This Just May Be the Libertarian Era

Old voters collecting Social Security may never change their minds, but libertarianism is growing fast among young Americans.

I didn't know what a libertarian was when I started reporting. I was just another liberal. I knew the Republicans were icky, and Democrats were more like me—except they didn't care about debt.

I had no idea there was an actual movement of thinking people who want to honor the principles of the Founders—liberty and limited government. It took me a long time to wake up.

Now more Americans have woken up, say Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie, editors of Reason magazine.

"Poll after poll show you that Americans are much more fiscally conservative than their elected representatives," says Welch. "A majority of Americans thinks that we should balance the budget. Seventy-five percent think that we should not raise the debt ceiling ... Growing majorities—especially young people—are more socially tolerant. They think that we should legalize marijuana ... they're in favor of gay marriage."

Gillespie argues that some of the change comes from people seeing how the private sector offers us more options that we like, while government fails.

"The 21st century has been a demonstration project of how Republicans and conservatives screw things up, under the Bush years, and now we have the Obama version—the liberal Democrat version of screwing everything up ... you go to Amazon.com, you have a good experience and you get all sorts of interesting stuff. When you go to a government website, not so much."

It changes minds, they argue, when people see this is a strong pattern, not just the result of isolated mistakes unique to Obamacare or another specific government project.

But do people realize that it's a strong pattern? I don't think so. I wrote No, They Can't: Why Government Fails—But Individuals Succeed because I worry most Americans instinctively trust central planning. The spontaneous order of the invisible hand is harder to grasp. The invisible hand is ... invisible.

Maybe that's why leftists fear liberty. A sarcastic online video scares people by calling Somalia a "libertarian paradise." (It isn't. Libertarianism assumes private property and rule of law.) One of my Fox colleagues, Bill O'Reilly, calls my libertarian views "desperately wrong" and says "you're living in a world of theory!"

But Gillespie says even people who don't understand the theory at least see what the invisible hand produces. "Where people do things voluntarily and in free markets, everything is getting better, (but] when you go to this old model of command and control, things are terrible." True. But while Gillespie, Welch and I —and maybe you readers—pay attention to that, I suspect that the promises of the central planners will fool most people most of the time.

Politicians fool us with offers of free goodies like cheaper health care and "cures" for social problems, like the War on Drugs. They fool us with their promises to "contain" China, Iran, al-Qaida, etc. and "build democracy" in the Middle East.

If libertarian-leaning politicians express doubt, they may be condemned by others in their own party.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., filibustered until President Obama responded to their questions about drone strikes. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called them "wacko birds."

After some politicians criticized NSA spying, Gov. Chris Christie said, "This strain of libertarianism is a very dangerous thought."

Mainstream conservative pundit Fred Barnes tells me Ron Paul is "deluded" because he wants to shrink the military. Barnes says we're not seeing a new libertarian era, just a libertarian "blip." He points out that even government programs Ronald Reagan railed against are still with us 30 years later—and suggests that they probably aren't going away.

I'm not optimistic about most people recognizing liberty's benefits. Old politicians—and old voters collecting Social Security—may never change their minds. But libertarianism is growing fastest among the young, and groups like Students for Liberty give me hope. These young people certainly know more about liberty than I did at their age.

Maybe they will avoid prior generations' big-government mistakes. Maybe.

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  • playa manhattan||

    That picture is gonna start a fight. Deep dish! TX BBQ! Cut Penis!

  • Brett L||

    I'm pro-choice TX BBQ. If they like their sub-standard non-beef BBQ, they can keep it.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I glanced back at PM links last night and saw the bbq debate.

    Is there a position of simply liking bbq?

  • Brett L||

    You monster! Next you'll tell me its okay to put beans in chili. This isn't fucking Vietnam! We have rules. Am I going crazy here?!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Is Epi around? When I was in Chicago once, I ate deep dish pizza and liked it.

    *Runs away*

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Fuck Yeah!! Lou Malnati's is the best pizza ever.

  • MSimon||

    Unos. Since 1962.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I reside in that area of the midwest. All those mainstream places are kind of lame- Lous, Unos, Giardios. I've had better pizza at "family" owned Italian places in the middle of nowhere.

  • gimmeasammich||

    I too reside there (in fact actually in Chicago), and I would agree with this statement. That includes my own kitchen. It's not that the pizza is bad, it's just that it's over hyped.

  • ||

    It is ok to put beans in chili, but only if they are black beans.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Only if you are not putting any beef in the chili. The combination of beef and beans is too rich. Their textures and tastes compete too much, they don't compliment each other.

  • OneOut||

    When you put beans in chili...it is no longer chili.

    Chili is beef and chili. In this case chili is chili peppers that have been sauced. You can take dried chilis and soak them in water before putting them in a food processor or you can cheat and use chili powder. But if you add beans to this dish it is no longer chili.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "The 21st century has been a demonstration project of how Republicans and conservatives screw things up, under the Bush years, and now we have the Obama version—the liberal Democrat version of screwing everything up ... you go to Amazon.com, you have a good experience and you get all sorts of interesting stuff. When you go to a government website, not so much."

    That's a solution: Obama should have just charged Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar with antitrust violations then offered to settle in exchange for:

    An Obamacare website!

  • John||

    Growing majorities—especially young people—are more socially tolerant. They think that we should legalize marijuana ... they're in favor of gay marriage.

    Are they tolerant of smoking? Are they tolerant of guns? Are they tolerant of people with weird views or strange religions? Are they tolerant of people who eat "unhealthy" food? Are they tolerant of people who like to drive big cars and live in houses with yards in the suburbs with long commutes?

    More to being socially tolerant than gay marriage and drugs. I find our society to be increasingly pious (not moral but pious which is different and generally oppressive arm of morality) and intolerant.

  • ||

    I'm gonna have to agree with you here. Those "socially tolerant" young people sometimes lack principles, which means they're selectively "tolerant". When you have principles, you realize that being "socially tolerant" means accepting things you disagree with.

  • John||

    They are fashionable is what they are. And gay marriage and legalizing drugs is fashionable. Living in the suburbs and having five kids and going to church every Sunday is not fashionable. So a good number of those "socially tolerant" young people could care less about the rights of such people or the rights of gun owners or smokers or anyone else who are currently considered "unfashionable".

  • ||

    I'm hoping that groups like the Pink Pistols and Well-Armed Woman will turn the tide of "coolness" on gun control. Old fart organizations like the NRA aren't gonna get the job done.

  • Outlaw||

    Video games are turning the tide on the "coolness" of gun control, as are movies.

    Teens who use cool guns in Call of Duty are often curious and want to try them out in real life, so they do and discover that the bullshit anti-gun propaganda is complete garbage because shooting is fun and not everyone who owns a gun is a racist or a mass murdering psychopath.

    This is why the left can't win on the issue.

    Anyway, that's how I and a lot of my friends got into guns back in the day when we didn't really have any family members into them.

    Then we converted them and brought them into the fold.

    Gun culture 2.0 is a real thing and gun control is doomed.

  • RightNut||

    Teens who use cool guns in Call of Duty are often curious and want to try them out in real life

    That is a terrifying proposition...

  • Outlaw||

    They rarely try them out without instruction. Gun ranges are pretty good about teaching people basic safety and handholding.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Penn & Teller covered this, although I think they got too young of a kid to go from video gun to real gun. (He didn't enjoy shooting a real gun).

  • Outlaw||

    Penn & Teller found a little mama's boy to put on there. I was disappointed. I guess they didn't want to show a kid having a good time shooting a gun because it would've disturbed the progs.

  • GroundTruth||

    Actually, it's the most hopeful thing that I've heard in ages. The PC generation might be weaned from their NEA tits after all!

  • John||

    I had never thought of that. That is a good point. And it explains why the Progs hate "violent video games" more than even the SOCONs do.

  • Tony||

    According to what statistics?

    This progressive is counting the hours till he can get back to GTA 5.

  • LarryA||

    According to a recent NSSF study, "America's new shooters are young, female, and urban." My classes are reflectiing that, as are those of many other instructors I hear from.

    http://www.nssfblog.com/americ.....and-urban/

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "According to what statistics?"

    Who needs counterfeitable statistics when we have an ocean of de facto polices and actions to draw upon?

    Like Hillary Clinton making the censorship of video games one of her primary platforms in 2008, capping off a decade+ fundamentalist crusade against video games waged by herself, Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman.

    And then there's that pesky bit where your duly elected Regressive officials tried to sneak video game censorship into their bullshit Toomey-Manchkin charade.

    Now go home and get your fuckin' shinebox Unicorns.

  • Outlaw||

    I think the older ones do, but I'm not so sure about the younger ones.

    The older progs are all about hating depictions of 'anti-social' behavior (which is really anything they personally disapprove of).

    Younger progs who like video games tend to ignore them or oppose them on this because video games are fun.

  • Outlaw||

    Oh and I think a Reason survey on gun control (or at least one they quoted in some post, I can't remember) pretty much proved my assertion.

    They specified the age ranges and sexes of respondents. Young males were opposed to new gun bans, IIRC.

