Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barring the Greater Satans

"American voters deserve better than simply the lesser of two evils."

Bob Barr.

Why would any freedom-loving individual who chooses to sanction democracy by voting proceed to waste his or her vote on just another collectivist?

Both McCain and Obama openly and unabashedly campaign on their "value" of service. They claim they want to serve you, but they're as proud of the fact that once elected, they will force you to serve your fellow man — and the government that rules both you and your fellow man.

The hope that McCain may be tougher on terrorists and the axis of evil than Obama cannot justify voting for a man who is every inch as much an altruist, a collectivist, an enemy of liberty as Obama. OK, it's tempting to vote for a man whose famous temper will likely make him hit the big red button in case of another terrorist attack, instead of for a man who would negotiate a compromise with them that gives in to materially all their spiritual demands.

Yet any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. No terrorist threat, real or imagined, can justify selling the foundation of civilization, capitalism, down the river.

Let's look at only one example of too many to count: Both McCain and Obama have vowed to fight "speculation" and "windfall profits" in the oil industry.

Bear in mind that it's the government that caused America's dependence on foreign oil. The government destroyed passenger railroads by subsidizing highways and airports. The government claims unowned land that should be open to be claimed by oil companies that wish to establish ownership by improving it, by making it useful by drilling for and producing oil.

These government follies have curtailed oil supply and driven up demand, increasing prices and profits. Can you imagine what will happen if one of the mainstream looters confiscates those "windfall profits" oil companies need to continue working in the stranglehold of an environmentally correct, altruistically price-controlling government?

It took a century of hard work to rebuild ExxonMobil after that overgrown teddy bear Roosevelt took the initiative in destroying Standard Oil. Do you think it is a good idea to vote for a Roosevelt groupie now, when the product of the oil industry has become the lifeblood of civilization?

Bob Barr, in stark contrast, holds that:

The free market, driven by consumer choice and reflecting the real cost of resources, should be the foundation of America's energy policy. The federal government should eliminate restrictions that inhibit energy production, as well as all special privileges for the production of politically-favored fuels, such as ethanol.

In particular, Congress should allow the exploration and production of America's abundant domestic resources, including oil in the Outer Continental Shelf and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and alternative sources such as shale oil.

So you believe voting for a third-party candidate amounts to wasting your vote? It takes away votes from McCain and ensures the victory of Obama?

That's probably what an unreconstructed Whig would have told a Republican in the 1850s. Wake up and smell the coffee.

If you want change to happen, you have to make it happen. If you want to get rid of both established parties, you have to vote for a third party.

Everybody keeps telling everybody else to not "waste" their vote on a third party. This way, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, game theory at its worst. There will never be liberty unless you there in front of your computer decide to become the political Howard Roark on your block, the first person to go against the grain, the first person to vote for a third party.

In fact, you throw your vote away if you vote for a mainstream candidate. If you vote for either McCain or Obama, you stand up to be counted among those who approve of their identical altruist, collectivist premises.

"See," the mystics of muscle and the mystics of spirit alike will crow, "the people don't want liberty. The people want to serve, want to be ruled by one of us."

Besides, voting for Barr doesn't necessarily have to hurt McCain, much as he has it coming. Christopher Barron, a Republican political consultant, told the Los Angeles Times:

"If Barr's candidacy is fueled by the same people who supported Ron Paul — college students, antiwar advocates and hard-core libertarians — then I think it is unlikely to hurt Sen. McCain in any significant way because these are not the type of voters McCain is reaching out to. I could actually envision a scenario under which Barr's candidacy actually helps McCain by siphoning off some of the enthusiasm among college voters and antiwar advocates for Obama."

Either way, there can be no reason not to vote for the one candidate who's standing firmly for freedom from G like gun rights to P like property rights — while under McCain, the former GOP is being further reduced to a big, fat 0.

Like every one of us, Barr isn't perfect. Like every one of us, he has made mistakes (like prosecuting drug dealers) and held quirky opinions (that same-sex couples should be denied the chance to marry, to become as unhappy as everyone else). But is that an excuse for voting for candidates campaigning by openly brandishing their collectivism and altruism?

It looks like Barr has become enlightened regarding his follies, like the war on drugs. We can only hope this change for the better will be a change for good, and not a flip-flop.

So in some ways, Barr is a reformed "sinner." But is it better to vote for a man who openly says he will do evil?

Oh, by the way, did I mention that Barr is to my knowledge the only candidate who's at least something of a fellow Ayn Rand fan?

We should seek to establish a wall of separation between government and the economy. The legitimate economic functions of government are to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. The government should stop attempting to "manage" the free market.

Ayn Rand? Nope. Bob Barr.

If life, liberty, and property is what you want, Bob Barr is your last, best hope in 2008. In fact, as the candidates of the two mainstream parties have disqualified themselves, Barr is your three best candidates: Barr is the first, last, and only line of defense for liberty left in America.

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