Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 778, July 6, 2014

Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the
land unto all the inhabitants thereof.

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A Declaration of Independence from Republican Rejects
by Thomas L. Knapp

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Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

In 2008, the Libertarian Party nominated former US Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) for President of the United States.

There was no coronation—it took six ballots and the support of another Republican aspirant (Wayne Allyn Root, who got the veep nod in return for his endorsement) for Barr to get past his libertarian opponents—but what's interesting are the "befores" and "afters."

Before getting the nomination, Barr apologized to LP national convention delegates for his anti-libertarian past in general and specifically for his authorship, sponsorship and support of the "Defense [sic] of Marriage Act."

After his nomination, Barr immediately went on national television to describe DOMA as a matter of "states' rights" ... and "states' rights" as "the essence of libertarianism."

After running a lackluster and non-libertarian campaign—he ran as an old-style "Dixiecrat" and was even compared to George Wallace in The American Spectator as if that comparison was flattering—which ended in debt (his campaign book's author had to take him to court to get paid), Barr returned to Georgia and to the GOP. He endorsed Mitt Romney for POTUS in 2012 and is running for Congress as a Republican in 2014 (Root also returned to the GOP, endorsed Romney and has announced a 2016 Republican Senate campaign in Nevada).

In 2016, former governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) entered the Republican presidential primaries. After driving his campaign six figures into debt, he dropped out of the GOP race and asked the Libertarian Party to nominate him on the idea that he could get a government welfare check ("matching funds") to retire that debt.

Johnson was nominated on the first ballot at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention. He got his welfare check, ran on a platform that included the draconian "Fair" Tax—a proposal which includes a monthly government welfare check for every man, woman and child in America—and ended that campaign six figures in debt too. All on a platform, of course, of "fiscal responsibility."

Johnson is publicly mulling another run on the Libertarian Party's ticket in 2016.

Are we really that desperate?

For most of its history the Libertarian Party has fended off catcalls of "just Republicans who want to legalize marijuana—GOP Lite."

Those criticisms haven't always been justifiable, but at some point—for example, after the party has offered Republican rejects for president twice in a row—they begin to ring true.

It's time to declare our independence. We're not "the Republican Party for pot-smokers" or "the Democratic Party for people who don't like taxes." We're the LIBERTARIAN Party. Let's start acting like it!

The best way to keep Republican retreads from sniffing around our party's presidential nomination is to stop giving it to them. And since we've seen over two election cycles that LP convention delegates have trouble rallying around an individual opponent to well-financed, hard-sold Republicans, it's time in 2016 to instead rally around NONE OF THE ABOVE.

Originally published at in the public domain

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