FreedomWorks' Matt Kibbe: Libertarians Should Take Over the GOP

"One of the reasons you're seeing so many people interested in libertarian ideas is the failure of the Republicans, the failure of the Democrats, but also the ability to go get the information for yourself: You're not waiting for the [parties] to tell you what you think anymore," says Matt Kibbe president of FreedomWorks and author of the new book Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto.

The New York Times bestseller defends the importance of individual liberties while providing a political-action plan to shrink the size and scope of the federal government.

A former Capitol Hill staffer, Kibbe says there's increasingly common ground between libertarians and progressives in the Democratic Party on issues such as surveillance and privacy. But he thinks small-government activists have a better shot at infiltrating the GOP.

"The biggest window for libertarians is not to create a third party but to actually take-over the Republican Party."

Kibbe sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss the future of libertarianism and the Republicans, necessary government spending cuts, and what it means to be young in America today. 

About 20 minutes.

Camera by Joshua Swain and Jim Epstein. Edited by Amanda Winkler. 

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  • Tony G||

    Libertarians should take over the GOP AND the Democratic party!

  • Thomas O.||

    While I would love to see that happen, it ain't gonna happen unless we can get enough big-name donors to convince the GOP that they should change their tune. As long as the GOP's major sugar-daddies are supporting the status quo, it's gonna be like talking to a brick wall.

  • Hadley V. Baxendale||

  • Jake_Witmer||

    I like much of what Matt Kibbe says, but I disagree with him that the Republicans are any more open to libertarian infiltration than the Democrats. Frank Gonzalez, a radical libertarian, for example, won 41% of the vote in Florida, as a Democrat. Also, Alaska State Rep Eric Croft (a Democrat) introduced and passed Alaska's unrestricted concealed carry law. D and R labels are just that: labels. Totally fungible, meaningless other than to let the voter know that the person they are voting for is probably a totally unprincipled sociopath.

    At their core, both of the major parties are not totally unprincipled. They serve the principles of "serve the sociopath network," and "expand the power of elective office" (ie: "don't make other powerful sociopaths angry by attempting to diminish their power.") Mainstream Democrats oppose free and open democratic elections and proper jury trials (proper democracy) and mainstream Republicans oppose a republic that is limited by the Constitution's Bill of Rights. A small-L libertarian infiltrator is so different from either of these labels that if they successfully infiltrate the major party of their choice, they are presenting something that must be defined by the candidate himself.

  • Will4Freedom||

    GOP is a bad brand. I'm not a libertarian, but want them to do well and win elections. I don't think merging into the GOP is the way to do that.

  • Brandon||

    Compared to the LP brand?

  • Sevo||

    Compared to a corpse!

  • AlmightyJB||

    And by corpse he means Donald Sterling.

  • Atanarjuat||

    I liked Burnie Thompson*'s line, "Donald Sterling looks like a guy who has been embalmed twice."

    *Local talk show host who, and this is actually on topic, renounced his Republican party ties because they're all RINOs.

  • PaulW||

    Libertarianism is the logical conclusion to Conservatism. Basically we need to do a better job of making conservatives understand why real libertarianism is the way to go. Point out the hypocrisies of conservatism (while being nice) and show how, if they believe the free market is the best means to prosperity, a society that is free to do as they please will also organize itself into a moral and just society without the need for government interference except in cases that violate the NAP.

  • sarcasmic||

    Except that there is no convincing conservative moral busybodies that the problems created by drug prohibition are worse than the problems it is intended to solve.

    It can't be done.

  • anon||

    I really don't get that, and my father in law is a prime example of this. This guy smokes pot, but still thinks heroin/cocaine/etc should be illegal, because "if it's legal everyone will do it."

    Somehow I can't convince him that legality has no effect on use.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'd start by asking "If crack was made legal, would you run out and buy some?"

    Assuming the answer is negative, the followup question would be "So why do you think everyone else would?"

  • anon||

    I tried that angle, and he said "Good point. I still don't think it should be legal though, because people are idiots."

    Which, I must agree, is a valid point.

  • Restoras||

    People might be lazy, or rather, prone to inertia, but I don't think they are idiots.

  • ||

    So what if people are idiots? That doesn't confer a right to the rest of society to dictate people's behavior. Smoking crack is idiotic to your dad, eating raw fish is idiotic to my mom, living any place where it snows is idiotic to me. None of us should be able to impose those beliefs on others.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Supporting totalitarian fascism (the destruction of absolute property rights) is more idiotic than allowing yourself to become a drug addict.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The answer to his counter point is "And the government should protect idiots from themselves, why, exactly?".

    And if he falls into that trap, you ask "who decides which citizens are idiots? You DO realize it won't be you, right?"

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Or more to the point, idiots will be deciding who the idiots are. How can THAT be a prescription for anything but failure, especially when we have much historical evidence that government by "the best and the brightest" tends to lead to legendary catastrophe, as well.

  • Christophe||

    My usual angle of attack is that the Drug war, to protect idiots from their own choices, puts a bunch of costs and restrictions on the rest of us, *and* fuels gang violence we all have to put up with.

    I'd rather have drunk hobos around than Al Capone.

  • John C. Randolph||

    From which I must conclude that he is himself an idiot, and may not therefore, complain if the government throws him in a cage for smoking weed. After all, he's explicitly endorse the premise that it's OK to use force to make him behave.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "Good point. I still don't think it should be legal though, because people are idiots."

    Sure sure but legal or not legal those drugs are still available to any idiot.

    The idiots can already get them....and it sure is expensive that we throw those idiots in jail and among cops there are idiots as well and it sure is dangerous having those cop idiots running around with guns and unimpeachable powers trying to sort out the illegal drug using idiots from the legal idiots...neither of whom really should be being killed, their property taken and their liberties trampled.

  • Libertarian Barbarian||

    Because of the Conservative mantra "Freedom for me, not for thee"

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think that's the general mantra for most people not just conservatives.

  • Virginian||

    Yep. Girl I know thinks rental income should be illegal. But don't call her a commie!

  • politicsbyothermeans||

    You forgot "and Liberal" in your sentence.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    You might want to suggest that he read Jacob Sullum's fine book, "Saying Yes," or the drug war anthology "The New Prohibition," edited by former Sheriff Bill Masters. Also excellent is "From Chocolate to Morphine" by Winifred Rosen and Andrew Weil (a compendium of facts about every drug, including its potential for abuse, in legal and illegal forms).

    Education is the best way to combat ignorance. Another, more sub-optimal way is to simply kill all of the ignorant totalitarians, leaving behind those who have no inclination to lock innocent people in cages (and no inclination to vote for sociopaths who will do the same thing, as their proxies).

    One way or another (benevolent AGI or Skynet) the drug war is going to end. Right now, you still get to decide how, if you choose compassion and freedom. This situation is not going to last.

  • Raven Nation||

    Maybe. In which case, I must be the exception which proves the rule.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think you are the only one. There aren't all that many people whose initial opinion on the subject is that all drugs should be legalized.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It can't be done.

    It should be simple. The WoDs mirrors Prohibition in every way imaginable.

    Something, something Einstein, something, something insanity...

  • thom77||

    Drugs should literally be the LAST issue on the libertarian agenda. It's a completely fucking absurd issue to even discuss in the current environment.

    There are literally a million other issues with government, regulations, and liberty that need to be remedied before drugs are even mentioned.

    The federal regulatory apparatus needs to be dismantled, the IRS needs to go, the healthcare system needs to be taken out of the hands of the state once and for all, academia needs to be reformed, the media needs to be reformed, police power needs to be curtailed, and a general sense of respect for the constitution needs to be restored in government at all levels.

    Once ALL THAT is done, then we will have created an environment in which drug legalization is worth discussing.

    However, libertarians will NEVER be taken seriously by the majority of voters if a cornerstone issue is outright drug legalization. Most Americans simply don't agree that making heroin and cocaine commercially available is a pressing issue worthy of serious debate right now. And quite frankly, unless people in this country learn how to take responsibility for their own lives again, immediate drug legalization will only result in millions more on government welfare.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with being a 'moral busybody', it has to do with facing the pragmatic reality of life in America today.

  • ||

    Except that the Drug War has its slimy little fingers in just about every one of those million issues. Never mind the fact that if the government can decide what you do or don't put in your body, they could stop all the other intrusions and you'd STILL belong to the state.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    I strongly disagree with you. Drug legalization in liberal areas should be the first issue on the agenda. Most liberals are empathic idiots who don't understand economics, and are jealous of the rich. I used to fit that definition perfectly. Then, I began reading things that I intuitively knew I needed a better understanding of.

    For a long time, in highschool, as an idiot leftist, I considered myself an "anarchist" but voted Democrat when I turned 18, because I believed they were more socially tolerant of the two parties that were big and powerful enough to win (lesser of two evils argument). Then, I looked up their votes, and ---surprise!--- there wasn't a single Democrat I could find who significantly opposed the drug war, or supported gun rights. (Because they had enough votes to win without taking a stand on their alleged "opposition.") After voting Democrat once, I voted libertarian in every election afterward, the first time out of uninformed protest, without even memorizing the word! (LOL! That just shows how stupid I was. Also, I encounter this exact same state of mind every time I go out petitioning, so I know for a fact that I'm not the only one.)

