Media John Avlon: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America


"Politics is the last place where we're supposed to be satisfied between Brand A and Brand B," says John Avlon, author of the engaging new book Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.

Hyper-partisans and rhetorical extremists on the left and the right—characters such as Reps. Alan Grayson and Michele Bachmann, commentators such as Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck—are not simply polarizing the debate, argues Avlon, who is a regular presence on CNN and a columnist for The Daily Beast.

Far more importantly (and destructively), they are obscuring the fact that the U.S. electorate is, in the main, proto-libertarian. Independents are the fastest-growing group of voters, says Avlon and, "They tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal to libertarian." Avlon is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics.'s Nick Gillespie sat down with Avlon in Reason's D.C. offices. Filmed by Dan Hayes and Meredith Bragg; edited by Bragg. Approximately 10 minutes.

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  1. Oh wow, I totally love that song Lunatic Fringe! It was by Red Ryder wasnt it??


    1. You are correct, A-Bot. But what TV show was it played on at least once?

  2. Avlon incorrectly assumes that people can’t decide for themselves what is believable and what is crackpot. That is essentially a non-libertarian position.

    Wingnuts cannot hijack America because most individuals will become wise to their false assertions. So let’s start another bogeyman war, the War on Wingnuts.

    1. Unfortunately, I think Avalon *corretly* assumes that people can’t (or maybe it’s don’t want to) decide for themselves…

      1. One man’s terrorist wingnut is another man’s freedom fighter rational commentator.

    2. The Asch studies alone go a long way towards proving people can’t decide much for themselves.

      It’s a big part of the reason to believe in liberty and freedom: if people are stupid then it’s even more reason not to give people power over others. Look how many people in surveys are more than willing to vote their rights away. Without a Bill of Rights we would have already.

      Other studies show even dumb people benefit from the choices of smarter or better informed people.

      So just thinking people are dumb is perfectly compatible with believing in liberty.

      1. Other studies show even dumb people benefit from the choices of smarter or better informed people.

        For Christ sake, you don’t mean that half of all people are below average do you?

      2. I carefully chose the word ‘individual’. Those that define their existence as part of a tribe or group, I agree, are dumb.

    3. If what you said is true, Jester, than we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now. Reality wins.

      1. I was referring to this sentence:

        “Wingnuts cannot hijack America because most individuals will become wise to their false assertions.”

        1. All nuts aside… ouch.

          Opinion is just that.

          Then there is this idea that we are a nation of Laws and not men. or women. or wingnuts…

          Constitution is the centerpiece of the debate.

          Those who wish to follow it and those that don’t is the scrimmage point.

    4. Well reason ran that article about tyrannical centrism, but there is a point there. Wingnuts and moonbats have controlled the rhetoric for most of the last decade.

  3. This dude is a waste of time and effort, so Beck is a wing nut ? So Alex Jones is what ? the nut it self ? What makes Beck a ”wing nute” or Rush limbaugh ? Because they are provocative doesn’t make them extremist

    and were this dude is waste of time is when He have the intellectual dishonesty of avoiding to classify RON PAUL. If you agree that Paul is nut or not, we all know he is the best example of wing/unusual politics and this ”pundit” try to kiss our butt by by-passing him

    @jester: Indeed man

    So let’s start another bogeyman war, the War on Wingnuts.

    Reason also was reasonable enough to present us this anti-wing nut NUT

    1. Sorry, I have to agree with Avlon. I’m a hardcore libertarian, but I think that the lunatic fringe in America is dangerous. I’m not supporting a government crackdown, just a public rejection.

      The Birchers aren’t libertarian; Alex Jones is not libertarian. None of the wingnuts are libertarian.

      Just because someone is antigovernment, doesn’t mean they’re pro-freedom. Study what they are FOR, and you will see what I mean.

      1. Whether wingnuts are libertarian or not is immaterial: they are not dangerous. Or at least they are no more dangerous to a self-described libertarian that a Republican or Democratic Party that tries to roil his purity by suggesting association.

