Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An open note to Brian Miller


Brian,

This will be too brief to refer to as a "letter," so I'll call it a "note."

I just want to admit that you were right and I was wrong about Ron Paul at least as publicly as I've sometimes disagreed with you about him.

Although I declined to support Paul's Republican campaign and opposed the notion of making him the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential nominee, I kept trying -- against my better judgment -- to make lemonade out of the Ron Paul lemon, while you patiently and conscientiously pointed out to everyone in hearing that the lemon was rotten beyond rescue and couldn't be made into anything worth drinking.

I should have known better, and you tried to tell me better. Sorry I didn't listen better.

I still believe that Bob Barr acted stupidly in the matter of Snubgate. I still believe that he embarrassed the LP with a bloc of voters some of whom might have otherwise have been positively predisposed toward libertarianism. And I still believe that it was a combination of Barr's circus performance and the Libertarian National Committee's gutlessness which gave Paul the excuse he needed to endorse Chuck Baldwin instead of sticking with his "vote third party, any third party" line.

However, Paul's endorsement of Baldwin makes it clear that when he feels himself pressured to choose between libertarianism -- or even a pale, more conservative than libertarian, substitute like that purveyed by Bob Barr -- and the darkest, most medieval social conservatism, he'll choose the latter.

I'm glad that we found that out finally and truly now, in an election cycle the LP has already blown anyway, instead of later. Of course, if libertarians had listened to you (and to me, before I outsmarted myself and started thinking that we could play with fire and maybe not get burned), we'd have been ahead of the curve already, wouldn't we?

Best regards,
Tom Knapp

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