Primary Lessons in Democracy with Henry Olsen

Henry Olsen
Show Date
February 5, 2016
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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.