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libertarian

News/World

Libertarian Maxime Bernier Narrowly Loses Canadian Conservative Party Leadership Election

Maxime Bernier, Quebec MP and former Foreign Minister, narrowly lost his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada on Saturday to Saskatchewan MP and former House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer by just 49% to Scheer’s 51%. Scheer is a close ally of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was criticized by libertarians during his tenure for his support for Keynesian-style stimulus spending. The relatively bland and generic Scheer is generally associated with the party establishment, while Bernier was seen as an outsider candidate. Bernier was believed to be the frontrunner in this race after the impromptu withdrawal of fellow outsider and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, who went on to endorse Bernier. However, the ranked ballot system used in the leadership election, which involves eliminating lower polling candidates and transferring their votes to the voter’s subsequent preferences, made the ultimate result difficult to predict. This system appears to have benefited Scheer, who had less personal support, but had the benefit of being less polarizing than other candidates. Bernier performed unusually poorly… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Authority As National Sanity

Somalia is not known for its natural beauty. Its landscape is rocky and dotted here and there with dusty shrubs and acacias poking through the sand. Less than two percent of the land is arable. It must be said that the ocean there is very beautiful and very blue, but turning away from the ocean to face the shore again brings back into view the rocky hillsides and the crumbling hovels that the Somalians call home. The political landscape of Somalia fares no better. It is a patchwork of warlords who have each parceled out a slice of mud to call his own, to rule according to his whims and fetishes. There are the Islamic warlords of al-Shabaab in the south, the government strongmen who collaborate with al-Shabaab when it suits them, the Somaliland separatists who want a separate nation in the north, and a thousand other men of questionable loyalties. To most people, Somalia is just another African sand-pie, a footnote at the end of a long and dismal… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Don’t Let Them Silence You

A leftist narrative gaining a lot of momentum in our current climate is “hate speech isn’t free speech!”, which, in essence, translates to “this speech, that you use, is not protected by the first amendment”. Seems a bit…convenient. Challenge this narrative, requesting a definition of “hate speech” and you will most likely find out that “hate speech” just means anything with which they disagree. This is why they don’t view your speech as permissible or even defensible under the law (the very law which they do not understand). Liberals also own this narrative so they no longer see it valuable to defend free speech at all. The left wing in American politics is increasingly becoming more radical now that they seem to have a monopoly on allowable opinions. From here on out, the tyranny of the mob dictates. The terrifying reality of this is the censorship effect. There are truly great and decent people who just don’t want to be branded racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. They don’t want to… Keep Reading

News

Trump: “Bannon’s More Of a Libertarian Than Anything Else”

Despite recent reports that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon had been sidelined within the administration, it appears he may be winning back the President’s favor. In an interview with Bloomberg, Trump defended Bannon, describing him as a “very decent guy who feels very strongly about the country” and had received a “bad rap” from the media. Trump also disputed the media’s portrayal of Bannon as an ‘alt-right’ figure, stating that he sees Bannon as “alt-left”, on the basis that “Bannon’s more of a libertarian than anything else.” Keep Reading

News

Rep. Thomas Massie: Trump Has ‘Exceeded Expectations’

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) suggested to the Washington Examiner on Friday that he is pleased with Trump’s progress so far, echoing his previous remarks in an interview with Breitbart. Referring to his colleagues in the House of Representatives, he said, “I think [Trump] has probably exceeded their expectations, frankly.” Massie then repeated his prior praise of Trump’s action on the TPP, and accused his colleagues of not giving Trump enough credit for the move. “You don’t hear that mentioned much because probably a lot of Republicans weren’t with him on that, and none of the Democrats want to give him credit for it.” Keep Reading

News

Paul, Massie Concerned About Growing Kushner Influence In White House

Australian libertarian politician David Leyonhjelm recently met with U.S. Senator Rand Paul and U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, two leading libertarian Republicans in Congress, during a trip to Washington. According to the The Australian, “the libertarian Republicans [Leyonhjelm] met believed Mr Trump was doing a good job so far, but still had a lot to prove.” Keep Reading

