Why Not Vote Libertarian?

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Joshua Huffman with 2012 Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson at the 2016 Virginia Libertarian Convention

VC Note:  On April 2nd, the Daily News Record (my local paper) published an opinion piece from Mr. Allen Clague III entitled “Be Careful in Voting Libertarian”.  In the article, Mr. Clague attempts to dissuade citizens from voting for Libertarian candidates by using some flimsy or just plain wrong reasons, such as the party and her candidates are secretly well funded by billionaires and their shadow groups.  After reading it, I felt it required a response.  Here is what I wrote which appeared in the April 16th edition of the paper.  The paper created the title for this piece.

 

After reading Mr. Allen Clague III’s open forum piece from April 2nd called “Be Careful in Voting Libertarian”, I thought it needed both some factual clarifications and a rebuttal.

First, I do not know of many people who would call Ted Cruz “a libertarian cloaked as a Republican.”  For example, his desire to see “if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out” presumably due to the use of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, coupled with his support for religious profiling of Muslims in America and his calls for the government to force Apple to unlock their iPhone are all decidedly unlibertarian positions.  And these are just a few examples.

Furthermore, as Republican Representative Justin Amash (MI-3) wrote in his endorsement of Ted Cruz, “Ted is not a libertarian and doesn’t claim to be.”  Therefore, I believe it is an error to associate Ted Cruz as a standard-bearer or even a foot soldier in the libertarian movement.

Second, I’ve never heard of a group called Citizens for Prosperity.  There was a group called Citizens for a Sound Economy, but it split in 2004 to create Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. Although some people claim that Americans for Prosperity is a front for the Libertarian Party, in my experiences I have never seen them promote a single Libertarian candidate or official but have witnessed them helping Republican candidates and officeholders.

Now, to be fair to Mr. Clague, perhaps he didn’t write the headline associated with his piece.  After all, I have found that when I write for the Daily News Record my titles often change.   However, I agree that one should always be careful in voting, regardless of which candidate or political party you choose to support.  Unfortunately some voters don’t take the time to learn about their choices, instead blindly assuming that a party’s candidate follows a certain set of principles, which often is untrue.

Sure, there are some people who like to throw out the names of political bogeymen.  If you are on the left, the Koch brothers are evil masterminds bent on world control or if you are on the right, it is George Soros pulling the puppet strings of others.   Although it makes for an interesting story, each side assumes that these men wield an unbelievable amount of power and control over our political process.  It is easy to say that we have no say in what happens.  However, if you don’t like the way your city or county government is run then it is up to each of us to make a change.  Do you think your state or federal government representatives are corrupt?  Then mount a challenge to vote them out of office.  It’s really that simple.  If that means voting for a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or independent candidate, have at it.  Don’t toe a party line again and again simply because you’ve always voted that way.

What is Libertarianism if it isn’t a scheme to make the Koch brothers and their allies rich?  Well, unlike some other political philosophies, my understanding is that libertarianism advocates a very limited government, one that protects life, liberty, and property, while doing little else.  I do not believe that one should use the power of the government to take from our neighbors to enrich either our friends or ourselves.

Friends, don’t be scared away from voting for the best person in each election regardless of political affiliation.  Despite what some people may say, sometimes voting for Libertarians is the best option.  It certainly beats the lesser of two evils!  And, if you think that some secretive, well-funded group controls the Libertarian Party, I have some disappointing news for you.  After all, if they were, don’t you think we would have seen some extremely well funded Libertarian campaigns by now?  I’ve been involved in politics since I was a student at Harrisonburg High School in the mid to late 90s.  As soon as I get my first check from the Koch brothers the readers of the DNR will be the first to know!

Goodlatte, Liberty & Security

Our Representative, Bob Goodlatte

Last night, as a result of the debate that was going on in the U.S. Senate over renewing provisions of the Patriot Act, Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) posted the following message on Facebook:

“Pleased that the Senate acted wisely to proceed with debate on the USA Freedom Act. This decision is long overdue. However, I’m disappointed that the Senate has stalled and will not vote on it tonight. Because of Senate’s irresponsible inaction, three national security provisions will expire at midnight. I urge the Senate to act as expeditiously as possible to approve the USA Freedom Act, without amendment and without delay, so that we protect Americans’ civil liberties and our national security.”

