Watershed election offers voters a clear choice
by Bob Barr
Columnist
October 28, 2012 12:00 AM | 2738 views | 7 7 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Over the course of our nation’s history, there have been many presidential elections that truly can be considered watershed events. The spirited 1800 contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, which set the stage for the rise of political parties and set the tone for future presidential elections, was the first of these. Abraham Lincoln’s electoral victory over Stephen Douglas in 1860, in which the precedent for a strong (some would argue overly-powerful) executive, was another.

In modern times, few would dispute that the contests in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt secured the first of four national victories, or 1980 when Ronald Reagan’s landslide over incumbent Jimmy Carter heralded the rise of modern conservatism, were watershed events.

Four years ago, Barack Obama’s victory signaled the rise of a new generation of young voters, many holding values and a political outlook far different from those of the man he defeated, John McCain. However, the central question in 2012 — whether America truly can withstand the institutionalization of the policies and values that have been the hallmark of President Obama’s first term — looms so large as to make the importance of that contest four years ago pale in comparison.

The perspective from which I view this election is colored by the lens through which I witnessed the 2008 contest. Four years ago, I was a candidate for the same office to which McCain and Obama then aspired. As the nominee for the Libertarian Party, I supported policies and a philosophy of truly limited government far different from either of these major-party nominees. I argued strenuously for a more open political system; one in which legitimate third-party candidates could participate on a level playing field with their Democratic and Republican counterparts.

My views on smaller government and far more meaningful advocacy in support of individual liberty remain as strong today as four years ago; as does my belief that a more open political process in which legitimate third-party candidates are welcomed rather than shunned.

However, the inescapable and overriding importance of re-charting America’s course away from the Big Government Liberalism of the current administration has prompted me to support the GOP ticket of Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan. The stakes are simply too high to admit any degree of hesitancy in this regard.

The decision I have reached, and in which I ask other libertarian-leaning and conservative-oriented voters to join, is not one based on a serendipitous view that Romney is the perfect candidate. I was not; he is not; in fact, in modern times there has not been a perfect candidate for president — that is, one who truly understands what the government as envisioned by our Founding Fathers was designed to be, and who is fully and honestly committed to significantly reducing the power of the government to match that model. Ronald Reagan came as close to this ideal as any, but his energy to institutionalize his libertarian-conservative ideals lagged in his second term.

We cannot afford a search for perfection. We cannot afford to withhold votes from a candidate we perceive to be imperfect. What we do know beyond any doubt, is that the current course on which our nation already is well-embarked is not sustainable. Decades of over-spending and multi-hundred billion dollar deficits (now surpassing $1.0 trillion per year) have placed us on a fast track to economic disaster. Such profligate spending as we witnessed during the eight years preceding Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, a trend which he accelerated massively these past four years, is embedded with the seeds of bankruptcy.

Especially with Ryan as his vice president, a President Romney will be far, far better and more honestly equipped to begin reining in the federal spending juggernaut, than would a second-term Barack Obama who already has admitted he will continue the fiscal irresponsibility that has highlighted his first four years. Knowing this, there can be no other choice on Nov. 6 than to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Marietta) is an attorney and was the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 2008.
Comments
(7)
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Bob L
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October 29, 2012
If the majority of Congressmen had the same concern for this country that Bob does political affiliation would be irrelevant.
Barr, go away
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October 28, 2012
You have, unfortunately sir, morphed into the equivalent of an ambulance chaser. You are so irrelevant because you cannot decide what you want to be, (Republican, Independent, Libertarian), you will side or choose, whatever side you think will get you media exposure and/or attention.

Bobb Barr who?

Irrelevant congressmen never die; they just fade away... or they should!
Joseph Pond
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October 28, 2012
Thanks Bob, but I am going to stick with the Party you chose to abandon, and I am going to vote for Gary Johnson~ I am rather fond of Freedom, and Liberty- I will continue to fight for it!
SG68
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October 29, 2012
A vote for Gary Johnson in this case is effectively a vote for Obama.

I made the same mistake in voting for Ross Perot some years ago and we got Bill Clinton as president.
Phil Kent
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October 28, 2012
Good to see Bob Barr endorsing Mitt Romney this year. Since he was the Libertarian Party presidential candidate in 2008, this should sway some Libertarians not to waste their vote this year and to support Romney over the big government socialist Obama.
David Monro
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November 01, 2012
I wouldn't count on that, I voted for Barr because of his stance on fiscal conservatism, civil liberties, and a humble foreign policy, looks like he's now folded on the last 2. Just because one guy is bad, doesn't automatically make the other guy better. And what's Romney's plan on the Patriot Act on the NDAA?
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