News

Libertarian Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Rising Star In Trump Administration

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is “on the rise” within the White House, according to a report by Politico on Tuesday. “When thinking about up and comers in the administration, think less about Gary Cohn, a New York City Democrat, and more about Mulvaney.” Recent reports that Gary Cohn, the former President of Goldman Sachs, was gaining clout in the White House, concerned many conservatives. Cohn, who is close to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has had a tenuous relationship with former Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon, who is rumored to have been sidelined in recent weeks. Cohn is widely regarded as a centrist establishment figure, while Bannon is seen as more in line with Trump’s grassroots base. If Bannon’s stature continues to fade, Mulvaney could provide an important anti-establishment counterweight to Cohn within Trump’s inner circle, especially given Cohn is now reportedly pushing policies such as a carbon tax and revenue neutral tax reform that are in direct contradiction to the will of the Republican electorate, and the administration is already said to have scrapped the Trump campaign tax plan. Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

On Libertarian Arrogance

Recently, I was privy to an exchange on social media that highlighted the intellectual and moral arrogance observed in many libertarians. Certain members of the Liberty Movement seem to be so sure of their superiority that they miss the authoritarian allure of a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Turning a blind eye (or turning up our noses) at those we disagree with will not help advance the ideas about individual rights, the rule of law, benefits of markets, or any of the other foundations upon which so many of us base our worldviews if not our careers. Rather than dismiss those arguments that we happen to disagree with by claiming some de facto intellectual, empirical, or moral superiority, we should instead be willing to engage with conservative and liberal arguments on their own terms. There is simply no better way to refute bad arguments, improve electoral opportunities, and gain adherents to ideas that have been indispensable in shaping the freedom and prosperity of the western world. Keep Reading

immigration
Philosophy

The Only Fair Immigration Policy? None At All

The immigration debate is one of contention, hurt feelings, and misinformation. Groups defending different approaches often use faulty knowledge and divisive rhetoric, all while ignoring important points being made by both sides. As a result, truth and basic moral principles are ignored — by everyone. Especially those who mean well. As explained by Mises Institute’s president Jeff Deist, national borders mark “the edge of a particular territory over which a political entity — a state — claims exclusive jurisdiction.” By definition, anything under the control of the state requires a border — physical or otherwise. Much like the market, where governments claim to have the power to regulate service and product providers, setting the standards both consumers and entrepreneurs must meet. The state sets boundaries by default. The natural rights of man aren’t the state’s problem. In a stateless society, however, boundaries are set by the individual. Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

Planned Parenthood And Progressive Perversion Of Rights

As we draw closer to the inauguration of our 45th president we also draw closer to the long overdue repeal of the ironically titled Affordable Care Act. Informally known as Obamacare, this abomination, much like its namesake, never should have become a reality. It’s fitting that as Obama leaves office congress will almost simultaneously rid our nation of this cancerous boil once and for all. It must, of course, be done with a replacement immediately on its heels – the last thing the Republican dominated congress should do is leave the American people hanging. If they do it right, the Grand Old Party stands a damn good chance of showing our progressive friends what progress really looks like. Of all the liberal whining that will surely emerge from the excision of this tumor from the law of our land, one can be sure some of the loudest sobs will be directed at Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. This measure will more than likely be written into whatever budget… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

The Death Of Definition: How 2016 Reset America’s Political Spectrum

Among the many time-honored structures left in ruins by the 2016 presidential process, perhaps nothing has suffered more than our comfortable set of political labels. Terms like “conservative”, “progressive”, “liberal”, “libertarian”, and even “classic liberal” (courtesy, Speaker Paul Ryan) have been growing dull for years, but this year seems to have become so useless that warring activists under each label were forced to drop their weapons, crawl out of their respective trenches, scratch their heads, and try to figure out which side they really belonged on. Who can blame them? Every election has its share of word-bending, but 2016 dropkicked our traditional categories completely by nominating two remarkably similar New York moderates claiming to represent opposite sides of the political spectrum. Keep Reading

