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Libertarians, those paranoid weirdos! Why do they believe that the government is out to get them? Well, it is, but libertarians are not thoughtless conspiracy theorists — we’re thoughtful ones! We know power is bad, and the state is the most powerful thing there is, so it is probably up to something. Join a delightful panel for a very special episodes of Politics for People Who Hate Politics, during which seven libertarians explore conspiracy theories, advocate for skepticism, but then get very distracted by how much they enjoy the stories for their sake.

Host: Lucy Steigerwald: Columnist for,,, and Editor in Chief of The Stag Blog; @lucystag

-Jesse Walker: Books editor for Reason magazine and, author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America and The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory; @notjessewalker

-Dan Bier: executive editor at the Skeptical Libertarian; @skepticaldan

-Franklin Harris: assistant metro editor for the Decatur Daily; @FranklinH3000

-Seth Wilson: blogger at; @TheJackalopeTX

-Zach Fountain: songwriter, blogger at; @rbeekeepers

-Joe Steigerwald: Publisher for The Stag Blog, technical dude; @steigerwaldino

Further reading/listening/watching:

The United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker

“The Greatest Fake Religion of All Time” by Jesse Walker

“In Defense of Paranoia” by Lucy Steigerwald

“The Alien” song by Zach Fountain

In which Kyle Platt asks questions, and I flail and rant about government hypocrisy in response:

More videos starring some of my favorite non-dead thinkers are over here.

This is a new weekly feature by Steigerwald Post creator, and snappy dresser, Joseph Steigerwald, chronicling the best 3 and bottom 2 movers and shakers of whatever category I see fit — plus one bonus subject that is, at best, barely related to the current subject.

Today’s topic: Edward Snowden and his magic Power Point presentation. In the last week, details of both the National Security Agency’s (NSA) PRISM program, and Verizon’s (and other telecoms’) collusion with the NSA-led government spying program were leaked by former CIA anylist Edward Snowden. These cast an ugly light on the Obama administration, and the government in general. Here are three heroes, and three villains of this story, plus one wildcard.


#3: Bipartisanship:

For once bipartisanship is working in America. Pundits on the left and the right are flocking to Edward Snowden’s defense. In The New Yorker, John Cassidy writes a brilliant piece praising Snowden. Glenn Beck and Michael Moore agree that he’s a “hero”. Sen. Rand Paul is seeking to launch a class action lawsuit against the NSA programs. Lefty magazine The Nation leads off its website with a story devoted to the “passion of Edward Snowden.” Even Al Gore:

and John Cusack!

#2. Glenn Greenwald:

Leave it to those limey Brits to do the dirty work the American press doesn’t want to. The Washington Post may have broken the PRISM story shortly before The Guardian got their version up, but it seems the mastermind behind the entire press operation was Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald. According to Greenwald, an anonymous source first contacted him back in February, months before The Washington Post got their information. It was Greenwald and documentary film maker Laura Poitras who directed Snowden, with his leak of the PRISM program to former Washington Post writer Barton Gellman. Because the Post was dragging its feet on publishing the story, Snowden decided to share the PRISM story with Greenwald as he had already broken the Verizon story, which was derived from a different leak of Snowden’s. Greenwald, already a hero in the libertarian community for his tireless work attacking the Obama administration’s drone program, scores again with this monumental scoop. 

#1. Edward Snowden:

Our new libertarian hero. Anyone with the guts to give up his entire life, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to expose the inner workings of our mostly-evil government deserves our applause.  Maybe he is a narcissist (Jeffery Toobin and Richard Simon think so), and he only leaked the information because he knew it would get him his 15 minutes of infamy. WHO CARES?! His reasons are irrelevant and as the great Conor Friedersdorf points out at The Atlantic, ¨The 29-year-old’s law-breaking undermines the American system far less than what Barack Obama and Congress have done.¨ If Snowden had leaked the information because Satan himself appeared to him in a dream and told him to do it, I would be okay with it.  Anything that exposes secret government information is fine by me. And if it embarrasses the entire Obama administration, and makes the U.S. government look stupid in the eyes of the citizenry, that´s a double bonus. Now if only the citizenry could remember all this next election day.


