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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Julie Borowski interview

I first discovered Julie Borowski a little over a year ago at a Western Libertarians meeting. The members and I were trying to see which videos on YouTube to watch, and one of the guys suggested we watch TokenLibertarianGirl's channel, so we did. I decided to like her Facebook page and follow what she had to say about politics. During these past twelve months, I have seen Julie endure many criticisms, but also successfully get her name and ideas out there, including writing a counter-response with Cathy Reisenwitz and Bonnie Kristian to a LewRockwell.com piece and going on John Stossel's show. She was kind enough to do an interview with me. Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

UPDATE: She also has her own website.

Julie Borowski

Age: 25
Pets: Cat and weiner dog
Favorite movies: Jurassic Park, V for Vendetta, Catch Me if You Can, any Will Ferrell movie
Other forms of entertainment she enjoys: "Real country music" and stand up comedy
1. How did you first discover libertarianism? How did you become a libertarian?
I grew up a hardcore conservative Republican. I’ve always had an “all or nothing” type of personality. Even though I was a kid, I was obsessed with political philosophy. But during the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency, I realized that many things that the Republicans were doing wasn’t so small government after all. I began to doubt my views. I was open to libertarian ideas because my grandfather had very strong and cynical opinions about politics. He would always bash politicians at the dinner table. I just never knew the word. I came across the word “libertarian” on an online forum. I googled it. The definition was maximum freedom. I said, "hey that’s me."
2. What made you decide to create a YouTube channel?
Back in early 2007, I was on Facebook in an anti-Patriot Act group. Someone wrote “google Ron Paul.” I did. I said, hey there’s someone running for president that has my views. There’s a trend here… I was hooked. I was a freshman in college. I chalked “Google Ron Paul” all over my campus sidewalks at night. I decided to change my major from elementary education to political science. I decided that I wanted to have a career in advancing the ideas of liberty. I was offered an internship at FreedomWorks in spring 2010 during my last semester of college. I was hired afterwards. When Ron Paul announced he was running again in 2011, I decided that I wanted to help spread the message of his candidacy. After much hesitation, I launched a YouTube channel in the summer of 2011. The first video I did was responding to one of the presidential debates and explaining why Ron Paul totally nailed it. And I’ve been making videos ever since.
3. Which videos of yours do you personally like the most? Which ones have become the most popular?
In the beginning, my videos were serious and dry. I watched only libertarian channels and that’s what all of them were like. But overtime, I started watching popular YouTube channels. I began to realize what works on YouTube. If I wanted to reach more people, I needed to mix it up and make them entertaining as well as informative. I added more of my goofy personality. My favorite thing is making people laugh. When I was little, I would perform silly skits on camera because I wanted to be a cast member of the Nickelodeon show "All That." So, I like making comedy videos with a point. It’s sometimes challenging because the political topics are usually very serious. So, I sit there with a notepad and think, “How can I make a video about the Federal Reserve funny?” It’s sometimes hard! I am very proud of one serious video I made, “Why I Became Anti War” because it’s so personal and raw. The most viewed video that I have is when I spoofed Lena Dunham’s "My First Time" Obama ad. That video really helped me expand my audience outside of just libertarians. I’m thankful for everyone that watches my videos.
4. Did the popularity of your channel or certain videos surprise you at all?
YES! I honestly thought I would put out a couple videos on Ron Paul and call it a day. I remember almost giving up several times in the beginning because I thought that I was pretty bad at this video making stuff and all the trolls. But I kept with it and told myself that I would get better as time went on. I can’t believe the number of people that watch. I remember getting surprised when 200 people would watch one of my videos in 2011. Yes, the popularity of some videos surprises me. Over 250,000 people have watched me wear tampon earrings.
5. I have noticed that you are very much an advocate of working with the Republican Party. Why do you believe in this instead of focusing on just independents or the Libertarian Party?
I’m actually more of a policy person than political. My title is policy analyst. But I believe that working within the Republican Party is the most effective option, for me. I say for me because I don’t want to sound like I’m telling people what they should. Do whatever you want. Unfortunately, the system is stacked against third parties. There are no Libertarian members of Congress. But there are libertarian Republicans in Congress. I believe that libertarians should challenge establishment Republicans in the GOP primaries. To me, that’s the best chance of beating them and getting real libertarians in Congress. Ron Paul, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash all have libertarian views and they ran as Republicans and won.
6. Why the Republicans and not the Democrats?
I think the Democratic Party is too far gone. Maybe a left leaning libertarian could have some luck in the Democratic Party? They may find some agreements on foreign policy, perhaps. But I can’t think of any Democrat who has libertarian leanings on all or even most issues. At least Republicans talk about limiting government and fiscal responsibility. Unlike most Democrats who are open about wanting big government. And like I said, there are libertarian leaning Republicans. I just think that the Republican Party will be easier to “take over” than the Democratic Party.
7. I finally got around to watching the segment of you on John Stossel. What was that experience like?
Really cool! I couldn’t believe it when I got that call. I used to watch "Stossel" with my parents every Thursday night a couple years ago. So, it was crazy to tell them that I was going to be on it. I’ve never been on national TV before. It was kind of scary because I knew that everyone in my family and a lot people from my hometown were going to see it. Plus, I was a bit star struck by John Stossel. But yeah it was a really cool experience.
8. What do you believe are the top few biggest political issues at the moment?
There are many, many issues. If you check out my YouTube channel, I talk about tons of different things. But I’m going to say: health care, monetary policy, and foreign policy. ObamaCare has been a disaster and I worry that single payer is coming. I worry that the dollar is going to collapse. I worry about war with Iran. Not to be negative or anything…
9. Which libertarians, those who have passed or are still alive, do you find to be most inspiring?
Well, I clearly have to give a shout out to Ron Paul. My life would be very different if it wasn’t for him. My favorite libertarian writers are Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard. Whenever a newbie libertarian asks what book they should read, I always say Economics in One Lesson. I am thankful for the minds of F.A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. I am thankful for the communication skills of Milton Friedman. Disclaimer: I probably don’t agree with any of these people on everything.

