Sunday, July 20, 2008

Barr and The Movement

Entering into a small white walled room with light and cheerful paisley carpet stepped in Mr. Bob Barr, the Libertarian Candidate for President. The room was spare, save some mass made chairs and a black rolling bar, manned by a man with a black mohawk and a black tie. The rest were casual, a group of interested, disparate average Americans without pretensions. The former Congressman from Georgia came in and stopped just beyond the threshold of the room. State Chair Pat Dixon announced his entrance and a line of Libertarians stood in angle from the door with the short-stature Barr quietly but assertively standing at the back of the room.

They finally made their push forward to the other side of the room, once Barr requested shifting the spot where he could speak, ever calmly mindful of proper procedure. As he spoke, the fellow Austin area members stood by quietly and stood as local judges while Barr spoke on about his ideas on limited government and the continuance of the movement. The Party officials most likely had supported the Texan, Dr. Mary Ruwart, the more ideological fit candidate from Burnet, TX (near Austin), who almost beat out Barr for the Libertarian nomination. Nonetheless, the crowd of young and old sat as witnesses to the message which had moved millions around the United States as well as the world for Congressman Ron Paul.

Intrigued, yet inquisitive, the crowd felt Barr out slowly after his stump was given. The crowd began to ask questions often not touched on by the press, but rather the real problems that America is concerned about. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on our liberties, and the complete defilement of the U.S. Constitution. The questions ranged from Barr's philosophy on a classically liberal limited government, the ballot access process for independents and third party candidates, his ideas on solutions to the energy crunch and the unaccountable rise in the amount of federal police in the past decade. A tense moment occurred when one audience member asked the million dollar question, confronting Barr on his yea votes on the Patriot Act and the Iraq war. Barr took this inquiry thoughtfully and deliberately as he told of his conversion from a CIA agent and a federal prosecutor who waged the War on Drugs, to an ACLU member and confidant who strongly touts personal freedoms and has assisted on several cases. His ability to take in an audience and win their trust despite those ominous marks proves not only, his finesse as a politician, but also his communicability as a person. He vows to cut the Department of Education as well as the Department of Commerce, which he sees as a mere statistics bureau eating up billions of taxpayer dollars. And while he may not have the panache of Paul, he is often right. Only his voting record on those two crucial issues fail him.

But the excitement around his campaign falls short of what we saw in the Revolution. Only three of his yard signs adorned a blank beige wall beaming of low-funding while he spoke to the crowd. His ability to raise funds lags far behind Paul's record breaking effort. Perhaps his style does not match up to the fervor his potential supporters hold. Nonetheless, his message is strong, it is only a question of whether he effectively can, as well as physically get enough air time come this fall and challenge the two-party system and allow the people to discredit it.Barr sticks to the principles, and it may work for him. While he no where near excites like the wise and apt Dr. Paul, he brings in the audience with a soft but firm demeanor that exudes confidence and makes the average questioner feel included and in thought. But regardless of Barr's ability to score an improbable spot in the fall debates, he still, without any major push, could easily grab 10% of the vote.

The debates will be key to his real chances to getting elected. But, regardless, the American public certainly feels the need to reform government, its only a matter of time before the nation gets educated and the Revolution spreads to a new and higher ground.

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