is easy to critisize from the leisure
    of academic detachment, but politicians do change their mind in the light
    of new insight and a rethinking of issues. Some are of course only
    politically motivated, Barr is a principles thinker.

    • With a more classical libertarian VP candidate (of all the serious LP

    candidates all, except Root, who is more “left wing” on social issues than
    Barr, but more “right wing” on foreign policy/war issues), a Barr-Phillies,
    Barr-Ruwart, Barr-Kubby etc. candidacy would be able to attract votes
    from all sides of the political spectrum.

    • Dr. Phillies mentions explisitely he is 100% choice. What does this mean

    in practise/reality? Does he support abortion an hour or a few days
    before birth? Both Dr. Ron Paul and Bob Barr are staunchly pro-life, but
    want to make this a case of the states, not federal government. They do
    not base this on their Christian faith. Dr. Paul, who can really be
    regarded as a specialist in this field - having written a book and
    witnessed an abortion - base his pro-life philosophy on scientific facts.
    In any case, the LP should not make the litmus test for an authentic LP
    candidate to be pro-choice. Difference of opinion should be tolerated.

  5. Chuck Says:

    This is just silly. There is little difference between a true conservative and a libertarian, and the Republicans have abandoned the true conservatives this year. I don’t believe that the LP draws equally from D’s and R’s anyway; most people just think of them as far right (with some weird drug stuff thrown in). Phillies’ argument doesn’t fly.

  6. Brian Miller Says:

    If we could only keep Phillies from taking the lives of our kids

    Phillies has never, to my knowledge, taken a single life.

    He does oppose your efforts to nationalize the uteruses of American women, transforming them into state/federal property regulated by the legislature.

    That would make him a mainstream libertarian and fully in agreement with our party’s platform. Those seeking a conservative who will regulate the sexual activities and freedoms of women have a number of conservative/right-wing candidates in the GOP and Constitution parties to choose from.

    The LP has not been, and should not be, a party advocating government nationalization of one’s sexual organs.

  7. Brian Miller Says:

    There is little difference between a true conservative and a libertarian

    Not true.

    Murray Rothbard wrote “Why I Am Not A Conservative” and did an excellent job of explaining the differences.

    I wish people would take some effort to understand the differences between conservatism and libertarianism, including some of the intellectual underpinnings and differences of the two philosophies, before making these ridiculous “true conservatives” comments.

    Libertarians in the LP are classical liberals. Conservatives of the classical era were opposed to change and favored authority over individuality—Libertarian Party voters and candidates favor major change and disempowerment of mandatory authority over everyday life.

  8. Paulie Says:

    There is little difference between a true conservative and a libertarian

    Lots of differences. Even if you define true conservative as maximizing economic freedom (actually, that position is called economic liberal, not economic conservative, and goes beyond the limitations on government of an economic position called fiscally conservative) - conservative are generally defined as those who favor big government on social issues. They are also generally defined as those who tend to favor bigger government when it comes to military spending, foreign policy, and law enforcement than liberals.

    I don’t believe that the LP draws equally from D’s and R’s anyway; most people just think of them as far right (with some weird drug stuff thrown in).

    This is the main problem the LP needs to overcome.

  9. John Lowell Says:

    “Phillies has never, to my knowledge, taken a single life.”

    That’s only because he’s a chicken, Miller. Most people that want to kill little kids have terribly big mouths and very tiny stomachs. Show them a few pictures of a bloody mess or two and they run for the exits just like many Germans did when confronted with the reality of the Holocaust. Is that you, Miller? Would you hide your eyes if someone asked you to witness some latter day Dr. Mengele shoving an ice pick into the brain of a late term baby.

    “Those seeking a conservative who will regulate the sexual activities and freedoms of women have a number of conservative/right-wing candidates in the GOP and Constitution parties to choose from. The LP has not been, and should not be, a party advocating government nationalization of one’s sexual organs.”

    Oh, I think there are things in life that transcend your absurdly amoral, ideological vision of human freedom, Miller, one of them clearly the need to regulate murderers. Some of us actually have risen above your kind of rationalized savagery, you know. And I don’t think for five minutes as you stand there “shoulding” all over yourself about party platforms and the like that any majority in the Libertarian Party is apt to see a right to murder as more fundamental than a right to life. So while your encouraging people to look elsewhere why don’t you check out the Democrats, a natural home for the kind of libertine paramecia you seem drawn to.

