The GOP Civil War Over Libertarianism: Matt Welch at Reason Weekend 2013



“This battle for the soul of the Republican Party [is] between people who are actually interested in cutting the size of government and…an establishment that is more scared,” says Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch. “I think, right now, this is the national political story that is the most interesting.”

At Reason Weekend 2013, the annual donor event for the nonprofit that publishes this website, Welch discussed the GOP infighting during the 2012 convention, how the Tea Party and more liberty-minded factions are upsetting the old guard, and the policy implications that could come out of this fight.

“The quality of conversation is changing in a way that is grounds for at least slight optimism in the Republican party.”

About 23 minutes.

Filmed by Alex Manning and Meredith Bragg. Edited by Joshua Swain.

Go to for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV’s YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live.

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Comments

  • I find it astonishing that any genuine libertarian would have anything to do with the Republican party; the Republican party is the boot that aspires to stamp on the face of humanity for ever.

    Richard Hunter July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • Definition of Libertarianism: "Leave me the fuck alone." I won't bother you and you stay the fuck away from me. Amen.  Thomas Jefferson

    Ed usagill July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • "Military spending is a problem…"

    I appreciate that we spend too much on our military.  (I had twelve years and two deployments during my tenure in the US Army.)  So I agree with the idea on thinking about how we spend money within our armed forces more smartly.  But when we look at what is driving the deficit, it isn't the military, but entitlements.

    We must keep this in perspective. 

    Ike Evans July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • This war within the GOP is a good thing…

    …to a point.  Then you just let the most vile Liberal counterpart win elections….

    Ike Evans July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • That's not why. These so called "Libertarians", these fake American "libertarians" who used millions of dollars, a political party, and lies and propaganda to hijack the word libertarian on behalf of a propertied elite, have well funded candidates.
    The reason they can't win, despite being well funded, is because they're an extreme minority of rich white people, and the populist movement they portray is artificial, made up mostly of paid spokes people and republicans and church groups they bus in

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • But even if you were right, the "ad hom" is relevant, because it relates to the right winged hijacking of the word libertarian, through which the language has been distorted to conflate submission to the rule of a propertied elite with voluntarism, and the rule of the propertied elite with liberty.
    Murray Rothbard confessed to this in "The Betrayal of the American Right", and the Koch Institutes are funding the perpetuation of this propaganda.

    I reject the legitimacy of the title of this video.

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • The comment had to do with the channel the video was on and who made it, not on the contents of the video. My comment doesn't even address the contents of the video, it's not even a response to the contents.

    So no, it doesn't count.

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • You watched a video. And commented on that video. That comment had nothing to do with the content of the video, but of the funding that the people who created the video receive. Sorry, it counts.

    Mike Mayer July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • An Ad Hominem would be if I offered that as a response to an argument, in the place of an argument. I didn't.

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument

    You only mention that it is Koch funded.

    Mike Mayer July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • You need to look up what an Ad Hom attack is son, I didn't make one.

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • Instead of ad hominem attacks, can you bring up an actual topic that proves that matters? Any reason stances that are good examples?

    Mike Mayer July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • Too bad Reason TV is from the Reason Foundation which is a Koch Funded "think tank" for the right wing hijacking of "Libertarianism" or more appropriately Propertarianism in America.

    Shazbo Valen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • publicly funded elections won't cut out private interests, because there are only private interests. It would be impossible to enforce. If the Rich own policy, then how on earth do you expect to get this legislation passed in the first place? anyone who thinks the president should have this much power, the idea that one person is in charge of everyone, is just insane. The president is for national security, and to sort out affairs between states, he should not run taxes or healthcare or welfare.

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • The reason why there's so much money involved in campaigns, is because of the power that political office holds. If you've got a company that would make $1b under president Obama's policies, you're going to spend up to $1b to make sure he's elected, as long as the benefits of the politician's policies are greater than the money you give them, it makes sense to prop up that politician. If you're a politician and you think your policies will help people, you'll take any help you can get to win.

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • So what about TV shows that do political sketches? That's technically political advertising, it can change people's opinions about candidates. Also advertising needn't be done with the consent of the candidate, all the SuperPACs were private individuals getting together to produce an advertisement that would influence viewers to vote for the person they liked. If they can't coordinate with the politicians then they can misrepresent their views. Advertising isn't brainwashing, it's your choice.

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • Open borders are only a problem if there is a welfare state. Do you have anything against a person who's corrupt government is trying to kill his family coming to America for a better life? Or how about a physicist who's the only person with the expertise to work on a project, but they can't because they can't get a green card. There are so many people who would be safer and much more productive if they could be in another country. I bet you're for the importing/exporting goods, why not people?

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • you can advocate that people not run around naked whilst smoking pot without thinking that people should be thrown in jail for doing so. You don't have to be a dirty hippy to think that people who smoke marijuana responsibly shouldn't be thrown in jail or have a criminal record. I don't advocate people drinking heavily and crashing their car, doesn't mean I want to throw people who drink alcohol in jail.

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • How would you disperse funding between candidates, how do you keep from somebody running just to get that public funding? How do you keep private individuals from making a TV commercial that is political with out violating the first amendment?

    Shelby See July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • No tv commercials allowed aside from those advertising for upcoming debates. Just public debates. You can put up as many signs in your yard as you like and put up as many ads as you would like in the paper. Punishments should be mandatory jail time for politicians and individuals found to be colluding in advertising campaigns for candidates. Individuals can do what they like. But once they coordinate with politicians it would become illegal. This is the only way to fix our system.

    TheQualityrkc July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • do you really want to be paying your tax dollars so the democrats or republicans can take out tv commercials, what are you going to do if a tv commercial comes out in support of a party without being publicly funded? what if I want to put a sign up in my yard? What if I want to take out an ad in the paper pointing out how bad a candidate is?

    Dom Vasta July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • Are you trolling me? I said making all campaign donations publicly funded would fix our problems. You pointed out that we have public and private campaign financing. This much was obvious. I was insinuating that if you take private donations out of the picture and only allow public funding of campaigns it would fix the issue. How are we going to enforce the law? By making it punishable by law to give or receive private bribes. Pretty simple. Do you understand what I am saying now?

    TheQualityrkc July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • You can't admit when you are wrong on the only factual part of this conversation. Which you stated there was not public campaign funds. I gave factual evidence to prove you wrong. I knew you were like this. Your going to say it doesn't matter but it does. It shows your true character and its ugly. If we made it law that only public funds can fund a campaign, how are we going to enforce that law? What if I covertly funded a campaign through a deferent type of donation than money for political fav

    Shelby See July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • The "heart and soul" of the Republican Party is leaving. What is being left is an empty, soulless hull of what it used to be.

    Listen to the people this asshat is putting forth as conservatives!!

    WomanWithAnIssue July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • You're missing my point that religion and politics are on two different trajectories. Conservatives fail to link the two together despite the attempt, since their politics of force conflict with what the Bible says. Meanwhile, Christian libertarians like Lew Rockwell or Tom Woods, find that their politics and religion run parallel because they argue to not use the force of government to curtail the God-given free will of others.

    Stafford Christensen July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply
  • As long as they are privately funded the public funding doesnt matter. My claim was that public funding being the sole means of campaign finance would fix the problem and I think you know that.

    TheQualityrkc July 10, 2020 6:37 pm Reply

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