Ask a Libertarian

Ask a Libertarian! Declaration of Independents Authors Matt Welch & Nick Gillespie Answer All Your Questions

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June 15, 7.20pm ET: Final Question—Why is it different this time?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the questions:

What does it mean to say "libertarian" is an adjective, not a noun, 

and 

Why is it different this time?

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 7.17pm ET: What's a liberaltarian and how is it different from a libertarian?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What's a liberaltarian? How is it different than a libertarian?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie. 

June 15, 7.15pm ET: Could we hunt and eat endangered species in a libertarian world?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"My neighbor's hobby is hunting and eating endangered animals. Would he be able to do this in a libertarian society?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 7.10pm ET: Lightning Round 2—Schumpeter, Eminent Domain, Students For Liberty

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the questions:

Jesse Walker:
"In the opening bath of faces, who's the fellow next to Mises with the prominent chin?"

Jonathan Cantin:
"Anarchy or Minarchy? Austrian School or Chicago School?"

Sudden: 
"In all seriousness, what ought to be the first concrete policy priority of a libertarian-leaning administration (were that even possible), given the present political circumstances and considerable restraints?"

PokerGrump:
"Since Social Security is a failing pyramid scheme, why can't a congressman say so without getting grief?"

Troy Combs: 
"Is an act of eminent domain ever justified by a government at any level?"

sailor:
"Why should anyone vote?"

Jeremy Sands: 
"Who will assume Ron Paul's place in the future?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 7pm ET: What about health care?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What is the libertarian view of healthcare and what can be done to fight it?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.


June 15, 6.57pm ET: "What are libertarian approaches to global warming and other environmental concerns?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What are libertarian solutions to environmental problems? Global warming, pollution, ect?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 6.49pm ET: Who influenced you the most in the writing of The Declaration of Independents?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Who influenced you the most writing the book?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 6.40pm ET: "Did you come to libertarianism from the Right or the Left?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

Did you come to libertarianism from the left or right? 

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 6.37pm ET: "What's the libertarian take on religion?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"As a libertarian (w/a very slight conservative leaning, lol) with a lot of religious conservatives friends, I would really appreciate a good synopsis of religion from the libertarian point of view. I know what I think but I saw you guys on John Stossel and you verbalized it much better than Ive managed to so far, lol. Could I get it from you again? Thank you!"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 6.29pm ET: "What's Your Take on IP & Net Neutrality?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

Matt refrences Peter Suderman's article, "Internet Cop," found here:https://reason.com/archives/2011/02/08/internet-cop 

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the questions:

Steven Nowosielski: 
"How can libertarians condemn intellectual property?"

and

Waldemar Ingdahl via Twitter: 
"So what's the the libertarian perspective on net neutrality?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 6.10pm ET: "What about the war on drugs?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What does a libertarian think about the 'war on drugs' and how do we change it?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 5.20pm ET: "Who wrote the majority of The Declaration of Independents?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Who wrote the majority of the book?

P.S.- I bet Nick just put his name on it like Ben Affleck did with Good Will Hunting."

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie

June 15, 4.30pm ET: Am I just a Republican who wants to smoke pot?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

How do I know I'm not just a Republican who likes smoking pot?

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 4.20pm ET: "Why is there so much libertarian infighting?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

Why are libertarians so susceptible to infighting?

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 3.50pm ET: "What's the right take on foreign policy?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

What's the libertarian position on foreign policy?

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 3.00pm ET: "Is there an example of libertarianism at its best?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Is there a modern example of libertarianism at its best?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 2.20pm ET: Ask a Libertarian Lightning Round 1: NHL Team Names, Political Vomit, Is It All Just a Game, & More

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the questions:

Serious Man:
"What should the new NHL team moving to Winnipeg (formerly Atlanta Thrashers) be named?"

Floridadoublue: 
"When does the political vomiting stop?"

Voros McCracken: 
"Matt, how do you feel about the death penalty, with regards to Dave Henderson?"

PokerGrump:
"Since Social Security is a failing pyramid scheme, why can't a congressman say so without getting grief?"

