Ralph Nader is doing what all Americans who care about national security and competent economic leadership should do, he’s helping John McCain and taking away votes from Barack Obama. Conversely, Bob Barr seems set to help Obama and while it is his right to do so, countering him should be a top priority of those who believe that Obama’s positions on social issues, economics or on national security are dangerous for the nation.
I could be misreading the situation. It is quite possible that Barr, who sides with Obama on many social issues as well as on some matters of national security, may mainly attract the Ron Paul vote that would otherwise stay home or even go to Obama. But unlike Paul, Barr attracts more interest on the part of some conservatives. We must therefore point out the obvious, that a vote for him is a vote for Obama, in the hopes of alerting some of his supporters to the seriousness of the situation.
Bob Barr’s not my idea of a perfect candidate, but to many he’s an appealing one. We need to bear the following in mind: If communist appeaser Henry Wallace had been a serious threat in 1948, it would have been incumbent upon all who recognized the danger that the communist threat posed to America to rally around his strongest opponent.
The same was true in 1972 when Wallace’s protégé, George McGovern, captured the Democratic nomination and took the party with him. Republicans at the time had the most liberal as well as the most corrupt candidate up for reelection, someone who even our candidate’s biggest detractors must admit was far worse than anyone since, yet to oppose Richard Nixon in favor of McGovern would have been disastrous for the nation.
Incidentally, for those who have any doubt what a McGovern presidency would have entailed, as well as for those who still wonder when the radicalization of the Democratic Party began, its takeover by the Wallace Progressives and subsequent transformation stems from the McGovern nomination. For those who are still unsure of whether Nixon’s reelection was the better option, I’d encourage them to read the column If Only We’d Voted Democrat in 1972, We’d All Know How to Speak Russian.
Sen. Obama is to the left of McGovern and of Henry Wallace in many ways and this is not an election in which we have the luxury of sitting by the sidelines. If you must prove a point, elect a libertarian to Congress (though this too will affect the way the nation reacts to social, economic and security issues by strengthening Congressional Democrats) or on a state level.
Bob Barr all but admits that he has no chance of winning, not that he’d have to admit it for that much to be clear. As such, a vote for Bob Barr is a vote that places one on the sidelines of the crucial battle between the sensibility of McCain’s positions and the surrealism of Obama’s.
And what if Barack Obama is somehow not the Democratic nominee, a very remote possibility even after the revelation of his latest remarks? Have Republicans all of a sudden decided to rally behind Hillary Clinton? If so, you can help her campaign with a vote for Bob Barr.
The situation also deserves the attention of the McCain campaign. They’d be wise to offer Barr the position of either Attorney General or Treasury Secretary in a McCain Administration on condition that he step aside, not because Barr’s the most qualified, but so as to nip this problem in the bud and because there are issues of far greater concern.
The McCain campaign should also make doubly sure not to select a vice presidential running mate who would alienate swing voters. John McCain needs to choose someone who will bring broad momentum to the ticket or who appeals to the largest group of swing voters. We must not further harm the GOP with a candidate who does not play well to this group, as doing so also emboldens Obama.
As for this column’s header, you’ve got to admit that a Barack Obama – Roseanne Barr ticket should make Republicans smile. This year, it wouldn’t surprise me if it came about. But let’s not let jokes take away from the serious damage that can be done by Bob Barr and the need to counter it effectively.