….Freedom is the one thing you will never have until it is given to everyone. Bob Barr provides insights into how the words of freedom can be used against us.
Bob Barr began life as an attorney. From there he spiraled downwards into the even more noxious form of life and became a politician, in fact, a NeoCon Congressman. It has now been a year since Bob Barr, ousted from his congressional seat in 2003, decided to do some professional repositioning and join the Libertarian Party as a Life Member and accept appointment to the LP National Committee in one stroke through a series of back room deals. He doubtless well understood the wall-flower mentality of those who have struggled for so long for a place in the mainstream and knew that he would be welcomed like the prodigal son, with feasts and rejoicing. For the most part that was all too true. He was welcomed but the LP should think well now, when it is clear that the coming election will hold the potential to realign American politics. In so doing it should consider why it came into existence and its mission.
The fact is the moral high ground is always the driving force for change. It would be tragic if at this moment in time the LP ignored the very reason it came into existence and so went the way of so many other parties that failed.
First, know who you are. The Libertarian mission was to raise the flag so that those of us who believe in the inherent right of the individual to self determination would have a place in the National dialogue. It also represented the essential corollary. That is the fact that government is just the tool we use to order our affairs, changeable at our wish.
The surge of enthusiasm and support that flowed in those early years was amazing. We were doing it ourselves, we were changing history. Those first years the LP very much resembled the decentralized, grass roots movement you experienced as the Ron Paul Revolution. We took the power into our own hands and simply got it done.
The mission of the LP is clear. It's purpose is to represent the clear case for the principles of individual rights in a world that says no to the initiation of violence to achieve the goals of either individual or groups of any kind. Despite the confusion over what rights are Libertarians know they come in only one kind. To do that you need to reclaim the mission. Libertarianism is not Conservative Light, it is the affirmation of freedom outside the present much manipulated definitions.
You will hear that freedom is not possible. The ones who say that are lying. If you examine their motivations you will see they have a lot to gain by ensuring that the LP does not renew its original mission. First study the players and understand their motivations.
What is the Bottom Line for Bob Barr? How can you know whether he is to be trusted?
With Bob Barr on National Committee the tendency to call for 'executive sessions' has increased, according to those who attend the NatCom Meetings. Having never been a part of a real grass roots movement Barr does not understand them; he is by history and practice a centrist working on converting the LP into a vehicle that will propel him into the national scene. If you read his open comments on how politics works published in April of 2006 you will see that he is unrepentant in his support for Tom Delay and his approval of how the GOP works internally. Ending power brokering along with the power of Congress to pass laws that control us is essential to a real return to freedom.
The LP must be uncompromising not just on issues but on becoming the vehicle that will return America to its founding values. If you start with an acorn you will inevitably end up with an oak tree. You do not 'partner' with government as it is. You oppose it without compromise. To do otherwise is to lose the moral high ground that is our power.
Why did Bob Barr choose to change parties?
For his own positioning Barr had every motivation in the world to back away from his positions on issues that made his move to the LP impossible. A major Drug Warrior, a champion for the Marriage Amendment, a supporter of the Patriot Act and the War in Iraq, there was no fascist measure except taxation Barr did not support. Personally, he is a hypocrite, having positioned himself as pro-life while cooperating, some say persuading, his estranged wife to have an abortion.
Recanting was essential, but the recanting it just words in the air. This 'repositioning' is intended provide to him enormous profits. Today the LP is a centrist, hierarchal organization. He wants it to remain just that. You cannot dominate and control a decentralized movement and such a movement would inevitably reject Barr because he can spout rhetoric but the words are not backed up with any history. He is yet another Michael Emerling Cloud, this time having gotten the patina of Congressional approval. Cloud-Emerling and his friends put money in their pockets for running campaigns designed to enrich themselves instead of building up the grass roots. The rhetorical package they sold was like a feel good drug that leaves you with empty pockets and a slight hang over. If that is what you want get a science fiction book. A real grass roots movement is a hands on experience for everyone.
If you are letting the mainstream media's actions dictate your choices then you are letting the enemy dictate your plans. In that case you have already lost.
What should the Libertarian Party do to carry out its mission for freedom?
First, know your enemies.
Compromise is always a mistake. There are two major think tanks that began in the 70s, Cato and Reason. Each has promoted policy that is anathema to freedom. In the case of Crane and Cato Institute, they worked to intentionally marginalize the position of real free market economics for that of the Chicago School, which is in no way free market. They accomplished this by ousting Murry Rothbard from their board in January of 1981. At the time we thought it was a personality conflict. Now, their deification of Milton Friedman and support of policies that assume the right to use law to manipulate and control the marketplace make this painfully clear.
The original board for Cato had three names that are significant. Crane, Rothbard, and Charles Koch. Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries, a partner with Halliburton in Vietnam in the failed attempt to access oil reserves off their shores. They are a partner with Halliburton today in Iraq. Koch Industries is the largest privately owned petroleum company in the world. They have an intimate relationship with the Bush Administration. A Koch cousin married Dodie Bush at Camp David in 1992. One of W's first acts on becoming president was to tell the Justice Department to back off on enforcing nearly 400 cases against Koch Industries for pollution and harmful practices stretching across many states.
