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Libertarian Party's Barr coming to northern Ohio

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

The Libertarian Party's candidate for president, former congressman Bob Barr, will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday in West Lecture Hall of the Science Center at Oberlin College in Oberlin. The address is 173 West Lorain.

The Libertarians say that anyone interested in their party's "live and let live" political philosophy is invited to attend.

So, what is a Libertarian? 

While it's dangerous to make generalizations about a party of individualists, Libertarians generally believe in staying out of other nations' affairs, withdrawing American troops from other countries, ending the War on Drugs and legalizing drugs such as marijuana and eliminating federal government involvement in public education.

They also believe in avoiding government interference with the free market and protecting privacy rights. They dislike government spying and favor gun ownership. Most oppose the bailout and believe companies and individuals who make bad decisions should be allowed to go broke. They dislike Social Security and would prefer to keep their money.

Such views put them in the minority. On the other hand, they've been a distinctive, identifiable minority on the political scene since at least 1972, when the party fielded its first candidates for president and vice president.

Here's the Web site for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Washington. Here's the site for the Libertarian Party, and here's a funny piece in the Onion mocking the party's struggles to attract voters.

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