This past weekend was the Libertarian Party's National Convention where they chose who their candidate for President and Vice President would be. On Saturday evening I was lucky enough to be changing channels and I caught the Libertarian Presidential Candidate debate. I was able to watch it from the beginning to the end. All in all I was impressed, but I'm also very clear that I am not a Libertarian. ...
I love the basic premise of the Libertarian Party.
Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility.
On that basic premise I can agree with Libertarians. Because of that premise, I love to listen to Libertarians as it is often adds to my knowledge of an issue.
The debate itself was a breath of fresh air. Many different topics were discussed that are not talked about by the major party candidates. Also the selection of candidates was diverse enough that you could tell the difference between each of them. For the most part I liked each and every one of them.
I have already mentioned my support of Mike Gravel, but there are others that I really liked as well. Most notable was Michael Jingozian and Steve Kubby. Really though, I felt good about almost all the candidates. I went to bed that evening thinking I would likely vote Libertarian if the Green Party or Ralph Nader were not on my ballot here in North Carolina. When I saw the results, I realized that I would much rather vote for a major party Democrat over the Libertarian candidates that the party selected.
The Libertarian Party Candidate for President is Bob Barr and the Vice Presidential Candidate is Wayne Allyn Root. I really did not like what I saw from Bob Barr in that one debate( but I will agree that it was just one debate ). Mostly because he had either sponsored or cosponsored some of the most non-libertarian bills before Congress while he was there as a Republican, namely The Patriot Act and The Real ID act. I'm all for giving people second chances and realize that people change their minds but his responses to questions regarding these bills didn't quite go far enough for me. As for Wayne Allyn Root, my main issue with him seemed to be his personality. Perhaps it is a real issue or maybe he just reminds me too much of Biff Tannen. By himself he would be worth voting for against a major party but I feel he doesn't do a good job of balancing the ticket against Bob Barr( though that would be very difficult in my mind ).
All this is a non-issue though. I am not a Libertarian and obviously the candidate selection process does not have to reflect me in any way shape or form. It is as if I expect the Democrats or Republicans to have candidates that reflect my values. It could happen, but if it does it is only chance. I am member of the Green Party, even if it isn't recognized by my state and I support all of their presidential candidates. I have my favorites( ranked choice and all ) but I would vote for any of them over most of the other presidential candidates I am aware of at this point. Of course, the independent in me loves Ralph Nader.
So by November will I be voting for Ralph Nader or for the Green Candidate( most likely Cynthia McKinney ) or will the Libertarians some how change my mind? I don't know. I'm leaving myself open, yet opinionated :)