Blog & Podcast

Scott Barton, Pacific Legal Foundation

Scott Barton is a nonprofit leader focused on digital communications, strategy, persuasion, and building entrepreneurial teams, which makes him a perfect guest for our show.

While working at the Institute for Humane Studies, a university-based nonprofit, Scott co-founded and directed the Learn Liberty project, a digital education platform to promote the ideas of free markets and individual liberty to college students. Scott helped Learn Liberty build an impressive library of over 400 videos with over 25 million views.

Scott has recently taken his talents to a new home, the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he serves as the Director of Communications and Outreach. Scott talked to Cord about how organizations can tell persuasive stories about their ideas, mission, and work.

The Three Languages of Politics

This great interview is part of the incomparable EconTalk series from Russ Roberts, of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. In this episode, Roberts interviews Arnold Kling, author of The Three Languages of Politics, about why human beings so often talk past one another when discussing politics and policy.

Kling posits that conservatives, progressives, and libertarians plot things along three different axis, civilization/barbarism, oppressor/oppressed, and freedom/coercion respectively.

It’s because of these three different ways of analyzing or evaluating issues that that three camps in American politics don’t see eye-to-eye. It’s not that they disagree on whether something is a problem, it’s that they don’t even speak the same language about problems and solutions.

Tallest Tree believes in approaching the marketing or selling or ideas in a problem-oriented way, so this insight is significant. If a given policy is solving a lack-of-freedom problem, but creating a too-little-civilization problem or a too-much-oppression problem, or is at least perceived to be causing those, then the problem-solving approach is only going to win over one of those three camps.

Listening to this podcast, and reading Kling’s book, is a must for anyone interesting in creating coalitions of more than one of the three political ideologies that Kling discusses.