I have been a lifetime Libertarian Party activist, for over 25 years. I've served in numerous capacities, including on the Libertarian National Committee, as a Libertarian State Rep. candidate, and as Ron Paul's Personal Travel Aide in his 1988 Libertarian Presidential campaign. I've also served as Ron Paul's Congressional Campaign Coordinator and as his Senior Congressional Aide for 7 years, 1997-2004.
This election year, I've been supporting Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr. As a matter of fact, I'm the very guy who recruited his running mate Wayne Root into the race. Since the Spring, I've been the Party's lead petitioner around the Nation. I've collected tens of thousands of signatures to get Barr/Root on the ballot in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.
However, I was greatly encouraged by McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin has a solid libertarian background. In 2005/06 she was the guest speaker at two Libertarian Party meetings in Anchorage. She has been called a "libertarian" by many in Alaska politics and in the Anchorage media. She even received the last minute backing of the Libertarian Party leadership in the State for her successful gubernatorial race, and today, she is the most popular governor in America.
Up until now, I've encouraged my fellow Libertarians to follow their conscience and vote for either McCain/Palin or for Barr/Root, if it suits them better.
I now believe, two days before Election Day, that this campaign is just too critical to risk on such a strategy, and if Libertarians won’t put the liberty of our country ahead of our party ambitions, who else in this country will?
Obama is fundamentally opposed to virtually all libertarian stances on all issues. From taxes, to freedom of speech, to protecting property rights, to putting a halt to the ever-encroaching Nanny-state, and 4 years of an Obama Presidency will have disastrous results for liberty, and supporters of the limited government view.
As evidence of this, Obama has taken to lodge a full frontal assault on the libertarian movement within the last couple days. In two separate speeches Obama accused McCain/Palin of supporting tax cuts because they believed in the "Virtue of Selfishness." ABC News confirmed that the phrase was most likely a direct hit at libertarian icon Philosopher Ayn Rand.
By attacking Rand, and her Individualist philosophy, in essence, Obama has declared war on libertarians and the libertarian movement in these closing days of Election '08.
How should libertarians respond?
It is now my strong feeling that libertarians nationwide, and most assuredly my fellow Libertarian Party members, should strongly consider casting their votes for Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin. The libertarian movement would be best served with an Obama defeat.
Bob Barr has been polling around 1 to 1.5% in recent polls. A Research 2000/Daily Kos poll released just Friday, had Barr at a full 2%. That is more than enough to cause McCain/Palin to go down to defeat. As we all know, a good 90% of Libertarian votes come directly out of the GOP column.
For example, it is widely believed that in 2006, incumbent Republican Senator Conrad Burns almost certainly went down to defeat due to the 4% vote of Libertarian Stan Jones, which turned out to be a wider total than Burns's loss.
I urge my Libertarian friends, especially those in “swing states” to shift these final days to McCain/Palin. Those States that are especially critical include: New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
McCain/Palin lead Obama/Biden in the latest poll out of Wyoming with 68% to 32%. A Libertarian vote cast for Barr/Root in Wyoming, or even Utah, Idaho, Alabama, Kansas, and my native Texas, would not cause any harm. But Libertarians in the critical swing states must now weigh their vote very seriously and with great caution.
Do we want a guarantee of tax increases for virtually all taxpayers, more federalization of education, more pork barrel spending, and continuation of affirmative action quotas, a return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine intended to silence the voice of libertarians and conservatives across the nation? Or, do we want a friendly ear in a confirmed Libertarian Party friend and ally in the office of the Vice-Presidency of the United States.
For these reasons, I am voting for McCain/Palin on Tuesday and I urge all of my Libertarian friends to do the same.
Our party has made great gains and that is important. Nobody in the libertarian movement has worked harder than I have to assure those gains.
But at this moment in history, we must stand with our conservative friends, against a massive affront upon liberty and freedom itself. I call upon all freedom loving libertarians to consider this situation carefully and stand with me!
Eric Dondero is a US Navy Veteran and graduate of FSU. He is a former Libertarian Party National Committeeman, Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus and fmr. Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul R-TX. He is now a national Republican Political Consultant based in Houston, Texas.