Small L libertarian, big D Democrat


It’s rare that I ever go to talks/guest speeches/events on campus; I’m usually either in class or at work (if not just plain uninterested in what’s on offer). But I did go to listen to Terry Michael last week when he came to AUT. Not a whole lot of people turned up. Maybe about 15, which was just as well seeing as we were shunted into one of the tiniest classrooms in WT tower. One of our Grad Dip students mustered up enough interest to get him to come and speak at AUT (he’s currently on some sort of tour downunder…does he do the same speech every time? Or does he shake it up quite a bit? Surely it would get old delivering similar versions of the same spiel over and over, but I’m sure he’s giving talks at many places, not just universities, so he’d be tailoring accordingly).

He’s head of a programme that teaches journalism students about politics in Washington, an ex press secretary and reporter. So he talked about the history of American media and touched briefly on party politics. But what was most interesting was how he described his own stance. Small L libertarian, big D Democrat. Something I thought was kind of contradictory at first – aren’t those two at odds? – until he explained it a little bit more. Here’s another quote:

“Government: out of my bank account and my bedroom, away from my body, and out of the backyards of the rest of the world”

The good stuff came after he finished speaking, and engaged in debate with a few of our lecturers – true blue lefties, the pro-welfare kind that Michael eschews. Sadly, I had to leave to go sit my media law test and missed most of it.

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