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Upon doing some basic research I found that I was mistaken in thinking myself to be an American leftist. When I read Hayek, years later, I realized I was a "liberal," but that the word is now taught incorrectly in the government schools. The 1994 LP platform made perfect sense to me after reading Ayn Rand's fiction and nonfiction, and Harry Browne's books then refined the general views of Rand.

    Rand's views were mutually-inclusive of the truth, but her personal application of her own views was strategically weak, and personality-based unpleasant. I may have liked her if I met her, but if I showed up wearing a moustache, she might not have trusted me. She had a lot of superficial objections to people, and words, that made her philosophy fail Morton Blackwell's test:

    "If you know your philosophy is right, you owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win."

    This level of seriousness was totally and completely beyond Rand. As was the willingness to conduct simple polling operations, as was the willingness to put aside personal irritations in the service of expanding liberty, and destroying state collectivism.

    Many leftists have a hard time putting aside personal grievances and working toward liberty, as do many Randites.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    However, there is a line of libertarian argument that liberals will nearly always accept, at a far higher "flip rate" than conservatives will, since "social conservatives" are simply mindless bigots who refuse to tolerate diversity. No amount of education will fix that, because they've already rejected the benefits of diversity in the marketplace, and already divorced the idea of economic freedom from personal freedom, in favor of their own personal hatred.

    A socialist who calls themselves a liberal, on the other hand, can be made to favor jury nullification of law in "tax evasion" cases. Their desire to punish is not as strong as that desire in "social conservatives."

    100% of the legitimacy of the conservative philosophy is libertarianism. To reject libertarianism, a conservative must therefore be more closely aligned to totally illegitimate "social conservatism."

    This is why conservatives are the true enemies of individual freedom. It's also why conservative hero F. A. Hayek called himself a "liberal" until he died.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I've lived in CA for forty+ years and everything you say about socons applies much more so to progs here.

    They're mindless bigots that have no core beliefs beyond my side is always right and give me free shit.

    They don't support individualism in any meaningful way, nor do they oppose the war on drugs. In fact, they want it expanded to include cigarettes, vaping, transfats etc.

  • MJGreen||

    No. The harms done to drug users and sellers by the state is far more violent and tangible than the work of some regulatory agency. And good luck trying to "get the IRS to go," compared to liberalizing drug laws. The latter is less politically impossible, I'd say, especially when some of the work can be done at the municipal and state level.

    Really, "academia" comes before the drug war? Get outta here.

  • ||

    Drugs should literally be the LAST issue on the libertarian agenda. It's a completely fucking absurd issue to even discuss in the current environment.

    I live in a state where Pot is now legal...and it looks like more states are going to make it legal as well.

    What the fuck are you even talking about?

    Hey guys we have an issue we are winning on...derpy derp lets all give up on it at the very moment of victory so some scum bag republicans and democrats can take all the credit for it derp.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "However, libertarians will NEVER be taken seriously by the majority of voters if a cornerstone issue is outright drug legalization." Thanks for playing the cliché criticism of Libertarianism drinking game! DRINK!

  • robc||

    It can't be done.

    Bullshit.

    In the late 80s into the 90s, I supported drug prohibition. I saw it was contra to all my other principles and flipped on it. Until that point, I had refused to call myself a libertarian, because I understood that supporting drug legalization was pretty much a requirement.

    Of course, I dont think I was a "moral busybody" but I supported them, on that one issue.

  • flye||

    I'm not so sure about that. If conservatism is mostly concerned with preserving civilization in the face of barbarism, it's hard to see how Conservatives could be convinced that freedom to be "immoral" is a good idea.

    Certainly a much better case to be made on the economic side, but SoCons and foreign policy hawks aren't going to be convinced.

  • Restoras||

    The SoCons and foreign policy hawks should be politely ignored until they decide to go elsewhere or sit tight until they have a chance to reassert themselves.

    Politely.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The neocons were almost ready to jump GOP shio when they started losing influence in W's 2nd term. Nobody else wanted them though.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The SoCons are progressives that left the democrat party when it become insufficiently militaristic in the 1970s. They were a small part of the GOP during Reagan's term and only slowly gained influence.

    It's high time to send them back to the donks.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If conservatism is mostly concerned with preserving civilization in the face of barbarism, it's hard to see how Conservatives could be convinced that freedom to be "immoral" is a good idea.

    Well, the logical argument, from the conservative side is that society and government are not the same thing. A political ban on bad behavior (inevitably coupled with the welfare state's implicit subsidy for those behaviors' consequences) is only ever going to provide a thin veneer of compliance. A more robust civil sector would enforce behavior more thoroughly.

  • flye||

    Good point, although they might argue that society can't be trusted to enforce morality because, per anon's father-in-law, people are stupid and lazy and need the firm hand of father government to guide them on the correct path.

    Certainly if you are someone who sees the rapid acceptance of gay marriage as evidence of moral decay, you aren't going to want to acquiesce to the whims of public opinion on matters of law.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Of course, the best response to that is that there are a lot better alternatives than the government to provide that firm hand. And government, a pretty weak institution for enforcing morality, inevitably crowds out much better adapted institutions (churches, lodges, etc.). As to gay marriage, It strikes me that putting marriage back in the hands of civil institutions, rather than a government which is inherently subject to popular opinion, would sit rather well with conservative philosophy.

  • flye||

    I don't see how you can get around the fact that SoCons and rabid liberals want their version morality enforced for everybody. No church or social organization can do that in the modern world. The only reason we've seen movement on the Right towards this idea of civil marriage is because they are losing that particular battle.

    So we end up with fair-weather friends of libertarians who are only anti-coercion when the wrong people are in power. That doesn't seem like much of a base for a political party with individual liberty as its primary standard.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, that's a slightly different conversation, though, isn't it? My argument was with regard to conservatism as a political philosophy, not the behavior of many conservatives. Yes, many social conservatives don't think through their conservatism very hard. But, that doesn't mean the logical conclusion of the philosophy doesn't start to converge on libertarianism.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I'd add that you wind up getting a lot of libertarians who arrive at libertarianism in just that way. They never really reject conservatism. The transition is more of a follow through on their own assumptions. In contrast, I don't think you find the same sort of thing works in the other direction. If you're a progressive, I don't see how you can arrive at libertarian thinking without rejecting progressivism. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

  • ||

    "The transition is more of a follow through on their own assumptions."

    I know that was the case for me personally. I had automatically bought in to the GOP line for a while because that's how I was raised. But when you actually take the time to think through your arguments for why the government should be out of religion, health care, food consumption etc., it's not hard to see why the same applies to drugs, marriage, and everything else. Once I stumbled on sites like Reason with people who actually saw it the same way, it didn't take much for me to be completely convinced.

  • Shrug||

    Could we make the case to the religious SoCons that libertarianism is the right way? The protestant reformation had some individualistic ideas during the movement.

    To quote Martin Luther "Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying."

  • robc||

    Could we make the case to the religious SoCons that libertarianism is the right way?

    Yes. Ive been doing it for 20+ years now. It doesnt always work on all issues, but it works somewhat on some.

  • Virginian||

    They never really reject conservatism.

    Bingo. I didn't reject conservatism. The Republican Party rejected conservatism when it embraced deficit spending, foreign meddling, and social engineering.

    As a great man once said, I didn't leave the Party, the Party left me.

  • robc||

    I was a Democrat.

    If they were still the party of Jefferson and Jackson* and Garfield, I would still be one.

    *minus the genocide

  • robc||

    I don't see how you can get around the fact that SoCons and rabid liberals want their version morality enforced for everybody.

    Not all do.

    Well, it depends how you define things. But there are socially conservative people within the libertarian movement. If you require the want of government action to be defined as a SoCon, then, yeah, you are right, but that seems like an unsolvable semantic issue. Because if you get them to change their view on government action, then they stop being a SoCon.

    Im still waiting for a good definition of what SoCons oppose though, because it seems to be all over the place.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Good point, although they might argue that society can't be trusted to enforce morality because, per anon's father-in-law, people are stupid and lazy and need the firm hand of father government to guide them on the correct path.

    The internal contradiction of the conservative world view that can be used to convert them to more libertarian view is that they believe government is stupid too, which is inevitably the case if people are stupid.

    Stupid people in government cannot force stupid people out of government to better themselves.
  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    We need to divorce the legal from the approved, damnit. It should be LEGAL to bed and adult voluteers you've a mind to. And society should still look askance at bed-hopping jerks.

  • robc||

    We need to divorce the legal from the approved, damnit.

    I blame my Mom for me being a libertarian. She continuously stressed over and over that just because others were allowed to do something, that I wasnt. Legal != Moral.

    It stuck.

  • ||

    it's hard to see how Conservatives could be convinced that freedom to be "immoral" is a good idea.

    Because slaves will not fight for shit and have no interest in preserving morality or civilization.

  • Zeb||

    Libertarianism is the logical conclusion to Conservatism.

    Some kinds of conservatism, maybe. The thing is that conservative isn't really any specific ideology. American social conservatism and economic conservatism, for example, really have nothing to do with each other besides some cultural association. And conservatives from other parts of the world are often authoritarians or monarchists.

  • anon||

    To be fair, if you declare me King/Supreme Leader/Whatever, there will be cake for all.

  • Swiss Servator ...nichts||

    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

  • ||

    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

    You, sir, are my favorite for today.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Believe me, we all want cake.

  • JWatts||

    ""The transition is more of a follow through on their own assumptions."

