How Liz Wolfe is making pro-liberty ideas mainstream, one article at a time
It is the origin story that makes superheroes inspirational, and Liz Wolfe’s liberty origin story is no less compelling. As a teenager, she wrote an op-ed for her high school political journal advocating for the legalization of polygamy. The backlash and controversy that ensued have since become a regular part of her professional life, whether she’s writing about due process with Title IX cases, criminal justice, the gender pay gap, free speech or drug laws.
Whatever the issue, and whether one might disagree with her, it is hard not to admire the sheer strength and consistency in Liz’s belief in individual freedom: let people decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives. No ifs. No buts.
“I feel very deeply that increasing individual choice, voluntary exchange, free movement of people and ideas, and actively fighting against socialism and authoritarianism is a worthwhile pursuit.”
Liz got interested in the ideas of liberty when she interned for the Republican Party of Virginia at age 16. She quickly realized that disagreed with the degree to which they wanted government to control people's private behavior. “The moralistic policies really got to me, as did anti-immigration sentiments.”
Liz first got involved with Students For Liberty as a freshman at the College of William and Mary. She originally wanted to start a libertarian club on campus and Sam Texeira, a campus coordinator from the University of Virginia connected with the SFL network at her college.
“If you care about bolstering your understanding of libertarian ideas, or building a network of like-minded folks, this is your organization.”
Although her time with SFL was relatively short because she was only in college for two years, she believes SFL was important to helping her intellectual growth and her understanding of liberty, “If you care about bolstering your understanding of libertarian ideas, or building a network of like-minded folks, this is your organization.”
During her time with SFL, Liz wrote for SFL’s blog and she believes that SFL helped her hone broader communications skills and more importantly, gave her an audience for her writing. Now she’s the managing editor of Young Voices and helps pro-liberty writers get published in a wide variety of media outlets. She’s also a contributing writer for Playboy and the Washington Examiner. Liz also writes regularly for Reason and The Federalist, and occasionally The Daily Beast and The American Conservative.
“Writing for SFL's blog got me a solid introduction to the world of opinion writing and the internet controversy that can come with it. Without the opportunity to grow intellectually in pro-liberty ideas, I probably wouldn't be writing for this wild, eclectic mix of places on a regular basis,” she asserts.
Although she’s now moved into the professional world, Liz stays involved with SFL, and was on the “Women and the Media” panel at LibertyCon, “That was a fun panel! It's fun showing people that panels can be intellectual without being boring and that women can in fact be libertarian. I really appreciate opportunities to communicate the diversity of our movement and to continuously drive home the message that increasing individual liberty and free market principles is the best possible way to advance more human flourishing. I'm grateful to SFL for creating opportunities like these.”
Liz Wolfe is managing editor at Young Voices. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes about criminal justice and feminist issues. She tweets at @lizzywol.