Ross Perot Could Breathe Life Into Libertarians

Ross PerotI know this may just sound hopeful and a stretch, but I think there’s a place for Ross Perot in the 2004 elections. Not as a candidate, but as a visible endorsement for the libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik. After doing some research and finding the Salon article — Perot gears up — from August 2003, I’m convinced that it would catapult the libertarians into the media spotlight and we could witness a redux of 1992, with a libertarian snagging upwards of 19% of the vote:

But Perot is mad about more than Bush’s tax cuts, which he clearly (and correctly) blames for blowing the budget hole wide open. He also thinks the country is awash in “waves of jingoism” since 9/11 and offers sane counsel for dealing with the threat of terrorism: “Avoid panic and judge the odds like poker players.” Most refreshing, he’s got no use for the Bush administration’s efforts “to hobble the commissions appointed to investigate 9/11” and slams the USA PATRIOT Act for going too far. Perot, who played the libertarian when he ran for office but zealously policed the private lives of his employees, now attacks the government’s holding incommunicado of American citizens Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi as the equivalent of the “Star Chamber trials of 17th century Britain or Josef Stalin’s gulag.”

“We, the people, must restore rational thought and sound management principles to our government,” Perot and Champy write. It almost sounds good, until you remember Perot’s penchant for irrational thought and military management principles. Perot refers to himself, “with all due modesty” as a “veteran change agent,” but it’s clear that what he’s looking for is one more moment in the sun.

Both Perot and Badnarik are from Texas and consider their views to be common sense, so it’s not like there’s going to be a huge cultural chasm.

Right now, I’m doing a list of 25 10 things Badnarik can do in order to get media attention and support. You can expect it to be published Monday on WatchBlog.

Ross’s Reform Party party has cut ties with him and recently endorsed Nader as it’s candidate. Is there anything to that story?

UPDATE: I wanted to add the following quote from an old Political Wire entry — Ross Perot Is Back — on the forthcoming book title:

America the Broken: How to Reform and Revive the Greatest Democracy Ever Known is described in the proposal as a “short, intense book” which will be “liberally furnished with charts, of the sort Ross Perot used in his 1992 campaign.”

Perot gears up [Salon]
Ross Perot Is Back [Political Wire]

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