Profiles in Liberty: Julie Borowski, Libertarian Activist
Julie Borowski is the Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks. Recently, Ms. Borowski was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform. Before that, she was a Koch Fellow intern with the Institute for Humane Studies at the Center for Competitive Politics.
Business Insider recently named her in a list of women leading the “Ron Paul Revolution” and she is famous in right-of-center political circles for her vlogging.
Matt Naugle: Business Insider named you one of the leading women in the Ron Paul liberty movement. How did you become a libertarian?
Julie Borowski: I became a libertarian because of the Internet.
I used to be a huge neoconservative in early high school. Eek, I know.
Growing up in a Republican household, I used to have the childish mentality that I couldn’t criticize Republicans ever. I supported all Republicans because they weren’t “tree hugging sissies” like the Democrats. I believed in every word of the Republican platform without any independent thought. Wow, how dumb.
I was thrilled when George W. Bush became president. But after a few years, I realized that we weren’t better off. Despite all the talk about fiscal responsibility, George W. Bush was a big spender like the Democrats. And I slowly started questioning the wars. What exactly has been accomplished?
I discovered that my grandfather was actually a libertarian (not a Republican after all—he didn’t like Clinton or Bush!) And that’s when I started Googling libertarianism in 2005. I loved everything I read. These people were serious about reducing the size and scope of government.
I found out about Ron Paul in 2007 in an anti-Patriot Act Facebook group. The rest is history.
MN: When did you start doing YouTube commentaries? Does your family watch and enjoy them?
JB: I started a YouTube channel called TokenLibertarianGirl in June 2011. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just set up a flip camera on a stack of books in my bedroom, talked to it for a couple minutes, and uploaded it on YouTube.
Yes, my family does watch them. They don’t agree with everything I say but I think they are happy that I’m taking a stand. I would advise them not to read the comment section though.
MN: How did you get involved in FreedomWorks?
JB: I began an internship with FreedomWorks in January 2010. I feel like I applied to pretty much every libertarian organization that spring semester and they were (almost) the only ones to take a chance on me. They hired me on full time that summer and I am now a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks.
FreedomWorks is a great place to work. It’s very fulfilling to work for a cause that I believe in. And I get to wear jeans to work.
MN: The Federal Reserve stinks. So we should just start using gold bars for currency?
JB: Yes, yes, the Federal Reserve does stink. It has devalued the dollar by 97 percent since it was established in 1913. I support people using whatever currency that they want. If you want to use gold bars for currency then by all means. I believe gold retains value a lot better than paper money that can be so easily manipulated by the Federal Reserve. I just don’t think people should be forced to use Federal Reserve notes as money.
MN: What advice do you have for young women entering the liberty movement?
JB: Get ready. Especially if you put yourself out there online, you’re most likely going to get some unwanted attention and crude comments. That’s just the honest truth that they should be prepared for in advance. I don’t want to discourage anyone because we need more women (and men!) in the liberty movement. But all of the nice comments really do make up for the nasty ones. Whenever I get a message from someone saying that I opened their eyes to libertarianism, it makes my day.
Good advice for anyone: internships, internships, internships. I recommend doing them.
MN: Besides people named Paul and Borowski, who should be President in 2016?
JB: Aw, not even Rand Paul? I’ll probably be supporting Rand Paul if he runs in 2016 because he has an impressive record in the Senate so far and I volunteered for his campaign in 2010. Actions speak louder than words. He stood strong against the NDAA and filibustered the Patriot Act in the Senate. He has introduced tons of great liberty bills including ones to abolish the TSA, withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and audit the Fed.
MN: When you are not busy fighting in defense of libertarian policies, what do you do for fun?
I’m a big fan of standup comedy. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal my favorite standup comedians because people will judge my crude sense of humor.
I also love to cook. It’s an art to me.
I’m a huge dog person. My wiener dog is really cool and we like to hang out.
I like good books and movies.
MN: What is your favorite place for libations in Washington?
JB: I assume libations means boozing. I show up at some liberty happy hours but all DC bars seem the same to me. Really, loud bars aren’t my scene and I find paying $8 for a drink to be ridiculous. The best place to go out is in Old Town Alexandria. I also like to occasionally go to wineries in northern Virginia and pretend like I know stuff about wine.
MN: What is your favorite movie?
JB: My favorite movie is V for Vendetta. What a stereotypical libertarian answer.
MN: What is the difference between a libertarian and a conservative? And in the era of Obama, does that difference matter?
JB: Well, there are a lot of different kinds of libertarians and conservatives. But to keep it simple: libertarians generally believe in economic and personal freedom. Conservatives generally believe in economic freedom but believe that the government should control regulate morality.
I see libertarianism as strictly a political philosophy. You can be personally socially conservative and still be a libertarian if you don’t want the government to regulate other people’s personal decisions. A non-interventionist foreign policy should be both a libertarian and conservative position.
The number one issue is the economy right now. So libertarians and conservatives have been able to unite in the era of Obama.
MN: In a wrestling match with Rachael Maddow of MSNBC and you, who would win?
JB: I would probably just run away if she tried to wrestle with me.
MN: What will happen with Ron Paul at the GOP convention? Do you think his delegates will cause problems for the party establishment and should they?
JB: I have no idea. Ron Paul’s campaign even admitted that they don’t have the necessary amount of delegates to win. Of course, that’s very unfortunate.
But there is still a lot to celebrate. Winning the nomination isn’t everything. More and more people are waking up the ideas of liberty and Ron Paul was able to more than triple the amount of votes he got this time around.
The revolution won’t happen overnight. Some of us want everything and we want it now. But that’s not how politics work. The intellectual revolution has to happen before we can see political changes.
I do think Ron Paul supporters in Tampa can have an influence in the Republican Party platform. It’s up to us to hold their feet to the fire.
MN: Final words of wisdom from Julie Borowski?
JB: Don’t sit around and wait for someone to give you an opportunity. Go out and create your own opportunities.
Do you want to be a writer for the liberty movement? Create your own blog. Do you want to be a liberty pundit? Create your own YouTube channel. You might have liberty organizations looking to hire you soon.