NYC Conservative (JG Altz): "Do you see any reason to be optimistic about the future of the United States?"

MCMoynihan via Twitter: 
"Is it all just a game?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 2pm ET: "Should libertarians work within the two-party system?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What do you think is best course of action for libertarian minded people, working through the 2 major parties or pushing to advance a 3rd party (the Libertarian Party)?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 1.50pm ET: "What's the libertarian take on publicly funded education?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"How can libertarianism work without educated masses?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 1.01pm ET: "What's the libertarian position on abortion?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer:

"What's the libertarian position on abortion?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 12.55pm ET: "Gary Johnson or Ron Paul?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Gary Johnson or Ron Paul?"

and

"Among the 2012 field of Republican candidates, not counting Ron Paul or Gary Johnson, who is the least bad candidate, declared or possible?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Kyle Blaine, Katie Hooks, and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 12.50pm ET: "Can a libertarian work for Leviathan?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Can a libertarian realistically hold his head up high while working for Leviathan, either directly or as a consultant?"
For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Kyle Blaine, Katie Hooks, and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 12.26pm ET: "Why do sports teams and stadiums dominate the political climate in some states?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Why do sports teams and their need for newer / better stadiums dominate the political climate of some states? Example: In MN we are about to have a state government shutdown because the budget can't be balanced. There is also pressure from the MN Vikings to have the state of MN and one city to pay for 2/3 of a 1.2 billion dollar stadium. I have read an article on Cato that stated public funded stadiums do not provide any return on investment for the tax payers dollars. If that is true, then why would politicians agree to fund a new stadium? Wouldn't it be in the best interest of the team to have a privately financed stadium? Doesn't giving taxpayer money for a new stadium increase the value of the team and thus increase the pocketbook of an already rich person?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 12 noon ET: "What should be about everything?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What should be done about everything?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie

June 15, 2011, 11.36am ET: "What do you think about fiscal conservatives who are also social conservatives? P.S. This is not an oxymoron."

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America. 

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"What do you think about fiscal conservatives who are also social conservatives?" (p.s. It is not an oxymoron.)

This is number 3 in the series. For the complete series, go tohttps://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine, and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 2011, 11.30am ET: "Why is it that I agree w/ your politics, but find the lot of you to be smarmy prigs?"

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America.

Go to http://declaration2011.com to purchase, read reviews, find event dates, and more.

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Why is it that I agree w/ your politics, but find the lot of you to be smarmy prigs?"

For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarian and Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine and Jack Gillespie.

June 15, 2011, 10.50 AM ET: Why Ask a Libertarian? And Why Now?

On June 15, 2011 Gillespie and Welch used short, rapid-fire videos to answer dozens of reader questions submitted via email, Twitter, Facebook, and Reason.com. In this episode, they answer the question:

"Why ask a libertarian? Why now?"

This is number 1 in the series. For the complete series, go to https://reason.com/archives/2011/06/10/ask-a-libertarianand Reason.tv's YouTube Channel at http://youtubecom/reasontv

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, with help from Katie Hooks, Kyle Blaine, and Jack Gillespie.

Got a question for a libertarian? Then give it your best shot on Wednesday, June 15, when Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch answer any and all queries, such as:

  • How do you feel about net neutrality?
  • Who are you supporting in 2012?
  • Why do you hate poor people?
  • Do these pants make me look fat?
  • Aren't libertarians just Republicans who smoke pot?
  • What about the children?

Gillespie and Welch are the authors of the new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, due out on June 28th. Early reviews have called Declaration "the up-to-date statement of libertarianism" (Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution); "an enthusiastic, entertaining libertarian critique of American politics (Kirkus Reviews); and "a political alarm clock" (Amy Alkon, The Advice Goddess). For more info and to pre-order from your favorite online bookseller, go to Declaration2011.com.

On Wednesday, from 10AM ET til 6PM ET, Gillespie and Welch, will receive questions via Facebook, Twitter, and email, and, with the help of Reason.tv's crack team of videographers (who may well be on crack that day), will post rapid-fire video responses to your most probing and provocative queries.

The lines open on Wednesday, so think up your toughest question and send it our way between 10AM ET and 6PM ET.

