Dr. Jeffrey Singer on Gary Johnson vs. The Lesser of Two Evils

With just three months to the general election, voters must now come to grips with the grim reality of their choice between the major parties’ presidential candidates. Naturally, the conversations around the “lesser of two evils” have begun, along with the ensuing mental gymnastics by those looking to justify their preference for either Trump or Clinton. There may be a silver lining, however. While former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson may not be the political savior many are hoping for, he is getting a hearing from a large swath of the electorate who otherwise would never have considered backing a third party candidate – let alone a libertarian. Jeff Singer, a general surgeon and libertarian from Arizona, has voted for the lesser of two evils for most of his life – but now he's had enough, and is casting his lot in with Johnson. Is it true that a vote for Johnson is a throwaway, or that it makes a victory of the greater of two evils more likely? Bob and Jeff spend the hour on the intricate question of how one can still vote smart, and on principle, in the unusual times we find ourselves in.

Christina Sandefur on the Right to Try Initiative

There's a wave of state-based reform sweeping the nation, and it's giving hope to thousands of terminally-ill patients. Since just 2014, 31 states have passed so-called "right to try" initiatives, which allow those with incurable and life-threatening illnesses to access potentially life-saving experimental treatments that have not yet been approved by the FDA. Leading this legislative cascade is Arizona's Goldwater Institute. They believe the Food and Drug Administration has been overly paternalistic in making what amounts to an incredibly difficult, yet personal decision, on behalf of all Americans. When early "Phase I" evidence shows a treatment's potential, physicians in Right to Try states are able to take the experimental treatments out of the laboratory in an attempt to save their patients. Christina Sandefur, executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute, is a co-drafter of the Right to Try initiative and has been pivotal in getting these laws passed around the country. She joins Bob to make the case to the remaining 19 states – including California. 

Dr. Rick Doblin on MAPS and the War on Drugs

Dr. Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, joins the show to discuss the history of the War on Drugs, and the efforts to legalize certain scheduled substances through formal FDA approval.

Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

F.H. Buckley on *The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America*

Sensing a wave of populist frustration, the Democratic Party has embraced the narrative of the 99% versus the 1%, and called for a new round of socialist policies. Conservatives, seeing the failures of socialism, have downplayed the severity of inequality, and all but ignored the even greater problem of economic immobility. Mitt Romney, for his part, spoke of the “47%” who would always vote for bigger government to receive the benefits, and he was roundly rejected by voters. Yet both sides may have a point – America does increasingly resemble an aristocracy with a dependent class, stuck in poverty. In his new book, *The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America,* Francis H. Buckley puts a face to the modern inherited aristocracy, which Founders like Thomas Jefferson had hoped to do away with for good. A Professor at George Mason University School of Law, Buckley honestly admits that he is one the “New Class” – those whose education and birthright advantages have enabled them to ride the wave of globalization and technological progress that has gutted the middle class. This gives him a unique vantage point to describe what he sees standing in the way of opportunity and justice for all. Buckley joins Bob to discuss how America lost the promise of economic mobility for the hardworking poor, and how he thinks we can find our way back. While Buckley sees a revolution brewing in the form of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Bob says, "Not so fast."

*The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America* by F.H. Buckley [AMAZON]

Trump's Revolution, by F.H. Buckley, The American Spectator, June 6, 2016

Ilya Somin on Democracy and Political Ignorance

The second edition of Ilya Somin’s Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter could not have arrived at a better time. Most of us can sense something wrong with our democracy, but the source of our problems is often overlooked in the face of the symptoms: botched wars, corruption, and political parties that fail to deliver decent, principled candidates. Somin, a Law Professor at George Mason University and contributor to the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog, asks us to consider that the issue may a bit closer to home. Might the problem reside partly in our own ignorance, and the reasonable decision of a majority of voters to live their lives rather than obsess about an unaccountable central government? Somin is not taking aim at “stupid voters” or blaming them for the problems of society, but proposing alternative mechanisms for improving governance that depend less on a perfectly informed citizenry. He joins Bob to explore more realistic correctives to the slide towards idiocracy, including a new spin on federalism in the form of "foot voting."

