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Libertarian Bob Barr: Why You're Not Wasting Your Vote

Libertarian Bob Barr: Why You're Not Wasting Your Vote

Bob Barr, who served as a Republican Congressman from Georgia from 1995-2003 and spearheaded the impeachment of Bill Clinton, is the Libertarian party's nominee for US president. As tiff58 pointed out yesterday, Barack Obama and John McCain are not the only people running for president.

Barr argues that a vote for a major party candidate is a wasted vote. He elaborated on Glenn Beck, explaining that a vote for John McCain or Barack Obama "is a vote for the establishment [...] a vote for business as usual" and that the system is never going to change if we keep voting for the lesser of two evils.

Barr says he left the GOP because they became obsessed with reelection and ignored principle. He says George W. Bush stands proudly "before the American people and says 'yes I violated the law, but I violated it for you.'"

For more on where Barr stands on the issues,


Barr likes small government, maximized individualized liberties, and the return to the constitution. Do these sound like unattainable platitudes, or responsible policy? Some of the headlines from Barr's website include: The War on Drugs Has Been a Failure; Stop the War Threats: Emphasize Diplomacy With Iran, Says Bob Barr; Bob Barr Tells John McCain: No Spying Outside the Law.

Based on the little you most likely know about Bob Barr, do you think he is the answer for true conservatives? Could he be the answer for dissatisfied voters facing McCain? Is a vote for Bob Barr throwing away a vote?


