This is the second of four articles spanning my discussion with Adam Kokesh. Read the first piece.
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto
These are trying times for libertarians -- especially the orthodox sort.
With populism on the rise among both Republican and Democratic ranks, the Libertarian Party orbiting into near-electoral irrelevance, and seemingly little chance for change on the horizon, some might be tempted to give up on the liberty movement. (Read more here)
Adam Kokesh: Libertarianism is based on ethics and is thus intertwined with human progress towards a more ethical society. In a sense, it's endurance is eternal because it describes something fundamental to any group of sentient beings. In another sense, it will soon be completely irrelevant. Like when humans invented brushing our teeth, we didn't have to argue about once people realized that keeping their teeth was better than losing them.
Cotto: During George W. Bush's presidency, the American left was solidly antiwar. When Obama was elected, leftists -- by and large -- cooled on antiwar activities, even though Obama continued many of Bush's policies, going so far as to expand some of them. Now, in the age of Trump, leftish activists are more hawkish than the average right-of-center voter. What accounts for this 180 degree shift?
Kokesh: I think this is an enduring part of the Ron Paul effect. Many GOP voters who didn't go for Ron Paul took his non-interventionist message to heart, and by following the news and doing their own research, many of them are learning how the American government's foreign policy has been way more motivated by ripping people off than keeping anyone safe.
Cotto: What is the liberty-minded approach to dealing with illegal immigration?
Kokesh: The only legitimate borders are private property borders. We should get government completely out of the unethical business of restricting freedom of movement and empower communities and property owners to determine their appropriate levels of security and to choose with whom to associate.
Cotto: Marijuana legalization has gained tremendous popularity over the last few years. Nonetheless, many still support a strict ban on pot. What would you say to these holdouts?
Kokesh: If you endorse the idea that it's ok to punish someone for putting something that you don't like in their own body, then you are not respecting the fact that they own themselves, and it won't be long until you feel the consequences of what you advocate when your own self-ownership is violated by someone who wants to control your behavior.