Gail Heriot on the Significance of Justice Scalia’s Passing

The recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia heralds an unprecedented moment in American politics. The sad news came as a surprise to his defenders and detractors alike, but the eulogies have been quickly eclipsed by the debate his vacant seat spawns. It's hard to overstate the importance of the next appointee to the Supreme Court bench (not to mention the others likely to come soon). Furthermore, the looming senate confirmation process injects yet another contentious issue into an already heated election year. To see where this battle is headed, Bob will be joined by University of San Diego Law Professor Gail Heriot. Heriot positions Scalia's legacy in terms of his deference to the logic of constitutional governance over any individual or narrow majority's final authority.

Who will be confirmed, and how will it all unfold? 

LINKS:

"Antonin Scalia was a friend of democracy" Boston Globe, 2/14/16

By seeking to thwart the Constitution, Republicans are playing with fire - The Washington Post [AUDIO] - President Obama on the Constitution being clear on what happens next.

[AUDIO] - President Obama's contradictory statement on Samuel Alito

Primary Lessons in Democracy with Henry Olsen

Almost two years ago, approaching the 2014 mid-term elections, Bob interviewed Edward Hudgins of the Atlas Society on his book *The Republican Party’s Civil War.* The book's premise was that warring factions within the GOP could present an opportunity for the libertarian wing of the party to emerge at center stage. Hudgins made his optimistic case at a Cato Institute panel, with the opposing perspective presented by Henry Olsen, a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, who predicted that no such "libertarian moment" was in progress. Now, Olsen joins the show to expand on this argument, having examined hard data from past primary elections to compile his new book *The Four Faces of the Republican Party.* Olsen's thesis illustrates the messy nature of our democracy, and how the balance of power among factions determines election outcomes, rather than pure principles like limited government. While the upcoming presidential election may not bode well for liberty in the short term, it can instruct us on what a winning coalition might look like in the future.

Beltway Jargon Decoded with David Mark

On any given night, television audiences can tune into an elaborate unscripted reality show in which the stakes are high, the stars are hungry, and the stage is global. No, this program is not *The Amazing Race* – it’s whatever happens to be on C-SPANMSNBC, or any other politically-focused news network, and politicians and pundits are its stars. The theater of politics is its own specialized arena, with jargon to match. David Mark and his co-author Chuck McCutcheon have been professional spectators (aka political journalists) of this show for decades, and have documented an elaborate vocabulary in their new political dictionary, “Dog-Whistles, Walk-backs and Washington Handshakes.”  Much like a modern-day translation is needed to fully understand Shakespearean plays and sonnets, Mark and McCutcheon’s book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what’s really being said in political speeches, debates and interviews. David Mark is a San Francisco writer, and former senior editor of Politico. He joins Bob in the studio, just in time for the start of election season, to discuss his new book.

Overruling Government Overreach: Damon Root on the Libertarian Legal Movement

In his new book "Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court," Reason Magazine Senior Editor Damon Root takes up a central question to our Constitution: Should the courts exercise restraint by allowing lawmakers to craft a wide range of legislation, or should they more actively defend individual rights from being overridden by majority rule? In fighting for the latter position, libertarians find themselves opposed to a long line of legal giants, from the progressive champion Oliver Wendell Holmes to conservative icon Robert Bork. Complicating matters, "judicial activism" has developed a reputation for abuse in the hands of politically-motivated judges. But in recent years, a libertarian legal movement rooted firmly in the Founders' vision of individual rights has grown to challenge the legacy of judicial restraint. Root will join Bob for the full hour this Sunday to discuss how a small "elite core of frontline fighters" has overcome the odds in numerous cases – from gun control to occupational licensing – to persuade judges to overrule government overreach.

The New Royal Prerogative: Philip Hamburger on Administrative Law

Confused by all the talk around Halbig v. Burwell? Rumors abound that this case represents the next big legal challenge to Obamacare, but how do we know it's not just hype surrounding a technicality, as the law's supporters suggest? In Halbig, an IRS interpretation of Obamacare – dubious, but crucial to the law's implementation – was rejected by the courts as an unlawful use of administrative authority. The underlying concern is the ongoing revival of extralegal executive powers – akin to the "Royal Prerogative" of yore – under the banner of "Administrative Law." If the Halbig decision stands, it would represent at least a small win against the growth of executive power. But health care isn't the only area where increasingly absolute executive authority is eroding the checks and balances of our constitutional government. Columbia Law Professor Philip Hamburger will join the show to clear up the confusion, and to reveal the long historical struggle to constrain extralegal power as told in his fascinating new book, Is Administrative Law Unlawful?