To ask via email, send to letters@reason.com

To ask via Facebook, go to Reason's Facebook page

To ask via Twitter, send to @reason

And on the day of the event, haunt the comments section at Hit & Run and our Ask a Libertarian page.

Video commercial by Reason.tv's Meredith Bragg.

Music by The Zoggs.

No Matt Welches were harmed in the filming of this video.

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  1. In all seriousness, what ought to be the first concrete policy priority of a libertarian-leaning administration (were that even possible), given the present political circumstances and considerable restraints?

  2. When scrolling through Instapundit today, he had a blurb about reigning in federal gov’t with a third branch of congress, the sole function would be repealing federal statues?

    Discuss.

    1. Ignore that question mark. My comment was meant to be a statement, not a question?

      Dammit, did it again

  3. The left tell us that climate is going to kill us the right tells us terrorists are going to kill us and libertarians tell us that the Dollar is going to be worthless.

    Is it ok for libertarians to use scare tactics? and if not then why should libertarians act differently?

    Is there something innately wrong with scaring poeple into believing in small government when big government advocates use this tactic everyday?

    1. All fiat currencies crash just as sure as all people die. It is not a scare tactic.

  4. Libertarianism is a political nightmare. Objectivism is a cult.

    1. Good thing Barrack Obama came along – according to Chris Matthews, he’s a political wet dream. And the slavish following he inspired – and keeps, in spite of breaking every single promise he made – is noooothing like a cult of personality.

    2. Libertarianism, in its “pure” form is anarchism. Therefore, there are no politics associated with it. Libertarianism is “anti-politics”. Politics imply control.

  5. For more than a decade now, I have considered myself a Libertarian because it is the only U.S. political party that comes close to representing my views and vision for the future.

    However, I have yet to hear any talk from (outspoken, and thus, representative) libertarians on several fronts?one of which, I’ll raise here.

    For more than 5 decades (I would argue about a century) politicians and big business have supported feminarcissism to the detriment of nearly all aspects of quality of life for most members of our (Western) society (including most women). I have not heard libertarian spokespersons speak against this abomination while, for example, 25 to 30 million (mostly) good parents (mostly fathers) have had their families destroyed by the family-abandoning parent (for profit) and their immoral lawyers and sub-moral politicians. These 25 to 30 million have had numerous Constitutional rights denied and have had to endure years of slavery.

    This removal of choice from the majority of the population for the dishonest benefit of the immoral minority is unconscionable.

    This removal of choice (often called “choice” by the feminarcissists) has allowed U.S. women to rival Mao Zedong for the crown of who has murdered the most humans (Mao murdered about 70 million, U.S. women have now murdered about 50 million). Worse than Mao?whose victims were adult humans, however, women have murdered helpless babies.

    What’s nearly as disappointing (to me) as libertarians not speaking out against these atrocities, is that they regularly go on and on about the plight of perverts who are a small minority of the population, on such issues as “gay” rights. (I mean, really? 50 million murders vs. the “rights” of a very few to foist their private issues on the rest of us?including children in public schools? Really?)

    Democrats (Barry being a typical example) support feminarcissists because it increases their political power; Republicans (like Reagan et al.) support feminarcissists because it increases their political power.

    Why the silence from libertarians?

    1. Because as a movement we’re divided on whether a fetus is a real person with rights or not, and we’re too smart to let divisive single-issue trolls hijack our debates.

      1. “Because as a movement we’re divided on whether a fetus is a real person with rights or not”

        Bingo

        1. Tonio, jallgor,

          My position has little to do with whether or not one considers a fetus a real person or not; further, children don’t have constitutional rights in the same way as adults.

          Consistency is important.

          Women are free to kill an unborn or newly born baby, but if a man does the equivalent thing, he is charged, found guilty, and sentenced to imprisonment for murder. It is either murder or it isn’t.

          Do libertarians not care about consistency?

          Tonio. Your propensity to engage in name calling is indicative of your unwillingness to engage in debate.

    2. Sounds like the Constitution party is a better fit for you, with your social conservatism.

      1. Joe M,

        You didn’t address anything in my post and your post shows you are prone to making unfounded assumptions.

