Last week, Conservative pundit Ann Coulter told me and a thousand young libertarians that we libertarians are puss- -- well, she used slang for a female body part.
We were in Washington, D.C., at the Students for Liberty conference, taping my TV show, and she didn't like my questions about her opposition to gay marriage and drug legalization.
"We're living in a country that is 70 percent socialist," she says. "The government takes 60 percent of your money. They take care of your health care, your pensions ... who you can hire ... and you (libertarians) want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, oh, we want to legalize pot? ... If you were a little manlier, you'd tell liberals what your position on employment discrimination is."
We do, actually. We say employers ought to get to choose whom they hire. They created the business, so they should be allowed to discriminate against stutterers, TV hosts, old people -- anyone they don't want.
But Coulter has a point.
Government rarely makes a dent in people's drug use or their ability to partner with people of their own gender.
"Seventy percent socialism" does much more harm. It kills opportunity and wrecks lives.
But Coulter doesn't just want to downplay "liberal" parts of the libertarian agenda. She opposes them.
When I asked why gays can't marry, she said,
"They can -- they have to marry a member of the opposite sex."
I see why the students were annoyed by Coulter's shtick.
If Republicans were smart, they'd listen to that rising generation of young people who want government to stay not just out of the economy, but out of our personal lives, too.
Fortunately, some Republicans are onboard with that. Another of my guests was Justin Amash, congressman from Michigan.
The young libertarians admire him, in much the same way they admire Republicans like Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Jeff Flake; Gov. Gary Johnson; and new Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie.
Amash focuses on government spending. He has pictures of libertarian economists like Murray Rothbard in his office, and he warns that big government -- including military spending -- will bankrupt America. He's not afraid to call for cuts in popular programs like Medicare, Head Start and food stamps.
After Amash's complaints about government spending, establishment Republicans in Congress kicked him off the budget committee. One said it was because of the "a--hole factor ... inability to work with other members."
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