    I know that was the case for me personally. I had automatically bought in to the GOP line for a while because that's how I was raised. "

    My transition was more chaotic, but still along the same lines. I was raised Democratic, because all good people were Democrats. By the time I was in high school in the late 1980's, I was tired of the obvious group think and intolerance of individual liberty and reflexive rejection of Reagan by the Democratic party. And to be fair, quite often annoyed by Republican reflexive rejection of Bill Clinton.

    Then I jumped toward fiscal conservatism by backing Perot in 1992, realized that was a poorly thought out decision, so I've drifted towards a conservative / Republican thought process since.

  • Virginian||

    Republican reflexive rejection of Bill Clinton

    Why in the world would someone have a reflexive rejection to the Butcher of Waco?

  • straffinrun||

    The "conservatives" here in Japan led by Abe make Yellin and Nader look like Goldwater.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/artic.....vative.pdf

    The problem with conservatives is that the manual that describes them as "not conservatives" is the book they all pretend defines them as conservatives, but nobody actually reads. In fact, the problem with ____ is that the manual that describes them as "not _____" is the book they all pretend defines them as _____, but nobody actually reads.

    People don't claim to be something that is widely comprehended as being bad. Rather, they falsely and without education (with superficial education) claim to be good.

    This is why everyone supports "due process" but noone supports actual properly-structured jury trials that eschew "voir dire" and "improper judicial instruction." If people were educated about what "due process" actually meant, the result would be total systemic free market libertarianism.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    ...over 1500 characters continuation...

    However, humans have severe problems with hierarchical information structuring (prioritization architectures), even though we are relatively superior to lower animals. Our superiority over other animals is extreme, but we fall very short of the theoretical maximum capacity for both social and individual "proper prioritization."

    Artificial General Intelligence engineer Peter Voss doesn't have this same problem, because he's at the high end of the human intelligence and education scale. He is in the process of building systems to improve humanity, by increasing humanity's overall capacity for thought.

    Obviously this won't make all humans smarter, but it will expand the resources and capacity for benevolence of the smartest computer-aided human networks.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W_vtlSjNk0

  • Pinky||

    Libertarianism also happens to be the logical conclusion of Liberalism. Go figure!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think that only works if you distinguish between liberalism and progressivism.

  • Pinky||

    Sure, but the same can be said for conservatism. That is, conservatism is the logical conclusion of libertarianism only if you distinguish between conservatism and what ever it is the GOP is.

  • ||

    The GOP by action might as well be the Dems with a different allotment of favored groups, but what they have to say to get into power is very, very different.

  • ||

    what ever it is the GOP is.

    Statists of a different flavor perhaps?

  • Juice||

    Libertarianism is the logical conclusion to Conservatism.

    How in hell do you figure that? Conservatism is about creating a structured society built around the family and religion. You have liberty and freedom only insomuch as required to further society through the family/religion structure. Libertarianism is not a form of conservatism nor vice versa.

  • Robert||

    Conservatism is about keeping things the same.

  • sasob||

    Yup, pretty much.

  • Virginian||

    Conservatism is about keeping things the same.

    Right, which makes it an ideology that differs from nation to nation.

    American conservatism could be argued to be libertarian-lite, because it is federalist, constitutionalist, and pro-market (on paper at least). British conservatism is not quite the same, and Saudi Arabian conservatism an entirely different animal.

  • ||

    Conservatism is about creating a structured society built around the family and religion.

    Which is why gays need to be prohibited from joining the family and religious institution of marriage...

    ....oh wait.

    Anyway the institutions conservatives want to preserve are not anti-libertarian and Conservatives don't do those institutions any favors by regulating them with the power of the state.

    Also family and religion are innately human and are biological in nature...it would seem you and conservatives have a problem rectifying that fact.

  • Libertymike||

    Horrible advice. Don't walk, but run from the GOP.

    As a practical matter, Mr. Kibbe's prescription has already been administered with predictably bad results for the patient.

  • PapayaSF||

    I totally disagree. As I often point out around here, the reason we are in the semi-socialist mess we're in is not because the Socialist Party won elections. It's because the socialists took over the Democratic Party. The best hope for libertarianism is to do something similar. That means compromise and lots of ideological non-purity, which rankles a lot of libertarians, but half a loaf is better than none. I'll take an impure libertarian-ish politician over an impure socialist politician any day of the week.

  • Libertymike||

    You write as if Mr. Kibbe's advice is novel and has not been given a chance. It has been an unmitigated failure.

  • Homple||

    How much of a chance was Mr. Kibbe's advice given, and when?

  • PapayaSF||

    It wasn't a failure when the socialists took over the Democrats. What makes it impossible for libertarians to do the same thing with the Republicans?

  • Mike M.||

    I would argue that it's an ongoing work in progress. Yes, it's a long, hard, brutally slow slog, and like everyone else I wish it would happen 100 times faster, but more and more guys like Rand Paul and Mike Lee are winning elections all the time.

    The sorry-ass country club leadership wing of the republican party may still have the control right now, but the overwhelming majority of the country hates their guts, and their grip on power is slowly slipping away, and will eventually die the way it deserves to.

  • Zeb||

    Well, it's not up to me, so I'll just keep saying what I think. Maybe you are right. And if that happens, maybe it will be good.

  • ||

    That's pretty much the way I see it too.

  • JFree||

    What is it with this meme about 'socialists taking over the Dems'. Are you a Bircher?

    The Dems have been a political machine party since at least the days of Boss Tweed. They have absolutely no overarching principles whatsoever other than 'build a 50%+1 coalition, get them to vote, and deliver necessary cookies'. The demographics of the coalition shifts over time but there has never been any 'socialism'. Just Skinnerian quid pro quo. Peck this lever - get that cookie.

  • JWatts||

    "The demographics of the coalition shifts over time but there has never been any 'socialism'."

    Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid are all socialist policies. Drastic expansion of the government work force since the 1930's combined with a regulatory state and a vast income transfer system are a direct proxy for owning the means of production.

    Is there any practical difference between the government owning a business out right versus the government placing controlling regulations on a business?

  • JFree||

    State pensions and healthcare were put in place by Bismarck. The first 'welfare state' in the US was put together by the Puritans and the Amish/Mennonites. The term 'welfare state' was coined by an Anglican bishop - referring back to a 19th century group of Tory aristocrats (incl Disraeli and Peel).

    If you are simply going to conflate everything 'statist' as 'socialist' or 'fascist' or 'communist' or 'progressive' or 'entitlement', then you are simply throwing scare words around and there is no reason to take you seriously. That sort of stuff is what useful idiots do.

  • kbolino||

    And Bismarck was a socialist. I'm not really understanding what is controversial about the use of the term. Regardless of intentions, the end game is the same: a powerful state that serves as a conduit for redistribution and an instrument of control.

  • JFree||

    Bismarck was not a socialist. Yeesh. He was an authoritarian aristocrat who put state pensions in place to buy blue-collar votes so they wouldn't vote socialist. He justified his welfare state calling it 'practical Christianity' and his assessment is little different than what either the Puritans or the Pope would have said.

  • JWatts||

    "If you are simply going to conflate everything 'statist' as 'socialist' or 'fascist' or 'communist' or 'progressive' or 'entitlement', then you are simply throwing scare words around and there is no reason to take you seriously. That sort of stuff is what useful idiots do."

    And nitpicking definitions is what pedants do. Social security, medicare and other income transfer schemes are common socialist mechanisms. But hey, I bet you already knew that. You were just getting off on your pedantry.

  • JFree||

    Like it or not, if you choose to conflate actual leftist/socialists with religious/conservative based 'welfare' types by calling them both socialists; then you really shouldn't be surprised when they both agree that the enemy is you.

    Even dumber when that same religious/ethical impulse/thought that rationalized a welfare state in the late 19th century also created the entirety of 'classical liberalism' (aka libertarianism) in the 18th century. Smart thinking there. Turn your natural allies into enemies merely because you are too lazy to aim before you fire.

  • kbolino||

    If people are offended for being called socialist while they advocate for socialist policies but deny the label of socialist, well then they're already too far down the rabbit hole.

    Authoritarian aristocrats, religious zealots, and atheistic communists may hate each other, but they will always hate freedom-loving people more because their core objectives are the same.

  • JWatts||

    "Like it or not, if you choose to conflate actual leftist/socialists with religious/conservative based 'welfare' types by calling them both socialists; then you really shouldn't be surprised when they both agree that the enemy is you."

    I didn't do that. You're whacking the hell out of straw men.

  • PapayaSF||

    JFree: There is no doubt that the modern Democratic party has adopted policies that, as recently as 1928, would be considered straight-out socialism. It's not a coincidence that every single Democratic proposal is in the socialist direction. It's also true that numerous elected Democrats, and many Democrat voters, are self-proclaimed socialists.

  • ||

    The socialists took over the Republican Party before they took over the Democratic Party.

    The Republican Party had a much bigger progressive wing than the Democrats did until FDR, Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryan etc notwithstanding.

    The Republican Party did not become completely identified as "conservative" until Reagan got elected.

    Until the 1970s the governing ethos of both parties was "managerial liberalism", the theory that all societies problems could be solved by the proper application of government and planning.

    Until Goldwater ran in 1964 practically every election in the 20th century had been between candidates who claimed they were the better managers and planners. The only exceptions were Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

    The fact that the major exponents of managerial liberalism were the two Roosevelts and Herbert Hoover is a pretty good indicator that it was the idea that drove both parties for most of the twentieth century.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think that's a bit of a stretch. The progressive wing of the GOP was never associated with socialism. It did adopt some socialist policies, partly defensively. And "managerial liberalism": sure. But no socialists vote for or join the GOP to advance socialism. There are no GOP members of the Democratic Socialists of America.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Screw political parties. Just take over the government.