Although 52 people indicate that they “like” what Representative Goodlatte wrote (at this time of the writing of this piece), a greater number of individuals offer comments, and a vast majority of these are in opposition to the representative’s stance.  Let me offer a few examples:

Some are statements of support for Senator Rand Paul’s efforts to stop or delay renewal.

I stand with Rand. Sic semper tyrannis.

“#Istandwithrand

Others compare Representative Goodlatte to Representatives Justin Amash and/or Thomas Massie, generally regarded as the most pro-liberty members of the House of Representatives.

You, sir, are a hypocrite — you read the Constitution once a session out loud, and ignore it the rest of the time. The USA Freedom Act is almost as dangerous to liberty as the Patriot Act was. Have even read the whole thing? The 6th District deserves a Massie or an Amash — perhaps you should learn from them.

Maybe you should adopt Congressman Thomas Massie‘s position on it. His is much more in line with the Constitution and the 4th Amendment.

A handful call for Goodlatte’s removal from office or express hopes that he is not re-elected.

You sir should resign. You DO NOT represent the people.

I cannot wait for a tea party candidate to run against you. You John McCain and Lindsey Graham are all cut from the same cloth.

However, the top three “liked” responses to Representative Goodlatte’s post are as follows:

3. “I cannot possibly disagree with you more. The Patriot Act has destroyed Americans’ civil liberties. We should hail the expiration of the three unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act as a renewal of the Fourth Amendment.

2. “You urge them to expeditiously vote to violate our 4th amendment rights? What about that oath you took??

1. “A good Virginian would follow the foot steps of those before him and stand hand and hand with that great Senator. Freedom does not spy on ‘we the people’ that is tyranny.

I suppose the question is, do these 71 comments accurately express the will of the people in the 6th congressional district of Virginia?  Is Representative Goodlatte out of step with his constituents on this matter?  And, if so, will this issue be the tipping point and give rise for an opponent to challenge Bob Goodlatte in 2016?

ISFLC 2015

On February 13th, 14th, and 15th, Students for Liberty held their annual International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C.  Some of the featured speakers this year included: Former Representative Ron Paul, Andrew Napolitano, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, and, via satellite, Edward Snowden.

This year’s ISFLC marked my third, having previously attended in 2013 and 2014.  Unfortunately, as was the case last year, no students from James Madison University made the journey.  Nevertheless, Nicholas Farrar, the former president of Madison Liberty did make the conference.

I intended to attend only on Saturday, but on Friday morning I received a call.  Apparently a group of students traveling to the conference from Nashville, TN, broke down in Mt. Jackson, VA, about thirty miles north of my home.  As luck would have it, they ran into a Methodist minister (who also happened to be my last roommate from college) who contacted me.  I was unable to find anyone who could transport the students the rest of the way to the conference and therefore prepared to do so myself.  However, right before leaving Harrisonburg, I received word that a bus coming from Texas would pick up the stranded students and thus that particular crisis was averted.

Early Saturday morning, I left for ISFLC along with a new friend and local Democratic activist.  The drive north was uneventful, though I was disappointed to discover that the conference was not in the same location as it had been the previous two years.  After parking, we made our way from the garage through a dimly lit maze of hotel corridors until we found the check-in counter.  While waiting for the annual taping of the Stossel Show, we explored the various informational tables.  A handful of groups, like YAL, the Koch Institute, and the Libertarian Party had booths in very visible locations while the majority were clustered on a lower floor.  During this time, we ran into the 2014 West Virginia Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate John Buckley.

Marc Allen Feldman
Marc Allen Feldman

One of the first fellows who reached out to me was Marc Allen Feldman, an individual who is seeking the 2016 Libertarian nomination for president.  Although neither the Republican or Democratic Parties has ever had a booth at ISFLC, The Republican Liberty Caucus did, staffed by former RLC national chairman Dave Nalle.

As we sought out lunch, we ran into Representative Thomas Massie (KY-4).  He was speaking to a gathering of students on a variety of topics.  IMG_2805

Over a hundred people stood in line for well over a half an hour as we awaited entrance to attend the Stossel Show.

