I was at the 2008 Libertarian Party convention in Denver, Colorado this past weekend and, despite my wing of the party losing in terms of the nominations for President, Vice President and platform changes, I have a renewed sense of optimism and hope for the future of the L.P., if not the libertarian movement itself.
Overall, I was glad that I attended the convention since I was able to network with and get to know many like-minded activists from numerous states.
More importantly, I was able to make some new friends. The event itself was very exciting and fun for me since I was in the trenches on the convention floor, lining up votes, communicating with fellow activists and interacting with some L.P. founders, like David Nolan and L. Neil Smith, who are two great individuals.
On the upside, the Statement of Purpose in the party bylaws remains unchanged and a host of dumb, proposed platform changes were defeated too. There are a couple of radical statements that are in the revised L.P. platform that I believe radicals can and should build and expand upon to rework it into a document that expresses the true, natural rights nature of libertarianism which is the basis of the Libertarian Party itself.
What will also be interesting is that the Barr-Root ticket will be a good, first test case for claim made by party pragmatists that if the Libertarian Party changes its message by not sounding too extreme that it will become a vibrant and larger political organization.
I am willing to give Bob Barr a chance since comparing his statements when he was in Congress and what he says now leads me to believe he maybe sincere in his support of freedom despite the fact he may not be comfortable with every aspect of it (like abolishing taxes and laws on all drugs).
Time will tell if Barr and Wayne Allyn Root are sincere. If they are, with a little time and effort, Root and Barr can be turned around. If not, I will not think twice about distancing myself from the ticket.