Politics

SOURCE: Thomas Massie Being Considered For Trump Administration Post

A confidential source on the Trump transition team has told The Liberty Conservative that Rep. Thomas Massie, an award-winning, MIT-educated engineer, elected to Congress in 2012, is under consideration for the job of Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a role commonly known as Science Advisor to the President. Massie currently serves as Chairman for the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation in the House of Representatives. Massie’s office did not respond to our requests for comment. Keep Reading

History/Philosophy

Strange Women Lying In Ponds Distributing Swords Is The Only Basis For a Form Of Government

Kingdom of Kent, Saxon England, 932 – Newly anointed King Arthur tours his realm seeking knights for the round table at Camelot. He bore with him the decree of none other than God Himself, ordained by Heaven to rule the Angles and Saxons. Alas, for yon head-choppy days of yore were dark times for God’s anointed to the Throne of England. For there were those who questioned the legitimacy of his claim to the Crown. Stopping to confer with two lowly peasants in a marsh in the wilderness west of Canterbury, he demanded fealty. The peasant demanded by what right he claimed to be their king, since they didn’t vote for him. King Arthur replied that the Lady of the Lake had bestowed upon him the great Sword Excalibur. “Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords? That’s no basis for a form of government!” And after explaining that they would not recognize a government that did not rule by the people for the good of the community, they went… Keep Reading

Politics

Regardless Of The Outcome, Political Carnage Is Guaranteed After The Election

We are only a few weeks away from the election. Although everyone and their mother say (as always) that this is the most important election of our lifetime, I’m not all that concerned about the outcome. Although Trump would likely be much less horrific President than Hillary, federal-level politics are screwed regardless of the outcome of this preposterous little popularity contest. All I care about is the show, and that the spectacle from the circus is causing serious damage to the political system at large. During this particular cycle, I have not been disappointed. “The Donald” has kicked the madness up several notches. The amount of toxicity within the political system has to be at an all-time high, and libertarians should be delighted with these developments. We are witnessing the great unraveling take place right before our very eyes. Although Rand Paul and Ted Cruz failed in their Presidential runs this year and that disappointed many dedicated liberty activists, what has resulted is a delightful silver lining that few… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

“The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed”:

A Review of the Libertarian Case for the Trump Process” Ann Coulter just released her book on Donald Trump.  I haven’t yet read it, and though Coulter has been outstanding in what she’s been saying for the last year or so on such issues as immigration, Trump, and the treacherousness of the GOP, the truth of the matter is that for decades, Coulter has been a GOP-booster. Recall, it was during just the last presidential election cycle that Coulter not only supported, but enthusiastically supported, Mitt Romney: Coulter actually wrote an article in which she called for “three cheers for Romneycare!” Romney’s socialization of Massachusetts’ medical industry Coulter declared “a massive triumph for conservative free market principles.” Coulter also described Romney as “our strongest candidate” in 2008.  But in 2011, Ann was positively giddy over Chris Christie.  In fact, one year before she resurrected her love affair with Mitt, Coulter implored Christie to save us from…Romney! Republicans “need” to run Christie or else Romney will be the candidate, she said,… Keep Reading

Politics

The Allied Liberation Of Europe Was Just And Right, And Saying So Doesn’t Make You a Warmonger

On June 6th, 1944, thousands of Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy and began what we know as the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe. One the eve of D-Day, as those soldiers, sailors, and airmen prepared to take part in the largest amphibious invasion in military history – an operation that would see thousands of them give the last full measure of devotion on the beaches of Normandy – they read the following words from the Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.” But was Operation Overlord indeed a great crusade for which liberty-loving… Keep Reading