        Gays and feminarcissists own the Democrat party. They own the republican party because it is riddled with “white knights.”

        Are you gay?

        Regardless, are you trying to suggest that those who don’t support the gay agenda should be further marginalized?

        Why don’t you address even a single point from my post?

  6. Read my essay on Why Libertarians are wrong.

    1. Let me guess: blah blah blah social contract theory. blah blah blah needs of society. blah blah blah socialist, progressive platitudes. blah blah blah freedom means living how I say to live. blah blah blah libertarianism is bad because it hurts governments ability to control look out for people.

    2. It took all of the first chart you display to see that you do not understand libertarian beliefs. Libertarians do not believe that “worker activism is evil,” or that “the poor are pampered good for nothings.” if you don’t understand that, the rest of your response fails. Just to note on the latter, I donate to charitable organizations in my support of those who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. That is a part of the libertarian spirit – we wish to choose the organizations that we support in these endeavors, rather than have the government do so – and invariably the government does it poorly.

      1. Thanks for reading the first part for me so I don’t have to.

  7. Why do you have at least three comment sections for “ask a libertarian”?

  8. I can’t figure out how to use twitter. Is there something wrong with me and will I miss out on the revolution?

    1. It’s easy. Every time you do or see or think something mundane, you tweet it and the whole fuckin world will know exactly how mundane your life is.

  9. *Question*
    How can we, as Libertarians, influence politics away from the religious & emotional hijacks of the Right or the Left and promote government that chooses to relinquish power? (Especially when that takes public benefits away from large sections of the voting public – i.e. Medicare.)

    1. The only way to wrestle politics away from the religious right is to point out that religious values etc should be expressed by the individual and not the government. In fact, many religious values, certainly not all of them, are very good for the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of Americans, but only when embraced and expressed by the individual and not forced from the top.

      As far as the left is concerned, the core leftists are often specifically driving for some sort of centrally planned society so you just have to keep arguing with them about why central planning won’t work and hope those in the middle left will see the light.

      1. Regarding the religious right, it helps to show respect for religious beliefs. There are a lot of atheists among libertarians and while I think they are good people, they are often very hostile towards religion. If you are a true libertarian, you should not be so concerned with somebody else’s personal beliefs.

  10. *Question*
    How can Libertarian voters count on establishment candidates to hold to the Libertarian, ‘less-government’ approach, once they are voted into office? (Avoiding the complete reversal that we saw with Obama.)

    1. Once elected, political leaders are effectively above the law and therefore can NOT be trusted any farther than you can throw them. I don’t expect that to change. Just keep track, so that once your favorites have broken their word one time too many, you can dump them and let them know it. (Sites that rank politicians based on their votes, such as ntu.org and clubforgrowth.org, are good for this, and I highly recommend those two to libertarians.)

  11. Is gov’t good for anything other than mass murder?

    1. Not much.

      They hide in the woods making dragon noises all night an ride into town on a white horse to save the day just when you are scared out of your wits.

      I’ll break the windows, and you can come in to fix them. We can split the take okay?

  12. How do you educate people about natural rights as opposed to oppressive laws?

  13. My question – as a libertarian, how do I know that I’m not just a Republican who wants to smoke pot?

  14. Are you taking questions from here?

    Why should anyone vote?

  15. Since there seems to be some confusion, even among self-identified libertarians, could you tell us what the difference is between a libertarian and a Libertarian?*

    *I know what the difference is, and to me is a big deal, not just semantics!

  16. Libertarians are often described as “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” Is this an accurate description of libertarianism, or is there more to libertarianism than that?

  17. What do libertarians have to say about externalities (both positive and negative)?

  18. What is the libertarian position on enforcing existing law vis a vis illegal immigration and how would a libertarian change such laws given the chance?

  19. Why are there a bunch more videos in this series on facebook than here?

  20. I fired up the first video, and Matt thanked all of us for watching all the other videos.

    Why are you having a problem putting them in the correct order??

  21. “Together, we can make a difference” written underneath. Innuendo and implied militia bullshit followed

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