Declaration of Independents

Reason Writers in the Arizona Republic: Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch on the Rise of Independent Voters


In today's Arizona Republic, Editor Nick Gillespie and Reason magazine Editor Matt Welch write an essay-slash-excerpt from The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America, titled "Free minds and spirits threaten 2 parties' grip." Here's how it begins:

A growing majority of us have responded to the dysfunctional theatrics of Republican and Democratic misgovernance by making a rational choice.

We ignore politics most of the time[.]

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: There's Nothing Halfway About the Iowa Way to Treat You, When We Treat You, Which We May Not Do At All

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  1. We ignore politics most of the time

    We do?

    1. Weird statement.

      1. I believe they meant to say “We politicize ignorance most of the time”.

        1. While ignoring it. Gotcha.

  2. Tell us more about this book you wrote. Why have we never heard anything about it before?

  3. I never heard an answer. Does the Jacket’s book have a black leather book jacket?

    1. OK, this is TEH AWSUME. Nick and Matt, you guys really need to consider this option.

      … Hobbit

      1. Nick thinks people who obsess over his wardrobe are adolescent losers who need to get a life. But in a nice way.

  4. That actually makes a LOT of sense when you think about it. Wow.

    1. Does it? Does it, really?

    1. We’ll call it the Broken Planets fallacy.

    2. Dude, in the chaos created by an alien invasion, I would have the necessary time to kill and eat Krugman.

      1. I would think eating that much derp!! would be unsettling for your stomach 🙁

        1. My mother is a Derpington, of the Connecticut Derpingtons. My ancestors, the Derpingtonnes, came over on the Mayflower. My grandfather, Herp, was
          Assistant Fluffer to the Chief under Nixon.

          I would like you to know that I find your comments regarding the inedible nature of my historical family to be not only insulting but boderline libelous, and demand an immediate retraction of said comments!

          1. capitol l, I served with Herp Derpington, I knew Herp Derpington, Herp Derpington was a friend of mine. capitol l, you’re definitely a Derpington.

    3. So Paul Krugman is Ozymandias?

  5. It was a couple of hundred Declaration-related posts ago that I first thought, “wow, they sure are heavily promoting that book.” It was around that same time that the first snarky “I didn’t know you guys had written a book?”-type posts started to occur. Back then, I thought they were a little harsh. Fast forward to today. I give in. I’m a broken man. I’ll buy the damn book. Is your cut higher on the hard-back or the Kindle version? Better yet, what if I just wrote you a check (cut out the middle man and all)? Give me a number, what’s it going to take to stop the endless H&R promotions?

    I mostly kid, of course,…mostly.

    1. All these shilling posts make me less likely to buy the book, on sheer principle.

      1. We’re impressed. Your will is strong. But you’ll break eventually. They all break eventually.

    2. That’s how Obama got elected, you know.

  6. Ik geef inch Ik ben een gebroken man. Ik koop de verdomde boek. Is uw knippen hoger op de harde-back of de Kindle versie?

    1. This is why is not for smartphones.

      1. Lol. It’s a Dutch spam bot except the Dutch is probably autotranslated from another language.

        1. Dutch Spam Bot is a pretty decent band name/book title.

          In fact, I think I will title my next graphic novel ‘Dutch Spam Bot’.

          1. En anna periksi olen murtuneena miehen?. Ostan pirun kirjaa. Jos paloitellaan kovaa takaisin version Kindle?

  7. In May 2011, Pew discovered a new tribe, comprising 9 percent of the electorate, which it christened “libertarians.”

    Wow. That’s almost a third as many people as think the moon landing was faked.


    1. Ok, I found that to be pretty funny. I thought the “RISE!” in particular was a nice touch. But yeah, that 9% seems pretty low (and I’m not sure it’s something we should be bragging about). Here’s an article I found from Cato that looks at the various estimates for the number of “libertarian” voters. As you can see, they range widely. For example, at the extreme high end 59% percent of respondents in one poll answered “yes” to the question: “would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal?” How many of those individuals both understood what that statement actually means and answered the question honestly (as opposed to “Yeah, that sounds good! I’ll go with that.”)? Well……..are-there/

      1. The difference is that the studies the CATO article cites are all ones looking for libertarians as a pre-existing category, so of course they’re bound to all find a greater percentage than the Pew studies, which are based on cluster analysis and don’t presume any a priori measurement scale or pre-existing categories.

        In other words, the CATO-cited studies were all done by people who said, “I know what a libertarian is, let’s see who fits that category, or fits it closest as one of a few possible categories based on these questions.” If you create only a few categories, then of course you’re dividing people into bigger piles than if you create more categories.

        The Pew study says, “Let’s ask people a bunch of opinion and demographic questions, and then look for significant clusterings of any kind within the answers we get. Then we’ll examine the properties of the clusters and name them based on those properties.” Notice that in all the previous iterations, they didn’t even find a cluster they named “libertarians”. They did find clusters which, if you examined them, would be relatively enriched in libertarians, but “libertarian” was never as good a description of them.

