Take That, Bob Barr!

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Professor John Hospers, the Libertarian Party's first presidential candidate, comes forward with an endorsement in this year's election. By now it's a truism that 9/11 opened a hole in the space/time continuum, turning up into down, left into right, hawks into doves, white into black, cats into dogs, and so on. Pat Buchanan's magazine makes the case for a candidate the Republicans keep telling me stands to the left of Castro. Bob Barr is voting against the staunchest family-values conservative to occupy the White House in our time. The last Trotskyite is making the case for Bush. Now gallant Hospers, Mars in swathling clothes, says "Fie upon this quiet life! I want work." A sample:

The election of John Kerry would be, far more than is commonly realized, a catastrophe. Regardless of what he may say in current campaign speeches, his record is unmistakable: he belongs to the International Totalitarian Left in company with the Hillary and Bill Clintons, the Kofi Annans, the Ted Kennedys, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world. The Democratic Party itself has been undergoing a transformation in recent years; moderate, pro-American, and strong defense Senators such as Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman and Scoop Jackson are a dying breed…

Today's Democrats have been out of majority power for so long that they are hungry for power at any price and will do anything to achieve it, including undermining the President and our troops in time of war; for them any victory for Americans in the war against terrorism is construed as a defeat for them…

[George W. Bush's] great virtue, however, is that he has stood up -- knowingly at grave risk to his political viability -- to terrorism when his predecessors, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton did not… He decided that action had to be taken to protect us against future 9/11s involving weapons of mass destruction, including "suitcase" nuclear devices…

Bush cut income tax rates for the first time in fifteen years. These cuts got us moving out of the recession he inherited, and we are all economically much better off because of them… [Bush has] other projects in the wind for which libertarians have not given him credit. For example:

(l) A total revision of our tax code. We will have a debate concerning whether this is best done via a flat tax or a sales tax…

(2) A market-based reform of Social Security….

When the stakes are not high it is sometimes acceptable…. But when the stakes are high… imperative… not…philosophically ideal…best one available… forthcoming election…Republicans or the Democrats… undeniable reality… as close as it was in 2000… critical "Battle Ground" states… presidency itself… situation in which we find ourselves… And that is why I believe voting for George W. Bush is the most libertarian thing we can do.

Hospers was long before my time, but this strikes me as moderately big news. Some movement types, however, note his history with the Randoid, pay-80-percent-for-defense wing of the party, which indicates this endorsement is no more surprising than The Nation's quadrennial don't-run message to Ralph Nader.

Full text, with reader comments and an envoi calling Hospers "Dr.," right here.