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Death of Libertarianism - by Mike Wasdin

Written by Subject: Voting and Elections
Death of Libertarianism
Those who know me know I define myself as an Anarcho-capitalist more than a Libertarian. I was never much on party politics so when describing myself politically I preferred the term Anarcho-capitalist to Libertarian because I did not associate myself with a voting group. With that said I always supported many Libertarian principles and admired several Libertarian candidates such as Harry Brown and Ron Paul.
Today I have lost what little respect I once had for the Libertarian Party with their nomination of Bob Barr. Libertarians are supposed to be for less government and more freedom.  The Libertarian Party nomination of Barr as their candidate should be a slap in the face to any real Libertarian. Barr is not a Libertarian, never has been and he has made it obvious never will be.  
I recently had a quick email discussion with Karl Dickey the Chairman of the Florida Libertarian Party…or said another way head sheep in Florida. He was nice enough to send me an email letting me know Bob Barr would be in my area giving a speech in case I wanted to attend. My reply was much like I am sure anyone that knows me would have imagined.
I asked Karl how he could actually call himself a Libertarian while at the same time supporting a known Nazi like Barr. As you could probably also imagine I received a nice and courteous reply from Mr. Dickey which I am going to share with everyone and I quote, “You have made it obvious you are a complete idiot”.
Yes I am the idiot. I am the idiot for pointing out what this Barr Moonie should know already. I guess I am the idiot for not looking at Bob’s long record on crusading for Libertarian issues such as the drug war while he was prosecutor. He even introduced the “Barr Amendment” to stop the use of medical marijuana and he was the author of the “Defense of Marriage Act” even though the Libertarian Party platform declares that government has no place in defining, licensing, or restricting personal relationships between consenting adults.  
Karl’s first email to me was much more gracious and I will share that one as well-
Thank you for your comments, and though I did not vote for Barr to be our nominee, he is...and me being the state chair has but be in a precarious situation with certain responsibilities that I do take seriously.
At this point, I look at it that we only have to deal with it less than two months more. Then we can focus on getting LP National back on course.
Thank you again,
It would seem Karl did not really like Barr either, but found himself supporting him once the flock had spoken. I asked him what made himself any different than a Republican that could so easily replace his Romney sign with a McCain sign or a Democrat who replaced their Clinton sign for an Obama sign. How could someone so easily abandon their principles just because the people had spoken? Not having an answer at the ready Karl was quick to retort with the “You’re an idiot” comeback, further demonstrating that he is not only a sheep, but that he also is not a great debater.  
When Bob Barr was on the Glen Beck show, Beck asked him if he was one of those crazy people that wanted to end the drug war and Barr just chuckled along with Beck and said nothing. Would Harry Brown or Ron Paul have said nothing? This would have been a great opportunity for Barr to stand up for one of the biggest principles of the Libertarian Party (a party he claims to support) but instead he was silent. If he were a true Libertarian he would have been quick to point out that in a free society adults should be able to decide what they do with their property and explained to Beck why he does not support the drug war.
A very good friend of mine Marc Victor  had a chance to question Barr on this very issue when he confronted Barr at a freedom event (Why Barr was there I am still not quite sure).  Marc specifically asked Barr why he remained silent as Glenn Beck was publicly ridiculing people who support marijuana legalization.   Barr retreated into a diatribe about winning votes from people who did not support legalization.  Marc pointed out that the Libertarian Party nominee should at least support basic fundamental longstanding libertarian positions.  Marc hammered away about the importance of changing hearts and minds with reasoned positions advocating freedom.  Barr would have none of it and was focused solely on simply winning votes.  Barr’s handlers, realizing that a scene was developing, attempted to move Marc along.  Marc, a criminal defense attorney, simply got louder and more determined to expose Barr as the fraud he really is.  Realizing Marc was not backing down, Barr simply ran away from the conversation.   Afterwards, several libertarians cheered Marc’s exposing Barr as a fake and an embarrassment to the Libertarian Party. 
You cannot call yourself a Libertarian and support the drug war. What make this worse is Barr as a prosecutor has put many people in cages for doing what the party he represents claims to be against. Now it would be one thing if Barr could say that he no longer believes in the drug war, but when given the chance to clarify his position he goes silent. He told Marc that he decided not to speak up because that position would lose votes…are you kidding me? Barr is nothing more than a political hack by his own admission.
It’s obvious that the Libertarian Party sold out plain and simple. Even though I do not participate in the scam known as voting I used to at least have some respect for the Libertarian Party for their principles and some of their positions, but no more. With their selection of Bob Barr to represent them I have lost any respect I once had for them. If Bob Barr can be called a Libertarian then there really is nothing separating the Libertarians from the Republicans and Democrats.
I knew that freedom was never going to be found through Dumbocracy, but I thought maybe the Libertarian Party might keep fascism in check somewhat…I was wrong. The Libertarian Party is now just as big of a joke as is the Republican and Democratic Parties, and Bob Barr was the last nail in the coffin. We have all just witnessed the death of libertarianism as we all knew it.
The party is over…turn down the lights.

