How to Stay Sane as a Libertarian on Lockdown



While the COVID-19 scare has forced many businesses to close, politicians around the world are having a field day. The people are scared, and once again seem more than willing to hand over their economic freedom in the name of safety. Ostensibly, the rationale of “lives not livelihoods” is beneath this stripping away of our liberties. It is only “temporary,” we are told – just as the income tax and PATRIOT Act - were merely temporary measures to address extraordinary circumstances of WWII and 9/11 respectively.

In a recent piece, “An Epidemic Big Enough to Accommodate Everyone’s Wish List,” (3/18/20) Senior Editor Jacob Sullum notes how politicians from both parties are using the crisis to advance their agenda. Bernie Sanders is pushing Medicare-for-All, while Trump doubles down on his border wall.

In doing so, government is complicit with the mainstream media, which happily spits out the most dire scenarios – reporting on every new case as proof the sky is falling while ignoring new data suggesting that we are overreacting.

In response, I have limited my information intake to a select trusted group and am calm, relaxed, optimistic, and comfortable in the conclusions and observations I have made. Being selective has made a profound difference in how I feel about the world and the confidence I have in my own decision making.

I invite you to try it. A few important reminders:

  • Newly discovered cases ≠ new cases
  • Mainstream media hijacks our emotions to sell us advertisements
  • "Temporary" restrictions on freedom are never temporary
  • Government always thinks about how to expand its power at the expense of the people during times of crisis.

So, who should you follow? For starters, try Reason MagazineCafe HayekAmerican Institute for Economic Research, and The Cato Institute.

Jacob joined me for the full hour to discuss whether the aggressive control measure against COVID-19 are worth it. He’ll also help explain why politicians – in the words of Rahm Emanuel – “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Jacob’s writings over the past few weeks also reveal Governor Andrew Cuomo as the political opportunist par excellence, but he has plenty of competition.


Reason Articles by Jacob Sullum

Epidemiology and Overreaction

Economic Concerns

Constitutional Considerations: