Robin is the creator and publisher of WatchingAmerica.com, a website that translates foreign news about the U.S. from around the world.
He is also a political and economic commentator for the Huffington Post, Ben Swann, the Daily Paul, and other sites. He is best known for coining the term “Blue Republican” to refer to liberals and independents who joined the GOP to support Ron Paul’s bid for the presidency. His article launched a movement, which now focuses on winning supporters for liberty, rather than arguments, focusing on finding common ground with those of various political persuasions, and especially people on the left.
For 1000 years, British men, women and even children, have fought and died to move power from elites to people, to increase their liberty, and to ensure that those to whom they delegate political power can be booted out when they do something wrong or stupid. It started in 1014, with the Anglo-Saxon charter, went [...]
By hiring Paul Manafort, first as his convention manager and now as his campaign chairman, Donald Trump may have hoped to install a seasoned and respected political hand to round his youthful, unorthodox campaign team into place. But Manafort, a veteran of the Ford, Reagan, Bush and Dole campaigns, appears to be raising more and [...]
The hardest part of getting people to adopt a new paradigm concerning anything of any import and complexity is getting them to unlearn their old one. A paradigm comprises all the assumptions and concepts that we subconsciously (or unconsciously) use to perceive the world, and they are not destroyed easily. That word “perceive” is used [...]
Here we are again, watching a tragedy in Paris. Again, innocent citizens of a broadly liberal, secular West, die at the hands of those who self-identify as Islamic purists, but are rejected by most of the rest of their faith. Meanwhile, innocent citizens of other parts of the world – including the Muslim Middle East [...]
As the host of my own radio show, I have the privilege of discussing important matters with some of the most wonderful minds – and people – in the country. One of my favorite interviews – and certainly one of the most important for the future of our country – is my first with Jeffrey [...]
Four years ago, Ron Paul filled stadiums with tens of thousands people. His natural heir to those numbers – and in fact, his natural heir – is Rand Paul. But in this presidential cycle, the huge excited audiences that are filling stadiums for an insurgent, anti-establishment presidential candidate are mostly coming to see Bernie Sanders [...]
In a very powerful exclusive interview, I recently had the privilege of speaking to an American hero, William Binney, NSA whistleblower. We discussed how NSA mass data collection makes us LESS safe; how the intentions behind it are not misguided but positively nefarious; how the lies that have been told about it are snowballing, and [...]
Another racist tragedy reminds us that 150 years after the end of the civil war, America still has a minority that it has failed to integrate, with fatal consequences. Although some of the members of this minority are unusually educated and privileged outliers, we rarely see them with their hands on the levers of [...]
June 15th 2015 marks exactly 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John, in an English meadow called Runnymede. The Magna Carta is widely regarded as the document that marked the beginning of the Anglo tradition of constitutional liberty that would eventually lead to the writing of the U.S. Declaration of [...]
[icopyright one button toolbar] To all those media outlets who have convinced themselves that they don’t need to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammed in reporting the recent events in Paris: you are profoundly wrong. Your raison d’etre is to present news. The Hebdo cartoons are a natural part of the story of the [...]
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are like all other rights: to keep them you have to exercise them – and sometimes that takes courage and involves risk. We should be profoundly grateful to those who help keep that right for us by exercising it. And today, our thoughts are with our French [...]
I arrived in England yesterday from my home in the States and the jet-lag had the better of me this morning by 4.45 am. Dad, whom I have traveled across the Atlantic to spend Christmas with, is still in bed as I write this, and I am sitting alone on his couch in a silent [...]
“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” – Mark 3:25 “Politics at its purest is philosophy in action” – Margaret Thatcher “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” – Thomas Jefferson Whereas to many outside the liberty movement, including the mainstream media, politicians like [...]
You know you love someone when you want for them what they want for themselves. The three little words that really convey this sentiment are not, “I love you “, which can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people; rather they are, “As you wish”. Love is kind, expansive, proactive, and fundamentally [...]
The politics of our nation since 9/11 have been the politics of fear.[icopyright one button toolbar] Because of fear that one of us is a terrorist, we’ve allowed our intelligence services to listen into our private conversations; because of fear of terrorists from abroad, we have killed innocent people in foreign nations (supposedly to protect [...]