  • RightNut||

    Ya but does that correlate with liking violent video games or simply with young men?

  • LarryA||

    Teens who use cool guns in Call of Duty...

    Not just games. There's a boatload of gun programs on cable TV, and expanding into more mainstream channels, and they're having positive effects as well.

  • LarryA||

    Old fart organizations like the NRA aren't gonna get the job done.

    It's the NRA that fields over 100k basic instructors and helps fund programs for youth (4-H, Boy Scouts, etc.) and women (Women on Target, Refuse to be a Victom, etc.)

    "Old fart," maybe. But they make cool possible.

  • rts||

    Look, I swear when I made my "fashionable" comment I hadn't seen yours.

    I guess I need to hit F5 more often.

  • John||

    So right, it is worth saying twice.

  • Robert||

    It's not even that they could care less about the rights of the unfashionable, rather they want to positively take away those rights. 40 yrs. ago people saw coming that pot would become acceptable, tobacco unacceptable.

  • Michael Hihn||

    John, you hit it out of the park. The "movement" looks for anything to support its own bias. The same Tribalism we see everywhere else.

    On the facts, our movement is a massive failure. Libertarians have been the majority for over a quarter century, as shown by the World's Smallest Political Quiz. Meanwhile, we've erected a libertopia for ourselves instead of a free society for everyone.

    If words mean anything, libertarians would be just one of many tribes in a free society. But we keep trying to convert more libertarians, and actually have no idea what a free society would look like.

    We don't need a single libertarian convert. Not one. If we cannot show how liberty works better for everyone, then we have nothing to offer anyone.

  • anon||

    Those "socially tolerant" young people sometimes lack principles,

    Not sometime. All the time.

    I didn't acquire principles until I was at least 25, and I figure I was ahead of the game.

    By the time most people acquire principles (if they ever do), it's far too late for them to make the choice to change their entire worldview, because it's very hard to accept you've been wrong for such a long time.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I was practically born with principles. I only had to do a little refining for consistency as I hammered out some details. This was about the age of ten.

  • rts||

    Well said. It's fashionable to support gay marriage and marijuana. For this growing majority I think it rarely goes any deeper than that.

  • sarcasmic||

    It pisses off their parents. That's all that matters.

  • RightNut||

    gay marriage maybe, but marijuana was probably smoked by alot of kids grandparents, i think the success of legalization has alot more to do with the overly harsh penalties for doing something no more harmful than alcohol.

  • XM||

    You mean they'll be against polygamy, cousin marriage, and legalizing selling your own organs?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Why not, if they're against unalienable rights, separation of church and state and even our Bill of Rights? Principles matter, and shape our views on individual issues.

  • wadair||

    So to summarize the conversation so far: it's not liberal (libertarian) to be tolerant where others are tolerant, instead true liberalism (nowadays libertarianism but I want to point out that self-described liberals are not liberal) requires one to show tolerance when they don't want to. It's like loving your enemies: a true liberal is tolerant when she/he doesn't want to be.

  • John||

    Pretty much. Believing in freedom means believing in the rights of other people to do things you don't like. If you don't get that, you don't get freedom.

  • anon||

    You rethuglican teahadists just want us all to die from a heroin overdose!!!111one

  • CE||

    If Al Qaeda doesn't get you first.

  • Tony||

    This amounts to meaninglessness since of course there is a line to be drawn. I don't approve of other people raping and murdering, and I think there oughta be a law.

    Some people think drug use is sufficiently socially harmful, and prohibition sufficiently effective, to justify sticking society's nose into it. I disagree on this count.

    What you don't get to do is draw your line and then declare that it, and only it, represents where freedom is. I get that that's pretty much the sum total of arguments for libertarianism. "Me freedom. You bad. Grunt." But many disagreements about where to draw the line between personal freedom and social concern are legitimate.

  • anon||

    As always, shithead fucks life up for everyone. Any idiot that can't consider the difference between smoking a joint and raping a woman should die a horrible death in a fire somewhere, preferably far away from me so that I'm not a suspect.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    BTW, my comment below is for the little statist douchenozzle piece of shit, not you, anon.

  • Tony||

    I just said that I appreciate the difference, as I believe one ought to be illegal and the other legal. More conservative people might think both should be illegal because both are allegedly socially harmful. But there are a million issues in between, and the fact that you can't acknowledge that the world is complex enough for there to be legitimate policy disagreements without telling people to die in fire suggests that you're not really up to the task of thinking these things through. I've been here a long time and I'd wager 80% of what you guys believe amounts to "I'm right because I say so, now go die in a fire."

  • anon||

    More conservative people might think both should be illegal because both are allegedly socially harmful.

    Rape and Murder are not "allegedly" harmful, you fucking idiot.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No, fuckwad, you pretty much rejected the libertarian use of standards to define liberty in favor of "whatever makes Tony feel good".

    And, honestly, I don't want you to die in a fire. That sort of death would be too quick for you.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Fuck off, slaver!

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    You know, I'd think with as much time as you spend on this blog trolling and generally being an ass, you'd at least have learned a little about libertarian ideals. I can only conclude that you have irreparable brain damage or you are simply a mendacious cunt.

    I'm going with the latter.

  • anon||

    I didn't realize it was an either/or situation.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Well, if he had irreparable brain damage, he could actually believe the things he says about libertarians. In that case, I may feel pity for him as it's not his fault he's incapable of learning.

  • Tony||

    Libertarian thought is fundamentally incoherent, so there's not really much to properly "understand."

    "Government intervention in the marketplace and people's personal lives is bad, except when it's good. And where I draw that line is not only sacred and pure and true, it probably shouldn't even be democratically debatable."

    That about cover it?

  • anon||

    "Government intervention in the marketplace and people's personal lives is bad, except when it's good. And where I draw that line is not only sacred and pure and true, it probably shouldn't even be democratically debatable."

    That sounds a lot more like your philosophy than libertarian philosophy. No wonder you're so fucking stupid.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    It's projection through and through. That's the proggie battle cry.

    Tony, as with most proggies, is incapable of understanding the simple concept of taking responsibility for one's actions or the concept of self ownership. He always has to look to the government to "fix" people.

    He pretty much admitted so with his defense of O-care and the "people are too dumb to know what they want" meme.

  • Tony||

    the simple concept of taking responsibility for one's actions or the concept of self ownership

    So simple as to amount to empty slogans. Why don't you take responsibility for your own bodily protection? Why do you insist I help pay for law enforcement? Are you some kind of mooch?

    The problem is you people think in slogans, and it is a bigger problem than you being ignorant--people who think in slogans can be led to believe that whatever policy someone wants to sell them accords with those slogans. That's all libertarianism is. Some politician telling you low taxes on the rich equals freedom, you thinking "Gee, I'm for freedom, I must be for low taxes on the rich."

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I do take responsibility for my own bodily protection, you fucking retard. That's why I carry a gun.

    I don't, nor would I ever, insist that you help pay for police protection for me. The police are not there to protect me in the first place, hence, why I carry a gun.

    Stop being a mendacious fucktard.

    WE think in slogans? Really? This coming from a member of a group who chant "YES WE CAN" on "MOVE FORWARD" without even the briefest thought on what that actually means or how to actually do it.

    Who is this politician that I've been getting advice from? I seem to remember a really long journey that I took from being raised rabid republican to being a liberal in my young adulthood and then finally figuring out that Libertarianism fits my views the best. No politician has ever told me that "low taxes on the rich equals freedom. I figured out on my own that low taxes on everyone equals freedom.

  • Tony||

    So do you really think that the best form of society involves having no criminal justice system, but just everyone defending themselves with weapons? That must be what you're saying. Hard to envision how any scope of personal liberty survives in that anarchic hellscape, though. I suppose there's always unicorns to invoke.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Again with your idiotic fallacies. What on earth gave you the impression that I want no criminal justice system? Or that I think that we should all just shoot it out wild west style? You really are brain damaged, aren't you?

    You keep saying that we have a black/white attitude towards things when it's you that can't see shades of grey. Stop projecting, asshole.

  • Tony||

    Then your stated principles amount to shit. We are both for mixed economies. Just a somewhat different mix. The end.

  • KDN||

    Stop being a mendacious fucktard.

    Come on, it's all he's got.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    I know, and I usually don't feed trolls. I just lost control over the mass of stupidity that Tony is unleashing today.

  • wadair||

    Libertarian thought is fundamentally incoherent, so there's not really much to properly "understand."

    Incoherent to you. The basis of libertarian (classical liberal) thought wrt government is that powers not expressly given by the people to the government are retained by the people. Because you're a statist this is incoherent. It's not the fault of libertarianism.

  • Tony||

    I believe that--I just happen to be in favor of some of the powers the people have given the government since the 19th century.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except the libertarian adherence to the Non-aggression principle is well understood and clearly defined. So, no, it's not a matter "it's bad unless its good".

    And if you were anything other than a mendacious, statist piece of shit, you'd acknowledge that.

  • Tony||

    I've been told a thousand times that your principles are well articulated. Not once, that I can recall, has anyone articulated them.

