Question: Will Obama's second term further damage American culture and values? I'm not as worried about the tax hikes, foreign policy, and other concrete policies of Obama's second term as I am about the cultural change that his administration will instill in society over the next four years, just as it did over the last four years. The next generation of liberals – college age kids, that is – are little socialists who repeat the phrases like "social justice" and "fair share." Is such cultural change a genuine problem? If so, what can be done to combat it?
Subjects Discussed: * Parliamentary government in Canada * Paul's political philosophy * About the Freedom Party of Ontario * Why focus on electoral politics * Paul's role in the Freedom Party of Ontario * The platform of the Freedom Party of Ontario * Taking steps toward freedom * The benefits of focusing on small issues * Liquor regulations * Getting media attention * The role of a political party * How political power is won in Canada * Destroying the "progressive conservatives" * Not voting for the lesser of two evils * What's wrong with the strategy of "buying time" * Electoral strategy * The problems with libertarians * Optimism about the future * Political parties in the US.
Question: When would creating a political party advance the cause of liberty? At the moment, creating a new political party might not make sense in the United States because the Republicans and Democrats dominate the elections and the media. But when would be the right time to do so, if ever? In other countries, even tiny parties are discussed in the news, and they can win a few seats. Under those circumstances, does it make sense to create a political party advocating for individual rights? If so, what would be a good name for such a party?
Subjects Discussed: * Common federal and state campaign finance laws * The history of campaign finance laws * Breadth in decisions, and my case * The results of campaign finance laws * Private enforcement of campaign finance laws * The value of "transparency" and "accountability" in elections * Money as a form of speech * Protections for corporate speech * Privacy and campaign contributions * The irrelevance of funding to campaigns * SuperPACS * Individuals versus groups in campaign finance * The Institute for Justice's current cases and strategy * Truly supporting the First Amendment * How to effectively defend free speech.
Question: What should we think of the results of the 2012 election? Many free-market advocates are despairing over the election results, particularly the re-election of President Obama. They claim that America has sunk to a new low in re-electing an openly socialistic and egalitarian hater of America. Do you think that such despair is warranted? Also, how can intellectuals, activists, and others effectively promote individual rights over the next four years?
Subjects Discussed: * Voting does not convey your beliefs to politicians * Single votes versus margins of error * What if nobody voted * What if everybody voted * The right to complain about politics * The importance of the franchise * How to make a difference in politics, apart from voting * Voting as a matter of activist credibility * Influencing elections via voting blocs * Influencing elections by influencing mass voting versus abstaining * The anarchist argument against voting.
Subjects Discussed: * Evaluating the past * What life was like in early America * Cultural changes in America, including for women and marriage * Federal versus state and local governments now and then * The 14th Amendment * Improvements in the law, including marriage law, morality regulations and cultural mores, blasphemy law, and obscenity law * The American north versus south * Andrew Jackson's duel * The caning of Charles Sumner * Today's Republicans and Democrats * The value (or lack thereof) of voting.
Subjects Discussed: * What is the difference between "skeptics" like James Randi who provide a valuable service in debunking supernatural claims and the "skeptics" condemned throughout Ayn Rand's and other Objectivists' writings? * What is your advice on coping with existential anxiety? * Should doping for greater athletic performance be considered morally or legally wrong? Should the US Anti-Doping Agency exist? * Why are the Republicans considered fiscally responsible? Just a little research on the internet and you can see Reagan and Bush 43 both ran up huge deficits. * What tips do you have for someone planning to study horrible philosophy, like Marx and Foucault. Will contemporary critics be of use? * Talk of politics and rights is prevalent in my household, and we are burdened by the news and active violations of our rights. I feel like I have to choose between either being in the gladiator pit, plagued with anxiety and disgust with society and government or take a much less active role in order to maintain my personal goals, happiness, and sanity. Is it immoral to choose my battles? Because if I battled each one I see every single day, I wouldn't have time to do much more. Where then would be my happiness? * Do you find that at the end of "Anthem," Liberty 5-3000 surrendered her sense of independence/personal identity? * Is the limited liability enjoyed by corporations justified? * Do you think it was wrong for Chris Brown to be awarded a Grammy, given his admitted abuse of Rihanna? * Should the U.S. government forbid private businesses from trading with Iran? * When should it be ok for a teenage (or pre-teen) girl to get her ears pierced? * Is it wrong to give your pet to a shelter if you're moving to a new apartment that doesn't permit pets?.