IMG_2815Although not boasting a list of controversial speakers as they had in previous years, the program did include Representative Justin Amash (MI-3) and a variety of folks who spoke about the abridgement of students’ rights on college campuses, not only in this country, but internationally as well.

Afterward, Representatives Amash, and Massie as well as Young Americans for Liberty leader Jeff Frazee, spoke to a rather sizable gathering of students. IMG_2824

As I mentioned to him before the conference, I would have liked to speak to Representative Amash in person too, but the opportunity never presented itself.  Nevertheless, I was able to snap a photo of him as he hurried from one meeting to the next.  IMG_2827

Given the threat of snow, we decided to leave the conference around 5 PM.  I found that unlike previous conferences, parking was exceedingly expensive, $33 for about seven hours.

The drive back started out relatively uneventfully, though a light snow began to fall as we took I-66 through Manassas.  By the time we reached Front Royal, the snow reduced visibility to several feet and so I pulled off the road, hoping that the weather would subside, worried that I’d have to spend the night in my car.  After a short pause, the snow became lighter and so we continued on.  Shortly after turning on to I-81, we were forced off the highway and told the interstate was closed due to several tractor trailer wrecks.  Switching to US-11, the journey slowly advanced south for several miles until we could return to the interstate.  Although the roads were not in the best condition, we were able to return to Harrisonburg without incident.  A drive that normally takes about two hours instead took four.

All in all, it was another enjoyable conference, though it is my sincere hope that many JMU students will be able to experience it for themselves in 2016.

Football & Politics

Image from waitingfornextyear.com

Today, like many other Sundays in the autumn, many of us gather together to cheer on our favorite football teams.  For me, that means the New York Giants, who have had a rather dismal season thus far and have already been eliminated from any hopes of a playoff spot.  When you look at it objectively, my life doesn’t really improve if my team wins or diminish if it loses.  The Giants blue and red has no greater value in the great scheme of things than the Redskins burgundy and gold or the Cowboys navy and silver.  Although fun, most of us realize that it is merely a game, a diversion to entertain us every fall and winter.  No team really subscribes to any kind of philosophy or ethic…the only goal is to win.

Are political parties any different?  Are they merely a collection of politicians and activists looking to get “their people” elected and to ensure that “their people” acquire power?  A number of my Republican friends are cheering Saturday’s defeat of Mary Landreau in the run-off race in Louisiana. But how many of us were a part of that campaign?  How many of us can even vote in Louisiana?  I wasn’t involved in either capacity.  Though, on the other hand, I suppose I did have a bit of a hand in the process, working for a pro-life group who supported Bill Cassidy.  Nevertheless, from my research it seemed that from an ideological perspective, Rob Maness would have been a far better choice than Cassidy.

So, next year the Republican Party will increase its majority in the House of Representatives and gain the Senate as a result of the 2014 midterm elections.  The important question to ask is, what does this mean for conservatives and libertarians?  Will Congress now take a firm stand against the unconstitutional overreaches of the president?  Will they work to actually cut the size and scope of the federal government?  Will they try to cut the exploding federal deficit?  And if they engage in the above activities will it be because they actually believe that it is the right thing to do or merely to oppose a Democratic president?  After all, so many of the Republicans in office now were active conspirators in the effort to expand federal power under the presidency of George W. Bush.  The first test will be whether Republicans continue to give the reins of power to people with little ideological principle like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

I’m very hopeful that at least a few, solid individuals were elected in the Republican wave of 2014.  After all, the GOP needs a heck of a lot more people like Ron Paul and Justin Amash while at the same time rejecting the John McCains and Lindsey Grahams.

I do caution those of us who love liberty that while November 4th was a victory for the Republican Party, it wasn’t necessarily a victory for us.  In the next two years, will the government allow us to keep more of our own money in our pockets?  Will it work to restore our civil liberties here and abroad?  Will it curtail needlessly entangling itself in civil wars and the internal affairs of foreign nations?  Will it actually obey the limits placed upon it by the Constitution and insist the president do likewise?  If the answer to all of these questions is no, then the only thing that happened last month was that the red Republican team defeated the blue Democratic team and the most recent election was as meaningless and hollow as the Giants trouncing of the Tennessee Titans today.