  10. Stefan Says:

    I think “fiscal conservatism” means saving-culture, no pork and restraint and as low deficit as possible and “economic liberalism” means free trade with no constraints. As such, fiscal conservatism goes hand in hand with economic liberalism, as a free trade means saving money, less taxes and bureaucracy as possible and this facilitates saving of money (economic conservatism).

    Regarding “libertarianism” and “social conservatism”, they are not the same but are really also not opposites. There could be 80% similarity. An example in Switzerland, it is a very libertarian country with a small government, and strong religious and social conservatism and also a strong military force. Just a very well managed system. On this basis the LP and CP should come together and be pragmatic, rather than being split. The CP do attract Democrats, they tend to be more for fair trade, not free trade and a bit more protectionist. One can work through differences. All the two major parties need is opposition parties that cannot agree/cooperate with each other. Obviousy there will always be differences of opinion, like every big party has its “flanks”.

  11. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Good job George in realizing the reality that the “lesser of two evils” system is unstopable, and that conservatives and liberals are competing both for the center and to stay united. And Jonathan, I agree that libertarians should move more towards the Democrats. Economic liberty does matter a lot less than political liberty. Having said that, as a Catholic I agree with Jonathan and not Obama on abortion. However, the invisibility of souls in fetuses necesitates a compromise on abortion, whereby lateterm abortion would be banned, and Catholics and other denominations should focus on getting their own members to stop performing abortions.

    Please pray for the pope and please pray for Barack Obama.

  12. Stefan Says:

    Economic and political liberty are intertwined.
    Catholic Trotskyist Politics 101: Libertarian and socialist philosophy are direct opposites and irreconcilable, just as Catholism and Trotskyism are also opposites.

    And Barack Obama would be the most dangerous president, as he would be a puppet ruled by scare advisers who want a new cold war with Russia and CHina. He will also not pull out of Iraq, I guarantee you. In Ron Paul you have both an anti-pre-emptive war and anti-abortion/pro-life candidate: (almost) perfect for any true catholic believer. Yes, I will pray for the fallible pope and you can also pray for Ron Paul. I have always liked cardinal Ratzinger, he played a prominent role in Vatican 2 also and is smart.

  13. Red Phillips Says:

    Brian, the uterus is not a “sex organ.” It is also know as a womb, the place where a mother nurtures HER OWN CHILD. Anyone who thinks that a mother killing her own baby is acceptable is a moral midget.

  14. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Stefan, I realize the classical political theory that libertarianism and socialism is opposite, but because both movements are rather on the fringes of society, and because of advanced philosophical/theological precepts which I am currently writing a book about, they actually make a rather good alliance against the moderate forces of liberalism and conservatism, and the aberations of fascism and totalitarianism. Obama does not want to have a new Cold War, that’s Clinton and McCain. And I assume that you have not been involved in both the progressive Catholic and moderate Trotskyite political movements, as I have. They are both working together on antiwar issues and communal development issues now as we speak, and this will become the greatest political development of this decade. Also, I like Ron Paul, but he has even less chance of winning now as Bob Barr and Ralph Nader. Obama has both the political correctness and the campaign infrastructure.

  15. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Instead of saying “fiscal conservative” and “socially liberal,” say, “I’m a libertarian, both socially and fiscally.” :)

  16. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Quoth Stefan:

    “Libertarian and socialist philosophy are direct opposites and irreconcilable”

    It wasn’t until the mid-20th century, and then only in America, that the term “libertarian” began to be construed as referring not only to the issue of freedom versus coercion, but to the issue of individualism versus collectivism.

    Prior to that, the word “libertarian” referred (and to this day in Europe refers) almost exclusively to socialist or communist anarchists (once it became political at all—until the late 18th century, it referred to the religious argument for free will versus that of predestination). Late 19th century American libertarians like Benjamin Tucker not only worked with, but professed a good deal of ideological affinity with, their socialist counterparts.

    It’s entirely possible for libertarians to be individualists and anti-socialists (and, indeed, in the American libertarian movement and specifically in the Libertarian Party most of us probably are). That doesn’t mean that libertarianism per se and socialism per se are “direct opposites” and “mutually exclusive.” Historically they’ve been neither.

  17. George Phillies Says:

    For those of you who don’t read Republican blogs very often, I call to your attention that Bush-McCain supporters call themselves ‘conservatives” and when they write about Barr they complain about “splitting the conservative vote”. Whether you think they are Goldwater conservatives or not, and I think there can be some good cases made here, if you want them to send money, you address them politely by the name they use for themselves.

