Monday, June 23, 2008

Bob Barr? Ron Paul? Hmmmmm! Bob Barr on Glenn Beck Barr on Bloomberg Barr on Neil Cavuto Campaign website

I think I have found someone who represents the ideals I can vote for. While the two main party candidates continue to flip-flop, attack each other for the lack of any original ideas, and avoid talking about the real issues in the campaign, along comes Bob Barr as a refreshing alternative. If I can’t have Ron Paul because the Republicans can’t handle his message, I might have to pursue Bob.

Bob Barr is the 2008 Libertarian nominee for President of the United States. Previously, he represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, serving as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. He now practices law with the Law Offices of Edwin Marger, and runs a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and with offices in the Washington, D.C. area.

Bob is not a pure Libertarian, but then, neither am I. He doesn’t support legalization of drugs and is against liberalizing marriage laws. Like the other parties, there is great diversity of views within the party. What unites Libertarians is basic principles of maximizing individual liberty, limiting government growth and influence while returning powers to the people and the various states. These powers at the local and state level should include social works and a majority of legal processes. This would reverse the upside down pyramid of government costs and waste. And because people have been willing to vote outside the two party system, we have many local and state government leaders from Libertarian or independent parties in place. A good start.

Meanwhile, most of the media pundits just dismiss 3rd party candidates as “spoilers” or radicals. At the same time I would suggest there are more “radicals” and dissatisfied voters in the mix this year than any other time in my lifetime. What’s at stake is opening up our political system and getting rid of the domination of the two party systems. In fact, to take it a step further, it is time to get rid of the whole Electoral College approach and let democracy truly reign by popular vote in this country with multiple party/candidate options.

People, some even close to me over the years, when I have mentioned voting for independent parties or candidates have stated I was “wasting” my vote. As if somehow if we don’t go with the flow of public convenience or opinion we are somehow irrelevant. I stand diametrically opposed to that mindset, and would even go as far as to suggest it is much more patriotic to stand up for YOUR beliefs and positions as opposed to just “going with tradition and standard practices” of the establishment. Haven’t we had enough of big government and career politicians raping us of our resources and creating a vacuum of integrity or morality in leadership? How else are we going to rid ourselves of this if it is not in the election booth? Do we have to wait for a violent revolution of some type? Personally, I don’t see why we can’t take back our government, our mis-spent tax dollars, and our freedom to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” at the ballot box.

I will continue watching and evaluating all these Presidential candidates in the coming months…but when all is said and done, I will vote for whoever represents MY interests and ideals in government leadership. Not who a particular party, or worse yet…some media pundits… want to push on me as acceptable when they are not. I encourage every American to do the same. THAT is what will change and improve our country. The will to vote for change…intelligent change…is what will return our country to peace and prosperity.


Timothy said...

Hey Ed,

I can completely understand the appeal of voting for an independent candidate that is outside the mainstream of the political parties. In Australia my state election is with 2 completely incompetent major parties and a large array of minor parties. I know the minor parties won't get anywhere, but I won't feel right voting for either of the major parties.

However, from watching the youtube video you put on the top, Bob Barr is for no national healthcare or welfare system? If you remove all safety nets in a society, wealth inequality will skyrocket, and homelessness and poverty will increase exponentially. Private charity will never fill the hole of a publicly-funded welfare system, and without a national healthcare system many people will be unable to afford necessary surgery (as is happening today in America).

By the way, "flip-flopping" can also be referred to as changing your mind :P Bob barr has seemed to have done alot of it, with the war in iraq, the patriot act (how can a libetarian ever have voted for the patriot act!), and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Anyway, he sounds interesting and it's always nice to see a political candidate with a fresh perspective on certain issues.

Take care Ed!

Bibiana said...

Hola Ed, gracias por introducirme a este otro candidato a la presidencia de este importante pais, los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica.

Perdon mi ignorancia, pero no tenia absolutamente ninguna idea que habian mas candidatos a este importante cargo, la presidencia de los Estados Unidos.

Escuche atentamente las dos entrevistas al senor Bob Barr y luego su propio web.

Me parece que es una buena opcion, para los ciudadanos como tu, que estan cansados de escuchar las eternas disputas entre los dos candidatos mas opcionados MacCain y Obama, es una historia de nunca acabar. Peleandose entre si por las mismas cosas todos los dias, muy aburrido, nada nuevo.

Bob Barr, en mi opinion, esta muy enfocado realmente en su campana y las soluciones a los problemas actuales de USA, la guerra de Irak, los altos precios del petroleo, Seguridad ciudadana, inmigracion, etc.

El seria una buena opcion, fresca y nueva, para poder sacar a los Estados Unidos de esta dramatica historia entre Democratas y Republicanos, que ningun bien han hecho en los ultimos anos.

Bien, que por fin encontraste una nueva opcion para dar tu voto.

Buena suerte para Bob Barr.

edward said...

Thanks for your comments Tim & Bibi. I appreciate the participation.

Tim, I'm glad to see you with me on voting your conscience versus just trying to vote for "who will probably win". Talk about wasting votes...those who do that are voting irresponsibly in my opinion.

As for Barr and the Libertarian platform, both are far from perfect but still represent to me the best majority of ideas where I stand on the issues. And yes, I have seen where Barr has flip flopped on some issues...hey...he's a politician:).

