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