  • NSA Operative||

    Hey! I got a live one here!

  • From the Tundra||

    Don't kid. Every damn one of us is on the List.

  • ||

    If anyone asks, Tony will be happy to provide a lengthy dossier on everyone here in exchange for pat on the head and a fresh diaper.

  • ||

    And the chance to see us lined up.

  • sasob||

    Yeah, but who's at the top of the list?

  • ||

    Don't kid. Every damn one of us is on the List.

    Can I be in the sub-list that wants to escape government and set it on fire before leaving?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, I didn't mean a coup or something. Just the regular way, with elections and stuff.

  • Swiss Servator ...nichts||

    Sure, backpedal now...I mean, the rest of us cannot retreat to a base in the Oort Cloud and wait 300 or 400 years for things to smooth over.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I may have a different viewpoint once I have control of the rest of the solar system. And its many rocks and giant blocks of ice.

  • ||

    I always expected that Pro Libertate was in fact the Black Knight.

    http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/sEuDKzP.....efault.jpg

  • anon||

    Don't worry, at the rate the GOP's going there won't be a GOP to merge into.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Oh, there will always be a TEAM Red. When the peasants dutifully file into the polling places every 2 years, they must have the illusion of choice.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't get comments like this. The GOP has a very solid lead at the state level, is about to take control of Congress, and has a good chance of winning the White House in 2016, depending on how not-stupid it behaves in Congress in the meantime.

    Neither party is about to die forever, because, at the moment, when one fails to make most people happy--which happens most of the time--there's only one way to punish the party: vote for the other one.

  • anon||

    I don't get comments like this. The GOP has a very solid lead at the state level,

    Depends on the state you're talking about. NJ, for example, has already merged the GOP with the Progressives.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Obviously, it's not in control of all fifty. And, of course, the degree to which the GOP in practice behaves differently than the Democrats--and vice versa--is another matter altogether.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    New Jersey is run by a criminal cabal that is not any particular brand of political, but finds it convenient to control fronts named for both Democrats and Republicans. They have a superficial line of progressive patter, but are about as progressive as Boss Tweed.

    Which isn't to say I like the progressives. i think they should be parboiled and served on toast. But New Jersey isn't their fault, the way Detroit is.

  • ||

    New Jersey is one of the states where "the liberal wing" of the Republican Party never died out.

  • Zeb||

    Until a viable alternative to at least one of the parties emerges, neither party is going anywhere.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Like any war for freedom, it has to be fought on multiple fronts. Making the GOP even a tiny bit more libertarian could be very valuable in the long run. Certainly, much of the limited government and free market principles of libertarians is shared by the rank and file Republican, though with some very important exceptions. And those principles seem to get compromised really quickly when it comes to elections.

  • NoVAHockey||

    but demographics! coalition of the ascendant!

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    I agree, the GOP brand is, probably irrevocably, tainted. Even if they hadn't, by choice, cozied up to the bigots and the homophobes, the Left would still be insisting that any support for limited government can, of course, only be motivated by racism.

    There needs to be a clean break. People will still argue "But GW Bush raised spending too! So...there!" for so long as the GOP exists. The only way to escape the recent history of the GOP is to disavow it.

  • anon||

    Even if they hadn't, by choice, cozied up to the bigots and the homophobes

    Wait, what?

    Does Mary think American is real?

  • Calvin Coolidge||

    The homophobia is explicit. The bigots are tolerated and catered to, if not openly.

    Yes, 99.9% of the cries of "racist" are from Liberals who can't understand how anyone could disagree with them. But you can't argue with the success of a branding that means 95%+ of african-americans vote for Team Blue

  • Tony||

    So are blacks nearly universally easily duped by "branding"? Or is racism on the right perhaps a real thing? Can you answer without saying something explicitly racist, like almost all blacks are sheep to good branding instead of intelligent self-interested humans?

  • kbolino||

    Until you can understand the difference between a culture and a skin pigment, I will be unable to believe that you are an "intelligent self-interested human".

  • JWatts||

    He probably can, but he's not interested in any kind of honest debate. He's a compulsive troll lobbing a continuous stream of cheap shots.

  • Tony||

    What culture are you referring to?

  • kbolino||

    Where did I refer to a culture? I was referring to your inability to distinguish between culture and skin color.

  • ||

    So are blacks nearly universally easily duped by "branding"?

    Nope. Pretty sure if whites lived under slavery then Jim crow then the soft slavery of the welfare/drug war/union planned schools blacks lived under whites would be even easier to dupe and manipulate.

  • JWatts||

    "The homophobia is explicit. The bigots are tolerated and catered to, if not openly."

    And see there you just jump the shark. Certainly, that's true to some extent, but it's no more true than saying Democrat's tolerate and cater to pedophiles, race baiters and leeches.

    Or Libertarians tolerate and cater to druggies, pornographers and the selfish.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I "disavowed" the GOP when its recent history included Nixonian hijinks. (Of course, I never was a Republican, but, with Reagan's campaign, they were courting my vote but never got it.) In all the years since, nothing has ever happened in the GOP to make me regret my decision to ignore their 1980s propaganda and skip from leaning democratic to being solidly Libertarian.

  • Tony||

    "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto."

    Ironic that the title of a libertarian manifesto is a couple of admonishments (implicitly backed up by government force). Is libertarianism merely the failure of imagination necessary to appreciate the existence of more abstract forms of harm and consequences, such as externalities, or the tradeoff between investment in public goods and the cost of social ills that come in their absence? Why isn't it obvious to any of you that perhaps you've boiled down the millenia-old political debate into slogans and simple rules because you are simple-minded, not because the world is actually that simple? Even the Christianists (your valued companions in your quest for political power, no escaping it) have a good 10 rules they think cover everything. You've cut it down to 2? That must mean you're smarter!

  • sarcasmic||

    A textbook example of how leftists truly believe ad hominem fallacies to be compelling logical arguments.

  • NSA Operative||

    It is a mindless, ideological pre-programmed trollbot.

  • Tony||

    You can respond to me but I will only reply if you knock it off with the misused Logic 101 vocab words. You don't grasp them at all, and it would be best for everyone if you stopped embarrassing yourself and started talking like a grown-up.

  • kbolino||

    Now, I may just be a simple country logician, but I'm pretty sure that refuting ad hom with ad hom is not an effective strategy.

    You: "You're stupid and simple-minded"
    Sarcasmic: "That's not a valid argument against the things I believe in"
    You: "But, but, you're stupid and simple-minded"

  • Tony||

    But this is a free-wheeling message board, not an exercise in formal logic. Sarc is, in fact, a moron, and pointing it out doesn't violate any rules.

  • kbolino||

    I never said it violated rules, I said it didn't prove him wrong.

  • OneOut||

    Tony|4.29.14 @ 4:08PM|#

    "You can respond to me but I will only reply if you knock it off with the misused Logic 101 vocab words. "

    So you are gonna take your ball and go home ?

    Well OK, but I wish you would hang around. I've had a rough day and could use the laughs you generate around here.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|4.29.14 @ 12:44PM|#
    "Don't Hurt People and Don't Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto."
    Ironic that the title of a libertarian manifesto is a couple of admonishments (implicitly backed up by government force)."

    Almost got the end of the first sentence without a lie!

  • kbolino||

    Every single "point" you make has been addressed numerous times before, yet you persist in repeating them as though they are still original and valid arguments.

    A broken record has more depth and variety than your tired screeds.

  • Tony||

    No, I don't think you've ever (successfully) addressed the problems, which is why I repeat myself.

    Explain why libertarianism is something other than "government consisting of only those things I personally think I need from government." Explain how this fits into the general claim that government is bad, it is theft, and it is immoral. Explain why government should protect the luxuries of the rich but ignore the basic needs of the poor.

    Pick one I don't care. Explain it in a logical and convincing way and I'll leave you alone forever.

  • kbolino||

    We've played this game before. When you bother to respond after the folly of your ideas is laid bare, you engage in dissembling, misdirection, or deliberate obtuseness.

    You are seriously arguing against the principle of "don't hurt people or take their stuff". The only conclusion one can reasonably draw is that you want to hurt people and take their stuff.

    How can I begin to talk about a theory of government sincerely when you cannot even accede to basic ideas like other people were not put on this Earth to suffer your will?

  • Tony||

    See, I could throw in a few names of logical fallacies (straw man comes to mind), but that's tedious.

    I don't disagree that people should be restricted from hurting and stealing. I just find it odd that Kibbe is defining libertarianism first by what it wants government to restrict.

    More broadly, the point is that you guys often lack the imagination to appreciate that there are more subtle forms of aggression than bashing people over the head or stealing a purse, and that perhaps there is a social interest in regulating these as well.

    Boil libertarianism down and it is a set of seemingly arbitrary policy choices that result in protecting the luxuries of the rich and doing nothing about the basic needs of the poor. You can't explain that away with absolute principles about government aggression. As implied by Kibbe's title and by everything you believe, government aggression is a very good thing so long as it's for things you like.

  • kbolino||

    You find it odd that a theory of government is defined by its position on the role of government?

    If you "don't disagree" that people shouldn't hurt or steal from each other, then why do you want to steal from "the rich"?