The Freedom Act Farce?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed something called the “Freedom Act”.  According to Justin Amash (MI-3), one of the co-sponsors of this bill, the original purpose of this piece of legislation was to curtail the abuses to privacy by the federal government.  As he puts it, “At its best, the Freedom Act would have reined in the government’s unconstitutional domestic spying programs, ended the indiscriminate collection of Americans’ private records, and made the secret FISA court function more like a real court—with real arguments and real adversaries.”

However, between the time the legislation was written and the time that it made it to be voted upon, the power and intent of the bill changed dramatically.  Amash goes on to add, “This morning’s bill maintains and codifies a large-scale, unconstitutional domestic spying program. It claims to end ‘bulk collection’ of Americans’ data only in a very technical sense: The bill prohibits the government from, for example, ordering a telephone company to turn over all its call records every day.

“But the bill was so weakened in behind-the-scenes negotiations over the last week that the government still can order—without probable cause—a telephone company to turn over all call records for ‘area code 616’ or for ‘phone calls made east of the Mississippi.’ The bill green-lights the government’s massive data collection activities that sweep up Americans’ records in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

Even though the bill passed 303-121, with both Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi voting for it, as the bill was so markedly changed, most of the bill’s 152 original co-sponsors voted no including: Republicans Justin Amash, Scott Garrett, Timothy Huelskamp, and Mark Sanford, and Democrats Earl Blumenauer, Mike Honda, James McGovern, and Peter Welch.

In addition, troubling provisions of the Patriot Act which were set to end in 2015 have now been extended to 2017.

Much like the Patriot Act, the Freedom Act has an appealing title, but seems to do little to promote and protect freedom.  Of Virginia’s eleven members of the House of Representatives, only one, Morgan Griffith, voted no on this bill.

As Justin Amash concludes on his Facebook post, “It’s shameful that the president of the United States, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the leaders of the country’s surveillance agencies refuse to accept consensus reforms that will keep our country safe while upholding the Constitution. And it mocks our system of government that they worked to gut key provisions of the Freedom Act behind closed doors.

“The American people demand that the Constitution be respected, that our rights and liberties be secured, and that the government stay out of our private lives. Fortunately, there is a growing group of representatives on both sides of the aisle who get it. In the 10 months since I proposed the Amash Amendment to end mass surveillance, we’ve made big gains.

“We will succeed.”

Let’s hope he is right.

Where’s The Profit In Liberty?

IMG_2490On Saturday, Representative Justin Amash offered a number of important thoughts at the International Students for Liberty Conference.  One that should not be overlooked is the inverse relationship between money and the fight for liberty.

As Amash pointed out, many legislators receive massive donations from PACs and special interest groups.  These groups do so in order to lobby the government for subsidies, special tax breaks, and other favors.  After all, companies have powerful incentives to enhance their wealth at the expense of the American people.  And given that the benefits are so concentrated and the costs so widely dispersed, the public doesn’t even notice.

However, for principled legislators who oppose this corporate welfare (or crony capitalism if you prefer), political life is much harder.  How many PACs exist to serve the public interest?  After all, it is much harder to raise funds and to lobby when the end result does not lead to an appreciable increase in one’s own personal wealth.

Liberty candidates and causes routinely face this significant hurdle and thus this situation helps explain why government at all levels continues to grow.  Although it is great to have leaders like Amash, it also helps explain why he and people like him are very much in the minority.

The same holds true for organizations.  As an example, for the last year or so I have been attempting to create an organization to educate, motivate, and activate students at college campuses across Virginia.  However, every time the issue is addressed, the question of funding remains unresolved.  If anyone out there reading this post has any suggestions, please let me know.

Will the dream of increased liberty remain unfulfilled?  Will liberty candidates be able to compete with the establishment?  Will those who toil for the cause be required to do so without proper funding?  Where’s the profit in liberty?

ISFLC 2014 & Republican Women

Saturday was a busy day politically.  In the morning, U.S. Senate candidate Shak Hill and House of Representatives candidate Paul Bevington spoke to the Republican Women of Shenandoah County.  As mentioned in a previous post, this gathering took place at the Denny’s in Mount Jackson.  I traveled there alongside fellow liberty activist Lisa McCumsey.

