David Nolan interview with Josiah Schmidt of “Johnson for America”

Posted at Johnson for America, an unofficial site supporting Gary Johnson for President:

Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is David Nolan. David was one of the people who played an integral role in founding the United States Libertarian Party. He subsequently served the party in a number of roles including National Chair, editor of the party newsletter, chairman of the By-laws Committee, chairman of the Judicial Committee, and Chairman of the Platform Committee. David originated the famous “Nolan chart,” which attempts to improve on the simple left versus right political taxonomy by separating the issues of economic freedom and social freedom and presenting them in the format of a plane.

Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?

David Nolan: Originally, from reading the works of liberty-oriented writers like Robert Heinlein, H.L. Mencken, and Ayn Rand. Then, by observing that the amount of freedom in a society correlates closely with its level of prosperity and happiness. See http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking.aspx

Josiah Schmidt: Could you tell us the story of how you helped start the US Libertarian Party?

David Nolan: I first became politically active in Barry Goldwater’s Presidential campaign (1963-64). After that, I stayed active in the Young Republicans until 1971, when Richard Nixon made it abundantly clear that the GOP was not the party of liberty. When Nixon went on TV in August, 1971 to announce wage and price controls, and to completely sever all connection between the dollar and a gold standard, a group of libertarian-minded people decided it was time to form a new party.

Josiah Schmidt: Explain to our readers what the Nolan Chart is, and how you came up with the idea.

David Nolan: The Nolan Chart is a two-dimensional “map” that shows the positions of various political/economic systems in terms of two variables: personal freedom and economic freedom. I came up with the idea in 1970 after realizing that a one-dimensional political spectrum (e.g. left vs. right) is woefully inadequate in its ability to show how different systems and ideologies compare to one another. The “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” is based on the Nolan Chart, and has been taken by about 15 million people to date. See http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html

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