#2. The Statists:

Leaks of secret government files are usually very revealing in the way that they bring out passions on all sides of the debate. This particular leak allows us to shine a light on the big government cheerleaders, the ¨statists.¨

Conservative statists:

Speaker of the House John Boehner: ¨NSA leaker a traitor¨.

Ralph Peters, Fox News contributor and former Army Lt. Col., wants the death penalty for Snowden.

Liberal statists:

David Simon, creator of The Wirerah-rah-ing the police state:

Sam ¨The terrorists are gonna get us¨Harris (and Glenn Greenwald foil,) eagerly handing over an indeterminate percentage of freedoms for an imaginary reduction in the likelihood of a terrorist attack:

Andrew Sullivan is not impressed:

Sen. Diane Feinstein: “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason,”

And finally, David Brooks trying to write something more intelligent than he has the intelligence to write.

#1. Bu-Oba-Sh-Ma

Now, I´m not specifically comparing George W. Bush to the alien life form in John Carpenter´s The Thing, nor am I saying that there’s a good chance that said life form has somehow taken over the body of Barrack Obama, but if someone wants to take a small amount of Obama´s blood and hold a heated piece of copper wire to it to see if it is actually alive, I wouldn´’t object.

Obama promised transparency if elected, he even wrote a memorandum that states, with tongue not even close to cheek that:

¨My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.¨

Of course he probably wrote that before he became Bu-Oba-Sh-Ma.

1 wild.

#1. Snowden and Catch-22:

Coincidentally, (but not ironically, at least not yet,) Edward Snowden shares the same name as the doomed gunner in Joseph Heller´s influential anti-war novel Catch-22. If Edward Snowden somehow disappears or gets killed by the government, the irony meter will go off the page, (figuratively).

When the government becomes so large that there are no longer checks on its power, we are all Yossarian.

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Memorial Day is now three days behind us. The patriotic fervor of the day has dulled to a low ebb. Citizens, more distant than ever from the military, can once again forget about the soldiers dying far away. For most Americans it’s time to go back to their daily grind until the shadow of Veterans Day reminds them to wave flags and post thank yous on social media.

As for libertarians, it’s downright antithetical to celebrate a day like Memorial Day, so it’s a relief when the day passes. The idea of memorializing soldiers, the guns in the itchy trigger fingers of the State’s hand, seems loathsome. These are the people who kill enemy and innocents alike, unquestioning, based on orders given by men who view battlefields as chessboards, soldiers as pawns, and blood as a lubricant in their geopolitical ends and means.

Over on, Lucy Steigerwald (my sister) writes in her critique of Memorial Day that “It is not morally neutral to join the military, and so it’s not morally neutral to mourn war dead.” Sheldon Richman at the Free Association blog also views Memorial Day in a negative light, (to say the least).

Richman writes:

Today is Revisionist History Day, what others call Memorial Day. Americans are supposed to remember the country’s war dead while being thankful that they protected our freedom and served our country. However, reading revisionist history … teaches that the fallen were doing no such thing. Rather they were and are today serving cynical politicians and the “private” component of the military-industrial complex in the service of the American Empire.

But this ignores the millions of soldiers killed who were drafted in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. They didn’t choose to join the military, they were coerced. It also ignores the fact that the world only exists in its current capacity because of the blood spilled in the American Revolution. Was that war just? What about World War II? How many civilians have to be killed before some kind of intervention becomes necessary or moral?

You don’t have to believe in the morality of war to honor those who died. But by all means parse out each individual soldier. Play St. Peter and judge them on their worthiness of being honored. Go ahead and memorialize the 53 percent that meets your criteria while making sure none of the 47 percent receive any of your well-wishes. If you want to find someone to blame, there’s a much more worthy target than soldiers — especially the dead ones.

The blame for wars lies squarely at the feet of the government. It’s easy to excoriate soldiers for being the weapons of war, but that ignores the fingers pulling the trigger. With drones replacing front line soldiers, the impetus to change the way our government operates grows exponentially. When war becomes as cold and sterile as playing a video game, it doesn’t bode well for a peaceful world.

You cannot hope to put an end to warfare by heaping blame on the soldiers. It’s counterproductive and only inflames the passions of the citizenry. To spur change, our words and efforts have to be focused on the highest halls of power. The State will try and deflect, to blame the rest of the world for forcing their hand, for coercing them into war. It will arouse patriotism through statues and songs and through co-opting days of memorial.

