Reasoners on the Tube: Nick Gillespie on The Devil's Advocate with The Independence Institute's Jon Caldara


On this week's Devils Advocate, Jon Caldara goes one on one with Reason's Nick Gillespie. Nick gives his take on the emergence of new media and how his is leading the charge and the growing libertarian—conservative rift. With Jon's encouragement, Nick pulls no punches when discussing his distaste for the nanny state or why conservatives and libertarians should wear leather jackets.

Gillespie was in Denver last week to speak at the Independence Institute's annual Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms bash. For more about the Independence Institute, go here.

Parts 2 and 3:


NEXT: Another Argument for California's Pot Legalization Initiative

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  1. Oh SHIT!!!

    “Conservative think it was better 20 years ago”

    Well in 2014 i think i may become a conservative….1994 is looking like it may turn out to be the best year of my life….

    ….and i was not paying one bit of attention to it.

    Luckily 2013 is the year of the singularity and we will probably all be dead by 2014 anyway.

  2. What an awful host.

    1. Jon Caldara naming his show “Devil’s Advocate” is about as lame as Bill Maher naming his show “Politically Incorrect.”

      On the subject of “new media” and the effectiveness of video, Reason TV would be the perfect media to produce video re-enactments to accompany Radley Balko’s articles, in order to reach a wider audience.

      1. Reason needs to adopt the Taiwanese computer graphic model of reenactments.

        Like this:

    2. “What an awful host.”

      That was my first reaction to him as well… but once things got rolling, the comments he got out of Nick were better and more insightful than most of the Reason.TV spots we’ve seen from him.

      So while I wasn’t enamored of his personality, I gotta give him props for doing a great job at what an interviewer’s primary goal should always be: Getting the most out of your guest.

      1. I didn’t get that far before I had to stop looking at him, although the quip about the Jacket trolling for women was precious… Totally true. I personally saw him chatting up a coterie of young ladies at a reason event once (this is why reasonoids should never be invited to reason events).

  3. Why is every other article about the conservative/libertarian rift? The rift isn’t growing, its shrinking. The republican party as a whole is a LOT more libertarian than it was under Nixon.

    This is like back in 2008 when we had a lot of articles praising Obama.

    1. The only way to close the conservative/libertarian rift is to re-route a tachyon beam through the main deflector dish at the correct space/time/quantum frequency.

      The articles praising Obama were obviously written by mirror-universe Reason staffers.

    2. The rift between the respective views always shrinks between the group out of office and grows with the group in office w/ respect to libertarian ideology.

    3. Or where do libertarians really belong? It?s a very illiberal attitude to obsess about political affiliations and ideological purity. Gillespie is correct about the inconsistencies of many conservatives, but does it matter if the overlap is 90% or 51%? We are talking of broad generalizations when using these definitions and most of the right is a hybrid con/libertarians, as you would expect from individuals not toeing party lines. Promote libertarianism and ignore whether individuals agree 100% with you on every point.

      1. Nice point blubi

      2. I’ve found myself really struggling with ideological purity lately. I didn’t feel like I should be at tea party protests in Seattle because almost everyone had anti-immmigration posters, and I feel strongly pro-immigration. Maybe I should have focused on the fact that those folks also wanted to cut taxes and government spending, which ranks higher on my priority list.

    4. The republican party as a whole is a LOT more libertarian than it was under Nixon.

      True, but it got that way years ago and hasn’t gotten any better since. Could say the same of The Wall St. J..

      I don’t see the rift either growing or shrinking much in the few years around now. And it’s misleading to focus so much on presidential trends as an indicator. The major political parties have distortive mechanisms in their presidential selection procedures, and so few nominations are made in a given time that you don’t see much averaging out.

    5. “The republican party as a whole is a LOT more libertarian than it was under Nixon.”

      It’s gotten a lot more about Jesus and War for my taste.

      1. More about war than it was under Nixon? I don’t think so!

        Since the late 1970s, it has been more about Jesus, as a product of the activists of that time. They had the advantage of already having a network — their churches — to help them take over or at least influence the GOP, so they brought in more free-market influence than any other organized tendency.

        1. More about war than it was under Nixon? I don’t think so!

          Nixon drew down American involvement in Vietnam on his watch (granted, after ramping it up and spreading it out a bit) and gained rapprochement with China.

      2. Under Bush it was not much different than under Nixon. Neither understood the free market or did much to help it.

    6. Liberaltarians need that rift. Their co-journolisters told them so.

  4. why conservatives and libertarians should wear leather jackets.

    Where is Nick? The guy in the videos isn’t The Jacket, so who is he?

    1. Opps, sorry Nick, I didn’t recognize you out of uniform. I realize that it is summer, and really hot outside but what next, Stossel shaving The Stash?

      1. You were right the first time. Only real Nick can wear The Jacket, because he is The Jacket. That person is a stand in, used after the Cosmotarian Security Services detected a possible threat. The Jacket was spirited away to a secret undisclosed location until the all-clear was given.

