Author: Tea Party Favors A 'Weird' Kind of Freedom

Author, legal scholar Kent Greenfield on freedom, the Constitution, and choice.
3:00 | 10/17/11

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Transcript for Author: Tea Party Favors A 'Weird' Kind of Freedom
Joining us now from from Boston College were pleased to be joined. I can't -- He is the author of that book called the -- of choice personal responsibility. In a world of limits and professor -- let's start -- with this we have had a lot of scrutiny. Of these Republican debates where for example someone in the audience seemed to cheer when discussion was brought up about whether somebody who. Didn't have health care but got an accident. Would be left to die if they didn't have health insurance. This is a sort of thing that you talk about in your book tell us a little bit about what Americans think about when they think about individual choice. Verses government regulation and how you see that playing out in the campaign. It is it that Tea Party in the libertarians on the Republican in the Republican Party are our focus on freedom that's weird kind of freedom is -- -- Q -- -- you want to view including. Well well aside someone who's in need to walk and not call 91 -- That's what they're talking. While reap what we need to talk about freedom is not just the freedom to be -- -- certain ways. The freedom from want freedom from Pearson -- -- Traditional values that where we need more collective action to take advantage. And and what I think is that when we talk about. Individual choice being choice not to not to buy health insurance for example let it actually -- poll actually on the rest of us. Acted if you -- a you make a bad choice to. To -- big -- time nothing else -- not by health insurers and ends up costing the actually think that people. We are being more -- to shared responsibility. Rather than just individual ways on. But if you listen to some of the libertarian candidates Ron Paul obviously -- -- to mindedness He actually does want far less government intervention. And -- be okay with some of the choices that you're outlining here's it was it. Is it that -- they're kind of moving in the wrong direction when it comes to freedom or they misunderstanding you think the relationship between government and the citizens. Well I think I think I think both the moving in the wrong way I think -- Tea Party would take us if they had their Brothers it would take us back. Two the pre new deal a hundred years ago -- minimum wage was. Was unconstitutional because it was contrary to -- contrary individual freedom more. Were -- protection of unemployed or for the poor. We'll be unconstitutional because that's violating individual -- her husband Herman Cain. -- -- few days ago when He said look if you're unemployed if you war is your own fault blame yourself. That's not in my -- not America. To say that people -- He should blame themselves now that's not to say that that people. Who are in the east sometimes didn't get -- those situations because of their own bad choices. But most of the fourteen million people were employed in this country are not unemployed because of some bad choice and are unemployed because -- some director trigger on Wall Street some regulator in Washington. -- -- collective action to get them out of those situations not just individual match. So for the for Herman Cain and others Ron Paul does say look you know you don't pull yourself -- your own bootstraps. In this economy is impossible you know you can only -- about -- her own bootstraps He had goats. Right well just quickly in the last minute we have here the individual mandate this exact thing you were talking about health care is about that -- big. -- -- constitutional scrutiny in the Supreme Court what are the odds He thinks that the folks sitting on the Supreme Court are looking at the constitution in the way that you just outlined it. I think they ought to be great for the last six years and years we've we've talked about collective protection. Need for government to act in in -- to protect people. On -- and also I think I think about that individual mandate isn't as something that's consistent with personal responsibility. I think partly a mistake by the libertarians is that we ought to be free to imposed -- -- others if I don't buy health insurance and imposing cost one U. Because sometime weren't in the emergency room or on -- deathbed. Policy that you've -- to keep them unless I'm forced environmental insurance. All right professor Kent Greenfield indeed the focus admit that choice thanks for being on top line leadership. And this is what Mitt Romney of course is hoping that people will look at individual mandate equals personal responsibility responsibility welcomes the state level -- the federal and he's always -- thrilled Amy with the fact that we're still -- about -- game. Mitt Romney right hey I'm sitting there at the polls here is candles another -- -- That's right and He gets it have another debate where He probably won't be able to stay above the fray now the debate that tomorrow in Las Vegas you'll be out there are -- -- we'll be following all your foot backup -- client twitter.com slash TD -- members -- million. Ourselves this is the way to do that is.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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