        The beauty of being a libertarian is that you get to be any kind of libertarian you want to be and can banish anyone you want to wingnuttiness that you want.

        I hardly fear Glenn Beck, for example. My experience has been that he’s sorta johnny-come-lately adopted not a few libertarian ideas. It has also been my experience that he has mostly won over some GOPers who used to be big-time confused W supporters who have been shaken by the Obama Administration.

        I don’t see how that makes him dangerous.

      2. The problem isn’t the wingnuts; it’s that somehow the wingnuts have come to define the parameters of the debate. Since the wingnuts aren’t libertarian, we find our ideas almost completely excluded from the political debates going on, and we go “why the fuck is this?” Well, it’s because the squeaky wheels get the grease, and the crazy motherfuckers who scream the loudest get air time. And then all of a sudden, their views are the ones being considered.

        1. And of course a statist would read ‘conspiracy’ into what you just explained and dismiss you as a wingnut. I agree, it just isn’t fair.

          Ironically, when we show concern for wingnuts invading our ‘territory’, we become vulnerable to exactly the bullshit demagoguery that tries to associate us with ‘the fringe’. Kinda like the Emo vs. Goth thing. They understand the differences (I think) but most people just see them as kids with too many piercings, too many tattoos and bad hair.

          Wingnuts maybe used by the demagogues to derail their rational enemies, but it’s still the statist demagogues that are the problem. It seems to me like the statist demagogues are the ones hijacking the dialogue.

      3. Explain Alex Jones not being Libertarian? On his civil liberties the man seems as Libertarian as they come but when it comes to economics he seems to believe what the Paleos preach.

        1. I grant that he is excellent on civil liberties; better than most Paleos. His economics, of course, are pathetic.

      4. No this dude is Wrong, completly wrong

        How Beck is equal to Obeirman ??? and why this pundit jumped Ron Paul ?

        The wingnutery can be classified in the following:

        – Alex Jones = Completely useless and nuts indeed. I know His civil liberties, but has soon has he start is conspiracy theories is become really strange. The best was when He attacked Michelle Malkin, it is when I made my mind that he is nuts

        – O’Reilley-Hannity-Olberman-Bill Maher : The milestone of partisan nutty punditry and Cheerledeers in chief. can even consider to criticize blue or red

        – Rush Limbaugh : He is just at the limits of nutty punditry, but looks like He at least admit that there is some problem with the GOP.

        – Beck : Kind of funny and almost paranoiac at time, but not nutty really not. He kind of a Rush Limbaugh without GOP predisposition syndrome

        – Ron Paul : The worst and the best at the same time. Best and most consistent libertarian politicians, but at the same time do the worst by associating himself with Alex Jones, who is nuts, and Thruthers ?!?
        Paul sometime jump in the freak category, but he is not wing nut

      5. Beck is a libertarian. He is new to the cause, and you don’t have to look to far back to find some pretty un-libertarian things he has said. But right now, I think he is a libertarian. He has Judge Napolitano on his TV show often, sometimes guest hosting. He has Mr. Gillespie on his show often too. As far as Olbermann goes, he seems kind of irrelevant and funny in a not meaning to kind of way. This piece kind of blows.

  4. Define “wingnut”

    1. left testicle missing.

  5. Study what they are FOR, and you will see what I mean.

    I don’t care what they are “FOR” as long as they don’t seek to impose it on others by force.

    1. Well people like the Birchers DO want to force their views on others.

      1. So I’ll have to oppose fluoridation of the water and acknowledge Dwight Eisenhower as the head of the CPUSA back in the 50s?

  6. I don’t get what beef some libertarians have with Glen Beck. They use lefty misquotes of him without ever watching his show. I don’t find his views so radical.
    Beck is a libertarian that some times make great points, some times misfiring, and some times takes his presentation over the top. But what else do you expect from a host of daily, basically entertainment political show – lengthy, deep and boring analysis?
    Beck is a great entertainer with a good cause. I enjoy his work for what it is (with a finger on fast-forward of my DVR remote).

