17 December 2006

Bob Barr goes Lib-? ...

Lib-ertarian, that is. As first read on NewsMax: "Former GOP Rep. Bob Barr Joins Libertarians." From the article, Bob "has quit the Republican Party to become a Libertarian, saying he is disillusioned with the GOP on issues such as spending and privacy."

I find this interesting for several reasons. First, Bob Barr is principled to a fault, if that's possible. This is why he was a leader in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. In his view, Clinton broke the law, he should be held accountable, the end. (A view I share.) Bob has been a consistent critic of the erosion of privacy rights in recent years, so this move continues his admirable history of sticking to his principles. Though, I'm not entirely with him on that issue.

He's had enough.

I'm greatly interested in whether this is the beginning of a trend. In a previous post, "Two parties not working," I argued that our current two party system is a disservice to the voters and needs to be opened up. Long time, loyal, conservative Republicans like myself are disgusted with the near total lack of action by our party after years in power. Third parties have become a lot more interesting.

But, the libertarian party is not for me. This is a good time to reflect on the problems of the libertarian approach. They are very compelling because their solutions address one of our biggest problems: too much government. But, their ideas often go too far in the other direction. I know I have to give some examples for this. Consider vehicle safety laws, like motorcycle helmets or safety belts. I'm in favor of these, but libertarians would be against. Or, zoning laws: the libertarian, to be consistent, must be against zoning laws. Meaning that your neighbor would be free to open a 24-hour casino in the house next door to yours.

The Libertarians are a hybrid party in relation to America's current left-right scale. Nevertheless, the Libertarians can work with conservatives on many issues. I have a great deal of respect for Bob Barr and wish him success in the future.

Still, history shows that our system tends toward two parties. If the Libertarians enjoy any sort of substantial success, one possible outcome is that another party will collapse and the left-right scale would be redefined. I think that a true multi-party system would be better for our country than just rearranging the two-party mess. That's why I suggest people continue to look at other third parties, like the Green party and the Constitution party.

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Blogger Michael said...

You should digg this

Looks to be pretty good. I'm smileyscout in your diggs friend list.


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