August 4 is President Barack Obama's birthday. Reason magazine Editor in Chief Matt Welch's is July 31 and Reason.tv Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie's is August 7.
These three fine gentlemen have much in common: They're all in their 40s, they've all got children, they all survived the Bicentennial, and they all claim to have been born in the United States (though Gillespie hasn't been able to locate his long-form birth certificate since the second Reagan administration).
But after those commonalities, the differences are sharp, and not simply because two of them may be socialists, one of them may actually believe that stimulus spending can revive an economy, and two of them are working on a book about the coming libertarian future tentatively titled The Declaration of Independents: Why everything you think you know about politics, culture, & economics is all wrong. And why it's gonna be all right.
In their book, which will be published by Public Affairs in 2011, Welch and Gillespie provide a fast-wheeling and intensely optimistic take on the future of American politics and culture. The 21st century has seemingly brought us nothing but intractable and unwinnable wars, an economic malaise not seen since Jimmy Carter retired his cardigans, and a political discourse slightly less elevated than a WWE steel-cage match. Yet such developments misdirect attention from longer-term, more-important trends: The democritization and decentralization of just about everything in ways that have massively empowered the powerless. In virtually every part of life, the mainstream is dead and the fringe is where all the action and energy is, creating ephemeral blockbusters and temporary power blocs that will, sooner rather than later, upend the apple cart of American politics. Declaration explains why politicians and their enablers in the mainstream media are mistaking their own twilight for the end of the world. As important, Declaration provides a road map for political change that will leave all but the most partisan dead-enders and legacy-industry bag men far richer, happier, and better off.
On Monday, August 9, come join Gillespie and Welch and President Obama (invited!) to celebrate recent birthdays and discuss the future of American politics, culture, and ideas.
Hard and soft beverages will be served. The event is free and open to the public but space is limited and RSVPs are required.
What: A birthday celebration and discussion of The Declaration of Independents with Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie
When: 6.30PM to 8.30PM, Monday, August 9
Where: Reason DC HQ, 1747 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC (two blocks north of Dupont Circle, near S Street)