  • Tony||

    If taxing the rich is the same as stealing from them, then you don't get any of the government programs you want, and the only option is anarchy. Seems as if we're forced to agree that taxation isn't theft.

  • Jordan||

    The guy who thinks that TOP MEN can and should run everything is accusing others of being simple-minded. Hilarious.

  • Tony||

    Really? No, you guys are the totalitarians (by omission). I'm a democrat--something most of you seem to have a problem with.

  • kbolino||

    For example, one point that has often been made in response to your arguments is that totalitarianism and democracy exist on different axes. There have been totalitarian democracies and libertarian dictatorships.

    Nuance, motherfucker, do you speak it?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|4.29.14 @ 3:59PM|#
    "Really? No, you guys are the totalitarians (by omission)"

    Tony posted that. No one made that up for Tony, he did it himself.

  • ||

    Said the sociopath who would execute his political opponents.

  • ||

    I'm a democrat--something most of you seem to have a problem with.

    meh.

    I have friends who are democrats.

    I think your scum bag worship of the ever good power of the state to get into everyones shit is what i have a problem with.

    I know all my democrat friends would not say the government should mandate birth control like you have.

    Also you are a constant goal pole mover and strawman beater and are absolutely incapable of seeing any fault with your dear leader or the "People's" party.

    I can talk to democrats about the failings of their party and Obama and they will agree with me.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    That must mean you're smarter!

    That's the first intelligent thing you've ever said.

  • anon||

    Is libertarianism merely the failure of imagination necessary to appreciate the existence of more abstract forms of harm and consequences, such as externalities, or the tradeoff between investment in public goods and the cost of social ills that come in their absence?

    This is retarded, even for you, Tony.

    Libertarians recognize the tradeoffs and have generally explained to you a million times over how Government exacerbates the problems rather than alleviate them. You're just too fucking stupid to comprehend english, dipshit.

  • SugarFree||

    You should really abandon the idea that it is anything other than a troll.

  • anon||

    Yeah, I know, and I have him filtered, but I really don't like agreeing with everything I read.

  • SugarFree||

    I understand. It's whole existence is just to make you mad. Don't give in. Stay strong, board brother.

  • Zeb||

    When he posts shit like that, it's hard to avoid that conclusion. But sometimes its nice to have someone like that to call a fucking retard so you don't have to call your friends fucking retards.

  • SugarFree||

    Calling it a retard is fine by me. It's the idea that it is here to actually argue a point or have a discussion that is so corrosive.

    It has one job: to be annoying. The only way for it to fail in its job? To not let it annoy you.

  • Tony||

    You guys have explained that you have explained things over and over, but you never actually have addressed the core problems of your philosophy, because they are contradictions, and everyone gets it but you.

  • kbolino||

    everyone gets it but you.

    Good for them. So if we're so crazy-eyed and wrong-headed, then surely all of you who "get it" will let us take our property and live in peace apart from you right-thinking and up-standing people?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Someone needs to let Kibbe know that GOP voters love BigGov and entitlements as long as it is for the right people.

  • Libertarian Barbarian||

    This is the first statement you've ever made that I agree with

  • ||

    Broken clock and all that.

  • Brett L||

    In this, we agree completely.

  • JWatts||

    Yes, agreed.

  • ||

    Go back and watch the video Shrike. Kibbe talks about those failings of the GOP and specifically names Boner and Mitch as holding those failings.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Why take it over when it already has libertarians like Jindal and Christie at the forefront?

  • anon||

    ahahaha, good one.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Hasn't this argument been going on for something like 40 years? And haven't both approaches failed to work for that entire time? What's different now?

  • Sevo||

    "What's different now?"

    Intertubes!

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Libertarian moment.

  • Zeb||

    Got to try something, I guess.

  • OneOut||

    NEW TOP MEN !

    This time they will get it right.

  • straffinrun||

    IMHO, just keep the powder dry and be ready to be viable alternative for when the dollar crisis starts to accelerate. Spell out your positions too narrowly and you allow the prog mob to misrepresent and obfuscate.

  • Sevo||

    "Spell out your positions too narrowly and you allow the prog mob to misrepresent and obfuscate."

    See above: "Ironic that the title of a libertarian manifesto is a couple of admonishments (implicitly backed up by government force)."
    Pretty sure the prog tendency to call "up" "down" means that no matter how you represent a position, a proggy will lie about it instantly.

  • straffinrun||

    I don't know how you could call Tony's statement a "lie". Seemed more like sheer gibberish to me.

  • anon||

    OT: Can anyone name the last thing the Federal Government -didn't- fuck up? I'm at a loss.

  • flye||

    Forever stamps?

  • anon||

    Nah, that was a failure. Post office is losing, what, $5 billion annually now?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think you can really blame forever stamps for that.

  • kbolino||

    Nah, those are pretty fucked up. I don't know if the USPS came up with the idea on its own or if Congress made them do it, but "forever stamps" are a losing proposition for the postal service in the long term.

    If they don't expect people to use the stamps, then the market will eventually become saturated and the revenue from them will dry up.

    If they do expect people to use the stamps, then they are creating a dangerous liability just to make short-term financials look better.

  • flye||

    Well I tried. I guess I can't name something the Federal Government hasn't fucked up.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I don't know if the USPS came up with the idea on its own or if Congress made them do it, but "forever stamps" overpaid employees with huge pensions are a losing proposition for the postal service in the long term.

    Fixed.

  • kbolino||

    The USPS is not a hotbed of good ideas, that's for sure

  • Zeb||

    The USPS is a completely stupid hybrid. It needs to either be a government service or a completely private company with the ability to do what it needs to to be profitable. As it is now, they can't change rates or employment contracts without congressional permission.

  • JWatts||

    It's the same inherent problem with Amtrak.

  • JWatts||

    "but "forever stamps" are a losing proposition for the postal service in the long term."

    I think you're wrong about that, because you are failing to account for human nature. Here's my explanation why Forever Stamps are a great idea.

    People don't like having to remember the exact correct postage or having to fiddle with multiple stamps. So they don't want to buy a stamp and then have it not be the correct stamp in the future. So, in the past people bought as few stamps as they needed, and bought even fewer if they knew a postage rate change was coming. Historically, sales of stamps dipped during the period before a postage rate change.

    Now with Forever Stamps, people don't worry about it so they buy more stamps to reduce their trips back to buy more stamps in the future. Then they put the stamps in a drawer. Meanwhile, the USPS gets the net interest on the additional money the people spent immediately. Money NOW is always worth more than money in the future.

    That's what makes it a good idea. What makes it a great idea is that people aren't particularly good at keeping track of small value things like postage stamps, so they tend to lose and/or damage them. The more stamps they buy at once, the higher the chance they have some extras laying around that get lost. That's pure profit from the USPS point of view.

  • kbolino||

    Selling a service that will cost you $100 tomorrow for $50 today may put $50 in your pocket but still makes your net worth -$50.

    Of course, they don't know how much it will cost to deliver mail in the future, and yes people do lose the stamps from time to time.

    If the postal service were a truly independent enterprise, then it could conduct this experiment without putting my money on the line.

    As it stands, though, the USPS is still practically speaking an arm of the government.

  • JWatts||

    "Selling a service that will cost you $100 tomorrow for $50 today "

    That's not what they are doing. They are selling you a service that costs $50 today for $50. If you choose not to use it for some period of time it doesn't cost them any extra money in the future, just because they've raised the price of the service to $52 in the mean time.

    There is inherent Time Value in money. It's basic economics and hardly experimental.

  • kbolino||

    The postal service is in the red. It does not have spare cash to invest. And even if it did, there is no guarantee that the rate of return on the investment will outpace the increase in their costs. TVM depends on a lot of assumptions that aren't holding up in this case.

    The actual cost (regardless of the price) can and will increase between the time the stamp is sold and the service is performed. More importantly, what will actually happen is that the stamps sold today will be used to pay for the services performed today regardless of the connection between stamp and service, and so in order for this model to be successful, people must forever and always buy stamps at a sufficient rate to cover the USPS's costs.

    This may or may not be a good choice in the long run, but that fact cannot be known today. It is this exact sort of support and encouragement of risky business models by the government that defines our corrupt and mismanaged economy. Either make the USPS a truly independent entity or else merge it back into the government and stop pretending that this is some viable experiment in capitalism.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    TARP.

    Like it or not it has turned a profit and did provide liquidity like it was supposed to.

  • kbolino||

    So you're just flat-out embracing fascism at this point?

    We have institutions for making a profit, they're called businesses. We have institutions for providing liquidity, they're called banks.

    But clearly the problem with businesses and banks was that they couldn't incarcerate and execute people willy-nilly. Luckily putting the government in charge fixes that loophole.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I think it is deplorable that it got so bad that TARP was needed. And I am no Bush fan to say the least.

    But Citi and Bank of America had run out of capital and bank runs there would have devastated the economy.

    I know the pat libertarian answer is LET THEM CLOSE THEIR DOORS! Yeah, 70 million depositors wiped out. Insane.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|4.29.14 @ 1:31PM|#
    "I think it is deplorable that it got so bad that TARP was needed. And I am no Bush fan to say the least."

    Not nearly as deplorable as your constant lies.

  • straffinrun||

    "I think it is deplorable that it got so bad that TARP was needed". Excessive liquidity solved by more liquidity. I'm drowning, can someone get me a glass of water stat!

  • kbolino||

    Yeah, 70 million depositors wiped out. Insane.