    I think it has something to do with the fact that when you try, they immediately disintegrate into a small pile of easy contradictions.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    No, it's that like any mendacious piece of shit, you ignore the response when people do respond.

    You aren't allowed to initiate force against others. Fraud, properly understood, is nothing more than a special condition of force. Crimes can be prohibited. Vices cannot.

    It really isn't very difficult to understand.

  • Tony||

    You aren't allowed to initiate force against others. Fraud, properly understood, is nothing more than a special condition of force. Crimes can be prohibited. Vices cannot.

    Where does pollution fall in this scheme? Is selling tainted food a form of force? Or is force only that which harms people or wealth, or most especially, people with wealth? Why isn't property itself, or other prohibitions on the free mobility of people, an initiation of force?

    Definitions are all-important.

  • GroundTruth||

    At the risk of inciting the anti-troll patrol, I'll bite.

    Tony, Libertarian thought at its core is so simple and so coherent, that it takes a great deal of unlearning to understand it.

    "You have the freedom to do whatever you want, so long as it does not infringe on me. To the extent that government serves that purpose it is good; if it exceeds that purpose even with the best of intentions, it is just a gang of thugs."

  • Tony||

    Simple and coherent theories of how human societies should be structured, when implemented, have never once been anything but highly destructive. Maybe you're the first correct ones! Good luck.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Shithead:

    Low taxes on everyone equals freedom because not having shit taken away equals freedom.

  • Tony||

    You gotta account for what services are lost--education, police, fire, roads, etc. are not valued at $0. Some people think paying taxes for these things is a good investment.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Anything done by the government that the market is capable of, is not valued at $0. It is less than $0. The only debatable thing you mentioned, shithead, is police. Debatable because police sounds like a nice theory, but the reality is that you are still not entitled to any particular action by the police.

  • ||

    "Some people think paying taxes for these things is a good investment."

    Then let them invest in those things instead of you or a central body directing those investments.

  • Tony||

    Get it in a bill and up for a vote.

  • ||

    Clearly you misunderstood the point about centralized authority.

  • John||

    It is only seems meaningless because you are a pious moron who can convince yourself that anything that violates your tastes and fashions are really "harmful".

    Yes tony, there are limits to freedom and that limit is to things that are genuinely harmful to other people like murder and rape and such. The problem is that people are able to rationalize the prohibition of virtually anything by claiming it is "harmful".

    Thus people like you convince yourselves that things you don't like like guns or evil corporations spending money to say things you don't like are really "harmful". This allows close minded, nasty awful people like you to go through life with the firm conviction that you are open minded and tolerant.

    I am sorry Tony. You mean well. But the reality is that you are one of the least tolerant and socially illiberal people on earth. The fact that you think you are just the opposite just shows that evil works through seduction and rationalization and not by force.

  • anon||

    Man, you put a lot more effort into saying what I said than I did.

  • Tony||

    You're doing exactly what I said you do. We don't just have a few relatively minor disagreements over how much personal liberty people should have, you're all good and I'm all evil because I think, I dunno, there should be some restrictions on gun proliferation? Classic conservative apocalyptic black/white thinking of course.

    There is no sacred text telling us where to draw the line, and you guys have never even sufficiently articulated where it is to be drawn, except perhaps in those instances where like an excitable schoolchild you "realize" that the so-called nonaggression principle must be all that's required to run a society, because it's so simple, and simple means true!

  • anon||

    There is no sacred text telling us where to draw the line

    Actually, there is. See: United States Constitution & related amendments.

  • Tony||

    So are you saying, in what would surely horrify the authors of that document, that it is a sacred text? Are you also saying that it is unambiguous on where the line is drawn? Or are you saying that the society that constitution has organized--the one we live in--is the freest possible society? Or are you like every other rightwing constitutional fetishist, worshiping the document but rejecting nearly every social reality that has come from it, claiming it to be entirely something that it's not?

  • John||

    Tony no one ever fully articulates where the line should be drawn. If they could, all political disagreements would end. But that doesn't mean we don't know it should be drawn way further towards permissiveness than you claim it should be or can't see through your sad rationalizations.

    Is there any form of sophistry you won't embrace? It is amazing you are so good at rationalizing yet can't seem to make a rational argument.

    But here is a hint, wherever the line is, it doesn't involve controlling how much money someone makes, how they choose to defend themselves, what kinds of things they like to collect, or what sorts of things they sell or put into their bodies.

    There isn't a single form of freedom you don't object to beyond gay sex and abortion. Everything else is subject to government control and approval. Just because you rationalize it as "preventing harm" doesn't mean you are tolerant. It just means you lie to yourself.

  • Tony||

    But here is a hint, wherever the line is, it doesn't involve controlling how much money someone makes, how they choose to defend themselves, what kinds of things they like to collect, or what sorts of things they sell or put into their bodies.

    According to you. You're entitled to all of those beliefs. So are you saying that you wish that public policy would reflect your beliefs, or are you saying that it has no choice, no matter what the majority of people believe, but to reflect them?

    There isn't a single form of freedom you don't object to beyond gay sex and abortion.

    Riiiight.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    So are you saying that you wish that public policy would reflect your beliefs, or are you saying that it has no choice, no matter what the majority of people believe, but to reflect them?

    I'm pretty sure that reality contradicts this for everyone, unless there's a person out there who is finding their exact preference for society enforced upon everyone. So, what's your point?

    No one has no choice to reflect anything.

    However, I'll happy say that throwing people in jail for smoking pot is horribly wrong, regardless if it hurts someone's feelings when they disagree.

    I'm always shocked by the sensitive feelings of people who want to organize society by inflicting violence on peaceful people. Apparently, throwing drug users in jail and ruining their lives is A-OK and tolerable as long as the majority agrees, but telling someone you think that's morally wrong is insensitive and authoritarian? Go figure.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    you're all good and I'm all evil because I think, I dunno, there should be some restrictions on gun proliferation?


    Ah, no. The evilness behind your thinking is evidenced by your predilection for exitus acta probat.

  • Tony||

    Oftentimes the ends do justify the means. Sometimes they don't. Not sure what that has to do with anything.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Oftentimes the ends do justify the means.


    You could only know that after the fact as you cannot presume to know the future, and then you or another would spin the evidence to justify the means no matter the consequences. That is the basic flaw of utilitarian thought. Essencially, those not on the receiving end of the means are in the easy position to rationalize the results and thus arrive at facile conclusions. Wait until you're looking at the business end of a gun to then tell me that the ends justify the means.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Not sure what that has to do with anything.


    You have oftentimes justified your arguments through exitus acta probat, or utilitarian ethics. I find such ethics abhorrent, barbaric and inherently evil when no contradictions are present.

  • Tony||

    Yet it's an ethical program you apply almost certainly more than any other in your daily life.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: TOny,

    Yet it's an ethical program you apply almost certainly more than any other in your daily life.


    Ho-hum. A Tu Quoque. Boring.

    You're boring, Tony.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Oftentimes the ends do justify the means.

    That's why we consider you an amoral piece of shit, Tony.

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    Oftentimes the ends do justify the means.

    Think about the words. Very carefully, if necessary.

    (Hint: sometimes the means are benign.)

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    This amounts to meaninglessness since of course there is a line to be drawn. I don't approve of other people raping and murdering, and I think there oughta be a law.

    Some people think drug use is sufficiently socially harmful, and prohibition sufficiently effective, to justify sticking society's nose into it. I disagree on this count.

    What you don't get to do is draw your line and then declare that it, and only it, represents where freedom is.

    Yawn.

    Yeah, I get it: everyone's allowed to disagree and feel strongly about their position, except for libertarians. Because you don't like libertarians.

    But, on a plethora of progressive issues, you'll happily name call libertarians for not being on the progressive bandwagon. Only progressives are allowed to label ideas "stupid" and "indefensible."

    Just the same damn double-standard that we've heard from you a hundred times. Boring.

  • Tony||

    My beef is with the vague but absolutist and definitely masturbatory rhetoric you guys employ. It's enormously frustrating. We can't even get to a conversation about whether this or that law or policy is a good thing on its merits because you guys are obsessed with labeling everything as either freedom or unfreedom.

    We're all for maximum individual freedom. It should be taken as a given. You guys just love to escape realistic, nitty-gritty arguments about whether some policy actually might increase individual freedom by, basically, calling them names like "statist." Except you're all statists to one degree or another. You're not that special.

  • Brian||

    Yawn. If you want to waste time arguing about people here and their lack of ability to have a meaningful conversation, go have a conversation somewhere else, then. You're not required to be here.

    And, I'm sorry, but someone who labels other people as engaging in "masturbatory rhetoric" and being "obsessed with labeling" and "escaping reality", adopting libertarian ideas that are "fucking stupid" and "indefensible" and then turns around and complains about others using the label "statist", is kinda funny.

  • burserker||

    you're only for individual freedom when it meets your blue team talking points. otherwise you start name calling and creating policy for those 'too stupid' to chose for themselves

  • CE||

    But many disagreements about where to draw the line between personal freedom and social concern are legitimate.

    Fortunately, there's a simple litmus test. Does the offensive behavior involve aggression against another person or a seizing of their property? If so, laws against it are reasonable. If it's just something you don't like or think is bad for people, laws against it are fascist/overreaching/Bloombergian.

