Flashback: Libertarians Vs. Bob Barr

Before he was “exploring” a Libertarian presidential candidacy, before he was on the Libertarian National Committee, before he was a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, Bob Barr was the biggest drug warrior in Congress. He was so bad on the drug war that the late, great Ron Crickenberger, political director of the national Libertarian Party, was inspired to create this 2002 anti-Barr ad starring medical marijuana patient Cheryl Miller.

Why do I dredge this up now? Hasn’t Barr sufficiently repented for his past sins? Well, yes and no. He’s certainly gotten a lot better on a lot of issues since leaving Congress. However, he also has a track record that isn’t easily dismissed. Ron Paul may be a Republican, but he also has an impeccably libertarian voting record in Congress. Barr doesn’t have that, and he needs to realize that he has to make an extra effort to prove he’s now on the side of angels.

I want to support Bob Barr. I started the online petition to encourage him to run. But I also expect Libertarian candidates — especially at the highest levels — to be clearly libertarian. If Barr wants the nomination, he has to earn it by coming out with some unequivocally libertarian campaign positions, particularly on those issues like the drug war where he erred so badly in the past.

12 thoughts on “Flashback: Libertarians Vs. Bob Barr”

  1. Christian Prophet

    Hmmm…. Clearly libertarian? Like siphoning enough votes to allow state socialist Barack Obama to win for sure? Like giving the impression you want drugs to flow freely on the street, which is all people can see when you champion and end to the war on drugs? When will libertarians ever learn? See:

    1. I am wondering when libertarians will learn that the existence of a state is ncessarily violent. Even Ron Paul’s excise tax is violence and is thus intolerable because ANY tyranny is unacceptable. There is no justification for a state run police force, army, and thing… there is no justification for the state and this quote sums it up for me:

      “Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of ANY kind, and the perfect equality of all cannot be recognized through the dominion of one will over another.”

  2. Thanks for the Link I will return it tomorrow.
    BTW the first Libertarian meeting I ever went to in Atlanta was one where Ron Crickenberger was the chairman of back in Atlanta in the 1990’s. A lot of the old timers still talk about him

  3. I have always respected Bob Barr as a champion of liberty, except for his one killer property, support of the war on some drug users. I haven’t heard him talk enough about his realization of the error of his ways to know whether he can be trusted in that regard.

    My experience has taught me that I need to avoid recreational drug use, especially of tobacco and alcohol. But any kind of government regulation or prohibition makes the problem worse. People have to get there on their own. And some don’t need complete abstinence. Only you can decide for yourself what works for you.

  4. I believe libertarians made their 2008 presidential stand (and their best ever) with the primary campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). For this reason, we do not need to focus our sweat and treasure on an unwinnable general election for president. Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) will not be permitted in the debates and will not make a blip on the political radar screen and will squander the energy generated by the Paul campaign. Let’s concentrate on getting libertarians elected to public and party offices in the state’s where we live and move the revolution forward. See http://www.rlcfl.org.

  5. Earn the support? You know, that’s why I left the Republican party. If you don’t stick strictly to party lines, you get the shaft? If all the parties act like that I just won’t vote.

  6. “If you don’t stick strictly to party lines, you get the shaft?”

    uhhh…. yeah, if the party lines consist of nonviolent libertarianism and you’re not sticking to them to the extent of initiating force against a nonviolent drug user…

    then yeah… you deserve “the shaft”

    Now if his change of heart is sincere, then it’s a different story.

  7. I must agree with Mr. Blumel. The greatest opportunity we have for expressing the ideals of non-aggression, respect for individual rights, peace, freedom and equal justice under the rule of law and having them heard by a large audience, is to continue to support the revolution begun by the Ron Paul campaign. It is most probable that Ron Paul will not be the next president, but imagine the message it would send to “them” if we pooled our voting resources, quit voting for parties or the lesser of two evils and got over 20% of the popular vote for Ron Paul. If the election is split between too many participants the status quo will reign and the momentum we’ve gained will be diminished. On a side note, I believe the message we send with our vote is more important than who wins the election. That said, I believe the message for this election should be, “You guys in power have done an exceptionally poor job for a long, long time. You’ve had your chance and you blew it. Collect your belongings. You’re dismissed and, please don’t make us call security.” This election cycle, let’s clean house. If they’re in, let’s vote ’em out.

  8. ron crickenberger was amazing to watch during a state convention in georgia that i attended. he was surreal, larger than himself, when he spoke. he didn’t need a microphone. he had a presence. his voice and passion filled the room.

    i also worked with him on the 2002 campaign to remove bob barr from office as the webmaster. he had a very hands off leadership and was really easy to work with him.

    ron crickenberger was a true loss. he was so successful that he made our enemy our friend. that is true power.

  9. Greetings! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

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