    At what cost to the 150 million other adults in the United States?

    Fascism is a great system to set up as a strawman for socialism to sweep in and slay.

  • ||

    Yeah, 70 million depositors wiped out. Insane.

    Paying those depositors with FICA insurance (would have been printed money just like the TARP money) would have been better for the economy then TARP.

  • Jordan||

    So you're just flat-out embracing fascism at this point?

    When has he not?

  • JWatts||

    "So you're just flat-out embracing fascism at this point?"

    TARP was not that bad. The core mechanism of TARP was a temporary loan (with interest) from the government to banks. That's hardly fascism.

    There are literally hundreds of things that the Federal government does that are worse every year.

    Nuance matters.

  • kbolino||

    I am well aware that there are far more obviously destructive things that the government does, but that does not absolve TARP and programs like it from responsibility for their higher-order effects, which extend beyond the primitive numbers game played by accountants and lawyers.

    For example, one of the practical effects of TARP was to extend an expectation and in some cases obligation of government backing in the financial sector, the sort of collusion between large business and government that is symptomatic of fascism, at least according to some definitions of the term.

  • Robert||

    That expect'n was already there, or TARP wouldn't've passed.

    We're fucked on this no matter what. There is really no fighting too big to fail. Doesn't matter if states issue their own debt, constitute authorities that are technically off the books, or large enterprises deemed necessary do it completely as private biz. Gov't will always have access to a pile o' cash that will be used to bail out any large enough failure, no matter whose it formally is.

  • JWatts||

    "For example, one of the practical effects of TARP was to extend an expectation and in some cases obligation of government backing in the financial sector,"

    That's certainly a valid criticism of TARP.

  • ||

    That's hardly fascism.

    Socialized risk for favored companies is fascism.

  • OneOut||

    Did you write a letter to Bush and congratulate him ?

  • ||

    +1 for exposing Shrike's W. Bush love.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Peter Caca,

    TARP. Like it or not it has turned a profit and did provide liquidity like it was supposed to.


    Thus spake the economic ignoramus.

    TARP did NOT turn a profit, Caca. It DIDN'T. It COULDN'T. Stealing money from one group of people (us idiots who produce and save) to give it to the banks is a ZERO-SUM game. There was NO added value for the economy, no goods produced, no services provided - ergo, NO profits.

    Any idiot can provide liquidity to a bank - it's called counterfeiting. Anybody can do it. Any "profit" you may think you obtain from lending a bank counterfeit money is an illusion. It is not real profit. What NO government can ever provide is liquidity that is based on previously-produced and saved goods, on saved wealth, unless that wealth is taken from someone, that is theft. A bank may allege that it turned a profit from stolen money, but that is meaningless for the people whose wealth was stolen (through taxation) to bail-out the bank. That profit is also illusory, as it adds nothing to the economy.

    Thinking that TARP turned a profit is like saying your side of the pool looks like it has more water because you took some water from the other side with a pail.

  • cavalier973||

    Shredding the Constitution?

  • ||

    Convincing people that stealing from them is somehow an investment when government does it?

  • Tybus||

    They do excel at creating long, slow moving lines.

  • PaulW||

    Erm... The Homestead Act?

  • ||

    NAFTA

    It could have been better but I think it can qualitatively be shown to be an improvement.

  • straffinrun||

    The mail? Oh sorry, that was Federal Express

  • Brett L||

    The problem with this strategy is that both parties are funded and staffed by people who want to use the government to give their people more power. Neither side has any interest in giving up power. And its pretty inevitable. Even the LP will get that way if it ever wins anything, because politicians don't, as a rule, have any principles beyond will to power. Any successful political party will eventually be totally colonized by the type who are perfectly willing to live comfortably by graft and patronage.

  • Raven Nation||

    Parallel to what happened to the Democrat-Republicans in the late 1810s & 1820s.

  • Robert||

    But as Jorge Amador pointed out, politicians got elected in E. Germany to abolish their entire gov't in one term, and they did.

  • Robert||

    Even though most of them had been elected previously with no such promise on the horizon, and were the incumbents. "You can keep your job one more term, provided you then abolish it."

  • Cliché Bandit||

    The largest growing voting demographic is Unaffiliated (stupid people say Independent, which is an actual party name). In Colorado, over the last 5 years, all of the parties with the exception of the LP have been shrinking. The Us and the Ls have been growing. The LP wen from 5000 people state wide in 2005 to 27000 people now. Sooo...me thinks Mr. Kibbe is mistaken. Also, when it was common for the top of the CUT (Colorado Union of Taxpayers) scorecard to be filled with 100%s from Rs, it now struggles with only 2 97%s which are Rs. The GOP is not dead nor is the Democrat party but I do expect them to merge at some point in the not too distant future.

  • Zeb||

    Different states call it different things.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    Why has nobody ever thought of trying to take over the GOP and make it libertarian before? What a great idea!

    After we're done with that simple task, let's all infiltrate McDonald's and turn it into a vegan restaurant.

  • JWatts||

    "After we're done with that simple task, let's all infiltrate McDonald's and turn it into a vegan restaurant."

    If the overwhelming majority of McDonalds customers stopped ordering meat, then it would indeed stop selling meat.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    But we can't go to another restaurant that doesn't serve meat. We have to work within the system of McDonald's.

    Or Burger King.

    But definitely one of the two.

  • JWatts||

    In that case you are probably going to have to make a choice. You can choose to sit down at the table with some meat eaters while you eat your salad and learn to accept the culinary differences. Or you can hang outside in the parking lot, looking through the windows at the people eating inside.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    The analogy breaks down at that point. Whether we choose to dedicate scarce resources toward infiltration or external attack, they are still scarce resources. The two strategies are different, and each carries with it its own set of problems. Neither is significantly worse of a strategy, but I believe that one of the strategies contains more inherent problems due to the pathetic state of basic education in the USA.

    I choose not to tip my hand here, because that strategy becomes the better one, in the hands of an educated strategist.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Interestingly, by placing the appropriate kind of pressure on the "GOP," in some areas of the country, the local GOP has embraced true libertarian strategy: they've embraced jury nullification of law in their platform. (In the Alaska GOP platform.) Additionally, in Alaska, the Democrats elected Eric Croft, who introduced and passed Alaska's concealed carry legislation.

    In that regard, infiltration of those two overall toxic mainstream parties (the GOP and the Democrats) are analogous to Burger King and McDonald's. However, to extend the analogy, Burger King and McDonald's have added salads to their menus, to cater to the vegan demographic. Additionally, they've added grilled chicken salads to their menus to cater to the health concerns of the more broadly-educated "low carb, high protein" demographic that competes with the vegan demographic for adoption among the well-educated.

    In effect, what I'm saying is that infiltration and external attack are both legitimate strategies ...in the hands of intelligent strategists. Neither strategy works with people who are too narrow-minded, too uncreative, or too historically-illiterate.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It is significantly easier to take over a party than it is to create a new one.

    A new party will require infrastructure which already exists with the GOP. Attempting to set up said infrastructure would result in a war with the GOP, which the GOP will win because of superior funding.

    A new party would also require convincing people to change. A Herculean task. Better that their grand old party changes around them and they keep pulling the red lever. Get their votes from the beginning and change their minds along the way. Hell, most people don't choose a party based upon their lifestyles, they choose their lifestyles based upon how their party tells them to act.

  • Brett L||

    But the infrastructure is rotten with people who are entirely dependent on a vast system of personal capital. Favors. Which take a really long time for you to accumulate. Look how easy it was for the in-crowd to screw the Paulites at the 2008 convention. That's not going to change quickly.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Didn't say it won't be hard. Just easier than the alternative.

    Parties have changed before (see the Reagan socons). They will change again. Might as well be us.

  • JFree||

    And those socons took over the GOP at the precinct level. They got out the local vote using their network of local churches. They worked at that for a decade - and even though they have done all the GOTV for the GOP for decades, they still have yet to be successful at - oh - overturning RoevWade or hetero marriage or localizing schools or anything else they actually wanted.

    And guess what, those folks who did that legwork are often still the precinct captains and such. And you are expecting 'libertarians' to displace them merely by walking in - with no GOTV operation in place and no interest in walking precincts or organizing anything local? Delusion

  • Robert||

    No, I'm expecting libertarians to do so with GOTV ops, walking precincts, etc.

    And it's not as if the evangelicals have gotten nothing. Much of what they wanted was the same as libertarians wanted. Meanwhile where they opposed libertarians, they probably succeeded in slowing the rate of change against them in social issues; had things continued at the pace of 1968-1978, for instance, we'd've had legal pot long ago.

  • JFree||

    This is a chimera.

    The only non-billionaire way to 'take over' an established political party is to do the same things you have to do when starting a party (create precincts and local entities and fill them with volunteers who will GOTV). The problem is that with an established party, you then have to spend decades fighting other precinct people who don't want your ideas and don't want to give up their local power and who have spent years already building up a local GOTV network. And in the end, you have simply wasted your time and achieved nothing.

    Much easier to do the first part - and then start knocking on doors and talking about freedom. Once you have built that local network of voters, then prospective candidates/funders/parties/organizations will seek you out - on your terms. And the various top-down 'mass media' type of political messaging to the uninterested will then follow - on your terms.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Except that, despite all rhetoric to the contrary here, people who vote republican already kinda want what the LP has to offer.

    RINOs spout fiscally responsibility to get elected. Everyone loves the Constitution. Free speech, low taxes, less government interference.

