Is Rob Lowe a Libertarian? "I Want the Government Out of Almost Everything."


Well, we know that circa 1988, he was a Democrat. He not only campaigned for Michael Dukakis but helped usher in the modern celebrity sex scandal after being caught with two women (one of whom was just 16 years old) in an Atlanta hotel the night before the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Shortly after that, a sex tape of Lowe in a Paris hotel surfaced (NSFW).

But as Lowe pointed out in his excellent and well-received 2011 memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, he's changed a lot over the past 20-plus years. As a result of those scandals, he cleaned up his act and got his personal and professional lives together (he's the married father of two sons and has starred in a string of successful shows including The West Wing, Californication, and Parks & Recreation).

Now he's back with a new book, Love Life. And he tells The New York Times that he's a lot more together when it comes to politics, too:

You've compared loyalty to a political party to recreational drug use. You've been sober for several years now, so what did you mean by that? 

I find them both highly overrated. Each day another state makes it O.K. for my 18-year-old — any 18-year-old — to go and buy pot like he's buying a Pepsi-Cola, and so let's face it: In the United States, recreational drug use is sort of acceptable. Belonging to one party is acceptable. But my days of just ticking the party box are long over. I judge the candidates for who they are.

So what do you believe? 

My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.

Whole interview here.

NEXT: French Sugar Daddy Site Gets Caught In Anti-Prostitution Net

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I heard about the scandal, but I somehow missed the part about him being in town for a Democratic convention.

  2. My thing is personal freedoms, freedoms for the individual to love whom they want, do with what they want. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.

    Sounds pretty libertarian to me. At least, libertarian-ish.

    1. I wonder what he would have to say if, say, I asked him if people should be able to keep what they earn.

      1. It would have been interesting for the interviewer to pursue that a little more.

        1. I bet we would have all been disappointed. I can get about 85% of America to agree to small government until I ask about program X or Y.

          1. Sounds like he might be kinda left-libertarian, or maybe just a modern liberal who is good on those issues that modern liberals purport to be but usually aren’t. Notice he only talked about less government for social issues.

            1. “Left” libertarian is a contradiction in terms, AFAIAC

              1. Left libertarian is someone who scores near 100% on the social part of the Nolan Chart, and less but still respectable on the economic part.

                My former vice-Chair of the Hawaii LP started off as one such, being an advocate for trannies and sex workers and whatnot, though by the time I met her she was pretty close to 100/100 on the Nolan Chart.

              2. “”Left” libertarian is a contradiction in terms, AFAIAC”

                Tnen you’re an idiot.

      2. I would think that Lowe believes that is implied in his answer.

        1. I could be wrong, but I would bet money that if he actually answered that question, he would quickly start sounding like prog. Most progressives think that they want the government out of people’s personal lives, until you start prodding them about whether that applies to people’s decisions to do what they please with their money. While we understand it’s the same thing, they don’t.

          1. I think way more people in Hollywood vote Republican than they let on. Career suicide. But, many of them have money and probably resent losing so much to the government.

      3. I don’t want to assume, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he quickly found a number of things he thinks government should be in. Well of course the government should be involved in employer/employee relationships. Of course it should regulate workplaces. And somebody needs to invest in green energy. Etc.

    2. Just cut straight to the Burning Issue of the Day:

      “Rob, if you want the government out of almost everything, does that mean you support repeal of ObamaCare?”

  3. 1988 Atlanta. Those were the days. Atlanta had gone to shit by the 96 Olympics.

    And that LP Purity Test is a bitch, Rob.

    1. What the fuck are you babbling about?

      1. He’s still butthurt that you have to actually have a few libertarian principles to be considered a libertarian.

    2. You mean the “certification”? Do you understand that the LP adopted this to help document that it wasn’t trying to violently overthrow the government, in case the Nixonian era government decided to trump up charges and try to shut them down? Guess what? What goes around comes around and “the Oath” is as valuable as ever for its intended purpose.

    1. Hm.. interesting point. This may be a test comment to see if someone expressing vaguely libertarian ideas can get a Hollywood job.

  4. I’m trying to think of anything I’ve watched with him in it. Drawing a blank.

    Let’s look him up on imdb.

    Oh yeah, Austin Powers. Those movies sucked.
    Contact. That sucked.
    Wayne’s World. Another terrible movie.

    I’m starting to see a pattern here.

    1. What was wrong with Contact?

      And due, Parks and Rec.

      1. I thought Contact was pretty slow. Except for this scene:


        Oh, and the first launch vehicle blowing up was pretty cool.