Question: Is it moral or practical to vote for third-party candidates? The Founders created a two-party political system. With features like geographic representation, first-past-the-post voting for Congress, and the Electoral College for voting for President, the Founders clearly wanted parties consisting of large umbrella groups of wide geographic and ideological interests. As a result, the United States has always had two and only two dominant political parties. Corrupt election laws, passed by these parties, now guarantee that except in rare instances (such as Jesse Ventura, of all people) only members of these two parties can be elected to office. Given these facts, what is the purpose of voting for third party candidates? Unlike the two major umbrella parties, all third parties are composed of ideological kooks of many persuasions. Isn't a vote for a third party candidate thus immoral (for supporting kookdom) and impractical (since they can't win)? Wouldn't it be better to try to improve the two existing parties, or not vote at all?
Question: How important are a political candidate's views on abortion? Why should we be worried about a political candidate's bad views on abortion if their views on other issues like economics are generally good? After all, as US President, Mitt Romney couldn't outlaw abortion even if he wanted to. But a good or bad President could have a tremendous good or bad effect on our economic liberties. Conversely, President Obama wants to keep abortion legal but that positive pales in significance to his terrible negative views on economics. Shouldn't a candidate's views on economics be more important at present than their views on abortion?
Question: What should we do if the Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare? The Supreme Court of the United States will be determining the constitutionality of ObamaCare in a matter of weeks. While it is likely that at least part of it will be struck down, the court might uphold some or all of it. If that happens, what should liberty-loving Americans do? Would we have any recourse? Would it be time to break out the pitchforks and torches?
Question: Should I support Gary Johnson for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Johnson deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election? Also, should supporters of Gary Johnson vote for him on a Libertarian Party ticket?
Question: Should I support Ron Paul for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Paul deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
Question: Should I support Newt Gingrinch for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Gingrinch deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
Question: Should I support Mitt Romney for US President? What's the proper evaluation of his principles and record on the budget and the debt, health care, foreign policy, immigration, the drug war, abortion, and gay marriage? Does Romney deserve the vote of advocates of individual rights in the primary or the general election?
Question: What's your view of the upcoming 2012 election? By what standards do you judge the presidential candidates?
Question: When is it morally right or wrong to support political compromises? The marijuana legalization initiative for the 2012 Colorado ballot also specifies open-ended taxation that circumvents the protections of TABOR (the Taxpayer Bill of Rights). It specifies that the first $40 million raised goes to government schools. Both of these taxation items are compromises added to get voters to accept the marijuana legalization. Is it ethical to support more taxation to get more freedom from drug laws? Is it okay to circulate petitions to get this on the ballot so the voters can decide? More generally, when if ever should a person support political compromises that uphold some rights but violate others?
Question: All the candidates are nearly perfectly horrid, just in different ways. Why should I even bother to vote?
Question: Is it wrong to "vote with your wallet"? A liberal friend of mine recently said that he won't vote for political candidates based on his own economic interests – for example, that Candidate A promises to raise taxes on his income bracket, while Candidate B promises to cut taxes for that bracket. He votes based on his agreement with the total political program, not its effects on his paycheck. What's right or wrong with his approach?
Question: Should it be legal in a free society to buy votes? It doesn't seem that the practice would violate anyone's rights, so shouldn't it be legal for a person who wants to hold office to pay willing voters to cast their vote for him?