  18. Stefan Says:

    Goldwater conservatives voted for Ron Paul, Barry Goldwater Jr. has also endorsed Paul. McCain received votes from Democrats and Independents in the primaries, not predominantly GOP voters. He calls himself a centrist/moderate, not conservative and has a problem getting the trust of conservatives. You are not conservative only because you are “pro-life”. McCain has to distance himself from Bush and in that respect to the more “liberal” side in terms of ‘”global warming”,
    more intervention in the economy etc. He uses conservative rhetoric, but this does not mean he is trusted by conservatives. There are several conservatives who have indicated they will never vote for McCain, in announcements and on GOP blogs.
    McCain-Feingold, McCain-Lieberman, McCain-Kennedy are all stumbling blocks.

  19. Maria Folsom Says:

    The abortion thing! Until we define when life begins, we cannot arbitrarily call this “murder” or a “woman’s right.” Since we don’t know (yet) and maybe can’t ever know when this ‘life’ begins, we should err on the side of personal freedom. This is what State’s rights are all about; we can have different rules to accommodate different beliefs, until those beliefs yield to scientific facts.

  20. G.E. Says:

    Brian Miller - Whatever. Phillies does advocate nationalization of uteruses, or at least uteran policy. Phillies should stick to science. His understanding of political philosophy, the Constitution, and economics are embarrassingly deficient.

    “States rights” is not just a good principle of decentralism—when it comes to abortion THERE IS NO AUTHORITY for the federal government to be involved. Phillies is a Hamiltonian centralist, NOT a libertarian. He wants to grant the federal government more power than it is authorized. How is that even remotely libertarian?

  21. G.E. Says:

    Goldwater himself was a New Rightist and a delegate for Eisenhower against Taft in 1952. Goldwater was a Big Government, imperialist “conservative.”

  22. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    You write:

    “Until we define when life begins, we cannot arbitrarily call this ‘murder’ or a ‘woman’s right.’ Since we don’t know (yet) and maybe can’t ever know when this ‘life’ begins, we should err on the side of personal freedom.”

    Actually, we know precisely when life begins—at the moment of conception. As any embryology text will attest, that’s when a unique, specific iteration of species homo sapiens sapiens, i.e. a “human being,” comes into existence.

    The divisive question is not when life begins, although some on both sides do try to falsely frame the issue that way. Rather it’s whether a human being has rights from the instant it comes into existence (and what rights those might be), or whether some or all rights come later with a philosophical construct called “personhood.”

    As far as erring on the side of personal freedom is concerned, the answer to the aforementioned question is key. Which personal freedom are we talking about? The freedom of a younger human being not to be killed, or the freedom of an older human being not to be required to support that younger human being?

  23. John Lowell Says:

    While you are quite correct to say that animation (life) occurs at conception - it would even be correct to say that conception presupposes animation - I think, perhaps, that you make a false distinction when you go on to cast the question as one of rights at animation or, possibly, at some future time after which “personhood” is acknowledged. If we are right in asserting that life begins with conception, we are equally right to assert that the “person” is the “who” of the life just begun and the mutually informing animating and biological aspects the “what”. To see “life” as the ontological ground of the human being is to confuse “soul” with “person”, essence with existence, and that’s problematic, of course. To live is quintessentially to life-as, to live-as Thomas or John or whomever. The rights question follows appropriately only thereafter and is properly cast as a consideration of natural rights or as a denial of some or all of them.

  24. Thomas L. Knapp Says:


    Restating the conflict in light of existentialist philosophy does not resolve the conflict.

  25. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Goldwater, by virtually all accounts was not a down the line 100/100 libertarian. However, I believe that many years after writing “Conscience of a Conservative”, Goldwater started referring to himself as “libertarian”. Obviously, what he called himself doesn’t necessarily make it so, but it does shed some light on word usages, and general understanding of the terms “libertarian” and “conservative” as time went by, starting in the 1950’s.

    As has been impressed upon my by many people much smarter than I, libertarianism is a political philosophy, whereas conservatism is more of an attitude about what society’s norms, institutions and traditions have been, and should continue to be.

