Arguing for limited government and individual liberty can be a difficult task in Washington, D.C. But it was a bit easier this month, since a lot of liberty lovers were in town for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC).
CPAC may have appeared to be less friendly to the ideas of liberty this year. After all, GOProud was not invited and Ron Paul didn't win the straw poll. And, as Jake Horrowitz discussed earlier, Republican presidential candidates competed over who was more conservative.
But pro-liberty groups were present in other areas at CPAC. When I stopped by the exhibit hall, I saw many groups promoting aspects of a freer society. Some groups sought to get the government out of our health care decisions; others focused on getting the government out of planning the economy.
I caught up with Andrew Guevara, who runs Liberty on the Rocks DC, a networking organization for people who are interested in liberty. "Liberty on the Rocks made a big impact at this year's CPAC with our characters Big Government Gary and Crony Capitalism and our social event 'CPAC on the Rocks.' We wanted to not only garner the attention of the liberty friendly attendees, but also to shed light on two big hindrances to our economic and personal liberties: uncontrolled government growth and crony capitalism,” he said.
Not only did student groups speak out against big government, prominent politicians did too. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke strongly against cronyism — when the government picks winners and losers in the marketplace.
Momentum for the liberty movement continued after CPAC. The Fifth Annual International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC), a libertarian student conference, took place during the following weekend. It included a keynote speech by venture capitalist Peter Thiel and the taping of the John Stossel show. Over 1,000 people attended, making it the largest libertarian student conference in history. The liberty movement has great momentum.Photo Credit: Liberty on the Rocks DC
[Disclosure: I participate on the organizing committee for Liberty on the Rocks DC and I am a Board Member for Alumni for Liberty, which is affiliated with Students for Liberty.]