  • ||

    And since this answers Tony's question, he will ignore it.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "What you don't get to do is draw your line and then declare that it, and only it, represents where freedom is."

    Yes I do. Fuck you. Stop posting here.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Oh yeah, go fucking die in a fucking fire. Shithead.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, "you're free to do what I want you to do", isn't exactly freedom in any meaningful sense, is it?

  • Jquip||

    What? No. Tolerance is to approach the problem by shutting up. Violence is to approach the problem by shutting people up.

    Libertarianism is about rejecting the latter. And to have that come about societally requires rejecting the former.

    Leftism is all about the latter. Either directly or by hiring people to visit violence for you. Which only lasts as long as people accept the former: By choice for by being on the wrong end of the latter.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yup. Really, the only difference between the social views of Rick Santorum and the modern urban progressive is which set of vices they want to ban.

  • John||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    "Are they tolerant of smoking? Are they tolerant of guns? Are they tolerant of people with weird views or strange religions? Are they tolerant of people who eat 'unhealthy' food? Are they tolerant of people who like to drive big cars and live in houses with yards in the suburbs with long commutes?"

    Probably not en masse.

  • Robert||

    How many of them are actually even tolerant of those things (same sex marriage, pot), rather than just taking the side of the enemy of their enemy? I don't have the sense that society is becoming more tolerant, just that a generation is trying to overturn the preferences of a previous generation.

  • Samshile||

    good post. I find most current leftists are anti-diversity bigots.
    They are led by the current rhetoric and feel open-minded, when in fact they need others to adhere to their narrow view or its time to mock.

  • sarcasmic||

    I imagine many of these young "libertarians" are simply rebelling against their parents.

  • ||

    I rebelled by being a Democrat for a brief time

  • Samshile||

    I did also. I didn't like being part of the leftist control freak agenda.

  • Samshile||

    how do you edit a post that has a mistake?

  • Samshile||

    'I did also, for a time. However, I didn't like being part of the leftist control freak agenda." *corrected*

  • RightNut||

    Yup, we are totally in a libertarian moment...Except that we have probably the most historically anti-liberty President in office.

    I'd love for it to be true, but my wanting it to be does not make it so.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Except that we have probably the most historically anti-liberty President in office.

    That's exactly why we are having a libertarian moment. The two most recent administrations have been so anti-liberty that a swing to support liberty is not altogether surprising.

    Rebellions don't happen in free societies. It takes years of tyranny and oppression to rouse the masses from their slumber. The tighter the authorities squeeze, the looser their grip becomes.

  • Agammamon||

    The tighter the authorities squeeze, the looser their grip becomes.

    The more *slips* through their grip.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Yeah, that one too.

  • anon||

    The tighter the authorities squeeze, the looser their grip becomes.

    Can the same principle be applied to my Jacking-off-Warty business plan?

  • CE||

    And the biggest, most expensive government in the history of mankind.

  • Robert||

    No, Obama's far from the most anti-liberty prez, but he sees farther because he stands on the shoulders of giants.

  • creech||

    Well, we libertarians just need to work harder/better at making more things fashionable. Some people (a small number to be sure) will respond to having cognitive dissonance pointed out.

  • Tony||

    Was that a deliberate sleight-of-hand when you quoted Welch talking about majorities of Americans supporting bullshit economic policies, then moving on to young people's views on weed and gay marriage? Because majorities of young people support progressive economic policies in addition to progressive social policies.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Was that a deliberate sleight-of-hand when you quoted Welch talking about majorities of Americans supporting bullshit economic policies,


    You mean like those majorities that support a minimum wage hike and more government spending on "infrastructure"? Those bullshit policies?

    Because majorities of young people support progressive economic policies in addition to progressive social policies.


    I don't know about the first, because what you call "progressive economic policies" are actually quite regressive as they destroy the savings and the incentive to work for the middle class and the poor. But it is possible that many young Americans are as clueless when it comes to basic economics as you demonstrate with the flair of a showman.

  • Tony||

    Blahblahblah.

  • wadair||

    Blahblahblah

    Classic intellectual sloth. You feel compelled to have the last word, but because you have no words to contribute, you make one up.

  • Tony||

    It means, "I hold too much contempt for the lazy sloganeering you're trying to pass off as a thought to bother with coming up with one of my own."

  • OldMexican||

    No, it means you are lazy.

  • OneOut||

    It means, "I hold too much contempt for the lazy sloganeering you're trying to pass off as a thought to bother with coming up with one of my own."

    And don't have the ability to do so.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Blahblahblah


    Lazy.

  • anon||

    Ya'll misunderstand; Tony actually hears "blahblahblah" whenever actual discussion of economics takes place, because he acts on his feelings rather than intelligence (which he has about zero capacity for).

  • Cytotoxic||

    Actually Tonytard, recent polling shows young people are changing rather dramaticallly. In addition, Coochi got more of the less than 29 vote than McCauliffe. Coochi is a neanderthal, so that's REALLY bad.

    Not that it matters. Reality is not up for a vote and it trumps elections. Reality is with libertarians, period, and so is technology. We've already won.

  • anon||

    If this is what winning looks like, I am really glad we didn't lose.

  • Juice||

    Because majorities of young people support progressive economic policies

    "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." -Vladimir Lenin

  • XM||

    You know, Tony is actually right. Most of the young kids belong to the "everything has to be equal" progressive crowd. These are the fly boyz who think you should earn 15 dollars working at a McDonalds and everyone should be allowed to attend UCLA for free.

    They can't write, they can't think, they can't do basic math, and their minds are taken prisoner by tablets. The last book they read is a Harry Potter book. Almost half of them have no job in CA.

    But corporations have little to fear, but they have like zip convictions. I swear, I'm more stand up to the 1% more than these guys. I refuse to buy the same COD games or almost same Iphones every 2,3 years.

  • np||

    Umm.. did anyone actually read the article?

    But do people realize that it's a strong pattern? I don't think so. I wrote No, They Can't: Why Government Fails—But Individuals Succeed because I worry most Americans instinctively trust central planning. The spontaneous order of the invisible hand is harder to grasp. The invisible hand is ... invisible.

    But Gillespie says even people who don't understand the theory at least see what the invisible hand produces [ . . . ] But while Gillespie, Welch and I —and maybe you readers—pay attention to that, I suspect that the promises of the central planners will fool most people most of the time.

    Politicians fool us with offers of free goodies like cheaper health care and "cures" for social problems, like the War on Drugs. They fool us with their promises to "contain" China, Iran, al-Qaida, etc. and "build democracy" in the Middle East.

    If libertarian-leaning politicians express doubt, they may be condemned by others in their own party.

    I'm not optimistic about most people recognizing liberty's benefits. Old politicians—and old voters collecting Social Security—may never change their minds. But libertarianism is growing fastest among the young, and groups like Students for Liberty give me hope. These young people certainly know more about liberty than I did at their age.

    Maybe they will avoid prior generations' big-government mistakes. Maybe.
  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Congratulations, you can copy/paste. What's your point?

  • np||

    That if you read the other commenters' comments about what point the article is making and if you actually read the rest of the article, that they are not the same thing.

    "This Just May Be the Libertarian Era"
    on which Stossel reflects:
    I'm doubtful. There are many forces against it. It's not instinctive. But I hope so. Maybe things will change. Maybe.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Who's comment is contrary to the article? There's an argument about BBQ, A joke about obamacare, a discussion about what the "tolerants" actually tolerate, a sarcastic comment about kids rebelling, opinions on why I think we're seing a libertarian movement, a comment about marketing our ideas better, some drivel from Tony, and then your comment.

    I still don't understand your point.

  • CE||

    Isn't that a description of pretty much every comment thread on H&R though?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "But libertarianism is growing fastest among the young, and groups like Students for Liberty give me hope. These young people certainly know more about liberty than I did at their age."

    Wasn't there a survey that young people were more favorable to socialism than older people?

  • Cytotoxic||

    That doesn't mean a chunk of young people are more favorable to liberty than in the past. Break it down versus aggregate.

  • Erik Jay||

    "Maybe they will avoid prior generations' big-government mistakes. Maybe."

    I wouldn't count on it. There are far more leftist youngsters than libertarian ones. It's over, the "grand experiment" has been running on fumes for a century, and there is no peaceful resolution possible. I say that as an optimist and lover of life, too. I am not getting all depressed over it. I don't expect Ellington to outsell such anencephalics as Coldplay or Jay-Z, and I don't expect liberty to appeal to the proles more than stipends and permission slips. Stick a fork in America, boys and girls. RIP.

  • Cytotoxic||

    With technology and a bigger world, it is harder to steal wealth to give free stuff. What will the progs have once they are out of free stuff?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That's when they have to start reducing the population to maintain the same standard of living.

  • Brandybuck||

    I'm old enough to remember the days when John Stossel was just another liberal out of the consumerism mold. But that was in the days of only four broadcast channels and I couldn't afford cable. So one day I watched a show of his. It happened to be his "coming out" show. It was about all the stuff in the world that would kill us. As he went though the show he kept talking about the big killer coming up later. Then he got to it. The biggest killer is poverty.