Shak Hill reading from the Affordable Care Act bill.  (Note the stack of paper).
Shak Hill reading from the Affordable Care Act bill. (Note the stack of paper)
Paul Bevington in Mt. Jackson
Paul Bevington in Mt. Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterward, I spent the remainder of the day at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C.  Although I had hoped to attend for all three days of the event, as was done last year, both weather and finances kept me from doing so.  I was disappointed to miss the taping of the Stossel Show which took place on Friday night.

Shortly after arriving, I ran across Jack Hunter giving an interview in the media lounge.

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Next, came a panel discussion with Representatives Justin Amash and Thomas Massie.  Unfortunately, due to weather, Massie was unable to attend and thus joining Amash on stage was Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks and Jeff Frazee of Young Americans for Liberty.

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Although James Madison University has sent a contingent of students in previous years, to the best of my knowledge there were no JMU students present this year, nor anyone else from the Harrisonburg area.  Nevertheless, it was great to run into two former members of Madison Liberty, Reid Walker (not pictured) and Luke Wachob, now working for the Center for Competitive Politics.

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It was difficult to gauge attendance at ISFLC this year.  Although the conference occupied a greater portion of the hotel and more organizations were participating, actual student numbers were unavailable by the time I left on Saturday evening.  Given the Facebook chatter beforehand, it was likely that a good number of students had to unexpectedly cancel at the last minute (again due to snow).  All in all, it seemed like another great event, one that I would highly recommend for college students to attend if given the opportunity.

On a more personal note, as I made my way back to the Metro station, I ended up taking a wrong turn and became lost.  I was grateful that a young woman pointed me in the right direction.  Once she realized that I still wasn’t quite sure where I was going, she kept popping up every block or two, making sure I found my destination successfully.  I regret to say that I did not get her name, but her kindness was very much appreciated.

Yes, I believe it is fair to say that Saturday was quite an interesting day!

More Spending Is Needed?

An image one of my Facebook friends either created or found.
An image one of my Facebook friends either created or found.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 3547, also known as The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.  This bill appropriates a staggering 1.1 trillion dollars, including increasing discretionary spending by $24 billion.  As Heritage Action points out, “On top of increasing overall spending the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill irresponsibly increases funding for failing programs like Head Start, funds flood insurance subsidies, and pays for ineffective green energy projects. Additionally, an Obamacare funding loophole could provide subsidies to health plans that cover abortion.”

The final vote was 359 in favor and 67 opposed.  Unfortunately, my representative, Bob Goodlatte, voted for this increase in spending, as did the entire Virginia delegation.  Although a small group, there were a number of representatives willing to oppose this bill, including some of my favorite members of the house: Justin Amash, Paul Broun, Scott Garrett, and the return of Mark Sanford.

As our nation spirals further and further into debt, one would like to see Congress, especially the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, take a stand against increased spending.  At the end of the day, only three Democrats and sixty-four Republicans were willing to do so.

Amash’s Tweet of the Month

After Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster over the use of drones to kill American citizens, Senator John McCain responded by calling him and several other legislators “wacko birds“.  In answer, Representative Justin Amash offered an amusing response on Twitter, which reads:

Amash TweetAs you may know, while Senator Paul and other supporters of liberty launched this filibuster, Senator McCain and others in the establishment crowd were absent from the fight, instead enjoying dinner with President Obama.

I’ll applaud the efforts of any legislator who is willing to stand up for our civil liberties against the ever-expanding encroachment of the federal government.  However, even though it is several days old, to offer such a witty reply, as Rep. Amash has done, cannot pass without mention on this blog.

Now I’m sure some politicians (like Senators McCain and Graham) would like nothing more than for the liberty wing of the Republican Party to shut up and go away.  I’m just glad that there are folks like Rep. Amash and Sen. Paul in Washington who are able to lead with both principles and humor.

You call join me in following Rep. Amash on Twitter here.

2013 ISFLC Recap

On February 15th, 16th, and 17th, Students for Liberty hosted the 6th Annual International Students for Liberty Conference, also known as the ISFLC.  I attended this event along with three students from Madison Liberty: fellow blogger Helen Shibut, Nick Farrar, and Reid Walker.

