Saturday, December 16, 2006

Bob Barr Libertarian

Former Congressman Bob Barr has left the Republican Party and joined the Libertarian Party, as reported here and there.

This seems like big news.

This follows much disillusion with the Republican Party through much of the ranks of liberals (classical liberals, libertarians, liberaltarians, market liberals, whatever). There's been increasing talk of allying with elements of the Democratic Party, from both sides.

Also, there was a bit of a coup in the Libertarian Party this year. This was healthy because in the years since 1994 the LP has been clinically insane, increasingly so, due to the influence of anarchists. The real issue is not one of principles vs. pragmatism. It is one of liberty vs. anarchy.

Ed Crane, LP Candidate for US President in 1980 and founder of the Cato Institute in 1977, left the LP back in the early 80s. Cato's strategy of course has been brilliant. Indeed all parties should have an independent think tank, in case they become corrupt or gaga. That's the strategy of the Alternative Libérale in France, which has a parallel association Liberté Chérie.

Is Barr a free pirate? Well, he's strong on liberty, which is a start, but off the mark on intellectual monopoly. So, not yet.

I only hope Bob Barr's association with the Libertarian Party helps move the LP towards liberty.

And I hope the LP sets Barr straight on prohibition, the material root of terrorism.

Bonus: Here's a video of Bob Barr at the 2006 LP National Convention in Portland, Oregon, this summer.

Hat tip for video: Eric Sundwall's diary on Daily Kos

Update: Here's the text of a Dec 15 interview of Bob Barr by David Weigel of Reason Magazine.

Update 2: Here's the audio of a Dec 19 interview of Bob Barr by Charles Goyette of KFNX, Phoenix.