Rep. Thomas Massie on Shakedowns, Cronyism—and Why He's Sticking With the GOP

"I didn't come to Washington to make friends."


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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) is a thorn in the side of the GOP establishment. He has voted against so many bills, including measures championed by his own party, that in 2013 Politico dubbed him "Mr. No."

Elected to Congress in 2012 at the height of the Tea Party movement, Massie is an MIT-trained engineer with 24 patents to his name. He founded SensAble Technologies, a pioneering tech company specializing in 3D scanning and touch computing.

He drives an electric car and lives with his family in an off-the-grid farmhouse, the subject of a new documentary produced by Free the People. But while Massie considers himself an environmentalist, he co-sponsored legislation last year to disband the Environmental Protection Agency. Solar panels may be the energy source of the future, he says, but that doesn't mean we have to mandate or subsidize their use.

Reason sat down with Massie at FreedomFest in Las Vegas to discuss his battles with the Republican establishment, how Trump's tariffs are breeding cronyism, why federal marijuana prohibition will come to an end, and the impact that he and his fellow libertarians in Congress are having on policy. A member of the GOP, Massie also explains why he won't be switching over to the Libertarian Party anytime soon.

Edited by Justin Monticello. Shot by Jim Epstein and Paul Detrick. Additional graphics by Austin Bragg. Music by The Grand Affair.

Photo Credits

Photograph of the Perspecta volumetric display courtesy of Actuality Systems, Inc.

Photo of Massie: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS/Newscom

Photographs of Thomas Massie outside his congressional office and speaking for the Ron Paul Institute courtesy of Gage Skidmore (

Photographs of John Boehner by Gage Skidmore (

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