Now Playing at reason.tv: The Future of Libertarian Politics featuring Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, Wayne Allyn Root, and Vern McKinley

If you missed yesterday's excellent reason HQ debate about "The Future of Libertarian Politics" featuring Bob Barr, Mike Gravel, Wayne Allyn Root, and Vern McKinley, have no fear!

Just click above to watch a 10-minute version.

The event drew a good amount of press. Read some of it here. For the embed code for this video, click here.

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  • ||

    Is Root constipated?

    And somebody should just put Gravel down like an old dog.

  • Colin||

    Someone needs to educate Root about the Burr trial.

    Having said that, he was still the best of the three. I don't even know why that Vern dude was up there.

  • ||

    Barr also has his legs crossed in a feminine fashion. Maybe that's meant to reassure the LP types who think gay marriage is the #1 issue facing America right now.

  • Ali||

    Root is scary! Plus, the Boston Tea Party was essentially one of the earliest anti-globalization, pro-protectionist demonstration.

  • Mike||

    Sign of impending apocalypse? You decide...

  • ||

    I actually liked Gravel better after watching that video. Is he off his rocker? Quite possibly, but in an entertaining way.

  • Jorgen||

    I love how Root shouts about what a great communicator he is in a way that makes everyone who watches have seizures. It's going to have to be Barr or Ruwart

  • ||

    Draft Andre Marrou!

  • Quattro||

    Why am I not surprised that phonytarian Bob Barr gave an evasive mealy-mouthed answer on the drug issue?
    Gravel may be wrong on many issues but he was the only one who didn't bullshit us.

  • Brock||

    And, Barr's answer to the WOD question was?

  • ||

    Well now I know how to pronounce 'Weigel' and 'Gravel'. I thought the latter was pronounced the same as that stuff you mix with cement.

    These videos are informative.

  • ||

    Holy shit, Mike Gravel is Saul Tigh.

  • ||

    I like Gravel and Vern's answer on immigration.

  • ||

    The only one that comes close on the War question that I like is Vern.

  • ||

    The first agency these people would get rid of is the Department of education?

    I mean yeah get rid of it by all means. But it is more evil than the DEA and the IRS who directly violate the civil liberties of millions of Americans each year?

    Have these people not been reading Radley Balko?

  • ||

    I read Bobb Barr's answer about the drug war to be that he supports legalizing all drugs, but understands it cannot be done in one fell swoop.

    I would have liked him to mouth exactly that answer.

    Crazy and over enthusiastic Root's answer seemed good too, as did Gravels.

    But Gravel was generally nutty.

    I think I kinda liked Vern best here.

  • ||

    Where was Orange Line Special with his camcorders and his questions that will sink any presidency?

  • ||

    I would have liked to hear a question about gun control too.

    Like what they plan to do about the ridiculous gun laws. Which gun laws they will get rid of. Which gun laws are reasonable.

  • ||

    Holy shit, Mike Gravel is Saul Tigh.

    You're godsdamned right he is. All he needs is an eyepatch and a flask full of ambrosia.

  • Ali||

    In my book, from best to worst: (1) Vern, (2) Gravel, (3) Barrr, (4) Root.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Jesus Suckin' Zeus, Weigel! You become a libertarian so you don't have to wear ugly ties.

  • ||

    I would have liked Barr to talk about how McCain is a RINO, and Gravel to talk about how Obama and Clinton are corporate shills, or something to that effect.

  • Hyacinth||

    Well now I know how to pronounce ...'Gravel'.



    It's Boo-kay'

  • ||

    Agree with Ali's ordering, based on the questions asked. If had asked about health care, I suspect Gravel's answer would have plummeted him to the bottom of the heap.

    Wow, what a weasel answer on the WoD for Barr.

    I think Root is confusing volume with communication -- scale back on the uppers, dude.

    Can we have the Vern guy run as the LP presidental candidate in four years? Or Flake or Broun?

    Why the heck couldn't Ruwart show up for this? Hard to support someone who can't show up for important events.

  • Kirsten||

    I am so embarassed for your publication. This is shameful.