    Not cigarette lighters, not Ford Pintos, not swimming pools, not school playgrounds, etc., etc. The biggest killer is poverty. And he had the statistics to prove it.

    Of course, Stossel was immediately blackballed from polite society.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Are We Scaring Ourselves to Death?"

    I'm old, too. I remember seeing that, and being impressed, and hopeful that more libertarian ideas might be discussed in the media.

    Then, what you said.

  • OldMexican||

    The spontaneous order of the invisible hand is harder to grasp. The invisible hand is ... invisible.

    Maybe that's why leftists fear liberty.


    That's not why. They are clueless about economics because the hand is invisible, but they hate freedom not because of that fact but because they fear vicissitudes and accountability. In other words, they fear change and manning up.

  • rts||

    Liberty means responsibility.
    That is why most men dread it.

    - G. B. Shaw.

  • anon||

    Damn, a dedicated socialist said that?

  • rts||

    Yes, I fully recognize the irony.

  • wadair||

    Another reason that progressives fear freedom/liberty is because of their obsession with equality. Liberty and equality are often mutually exclusive. Two people cannot be free to use their respective talents and equal at the same time. Progressives may talk about freedom, but what they mean is freedom from want, not freedom to grow and prosper.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: wadair,

    Another reason that progressives fear freedom/liberty is because of their obsession with equality.


    Yes, but it goes back to accountability. To achieve equality you would have to be shielded from your mistakes by making your shortcomings less obvious.

  • wadair||

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • CE||

    Progressives are greedy. They want other people's stuff.

  • OldMexican||

    I'm not optimistic about most people recognizing liberty's benefits.[...] But libertarianism is growing fastest among the young, and groups like Students for Liberty give me hope.


    Hope springs eternal. I think that this country has to see complete and total economic collapse for people to finally understand that they cannot have something for nothing, a Great Default.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Libertarian thought is fundamentally incoherent, so there's not really much to properly "understand."


    Maybe you need to have it explained to you with puppets and cartoons, Tony.

    There's nothing incoherent about libertarian thought, i.e. the political philosophy that espouses personal freedom as the highest political goal. Where's the incoherence?

    "Government intervention in the marketplace and people's personal lives is bad, except when it's good.


    Tell me who made that argument.

    Not me.

  • Tony||

    "Personal freedom" has to be defined. It apparently doesn't include the freedom not to starve, which frankly is a bit odd to me and probably most people who might describe what freedom means.

    I know you fancy yourself an anarchist, but that's of course not to be taken seriously, even if you aren't getting seven different government handouts, which you probably are.

    Most people here favor some laws, and all laws are restrictions on behavior.

  • anon||

    It apparently doesn't include the freedom not to starve\

    Please tell me, specifically, who is going to provide food, and at what expense. Then, please tell me where food will be provided from should nobody decide to make it.

  • Tony||

    What if nobody decides to become a judge or cop? How do you have property rights or justice for injury against you?

    Specifically, farmers and food manufacturers and distributors are going to provide it. If people are too poor to afford it, we publicly subsidize it. Just like cops and judges and anything else we decide is useful for everyone to have access to.

  • anon||

    That worked out really well for Stalin I heard.

  • Tony||

    You're not very interesting.

  • NealAppeal||

    But very correct! Sarcastically, albeit.

  • Brian||

    Wouldn't it be great if all the government did was intervene to subsidize poor people in getting necessities? That would be nice.

    It's funny how that's always the justification for the government: subsidizing things people need. The next thing you know, we're all forced into retirement healthcare plans, not because we can't get them in a free market, but because it's "more efficient that way".

    Then, we're funding massive make busy work projects and a military industrial complex just to "provide jobs and stimulate the economy!"

    And, in reality, we're just forking over 25-50% of our income so that politicians can transfer wealth in a manner that optimizes their political aspirations.

    Why? Because poor people need food and medicine. What a joke.

    In the end, statists just latch on to whatever you care about and use that against you. "You want to take care of poor people? Me, too! I'll take care of poor people! You won't want poor people to be untaken care of, now, would you?" So, hopefully, you'll feel really guilty for not wanting to pay taxes to fund Solyndra and the next F-54 America Fuck Yeah fighter plane.

    You have to willfully disregard the reality of government to insist that it never shrink just to take care of poor people. If it started taking care of poor people, maybe we could talk about it.

  • Tony||

    Surely you realize this is nothing but a slippery slope fallacy. Nobody ever said it isn't necessary for government to be vigilantly watched over, or even that it might in the end fail to achieve perfection.

    In other words, "Solyndra!" is not an excuse not to take care of poor people.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    In other words, "Solyndra!" is not an excuse not to take care of poor people.

    Right, but by the same notion "What about poor people!" is just a slippery slope argument against smaller government. A lot of government could be reduced before a poor person felt a thing.

    In other words, "What about poor people!" is not an excuse to avoid considering that our government might be wasting some of our money.

  • Tony||

    Of course our government is wasting some of our money. That's nothing to have an apocalyptic ideological difference over. Liberals think it's wasting it on defense and over-incarceration among other things. Conservatives think it's wasting it on nonwhite poor people. Thank goodness we have the democratic process to decide priorities. Much better than a tyrannical set of immutable principles if you ask me.

  • Brian||

    Great, but every time libertarians try to talk about ways that practically every sane person agrees we could save money, then partisan progressive hacks start whining "Really? Why don't you tell us what you really think about free association and safety nuts! Huh? Huh? Listen! They'll kill us all! Don't listen to them when they say anything! It's all insanity!"

    In other words, your hobby.

  • Tony||

    Say you want to tackle defense and the drug war before you go after poor people's food and shelter, then we'll be on the same non-disingenuous page. Because from where I sit there's a lot of lip service for cutting defense spending but there's an absolute obsession with the idea that some poor person is getting something he doesn't deserve.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Because from where I sit there's a lot of lip service for cutting defense spending but there's an absolute obsession with the idea that some poor person is getting something he doesn't deserve.

    Not really. Usually, people start talking about their freedom, or their concept of freedom, and then you jump in to let them know for the hundredth time that their concept of freedom is arbitrary, and isn't good enough to the poor for your liking, and how heartless and terrible and guilty they should feel about that.

    If you're looking for the source of the obsession, look in the mirror.

  • Tony||

    I admit my politics tend to be focused most on the most vulnerable members of society (instead of being a virtual licking of the earlobes of the superrich like yours).

    The whole point is who has the better priorities.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    I admit my politics tend to be focused most on the most vulnerable members of society (instead of being a virtual licking of the earlobes of the superrich like yours).

    The whole point is who has the better priorities.

    And, in what way are you not proving my point exactly?

  • OneOut||

    Tony the City of Houston built some public housing with Obama's "stimulus" money. They feature granite counter tops and detached garages with electric door openers. The majority of the money was funneled through government protected class contractors.

    How the fuck is taking money at the barrel of a gun from people who don't have granite counter tops and detached garages with remote openers "feeding the poor" ?

  • Jquip||

    What if nobody decides to subsidize it?

    notably, we're not subisidizing speech nor are we subsidizing offset presses, facebook, or vanity publishing.

    So by your argument it's not useful to everyone that you don't have the freedom to not open your piehole.

    And by your argument, the only reason we're not subsidizing firearms to fix your lack freedom is because Libertarians wouldn't find it useful.

  • Tony||

    Speech, as is painfully clear, is an unlimited resource. Especially now that we have the (government-invented) Internet.

  • OneOut||

    defense department invented

  • Whahappan?||

    Holy shit you're stupid. What if you're shipwrecked on an island with no food? Who's violating your rights if you starve to death?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Freedoms relate to being able to perform an action(s), not to being in or kept out of a condition. Hence, no right to food.

  • Tony||

    No right to cops then. Sorry. I'll be taking this Ming vase off your hands. I think it's pretty.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Sorry. I'll be taking this Ming vase off your hands. I think it's pretty.


    And you will immediately get to know the opinion regarding that bad behavior from my two good friends: Smith, and Wesson.

    See? No need for no stinkin' cops.

  • Tony||

    But I have a tank. Therefore it's mine.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But I have a tank.


    If you have a tank, why would you need then a Ming vase? You can rob a bank, unless the bank owners have an RPG but, still....

    Not even your hypotheticals are smart, Tony. You're becoming increasingly boring as a conversation partner.

  • Tony||

    You're the one saying the legitimacy of your claim to property lies in your access to deadly weapons to defend it. So what if I have deadlier ones? Is it mine?

    I don't blame you for not being able to answer these questions remotely convincingly--they don't have good answers. Anarchy is self-contradictory.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You're the one saying the legitimacy of your claim to property lies in your access to deadly weapons to defend it.


    That's not true. I am merely answering your question "What if I were a thief" to which I answered: "I have means to defend my property."

    My claim to property stems from the self-ownership principle, in that I own my body and anything I produce with it.

    So what if I have deadlier ones?


