Sunday, October 7, 2012

Top Ten: Libertarians I Would Like to See Debate the Candidates

The failures of the recent Presidential debate and the "Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium" got me thinking about just whom I would like to see debate the 2012 candidates. Here is my list of individuals I think would hold candidates' feet to the fire and articulate the philosophy of liberty.

10. John Ziegler
  • From 2004-2007 on his KFI radio show Ziegler demonstrated a powerful ability, part perspicacity and part research, to observe events over a long period of time, noting many overlooked details, and then stitch them together to nail an opponent. I think any debate with Ziegler would demonstrate the saying that a liar ought to have a good memory.
9. Richard Epstein
  • I would love to see Obama and Romney debate Epstein's breadth of legal understanding, seemingly instant recall of cases, and the sheer speed of his delivery.
8. TIE: Penn JilletteJohn Stossell
  • Jillette and Stossell are both today's great libertarian "everyman." No other well known libertarians can convey so purely the sentiments, "What more do you want from me?" and "Why can't you just leave me alone?" Against either Obama and Romney would look pushy and authoritarian. 
7. Peter Schiff
  • Neither Obama nor Romney could compete with how Schiff can quickly paint the result of a given course of action. 
6. Nick Gillespie
  • Gillespie is simply tops at demonstrating how the answer for some people is always, "more governmental power." His opponent would instantly become the "Moar Cowbell!" candidate

5. TIE: Walter Block & Jeffrey Tucker
  • I just want to see Obama and Romney up there telling us about how terrible the world is and proposing to declare war on and regulate everything under the sun while the Walter is proposing to legalize ticket scalping and Jeffrey is talking about how great garbage disposals are. People would quickly see how dark a world is the statist bubble.
4. Jan Helfeld
  • Imagine the circumlocutions and flummoxed faces seeing Jan Socratically walk Obama and Romney back from their policies to their "first principles." 
3. Bob Murphy
  • Obama and Romney would collapse once they realized Murphy knew more about their own ideas and the history around them, especially Keynesianism, than they did. 
2. Stefan Molyneux
  • Neither could compete with Molyneux's scrupulous attention to logic and his swift ability to trace the logical consequences of a proposition. 
1. Tom Woods
  • Imagine: Tom lulls his opponent into a false sense of security with his gentlemanly, non-confrontational style. Obama or Romney says something, and it's all over. Tom starts talking about the Austrian Business Cycle, 19th century bank panics, the Kentucky Resolutions, the Commerce Clause, and Abel Upshur. Obama and Romney are befuddled and bewildered as all of the history they never bothered to learn comes crashing down on them in a cataclysm of truth-telling. 

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