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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Election Season

Monday
May 12, 2008

In a move that set off alarm bells in my head, news came out today that former Republican congressman Bob Barr plans to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination for President. If that happens, I would have a very hard time supporting him -- or the Libertarian Party -- this November.

While in Congress, Barr proved to be a driving force behind Bill Clinton's impeachment for lying under oath. That I'm apathetic about, but the fact that Barr actually strongly supported this nation's backward, repressive "war on drugs" (a futile attempt to control behavior that has failed on a monumental level since it began in 1971) makes me question why he would try for the top spot via the Libertarian Party. Barr actually blocked the implementation of Initiative 59, which would have legalized medical marijuana in the District of Columbia in 1998. He tried to even prevent the vote total from being released; it took a lawsuit by the ACLU to reveal that the initiative received 69% of the vote.

Barr's claim is that he dislikes the movement of the Republican Party into a big government entity, particularly since 9/11, and to that end I concur with him. But given his past history as a social control artist, I can't imagine a scenario where I could support him.

Senator John McCain
Senator John McCain won't be receiving my vote.

Likewise, I can't imagine voting for John McCain. McCain pushed hard for the banning of mixed martial arts, and in particular UFC, in the early-to-mid 1990s. Why? Because his wife has ties to the beer industry, which at that point was a major sponsor of boxing. UFC was taking a major bite out of boxing's audience, which in turn was diluting the effect of beer advertising. McCain would talk about the "sweet science" of boxing, then use scare tactic phrases like "human cock fighting" about UFC. It was unreal, and his efforts nearly destroyed the sport.

If there's one good thing about McCain, it's that he's not one of those religious lunatics like Mike Huckabee or Sam Brownback who seemed to want to turn the United States into a theocracy. But I can't envision myself voting for a man with his track record and 25+ years worth of time in Washington, DC, particularly someone who supports the United States continuing the colossally expensive peacekeeping effort in Iraq that's dressed up as a war.

On the Democratic side, I've been glad to see Barack Obama pulling away from Hillary Clinton. Clinton is a politician of the worse kind, standing for nothing and trying to curry support by supporting what the polls say. The problem with that approach is that when the polls change, she has to change, and consequently she puts herself in a position of changing her opinion multiple times. Add to that her big government policy support, her almost complete lack of interest in anything resembling individual freedom from federal government intervention, and her icy demeanor, and she is quite possibly the most polarizing figure in active government on the left side of the aisle.

I don't support all of Obama's policies (such as the concept of universal health care), but it's quite possible that I will vote for him in November. The fact that he represents a break from the Clinton/Bush oligarchy that has ruled over the United States for the past 19+ years certainly helps with his appeal. For awhile now I've been contemplating if I'd vote for Obama or the Libertarian candidate, but if Bob Barr is in there on the Libertarian side, Obama could easily end up earning my vote.

We're a long way away from the first Tuesday in November at this point, and nothing is locked in place yet, but voting for Obama is a possibility for me. I have friends, many of whom are highly educated and/or very intelligent, who support Obama passionately. How things play out between now and November will be interesting to watch, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Obama win the election by a 70/30 margin over McCain.


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