    So what if you have deadlier ones? You would still be nothing but a thief. That changes nothing about the fact that my property is mine. If you have to rely on bigger weapons to get at other people's property, you're ipso facto accepting the fact that such property does NOT belong to you. Otherwise, it would always be yours to take, no reliance on bigger weapons necessary.

  • Tony||

    And everyone is just supposed to accept this principle with no enforcement of it? Even with a modern civil bureaucracy there are disputes over who owns what every single day. Why do you want them all to come down to person-to-person violence?

  • acidovorax||

    And everyone is just supposed to accept this principle with no enforcement of it?

    The principle exists prior to the enforcement. People believe X is rightfully theirs and THEN go about enforcing this claim. Even in your assbackward rationalization, the individuals who comprise the benevolent State must accept the principle prior to executing it.

  • Tony||

    Of course. So do you have a problem with what I'm saying or what? I'm saying OM thinks shouting principles into the wind is sufficient to maintain a decent society, I'm saying enforcement is necessary for them to apply.

  • Harun||

    "You're the one saying the legitimacy of your claim to property lies in your access to deadly weapons to defend it. So what if I have deadlier ones? Is it mine?"

    You need to re-read some history with an eye to this point. Suddenly, the Noble State will devolve into a bunch of guys with horses and swords taking whatever they want and fighting off people who defend their stuff.

    Sure, you will claim that the modern state is different...because 51% of the people voted for Obama that makes his band of outlaws totally legit.

  • OneOut||

    See Tony. Your argument defines government.

    They have bigger guns so our money becomes theirs to use to stay in power over those who's money they steal with their bigger weapons.

    Government is not a benign entity. It is a group of people who want power to steal for their nefarious ends. All that is well and good if you agree with their ends, but not so much if you don't.

    That is why it should be kept as small as possible.

  • Jquip||

    By SCOTUS, cops are neither required to serve, nor protect. You have no right to have a cop in your pocket already.

    So what's your point?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    "Personal freedom" has to be defined.


    It is already defined, it is axiomatic: That which you can do freely. The concept ipso facto excludes anything you cannot do freely, like stealing and killing.

    It apparently doesn't include the freedom not to starve,


    You're equivocating. Freedom to act does not mean being free from vicissitudes or needs.

    This is why we here always make fun of you, Tony. You're incapable of rational though; you prefer to argue in platitudes, meaningless cliches and fallacious statements, like the "free to starve" canard.

    I know you fancy yourself an anarchist,


    I don't fancy myself an anarchist. I *am* an anarchist.

    Most people here favor some laws, and all laws are restrictions on behavior.


    See, that's the problem right there, Tony. You keep equivocating. Laws =/= government. Even an anarchist society has laws. I follow basic laws of civility in all my dealings precisely because I, as a self-interested party, prefer to maintain my friendships and commercial relationships in the best of terms instead of worse terms. See? I don't need no stinkin' government.

  • Tony||

    The concept ipso facto excludes anything you cannot do freely, like stealing and killing.

    What on god's green earth is that supposed to mean? Yeah I can't do those things freely because men with guns will try to stop me, or else I will be put in a locked cell after doing them, all courtesy of Johnny Taxpayer.

    Freedom to act does not mean being free from vicissitudes or needs.

    Except your need to go unmolested by other humans. Or is the best society one of constant tribal warfare, the inevitable result of having no organized law and order? Or are you just completely full of shit, proclaiming yourself an anarchist like it's cool, from well behind the fortress wall of your civilization?

    Even an anarchist society has laws.

    And the guy with the most guns gets to make them. Freedom!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    What on god's green earth is that supposed to mean?


    It means that you are not free to steal or kill or harm. Personal freedom means acting on your self by your self for your self, that is your body and the means that your body has procured (i.e. property.) It does not mean other people's bodies or property. That's the concept. Otherwise, the concept would not be personal freedom.

    Yeah I can't do those things freely because men with guns will try to stop me,


    If you truly need the presence of men with guns to stop you from acting like a barbarian, then I would understand your misgivings about being set free.

    Thank you for letting us know. I am sure people around you will appreciate the warning, but maybe you could wear a bell or something?

    And the guy with the most guns gets to make them. Freedom!


    But isn't that what government is? The guy with the most guns? Is that supposed to be an argument in favor of government, or what is your point?

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Yeah I can't do those things freely because men with guns will try to stop me,


    If you truly need the presence of men with guns to stop you from acting like a barbarian, then I would understand your misgivings about being set free.

    Again, it's projection all the way.

  • OldMexican||

    Of course it's projection. Leftists will never give other people credit for that same people's good behavior because leftists are amoral creatures themselves.

  • Tony||

    It does not mean other people's bodies or property.

    But what's gonna stop me? A gentleman's agreement? Does your anarchic world have any means of enforcement other than unicorns standing in the way of wrongdoers?

    If you truly need the presence of men with guns to stop you from acting like a barbarian, then I would understand your misgivings about being set free.

    It's not about me or even most people, but the few people who would break your gentleman's agreement. Not to mention life would inevitably be more miserable for most everyone in your world, thus increasing the incentive for crime for most people.

    But isn't that what government is? The guy with the most guns?

    Yes. Exactly. Whoever has the most guns makes the rules. It has always been so. It will always be so. That's why, after thousands of years, people figured out that the way to maximize the legitimacy of the rules is to make that entity democratically accountable.

    I still haven't the faintest notion what form of society you're trying to sell, and I really don't think you do either.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But what's gonna stop me? A gentleman's agreement?


    You can always try and find out. Like I said, I have these two friends.

    Does your anarchic world have any means of enforcement other than unicorns standing in the way of wrongdoers?


    Smith, and Wesson. My two friends.

    It's not about me or even most people, but the few people who would break your gentleman's agreement.


    Smith, and Wesson. I believe I've told you about them.

    Yes. Exactly. Whoever has the most guns makes the rules.


    But then I don't understand your argument. Are you saying that anarchism is impossible because government behaves barbarically? By the way, at one point it was Great Britain who had the most guns, yet they ended up not having any rules to impose. Keep that in mind.

    I still haven't the faintest notion what form of society you're trying to sell, and I really don't think you do either.


    The kind of society I talk about is the one we already have: One where people act with civility towards each other because each of us think in a self-interested, and thus rational, way. A society where barbarians would die off once they meet my friends Smith, and Wesson. That society.

  • Tony||

    You think a sufficient answer to the question of how society's rules are enforced is to constantly boast about your deadly weapon, and I'm the psychopath we need to watch out for?

    It is not an answer to the question and you goddamn well know it. It's pretty much an admission that you don't have an answer. Somebody is going to better armed than you. Lots of people probably. Does that make it legitimate for them to take all your stuff and murder you?

    You also might want to ruminate on the phenomenon that people become more incentivized to acting uncivilly the poorer they are. To my mind, socializing basic needs is a much more important and useful means of ensuring civil behavior than the threat of exploding people's heads with your penis substitute.

    Anyway, so you got nothing. You're a blowhard. Glad to have finally cleared that up.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You think a sufficient answer to the question of how society's rules are enforced is to constantly boast about your deadly weapon


    But isn't that the same boast you apply when arguing for the State? The deadliness of its weapons?

    Somebody is going to better armed than you.


    Ok, and? Such fact is meaningless. A person can only hold ONE weapon at a time, Tony. You have this cartoonish understanding of how people behave.

    You also might want to ruminate on the phenomenon that people become more incentivized to acting uncivilly the poorer they are.


    That's an interesting statement. Care to demonstrate such assertion? Because if it were true that poverty turns a person into a criminal, then how come there are so many rich crooks?

    Anyway, so you got nothing.


    That's it? That's what you got?

  • Tony||

    A person can only hold ONE weapon at a time, Tony.

    But a gang of 100 people can hold 100 weapons. And that's exactly what you'd get microseconds after the establishment of anarchy: competing gangs with no democratic legitimacy. Resources will remain scarce. People will remain assholes. Nothing cartoonish about that. It's realism vs. your fairy tale.

    Because if it were true that poverty turns a person into a criminal, then how come there are so many rich crooks?

    The idea is what you believe on faith: that people are basically rational. The less you have to lose, the more you have to potentially gain from crime. That rich people are also crooks could mean that people aren't as rational as you think they are or it could mean that people aren't as good as you think they are. Or at any rate, as rational and good as they'd need to be for your form of society to work.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    But a gang of 100 people can hold 100 weapons.


    And? 100 non-gang members can also hold 100 weapons.

    And that's exactly what you'd get microseconds after the establishment of anarchy: competing gangs with no democratic legitimacy.


    So we go from irrelevancy to question-begging.

    First of all, we already have competing gangs despite government, so your argument against non-government based on competing gangs is irrelevant. Second, you're assuming that majority vote gives "legitimacy" to a gang in order to argue that gangs have no legitimacy without it, i.e. question-begging.

    Learn to argue, Tony.

    Resources will remain scarce. People will remain assholes. Nothing cartoonish about that.


    If you say so, Tony. If you say so.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The idea is what you believe on faith: that people are basically rational.


    That self-interested individuals act rationally. That's the argument.

    The less you have to lose, the more you have to potentially gain from crime.


