American Consequences - September 2018

Penn Jillette is an American magician, comedian, and author. And he's also half of "Penn and Teller" – the duo have performed together for more than 40 years, with a 15-year run at the Rio Hotel & Casino... making them the longest-running and most beloved headline act in Las Vegas history. Jillette is a libertarian and has stated that he may consider himself to be an anarcho-capitalist as well as an adherent to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy. He's a fellow at the libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, and has stated that he "always" votes Libertarian. Here, Penn talks with Investor Hour hosts Buck Sexton and Porter Stansberry about magic, his time on Celebrity Apprentice , and how he came to be a libertarian...

painting. And found out kind of, in at least one sense, what Vermeer was doing was not paintings but rather photographs. Way back when we first met, we were talking one night and he started talking politically... And he argued with me for about two hours about what freedom really means. I think, strangely, or at least strangely to people who don’t understand libertarianism, as my peace with nature. What bothers me the most I think in general is the use of force and coercion. So this very thing that makes me think that war is so rarely the answer is the same thing that makes me think that so rarely government control is the answer. So I kind of came around to it with a friend yelling at me. And my peacenik leanings. PORTER STANSBERRY: I’ve seen many libertarians yelling about the initiation of force before. That’s a common theme among us. PENN JILLETTE: Yes. I really think, for me, it’s because I’m a coward. I’ve never

PORTER STANSBERRY: I am one of your biggest fans. I am in awe of your ability to build a career in the entertainment business the way you have. I love the books that you’ve written. But the question I have for you to start with is all about your political philosophy... How in the world did you stumble on to libertarian thinking and thought? What put you on that path? Because it’s such an unusual philosophy for most Americans, and a lot of people have never even heard of it. So how did you come to those ideas? PENN JILLETTE: I didn’t come to them. They were brought to me. I was your standard kind of Hollywood liberal around the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, and I met a guy named Tim Jenison who I ended up making a movie about called Tim’s Vermeer . He painted a Vermeer in a warehouse in Texas with technology that he rediscovered, that he – you could say invented except it’s pretty clear that that’s what Vermeer used to do his


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