    1. No, just like all conservatives, he feigns libertarianism on the issues the left wants intervention in, and supports the typical conservative interventions.

    2. I don’t get what beef some libertarians have with Glen Beck.

      Gee, oh I dont know how about his pro-Iran war segments he does. Which of course he provids no plan on how to pay for said war.

      1. I consider Libertarians to be xenophobic extremists aka wingnuts who would be dangerous to our interests worldwide.

        1. Yeah, calling for freer immigration laws is so xenophobic

  7. exactly how are libertarians or “proto-libertarians” to be classified as “centrist”.

    My thought was that your critique of society and government was a self described radical one.

    Also, wouldn’t a libertarian totally reject the idea that he or she was somewhere in the middle between the Democrats and the Republicans?

    1. Definitely not in the middle. I would say we’re on the outside of both parties. What does that mean? Some idiots try to dumb it down and say we are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but that’s not what we are. We are for liberty, period. Conservatives are not for free markets as they demonstrate time and time again (tort reform, immigration reform, taxation, subsidies, etc.) and, well, liberals are unable to be salvaged when it comes to market freedom. Liberals are socially liberal but believe the state should have a hand in promoting social liberalism, which a libertarian rejects. So, in total we are for social and economic freedom without state intervention, which puts us on the extreme of both parties, who are really only statists.

    2. He didn’t say they were Libertarian, he said they would fit the mold practically, not ideologically, as libertarian in a lot of their views.

    3. I don’t think it’s so much he thinks libertarians are centrists (hell, most self-described libertarians are far more radical than any elected US official of either party) as much that centrists have “libertarian” tendencies as far as they can be described as “socially liberal” (thus not fitting the GOP these days) and “fiscally conservative” (thus not fitting the Dems)

      I’d love for that to be true–that that is the new up and coming center–but he didn’t give any evidence of it. Maybe in his book?

      No way I believe we’ll ever see more than two parties though–I think that’s hard-wired into our single player take all electoral system–the last time a new party (Republicans) rose was because the other major party (the Whigs) collapsed.

  8. I wish his analysis of centrists was correct, as it would be good news for us libertarians. But judging by most centrists I’ve met, and who are visible in politics, it seems the opposite is true: Centrists tend to lean fiscally left and be big foreign policy hawks. On social issues, it’s a toss-up. But when I imagine a centrist, I imagine the perfect statist.

    1. Yep, and I’ve noticed that the most ideological left-wingers (like Kucinich, Franks, etc.) are the best on civil liberties, drugs, and peace. The centrists of the democrats are all-around statists, same with the centrist ‘R’s.

      1. And the fact that he mentioned John McCain as an example of an independent centrist just makes the point.

        1. Agreed. I didn’t like the way he used McCain Or Obama as examples of centrists. Just because they called themselves that and people believed it doesn’t mean they are.

  9. Always with the false equivalencies… Keith Olbermann is no Glenn Beck. But I guess I can let it slide this time.

    But about wingnuts being dangerous: it really only takes one, and if you’ve ever clicked through a link on Drudge and read anything with comments… damn those people are scary. They are apoplectic over Obama. They excite themselves over thoughts of violent revolution, and justify it all with a completely distorted, but consistent, narrative of how the world works.

    1. It’s almost like reading comments by Tony.

      Wingnuts are dangerous for the same reason statists are. They only want to impose their vision of society upon us all and then make us pay for it with 50% of our checks. So, in reality, wingnuts are nothing more than mad Republicans (we see now who would gladly trade liberty for a moral state and war machine) or mad Democrats (who were around when Bush was in power and now are gladly trading any economic freedom for statist goodies).

      Now, libertarians are dangerous for the right reasons, because they are a threat to the system of plunder that we have. I don’t care if I’m a danger to robbers. Bring ’em on.