10. How do you suggest the average libertarian get involved with politics and/or educating others?
It depends on what they want to do and what they are good at. If you’re good at writing, consider starting a blog or writing articles for other publications. If you’re good in front of the camera, consider starting a YouTube channel. If you’re in college, consider starting a Young Americans for Liberty group on your campus. If you’re an outgoing person, consider attending local political meetings (Tea Party, Republican, etc.) and talking to people about libertarian ideas. These groups especially want to hear from young people right now. So, if you’re a young person ask your local Tea Party if you can come and speak about how bad economic policies are hurting young people. They will love you.
11. Why do you believe libertarianism is an ideology women should seriously consider?
These questions are always difficult for me to answer because women are individuals. Women care about different things. Our values are not all the same. What works to reach out to conservative women would probably not work to reach out to liberal women and vice versa. But when talking to someone about libertarianism, I try to understand where they are coming from and explain how libertarianism would benefit them. Liberty should resonate with everyone. It’s all about correct messaging.
12. What do you think the future holds concerning women in the Liberty Movement?
It looks good to me! I see more libertarian women getting involved all the time. It’s difficult for anyone to put themselves out there and open yourself to criticism. But I think as more women are being outspoken about their libertarian views, it encourages and inspires others to do the same.
13. Where do you see libertarianism heading in the future?
The status quo isn’t working and more people are looking for an alternative. Libertarianism is that alternative. The problem is that many people have never heard the word “libertarian” or they have misconceptions about the philosophy. As long as there are people out there educating people about libertarianism, we are going to win. Our numbers are growing every day.

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  1. "I think the Democratic Party is too far gone."

    And that's kinda sad, because honestly I doubt that the Republican Party in particular is a better choice for smaller-government advocates. One could speak to Dems on a variety of issues: progressive social stuff is obvious low-hanging fruit, but also smaller-government-by-efficiency stuff. Whereas the GOP seems content at this point to let the government go sclerotic and calcify at its current size, which is basically horrible.

    1. I'm actually going to cover how I think libertarians should try to go through the Democrats as much as they do the Republicans some time this break.