Concluding thoughts on the 2008 Libertarian National Convention

First of all, I would like to thank Andrew Davis, the Communications Director of the Libertarian Party for granting the new media in general and The Liberty Papers in-particular full access to the 2008 Libertarian National Convention. To say that attending this convention was a thrill would be an understatement. I had the opportunity to talk to some of the candidates, the delegates, fellow bloggers, and generally be in an atmosphere of people who value liberty (it was very strange to witness a presidential debate where I agreed with most of the statements about policy and philosophy).

Based on the comments we normally receive at The Liberty Papers, I always knew that libertarians (even within the Libertarian Party) are very diverse when it comes to particular views but generally agree on the Lockean principles that we at The Liberty Papers champion: Life, Liberty, and Property.

What I saw at the convention reinforces this belief. The MSM will likely show the, how should I say, the “more colorful” individuals who are part of the liberty movement. What I saw, however, were “normal” people, young and old of every background one could imagine who happen to want to reduce the role of government in all of our lives.

One of the readers asked me to ask the question (paraphrasing): “What has the Libertarian Party accomplished in recent years in advancing the cause of liberty?” Regretfully, I never got around to asking that question but I believe I have the answer. While it’s true that the Libertarian Party has not had a great deal of success at the national level, I discovered that grass-roots efforts of party activists have succeeded in electing Libertarian candidates and passing legislation at the local and state levels which truly advance liberty. During the nominating speeches, one state chairman after the next gave examples of how their efforts in their respective states fought the government and won. The cause of liberty is by no means a lost cause.

With Bob Barr representing the Libertarian Party in this election, I believe he will be a force that John McCain and Barack Obama are going to have to deal with (but especially McCain). No, I was not sold on Bob Barr prior to this convention and he was not my first choice. There were too many unanswered questions. Based on how he has answered those questions and admitted his past mistakes and has promised to correct them, I can honestly say that I can enthusiastically and in good conscious endorse Bob Barr for President of the United States*. This is not something you see everyday in politics or in life.

Will Barr be the next president? Not likely. But I will say that his mere presence, especially if he can get into the debates, will force the Republican Party to rethink their big government policies. They will live to regret nominating John McCain as their nominee as Barr takes votes away from him in November. They will have four years to live life in the minority wondering how they can regain the trust of the American people.

And as for the Democrats? The American people will see that Barack Obama will not have the answers to our problems. We will not be taxed and regulated into prosperity. We will once again be reminded why government is not the answer to all of life’s problems but only makes those problems worse.

The question then will be what are we going to do about it? Only time will tell.


The VP Results are as follows:

Vote 1
Root: 269 (49%)
Kubby: 209 (37%)
Williams: 40 (7%)

Vote 2
Root: 289 (51%) **WINNER**
Kubby: 255 (45%)
Williams: 14 (3%)
NOTA: 6 (1%)

Root was my preference but I think he will add a great deal of energy to the ticket (Energy? Root could solve the energy crisis by himself!)

*This view does not necessarily reflect the views of all the contributors of The Liberty Papers; I’m sure they will all speak for themselves.

  • Ken H

    A nice post, Stephen. I’m glad you enjoyed the convention. Thanks for covering it for us libertarians.

  • Mark

    Great job, Stephen.
    Is there any word on the Veep nominee?

  • Ken H

    Bob Barr’s choice, Wayne Allyn Root, won the VP nomination on the second ballot.

  • Maggie

    Thanks, Ken. C-span cut to canned coverage and I don’t see that AP has updated yet.

  • michael micelli

    I wanted to see Wayne Allyn Root on top of the ticket. I’m glad he made it for V.P.

    Dr. Mary Ruwart had one chance to keep Barr off the ticket. Before the vote when they were down to three she could have bowed out to support a Root/Ruwart ticket. In hind sight I have a feeling she would do it over. In the long run Barr/Root will be a major step forward for the Libertarian Party.

    The V.P. debate will be the one to watch.

  • VRB

    Diverse? Really reflects America.

  • Dodsworth

    As of now, I am willing to support this ticket but Root is a big let down. In the Reason debate, he supported the first Gulf War as a means to “protect our oil.” He was better in the convention debate but I don’t trust him. If these guys end up giving us McCain-lite on foreign policy, however, I’m out the door.

  • RegularRon

    I just want to say, thank you for the great coverage you guys did. Just fantastic.

    And will Barr/Root win? Not likely, but they will be a force to deal with. And I am happy to have both of them onboard.

  • inDglass

    Austin Cassidy’s Independent Political Report has an interesting piece on whether libertarians should support Barr or consider Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. They cover a lot of pros and cons.

    While I am not Barr’s biggest fan, I still lean toward supporting the Barr/Root LP ticket, but I appreciate Chuck Baldwin and hope he also has a successful campaign.

    I am interested to see which of the other LP candidates decide to support the Barr/Root campaign. I think that will be a huge factor in the success of the Libertarian Party in 2008. Has anyone heard news about this?

  • Stephen Littau

    Your welcome RegularRon. It was a real honor to represent The Liberty Papers and you, the readers. I only wish that you all could have been there too.

  • Stephen Littau

    RegularRon, did you watch any of the coverage on C-SPAN?