    Hence Smith and Wesson. Make it more costly. Even if you had the armed gangs that you seem to fear, having normal people armed increases the risk to the point where the utility of crime decreases enough to try something else. This is why there is much less crime in places like Houston (where more citizens are armed) than in Chicago (where citizens are forbidden from being armed.)

    That rich people are also crooks could mean that people aren't as rational as you think they are


    That's not true, Tony. You are confusing immoral behavior with irrational behavior. Crime is 100% rational; there is decision behind it and pondering of alternatives. What it is not is moral behavior.

  • Tony||

    That self-interested individuals act rationally. That's the argument.

    And it's bollocks. When you look at the world, do you see people acting rationally all the time? Do you see them acting in their best long-term interest all the time? Or is your head so far up your ass with goofy theory that you never bother to look at the real world?

    This is why there is much less crime in places like Houston (where more citizens are armed) than in Chicago (where citizens are forbidden from being armed.)

    You have to put up or shut up on this one. That's a rather counterintuitive causal claim. It needs evidence.

    Crime is 100% rational

    Well gee. So people will inevitably commit crime, considering it will sometimes be the rational thing to do? What an argument for no legal enforcement of crime law.

  • Tony||

    Learn to argue, Tony.

    You are hilarious. I may not have the grease-covered school-of-hard-knocks education in logic and debate you had (I merely studied it in university), but you need to know that I'm aware of all the times you comically misuse the names of logical fallacies.

  • acidovorax||

    The idea is what you believe on faith: that people are basically rational. The less you have to lose, the more you have to potentially gain from crime. That rich people are also crooks could mean that people aren't as rational as you think they are or it could mean that people aren't as good as you think they are. Or at any rate, as rational and good as they'd need to be for your form of society to work.

    Like clockwork, Tony projects his own beliefs onto libertarians. While I can't claim to know how every libertarian thinks, I can emphatically state that I have no such delusions. I realize that while people have rational capacity, they do not have to exert this capacity in every decision and frequently do not. Because of this, I reject the notion that a collective of irrational decision makers will make superior judgments regarding my existence and rights than me. The fallacy of "top men" is a Progressive belief, not mine.

  • Tony||

    But you're not understanding the liberal point about rationality. People, it is safely assumed, do act in their rational self-interest most of the time, given what knowledge they have about it. Problem is they lack sufficient knowledge individually to know what's in their best interest with respect to large-scale or long-term matters. Public policy is about, in part, solving this problem by applying an overriding rationality to a collective of individuals acting in a rational way but in a limited scope.

    It's rational for a person to fill up with gas and drive a car. It's rational for a society via government to enact policy to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

  • acidovorax||

    But what's gonna stop me? A gentleman's agreement? Does your anarchic world have any means of enforcement other than unicorns standing in the way of wrongdoers?

    So the cops in your preferred situation are nothing more than "unicorns"? This is pitiful.

  • JWatts||

    If you truly need the presence of men with guns to stop you from acting like a barbarian, then I would understand your misgivings about being set free.

    I think that's it precisely. Tony would misbehave if there weren't strong laws to punish him for misbehaving. He assumes that all people are like him and that anyone who says differently is just lying.

    That's why he fails to fundamentally grasp the concepts.

  • Tony||

    I am a very decent person, but I understand that not everyone is, nor is everyone as financially stable and as incentivized to behave in a socially conscious way.

    Are you really saying that you believe that all people will get along in the absence of enforcement of rules (except me)?

  • OneOut||

    Not just you. You and all the other "progressives"

  • MSimon||

    If all government did for social welfare was hand out free food it would be tolerable. Bad idea - but tolerable.

    But then people who thought free food was a good idea get ambitious. And that ambition is going to eventually kill the free food machine because it will be unaffordable.

    Brilliant.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: MSimon,

    If all government did for social welfare was hand out free food it would be tolerable. Bad idea - but tolerable.


    Governments produce nothing, by definition. This means that the food the government would purport to distribute would have to be procured through confiscation.

    And it is obtained completely from voluntary charity, then what would government be for? What would be its purpose then? Why not simply have charities distribute the food.

    In essence, there is no justifiable role for government. It is, in the end, a criminal organization populated by people unwilling to engage in open trade and production.

  • Jquip||

    Businesses produce nothing, by definition. They merely transfer this or that from here to there and do nothing else. The bulk of the production is largely post-it notes documenting what non-production was distributed from that place to this one, and from this one to over there.

    Take that out an you get the mud hut version of Leftside Anarchism. Reject that and say that their are laws (But not Laws) because you're a civil sort of beast? Then civil sorts of beasts have to many conversations and not enough expertise. They always civilly appoint someone they think does. At which point your laws are back to Laws and your Anarchism is a criminal enterprise.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Jquip,

    Businesses produce nothing, by definition.


    That's false. They turn goods of lesser value into goods of greater value.

    They merely transfer this or that from here to there and do nothing else.


    This statement tells me in no uncertain terms that you have no understanding, grasp, clue or even a hint on the subject about which you're talking. A business is a coordinating organization that turns goods of lesser value into goods of greater value by adding capital and labor.

    Take that out [the administrative/accounting process] an you get the mud hut version of Leftside Anarchism.


    Even if one could take out the administrative and accounting process (or your cartoonish version of it) the end result would be an uncoordinated and wasteful mess. I don't understand however how is that supposed to be an argument for leftist anarchism or how is that to be construed as leftist anarchism. I just don't see it.

    [...] and say that their [sic] are laws (But not Laws) because you're a civil sort of beast?


    Take your time to make coherent questions. In English, if you please.

  • Jquip||

    "A business is a coordinating organization that turns goods of lesser value into goods of greater value by adding capital and labor."

    So you're saying that a business, as an individual, sentient, and corporate person that is self aware and self possessed of motility goes out into the fields and harvests corn?

    Obviously you lack the mental chops of Tony, or you haven't bothered to consider before that a person add labor to things, not some label under which business in done, or some articles of incorporation for business, towns, counties, States, or otherwise.

  • OneOut||

    Jquip "So you're saying that a business, as an individual, sentient, and corporate person that is self aware and self possessed of motility goes out into the fields and harvests corn?"

    Yes. It's called "value added production".

    It's where capital and labor willingly join together to produce.

    Are you saying that individuals build airplanes ? Maybe a hobbyist or two.

    Building an airplane takes capital to organize the individuals labor and ideas and combine that labor and ideas with raw materials to produce a finished product.

    Did you really say "the mental chops of Tony"

    Does Reason allow people to post under more than one name ?

  • CE||

    There's been a good working definition for over 200 years, from a prominent Virginia slaveholder, ironically enough:

    “Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

  • Tony||

    It's not that ironic considering the whole problem with libertarian conceptions of freedom is who they conspicuously leave out. You have money, a house, and a business? Pull out all the fucking government stops for your protection. Your immediate interests are closer to things like "finding food and getting treated for an infection"? Fuck off, mooch!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It's not that ironic considering the whole problem with libertarian conceptions of freedom is who they conspicuously leave out.


    Nobody is left out, you twit. We're all born free, just like we're all born human.

    Your immediate interests are closer to things like "finding food and getting treated for an infection"? Fuck off, mooch!


    Your false sense of outrage at the plight of some unfortunate hypothetical does not find sympathy here, Tony. Even in hunger, a free person is better off than a slave.

  • Tony||

    Even in hunger, a free person is better off than a slave.

    I say a starving person is not anymore free than a slave--you've articulated that other great libertarian fallacy, its obsession with human agency. Why is it worse to be a slave to a person than a slave to hunger?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I say a starving person is not anymore free than a slave


    Then you would be wrong.

    Why is it worse to be a slave to a person than a slave to hunger?


    First of all, stop equivocating - it's becoming tiresome. One cannot be a slave to a natural condition. Second, a hungry person can still act. A slave cannot, at least not in the same degree. Also, if the owner does not feed the slave, the slave is doomed. The non-slave hungry person can still find or catch food, or eat bark even.

  • Tony||

    Nope, you're fetishizing human agency. Hunger is, if anything, more of an impediment to human freedom. A natural disaster can erase your freedom. There is simply no coherent reason why we must prioritize human threats to freedom. Shouldn't freedom itself be the focus? Are you free to act or not? What does it really matter what the source of the impediment is?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Nope, you're fetishizing human agency.


    Your statement is meaningless. You claim I am fetishizing the human ability to act yet you do so by acting, a perfunctory contradiction.

    Hunger is, if anything, more of an impediment to human freedom.


    Again, you're equivocating, using the word freedom with two different meanings, one being free to act and the other being unburdened.

    A natural disaster can erase your freedom.


    That's like saying that a natural disaster can erase my mind. That's ridiculous. You're still using the word with two different meanings. You keep equivocating despite the fact that I've been pointing out to you that you're doing it.

  • Tony||

    No, the problem is you're either not defining freedom at all or defining it pointlessly narrowly. Freedom is the ability to act unimpeded. That does not depend on whether it's a human impeding you or a natural event.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    No, the problem is you're either not defining freedom at all or defining it pointlessly narrowly.