9 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Vallejo
Entered on:

Mr. Wasdin,
I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Comment by Samantha Atkins
Entered on:
I really wanted Ron Paul to stay in the race. I wanted him to admit that he didn**Q**t belong in the Republican party and run as an independent. Yeah he has a lot of opinions I really don**Q**t respect and no, he is not a real libertarian. But damn, he is so good! I never expected to hear a mainstream party presidential candidate say what he said in my lifetime. That was really something.

I haven**Q**t paid much attention to the LP of late. Too much noise about winning various positions starting with dogcatcher and far, far too little standing up for Freedom clear, loud and in the face of all the control freaks (I am trying to stay ladylike) running this asylum. The **QQ**Party of Principle**QQ** seem to far to rarely be in the news clearly extolling any! So I guess I am not surprised. No, sorry. My jaw is still on the floor. Nominating a drug warrior and relationship legislator? That is absolutely insane. The LP is about as libertarian as their presidential candidate. NOT.

So what is this **QQ**Crude or Lewd**QQ** thing about around here? A local batch of honor? :-)

Comment by Mike Wasdin
Entered on:

Hi Scott well said! Barry it would seem this Psychictaxi is one of those pussys you were talking about. The guy has no principles, no mind of his own, a total sheep that would back anyone his **QQ**party**QQ** nominated, even a Nazi like Barr. Karl and Psychictaxi are the kind of morons I wrote the article about and now these morons have come to roost, lol.

Comment by Mike Wasdin
Entered on:
Psychictaxi, you are just like your buddy Karl, A sheep, a Barr moonie and an idiot. You are one of those mindless zombies that believe you can vote for your feedom and rights. One of those braindead fools that would lick the hand of your master on the way to slaughter.

Listen up sheep, I really don**Q**t give a damn what you think of me. Sheep like you make me sick, so if something I said offends you then I feel I am on the right track.

I am not kind and I do not censor what I say, so with no due respect, go fuck yourself.

Comment by Barry Hess
Entered on:

My friend Mike makes very good points. The very idea that there could be some good to come of making a non-Libertarian the nominee for the Libertarian Party is absurd on its face. Though the next-to-last draft was what got printed for me to deliver, most of the ideas and thoughts came across clearly based on responses from all over the world. I**Q**ll simply direct you to my thoughts on the subject. I hope you enjoy the listening experience:

Comment by Scott Bieser
Entered on:
I remember the Dallas Accord somewhat differently -- more as anarchists selling out to the limited-statists, by agreeing not to demand that anarchism be spelled out in the Party Platform, nor to advocate it openly as part of electoral campaigns.

Since the founding of the LP there have been market anarchists who have eschewed the Party for reasons of principle, and have predicted that ultimately the Party would move away from any sort of consistent advocacy for liberty and towards a warmed-over Goldwaterite conservatism. With the nomination of Barr, this has now happened.

When I started calling myself a **QQ**Libertarian,**QQ** back in 1978, the ideology was presented as a distinct alternative to the old left-right paradigms of leftism versus rightism. But now, libertarianism as represented by the Party is just a rather uninteresting variety of conservatism. And the Party itself has become a repository of failed Republicans.

