Humans of FreedomFest, Part 4: "My father used…'libertarian' as a swear word."
Portraits from the world's largest annual gathering of libertarians.
Editor's note: FreedomFest, held every July in Las Vegas, is the largest annual gathering of libertarians in the country. Today is the first day of the four-day long conference, which is being headlined in its 10th year by William Shatner, John Stossel, Greg Gutfeld, and others. Taking inspiration from the site Humans of New York, Reason is happy to offer Humans of FreedomFest, a series of portraits and brief interviews with various attendees. To read previous installments, go here.
"My father used the word 'libertarian' as a swear word. 'Oh that's libertarian'… But I was a marxist at the time so I thought, well that's not something I should be. It took me a long time to get over that. I was an anarchist to begin with when I was 15. Then I was a socialist, kind of a Joan Baez socialist. I played the guitar… I know more socialist songs than my socialist colleagues. I wasn't a scholarly Marxist. I read half the Communist Manifesto and I figured that was enough. But the songs were terrific."
Stephen L Mandaro
"Because I'm pro-choice, among the Republicans sometimes I get into trouble. But I'm a physician. So I leave it to the patient to decide what they want. My feeling, being pro-choice, is that it's a woman's individual decision. Not mine."
"Back in England, at the London School of Economics, he was a socialist when I met him. When we first met."
So did you turn him into a libertarian?
"No. Buying private property, having rent control slammed on us, is what radicalized us."
…Who are you people?
"We can't decide."
Are those your real names?
"We're coming to a conference on privacy. It would be crazy to register in your own name!"
…Can I take your picture?
This is part of a series. Read previous installments here.