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One day in the hall at Fox News, Judge Andrew Napolitano chased me down and said, “Austin, you’ll never believe what just happened.” 

John Bolton just stopped me and said he wants to be on Freedom Watch. He wants to talk about how libertarian he is.” 

My eyes shot wide open, “Huh? Arch-neocon Ambassador bomb-Iran-into-oblivion Bolton?” 

“The one and only,” the Judge responded. 

I scratched my head, “Alright, well… I guess I’ll book him.” 

How does one define a libertarian? Ludwig Von Mises once defined liberty by explaining that “Liberty is always freedom from government.” Many libertarians today would most likely agree with that definition. But despite near universal agreement on this precept, there is never a dearth of disagreement on just who or who is not a libertarian. So if you asked someone to name a prominent libertarian, would Ambassador John Bolton come to mind?

To Bolton, libertarianism is about limited government that acts only within a constitutional framework. He says it’s a philosophy that he’s “very comfortable with,” for the reasons that he claims to agree with libertarians on nearly all issues of domestic policy, limited government, personal responsibility, and lower taxes. Still, in an interview on The Freedom Report, Bolton veers off the traditional libertarian viewpoints on issues such as the War on Drugs and foreign intervention.

Bolton believes that many of the problems that Americans experience with healthcare are due to government interference. He argues that a lot can be done for the less fortunate members of society without the need for an initiative such as Obamacare. “What if the government was as involved with food as it is with healthcare?” he asks, making the case that intervention into the sector would be as likely to cause food shortages as it does for medicine. It’s hard to disagree that Bolton is a libertarian on this issue.

But what about issues of war and peace?

The question we ask of Bolton is: how much national defense do we really need in order to protect our security? And how involved should the United States be in forging mutual defense treaties with nations such as Ukraine, Poland, or even Britain and France? Should we be spending American blood and treasure to defend our allies, even if there doesn’t appear to be any clear U.S. interests?

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Bolton argues that you avoid a war by being strong, not by being weak, and that the policies of the Obama administration have given carte blanche to foes such as Russia to expand their sphere of influence in eastern Europe. The United States should be aggressively countering the moves of Russia in order to display our willingness to go to war, so that by appearing strong, we can avoid one.

Edward Snowden, James Clapper, Russia and Crimea, the War on Drugs and Obamacare. All these issues and more on today’s episode of The Freedom Report podcast featuring special guest: Ambassador John Bolton.

Subscribe to the Freedom Report on iTunes. 


About The Author

Austin Petersen

Austin Petersen is the founder of The Libertarian Republic, as well as the CEO of Stonegait LLC. Formerly an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano's show "Freedom Watch", on the Fox Business Network. Austin was referred to by the Judge as "The right side of my brain". He built Judge Napolitano's social networks with over 700,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. Austin graduated from Missouri State University. He has written and produced award winning plays and videos, and previously worked for the Libertarian National Committee and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

  • Joao

    So no US government in in the bedroom, in the boardroom. But all over the rest of the globe, finding and developing future enemies, OK

  • Rand Allan

    If John Bolton is a libertarian, then I’m a 75-year old tomcat. Bolton is just redefining libertarianism to his liking. If he has suddenly seen the error of his ways and will now swear to uphold the Zero Aggression Principle of libertarianism in all situations, then I’ll consider his claim to be a libertarian. Until then, he’s just another pretender.

  • Hell no!