It is far too easy to get caught up in celebrating Memorial Day the way the government wants us to. They want us to forget the endless wars, the needless interventions. But that’s not the point. Memorial Day wasn’t started by the government as a way to stoke patriotism. It was a simple day of remembering those who died in battle, no matter who or why.

Memorial Day isn’t a once a year quote thanking the military for their service. It’s not an excuse to wave a flag and proclaim our country the greatest in the world. It’s not an excuse to hate anti-war activists and those who would dare speak out against our foreign policy. The State has equated the day with patriotism to dull the senses of the masses. To cow those who would speak out against the heroic American solider serving selflessly overseas to protect our freedoms, Democracy; whatever the buzz words of the day are. But that’s not what Memorial Day is for.

It is a day to honor American soldiers who have died in battle. That’s all.

It’s really that simple. There’s nothing pro-war or pro-government about it. If anything, the concept of remembering the hundreds of thousands of dead American soldiers is decidedly anti-war. If more people remember the cost of war in human terms then it becomes harder for the government to abuse its powers.

The government may have stolen Memorial Day for their own means, but that doesn’t mean remembering the fallen should make us uncomfortable. Remember that as long as government has the power of life and death, there will be more and more soldiers who die and become merely statistics in a book. So celebrate Memorial Day, and remember the soldiers — maybe more than once a year — but do more than that; fight for a world in which they no longer have to be memorialized.

Blame Jon Ronson; I appreciate the work of The Skeptical Libertarian, and a Christopher Hitchens-ish attitude of disbelief, but usually I am a little too entranced and entertained by the people who believe in weird things, and what exactly are those weird things. British journalist Jon Ronson’s Them: Adventures With Extremists has him visiting the middle (Randy) Weaver daughter, a cheerful Muslim extremist, the just-as-scary-as-you-would-think Aryan Nations, and the weirdly PR-savvy “new” KKK. He also investigates Bohemian Grove and The Bilderberg group, both times while following Alex Jones, the yelling Texas radio host recently seen yelling at Piers Morgan about guns and trying to have CNN host deported over his views on the second amendment (something both wrong and hilarious). Ronson has the right idea for the immersion reporter, he doesn’t stand around snarking and mocking. He observes and follows and tries to be open-minded as possible, without actually believing in anything (except when he gets a little spooked by a Bilderberg — maybe — security guard), as he looks into these different people who all believe that an elite organization runs the world, be it the New World Order, the Jews, the bankers, Reptillians, the Illuminati, etc.

It’s a fabulous book. I wish I had written it. And people who believe crazy things should not be shunned by all of society. On occasion, they either have buried points about the danger of government power or they’re just God damned entertaining as specimens of human weirdness. Sometimes, as in the cases of the Weavers at Ruby Ridge or the Branch Davidians at Waco, the paranoia of the conspiracy theorist ends up coming true. And again, there is a vital lesson about government power to be found there.

I, and most libertarians, shouldn’t be okay with individuals like Alex Jones. But I am okay with Jones because I don’t take him seriously. Glenn Beck was always the less fringe-y Alex Jones, which I think is worse in many ways because he’s more credible while spouting much bullshit. But then I remember that people take Jones seriously and that is terrible. And as much as I laugh at his rants about “JUSTIN BIEBLER!”  someone who makes a career out of government paranoia seeming ridiculous makes…well, government paranoia seem ridiculous. That is not a libertarian goal, nor a libertarian gain.

I have argued that Objectivism is a parody of libertarianism, but Alex Jones is a different sort of parody of my beliefs. Where Objectivism has perpetuated the idea that to be for free markets is to be opposed to charity (the cold, cruel capitalist libertarian), Jones and his ilk spread the notion that to be afraid of the government is to believe everything you read about its malevolent powers (the tin-foil hat-clad libertarian). Where Jones fails, besides in basic critical thinking skills, is that he and all believers of the New World Order, Illuminati, or Bilderberg, attribute an immense amount of competence to government officials. I feel unsettled knowing that for all the bad things we know the government did — MKUltra, The Tuskegee Experiment, NSA, FBI, and CIA spying, anything tailor-made for conspiracy talk — there have got to be at least a few dozen of which we have no idea.

I might even believe in aliens of some kind. I definitely believe in the U.S. government’s potential to go tyrannical. I believe that cops and prosecutors and government officials lie (okay, that’s just true). Hell, the CIA could have been involved in the killing of JFK. I have no doubt there are some aspects of 9/11 that have not been told to the public. On and on, I usually don’t dismiss theories completely.

But Jones and co somehow also forget the most basic of libertarian standbys — “power corrupts.” And so it does.  That doesn’t mean every powerful person is in on some perfectly-crafted NWO. The simple premise that people tend to do similarly bad stuff when they are in power seems to not occur to believers of conspiracy theories. It has to be puppetmasters controlling the weather and 12 dudes in a bunker and maybe just space aliens. Never mind the fact that every president believes that he has the right to make a decision that will cause the deaths of innocent people and then he does, or that a government agency with a massive, secret budget and a history of lawlessness might just keep right on doing what it wants. It has to all tie impossibly together.

Conspiracy theorists are usually not even agnostics about “the official story.” They are evangelical about an opposing story, usually a sinister one that falls into a greater scheme of domination and control. As Brian Doherty just wrote on my facebook on this very subject:

Those who would never believe a word of anything from corporate media (except all those words they do believe….), those with the most withering skepticism, have an epistemological standard about “outsider” claims that seems to roughly be: “anything that makes the world seem more sinister and terrifying is true.”

Also, I wonder if the idea of one enemy, even a one-world government-sized one, is comforting. If you ever beat that, you would be free! Daunting, yes, but much less messy than the real world.

I just finished Area 51:An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen, and am now irritated that I spent so much time on a book that was shoddily researched and edited when it comes to dates of projects and various times of de-classifications. However, even if Jacobsen had been flawless in her reporting on the many aerial and nuclear secrets that dwell within Area 51, her big ta-da! at the end of the book would still throw the previous 360-odd pages into doubt. Jacobsen, you see, is convinced that she discovered the secret of the 1947 UFO (in the literal sense) crash in Roswell, New Mexico.

This, she says, was a crashed experimental aircraft, designed by the Horton Brothers who were some of the Nazi rocket scientists taken by the Soviets after the war (as opposed to the ones America snagged). And the pilots? Who looked oddly like our impression of grays? Let’s let her tell it:

…the children were rumored to have been kidnapped by Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi madman who, at Auschwitz and elsewhere, was known to have performed unspeakable experimental surgical procedures mostly on children, dwarfs, and twins. The engineers learned that just before the war ended, Josef Mengele made a deal with Stalin. Stalin offered Mengele an opportunity to continue work in eugenics.  . . . in secret, in the Soviet Union.

    Mengele held up his side of the Faustian bargain and provided Stalin with the child-size crew. . . . Mengele never took up residence in the Soviet Union. Instead he lived for four years in Germany under an assumed name and then escaped to South America, where he lived first in Argentina and then in Paraguay, until his death in 1979.

Seems ridiculous, no? The origin of this tale was an unnamed former engineer for EG&G, the shadowy contractors who have worked at Area 51 and the Nevada Test Site for years.  These non-aliens and the remains of their craft were taken to Area 51 in the early ’50s. This now-dead individual is not named in Jacobsen’s book, but she claims to have interviewed him and checked his impressive credentials. He goes on to say that one reason the horrible truth about Roswell was never revealed is that “we” were doing the same thing on unconsenting patients, often the mentally handicapped.

In a world of MKUltra and the government giving syphilis to Guatemalans, is it any wonder that people believe in that kind of possibility? It’s just a little farther, just a little worse than what we know the U.S. government has done. So, why is this so ridiculous?

Well, if for no other reason, Jacobsen proves nothing. She uses piece of history: the Horton Brothers’ experimental aircraft designs, Operation Paperclip, Stalin and the U.S.’ investigations into UFO panics, the very existence of a monster like Mengele, early experiments in drones, and, we hope, the word of a real, anonymous person who really did work around Area 51. But instead of a patchwork of truth slapped together to make some impossible craft of an explanation, she decides it all ties together neatly enough to fly like a U-2. And she seems to have no sense that she has done nothing but tell a creepy story. She could be right about it all — though she isn’t — and she still would not have proved it with her certainty.

