Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Classic Liberal Interview

Since the July, 4th holiday is coming up this weekend I have decided to post the weekly Blog Interview a little early. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing, Mike, from the The Classic Liberal. As with the previous interview I asked a series of questions and received some fantastic answers. I hope you will find this interview interesting, and if you would like to participate in the Blog Interviews please feel free to contact me.







tLP: Good afternoon Mike, how are you today?






The Classic Liberal: I'm fine Tom, and how are you?





tLP: Fantastic, and thank you for participating. Let's begin, what is your blog about?






The Classic Liberal: Well, obviously politics. :-) More specifically, it's about
liberty
and freedom. The two major political parties have steered our country
so far off course from what it was, it disgusts me. My personal views don't
seem to fit
into a given political philosophy these days either, and I think that's
in large part
due to philosophies being turned into labels. If we're to get down to the truth,
I'm a liberal. But in today's world, a liberal is my polar extreme!

The conservative movement started in the early 20th century, mostly in opposition to
increasing federal governmental powers, and the New Deal. Senator Robert A. Taft,
known to all as “Mr. Republican,” was the same type of guy as Rep. Ron Paul is today.
Even up into the sixties, when Goldwater was the standard-bearer of the movement,
conservatives advocated repealing laws, were anti-draft, and even anti-war. Goldwater
was not the neocon some like to paint him as today. He was much closer to being a
Taft-conservative, than to being a neocon (whose movement was just starting to blossom).

For example, today I hear and read so-called conservatives, claiming that Ron Paul isn't a
conservative, or that one is not a real conservative, if they don't support legislating morality
or blindly supporting any given war effort. In other words, so-called conservatives today,
believe in an active role for the State. But outside of the (left-leaning) neocon movement,
there's nothing for them historically, to back these arbitrary claims up.

The libertarian movement is just as bad too! For example, they've become vehemently
anti-religious and more than happy to attack those of religious faith. To me, this position
contradicts libertarianism. As long as someone isn't infringing on your rights, it's none
of your business how they live, what they believe, or what they worship. I also see a
move towards “civil rights,” and away from “natural rights” in the libertarian movement.
They're becoming every bit as Statist as the conservatives have become. My blog
comes in somewhere in between libertarian and conservative. To be more specific,
somewhere in between paleo-conservative and paleo-libertarian. The “modern” versions
of the movements have lost their way IMHO, and I hope to help people find their way
back.



tLP: Why did you start your blog?






The Classic Liberal: I'm a political junkie! I first became interested in politics
in the
6th grade, in 1980. I attended parochial school at the time, and they
gave us each a book (made for kids) that detailed the 3 platforms of Carter,
Reagan, and Anderson. The teachers genuinely did not give us
any input.
We made up our own minds, and at the end of the week the
school held a mock election.

The Revolution was already a big deal to me. It was Independence Day in 1976 that got
me stoked about America and the message of our
Founder's against the tyranny of government.
So when I read about
Reagan's passion for liberty and freedom, I got hooked and have been
so ever since. Also, I love arguing politics, so writing a blog
eventually become the next logical
step.




tLP: What are you hoping to accomplish with your blog?







The Classic Liberal: It may be futile, but I'm trying to get today's conservatives to
broaden their horizons and think outside the box. I believe Team Politics
(Red Team vs. Blue Team) is a serious problem, that only
causes too many people
to vote Republican and/or Democrat despite
their heart telling them something
else. I also think the 2-party
monopoly can be broken easier than people realize. You (as in
each of
us as individuals) just have to commit to it, then support and vote for someone else.
It's a simple one-person decision for each of us.
This also may be a futile attempt, but I'd like
libertarians to see
that their core market is the average conservative voter. In their everyday
lives, most of the the conservative electorate isn't as
Statist as the Republican Party. Not even
close. I tailor my message
towards conservatives, but focus liberty and freedom, not
party-politic talking points.


Politics have become so compartmentalized these days, it's a shame. With some 310 million
people living in this country, while
philosophical purity is an important long-term goal, to
get there, you
need others on your side. I hope I'm showing (at least a little) that we all
have a lot more to agree on, than we have to fight over. Right
now, “we the people” must
stop the spending train! We'd have a
majority to accomplish that if libertarians would quit
seeing
conservatives as their #1 enemy and vice-versa.



tLP: How are your posts received by people, good fair, or against?






The Classic Liberal: That's a tough question. I need to work on engaging people
more. I
say some pretty bold things that go without comment. Traffic has been
up and down since my start, but that's due in large part to things I didn't know
about SEO and what-not when I started. I think however,
my message is catching
on! Traffic has been growing steadily, I got
listed in a Top 100 Libertarian Blogs list, and a lot
of conservative
bloggers are linking to me. It's exciting!



tLP: How important is your blog in today's economic and political climates?







The Classic Liberal: I think it's vital. I talk about things that very few others will.
I
have a degree in finance, was a stockbroker for more than a decade (eventually
owning my own practice), and served as a senior officer at
a large publicly-traded
bank. So happily, the posts I've written
about the economy have really been
picking taking off (despite their
dire outlook). I'm no perma-bear, but our economy is doomed.
And
those posts seem to be opening more people up to my views on the other topics as well.



tLP: Where do you think the country will be in 2 years, and then in 4 years?






The Classic Liberal: Great Depression circumstances, a very restless populace, and
the
possibility of Marshall Law and/or civil war. What's taking place in Washington
today, is a coup. Make no mistake about it!
With all of the policy changes, as well
as those yet to come, do you
think we will ever get back to limited government?

It's possible, and could even happen peacefully … but it'll take a large part of the populace
waking-up out of their slumber, and
accepting the reality of our situation for what it is. I haven't
talked about this yet (because there's no reason at this point), but my gut tells me Ron Paul
could take the White House in 2012 … if we
make it that far … and his age doesn't turn into a
major issue.


Economically, things are going to get very bad for us. These circumstances will change political
discourse in ways none of us can
accurately predict. But he's having great success with his bill
to
audit the Fed, getting more and more press coverage, and people are slowly catching on to
the fact he's not the loon people claim him to
be. He's the only guy in Washington who's been
right all along, and
when the crap hits the fan, voters will take notice.



tLP: Well, Mike, I want to take this opportunity and thank you again for participating.
As with the previous interviewee you gave some great answers. Can you give us the
address to your website?




The Classic Liberal: I would be happy to, please go The Classic Liberal. You can
also get The Classic Liberal by RSS. Thank you for having me on The Liberty Pen.




As with the previous Blog Interview I did check to see if Mike and his blog were on Janet
Napolitano's watch list. They were not, so we can all breath easier. I find it somewhat comforting
that more people are becoming politically active and asserting their rights to liberty and
freedom. In my previous interview I ended with the statement that these are "interesting
times," I would like to amend those words to state these are "dangerous times." There is nothing
so frail as liberty, but in the same vein there is nothing so resolute as humankind's desire to
be free from tyranny. Here is a quote from Jean-Jacques Rousseau;

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

In my opinion the veracity of this statement permeates beyond the grasp of technocratic
disputation. One could disagree, but I could prove you wrong. The question remains, will
you break your chains and claim your liberty once more, or allow the government to tell
you what liberties you shall have?

theLibertyPen






In support of other bloggers to share their viewpoints, I would like to offer,
The Conservative Hideout 2.0. Take so
me time and look at this blog,
read some articles, and post some comments. Thank you
.




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