IS THIS AMERICA'S LIBERTARIAN ERA? For the first time, several libertarians are members of Congress, and more Americans say they want government "to do less." Reason editors Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie say America has entered into a "libertarian era," and libertarians will be taken seriously. I sure hope so.
RON PAUL REVOLUTION: Former presidential candidate Ron Paul did more than most anyone to get Americans interested in liberty. He says libertarians might be the future of the GOP.
CONSERVATIVE RESISTANCE: Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, says the libertarian surge is a "blip" and libertarians are naïve when it comes to foreign policy. We'll debate.
NEXT GENERATION: Students for Liberty Co-founder, Alexander McCobin, says the student libertarian movement is growing, and is already bigger than college Republicans and Democrats. Students for Liberty recently held conferences in Chile, Venezuela and Nigeria. Students Barbie Sostaita and Matthew La Corte say they see more young people and their colleges taking an interest in the ideas of liberty. They give me hope.
THE LIBERTARIAN CELEBRITY: There are a few: Vince Vaughn, Drew Carey, Kurt Russell and Tom Selleck. I'll try to book them in the future. Tonight illusionist Penn Jillette talks about how he got turned on to these ideas.
MY TAKE: I didn't even know what "libertarianism" meant when I started reporting. I was one more liberal consumer reporter. Bashing business and calling for more government regulation won me 19 Emmys. But then I learned that government regulations drown life in red tape, and didn't even stop scams. By contrast, market competition policed business, rewarded good ones and punished bad ones. Competition protects consumers better than government. Life is best when government backs off, and allows people to do anything that's peaceful.