Where you and I probably have to agree to disagree is in your ideas of national healthcare and welfare. I acknowledge that there are huge gaps in getting needed healthcare to everyone in our country. Even WITH medical insurance, there are many advanced treatments and options NOT covered by insurance and elective IF you can pay your own freight. This is the case not only in the USA, but every country, socialist or not, that I know of. Many Canadians come to America for advanced care because the socialized system there cannot get to them soon enough or will not pay for what they need. THere is no perfect system I know of yet in this world, but that does not push me to the point where I think it is federal governments role to provide healthcare for everyone. If we werent so busy spending and producing bombs, missles and paying the energy costs of our spread out military forces in the world...I would support my government spending some of that savings on "welfare" type gap coverage for truly needy people inside our country. But, to place on any government the burden of providing healthcare and medicine for all citizens is just unrealistic. There is no funding for that at least under current deficits, and in addition healthcare should be primarily an individuals responsibility and focus. Next up the ladder of responsibility is family and friends. Next is local community orgs like churches and non-profits to fill the gaps. Beyond those levels are state and regional resources that could be tapped and better managed than some federalist, top/down approach to meeting individual emergency needs.

And yes, I would like to see "Christian" and other religious communities more involved in helping those in need in these areas. I have worked on medical mission trips in my life, spending weeks with Christian medical professionals of all stripes handing out treatment and drugs to hundreds who cant afford or dont have access. There is a great sense of living in be helping those you dont even know their names...without expectation or payment. I personally believe charity COULD fill the holes if a larger number of people lived according to basic human nature and faithful to religious principles. Somehow we are to believe that a government will care for us before we would trust someone close or from our community? How has this come to be? 100-200 years ago, there were no government welfare systems of significance. People took care of their own...and in many cases had money to do so because they didnt pay the kinds of taxes one has to pay a government that is expected to provide all these things.

I'm sorry my friend. Welfare has been a dismal failure and government a terrible administrator. Pouring more money that direction will not necessarily improve the scenario we are now in. It will just shift the blame from the private to the public sector and probably neutralize many of the advances our system makes in medicine in a free market approach. I personally believe that democracy as I understand it is seriously threatened by todays tendencies towards government solutions for all our ills. We need to get back to taking better care of ourselves...and our own.

Timothy said...

Hey Ed,

Thanks for your reply. In the end we'll have to agree to disagree, but I still think it's fascinating and productive to discuss it :).

About charity, I think you encompass what my ideal is. If we all had generous and giving attitudes, there would be no need for a government safety net, as whenever a fellow person fell by harm, the collective would group together and help. In reality, however, the opposite happens. While you're correct in that government-organised welfare is relatively new in human history, it's important not to over-romanticise living conditions in previous centuries. People did take care of their own, and there was a strong sense of community (perhaps more so than now), but sick or poor people had no means of support and were most times left to die within their society. Also, many early socities paid much heavier taxes than we do today. Free markets do mean alot of money, but it will leave alot of people out in the cold with no means to sustain themselves. This is why Governments intervene in free markets whenever humanitarian reasons outweigh the economic drawbacks.

This manifests itself in things like unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, and I also think it should be so for healthcare insurance. As I understand it, insurance plans in America are quite expensive, and there are a significant amount of people in the lower rungs of society who can't afford it. When this leads to many sick people being turned away from hospitals and left to fend for themselves because they have no insurance, I think something is wrong. Where I live, Australia, we have a mix of public and private health insurance, and so if an Australian citizen becomes sick, and has no insurance or money, he will be looked after.

You're right in that the current budget deficits seem to rule out any universal health scheme for America. However, when you consider how the money that went into the Iraq war could fund a universal health care system many times over, it isn't a fantasy.

Why do you think welfare has been a dismal failure? For each example of a populace suffering from terrible administration by the Government, there are three examples of a populace suffering from lack of intervention by the Government on social and economic matters. Having no welfare system will send millions bellow the poverty line, and will make the rich much much richer (since they will be able to pay less taxes, and be able to employ people for pultry sums since they have no bargaining position). In a corrupt world you will have inefficient governments, but without a generous government many people will and do suffer.

edward said...

I wanted to come back and address Tim's question of why I think Government welfare is a dismal failure...and what I think should happen instead.

While it might be ideal to think that a government "of and by the people" should be able to fill gaps in our society and take care of the less fortunate, the reality is that big government doesnt work to that end. You also see this in BIG charity organizations. The bigger the organization, the bigger the budget and larger % of income needed to just sustain the org...which cuts into its reason for existing...of handing money out to those in need.

I guess I'm still enough of a democratic and free market purist to believe that if people en masse truly embraced these ideals, we would have less poor and needy among us. Our government spends so much money on sustaining itself...even to funding elections...that there is little time or money to meet their true mission. ANd putting LOTS of money in the hands of a FEW...well, human nature shows us historically how unwise that is. Scientifically, I dont think we can get away from "survival of the fittest"...

We basically have an upside down pyramid in the world today, and more and more so in the USA. All the taxes and other contributions to government get put in the top, then trickle down through the bureacracies to the points where what actually comes out in the wash for funding recipients of these programs is a small fraction of what was taken in. Doesnt work in my book...and I think we need to reverse this process. Charity should start at home, and local needs should be attended locally as much as possible. Then...when that is exhausted it can continue to move its way up the chain...but federal monies should be "last resort". The US constitution called for the federal govt role to be about defending our borders, maintaining law and order and administrating public works. It was never intended to be an insurance agency for it's citizen's financial security.

The welfare state breeds false hope and security and takes the pressure off each person to do what it takes to survive, and puts that on some nebulous "state" to pay for people's survival. This is a recent phenomenon...and I dont think it is working to anyones benefit...including the poor. The best we can do for them is to teach them to "fish"...not just hand out "fish" every day.

Again, just a short, non scientific take on my philosophy of non welfare. I probably will start writing a blogg just on that subject...if just for my own study and consideration.

Thanks again for sharing...