      1. The sad thing is, there is a really fucked up system of plunder in this country, but you’re for the most part completely distracted from the actual culprits of it. You don’t have room to criticize capitalist plunderers because you’re too busy blaming the nearest government program.

        1. Tony, I don’t know why you can’t understand this. You keep confusing us with conservatives. Your criticism would be completely valid for conservatives. However, libertarians understand that businesses are the first enemy of free markets. Adam Smith was one of the very first people to realize this. Businesses plead for government regulation and handouts to stamp out competition, which is exactly the system we have now. Your problem is you only focus on evil corporations. Conservatives’ problem is they only focus on government. Libertarians focus on both businesses and government joining together and gang raping the citizenry. One day you will get this, but it is still far off, because in your mind there is only liberal progressivism and conservatism and nothing else. There are those of us who oppose state intervention of all kinds, for malign and benign reasons. Until that day, you will remain a statist just like your statist enemies, conservatives. And we libertarians will still be standing here, shouting at both sides that they are just twin brothers in the same cruel system of plunder.

          1. But liberals don’t just focus on corporations. Being cautious of government power is central to being a liberal. We just disagree about whether economic controls are a legitimate function of government.

            It’s pretty simplistic to lump all so-called statists together just because they believe governments should do things. This is where libertarianism so often becomes a victim of its own dogma–government is by definition detrimental to freedom, so you descend into defending something close to anarchy, against all sanity.

            And if Reason is any indication, libertarianism most certainly does not treat corporate abuses as you say they do. Shit read Stossel’s columns. They might as well just say “whatever the chamber of commerce wants = freedom.”

            1. But what limits do liberals place on government? You never define it. Even the Constitution is living and breathing to give your ideology maximum leeway. It changes with your every whim. And you are not really liberals. You are progressive statists, defining progress as more state control. The only limits liberals place on government are sodomy laws. You can rape us economically, you can tell us what to eat, you can tell us what we can and cannot buy, you can tell us what to do with our own bodies, but I should have the right to sodomy. Oh, yes, sodomy is one bridge too far! Don’t get me wrong. I think the government should stay out of our assholes, too, but they never will.

              The reason libertarians lump conservatives and liberals into the same pile is because they both favor state power to force their vision of society upon us (liberals with economic controls and conservatives with moral controls). You both use the violence of the state to fund your social engineering. In that way, you are no different. It may be simplistic, but sometimes that is the best answer. See Ockham’s razor.

              Are there legitimate economic controls? Yes, but they are not provided by government. They are already provided by the market itself and through private law. I have lived in Russia, Germany (still here), and China, and there is one thing they all have in common. They were all ruined by your sensible economic controls. The problem is your controls never end. They only grow until you have a stagnant society with less freedom and prosperity. Your appetite for control is never satiated. If it’s not health care, it’s the environment. If it’s not the environment, it’s food and water, and the happy march to utopia never ends.

              I don’t think libertarians are bashful about the natural conclusions of their philosophy. It is anarchy, but not the anarchy you envision. Anarchy means without rules, not without laws. It doesn’t mean chaos will reign supreme. It means that the rule of law and the markets will organize society through voluntary association. Have you ever thought about the natural conclusions of your philosophy, which are only tyranny? We are logical about our goals. Let’s march towards freedom and prosperity, and when it becomes clear that it’s all spinning out of control, we stop. But how much freer and richer will we all be because of it.

              Unfortunately, liberals suffer from the “If I were in charge of Communism” syndrome. They all believe that communism was a good thing, except for the social freedoms that were lost. Liberalism seeks a rerun of those economic controls without the social repression. The funny thing is that you can’t have both. They go hand in hand. But, alas, I’m afraid you’ll never see that. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve spoken to the victims of your own language in their own languages.

              Free markets are not perfect. No one ever claimed they were, but they are a better, more moral solution to society’s ills than the same old tired worn out philosophy that is statism. I think thousands of years of failure is enough. We have thrown religion off our backs, which seemed like an insane thing to do in the past. Next, we will throw the useless behemoth that is government off our backs. It’s not insane. It’s the next step in our progress to greater prosperity.

