Harry Browne was the 1996 and 2000 Libertarian candidate for President of the United States. During the six years that he campaigned across America, he appeared on over a thousand radio and television shows, and he was interviewed by hundreds of newspapers and magazines.
This book is comprised of two parts. Part 1 contains twenty of Harry's interviews arranged in chronological order beginning September 28, 1994 - a month after he started running for the 1996 Libertarian presidential nomination - and ending on October 22, 2000.
Some of the interviews appeared in national magazines, newspapers, or investment newsletters while others are transcripts from live interviews on national and local television and radio shows. Also included is an online chat interview, an online Presidential debate in which Harry responded live to George Bush and Al Gore's answers, as well as questions and answers at libertarian gatherings and on the Harry Browne Presidential Campaign web site.
Part 2 contains a political talk show checklist that Harry used during radio or television interviews, thirty interview tips, and two chapters of questions that a candidate should be prepared to answer when running for office.
Appendix "A" contains a 2002 interview with the Oxford Club; Appendix "B" contains about a dozen photos of Harry taken while he was interviewed across the country; and Appendix "C" is about the author, his web site, and where to purchase his eBooks, speech audio volumes, and 20-CD audio album course.
Harry was interviewed frequently during his career as an investment advisor and writer. But soon after he began campaigning, he realized that responding successfully to political questions required a different type of skill. So he began to hone his existing skills, acquire new ones - and practice, practice, practice.
You may notice that some interviews contain very short responses - usually referred to as soundbites. Harry explained in his book, Liberty A to Z - 872 soundbites you can use right now, "I had to answer questions and deal with objections in very short statements, because frequently I was in a five-minute or ten-minute interview, or I was dealing with an interviewer who was determined not to let me utter more than a sentence or two at a time. In addition, I knew that newspaper and magazine interviewers would never repeat a long explanation of my view on any subject. My only hope of being quoted accurately and persuasively was to have a catchy soundbite that the interviewer would want to repeat word for word."
Yet there were times when a more in depth explanation was not only appropriate, but necessary, so some of Harry's answers are lengthy. His responses depended on a number of factors including: his mood at the time, the length of the interview, the interviewer, the time of day (i.e. whether he'd been interviewed only one time that day or ten or fifteen times), his audience, whether it was an online chat where he had to type his response, his degree of tiredness, and so forth.
Harry believed that "clearly articulated answers are valuable for much more than just press or broadcast interviews. They serve a good purpose when merely talking with individuals. Long explanations of political philosophy are sure to make people think about what they're going to have for dinner tonight while nodding their heads by rote. But short soundbites keep their attention focused on your ideas."
Harry developed the ability to take a hostile or irrelevant question, turn it around, and convey the libertarian viewpoint in a brief, non-threatening, articulate, and intelligent manner. "Winning an argument is of no value," he said. "What you want is to win a convert." "…you and he are on the same side. You both want to be freer than you are now. If you approach people on this basis, you'll find that you make friends as well as converts. Don't treat people as adversaries to be defeated rhetorically, but as potential friends who will become - with your help - new advocates for liberty."
There are numerous libertarian books on the market that contain excellent libertarian philosophical explanations of today's issues. It's my hope that this book will serve as a guide for libertarians who want to effectively communicate in a short, plainspoken manner their libertarian viewpoints to family, friends, and acquaintances. I also hope it answers some of the questions that non-libertarians have been pondering.
Last, but certainly not least, I hope it benefits libertarians who are running, or are considering running, for public office - whether at the federal, state, or local level. If you study Harry's answers and the interview tips and, of course, practice - I think you, too, can develop your own concise answers to libertarian frequently asked questions.
I hope you find this book helpful!
"Thanks especially for being willing to write common sense. I fear younger, or even sophisticated readers may reject it because it is simple."