    Are you for real? I just gave you a definition, twice. Freedom = the ability of a person to act, or being free to act.

    Instead, you're using free (free to act) free (undurdened) interchangebly. You're equivocating.

    Freedom is the ability to act unimpeded.


    The qualifier "unimpeded" is a redundancy. If you can act, then you're not being impeded.

    That does not depend on whether it's a human impeding you or a natural event.


    Ah, now you're making shit up. If one is not free because one is impeded by nature, then one can never be free unless one is a god. But that is not the standard by which the concept exists, because the term loses any meaning and thus you would be making completely false arguments about being unburdened, as you can never be unburdened from nature. This is why the concept of freedom is defined in completely human terms, that is my freedom compared to the freedom of others, and not man against nature.

  • Tony||

    You certainly can have the burdens imposed by nature mitigated. You're just against addressing any of those, and focused solely on the burdens human beings impose. There's no logical reason for this consistency. It's agency fetishism. It's a flaw in your philosophy. Deal with it.

  • Harun||

    You do know that before the government provided people with food, people did not starve. Some people even shared their food to help the less fortunate.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    No one made that argument, OM. It's projection coupled with a straw man. It's Tony's go-to argument for everything.

  • HenryC||

    I am pro choice for everyone, only my pro includes choice for a fetus as well. Otherwise I pretty much agree with everything Stossel has said.

  • MSimon||

    And you will prevent a black market how?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ooh, look what your started!

    Let me address the black market point - I suppose the existence of hit men and chop shops show that there's a black market for murder and car theft - yet I don't hear anyone trying to make these things legal.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    A black market is not something you prevent, technically there is no such thing as a black market-it's just the same market that continues to operate outside of state regs, the same transactions would go on regardless of what the state would do.

  • HenryC||

    I won't. I just will put the violators pay massive fines.

  • Tony||

    A mere fine for child murder?

  • TJM||

    Bill O'Reilly also doesn't know what causes the tides...

  • SusanM||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWEnqC1uPu0

    OT video, but we'll be living it for a while

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Regarding the conservative (or libertarian) millennium, a friend of mine liked to pretend to be Chiang Kai Shek - "next year we liberate the mainland!"

  • CE||

    I always thought the Libertarian Era would involve a federal budget somewhat less than 3.6 trillion dollars.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I mean, compared to libertarians, Jacobite exiles were more realistic. They had Bonnie Prince Charlie to raise an army in Scotland.

  • HenryC||

    I became a Libertarian 40 years ago in college. I knew a bunch of like minded students. It has always been popular with young people. Most will drift away unfortunately.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You're the one saying the legitimacy of your claim to property lies in your access to deadly weapons to defend it.


    That's not true. I am merely answering your question "What if I were a thief" to which I answered: "I have means to defend my property."

    My claim to property stems from the self-ownership principle, in that I own my body and anything I produce with it.

    So what if I have deadlier ones?


    So what if you have deadlier ones? You would still be nothing but a thief. That changes nothing about the fact that my property is mine. If you have to rely on bigger weapons to get at other people's property, you're ipso facto accepting the fact that such property does NOT belong to you. Otherwise, it would always be yours to take, no reliance on bigger weapons necessary.

  • Tony||

    Tautology. You say it's yours. I say it's mine. How do we decide? You pick: whoever shoots first wins; or we let a nonviolent civil justice system work it out based on established laws we all are a party to being members of a civilized society. That you seem to prefer the former is bizarre.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Tautology. You say it's yours. I say it's mine.


    I don't say that it is mine. I show that it is mine.


    How do we decide?


    There is no decision, there is no dispute. If you have to come armed to take it, it means you are already accepting it is not yours.

    You pick: whoever shoots first wins; or we let a nonviolent civil justice system work it out based on established laws we all are a party to being members of a civilized society.


    I don't see why we have to establish ownership through courts, Tony. If you come to take something from me, armed, is because you're a thief. One does not require a court to settle that fact. I don't need a court to settle that fact. Civilized people who know how to behave do not need courts, so saying that courts are necessary for a civilized society is a contradiction. Courts are established to settle disputes among confused people, not civilized people.

  • acidovorax||

    Tautology. You say it's yours. I say it's mine. How do we decide? You pick: whoever shoots first wins; or we let a nonviolent civil justice system work it out based on established laws we all are a party to being members of a civilized society. That you seem to prefer the former is bizarre.

    Not as bizarre and your contrived scenario where people don't develop conceptions of ownership prior to instituting organizations to enforce such ideas. In the real world, such moral concepts permeate the society pre-government, as it is easily understood as personally beneficial. Conflicts of ownership claims naturally occur and every culture has rules on how to decide such matters, even in the event that one kills or is killed during said conflict.

  • Tony||

    You're right, and we've developed rules sophisticated enough to deal with the problems that arise in the real world. We must abolish government so that a new form of government can take its place? One in which all your policy preferences are treated as holy and immutable, perhaps?

  • Tony||

    Courts are established to settle disputes among confused people, not civilized people.

    Well la-di-da. Give me a fucking break. Apart from the fact that courts are actually necessary to solve all manner of disputes by perfectly civilized people (especially large corporations), what you're saying is that you advocate for a form of society in which only "civilized people" exist. You are a step above utopians, like a wishful thinking utopian or something.

  • montana mike||

    Still trolling meathead, I hear your mom calling you for your Spaghettios...

  • Harun||

    In fact, Somalia pre-civil war when it was socialist, was worse off than Somalia post-civil war.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Somalia

  • Michael Hihn||

    Libertartians have been the majority for over a half century -- since the beginning of the World's Smallest Political Quiz. In more formal polling, Zogby Polling reported in 2005 that a 59% majority self-described as "fiscally conservative and socially tolerant." -- the only time I know of that the question was phrased that way.

    Do the math.

    If we describe specific government policies, 5 economic and 5 social, we see a libertarian majority.

    If we ask people to define, in general terms, both fiscal and social stances, we see a libertarian majority.

    If we use the libertarian label, the majority shrinks to about 15%.

    Take it from a marketing pro. The "libertarian" brand sucks.

  • JeremyR||

    And yet, isn't the Federal government bigger than ever?

    I suppose it's more libertarian than say the Civil War, when you had soldiers running around the country killing and imprisoning people.

  • ReasonableS||

    One of the biggest problems I have with the Libertarian philosophy is the failure to address the issue of initial distribution of resources. How can you respect private property in the US when vast tracts of land were granted to individuals by the Monarchs of England? After the Revolutionary War, Native Americans were treated better by England in Canada than they were by the United States. During the settlement and early Statehood of the Northwest Territories there were exclusion rules that kept Free Afro-Americans from settling there.

    In addition to historical injustice in regards to distribution of resources there is the question of what to do about people who lose their resources either to their own mismanagement or the unethical behavior of others. Where do people who do not have private property go? What happens to people who lost their resources? What happens to their children who start off without resources? What about children of people who have considerably more resources than they started off with?

    Libertarianism in its purest form doesn't seem fair. Stossel appears to be good at criticizing non-libertarian forms of government and society, but fails to present a form of Libertarianism that appears fair. I don't think there will be a Libertarian Era until we can answer the question of what happens to those who either can't or won't manage their resources well and how we ensure that people start off with their "fair share of resources".

  • messup||

    Definitions are in order:
    From LIBER -als
    We have LIBER -tarians
    The first twists and turns truth into some alien form. Progressives call this "art form"...spin!.
    The second takes truth, twisting and turning it into some unrecognizable "pretzel form"...undigestible.
    Eye on the Ball! Very careful, kabuki theatre is unfolding.
    Since 2006/7 America has had a quantum shift to far-left gerrymandering of everything America: Executive, Legislative and even Judicial. Socio/economic life and living in every corner of our USA has also been hit with Progressive New Left Activist's "message" vs. "Messenger" MSM meme. Tea Party thanks. Steps in the "RIGHT" direction are underway:
    Exciting news 5 Senate Tea Party candidates running in their States:
    Stace Nelson - S. Dak.
    Chris McDaniel - Mississippi
    Mike Rounds - S. Dak.
    Ken Cuccinelli - Virginia
    Matt Bevin - Kentucky
    An Alert: Careful using Google Drive for Tea Party data gathering and polls. Google Apps (as of today) is first and foremost in cloud computing technology and We The People know what that means..."data mining!" Very careful. Use, DropBox or Mega (this last is operated by KIM, out at sea, has no ties to any government at all and offers 500 gigabytes -FREE, REGISTERED IN NEW ZEALAND). Skybox is Microsoft. iCloud is APPLE. Very careful. 2014, like 2012, is already upon We of Tea Party persuasion. Keep your powder dry, ammo in good supply and weapons cleaned, oiled and safely stored.Vigilance. Pray. Amen. God Bless America.

  • Vjklander||

    I agree 100% with John. The problem he doesn't address is that to have any real effect, REAL Libertarians have to run for office. Especially as Libertarians. Let the Republican Party get thrown on the ash heap of history where it belongs.
    Here's the thing John ..... people like YOU have to run for office as Libertarians. We need your gravitas and name recognition. We need the trust and respect you have garnered in your reporting.
    Vjk

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