  • ||

    i don't think gravel is libertarian enough but he isn't as socialistic as the democrats he ran against before he switched...i guess. he gave the most blunt idealogically correct answer to immigration of the 4 guys. and he got more applause then the others. i think the party needs to go for entertainment value over purity for this election cause none of these guys are as libertarian as one would like. gravel's a liberal, barr's a recovering neo-con (but not enough). i don't like sports broadcaster voices so that automatically disqualifies whats-his-name. the republican i'm not sure why he was there if he's not running for the nomination. plus i don't like any politician who name drops reagan too much.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Or Flake or Broun?



    Broun? Sweet Georgia Broun? The guy who thinks soldiers shouldn't read Playboy?

  • svf||

    i think the party needs to go for entertainment value over purity for this election

    maybe Stanhope will throw his hat back into the ring... wheeeee!

  • ||

    "maybe Stanhope will throw his hat back into the ring... wheeeee!"

    That would be awesome, but the universe is not so benevolent, I fear.

  • ||

    This was the first time I've seen or heard Root. He made me cringe, he sounded phony and out of touch with reality. I really hope the LP doesn't nominate him.

    Barr was the only one up there who you can sell to the mainstream as being qualified to be president. He's no libertarian purist, but I don't want another purist that 99%+ of the public will dismiss out of hand. I want someone who will take strong steps in the right direction and has a shot at getting 5% of the vote. Barr fits the bill.

    I liked Gravel on immigration, but he's old, nutty, too recent of a convert, and downright anti-libertarian on issues like socialized medicine. As for Vern McKinley, I wish him all the best, and I fervently hope that people like him manage to take back the republican party from the pro-war, big government religious nuts.

  • Ali||

    Agree with Ali's ordering, based on the questions asked. If had asked about health care, I suspect Gravel's answer would have plummeted him to the bottom of the heap.

    Ditto.

    I think Root is confusing volume with communication -- scale back on the uppers, dude.

    He's speaking to his base, err, basically, um, Eric Dondero.

  • ||

    Based on this follow-up afterward, Gravel is the only candidate I won't support for president:

    "Yes, I think people have a right to a sound economy, to health care, and to education," he insisted. "Yes they do, because they have a right to freedom. You can't have freedom unless you have the other three. How are you going to be free if you have no money? You're not free -- you're just a drunk in the street. How are you going to be free if you're sick? You're sick like a jerk. How are you going to be free if you're dumb? You're too dumb to participate in freedom. Freedom means education. Freedom means health care. Freedom means a sound economy."

    He acknowledged that he was old enough to know that he doesn't have all the answers, which is why he would leave it to the people.

    "But what happens when 300 million different voices and people disagree with each other?" I asked him.

    "You rule by majority," Gravel said.

    "Well, what if the minority doesn't want to pay for someone else's health care?"

    "Go to another country," he said.


    Baked: I think I got the wrong name -- the person I was thinking of was one of two Congressmen (along with Flake) who voted against some bad idea noted on a thread yesterday.

  • ||

    Good post prolefeed.

    A good reason to not vote for Gravel.

  • Stins||

    Gravel was absolutely right that you can't get rid of public education entirely. Being educated means being free in the world today.

    Isn't it funny that public education works perfectly well in more or less all western countries but the US? But instead of making it better people want to abolish it and go back in time a couple of thousand years.

    Some government will always be needed as long as you plan on interracting with other human beings.

    As for his "socialized" healthcare plan, the man wants americans to decide on what they consider BASIC healthcare coverage and provide that to all paid by taxes. There would also still be competition for those who want coverage beyond that.

    Then in the end, Gravels platform is all about the national initiative. It's above all his personal ideas. So we can all vote on his plans and reject them if we want. And even come up with our own instead of sitting here whining.

  • svf||

    Gravel was absolutely right that you can't get rid of public education entirely. Being educated means being free in the world today.

    sure, but you can at least get the FEDERAL government out of it and have decisions about "public education" (or lack thereof) made at the State and, preferrably, even more local level...

  • ||

    Gravel was absolutely right that you can't get rid of public education entirely. Being educated means being free in the world today.

    Since when does "a necessary condition of personal freedom" = "must be supplied by the government"?

  • ||

    Oops, clicked too soon.