Politics

3 Ways To Become a Conservatarian Superstar Over Summer Vacation

Hooray!!! The semester is over. But deep down, you know you miss the intellectual political conversations with friends from campus and are yearning to still be politically engaged. Here are three ways to hone in your political philosophy and become a conservatarian superstar while away from your college on summer vacation. 1. Don’t allow that free time to go to waste, educate yourself! The summer is prime time to get up to date on all political happenings. While relaxing and working on your tan by the pool, bring a copy of  The Libertarian Reader with you or read the trending news stories of the day on your iPad. On that same note, stay “social.” Social networking sites, like Twitter, often give readers access to news information that is not covered by the mainstream media. And many times, twitter users get access to breaking news faster than news outlets. If you’re not much of a reader, attend educational seminars like The Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School, the Institute For Humane Studies Summer Seminars, or Turning… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

The Libertarian Party Vs. Austin Petersen

On the night of the first ever nationally televised Libertarian Party presidential debate, myself and a small group of fellow writers, editors, and activists were invited by Libertarian Party candidate Austin Petersen to an after party of sorts in downtown New York City. It was history in the making – for the first time, national news had covered a debate between candidates seeking a nomination for this party, which was not one of the two viable political parties in the Republicans and Democrats (though if the state of those factions as of 2016 counts as “viable” today, I’m not sure how much credence we should give that definition). What this meant was that the mainstream news media was finally willing to take a third party ticket seriously, or at the very least, seriously enough to bother paying attention to us. This should have been a cause for celebration for us, and yet, an attitude of cautious optimism seemed to permeate the air in the room instead. Austin Petersen made… Keep Reading

Politics

Iowa Just Destroyed The “Rand Or Nobody” Narrative

Iowa was the final act for a number of presidential candidates, including liberty candidate Sen. Rand Paul – but the reason Paul dropped might come as a shock to many. Though the Rand campaign made many overtures to his father’s base in the final months, Rand Paul did not carry the Iowa libertarian vote. Among the chief victims of the dramatic Ted Cruz win Monday night was the “libertarians won’t vote for Cruz” narrative pedaled for the last year by the Rand Paul campaign. The caucus results have been sliced and diced a hundred ways, and with Sen. Rand Paul’s subsequent exit from the presidential race, the question of where the liberty vote will go is finally being asked — a question Iowa already answered. Sen. Cruz’s win was hailed as a show of power for Iowa’s evangelicals, but the math simply doesn’t add up for that narrative. Even if Cruz benefited from the Trump-inspired turnout bump — for which there is little evidence — that doesn’t explain his leapfrogging Trump and finishing more than… Keep Reading

Politics

How To Get Forced Into Saying “I Told You So” Without Trying

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article for Liberty Conservatives Magazine predicting that the Rand Paul campaign would not see success in terms of voter numbers, but instead would leave a legacy with much larger implications than a short term presidential bid would normally have. I argued that Rand’s maverick approach to not only 2016, but his entire career as a politician thus far would go on to influence politics in a positive, long-term way, and that his supporters (a camp I find myself weaving in and out of depending on the issue at hand) should celebrate that fact rather than mourn the loss Rand’s current run was likely going to suffer. That was a positive article. It was pro-Rand Paul. But it was also realistic — something I frankly think the Paul fandom at large has a lot of trouble being at times. The people who read this aforementioned article had mixed results, but no comments I got directly were nearly as positive as I felt while… Keep Reading

Politics

Why Rand Paul’s Campaign Will Go Down In History

I haven’t written much about Rand Paul in a while – not because I don’t like the guy, but because I feel like his most loyal endorsers are often the better sort to be writing about his current campaign. After all, those who love you most are the best voices to have in your corner when you’re trying to become the next leader of the free world. But now that Rand’s campaign looks to be coming to a forced, rousing, and highly resisted end sooner than later (though I would be happy to be wrong on that prediction), I feel there is now something more I can say about it worth listening to – even for people like myself who weren’t 100% on board with his decisions made along the way. First and foremost, Rand Paul aligns with many of American voters’ views on the issues. He may be more staunchly right-leaning than more outwardly libertarian politicians like Gary Johnson, but his anti-establishment, anti-spying, anti-war, anti-drone, and anti-drug war… Keep Reading