        1. Oh no, you picked one of the most inaccurate scenes!!!

          I may have an outsized appreciation for Contact, as it hits close to him for me. But I think I also have a thing for “slow” movies.

      2. What was wrong with Contact?

        “Sat through that entire movie to see the alien and it was her goddamn father!”

    2. C’mon. He’s epic as the completely soulless agent in Thank You for Smoking. How long are you going to hold the song’n’dance with Snow White at the Oscars against him?

      1. and the guy was willing to perform fan service in both Samlem’s Lot and The Stand

    3. Imagine that – two movies called Wayne’s World! I saw the one that was good, you should look it up.

    4. Lighten up dude. Austin Powers (first 2 anyway) and Wayne’s World 1 were great.

    5. He was witty in West Wing, or at least the writers who wrote his lines were, and he was one of the funnier characters in Parks and Recreation, unlike that gratingly annoying statist Leslie.

      1. I refer to Parks and Rec in the past tense, since about in the middle of the third season the statist love got to be unbearable.

        1. Really? Ron Swanson continues to fight the good fight. He often even comes off as being the “winner”.

    6. You’re shitting on Wayne’s World and you expect me to take your 90s tastes seriously?

      1. schwing!

    7. The Austin Powers movie sucked, but his Robert Wagner impersonation was the best thing in it.

    8. Wayne’s World. Another terrible movie.

      Get out.

  5. Sounds like he’s been following the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.

  6. Best quote:

    Q: You’re starring in the movie “Sex Tape,” about a married couple whose intimate homemade video goes missing. Could this plotline even exist were it not for you?

    A: No, absolutely not. Considering I pioneered the field, it’s high time I actually made some money in it.

    1. I like a guy who can laugh at himself.

      1. Yeah, that is pretty funny. We should all be thanking him. If not for him we would not have this:


        Relatively NSFW.

  7. Is it possible that actors can grow a brain? Turn into a person?

    It appears maybe so.

  8. Rob Lowe Asks Donald Trump To Reconsider A Run, Tells Him He’d Be A ‘Great’ President


    1. Obama shoves O-care on the population.
      Sorry, turd, that’s worse.

  9. In fact, I want the government out of almost everything.

    Better than, “Who said you could do that?”

    I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. for now.

    1. He didn’t actually say anything in the interview to contradict that, though the interviewer did a crappy job of exploring what he meant by that.

      A few questions about taxes, regulation, Obamacare, guns, or the goodness or lack thereof of the POV of Ron Swanson would have been immensely clarifying.

    1. I was like extreme method acting, where you immerse yourself in the role decades before you ever see the script.

  10. “I want the government out of almost everything.”

    It’s that little word in front of “everything” that worries me.

  11. Frankly, his career has been downhill since Youngblood.

  12. He tweeted something about Atlas Shrugged being a great book. I’m a little embarrassed i know this.

  13. To judge from this picture, Rob Lowe now looks uncannily like Alexis Denisof, who until recently played Sandy Rivers in HIMYM, and currently plays the evil prince in Grimm. Both resemble Steven Colbert enough to be Hollywood versions of him in any biopic featuring him. All three are about the same age, so they could play brothers. Any casting directors paying attention? Don’t miss this opportunity!

    Note that Lowe pretty much played a libertarian (maybe of the “bleeding heart” sort) in the West Wing. At least, he was the regular character who most often articulated the libertarianish position. (Ainsley Hayes — played by Emily Procter — who was often used as a foil for Lowe’s character, actually seemed poised to “come out” as a libertarian during the show’s run, but Procter left for apparently much greener pastures, i.e., CSI:Miami, so that was that).

  14. Lowe ‘sort of’ supports gun owners which is something most left-leaning celebrities DON’T support.


    PIERS MORGAN: As a gun owner, you would have no problem if President Obama said, “I really want to push for these assault rifles in particular to be taken out of circulation.”

    ROB LOWE: Look, I wouldn’t because, I mean, I, look, I like guns, and I don’t want to own an assault rifle. I wouldn’t know what to do with one, I wouldn’t know why I’d want one. I also see that if you’re a law-abiding person, and you bought it under the law, having it taken from you, I could see why people would have a problem with that. But if they don’t do that, as you point out, it’s not really a ban, is it?


    LOWE: And I’m no social anthropologist, but I do think that the last thing viewers want is another Hollywood actor telling them anything about guns pro or con.

  15. I hope that Reason is planning to pursue an interview with Rob Lowe to flesh out his hopeful comment.

  16. Here’s his Atlas Shrugged tweet, which seems relevant: http://bit.ly/1k28IrP

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.