Join The Conversation
mazdagirluk mazdagirluk 8 years
Don't be fooled. Barr is not a true Lib. He just wanted to run for president. Catfish '08! Seriously though, I would bet a lot of conservative Republicans would vote for Barr based on his past record.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
i am all for a third party system, nadar pisses me off to no end but i feel he is a true independent with a true following. barr is a wolf in sheeps clothing, he is a conservative who always voted conservative, who always followed all the conservative credos. and when it suited his political career, he called himself a libertarian. i think the only thing he is honest about is his opposal to the patriot act and the war besides that he is a republican through and through.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Hey Rac, Did ya see that? Someone agreed with both of us at the same time. I believe the world might be ending today...... :)
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I agree with 3M and Raciccarone. I routinely cast votes for third party candidates if a) they are my top pick, b) I'm indifferent between the major party candidates or c) don't like either of the major party candidates. None of those apply in this presidential election. I, too, think we would be best served by a parliamentary system. Forcing everybody to subscribe to one of two fairly rigid partylines does NOT represent most individuals. And, frankly, I think it shuts down debate and discussion by creating a kind of "you're either with us or against us" mentality. I can see the benefit of national publicity in a presidential campaign, but I really think Libertarians and other third parties stand to gain more ground by focusing on smaller campaigns and becoming a force in state and local governments.
fredonica fredonica 9 years
Definitely not a Barr supporter. I agreed with some of his points on the Colbert Report last week, but there's just something I don't like about him, and I don't know what. Like said before, a wasted vote is one that is never cast. I say vote for whoever you want. If you really don't want McCain or Obama to be president, don't vote for them. If you want Bob Barr to be president, vote for Bob Barr.
stephley stephley 9 years
Obama does have a team of advisers, and I'm not sure Jim Baker was ever better than nothing, but I'll bow to your thoughts.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Stephley: Having one substandard president doesn't justify electing another one. At least Bush Jr. knew he needed experienced advisors: I get the impression Obama thinks he's an all-around genius--no sarcasm intended--and doesn't need much advice. That's really scary, IMHO. I'm actually fairly open-minded. I'd vote for a Democrat, if the party would run a decent one. They have suicided the last two elections. flutterpie: Thanks for the information. I'm not sure who I would vote for, if it were not a major-party candidate. Still a little time to observe and decide, I guess.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
lainetm-one of the reasons why bob barr seperated from the republican party, he is now for troop withdrawal and regrets his vote for the patriot act. he has also publicly chastized bush for wiretapping. to be honest he is similar to obama in his view on the war.
stephley stephley 9 years
Aside from hiring all his dad's friends, how was George Bush better prepared for international affairs or national security? Is a president's whole family capable of running the country after dad has held the oval office?
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Well, since I'm in the Los Angeles area, my vote is already pointless. If I vote Dem, I'm so much in the majority it doesn't matter. If I vote Republican, I'm so much in the minority it doesn't even register in the statistics. One of my oldest (and most intelligent, thoughtful and well-informed) friends says she hasn't voted for either of the two major parties since the seventies! So if there was ever an election to cast a protest vote, this might be it. However, the mere thought that I might indirectly contribute to an Obama White House terrifies me--more than anything else, I think he's woefully unprepared for international affairs and national security. While I hate McCain's stance on some other issues, IMO security is his strong point, and I consider it an absolutely critical issue.
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
its really not just abortion, my boyfriend is pro life but he supports repealing gun laws, supports gay marriage (actually he could care less about it) and pretty much supports as little of governement as possible. this makes him a pretty standard libertarian. and i find it interesting that barrs ideas and views evolved over time around the same time he was fighting with the republican party over the patriot act, which is around the same time he was praised by the party. to me barr saw in opportunity to be a conservative answer to john mccain but it irritates me that he decided to label himself a libertarian because it suited his cause not because he believed in the partys cause
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Note to Megnmac: Go Hoyas! Note to flutter: I always thought the Libertarian stance was pro-choice but apparently the party is pretty much split down the middle on this issue. Ron Paul is also pro-life. It's the same basic split for them as for the rest of us. Some of the Libertarians think the right of the individual extend to the fetus and other's don't.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I think the interesting part of his choice in his jump to Libertarian probably wasn't a change in his beliefs on the issues - prob still anti-abortion, anti-drug, anti-gay marriage - but is now thinking the govt should stay out of it. It moves the debate from the issue, back a step and asking instead whether the govt have its hand in that issue (something the govt really should ask itself more often)...
megnmac megnmac 9 years
Shout out to a law school alum! BB got his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1977! Hoya Saxa baby! So in the research that got me that detail, he does seem to have a very conservative history - in 2002, he was described as "the idol of the gun-toting, abortion-fighting, IRS-hating hard right wing of American politics". Huge proponent of the War on Drugs. I find it interesting that the Libertarian Party was part of the reason he lost his Congressional seat - a mix of redistricting and Libertarian ads against him, attacking his opposition to medical marijuana. Then again, at the same time he was called "one of libertarianism's few friends in Congress" by J. Bradley Jansen, vice chair of the Libertarian Party in DC. People's ideals can evolve and change over time. In an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Colbert Report on June 4, 2008, Barr confirmed that he now supports ending marijuana prohibition, as well as the War on Drugs for which he once vehemently fought. If he now believes it, like any of the people that have switched parties, it is better he run on that platform... (gotta love Wikipedia)
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
bob barr is the biggest hypocrite around, he claims to be libertarian but he is pro life, he claims to be pro life but his wife had an abortion. he claims to be againist the war on drugs but he was a huge opponet to legalizing medical marijuana so much so that a law he created was struck down by the supreme court as unconstitutional. he also authored the defense of marriage act which denies federal recognition for gay marriage. if the basis of being libertarian is individual freedoms, why the hell did bob barr work so hard to deny them?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Yeah maybe Trebek in 10 years.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
Ok I see the trebek resemblance a little bit with the mustache. But I feel like he has such intense eyes that arent getting any attention because the mustache is drawing your eyes towards his lips.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Alex Trebek hasn't been the same since he shaved the mustache. His mojo was in that facial hair.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Ugh. In a perfect world, I would never heard the words "wasted vote" ever again. If only people would actually vote their conscience and stop buying into the "wasted vote" propaganda that lifelong career Democrats and Republicans drone on about, then maybe our politicians wouldn't waste so much time playing politics and maybe we could actually get something done in Washington. For once.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I thought the mustach makes him look distinguished. He looks an awful lot like Alex Trebec from "Jeopardy"
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
And just to vent - couldnt he have shaved the mustache before campaigning?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I agree cabaker.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I think the only true wasted vote is one thats not cast.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 9 years
Barr wouldnt have been my choice for the libertarian nominee but hes got my vote anyways. The only real "wasted vote" is voting for the lesser of two evils. I would rather continue to give my vote to the party that most conforms with my beliefs, even if all i can do is help them go from 4% of the vote to 5%. If that number keeps going up every year, soon they might actually have a chance at some attention. Although I do believe with mellowman that the party would benefit more from local/state campaigns at this time. I dont believe libertarians are true conservatives, but I do believe that true conservatives can identify with libertarians better than they can identify with the Republican party at this time.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I've actually always thought that Bob Barr was one Republican I can stand. I've seen him in many committee hearings and I liked what he had to say. I think if he ran he would pull an equal amount of Dems and Rep. to his side.
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