Rather than list every single event, person, and organization associated with this conference, which could take about as long as the conference itself, this article will highlight some of the more interesting and unusual aspects.

Party Milk
Dorian Electra

Friday kicked off with a rather bizarre performance called Party Milk by Dorian Electra.  Apparently, Students for Liberty awarded Ms. Electra a fellowship several years ago, but it was difficult to discern what connection, if any, the song has with the promotion of liberty.

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, was the featured speaker that evening.  He spoke about the morality and history of the free market, and his new book on the topic, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.

Saturday was easily the most jammed packed of the three days.  It featured six informational sessions where attendees could choose to learn about a wide variety of topics from a considerable range of speakers and organizations.

I first selected “The Teachings of Chairman Jim: The ‘Nuts and Bolts’ of Building a Libertarian Campus Organization” which was presented by Dr. Jim Lark, a professor at the University of Virginia and Chairman of the Libertarian Party from 2000 to 2002.  In this talk, Dr. Lark discussed, as indicated from the title, many of the challenges associated with both the creation and maintenance of a liberty group on college campuses.  Given that this topic would be vitally helpful to just about every student at ISFLC, it was a bit disappointing to find that more of them did not take advantage of this discussion.

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Jack Hunter

Second on the docket was “Why Conservatism is Worthless Without Libertarianism” by Jack Hunter.  Readers of this blog may recall that I first met Mr. Hunter while I worked for the 2007/08 Ron Paul campaign in South Carolina.  For those who don’t know, his work, first written under the moniker The Southern Avenger, was exceedingly inspirational to me and was one of the key factors that ultimately led to the creation of this blog in mid 2008.  He spoke at some length regarding the ideals and importance of constitutional conservatism as well as the damage done to both the Republican Party and the conservative movement by faux conservatives like Rick Santorum and Senator Lindsey Graham.

From there, I attended a taping of the Stossel Show.  Below is a short, introductory clip of this soon-to-be aired episode.

After lunch, I took considerable time to wander among the tables of the various libertarian organizations, speaking to a whole host of folks including: The American Conservative, Americans for Self Government, the Free State Project, and the Libertarian Party.  During this exploration, a man at one of the tables offered me a chance to drink raw milk.  Given that I had never had such an opportunity before, I accepted.  Worry not skeptics, so far I have not suffered any ill effects from this adventure.

Representative Justin Amash
Representative Justin Amash

Later, Representative Justin Amash (MI-3) chatted about “The Future of Liberty”.  The room where he spoke was filled well beyond capacity and some attendees had to listen from the hallway.  Although the representative did not spend too much time contemplating on the future, he did offer a number of unique insights of his service in Congress, such as his adherence to a political ideology when most of his colleagues simply bowed to the will of the party leadership.

After dinner, the Stossel Show filmed another episode, this one tailored for a much larger studio audience.  Over a period of a little more than an hour and a half, Stossel featured guests such as Gary Johnson, Dennis Kucinich, and Ann Coulter.

Ann Coulter & John Stossel
Ann Coulter & John Stossel

When he brought up his last interviewee, former U.S. United Nations ambassador John Bolton, a good portion of the crowd left in protest.  Mr. Bolton then spoke of his support of drone strikes, a position adamantly opposed by a vast majority of libertarians.

Jackie Bodner & Julie Borowski
Jackie Bodner & Julie Borowski

Sunday began at 10 AM with “How Libertarians Can Combat the Mainstream Media” with Jackie Bodner and Julie Borowski, also known as the Token Libertarian Girl.  They offered advice on ways to make an impact with local and college news sources, tips on the creation of a successful blog, and ways to connect with other like-minded thinkers.

Although I could write additional pages about ISFLC, I believe that I’ve offered you some of the more interesting tidbits.  It was surprising that Campaign for Liberty was absent and a bit disappointing that no Republican group was present, especially the Republican Liberty Caucus.  Nevertheless, given that Students for Liberty brought together over a thousand students and activists from across the globe to network, hear from dozens of knowledgeable speakers, and learn about a multitude of important topics, I would rate the event as highly worthwhile. 

Schedule permitting, I look forward to seeing you at ISFLC 2014!