Everyone knows the old saw, attributed to George Bernard Shaw, “Britain and America are two countries, divided by a common language.” [icopyright one button toolbar] Fortunately, there is a simple formula for translating between them: the British understate, while the Americans overstate. (The word, “Everyone” in the preceding paragraph is a nice example of the [...]
[icopyright one button toolbar] Last month, I did something I’d done only once before: I went to a range and shot some guns. Lots of guns. All shapes, ages and sizes. This is a very strange thing to do for a guy born British. Guns feature nowhere in British culture. Accordingly, I was unsurprised by [...]
I was a boring kid, more concerned with topping out in my next exam than with any sports team or rock band. I think that was an early manifestation of a tendency I retain in my adult life and will likely take to my grave: a slight disdain for what everyone else thinks is great [...]
Many people regard Magna Carta as the first Constitutional guarantee of the basic liberties of the English-speaking world. Fewer people know that Magna Carta wasn’t imposed on King John just because he abused his power (which after all has been true of most kings and governments throughout history), but because he had handed away the [...]
Nigel Farage talks about creating an earthquake in British politics. I hope he does. The country’s complacent social democratic establishment needs a reminder of who works for whom, and whatever the ultimate flavor of UKIP’s politics, exit from the EU will do more for British liberty per se than any other single policy currently supported by any party. But an earthquake is a rather short-lived event. What really matters is whether that political earthquake remakes Britain’s political landscape for good – in both senses of that word. And that will depend on whether UKIP really is Britain's first classical liberal alternative since Thatcher.
Such political religionists, who broach no ecumenism, seem to lack the moral humility on which their purported political religion depends: they are entirely convinced, albeit subconsciously, that there can be no new idea, and no new piece of information about the world or their own perspective, or anything in the experience or thinking of those with whom they disagree, that could show their view of an issue to be incomplete, let alone wrong, in any way that really matters. To quote Bertrand Russell, "Subjective certainty is inversely proportional to objective certainty."
Without doubt, at the birth of our nation, Americans fought less of a monarchy than we now tolerate. More shamefully for us, even those English against whom (as we like to tell ourselves) we fought for higher ideals of liberty, had shed more blood over the centuries to rid themselves of a less monarchical government than exists in our country today.
Ernest Renan, a nineteenth-century French philosopher, noted, “Getting its history wrong is part of being a nation.” This truth has profound implications, chief among which is that the cultural and political trajectory of a nation is determined not only by its past, but also – and to a greater extent – by the stories it [...]
There is really only one argument in support of mass surveillance by the State: Increased security can be bought with reduced privacy. That claim begs the question: “How much liberty buys how much security?” It is almost impossible to imagine how two completely different abstractions – security and liberty – could be compared, when idiomatically, [...]
I recently wrote an impassioned article about the philosophy that underlies the Obamacare and the way in which it was sold to the nation. Its argument stands, but I have just learned that that article included an error – an error made because of problems with the WA Health Exchange site through which I purchased [...]
I am not a partisan. I am as sick of the Republican repetitions of the need to repeal the ACA that they mostly designed – without offering a principled alternative reform - as I am of the way the Democrats bounced us into this. As usual, a pox on both their houses.
But I have been conscripted into a rather covert attack on some simple American values and preferences. And as a conscript, I conscientiously object.
Something recently happened in England that warrants revisiting Rachel Maddow’s (in?)famous 2010 interview with Rand Paul concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In April of this year, Rachel Maddow also revisited that interview, following Rand’s visit to Howard University, during which he answers a question from a student with the sentence: “I do question [...]
Throughout these last few weeks, everyone involved in the negotiations on funding the government and the debt ceiling should have been repeating over and over again – to the point that the American people should be sick of hearing it. It is Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to our Constitution of our great nation. [...]
Since 9/11, it seems that the American Left and the American Right have agreed on something of profound importance: We’re scared. The politics of the last 12 years have been the politics of fear. Because of fear that one of us is a terrorist, we’ve allowed our intelligence services to listen into our private conversations; [...]
I approach the politics of life-and-death questions, such as intervention in Syria, with a thought experiment: I imagine looking in the eyes of the mother of a person who would die if my preferred course of action be carried through, but who would live if an opposing course of action were carried through. I imagine [...]
These days, Rand Paul can often be heard saying that the Republican party needs to become competitive in “the West and New England,” and that the more libertarian brand of Republican politics that he represents will help make that possible. In 2008, Democrats and Independents voted for Obama, believing that, in voting against Bush’s Republicans, [...]