liberty activists

Gohmert blasts National Journal for “libelous,” “sleazy” coverage of Liberty Karaoke

A large group of DC-area liberty activists gathered last Tuesday at O’Sullivan Irish Pub for what they call “Liberty Karaoke,” or #LibertyKaraoke, if you’re on Twitter. This weekly event was a little different on this particular night because the group was throwing a fundraiser for Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), one of the growing number of libertarian-leaning Republicans in Congress.

The event was a resounding success. The 80 to 90 liberty activists, most of whom are in their 20s, raised $9,000 for Massie’s campaign coffers, surpassing the $6,630 they raised for Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) in December.

“I think Massie’s reelection is important because we need leaders that are willing to stand up in the name of liberty,” Leah Courtney, a DC-area liberty activist, told United Liberty. ”Young people are drawn to liberty-minded Republicans because they are the ones with spines, and will speak up for their constituents. There’s no hidden agenda, just Congressmen doing their jobs.”

“We’re a generation that has grown up in a rocky economy. We’re the ones that have excessive student loan debt, and we have had to walk into a world where jobs are not necessarily the easiest to find,” she said. “We need a REAL change. Massie and Amash are what we’re looking for in candidates, and this is just the beginning.”

Liberty movement activists sing praises of anti-establishment Republicans

In a town known for power-hungry establishment politicians and lobbyists who are constantly trying to exert their influence, there is a burgeoning group of young liberty movement activists who are working behind-the-scenes to change the status quo in the nation’s capital.

Mostly in their 20’s and early 30’s, D.C.-area liberty-minded activists hold jobs in congressional offices on Capitol Hill or in some of the town’s most well-known grassroots organizations. These young people have made their presence felt in the Washington-area political scene, and they’re doing so in an unorthodox way.

Many from this crowd meet-up at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Arlington, Virginia for what they call “Liberty Karaoke,” a weekly tradition started a few years ago by a group of like-minded friends. It’s not unusual to find 50 or more activists hanging out and singing some of their favorite tunes on any given Tuesday night.

“D.C.-area liberty movement young people have been attending weekly karaoke for over three years,” Matthew Hurtt, a 26-year old grassroots activist, told United Liberty. “It was really organic. It’s been a weekly place to unwind and hang out.”

But the group has found another purpose for Liberty Karaoke by using it as a fundraising opportunity for certain candidates whom they support.

In early December, for example, the group hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Justin Amash, a 33-year-old Michigan Republican who has become one of the most vocal critics of the Obama Administration, domestic surveillance programs, and, at times, his own party’s leadership.

The New Republican Party: Libertarian Fusionism in Virginia

The rise of the so-called “liberty movement,” which sprang out of the early days of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and of the tea party movement, which was a reaction to the one-party Democrat rule in Washington after the 2008 elections (with Obama’s victory being the likely spark) has forced the Republican Party to wrestle with warring factions in an attempt to establish a winning coalition.

Those in the media love to paint the GOP’s internal struggle as evidence of a party in the throes of extinction; as a party out-of-touch with mainstream America. But I think the “growing pains” the GOP are experiencing could potentially strengthen the Republican Party.

I am of the opinion that we have two political parties in our first-past-the-post electoral system. Few candidates have won major office in recent history under the banner of any party other than the Republican or Democrat parties. There are exceptions, but they’re rare, and those candidates usually win because of their personality, rather than a set of ideals on which a party platform could be constructed. Think Maine’s Angus King or Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman.

It is with that understanding that many within the “liberty movement” in Virginia have begun working within the Republican Party to move it in a more (small-L) libertarian direction. Our reasoning is that political parties do not hold a certain philosophy; they are vessels through which their members advance a set of ideas and beliefs. As the GOP looks for a path forward, it should look to the way the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) has embraced liberty activists.


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