    And does this mean all those kids attending private schools won't be free when they graduate?

  • ||

    Root sounds like an angry motivational speaker.

  • Quiqqle||

    I would have liked Barr to talk about how McCain is a RINO.



    A LINO calling out a RINO

  • ||

    Quiqqle | May 21, 2008, 10:58pm | #

    I would have liked Barr to talk about how McCain is a RINO.

    A LINO calling out a RINO



    Good point. I would also like Barr to have been asked how he is a different man now than he was as a drug warrior Republican.

    What opinions he has changed, and why he was wrong before.

  • Kolohe||

    I like Barr the best (assuming his Road to Damascus has indeed been traveled)

    But I disagree here:

    (paraphrase) "as libertarians we can agree that the fundemental purpose of govt is to protect sovereignty, protect the nation."

    Nope.

    "To preserve these [inalienable] rights, Goverments are instituted among men."

    Now I fully support sovereignty as far as it goes to ensure that the government 'that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed' is sustained. (i.e. no russian paratroopers jumping into Colorado)

    But for the first 100 years or so of the Constitution, there were *no* threats posed to sovereignty by the arrival of immigrants, and no limits on their numbers. (yes, citizenship was a slightly different matter). And with the various levels of restrictions in the second hundred year span, there still has been no affect on sovereignty due to immigrants.

    So I don't see how somehow now 'they' will be able to take over.

    And the American 'nation' has always been unique as it is constructed from an idea not a 'volk' - or so I would still like to believe.

  • Steve||

    I liked Root's answers and where he's coming from. I wish he would tone down the ego a bit though.

    Barr had some sensible answers but i find it hard to trust him.

    Gravel did not seem like he belonged there at all.

  • Brian||

    Kolohe: "But for the first 100 years or so of the Constitution, there were *no* threats posed to sovereignty by the arrival of immigrants, and no limits on their numbers."

    I don't disagree with you there. Maybe I'm not hearing it correctly, but my impression of Barr's position on immigration is more of a national security concern, than a "keep out the brown people" concern. I agree with that.

    Controlling our border will do about 10,000 times more for preventing a terrorist attack than a war in the Middle East. Why? Because there is a HUGE unprotected border. The Mexican immigrants aren't the problem, they are just illustrative of it. If thousands (millions?) of them can cross the border undetected, what is to stop someone with a more sinister motive from sneaking into America?

  • Jake Witmer||

    Everyone who would make a good candidate carries un-libertarian baggage. I think that Root carries the least un-Libertarian baggage of any candidate who could conceivably be elected. I didn't like all of his answers, but I liked most of them, and he has the energy, connections, and drive to access the mainstream media that Marrou, Browne, Badnarik, and Barr clearly lacked and lack. (I think all of them are or were great people, particularly Browne, but they didn't access the media like Root does and continues to do, and that's 100% of the game of running for nationwide office.)

    The only libertarian person who might have more energy and media access now is Jesse Ventura. Ron Paul has the media access, but probably not the energy (although he has so much media access, it might not matter).

    Root would cut government if he were elected, and not threatened with death or assassinated. (Ventura believes this is the most likely outcome for anyone who is electable who would decontrol as a hardcore libertarian in office, and sadly, I can't say I think he's wrong.)

    Barr (or rather Russel Verney + Shane Cory + Barr) turned out to be a complete disaster for the LP, as I warned, prior to his winning the LP nomination. The dirtiest I ever felt in my life was holding my nose and voting for Barr in Denver, in order to put Root on the ballot in some capacity. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have done so.

    The LP should not be rewarded for making bad decisions, or allowing their own infiltration. As they now stand, they have no immune system.

    At the Denver National Convention, PHILOSOPHICALLY UNREFORMED drug warrior and prosecutor Bob Barr opposed jury nullification of law. That alone should disqualify him forever from consideration as a serious libertarian thinker. Ask jury rights expert Roger Roots if you doubt what I say. Root at least, desires that return of power to the people.

    Food for thought.

    BTW: I think it would be cool if Root and Roots ran on the same ticket for President and VP, on a platform that included reinstating proper jury rights to America's courtrooms.

    -Jake

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