Ask a Libertarian

Ask a Libertarian: What Did We Learn?


Welcome to Ask a Libertarian 2012 with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, coming out in paperback with a new foreword covering Occupy Wall Street and more, on June 26.

In this round, Matt and Nick reflect on this year's Ask a Libertarian series and what the questions they were asked can tell us about current trends in libertarianism. 

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, and Tracy Oppenheimer with help from Katie Hooks.

To watch answers from 2011's Ask a Libertarian series, go here.

NEXT: Ask a Libertarian Lightening Round: Recalls, Libertarian Paternalism, & Tea Party v. Libertarians

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I learned that Matt and Nick don’t care about Hit and Run commentators.

    1. Well they shouldn’t, considering how much we make fun of them all the time.

      1. The American people are constantly looking for authority figures to make decisions for them. A declaration of resistance is called for.

  2. I learned from the questions that libertarians want to sneak their libertarianism on everyone else through subterfuge. It’s insidious. Libertarians must take America by the short hairs and force it on everyone from the top down. That’s the honest way.

    1. Good for you.

      1. Actually, by the mere act of talking about libertarianism, we’re *forcing* it on others.

        Tony said so.

        And, so do Freepers.

  3. In the end it was a tie with 6 costume changes each. If you don’t count the removal of the “jacket as cape” at the end, then it would be Nick with 7.

    1. Nick doesn’t remove The Jacket. The Jacket removes him.

    2. Chloe|6.12.12 @ 6:34PM|#
      In the end it was a tie with 6 costume changes each.

      Next year, they’re doing the whole thing in drag.

  4. I learned that I can watch videos all day at work and people think I’m just listening to music.

    1. People- including management- think that you are a productive worker because you look busy.

  5. After watching about a third of the videos, I’ve learned that hot blackberry pie piled on a Klondike bar is pretty fucking good. I’ll watch a few more videos while sipping this Well’s Banana Bread Beer I just opened measures up to the previous entree.

    1. There should another word or two in the last sentence above, but damned if I’m going back to figure it out.

      1. Are the words “Skrull” and “uvula”?

        1. I’ll watch a few more Skrull videos while sipping this Well’s Banana Bread Beer I just opened uvula measures up to the previous entree.

          WarrenT, I think you nailed it.

          This beer is more of a lager than I’m used to with ale plus fruit type drinks which to be on the dark side. Good though.

      2. Killazontherun, don’t figure anything out. Smoke some more dope.

  6. I learned that libertarians will turn infants into lubricant that will oil the gears of the machines that will flatten the rainforests to make the airstrips to land the planes that carry the drugs that will be used to intoxicate the parents of the infants so the infants can be more easily kidnapped and then made into the oil…

    1. You forgot the Guns, and the masses being converted into Corporate Slaves for the Plutocrats?…

        1. James Fucking Caan.

          1. Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan! Jimmy Caan!

      1. While working in nuclear power plants that spew radiation into rivers and streams that the corporations then drain to sell as drinking water to helpless women, children, and minorities at exorbitant prices, the profits of which are used to buy slave labor produced top hats and monocles from other wealthy corporate fat cats.

        1. Fuck you, slaver! I need a four sets of monocle top hat for every day of the year. You can’t really expect me to wear the same set for more than four hours at a time or to reuse them?

        2. Needs more Skrull. And uvula.

    2. WarrenT, while you libertarians were wasting your time on rediculous fantasies, I built a death ray in my basement.

      1. Great. Now can you get it up the stairs and through the door?

    3. When you say “make the airstrips”, are you implying that an entity other than the government will build the roads?

      Your entire screed lost its legitimacy, right there.

    4. The road to the monocle factory is paved with baby skins.

  7. I learned that there’s no end to the foolish ways one can be made to look via screencaps.

    1. Yes, but nothing will beat Nick’s sex face screencap for that interview he was doing while in Las Vegas.

  8. I learned what I always learn: nothing. I should learn not to do that.

  9. You can tell really easily that there is a green screen in the video.

  10. Here’s what I learned = I need to unsubscribe ReasonTV in my youtube account, because now there’s nothing but these things from top to bottom…

  11. I learned The Libertarian Case For Obama is still in the Reason archive.

    1. That’s awesome. If you take each bullet point and make it its opposite you’ll get what actually came to be.

      I’m guessing Terry used his life savings to go long on the Facebook IPO.

