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Yes, believe it or not, there is a refuge from the partisan rhetoric of the Democrats and Republicans. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank devoted to the proposition that the government should stay out of your bedroom and out of your wallet, to the greatest extent possible. This is the notion on which our country was founded, though modern politicians and pundits tend to forget that. I have found the discussions and lecture excerpts on Cato Audio to be both interesting and informative. The only drawback is that they leave me angry with both the Republicans and the Democrats. I think that if you listen to a few of these, you will agree that most Americans are actually Libertarians, even if they don't yet know it.
The Cato Institute is one of the most influential Washington "think tanks" and the most important one with a libertarian bent. (This means, on one foot, that there are very few areas where government participation improves matters. It is NOT the same as political conservatism.)
If the July 2004 issue is representative, the monthly audio magazine presents a half-dozen interviews, speech excerpts, and short "lessons" on topics of contemporary political interest. Of course the quality varies with the presenters; some are a bit dull, but most are good enough speakers to hold your interest if the libertarian point-of-view is at all interesting. Unlike many political journals that are fairly far from the center, some contributors even demonstrate a good sense of humor.
If hearing the idea that the government is the source of most contemporary problems makes you uncomfortable, don't bother with a subscription. But if understanding how people can improve their lot without relying on governments to help them intrigues you, then give it a try.
The Cato Institute hosts some of the smartest, most thoughtful people on government, politics, and public policy, and now you can hear them without having to trek to DC to attend Cato's programs in person. Even better, Cato selects and edits their very best speechs and debates so listeners can hear the most cutting-edge thinkers on the most pressing issues of our day without wasting time. It's always great on Cato Audio. Abandoning the stale left-right, us-them approach that dominates the media and much of political discourse, Cato Audio provides fresh thinking from the perspective of what's good for humananity without all the empty rhetoric that Washington usually provides.
Coming from a person who is familiar with the Cato Institute and its policies, I believe this program would be insightful to even a listener with more moderate views. I find that the guests they bring into the conversations have real leverage and a thorough understanding of the issues, and are always warry of dissident view points.
With all the sound bites and bias (one way or the other)in our mainstream media today, I simply find Cato Audio to be quite refreshing, consistent and always captivating.
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