Justin Amash leaves the GOP before it can “leave” him

Featured image Rep. Justin Amash has always been a party of one. Now, he’s made it official. He’s leaving the GOP and is running for reelection as an independent. Why? He claims it’s because the two-party system and hyper-partisanship have wrecked Congress. He finds that individual members of Congress have no say in things. They are simply there to obey their party leader. But none of this is new. What’s new is »

Justin Amash, a party of one

Featured image I don’t think I’d heard anyone in the mainstream media (or anywhere else) mention Justin Amash’s name for several years until he called for the impeachment of President Trump. Suddenly, Amash was useful to the left and therefore relevant, sort of. Suddenly, the impeach Trump movement was “bipartisan.” John has shown that Amash’s arguments for impeaching Trump are nonsensical. But Amash’s arguments don’t matter. It’s the fact that he’s a »

Marijuana, mental illness, and crime

Featured image I don’t believe I’ve ever written about an article from Mother Jones before, but this one about the effects of marijuana seems well worth considering. It’s based on a book by Alex Berenson, formerly a reporter for the New York Times, called Tell Your Children. According to Mother Jones’ Stephanie Mencimer, Berensen’s book “takes a sledgehammer to the promised benefits of marijuana legalization, and cannabis enthusiasts are not going to »

Charles Murray: Right questions, wrong answers

Featured image Yesterday Charles Murray celebrated his 75th birthday and retired as the American Enterprise Institute’s W. H. Brady Scholar. AEI celebrated his career with an event at which Murray he looked back at his life and thought in a lecture he titled “Right Questions and Wrong Answers.” In the lecture Murray reflected on his career from the time he spent in Thai villages in the 1960s through the writing of landmark »

Remy Decodes Bitcoin

Featured image As I mentioned here a couple weeks back, I don’t have a clear grasp on bitcoin, but fortunately we have Remy Munasifi on hand to . . . well, not exactly explain it to us, but at least have some good fun with it, with some rapid-fire sideswipes along the way (I especially like his Al Franken reference): »

The Scandal of the Liberal Mind

Featured image Some years ago the evangelical scholar Mark Noll wrote an influential book titled The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. It was a critique of the lack of intellectual seriousness and depth among his fellow evangelicals, and a clarion call to for evangelical thinkers to step up their game. Christianity Today named it the “Book of the Year” in 1994, and it provoked far-reaching and long-lasting discussion among evangelicals. I wonder »

The Unseriousness of Libertarians

Featured image I’ve got a major article about the election appearing later this week—stand by for details—but I’ll share one sentence of the draft here: “The fecklessness of the Libertarian Party in this election cycle, when a vigorous libertarian campaign might have broken out and possibly taken the election, means that we never have to take libertarians seriously again.” It seems I’m not the only person with this view. Writing in The »

Do You Feel the Johnson?

Featured image Forget “Feel the Bern.” Do you “Feel the Johnson”? As in Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president? The Johnson-Weld ticket is the most serious ticket the Libertarian Party has ever nominated, which to be sure is like being the tallest building in Wichita, but still, if ever the Libertarian ticket might actually contend it is this year. I’ve been saying for a while that if Johnson, who can »

Is The Libertarian Party Serious? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image John notes below that one of Gary Johnson’s leading issues is drug legalization, which is not likely to sell well in places like otherwise libertarian-friendly New Hampshire, which has experienced a massive increase in heroin use in recent years. Then there was Johnson’s answer to the question posed to him in a candidate debate at the Libertarian Party convention: should the United States have entered World Wars I & II? »

Is This the Libertarian Moment?

Featured image As the Libertarian Party’s convention nominates former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson for president, some are saying that the Libertarians’ time has finally come, that 2016 could be the Libertarian moment. I very much doubt it. A few years ago, I was invited to the George W. Bush Library in Dallas for a conference on the economy. While there, I was also part of a small group that met with »

Is “Libertarian Party” an Oxymoron?

Featured image For once the Libertarian Party nomination might actually be worth having, with some polls showing the likely nominee, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, pulling 10 percent of the vote while still a virtual unknown and before any kind of campaign has been run. It is not hard to imagine a scenario in which the negative campaigns of Hillary and The Donald drive enough voters to the mild-mannered Johnson to »

A disappointing season for libertarians and “movement” conservatives

Featured image I’m guessing that few sentient conservatives are happy with the way this election season is going. Two brands of conservatives will be particularly disappointed: libertarians and hard-core (or “movement”) conservatism. The libertarian movement has been pushing to break through for years. This cycle, it seemed to have the ideal candidate to make a run at the presidency — Rand Paul, dubbed “the most interesting man in politics” by Time Magazine. »

A Libertarian Star Wars Holiday

Featured image Our friends at Reason TV have produced this three minute trailer for how a libertarian version of Star Wars would look. It is a pretty good representation of the glory and the wackiness of libertarianism: »

Is the Obama Justice Department Secretly Supporting Rand Paul?

Featured image What can possibly explain the Justice Department’s subpoena of Reason demanding the identities of anonymous commenters on its website? Bloomberg columnist Virginia Postrel (the editor of Reason magazine back in the 1990s when I wrote for it frequently) explains: This is happening in America — weirdly, to a site I founded, and one whose commenters often earned my public contempt. Los Angeles legal blogger Ken White has obtained a grand »

The Insincerity of Rand Paul

Featured image I had hopes at the outset that Rand Paul would be more sensible than his father, and for a while it looked like this might be the case. He has been about the only prominent Republican trying to broaden the base of the Republican Party by speaking on college campuses and to minority groups, and he made measured attempts to set out a “non-interventionist” foreign policy vision that was not »

The Political Failure of Libertarianism

Featured image Sad news out of Iowa yesterday that the Libertarian Party senate candidate, Doug Butzier, was killed in a plane crash. Political junkies immediately speculated that this might well tip the close Iowa senate race to Joni Ernst. I’m not so certain of this; I think a lot of purist libertarian voters might just not vote for a senate candidate at all, or might even vote for the Democrat on the »

Hamas and the libertarians

Featured image The libertarian movement apparently is divided over Hamas and Israel. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, has made a libertarian case against Hamas. In essence, the case is this: Hamas stands behind an ideology which expressly seeks to deprive individuals of their rights. As Walter Hudson puts it: “Islamic totalitarianism manifest in the entity of Hamas presents a common enemy to the United States and Israel. Neither »