    These are all things GOP voters go apeshit for--and they're all inroads for the LP.

    There are issues that need some tiptoeing around--but, by and large, they're first world issues--things that can be hedged until there is control.

    Or the LP can do what it's been doing. Talking. Running GOP castoffs for President. Treading water.

  • JFree||

    What the LP has never ACTUALLY done is - build a political party. Part of that is because anarchists are allergic to organization. Part of it probably the Nock pessimism (ie there is no possibility of changing anything - merely observing until things go statist boom and then picking up the pieces). Part of it is sophomoric interest in long-winded philosophy conversations while stoned.

    But what this means is that the LP can be taken over in about 3 minutes by anyone with a modicum of interest/talent in 'organizing' (or 'taking over' a party). And can then focus on what political parties that win elections actually have to focus on - local organization, local candidates, local issues, clear messaging. If libertarians want to answer the question - what does a libertarian school system look like, they have to - you know - run for school board and demonstrate that it is not scary. Otherwise the answer is always 'there is no true Scotsman except in Somalia'

    With a clear message and LOCAL success, they will provide a way out for all those GOP (and Dem) voters who get burned by broken D/R promises once too often. That said - if 'local' means your critter is Lee or Paul or Amash, then sure GOP is fine. Otherwise, the primary challenges era is over. The GOP establishment woke up - and won't let that happen again.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    I mostly agree. However, Dick Randolph first got elected as a Republican to the AK State Legislature (and Amash came years later, and Pauls continued to get elected in the interim, up to the present day).

    Although the "GOP" tries to prevent small-L libertarians to get elected in most of its organization, let's face it: most Republicans are idiotic sociopaths who are just slightly more intelligent than the conformists they cater to. This is going to mean that intelligent libertarians can infiltrate them in certain areas of the country. Amash's leadership was simply too intelligent for the fascists in his area to deal with. Moreover: Amash didn't have to be as smart as a typical silicon valley engineer* to win election.

    In this sense, "the libertarian movement" doesn't want freedom as much as sociopath power-seekers ("tyrants") want control of offices that hold a lot of unconstitutional power and big budgets.

    Most libertarians who will get elected as Libertarians could also have been elected as Republicans, and vice versa. However, most small-L libertarians are not electable, and don't actually want to get elected. If they did, they could easily be elected by being more honest about political reality.

    Read:
    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/n.....nt.1_9.htm

  • Jake_Witmer||

    ...over 1,500 character limit footnote:

    *Most silicon valley engineers have better things to do than run for office. Moreover, they'd have to be willing to profile stupid people, and use the kind of electoral rhetoric that appeals to stupid people who have incorrect views of political reality, in order to be elected.

  • Robert||

    You don't fight the existing precinct people, you work with them & gain their confidence. You work for gradual change, not to upset the applecart.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    This is a threshold-based judgment, for almost everyone. Some precinct people should be gradually convinced to be made more libertarian (those who mean well, and are open to "changing their minds" in a rational fashion), and some (precinct-level "tyrants") should be attacked and displaced.

  • Robert||

    No, even the precinct-level tyrants should be outsmarted by people who'll convince them they're working with them.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Agreed.

  • JWatts||

    "Hell, most people don't choose a party based upon their lifestyles, they choose their lifestyles based upon how their party tells them to act."

    That's not been my experience at all. In my experience, most people pick the party they know that pisses them off least.

  • Mongo||

    I can't watch the vid at work but either you or the headline writer is an abject idiot, Kibbe.

    The GOP. Fuck, man....

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff"? But that's what governents DO.

  • From the Tundra||

    Alright, who forgot to sedate the sqwerelz?

  • Sevo||

    I thought they were just picking on ME!

  • Mongo||

    No kidding. I've had a few posts disappear.

    (This is a TEST, btw)

  • Hadley V. Baxendale||

    Particularly since, arguably, the last libertarian president of these united states was Grover Cleveland, a Democrat. http://www.marottaonmoney.com/.....president/ .

    It is a shame that most people think candidates running against each other should be from different political parties, when it would be much better if the two best candidates for office ran against each other even if they were members of the same political party. This can be accomplished de facto however if both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are taken over by libertarians.

    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman.....n-democrat

  • Jake_Witmer||

    I agree. Where possible, this is a viable strategy. Viable strategies must be executed by highly intelligent people. I think all such people (intelligent, wealthy, capable of running a viable campaign) should use the Libertarian Party to organize themselves, because the party doesn't determine political victory, it just impacts the difficulty of the political victory.

    But what if such people are not wealthy? What if their local circumstances make it harder for them to use the apparatus of the local LP? What if the local LP is totally inept, and worse, anti-liberty (as is commonly the case)?

    Then, an equally intelligent person who sees an opportunity in the local GOP should infiltrate it, run, and win.

    Ideally, those who infiltrate the GOP and win should switch to the LP and get re-elected, as Dick Randolph did, in Alaska. Randolph first pursued a strong strategy of getting his neighboring districts elected as Libertarian, including Andre Marrou. Then, he weakened his strategy by running in the GOP primary, and losing, after being betrayed by GOP operatives who lured him back to the GOP for the express purpose of neutralizing him (promising him money adequate to win the governor's race, then withdrawing that support).

  • Jake_Witmer||

    ...1500 character limit continuation...

    Running for state legislative offices, and winning them by walking door-to-door is a method by which big-L Libertarians can (and should) get elected in every single election. That they are too inept to do this indicates that the Libertarian Party is infiltrated by people who do not wish us to succeed.

    Human-level (MOSH) politics is a dirty game.

    Humans may be smarter than cats, but libertarians aren't much smarter than cats. And they don't form organized groups half as well as cats do. They're too busy claiming to be "more anarchist" (not even relevant) than each other.

    Simple education of American jurors would result in a 100% libertarian society.

  • Neoconwatch||

    Don't give his organization a dime - Matt Kibbe is not living up to his words. He just reversed his endorsement in the Nebraska Senate race. He is now endorsing Ben Sasse, who is an actual Straussian and supports universal health care. Regardless of what Kibbe may or may not have thought about the opponent, he knew Sasse is hard-core statist because his own web site denounced him for months for it. This is a major integrity problem.

    Mr. Kibbe, tear down that endorsement!

  • Jake_Witmer||

    I also disagree that there wasn't a good intro to libertarianism before his book. Harry Browne's books (among them, "Why Government Doesn't Work") are excellent intros to libertarianism, as is Hayek's slightly more in-depth "The Constitution of Liberty." Additionally, there are hundreds of other such books that are similarly good, but with a few inconsistencies. (I suspect Gillespie and Welch's book is one such book, though I haven't read it yet. Ron Paul's book "Liberty Defined" is fairly good.)

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Libertarianism is not "anti-defense" or "anti-retaliation." However, there is smart defense and retaliation, and stupid defense and retaliation. Stupid retaliation targets innocent people along with the guilty, the "aggressors." Such stupid retaliation leads to escalation.

    Unilateral destruction of aggressors leaves the nearby "relations" of the aggressors secure in the public knowledge that they will not be attacked in the future.

    This is why semi-automatic sniper rifles are a far, far, far better means of attack than drone bombings.

    And why strong, Drexlerian nanotechnology, and/or strong AGI-empowered strategy, is an infinitely better means of attack than semi-auto sniper fire. "Social conservatives" deserve to reap this kind of retaliation, for the oppression they've wrought on innocent people, for many years.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Stupid retaliation targets innocent people along with the guilty, the "aggressors." Such stupid retaliation leads to escalation.

    This is a bunch of nonsense. Civilians are not necessarily innocent, and their killing at Hiroshima lead to no such 'escalation'.

  • Virginian||

    And why strong, Drexlerian nanotechnology, and/or strong AGI-empowered strategy

    Or we could ask our mages to cast a curse upon their souls.

    Holy shit, magical thinking says what?

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Why should we keep on pretending that sociopathic power is even slightly legitimate? When the state raids someone for drug possession, it is directly attacking the principle of western civilization, as well as attacking an innocent person. The drug owner's willingness to take a risk doesn't rightfully factor into the judgment of right and wrong, nor the judgment to mete out retaliation. We simply fail to defend them because we're too weak and cowardly, and they're too inconsistent and cowardly to cooperate with a strong strategy.

    When superhuman AGI comes into existence, this will no longer be the case.

    Attacking innocent people is not legitimate, and whatever means of defense the drug users employ, so long as only the police state apparatus and its defenders are targeted, are legitimate.

    See also:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Ball.....0967025923
    https://www.accuratepress.net/

  • Jake_Witmer||

    We can't continue existing at a subhuman hierarchical level:
    http://www.slideshare.net/humanityplus/kurzweil

    If we truly wish to be considered citizens, then we must embrace proper philosophical thinking, and the appropriate hierarchies it entails. This then, indicates that the use of force would be appropriate in setting free 1.44 million innocent people from U.S. prisons. We may not do such a thing because we are inept, or we are cowards, or both, but a proper philosophical hierarchy indicates that continued acceptance of the U.S. prison system is the worst moral crime we are capable of, as free men.

    Social conservatives are immoral to their core. They not only are "amoral," they are directly in opposition to the core teaching of proper morality. (And not the core teaching of "libertarians" but their own claimed core teaching.) They fail to uphold Christ's priority: "the golden rule," and its more precise corollary, "the silver rule" ("Don't do unto others what you don't want done to yourself.") Still worse, they claim a fiscal conservatism informed by Adam Smith and anti-slavery enlightenment thinkers, such as Tadeusz Kosciusko, Thomas Paine, and Sam Adams (like Jefferson and Locke without the acceptance of slavery).

