Barr opportunistic not Libertarian
The political climate paints Sen. Barack Obama as a flip-flopper, changing his positions to win votes with whichever demographic the pundits want to target at the time. However, the biggest flip-flopper is neither Sen. John McCain nor Obama – it is the Libertarian party candidate, Bob Barr. Although there is probably no hope for Barr getting elected, his past positions are a stark contrast to the party he represents now, making him the biggest hypocrite in the presidential race.
The Libertarian Party supports individual religious liberty so no one is compelled to sacrifice their beliefs for the benefit of others, but Bob Barr’s comments on Wicca in the military are completely the opposite of what Libertarianism stands for. When Barr learned Wicca was being practiced at Fort Hood, he demanded it be banned. He commented that allowing Wicca would be a "dangerous precedent" leading to the authorization of "bizarre practices," including Satanists sacrificing animals and Rastafarians using marijuana. He attributed youth violence partly to Wicca in a press release and sent his intolerant complaints to army officials. His press release ended with a fearful comment on how traditional artwork such as "The Prayer At Valley Forge" would be replaced with art related to "witchcraft."†
His version of religious tyranny was not limited to the military. Barr co-sponsored a constitutional amendment to allow school prayer and also co-sponsored a bill that would require schools to permit voluntary prayer. He again ignored the Lemon test, used to determine whether a law has the effect of establishing religion, when he co-sponsored a resolution that would allow public schools to display "God Bless America" after Sept. 11, perhaps taking advantage of the grief of the nation to promote his views.
Barr has fought against the legalization of drugs until recently. This drug warrior wanted to protect the citizens from themselves, saying Congress had the responsibility to pass anti-drug legislation. He introduced the Barr Amendment would stop Washington, D.C. from receiving funding for approving medical marijuana, a measure that garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote. He even went so far as to say marijuana had no medical value and compared medical marijuana to "bogus witchcraft." Now Barr is part of the Marijuana Policy Project and fighting against his own monstrosity, saying he will actually work for states to set their own medical marijuana policies. This is not because he is pro-drug, but claims to be anti-government intrusion.
The Libertarian Party platform declares that government has no place in defining, licensing, or restricting personal relationships between consenting adults. Barr’s current position on same-sex marriage is it should be ultimately left up to states to decide, but he was the author and sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. DOMA authorizes states to not recognize same-sex marriage from another state and defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. Barr stood behind his creation until recently when he promised to fight DOMA.
Barr is nothing but a political opportunist who wants to take advantage of the Libertarian Party. Barr represents everything the Libertarian Party is not: anti-religious freedom, anti-personal freedom, anti-civil liberties. Perhaps his only consistent Libertarian view is his desire for the abolition of the IRS and the implementation of the fair tax. He complained about the intrusion of the " Nanny State" but voted to prevent homosexuals from adopting in Washington, D.C. Barr wants to be "repentant" for his blatantly anti-Libertarian actions during his stint in Congress, but all of Barr’s apologies will not undo the damage to freedom he has perpetrated. Libertarians across the nation should consider Barr’s record carefully before voting for him.
Corgey, a political science junior, can be reached via [email protected].