Philosophy

My Brand Of Liberty Isn’t Dictated By Yours

By any sensible, historical definition, I am a libertarian. I also find myself more often than not feeling the need to apologize for other libertarians’ behavior in the social sphere. And some of the most fiery debates I have these days are with fellow self-proclaimed liberty lovers who would rather tell me how wrong I am about monetarist economics, how fascist I am for having gone to a publicly recognizable school, how I’m a leftist because I’m pro-choice, and how, because of all of these disputes and more, I couldn’t possibly be a “real” libertarian. Both of these realities are unfortunate and philosophically needless. Getting libertarians to hold a ubiquitous opinion on much of anything aside from the autonomy of the individual is oxymoronic. Grouping libertarians is a lot like herding cats, and as the great Michael Shermer has already pointed out, our individualistic nature is somewhat incompatible with party politics. Even so, we try so very hard. We formed a political party with a mission statement and real life candidates, and… Keep Reading

Politics

Ted Cruz Should Be Every Ron Paul Supporters’ Second Choice

Rand Paul is without doubt my first choice for the presidency. As the most libertarian member of the United States Senate, and the son of Ron Paul, Rand is strongly deserving of our support and I wholeheartedly endorse him for President of the United States. However, should he be unsuccessful in his presidential campaign and choose to leave the race at any time in the next few months, we should keep our options open, for there is clearly another candidate in the race with strong liberty credentials. 1. Ted Cruz is one of the most fiscally conservative members of the United States Senate. He boasts a 98% lifetime score from FreedomWorks and a 96% lifetime score from the Club for Growth. He has consistently voted for spending cuts and lowering taxes, and has repeatedly stood up to the establishment’s last-minute deals that do nothing more than increase the national debt. Whilst it is fair to criticize him on the very few occasions where he has not stuck to his core free market  principles, the… Keep Reading

Politics

End The Wrong-Headed War On Drugs

The great debate on the effectiveness of the War on Drugs has emerged and caused tremendous angst to big government social conservatives. We are told by authorities that violent crime, rape, and murder will become the norm if marijuana is legalized. While libertarians question the effectiveness of spending $45,000 a year to put a non-violent drug offender behind bars for 5-20 years. That’s right. The War on Drugs requires us to pay salaries, benefits and pensions to law enforcement, the prison system, the judiciary, and myriad other personnel. It’s cheaper to send these drug offenders to Harvard. Yet libertarians are misguided if we think society will tolerate irresponsible behavior. There are two sides to freedom. One is our right to privacy, the other is personal responsibility. It is interesting to note that many conservative icons associated with morality and civic virtue have called for the decriminalization or the complete legality of smoking marijuana. They include Sarah Palin, who says, “What people do in the privacy of their own living… Keep Reading

Politics

An Open Letter To Social Conservatives

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” – St. Augustine Dear Social Conservatives, I hesitate to address you by that name in a political sense, because being socially conservative isn’t really a theory of government, it’s a theory of culture.  One could be socially conservative in a totally stateless environment.  That’s why there’s been a high degree of overlap between your endeavors of late and those of the Liberty Movement, and that’s why many of us can comfortably identify ourselves as socially conservative libertarians. Now of course the Liberty Movement is incredibly diverse, and has shown an uncanny ability to unite a wide range of political and social groups in a quest to reduce the size and scope of government.  Some of us are socially liberal, some are socially conservative.  Some walk the Randian line between liberty and anarchy, and others just want a return to the government of the Founders.  Some want to legalize drugs to use drugs.  Others want to legalize drugs because we… Keep Reading

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