Magazine article The American Prospect

Among the Libertarians

Magazine article The American Prospect

Among the Libertarians

Article excerpt

Libertarians love contracts almost as much as they love liberty. So when I signed up for the Cato Institute's "Cato University" this summer, I knew I could expect challenging lectures, expensive catering, and plenty of golf--just as promised. But once the folks at Cato discovered I was from The American Prospect, I was politely informed that permission to attend was contingent on my not writing about the 100 or so libertarian-minded conferees and their doings. Cato University, I was told, was "a gathering of like-minded individuals."

In the spirit of the occasion, I entered into a verbal contract--voluntarily, mind you--not to write about the conference, and come August, I boarded a plane for sunny San Diego, with visions of "Spontaneously Ordered Volleyball" dancing in my head. So I can't tell you any details about the graying libertarians on vacation, the endless and increasingly unfunny Clinton jokes ("Bill Clinton, the adulterer-in-chief--I mean, commander-in-chief"), or my conversations over Chardonnay with intense young iconoclasts who railed against the evils of socialism, gun control, and corn subsidies.

Alas, I had already been pegged as a liberal. …

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