              1. *victims of your philosophy and sensible economic controls (line 2,000,000,000)

              2. We’re gonna have to agree to disagree about whether anarchy is the next great leap of human social progress.

                But here’s the thing about liberalism: it has been the primary opponent of tyranny in modern history. Liberals are not communists-lite, they were the primary opponents of authoritarian communism. Right now, I’d say, the form of tyranny it’s fighting against, in this country and elsewhere, is plutocracy–which, from my perspective, is the form of tyranny libertarians enable with their nonsense about the productive class (defined only by accumulated wealth) vs. the parasite class (defined only by their lack of wealth).

                Liberalism understands that there are other forms of oppression besides government, and that government, rightly ordered, exists for the very purpose of being the people’s defense against those oppressors. Because who else is gonna do it? Some things are just too big to be dealt with either individually or organically through random interactions. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad institutions exist to provide protection and relief from natural disasters (I would include market failures as a form of natural disaster), foreign invaders, and the like.

                Just because you call something freedom doesn’t make it so. So often libertarians descend into tautological silliness on the subject of freedom. Yes, as a liberal I believe in some wealth redistribution. But that’s because a) societies do better with less income inequality, and b) there is just no moral case for no redistribution other than the playground sentiments, “finders keepers” and “might makes right.”

                Finally, it’s not about utopianism but the opposite. Yes, we believe in regulation of the commons. But why shouldn’t we? What else is going to prevent, say, pollution? The good hearts of polluting industries? Libertarians believe not only in a fantasy world, but one that has never been demonstrated to have existed, let alone prospered.

                In the end liberals believe in perfecting government and society, but not in an abstract perfect form of society. It’s about solving problems as they come and reducing the inequalities that come with nature. Freedom is more than being left alone by government. It can mean having a government there to protect you.

                1. It’s clear that you can’t remove yourself from viewing people in groups and society as some form of lego experiment. It’s not that you’re communists; it’s that your system leads to tyranny without end. The worst thing is you misunderstand the libertarian concept. It is not to have big businesses exploit the poor. The most ironic thing about it is that your system promotes massive corporations through wealth distribution, taxation, regulation, which all favor massive corporations and kill competition. And then you whine about wealth maldistribution, but you never realize that you’re own system is causing it through the very instruments you try to solve it with. And there’s always the FED, which finances your protection you love so much. The FED creates the very maldistribution of wealth you despise. It is not the free market that does this. It is your government.

                  I feel for you, though. I used to believe the same myths that you do, except that I was a conservative. Stop seeing the world as only the strong vs. the weak. There are many variations on this. The irony is that what you fear happening under the libertarian system is exactly what happens under your system. You said it yourself. Our system doesn’t exist, so stop blaming it for the problems you are causing.

                2. Wow. I just have to say that was an amazing response. Its hard being a rational liberal when this is an admitted libertarian site.

                3. The thing that liberals do NOT understand is that there are two kinds of wealth, concentrated wealth, and distributed wealth. Capitalism is economic freedom. The many freely purchase at a zero sum exchange of wealth. What I mean by that is that the buyer gives up in $$$ what he feels he received in exchange. Wealth stays the same. I have $525 less in cash, but I am the proud owner of a 46″ plasma TV. Did I lose wealth?

                  Now, suppose the innovator of that TV receives $25 from each purchase. Let’s assume 1 million purchases. To the liberal the only wealth in the scenario is the concetrated wealth obtained by the innovator who now has $25 million in cash. He doesn’t take into consideration the standard of living increase distributed over the million customers.

                  This is the oversight that has plagued wealth redistributionists throughout time. It is what causes the standard of living to stagnate in societies that take the fairness of $25 million in cash away from the innovator. Things stop getting innovated.

                  Why is the $25 million necessary? Because the odds of succeeding are SO SMALL. The reward has to match the risk in order for the wager to be waged.

                  Please try to get an understanding of this concept.