    2. 9% is larger then the margin of victory of every presidential race since Reagen v. Mondale.

      1. “Libertarians: Co-opt Us if You Want to Win”

      2. You mean we could have had Fingerlicans instead of Tastycrats and vice versa?

  8. T-Paw is out.

    I think he was the candidate who praised the debt deal and defended Boner in the debate.

    Glad he is gone.

    1. I think T-paw also went after Paul for not wanting to bomb Iran…of course like 3 or 4 of them did the same thing.

      Still one more reason to be glad he is out.

      1. I’m just worried his voters will run to Romney, or worse Bachmann. If they all got to different, bottom of the heap candidates, then that would be a good thing, freeing the rest of us up to worry about Paul vs. Bachmann.

  9. Independents are just moderate Republicans pushed out by the craziness.

    1. C-. Boring, as usual.

    2. No

      look at party affiliation in 2005-2009

      big surge in democrat party affiliation.

      The independents of today are the voters who gave the senate and house to the democrats in 2006 and voted in Obama in 2008…they then switched in 2010 to put the tea party/republicans into power.

      What is interesting about 2010 is that they did not switch to being republicans but choose to keep the “independent” label very unlike what they did in 2006.

      it looks to me like a large voter block who did not know what they wanted but knew they did not like the republicans so they attached to the democrats…when they failed to give them what they wanted the simply gave up on both and started to vote people out of office in 2010….much to the detriment of the democrats who was the party in power.

      1. I really don’t understand people who are “undecided” between the two party candidates in POTUS elections, but I understand they exist.

        1. I’m technically “undecided” in that I sure as hell won’t vote for either of them.

        2. “Hmm. Shit sandwich… giant douche. Shit sandwich… giant douche”

          1. but they come with bacon

            1. Golly, I’ll have to try that!

  10. essay-slash-excerpt

    I would prefer an excerpt from their upcoming slash-essay, “DOI: How a couple of straight dudes spend their nights together in a single room while pimping their book to America.”

    1. Much like Lenin and Trotsky…only instead of being in prison are in a motor inn on the outskirts of some rust belt city.

  11. Arizona is probably as close as they’ll get to my home in flyover country. Hey, Nick and Matt, there are people living in those rectangular states that you gawk at from your window.

  12. SEC Reviews S&P Math, Possible Leak of Rating

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the method Standard & Poor’s used to cut the U.S.’s credit rating and whether the firm properly protected the confidential decision, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. …

    U.S. officials have said the downgrade was based on a flawed analysis which overstated U.S. debt by about $2 trillion, while S&P said the discrepancy doesn’t change projections that the U.S. debt-to-gross domestic product ratio will probably continue to rise in the next decade. …

    SEC staff are also looking into whether certain market participants learned of the downgrade before its announcement. …

    Warren Buffett also criticized the rating company’s decision, saying the U.S. merits a “quadruple A” rating, in an interview with Betty Liu of Bloomberg Television.

    1. Who the fuck decided that Buffet is the be all, end all, on all things financial?

      1. What’s pretty amazing to me is that people are just taking his comments at face value. Now, it might be his opinion and nothing else, sure. But he’s the largest shareholder (10% of market cap) of Moody’s, an S&P competitor, which still rates US debt AAA.

    2. So, what does this mean? Are they going to invite Texas A&M and Florida St. or not?

    3. And the strong-arming thuggery begins (continues?).

      What next? “Nice ratings agency you got here, gov; wouldn’t want anything to ‘appen to it, would we?”

    4. Sounds like it’s time to dump Berkshire-Hathaway and put it all on “Shady Lady” in the 5th

    5. “Warren Buffett also criticized the rating company’s decision, saying the U.S. merits a “quadruple A” rating,…”

      The same guy whinging his taxes are too low decides to give his dough to someone who demands results rather than the government.
      Hypocrisy or incipient dementia?

      1. Neither.

        Buffett’s been playing this folksy persona for decades and people eat it up, but at the end of the day he’s one of the shrewdest hedge fund managers in the business. Dude played Goldman. Goldman.

        He says what he needs to to win people over, keep his costs low, draw people to his companies, etc. If you want to know how he really feels, though, watch what he actually invests in.

  13. I plan to buy the book used. No residuals for you guys. HaHaHaHa.

    1. I’m going to get it from the library.

      1. That better be a private library.

        1. Probably Municipal. But Public High School if possible.

          1. Financed at the point of a gun.

              1. Then he should borrow only that proportion of the book.

                1. Just download a torrent of the ebook. Then it is free to you with no loss for the author/publisher/bookseller.

                  1. Boooooooooo. No half-measures! I’m buyin’ it! Might take a second, though.

                2. Why couldn’t he borrow that proportion of the library’s books instead?

    2. I picked up a copy at the local reallocation of assets called Borders. 50% off all economics and political books. I took a small bit of joy that the people with the most copies of their books on the shelf still were: Pauly Krugnuts, Glenn Beck, George W. Bush, and Ann Coulter. No Mises, and only a couple of copies of Hayek left.

