The odd couple of Republican Congressman Ron Paul and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader joined forces yesterday with the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) to spread a unified message and agreement of four key principles. Simply put, they all agreed to uphold an anti-war, pro-privacy, anti-debt, anti-Fed stance. Despite each candidate’s differing views on a number of issues, these four positions unite them all in an attempt to bring forth what they collectively agree are some of the most pressing issues of our time. In addition to the four principles they came with additional messages.
Issues such as stolen elections and election reform, fixing the debate structure, ballot access, and even the New World Order were discussed. Unfortunately due to low coverage, the side drama of Bob Barr and Dr. Paul’s rejection to support McCain, most of these key issues have fallen by the wayside when discussing the press conference. Personally, I feel this is unfortunate. The gesture being made and the message being transmitted yesterday is far too important to allow to be swept under the rug. Bob Barr’s decision to walk out of the press conference without warning shows me that he apparently could not put his ego and personal ambitions aside for one day to take part of something larger than himself. The Libertarian Party is framing this as “leadership.”
Some, including members of the Libertarian Party, have come down on Ron Paul for his decision to hold this press conference and blame him for “endorsing” other candidates who don’t share his complete views on all issues. I don’t view it this way. Ron Paul did not endorse any candidate in particular. Instead, he attempted to take a step back, freeing up his followers to vote their own conscience with the advice that it should be anyone besides the two front runners. He can do this because they all agree upon the most basic and pressing issues that need to be discussed and changed before we debate the nuances of far less pertinent issues. Honestly, I’d say that’s mighty libertarian of him.
I generally consider myself a Libertarian in philosophy when it comes to national governmental structure, but no longer really associate myself with the party. Numerous factors have amounted to this feeling, the latest with Bob Barr and people in his campaigns being the icing on the cake. In Andrew Kevins‘ blog today on the Libertarian Party’s website, he states that the reason Bob Barr could not take part or stand on stage is due to the Libertarian Party having principle. I would like to know where Bob Barr’s principle’s lied throughout his career as a member of the GOP. I also would like to know where the LP’s principles were when they decided to cast Bob Barr as the figurehead for the entire party. Not only that, but where are the LP’s principles when they seem to actively try to silence and belittle anyone that feels there are unanswered questions about 9/11? I’ve had that direct experience with someone employed by the Wisconsin branch of the LP. Thankfully many members don’t seem concerned about losing that group of voters.
There are more important things to worry about right now than party unity, number of votes, or even that magical 5% in the national election in order to get national funding. A long term and unified front needs to be built now to fight over the next four years to get the message out. What good is funding if the debate structure hasn’t changed? What good is funding when how the votes are cast and counted hasn’t been fixed? What good is funding when its still nearly impossible to get on every ballot? Even if all of those obstacles are surmounted, I have one more question. What good is winning the election if the new president is still unwilling to truly hold the establishment’s feet to the fire and harbor some real change in our foundations and dialog about our nation and those who rule it – elected or otherwise?
I hope the rest of you join me on November 4th in voting for a third party. Beyond that, I hope you join me in doing all you can to spread the word and take action to help solve the foundational problems that our nation is facing. There’s a fork ahead, which path are you going to take?