  26. John Lowell Says:

    Hello Thomas,

    With all due respect, an observation or two:

    What I’ve set out above is hardly a restatement of the question in terms of “existentialist philosophy” unless one is to understand aspects of the moderate realism of St. Thomas Aquinas as existential. Aquinas, of course, quite specifically laid out the distinction between the idea of the “person” from that of the “soul”, identifying the former as the act by which the mutually informing spiritual and biological elements of the human reality possessed being. “Person”, therefore, has always been understood as ontologically prior to the soul/body construct and absolutely necessary to it. To abstract human essence from human existence or to cast the question of “rights” as pertaining only to some solely material element is to risk lapsing into the most questionable dualism. There can be no legitimate discussion of “rights” without there first being a discussion of who it is that these rights are to be ascribed. And, most importantly, it is precisely because of this “personal” aspect that the problem of rights is resolved. Either your “rights” are presupposed, personal and natural, they derive from some trivialized or bastardized version thereof, or they exist soley as abstractions. I’d hasten to add that Aquinas’ insights have been considerably deepened over the centuries, in recent times by Hans Urs von Balthasar and his American interpreter, David Schindler, the North American editor of Communio, International Catholic Review.

  27. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Brian Miller Says:
    April 18th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Murray Rothbard wrote “Why I Am Not A Conservative”

    Actually, Friedrich Hayek wrote that, as a chapter (or appendix) in The Constitution of Liberty.

    Rothbard may have written something very similar, but I don’t believe he titled anything as “Why I Am Not A Conservative”.

  28. G.E. Says:

    LaBianca - First, Goldwater did not even write CONSCIENCE. Secondly, yes, he was certainly “better” (i.e. “more libertarian”) than today’s crop of mainstream rightists. But facts are facts. He was backed by the liberal-interventionist CIA assets at the New Republic. He was a delegate for Eisenhower against Taft in 1952. He was an aggressive militarist for one of two reasons: 1) He actually believed Communism superior to capitalism and thus thought the USSR was a legitimate threat, or 2) He just wanted to grow big government like many of his pawnmasters at the NR. I’m willing to give him the “benefit of the doubt” and say #1, but that’s not a very ringing endorsement.

    Yes, Brian Miller is wrong. It was Hayek who wrote WHY I’M NOT A CONSERVATIVE. Rothbard never needed to write such a thing because he was never considered to be one.

  29. A_S Says:

    Mr. Knapp, legal personhood is is clearly defined in the 1st section of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment:

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    The standard for personhood being birth, and citizen person as born in the U.S.A. or naturalized. All Federal legislative attempts to expand the definition of person to cover fetuses at the moment of conception, that are not themselves Constitutional Amendments that transparently and directly alter the 14th Amendment’s text should be viewed as Unconstitutional.

    To those who loudly prcclaim that all willful termination of pregnancies is murder; please resolve the following dilemmas:

    1) Ectopic Pregnancy - when a fertilised egg implants itself elsewhere than the womb now estimated to occur in almost 2% of all pregnancies. the fetus has a statistical nil probability of surviving gestation, and if left untreated to run its own course without termination of pregnancy, complications could easily lead to the mother own future infertility, and even death. Untreated Ectopic Pregnancy is one of the most frequent cause of materity deaths in the 1st trimester.

    2) Conception through forcible rape - it is extremely odious to force a woman to bear a fetus conceived in this fashion. Let’s get even more diabolic in example: forcible rape of your 12 daughter by your dom-witted brother-in-law.

    3) Anacephalic fetus - birth defect in which the fetus has no cranial vault, and either lacking or very small cerebral hemispheres. Arguably, thiese fetuses are not even human without any substantial cerebral hemispheres, Why should a woman be forced against her will to carry it to term?

    At issue here is if in any of these or other possible circumstances, an abortion is justified, then clearly, a fetus is NOT a “Person” at the moment of conception, yet in the 1st case, defining a fetus as a person at conception is also signing a death warrant for some pregnant women in the future in defense of a fetus that will not mature anyway.

    Additionally, consideration need be made regarding the massive expansion of the Federal Government the moment that legislation defining a fetus as a person at conception has force of law. At that time all subsequent miscarriages would require a coroner’s investigation into possible externalities which were a contributory factor, as these acts would also be criminal chargeable under homicide or manslaughter statutes. The Judicial Process would be sailing into dark uncharted waters as juries were forced to make decisions of fact regarding these actions. Manslaughter does not require an element of intent for a finding of guilt. A female athlete, who did not even know she was pregnant could find herself charged. so could a pregnant woman who went on an elective trip in which an accident, in no way her fault, caused a miscarriage. She chose to expose her fetus to the extra risks involved. Any individual state which did not aggressively investigate all miscarriages would see the Federal Government riding into the state forcibly under the 14th amendment’s privileges or immunities; deprivation of life, liberty and property,; due process and equal protection clauses as predicates. Enforcing this legislation would require a massive build-up of the government in the bureaucracies of law-enforcement, prosecutorial, judiciary and penal.

Leave a Reply