Perhaps John McCain and I, for once, share the same nightmare: Bob Barr at the head of the Libertarian ticket.
It was fairly evident by the third of six ballots that the far more conservative branch of the party (split between Barr and Wayne Allyn Root) had the votes to prevail. After two ballots with the lead tied between Barr and Mary Ruwart, the fifth ballot gave Ruwart an ephemeral three-vote lead, while eliminating Root from contention.
Root then strode to the microphone and threw his support to Barr in exchange for the vice-presidential nomination.
That was pretty much all she wrote. Ruwart could not even make herself say she'd support Barr in her concession speech. Instead, she later nominated Steve Kubby for VP in order to balance the ticket. The strategy might have worked, except that at least a couple dozen delegates had left the floor in disgust, and their votes would have made the difference.
So now the Libertarian Party, in its new incarnation as the plaything for Richard Viguerie, Bob Barr, Shane Corey, Steve Gordon, and Wayne Allyn Root, is poised to enter the presidential lists, with the Barr folks trumpeting loudly the Rasmussen polling that already gives him 6% nationwide.
In some key states--Nevada and Georgia come to mind--Barr/Root arguably has the chance to throw the state from McCain to Obama, just as Ralph Nader might tilt Michigan the other way.
Meanwhile, I'm left wondering who to support and where to go in the general election. I am not leaving the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party of Delaware is just beginning to find its feet, and we've got a lot of work to do.
My own preferred candidate, Dr George Phillies, is out. McCain favors preemptive war. Obama is for increasing the defense budget and the size of the military, while simultaneously creating massive new social programs. Barr has a history of police-state, anti-gay, pro-war on drugs legislation and a cheesy mustache. Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party is strongly anti-abortion. Cynthia McKinney for the Greens is--to put it mildly--a loon, and Ralph Nader is a gadfly rather than a candidate.
Obviously I am going about this the wrong way. So let's backtrack:
Here are my three most important issues:
1) Foreign policy/defense: I want American imperialism rolled back and American interventionism halted, as the same time we begin to pull free from the military/industrial complex by slashing the budgets for defense and homeland security to reasonable levels.
2) Civil libertarian issues: I want to see gay marriage legalized; drugs decriminalized; Real ID abolished; the Patriot Act gutted; and immigrants viewed as human beings. I want intrusive government the hell out of my life.
3) Fiscal sanity: I want a government that stops growing and taking an ever-expanding bite out of my paycheck; I want to see wasteful programs cut, and to have Congress faced with the same sort of imperative the Delaware General Assembly had to face this year: balancing the budget.
So you tell me: if that's what I want, who is my best candidate?