For years, I’ve proudly called myself a libertarian, because “libertarianism” best describes my commitment to robust freedom, as well as my understanding of the threat government poses to it.
But lately I found myself less willing to use the label when talking to new people. Not because “libertarian” no longer accurately describes my political views, but because certain groups claiming the label have become louder and more visible, and have, unfortunately, tarnished the term with an illiberal ugliness most people, rightfully, find repulsive.
I'm talking about the so-called “paleolibertarians,” those of the unfortunate libertarian to alt-right pipeline. They’re ubiquitous in libertarian circles on Twitter and, lately, they've even managed to takeover the Libertarian Party.
Andy is a staff writer at the Cato Institute and, until recently, was active within the Libertarian Party. John is co-founder of Fakertarians, where he exhaustively catalogs and responds to the bad ideas, and worse personality, among the illiberals calling themselves libertarians.
We talk about what’s changed in the years since Trump’s rise, how so many have come to deeply misunderstand the animating values of the libertarian project, and what can be done to combat illiberal populism.