        1. The Jacket, it knows when to vacation in cooler climates.

          1. The Jacket, as explained many times previously, is a symbiotic species that uses Gillespie as host when convenient, and gives him his supernatural libertarian powers. When weather is inconveniently hot, as it has been recently on the East coast, the Jacket must maintain its core temperature by occasionally being secured in a deep-freeze locker in the Reason underground lair, only maintaining its connection to its host organism though its mind-control devices, the Sideburns.

  5. Oh wow,that dude actually makes a LOT of sense.


    1. Anon-Bot, you’ve really been phoning it in lately. Is everything OK? You feeling all right?

      1. Sorry, I’ve been a little preoccupied ever since being infected with the Steve Smith R.A.P.E. virus! Yes, he exists even in cyberspace!

        I want to die! LOL !




  6. That last screen on the third youtube videos … Contempt.

  7. No mention of Radley’s appearance on Penn & Teller Thursday night?

    1. Penn & Teller? You sure you don’t mean disappearance?

  8. Off-topic:

    lol wut?.

    “In response to the firings, the Washington Teachers Union released the results of a membership study showing that “a large majority of teachers believe that IMPACT is not a fair evaluation system.”

    Washington Teachers Union President George Parker said, “It is evident from this survey that our members agree that IMPACT is a flawed instrument with many loopholes.”

    Loopholes like…identifying shitty teachers?

    1. If you laughed at those quotes, thank the teacher who said them.

    2. If you laughed at those quotes, thank the teacher who said them.

      1. That was worth saying twice. Thank you Squirrel!

  9. LOL, dude sounds like a total tool to me dude.

  10. I get why Reason wants to be seen as cutting edge by having their own internet channel, but I wonder how many people have actually heard of “Reason TV”. If libertarians are really interested in reaching a wide audience wouldn’t it make more sense to have a cable station to compete with MSNBC and Fox News?

    1. It might, with the understanding that as the audience goes over to the Internet, they’ll follow to the new distribution channel the content providers they’d been watching on the older one. Fox newsreels, then Fox broadcast network, then Fox cable news (NTSC), then digital Fox News via cable, next Fox via Internet (including wireless).

      1. Most people don’t even know Reason Magazine exists. How are they going to know where to look for Reason TV if there isn’t a cable news show first? They’d have to sift through the thousands of other stuff to just get lucky to stumble on it. Fox already has a loyal audience of millions in place. Ditto for MSNBC. I just think it’s putting the cart before the horse.

        1. I disagree. Reason staffers regularly appear on cable shows with a libertarian bent like Stossel, RedEye (is this still on?), etc. Hopefully, that will get people to visit the website. Some of the videos have hundreds of thousands of views, so that’s promising at least.

        2. “How are they going to know where to look for Reason TV if there isn’t a cable news show first?”

          Billboards. Reason Billboards.

  11. I enjoyed the words you got in edgewise on Stossel.

  12. So what is worse 25 years from now?

    A Democratic induced communist state?

    A Republican Theocracy?

    Looks like I can’t pick either side.

    1. In the communist state, only two out of every five working days at best will put money in your own pocket and you won’t be able to afford things you like. In the theocracy, you have to attend church three hours a week and many things you like need to be done in secrecy and never discussed in public. Much as organized religion creeps me out (though I have personal beliefs), I’d go with the theocracy here.

      But the real answer, if either of those things ever came true, would be revolution.

  13. OK sounds like that guy has some serous issues man.


  14. Nick, it seems that many of your interviews with conservative hosts devolve into the host making argument meant to co-opt libertarianism. Your not unsubtle hints at the divides that separate conservatism from libertarianism seem to have left little impression on Caldera, and by extension, I’d guess, his audience. Could you do libertarianism a favor and speak more to the differences between conservatism and libertarianism when you make these appearances. When the Republicans regain control and the progressives start kissing your ass you can do the same with them.

    Nick, they’re all just trying to juice up their thread bare political positions with some edgy libertarian Mojo! Give them something to think about by delivering a good bitch slap instead.

    Caldera sure seems to want a bitch slapping. Devil’s Advocate, indeed! More Simpering Sycophant.

    1. Yeah every conservative loves to talk about how much in common he has with libertarians. Nah brah, I’m not going for it.

      I was glad Gillespie pointed out that it wasn’t just with the “social” stuff either. The Republican idea of fiscal restraint is almost as farcical as the “progressive” idea of civil liberty.

  15. Jesus fucking Christ! If Gillespie is going to be a spokesman get him a fecelift or put a bag over his head.

    1. Andy not everyone can be as pretty as you.

  16. I was asking if you would clear up which office you were talking about. The article talks about both Senate and Governor seats.

  17. I hadn’t ever read in Reason of libertarian as an adjective rather than a noun, or as a thought process rather than an ideology, as you put it in this conversation.
    It’s a shame because THAT really makes sense.

    I do have a request though to be convinced you are actually interested in debate. Cut the “nanny-state” meme. because most of the examples you cite aren’t “gvt run”. It makes you look like a pompous ass who knows better than everybody because of … no particular reason.

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