|Justin Moldow is the creator of Liberty Hangout|
Justin Moldow talks with Liberty Chronicle Independent about the two year anniversary of Liberty news and occasional-satire-article website, Liberty Hangout. Justin gives us insight on the history of the website and the future. For more information on Liberty Hangout, you can visit their website and follow them on Twitter and Like the page on Facebook.
DM: Welcome Justin, thanks for taking a moment to chat with LCI about Liberty Hangout and its two year anniversary. Let's introduce you to the readers a little about your history and how you came about Liberty Hangout?
JM: I grew up a right-wing conservative, and was very enamored by the leadership of George W. Bush when I was a child. As someone from the New York Metropolitan area, the tremors of 9/11 are still with me to this day, and I looked to the leadership of our President to help our nation stand strong. For a long time, I was an ardent supporter of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and was a proponent of the surveillance state. But I was young and naive, and after the re-election of President Obama in 2012, I began my journey into libertarian theory when I started reading books by Judge Andrew Napolitano. When I realized many of my former beliefs were either incorrect or not taken to their rational conclusions, my quench for truth only continued to grow. From there, I read the works of Ron Paul, Adam Kokesh, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, Tom Woods, and Stefan Molyneux, and felt so transcended by my journey, that I wanted to share it with the world.
DM: What was your biggest inspirations to start LH, which was formerly the Young Jeffersonians?
JM: A lot of our recent followers don't know it, but the site was actually founded as YoungJeffersonians.com in February of 2015, before changing to Liberty Hangout in May of that year. I was inspired by our founding fathers to continue to promote their ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And my only goal when I started the site was for it to be my own personal website to share my political beliefs. If you would have told be back in 2015 that Liberty Hangout would have a following of close to 60,000 and one of the top Alexa ratings of all the competing libertarian websites just two years later, I would have thought you were crazy. I never intended for Liberty Hangout to grow into a brand, but people have enjoyed our unique content so much that it was inevitable.
|Screenshot of Young Jeffersonians, before changed to Liberty Hangout|
DM: What has helped evolve Liberty Hangout to what it is today?
JM: Liberty Hangout really got a name for itself during the 2016 presidential election, when we were the first libertarian outlet to refuse to support the Johnson/Weld ticket. In many ways, we started the #NeverJohnson movement, and will likely always be remembered for this. While a lot of people were initially enraged by our hesitance towards the ticket, over time, it seems we now reflect the majority opinion in libertarian circles, and without our efforts, I think we might still have one too many libertarians running around saying that libertarianism is "fiscally conservative, socially liberal." And over the course of the 2016 election, we saw our following double as a result.
DM: What's your favorite aspect of LH currently, and what do you hope to change in the upcoming future, if any changes or additions?
JM: My favorite aspect of Liberty Hangout is the strong fellowship we have amongst our staff. James, Chris, and Michael are my best friends, and we all confide in each other on a daily basis. Having a healthy relationship with your team members makes what you do that much more enjoyable.
DM: What predictions does the crew at Liberty Hangout have for the future of the Libertarian Party later this year and going into next year?
JM: After seeing the debacle that was the Johnson campaign, my expectations for the party are frankly bleak, to say the least. They decided they wanted to market mostly to Bernie Sanders supporters last year, and now that a Republican is back in office, it appears they still have the same intentions.
DM: We have seen an influx (at least online through Facebook groups notably) what feels like a "left" or "SJW" major presence increase since the 2016 election. What is your group's ideas and theories as to how and why this has occurred? Do you expect this to be a trend to stay around for a while?
JM: I believe this is largely due in part to a misrepresentation of libertarianism. So many advertise the philosophy as something that it's not, which causes moderates and low-tax liberals to believe that they're libertarians. I expect that either the word "libertarian" will lose its meaning, or those who know that libertarianism is a philosophy grounded on the idea of property rights and self-ownership will fight arduously to reclaim it.
DM: What would be the Liberty Hangout's ideal candidate to run for the Libertarian Party during the 2020 or 2024 election? Should the Libertarian Party even consider a major 2020 Presidential run given the massive amount of support President Trump is getting from the "right?"
JM: Given that the Libertarian Party realistically has no chance of winning a presidential election, they should focus on one thing and one thing only, and that is spreading the libertarian philosophy. They should nominate an effective messenger that knows how to market the philosophy well. If Trump's first term in office turns out to largely be a positive one, it will present the Libertarian Party with a challenge, since there will be a large block of libertarians who will want to help get Trump re-elected. Because of this, I foresee the party moving even further left in 2020 than they were in 2016.
DM: We understand here at LCI that this work isn't easy, and it's very costly. What can you tell readers about how to help keep LH going and what can they contribute?
JM: Since we are huge proponents of capitalism, if you're willing to contribute to us, we want to give you guys something great in return. If you go to LibertyHangout.org/Store, we got some really cool t-shirts and our famous "Taxation Is Theft" snapback, which are available at great prices. If you purchase some merchandise, encourage your friends to do so as well, and wear it proudly, that would be the biggest help we could ever ask for. And you would also help spread the message of liberty to all corners of the country, since all of our apparel are great conversation starters.
DM: Thanks so much for spending time answering our questions and we hope for 20+ more years of Liberty Hangout. It is now being featured on Liberty Chronicle Independent's news aggregation feeds.
In closing, if you could give one message to the entire Libertarian Party for them to hear, personally from you, what would that be?
JM: Please take some marketing courses to understand your target demographics. Not everyone is going to be receptive to the message of liberty, in the same way that not everyone is going to want to buy an iPhone. You need to know who is most likely to buy your product if you want to be successful.