It’s her use of Occam’s Razor that is so laughable and again familiar in conspiracy theorist cliches. The simplest explanation is impossible Soviet technology piloted by Mengle-made freaks? Not that eye-witnesses are wrong, that  people who work in jobs where they cannot even tell their loved ones what they do might get a little weird? That maybe they have a piece of a secret, but not the whole thing, so that they might also be susceptible to the same fears of a ranting Youtuber?

Or that they might just want to tell tales? Or they thought they saw something and they interpreted it wrongly? Or they might just be a God damned liar?

By all means, go, look into it, look at the possibility of the worst that governments can do, but don’t buy it, and don’t expect your readers to buy it when you’re using one unnamed source.

That’s the difference between Jon Ronson and Jacobsen. Ronson tells you straight away that he is crawling into this world of paranoia. He wants to immerse himself in order to observe the humans who posses variations on this particular quirk. But only in the middle of the mysterious moment where his car is being tailed by someone related to Bilderberg (questionable, but, you know, Bilderberg IS powerful people meeting in a room. Security and heavy-handedness is unsurprising, them running all aspects of our existence does not follow) does he become fully credulous for a few minutes. But the task is to tell the stories of the people who believe what they do, nothing more. Jacobsen spends pages telling stories of government secrets, at least appearing to be a well-researched historian, mentioning aliens and such on occasion because the myth is part of the story, and then she switches it up and demands that we be certain that her scoop is proven fact. She’s a cheat. Like all conspiracy theorists, she cannot even admit that just doesn’t know.

Recently Julie “Token Libertarian Girl” Borowski caused a stir, at least in internet Libertopia, with her “Addressing the Lack of Female Libertarians” video. In the video, Borowski buries some good points under generalizations and arguable slut-shaming of women who are less personally conservative than is Burowski. Borowski argues that women are more susceptible to peer pressure and outside opinion than are men, meaning that a fringe political idea like libertarianism is even less appealing to them. This is debatable and invites long and tedious conversation about nature versus nurture, gender roles, and other topics.

Borowski then moves into mourning the lack of libertarian ideas in popular culture. Her rant against general interest lady-mag Cosmopolitan is appealing to me, the female magazine-nerd who hates Cosmo as much as that opposing pillar of monthly bullshit Adbusters, and indeed, when publications like Cosmo address politics at all, they do operate from certain liberal assumptions…. (Cosmo, so archaic in its inability admit that women may have a wider range of interests than sex, was once downright brazen in its acceptance that women do indeed have sex outside of marriage.)

Borowski’s rant about the absurd cost of the aspirational products touted for sale in Cosmo versus the magazine’s implicit assumption that government should cover birth control and other goods is enjoyable, but to come down so harshly in a public forum against shallow, supposedly feminine interests muddies her earlier argument that libertarianism should be part of the fabric of popular culture. She’s funny, but she’s shooting her own argument in the foot here when she scorns the admittedly mockable high-heel and pricy handbag culture. I don’t like it much either, but she’s doing the cause of more libertarian ladies, please! No favors.

(To me, a more useful place to look at libertarianism, women, and pop culture might be the success of the Twilight series and The Hunger Games series. Both are young adult novels starring young women protagonists. Both are staggeringly successful and are adored by mostly young women.  Both even have a love triangle. Both are bad-to-mediocre in their writing quality, but demand that you keep turning pages anyway.

The difference between them is that Twilight is a soppy, mushy, purple-prosed tale of a girl getting everything she wants out of life (sexy vampire husband, immortality,  a child that takes care of itself) and The Hunger Games is the story of a girl who has to grow up much too fast and who is nearly completely destroyed by life in a dystopian society and the hell of war — even one of liberation. It may not be perfectly libertarian, but The Hunger Games series is pro breaking bad laws, pro fighting for freedom (but with serious questions about war and its worthiness and not being as bad as your enemy). It even explores whether political assassination is just and whether a new leader can be just as bad as the old tyrant. Heavy stuff, and yet those books have sold more than 25 million copies and teenage girls are obsessed. You want your accessible fun, libertarian messages? Give girls (and boys) more Hunger Games.)

Now, the back and forth Borowski hath wrought — Thomas Woods says yay! The Bleeding-Heart Libertarian says ugh — may be nothing more than a sign of the same libertarian squabbles of the past 50 or so years, the paleos versus the cosmos; the socially conservative versus the supposed “libertines” or hippies or what have you. But to me, the lack of women in libertarianism makes this a more interesting debate than it might be.