  • Jake_Witmer||

    The use of force is totally and completely appropriate for those who doggedly defend the immoral, looting police state. Fear of the power of poorly-trained (but very numerous) armed police is the only thing that rightfully constrains target-specific retaliation against the police state. This is not because "it is OK to kill social conservatives," this is because "it is OK to defend yourself from aggression of social conservatives," whether at the 'called for the badge and gun' hierarchical level, the 'badge and gun' hierarchical level itself, or the 'voted for the illegitimate power of the badge and gun' hierarchical level." At all levels of implementation, the philosophical onus is the same: it just differs in intelligence.

    But do we exempt rapists from the laws prohibiting aggression just because they're less intelligent than high-tech bank robbers? No, we don't. Because the concept of onus covers social expectations. Civilization, properly defined, determines whether social expectations are valid or not. The Nuremberg principle eliminates claims against onus for acts of aggression. (If you ignored pleas of mercy, you can't claim that you "didn't know what you were doing" or "weren't culpable" or "were just following orders." Why? Because onus is determined by empathy, and your alternative of inaction. If you could have failed to act and your failure to act would have been moral, then you bear the onus of your positive actions that were immoral.)

  • Jake_Witmer||

    Therefore, America owes its very existence to the fear of the people who are the most compassionate, the most right, the most intellectually honest. (As Ayn Rand noted, the America-hating third world nations of the world cannot be called a serious threat.)

    What other nations in history can we think of that once occupied that same philosophical space? Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Pol Pot's Cambodia, etc.

    The empaths live in fear of the sociopaths. The empaths have too much to live for, to engage in force. The sociopaths do not, and regularly engage in force, making them a fearful beast, but a beast nonetheless.

    The lowest-level of the sociopaths are violent criminals: easily kept in check by private firearm ownership and private security. One prison that held 40,000 people would be enough to house them all, and better security would be enough to deter the ones that weren't worth housing.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    By far, the greatest threat to human life, safety, and technological progress is the rising U.S. police state, which causes trillions of dollars of lost, stolen, and prevented profit, not to mention the destruction caused by raw aggression.

    If you think it through, strong AGI will be the biggest blessing ever devised by man, leading immediately afterward to something that makes the industrial and computer revolutions seem like the socialist stagnation.

    We need to restore strong capitalism and the free market, and let no mind be wasted. We can do this by restoring proper jury trials, making it impossible for the socialist police state to enforce any law. This can be done by waging war against "voir dire" and educating the public about what "voir dire" means.

    Please comment below if you know what "voir dire" is, and understand how and why it is so destructive, at a deep level. If 40,000 people respond, that's enough to employ an effort to create a total libertarian state, inside a 60 square mile circle anywhere in the USA.

  • Jake_Witmer||

    My estimates are arbitrary, and multiply-redundant. The real numbers only require about 10 people, but they'd need to be highly-intelligently targeted, Geo-politically.

    I guess that the prior is a pretty good statement about why we shouldn't accept the poison of the GOP into the libertarian philosophy. We can infiltrate them, but we should never compromise with them, except to hold ground so we can totally defeat them the next go-around. "No quarter with the destroyers of American freedom."

  • prolefeed||

    "Voir dire" means "we will kick out of the jury that 10% to 20% or so of the populace that will hang the jury by refusing to convict people under non-libertarian laws".

  • Mark22||

    Republicans need to kick out the social conservatives; they differ from progressives only on details, but otherwise also want government to engage in social engineering and intrude into our personal lives.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Wow, they already got more than 200 comments!

  • prolefeed||

    If you're a progressive, I don't see how you can arrive at libertarian thinking without rejecting progressivism. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

    Get them to take, and understand, and accept a few basic econ classes.
    Of course, at that point you'd be a libertarian, not a prog.

  • Atanarjuat||

    A friend was just complaining to me about how much leftist propaganda is mixed in his college economics class. The professor actually argued in favor of the minimum wage.

  • Mike M.||

    Kibbe should also take over Reason's content management.

  • RishJoMo||

    Runn over that hill over there dude.

    www.myAnon.tk

  • John C. Randolph||

    common ground between libertarians and progressives in the Democratic Party on issues such as surveillance and privacy.

    Sounds like he has a very poor understanding of what "progressives" are all about. They're all for shredding the bill of rights as long as their team has control of the government.

    -jcr

  • John C. Randolph||

    common ground between libertarians and progressives in the Democratic Party on issues such as surveillance and privacy.

    Sounds like he has a very poor understanding of what "progressives" are all about. They're all for shredding the bill of rights as long as their team has control of the government.

    -jcr

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Off to my nephew's baptism, and then I'm gonna get wrecked at brunch. I'll be back to argue about something or other later.

  • db||

    230+ comments on a Sunday morning? You guys had a wholesome breakfast this morning for sure.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Some commenters had a head start.

  • ||

    Well blast. I was up in the old comments section. How shameful.

  • sasob||

    They weren't all posted this Sunday morning. Look at the posting dates.

  • ||

    Look at the posting dates.

    God damn it!!

    I have been talking to echos of the dead for the past 2 hours now.

  • ||

    This Jake_Witmer fellow has a novel to publish and the reason comments is his printing company of choice.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Um...what the fuck?

    When did Reason regress to not cutting the old comments out of the reposts? I thought we fixed this? New weekend crew?

  • Robert||

    I'd rather keep the old comments. I preferred the old online methods of discussion—e-mail lists and nonexpiring subthreadable forums—to blog-and-comment. Maybe Libernet-d ran out of things to discuss.

  • ||

    PapayaSF|4.29.14 @ 1:12PM|#

    I totally disagree. As I often point out around here, the reason we are in the semi-socialist mess we're in is not because the Socialist Party won elections. It's because the socialists took over the Democratic Party.


    The socialists took over the Republican Party before they took over the Democratic Party.

    The Republican Party had a much bigger progressive wing than the Democrats did until FDR, Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryan etc notwithstanding.

    The Republican Party did not become completely identified as "conservative" until Reagan got elected.

    Until the 1970s the governing ethos of both parties was "managerial liberalism", the theory that all societies problems could be solved by the proper application of government and planning.

    Until Goldwater ran in 1964 practically every election in the 20th century had been between candidates who claimed they were the better managers and planners. The only exceptions were Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

    The fact that the major exponents of managerial liberalism were the two Roosevelts and Herbert Hoover is a pretty good indicator that it was the idea that drove both parties for most of the twentieth century.

  • ||

    I use the word "socialists" above in the same sense as people here use it even though that use is inaccurate.

  • PapayaSF||

    See my response above.

  • ||

    Teddy Roosevelt called for a socialized medicine when no Democrat would even hear of such a thing.

  • ||

    And as to your comment @ 1:33PM, I guess that just a case of "you say to-may-to and I say to-mah-to."

  • PapayaSF||

    I think it's telling that that example is from a century ago. Yes, there was some socialism in the GOP back then. If you want to say it preceded the socialism in the Democratic party, fine. But if we look at the last 20 years, or 40 years, or 80 years, it's pretty clear that socialism exists far more among Democrats than Republicans.

  • ||

    Jesus fucking Christ, i was talking about100 years ago when the socialists first started influencing American politics.

    I'm not disagreeing that democrats today are still influenced far more by by socialism than Republicans are.

    The point is that both parties are still socialist. Given your definition; ie that any statist influence is socialism.

  • ||

    practically every election in the 20th century had been between candidates who claimed they were the better managers and planners.

    Nixon opposed Kennedy over the expansion of the Federal government into Schools.

  • ||

    Nixon made up for that by signing the last of the Great Society programs in the 70s, including massive expansion of federal involvement in education.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Kibbe is of course right. The GOP is ripe for plucking and I think Rand Paul's run for the nomination will HUGELY advance our control even if he fails! That's what happened with his Dad-two failed runs and an internal 'Libertarian Hydra' in the GOP was formed from that.

    The LP is a total waste of anything spent on it and it doesn't matter it the CO LP increased its membership from one number to a bigger but still insignificant number. The LP might be a force for good at the local level and nowhere else.

  • ||

    There are no GOP members of the Democratic Socialists of America.


    There are no DNC members of the Democratic Socialists of America either. The Democratic Socialists of America is a completely separate Party.

    Socialists are as much at odds with the mainstream Democratic Party as libertarians are with the GOP.

  • PapayaSF||

    Wrong.

    The Socialist Party of America announced in their October 2009 newsletter that 70 Congressional democrats currently belong to their caucus.
    This admission was recently posted on Scribd.com:

    American Socialist Voter–
    Q: How many members of the U.S. Congress are also members of the DSA?
    A: Seventy

    Q: How many of the DSA members sit on the Judiciary Committee?
    A: Eleven: John Conyers [Chairman of the Judiciary Committee], Tammy Baldwin, Jerrold Nadler, Luis Gutierrez,
    Melvin Watt, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Steve Cohen, Barbara Lee, Robert Wexler, Linda Sanchez [there are 23 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of which eleven, almost half, are now members of the DSA].

    Q: Who are these members of 111th Congress?
    A: See the listing below [...]
  • thorax232||

    The real question is, are you a still a libertarian at that point? Using the government and its coercion/violence to achieve your ends.

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