              3. I love this Soonerliberty. Progressive statists are driven by their own logic of massive regulation to attempt to regulate everything in order to flush out every hazard of life, it never ends; it can’t. And kudos on the Germany/Europe comparison. I lived there as well for a year and your correct.

            2. With all due respect, the Chamber of Commerce is essentially a government branch for business.

              Second, pro-business views aren’t always the same as being pro-market. You also mention that there is disagreement on whether economic controls are needed. Is that between liberals (classical vs. social), or between liberals and libertarians?

              I look forward to your reply, Tony.

            3. Tony, there are much more fundemental differences that mostly fall in behind different views of human nature. It isn’t just economics but also federalism, the rule of law, importance of institutions, human right, etc. Thomas Sowell covered this ground pretty well in his book Conflict of Visions.

              1. Thomes Sowell is great. Just started Basic Economics.

    2. Kind of like the Daily Kos, Tony? I’ve read a ton of pretty hateful shit on there.

    3. So you’ve never read the comments at DK or the HuffPo Tony? The left are every bit as loony as the right.

      1. Minus the everpresent threat of armed revolution. And to be fair the left wasn’t calling for Bush’s impeachment until well into his tenure, and for reasons other than his skin color.

  10. There is something I have been curious about and I hope someone here can clear things up for me.

    I have never heard Glenn Beck’s radio show and have probably seen a combined 30 minutes of his TV shows on CNN and Fox.

    The only way I knew about him on CNN was by stumbling across his show. I never saw him mentioned in the media, never heard anything about him. After he moved to Fox, I can’t read anything without seeing him mentioned. Suddenly he is the biggest problem/savior for America depending on who you ask.

    My question: Is there that much difference in his show or the way he presents his views on his current show vs. when he was at CNN?

    Or is all this love/hate (and from my perspective it seems to be much more hate) due to the fact that he is now on the noble/evil (depending who you ask) Fox News?

    1. Or is all this love/hate (and from my perspective it seems to be much more hate) due to the fact that he is now on the noble/evil (depending who you ask) Fox News?

      Greta Van Susteren has been on the Fox News Channel for a while now, and nobody gives a crap about her because her show is almost entirely standard boilerplate stuff.

      It has mostly to do with the fact that Beck has a fairly solid team of researchers and is remarkably effective at exposing Obama and the people around him.

      When he discovered that Van Jones was a self-avowed communist and a 9/11 “truther” and forced the White House to shove him out the back door, that got everyone’s attention big time, and scared the crap out of the left.

      1. It has mostly to do with the fact that Beck has a fairly solid team of researchers and is remarkably effective at exposing Obama and the people around him.

        You don’t actually believe this do you?

        You realize that FOX news doesn’t exactly have a high standard for factual integrity.

        Anyway, just the fact that you think it’s the legitimate role of a TV talking head to spend his days trying to “expose” the president and his nefarious associations says a lot. You don’t think such an enterprise is likely to descend into paranoia and witch hunting?

        1. For once, I am in agreement with Tony. I’m anti-statist, but I don’t think it is a useful to spend time “exposing” those in power. That would mean taking the State seriously; I don’t take the President, my representatives, my governor, or anybody in office seriously. I simply don’t acknowledge their authority, and think little of them. I don’t think of them.

          What I think many of my fellows have lost sight of is that intimidation is a form of force. And Beck is using that a lot these days. If there is one thing I don’t defend, it is McCarthyism.

          1. I say that the primary responsibility of the press is, or should be, to watch the government and the people running it like a hawk on behalf of the citizenry. It was true when Nixon was in power, and it’s still true today. Unfortunately, most of them are terrible at doing their job now.

            Oh, and I almost forgot that Beck played a pretty significant role in bringing national attention to Breitbart, O’Keefe, and Giles’ undercover work that helped to bring down ACORN.