Cathy Reisenwitz of Reason offered her own response to Borowski’s video, and it’s, shall we say, cosmo-friendly in two ways. It’s opposed to slut-shaming and is pro-expensive handbag and I don’t really have an issue with it, only that she has continued what Borowski started when it comes to dancing around a point, but not getting to the heart of the question of where are the libertarian ladies.

Borowski and Woods and other’s basic premise that one can be a libertarian and a personal social conservative is one with which I strongly agree. It should be obvious. Other the other hand, the more paleo types have a habit of using words like “libertine” to describe anything outside of their conservative comfort zone. That is lazy and insulting, and is utterly lacking in nuance. It turns off those of us in the gray middle.

On the other, other hand, Reisenwitz may be overstating the joys of casual sex for all ladies in her video, but the libertarian answer to this should simply be a free market in all goods (handbags, etc.) and birth control available over the counter. Simple, the liberals would be happy, and the amount of sex anyone has would be their business, period. Reisenwitz ends with “Libertarians love sex and expensive handbags.” Libertarians are pro sexual freedom and pro free markets, so in a sense that’s true, but it’s also an imprecise summary that mirrors the same problem that Borowski’s video has. My problem with both these videos is that they are talking about bite-sized issues and they are both alienating to their fellow potentially middle-road libertarian women  (to say nothing of those still unconvinced by libertarianism).

Aesthetic issues are important to people, if not to libertarianism. I had paleo-libertarian friends who were annoyed when my former boss Nick Gillespie wrote about a transsexual woman in a beauty pageant. Is that relevant to libertarianism? No. Is Gillespie obligated to pretend that he is not pro gay rights, or pro transsexuals  or pro beat poets? No. The highest issue is whether the state should be involved in something or not, but individuals are not obligated to keep their personal opinions secret. This is a small, yet frustrating chunk of the great paleo vs. cosmo debate, but it seems to provoke the same conversations again and again. If the two camps are going to argue, let them argue about whether just wars exist or something substantial. Once and for all, the social conservatives are alienated by the “libertine” cosmos, and the cosmos are annoyed and turned-off by Christian shaming or a lack of love for rock and roll. We should be able to move on from that and agree with the basics of libertarianism, but Borowski and Reisenwitz’s videos show once again that we just can’t seem to.

I am glad to debate Cosmo and high heels and sexual libertarian or lack thereof, but it’s frustrating that both these ladies, who I admire and respect, have missed the bigger picture. (Besides more Hunger Games), what we need is to counter the idea that liberal ideas of legislated “fairness” and “equality” are the only ways to be emotional and caring. Women are supposedly more about emotions, even when it comes to the political realm. Furthermore, they are thought to be turned off by the stereotypical libertarian male who is awkward, creepy, or worse still, downright cold and callous about the poor and disadvantaged. Free markets themselves are of course thought to be the domain of the monocle-wearing fat cat. There’s a lot of reputation-changing that needs to happen.

An understanding of the basic benefits of free markets is essential to be a strongly-committed libertarian. And the right for any individual to be a selfish, uncharitable asshole is a right that is rarely defended and is also essential. Still, what libertarians need to do more than debate handbags is to counter the liberal propaganda that to care about other people is to legislate benefits “for” them.

GMU professor Bryan Caplan argues that it’s “inherently difficult to sell libertarianism to a Feeling” person (which women are much more likely to be). Why? Maybe a Feeling person is less likely to be a committed economist, but libertarianism doesn’t need everyone to be as smart as Caplan, Woods, or Borowski or Reisenwitz in order to catch on. Freedom just needs to be seen in a different, more positive light.

Why can’t freedom be fuzzy and emotional? Why can’t it appeal to all these soft, caring females? The drug war, crony capitalism, two million people in jail in the U.S., war itself, small businesses being crushed by bigger or more favored ones who have government help; taxi cartels, laws against treehouses and gardens in your homes, the racism of the justice system, the death penalty, etc. There are scores upon scores of libertarian issues that are more accessible to the average person than the quantitative scribblings of the dismal science or “letting the poor starve.” All of them could get right to the heart of people who, bless them, often do care about fellow humans and about injustices. Libertarian women (and men) should simply work on countering this idea that government-mandated fairness is kinder or gentler than freedom.