Five Minutes Five Issues: Libertarian Moment, Trump Target, Census, the Free Society, Google

by | Apr 9, 2018

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

A Monday editorial by Kevin D. Williamson at The Atlantic has the title “The Passing of the Libertarian Moment.” But, libertarians reading the editorial are likely to come away baffled or chuckling.

A central point in the editorial is that libertarianism is or was bound up with conservativism and the Republican Party. Among support offered for this assessment is President Ronald Reagan saying “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism” and National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr. titling one of his books Happy Days Were Here Again: Reflections of a Libertarian Journalist. But, libertarians familiar with the two men know many reasons neither was a libertarian. Indeed, Williamson lists some reasons in regard to Reagan’s presidency, including that Reagan “radically expanded the military and the federal police powers.”

Libertarianism is neither conservative nor liberal and neither Republican nor Democrat. Libertarianism is its own thing, both now and back in 1993 when Buckley published his book and in 1975 when Reagan made his comment.

Issue two.

I wrote in January at the Ron Paul Institute website regarding Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano’s advice that President Donald Trump should not talk with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators. Napolitano stressed that investigators skilled in tripping people up would make sure Trump’s talking would worsen his situation.

This week, Napolitano, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, returned to the subject in a Fox News interview. The reported Mueller claim that Trump is not a “target” of Mueller’s investigation, says Napolitano, could give Trump “a false sense of security” in regard to taking part in an “extremely dangerous” interview. “Stay away,” warns Napolitano, explaining that, “if [Trump’s] a subject and not yet a target, and they want him to become a target, they are going to ask him questions the answers to which will move him into that target category.”

Issue three.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is supporting the 2020 United States census adding questions about people’s sexual orientation and gender identify, while opposing inclusion on US citizenship questioning.

The ACLU put the two matters together in a Thursday Twitter post, stating:

Excluding LGBT Americans while adding a new citizenship question paints a clear picture of the Trump administration’s desire to erase queer people and single out immigrants.

Wouldn’t the ACLU better respect liberty by rejecting the US government pressuring people to out themselves regarding their sexual orientation, the gender they identify with, or their citizenship?

Issue four.

What is libertarianism? How does libertarianism differ from liberalism and conservatism? How would libertarianism work in practice? These are some of the questions answered in detail in The Free Society, Laurence M. Vance’s new book of collected essays.

The Free Society is a good introduction to libertarian ideas and a good resource for libertarians seeking fortification of their understanding.

Issue five.

Scott Shane and Daisuke Wakabayashi reported Wednesday at the New York Times that “[t]housands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses artificial intelligence to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes.”

The letter begins with this declaration: “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war.”

Good luck to these Google employees.

And how about Congress stepping in to end the US government’s killings overseas, by drones and otherwise?


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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