            1. Jesus Christ, Acorn? Wake me up when there’s an indictment.

              This is the problem. Kudos for believing in a strong press. Perhaps while it’s got its eagle-like eyes on government, it turn them toward other centers of power occasionally. Say, the corporations that own the media outlets. Oh wait. No, that won’t do, let’s just regurgitate some nonsense FOX news obsession the only point of which is to paint Obama as a dangerous thug so they can WIN the next ELECTION.

              1. I do not have cable, so I am unable to watch FOX News. Tony, maybe you can enlighten me as to what it is that FOX is doing that is causing all of the anger you feel towards them. Now, don’t give some vague generality like “They paint Obama as a thug.” Give specific examples of what FOX News has presented. With the statement of yours that I just read, I would have to believe this will not be hard for you (“No, that won’t do, let’s just regurgitate some nonsense FOX news obsession the only point of which is to paint Obama as a dangerous thug so they can WIN the next ELECTION.”).

                Here are some issues I have.
                Cap and Trade will kill the economy. It is unnecessary. There is no real eveidence of the underlying problem (global warming).

                Why was he so connected to known domestic terrorists?

                Why isn’t the money for stimulus spent? They couldn’t allow the time necessary to read the bill, yet it can take over a year to spend? Sounds like a slush fund, and not a stimulus packeage.

                Why was he so able to not hear what the good reverend Wright was saying for so many years? I can tell you, the first time my pastor claimed that the bombing on 911 was our fault, or said, “Not God Bless America, but God Damn America,” I would have been out the door. Doesn’t this make you go “Hmmm” about the guy?

                Why did the labor unions get as much share in GM as they did? That was illegal.

                Why did the Main Stream Media say that abortion funding in the House Bill was a myth? It was reported that way all of the time?

                Why was it such a big deal that Obama was called a liar by his hosts when he invited himself over to the Congress to give a speach in which he fully intended to lie?

                Why won’t Congress be a part of the bill they want to pass?

                Why does Obama and the rest claim that Health Insurer profits are way out of line? They aren’t.

                Why does everyone Obama nominate have some crime in their past (tax evasion, playing a part in a youth’s sexual abuse by not reporting said abuse when it was his job to do so, etc.)?

                The list goes on and on.

                We need tort reform, not insurance reform. We need insurance deregulation, not insurance regulation. We need illegals off of the system. We need them returned, not granted amnisty. We need to remove insurance from being provided by the employer. It needs to be owned by the individual. Health insurance should be whole life like policies where you save money on premiums when you are old, if you have had the policy since you were young. That will add an incentive to get the young to buy in early. That is freedom. Forcing the young to buy is not freedom.

          2. You sort of have to take the state seriously, they can do bad things to you. At the same time, its probably a good idea to pretend you don’t take them seriously.

    2. Yes, I think it is because he is on Fox now, and you know how people love to hate Fox. Although I never saw his show on CNN.

    3. I am actually a pretty big Glenn Beck fan. Not that I think he is correct about everything, but I find his commentaries on news related items very entertaining. Even he has admitted that he is a johnny-come-lately on exposing the “truths” about American History that have been warped, which pro-liberty individuals have known for awhile (but the average person doesn’t.) For a 26 year old like myself, who has not had much exposure to the political realm for very long, it’s like I am co-discovering American history along with him.

      With all that being said, I don’t care for his TV show that much. His radio show with Stu and Pat is a far superior product.

  11. John McCain? The guy who supported increased nationalizing of the medical system, the banking system, the education system, who wants to “nation build” around the world using the US military.

    Barack Obama? The guy who has taken over and expanded many of the Bush programs.

    That is the heroes of this fool

  12. 1. I rather like partisan politics, it is far more honest than the middle of the road “centrists”

    2. The parties are NOT “more polarized than ever before.”

    3. The public giving talking points to the parties is a good thing.

    4. A large percent of the independents are extremists who believe that the parties are too mainstream for them.

    5. John McCain as supported by independents? Don’t make me laugh, that is absurd, a lot of independents couldn’t stand McCain.