Then there is Reason.
Today Robert Poole is supporting the Trans Texas Corridor. Appointed by fascist Texas Governor Rick Perry, he is working hard for the NAU, which also issues in the Real ID. Robert Poole, for those of you who are new, is the founder of both Reason Magazine and Reason Foundation. Here, from their own site is his recent history, reprinted in one of my recent articles. “Poole has long been associated with those we now understand to be the architects of fascism,
“Robert Poole founded the Reason Foundation in 1978, served as its president and CEO from then until the end of 2000. He was a member of the Bush-Cheney transition team in 2000. Over the years, he has advised the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush administrations on privatization and transportation policy.”
I wish this was not true. I gave one of the first book parties for Poole when, “Cutting Back City Hall,” was published in the mid 70s. But it is true and you need to know it.
Become the Revolution
The LP should convert the national office to a tool for simply sharing information openly and providing the tools for action to the grass roots. The power of the Ron Paul Revolution is the power of persuasion, cooperation and consensus. It has created a community of like-hearted people who were formerly non-political. It is, as I said, much like the LP before the toxic influences of Edward H. Crane, III inserted the centrist focus that still today distorts our movement. The LP can become the hub of a new revolution, if it chooses. And that is the question you need to answer for yourself. Barr is only one flim-flam artist. You need to dump all of them, reach deep, and connect with the vision that now and always moves us from dissatisfaction to revolution. Freedom is the one thing you cannot have until you give it to everyone.
Barr entered Congress with the Contract on America, becoming one of the placeholder NeoCon mouthpieces, abusing the ephemeral hopes raised by that bogus media campaign to take back Congress for the Republican Party. There was no doubt that Americans hungered for a change of direction towards freedom and the hope they would be allowed to keep more of their own money. Bush Senior had been bounced by Americans because of his lying lips on just that issue. Newt and his posse of pre-adolescent mouths brought only promises to be broken. The Newt Brigade, having promised to limit their time in office stayed on long after their pledges to leave were broken.
What America hungered for in 1994 and today was a dimly remembered image of what it meant to be a true American. In his generation Barry Goldwater represented that hope. Only on this issue of the war in Vietnam did Goldwater deviate from the classical stance of Conservativism. To understand who Bob Barr really is you need to understand now what it means to be a real conservative. Goldwater, Taft, and other Conservatives such as Ron Paul have consistently defended the right of the individual to run their own lives and live free from the intrusive maw of government. Until the entry of Paul onto the stage of public consciousness within the last year the meaning of the word, 'Conservative,' had been altered beyond recognition.
That change was manufactured by a cadre of individuals drawn for the purpose from the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party. Taking up the mantle of Conservativism two individuals worked tirelessly for decades to alter its essential meaning. Those men were Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan took us further towards a centrist fascist state than any Democrat could have done. Initially supported by United Republicans of California, in his first run for Governor in that state the same group, today strong supporters of Ron Paul, issued a resolution asking that Americans not support him in a run for President or Vice-President in 1975. Their reasons are memorialized in three pages of specifics in 8 point type. Buckley, who admitted to working as a CIA operative when just out of college, destroyed the John Birch Society and other bastions of Conservative thought in much the same way that others go after the Militia and Minute Men today.
In large part because the Conservative Movement had been destroyed the Libertarian Party arose in the early 70s to take its place. To understand what it means to be a Conservative look at the underlying principles of Libertarianism. Local control, individual rights, tiny government. Conservativism is simple and easy to understand because it rests directly on the foundation of the Constitution as it was written. The same is true for most Libertarians. They are two flavors of the same dish, divided by taste.
Can you square that with the 'Conservativism' of Bob Barr, Drug Warrior, virulent proponent for the Marriage Amendment, and vocal proponent of the Patriot Act and supporter of Bush? No. Barr was never a Conservative. Of the handful of real Conservatives to have served in Congress in recent years the most consistent has been Ron Paul. Hold Ron up to Barr and like gold compared to mica you see the difference. Like a devalued currency he was no more a Conservative than He took on the coloration because it was politically and personally expedient.
Barr lies about his opinions easily because for him it is all positioning taken on to garner political traction. Ron Paul's popularity and the fervor evoked by the ideas of Conservativism-Libertarianism, makes that position the place to be for the hopeful politician.
Barr's exit from the Republican Party left no former crony saddened. Barr was not liked, according to insiders. In a party that allowed its Congressional Members incredible latitude and issued no demerits for sleazy behavior Barr was not respected by other Congressional Members or by GOP regulars. After leaving office he defended Ton DeLay saying in 2006, “ His reentry into normal life left him with an elevated set of habits but no obvious way to feed his appetites.
It is painful to be forced to continually point out to people who, presumably, are fully adult the facts of life.