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Donald Trump’s airstrikes on Syria has caused a rift in the movement with supporters split over the question of whether the president was right to bomb Bashar al-Assad’s airfield. While many sought to praise him over his actions, other prominent supporters turned against him. Austin Petersen breaks down the news.

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Meet the hosts

Austin Petersen is the chief executive officer of Stonegait LLC, a for-profit consulting firm specializing in photo and video services. Stonegait also provides social media advice, political campaign expertise and grassroots organizing strategies to candidates for office or to brands looking for more exposure. Petersen is the editor in chief of The Libertarian Republic news magazine, one of the most read political news sites in the United States. He also hosts The Freedom Report podcast, which has 30,000 daily listeners. Petersen is the former Director of Production at FreedomWorks and was an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” on the Fox Business Network. Petersen built Judge Napolitano’s social networks boasting over 600,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. His work has appeared in Getty, Reuters, the LA Times, NBC and Time Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor on television appearing on Russia Today and on dozens of local radio shows. Austin grew up on a farm in the Midwest in a town called Peculiar, Missouri. Graduating from Missouri State University with a degree in the Fine Arts, Petersen moved to New York City after graduation to a pursue a career in media.

discussions

  • As I listen to the radio during the weekday I ask myself, Is there (at present) a media-spun consensus to mutate the term “radical” as only meaning an individual who wants to join the religious extremism of Islamic State in Syria? Therefore making people conclude that “radical means Islamic State extremist” and vice versa? As a consequence, I believe other labels associated with the term may also include: contrarian, gadfly, maverick, rebel, and angry young (wo)man. The final goal, in my opinion, to label all these terms as “terrorist,” thus through the fear of this label bring the potential “radical” or any other term back into the collective instinct for a quiet and obedient statist life. Perhaps Christopher Hitchens was correct when he said in his book Letters to a Young Contrarian: “Radical is a useful and honourable term that comes with various health warnings.” (p.1) Of course we cannot forget Rothbard’s definition of the radical: “Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and antistatism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul. Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark.” http://mises.org/library/do-you-hate-state I could be wrong, but perhaps people aren’t being made aware that there are two types of radical. I say this because, again, I use Hitchens book: “Emile Zola could be the pattern for any serious and humanistic radical, because he not only asserted the inalienable rights of the individual, but generalised his assault to encompass the vile role played by clericalism, by racial hatred, by militarism and by the fetishisation of ‘the nation’ and the state.” (p.5)

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  • Hi everyone, We could all use a good laugh these days, so just thought I’d pass along one of our new animated videos. For Liberty, The Wry Guys

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  • When J. K. Rowling mentioned a petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK, the audience at the PEN Literary Gala applauded. But unlike much of the left, she knows that taking away freedom of speech threatens everyone, including her, and she rebuked the people who clapped. “Just a moment: Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.” The people who applauded were doubtless the same ones who objected to PEN’s free speech award to Charlie Hebdo. While they’re not likely to be convinced by any argument, she may have gotten others to think about the danger in today’s spreading hostility to free speech. That’s what counts.

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  • It took me a while to understand that Trumpism isn’t really about the issues. Not even the issues of anti-immigration and protectionism. It’s about the Chosen One, the Great Leader, the Messiah. When people think things have gone badly wrong, they often turn to someone who will set them right by taking command. The outrageous things he does have only increased his popularity. He boasts, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” When this mentality takes hold, there is no right or wrong for the Leader. When he does outrageous things, that merely proves nothing will stand in the way of his will. Caesar, Napoleon, Lenin, Hitler, Castro, Khomeini: They’ve all known the trick of harnessing the tribalist mindset. The specifics they offered didn’t matter so much as the promise that nothing would stand in their way. They can’t do anything horrible enough to turn people against them, except for failing. Telling Trumpists that he’ll do horrible things or that his policies will hurt everyone is beside the point. They expect him to “make America great again” by sheer force of authority.

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  • Over the past five months or so, I admit I’ve been intrigued—indeed, perhaps obsessed—with the American elections. More specifically, I’ve been fascinated by the Trump phenomenon and by the stunning hordes of people that either support him and hate him. The time I’ve spent learning about American Democracy has made me realize that my previous opposition to statism as a whole, as well as my rejection of voting on principle, was founded on abstract and philosophical discussion alone. I had an utter lack of experience and interest in politics. Throughout my whole life, the political process has seemed hopelessly corrupt and out of reach. It was easy for me to conclude that voting was hopelessly pointless and probably immoral. Today my views have changed, not much, but enough that I feel compelled to talk about my thoughts and not just keep them to myself. This is an exploration of a self-defense case for voting that is consistent with Voluntaryist principles, as well as a discussion on the potential merits of voting for Donald Trump to advance the cause of liberty. Before I make that case however, let me lay down two essential facts that have propelled me to this point. https://alexis.bastiatinstitute.org/the-voluntaryst-self-defense-case-for-voting-trump/

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