    6. What the interviewee doesn’t understand is that the party machinery on both sides is extremely mainstream. Its the independents that are on the extreme.

  13. I think we’re being bullshitted.

    Alvon talks a good line, but doesn’t provide much support for his conclusions. His assertion that U.S. political culture is becoming vastly more polarised is simply wrong. Are we really more polarised today than in 1859, 1932, the 60s, or the Clinton years?

    His assertion that independants are actually “libertian” is rather convenient when being interviewed by Reason. If he was being interview by the N.Y. Times, would he emphasize the liberal element among the unregistered?

    My own experience is that most independants don’t care about politics, and know even less.

  14. Lukewarm moderates don’t change things.

  15. Hey. Thanks for this post. I cruise alot of blogs just to see what I can find. I liked this write up you did and was just wondering if you have a subscriber page so I can link to it so I can read it at a later date? I did not see one – am I just overlooking it?


  16. This is easily the worst ReasonTV piece I have seen. A bit historical perspective would render all the arguments made mute. Politics has always been a blood sport. Read what they said about Adams, Jefferson, Madison, etc. These were our founding fathers and gave us the Declaration and the Constitution and yet the pamphleteers (the talk radio or internet of the day) said the most vile untrue things about them.

    John Avlon needs to do a little more digging into our history.

    And calling Obama a centrist who is only constrained by a lack of administrative experience? Please!

  17. Well either Avalon is a pathological liar or a victim of a public school education…

    What a waste of bandwidth…

  18. I’m going to have to roll with Rong and Juandos. This is really a lot of drivel. And putting Palin in the same company as Olberman is ridiculous in the extreme.

    His claim that a third party can be created is dreaming. The whole system is set-up to keep third parties out. It’s a two party system. Third parties have never been viable here and most likely never will be. If they were, at least one of the many we have now would get more than a small fraction of a percent in national elections.

    Obama has been a “bridge builder” most of his life!?!? I’d like to see Avlon’s evidence for that statement. It was his “sales pitch” yeah, but in actual practice Mr. O has been far and away the most partisan president we’ve ever had. And a far lefty at that.

  19. Avlon’s schtick is to be a “conservative” who attacks conservatives. He’s CNN’s answer to David Brooks, or Andrew Sullivan. He preaches a “moderation” that means “lie back and try to enjoy it.”

  20. “we have been sold a totally dumbed down version of politics.” hmmm… making overreaching allegations and naming massive media corporations? sounds like a bit of conspiracy theory to me. But im not the kind of person who cares about conspiracy theorists. But that does seem a bit (emphasis on a bit) like the pot calling the kettle black.

  21. I just saw this jackass on CNN using Southern Poverty Law Center stats. Any one using those pricks numbers is obviously a “left wingnut”

  22. Social liberalism is about personal freedom? Would that include enforced diversity, multi-culturalism, acceptance of global warming and political correctness? I fail to see how that stuff enhances personal liberty. But he is young and hip so he must be right.

  23. OMG…This guy thinks that John McCain and Obama “get it”? And he claims to be an libertarian? He is definitely a paid shill trying to hijack the disenfranchised lemmings and lead them off the cliff. Hello…What about Ron Paul?

  24. Beck and Olbermann have wings on their nuts?

  25. In the midst of your rant against liberal statism, Soonerliberty, you indulge in an alternative vision of a ruleless Anarchy where law nevertheless prevails, an Anarchy where “chaos doesn’t reign supreme.” Is there not a hint of fantasy in this notion, a taint of the very utopianism for which you rightly criticize many on the left? “Let’s march towards freedom and prosperity,and when it’s clear that it’s spinning out of control, we stop.” This is an interesting notion in light of your contention that the Statists never know when to stop. Will the relative few who are likely to benefit economically from your shining new world of Utopian anarchy allow the “march” to stop any more than would the Statists (left and right) whom you so revile?

  26. This is what is going to “hijack America in the end”:

    Coming to all of America:




  27. I don’t got your point. But thank you all the same.

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