These developments have depressed me, having spent a quarter century collecting signatures, distributing pamphlets, editing newsletters, and otherwise supporting this sad institution. Now I am told that I am no longer to be even tolerated in the Party I helped to build. Well, it happens that I quit before I could be purged (in 2000), because back then I could see the writing on the wall, with the corruption in the National Committee and the shameful treatment of the radical Arizona LP activists.

I call upon all the remaining principled market anarchists in the party to quit -- leave this flaccid husk to the failed Republicans and apparatchiks who love playing their pointless games. It will finally wither and die on its own anyway.

Comment by Ed Vallejo
Entered on:

Thank you Richard - I, too, am a Libertarian, and I**Q**m getting damn tired of **Q**non-libertarians**Q** stepping into a foreign arena, and declaring something they are not a part of, dead. I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn**Q**t have mattered who we (I say **Q**we**Q** because I was a Delegate at the LNC representing Arizona) had nominated for President, this **Q**Anarcho-capitalist**Q** (another oxy-moron) would be bitching about one thing or another, and how we screwed up, and are now dead. I didn**Q**t vote for Bob or Wayne - I had a different idea (that you also wouldn**Q**t have liked) and campaigned and voted for someone that didn**Q**t get the nomination. What would you have me do!?! Abandon my Party that has MANY good people I know personally that believe the things I do and that are **Q**fighting the good fight**Q** on a daily basis - just because we are in the minority? Jump on the Baldwin Bandwagon and make SURE that the LP doesn**Q**t get it**Q**s 15%, and be shut out of the 2012 debates!?! Cast a vote for Nader, McKinney, an unknown independent, or even worse - McCain or Obama!?! BULLSHIT!
Oh, and Mr. Wasdin - when Mr. Dickey called you a **Q**total idiot**Q**...
He was being polite.

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:
The gentleman from Colorado would do well not to buy into a victim mentality by blaming party radicals when, ultimately, the blame for the present LP debacle nationally lays squarely at the feet of people, like him, who think they can have their cake and eat it too.

So much the better for Bob Barr. If he was truly interested in being a Libertarian he would have waited and versed himself more in libertarian philosophy and how to articulate libertarian ideas before running for President.

His approach is more along the lines as seeing libertarianism as a set of political issues rathe than a philosophy.

I think it was fundamentally naive for party pragmatists to think that by changing the platform and fielding a former U.S. Rep. that the LP would grow rather than sag.

None the less, I would not be surprised if many pragmatists leave the LP because of their failed **Q**experiment**Q** and the LP can go back to being the radical political alternative in American politics.

As 1st Asst. Vice Chair of the Arizona LP I must admit some inklings to have wanted to have Barr**Q**s name removed from Arizon**Q**s ballot.

I later changed my mind since I wanted the pragmatists on the national and local level see what a trainwreck is first hand and what happens when you dump principles for expediency.

Comment by Media Director
Entered on:
I have a very different perspective from Mike Wasdin. The **QQ**Death of Libertarianism**QQ** has been GREATLY exaggerated. While I will not defend Bob Barr, for insiders, this is a time when the Libertarian Party is returning to its core values of LIMITED government. Shortly after the party was formed (in 1971) it was - in effect - hijacked by anarchists (the Dallas accord) in 1974. The anarchists exercised a great deal of control and influence until enough true libertarians joined the party to finally oust them in 2006 (at the LP convention in Portland). The anarchists left and formed their own party - The Boston Tea Party ( But, as anarchists by definition are poor organizers, they were not as successful as they had hoped. So in 2008, at the LP convention in Denver, the anarchists made a last ditch effort to regain control of the LP. They failed. I am happy to finally see the anarchists leaving the LP and, hopefully, focusing on building the Boston Tea Party. Anarchists have held the LP back for far too long - and done far too much damage to ever be tolerated again. As Mike Wasdin pointed out at the beginning of his OpEd, he is first and foremost an anarcho-capitalist (i.e., an anarchist who believes in private property ownership). Not a Libertarian. In contrast, I am a Libertarian. If you would like to know what true Libertarians believe, visit:

~ Richard C. Randall
Media Director
Libertarian Party of Colorado

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