Libertarians Invade Las Vegas for FreedomFest

FreedomFest, one of the largest national gatherings of libertarian minds, will take over Las Vegas for a three-day conference featuring over 120 speakers including Steve Forbes, Dinesh D’Souza and Stephen Moore.

Billed by organizers as a festival where “free minds meet to celebrate great books, great ideas, and great thinkers in an open-minded society,” FreedomFest will host an estimated 2,000 guests starting today in Las Vegas. The conference will address such issues as the European debt crisis, the financial impact of Obamacare and out-of-control government spending.

Despite temperatures forecasted to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, FreedomFest organizers expect a greater number of participants than last year’s 1,700 attendees.

The conference is more than a protest against big government, according to conference producer Mark Skousen. “We offer in-depth sessions, panels and debates … and real solutions, both individually and politically,” Skousen said in a statement. Skousen is editor of the Eagle Publishing newsletter, Forecasts and Strategies.

Skousen said that one of the main attractions at this year’s conference is a special “private” session that will be keynoted by Steve Forbes and will “address the loss of wealth and economic freedom under the Bush and Obama Administrations.” An “emergency” session will feature panel discussions on economic, political and financial issues.

A popular FreedomFest tradition is the conference’s debate sessions. Over the three-day event, ten debates will be held on a variety of issues including illegal immigration and global warming. A mock trial on religion will pit economist Steven Landsburg against author Dinesh D’Souza.

Another highlight of the conference will be FreedomFests’s All-Star Prediction Panel, featuring economists Bert Dohmen and Peter Schiff, both of whom made predictions about the financial crisis in 2008.

Seldom can a political conference claim to appeal to everyone. FreedomFest nonetheless has made a concerted effort to do just that. Attendees wanting to take a break from policy discussions can participate in entertainment sessions such as yoga and creative writing. On the final night, Skousen will be joined on stage by Steve Forbes dressed as George Washington for a musical skit.

At a time when the erosion of liberty in America is lamented by conservatives and libertarians alike, FreedomFest serves as a critical forum for discussing solutions aimed at preserving and restoring individual freedom.