    2. Sweet mother of God, kill it with fire.

      1. Looks like somebody isn’t familiar with Terry Michael. I’ll just take the opportunity to post the content of one of his emails to me:

        “You are just a garden variety idiot. It is stunning how disgusting you are, whoever you are, hiding behind your cloak of anonymity.”

        I’m particularly proud of that one.

        1. No, I’m not familiar with him — I was referring to the article itself. I’m guessing he’s more of a liberaltarian, right?

          1. Terry came up with the term “Libertarian Democrat”. So, essentially, yes.

            He didn’t like the way some of us thought that “Libertarian Democrat” was as much of an oxymoron as “Libertarian Republican”.

            1. The contents of that article cause massive HERRRRRRRRRP DERRRRRRRRRP explosions to occur in my mind each time I reread them. Fuck me. It’s extraordinary how many people actually believed that shit.

              1. Yeah, that was sooooooo freakin’ hilarious. That’s the same reason I’m waiting 10 years to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” so I can LMAO. .

              2. I tried reading back then but my brain was not agile enough for the kind of gymnastics it would have to do to understand the Terry’s POV. And there ain’t no way I’m trying again four years on.

                1. Some idiot named Michael B Sullivan wrote this in the comments to that stupid piece:

                  There is absolutely no way that Obama and/or the Democratic congress will spend a trillion dollars more on healthcare than McCain would in the next eight years. There is every chance that McCain will spend a trillion dollars more on wars than Obama would. Comparing the Iraq war to eighty years of entitlement spending that McCain is never in a million years going to reduce is just stupid.

                  The government’s spending will be much, much, much higher under McCain than it would be under Obama — even if Obama gets his way and reforms healthcare. Which he probably won’t in any radical way.

                  Isn’t that fucking hilarious?

                  1. Oh and that Dan guy at 4:28 basically predicted everything. He must be living on a beach somewhere off his amazing stock skills.

        2. “I’m particularly proud of that one.”

          You should be, I’m actually a little jealous. Just tell me you don’t have any Fatwas out on you.

        3. I got a response from Terry in the comments this morning:


          1. I haven’t been to Chicks in Their Underwear for a while.

            1. The pause that refreshes. Thanks SIV. Keep up the good work.

      2. Best to nuke it from orbit

  12. I learned that 50 Shades of Grey has some competition in the poorly developed erotica genre.

    I also learned that Warty must have cloned himself in order for said book to exist.

    1. You do know theirs actual pornography on the internet right?

  13. Posting a dozen plus vanity videos makes the squirrels onery.

  14. I noticed the series is called “Ask a Libertarian” and that there are two people on the screen.

    I guess I learned that either Matt Welch or Nick Gillespie is not a libertarian.

  15. Something new for sloopy to get upset over:

    1. This isn’t a new thing. I can remember these existing back in the ’70s.

      Or maybe it’s all the years of drug use has caused my brain to banana ungulate frippery.

      1. I have no doubt but nowadays they are popular in both hipster and frat culture which is doubly evil (and kind of funny).

    2. Meh. I’ve been seeing those for decades. Give me something more rage-inducing.

      1. I give you: Donny and Marie

        1. [feels sharp chest pains]

      2. I find them more annoying than an artisan mayo shop but I suppose I wasn’t alive when they were previously popular.

  16. I learned that Reason won’t provide transcripts of the videos.

  17. I learned that smoking, drinking, being fat has little bearing on sperm count.…..le4253872/

  18. I learned that it’s not butter!

    1. we have to re-learn how to “elevate those who are extraordinary

      I’d like to see all the communitarians elevated with a rope.

    2. So long as that carries the corollary that you must be able to recognize unjust authority, revile it, resent it, and rebel against it, it’s far from the worst thing people have said.

  19. What? Tony’s not on this thread? Maybe he’s puking somewhere.

  20. Also check out what Libertarians are doing at

  21. I learned that if you tell NoScript to forbid the Hit and Run article page loads quickly and doesn’t chew up 20% of my computer’s CPU doing nothing.

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