      1. They were out of Atlas Shrugged. But I did pick up Clapton and Winwood at Madison Square Garden for 40% off. Still pricy, but well worth it.

        1. I’ve been using the clearance sale to indicate why Borders is going under. I’ve seen a couple of items that interested me, and did an online price comparison. Most of the time, even with the clearance discount, the item is still cheaper online. I was most amused when I was able to find the item for less (even after the clearance price), at the Barnes and Nobles a block away.

  14. I don’t really see the existence of independent voters as posing a major threat to the two-party system.

    While many people are dissatisfied with both the Republicans and Democrats, there is no consensus within this group about what they would want instead. And the different philosophies and factions that constitute “the independents” are more ideologically opposed to each other than they are to the mainstream. This remains true even where divergent groups can oppose some specific policy for different reasons.

    For example, fiscal conservatives and socialists could both oppose TARP for different reasons. And they might both dislike the recent deal on the debt ceiling and budget. But such groups can not unite behind a single candidate with a broad alternative platform to challenge the mainstream, because they would disagree intensely about almost all of what the platform should entail.

  15. I was going to buy this book, but the promotion is driving me nuts. Reasonoids… is it worth it?

    1. Well, they can’t just make it a regular advertisement on this site, can they? People use AdBlock because the ads here are the height of ridiculousness. (Yes, this is really what I see.)

    2. I bought a digital copy for my ipad and I like what I’ve read so far (about a third way through).

    3. “I was going to buy this book, but the promotion is driving me nuts. Reasonoids… is it worth it?”

      I don’t think of it as being something necessarily written to preach to the choir.

      I plan on buying several copies and giving them away to people who aren’t already libertarians–I think that’s the ideal audience.

      People who don’t want to read about libertarianism specifically–for whatever reason–should find it extremely interesting… I’m so sick of correcting what people think libertarianism is–usually per the definition they’ve heard from Progressives, et. al.–before I can really engage with them…

      I see this book as part of the solution to those…misconceptions.

      Now if we can just get the regulars around here to be nice to those who come in all curious about libertarianism–but don’t already know everything we know? That would be awesome.

      1. Dude, we were fans of libertarianism when it wasn’t cool!

      2. “Now if we can just get the regulars around here to be nice to those who come in all curious about libertarianism–but don’t already know everything we know? That would be awesome.”

        Ya, Ken, that’s not going to happen. But a nice thought.

      3. “I plan on buying several copies and giving them away to people who aren’t already libertarians–I think that’s the ideal audience.”

        Living in SF, if I were to do that, everybody other than Starchild would figure I had three heads or some such ‘disability’.
        (legalese: ‘Such disability is not covered under…..’)

    4. I got it fer free cause I give money to Reason. Had planned to buy it when I got a nice SURPRISE! in the mail.

      Having read it, I’d have been happy to have paid retail for it. Good book.

      1. Yuppers – me, too. The Reason foundation will get another check from me, but it’ll have to wait a couple months.

    5. Read it in a day… I thought it was entertaining, and seemed to be pointing out some of the elephants in the room that neither party wants to deal with. It does seem to be a way to try to coax some of the people who have heard of this weird cult of libertarians (those people don’t care about the children, and protect pedophiles, and want everyone using heroin!) towards the light.

      1. If pedophiles all get unlimited access to heroin, we’ve solved one problem.

        1. Namely, weird comments like ^this^.

          1. I LOLed. Anyway, I’m at a crossroads because I can’t decide whether I want to buy a Kindle or not, yet I’m pretty sure I don’t want to lug around another book as I travel constantly. I think I need to bite the bullet and buy the Kindle.

    6. Yes.
      A good bit of it is preaching to the choir. A good bit of the remainder (no pun intended) raises interesting points.

  16. It’s snowing in Auckland, New Zealand for first time in 80 years.

    1. All this weird weather is the result of AGW.

      “The science is settled”

  17. Has anyone else been porno-scanned and rape-searched at the same time? I had a 2 hour layover in the World’s Shittiest Airport (MSP) and decided to step outside for a couple of smokes.On returning, I was real polite and showed them both my MSP boarding pass and the connecting flight’s and remarked I just stepped outside for a smoke and that it was a shame more airports didn’t have a “secure” smoking area.I was backscattered on an earlier leg of that trip so if I’m going to get this shit all the time while being polite and cooperative I might as well start being a real dick.I could start with those fucking OBEY “WHY?” telescreens Maybe you’ll read about me in the news.

    1. I pissed and sneezed at the same time once.

      1. I once had the hiccups while I took a shit.

        Ever since then I have had the ability to bend spoons with my mind.

        1. I hate Team Red and Team Blue at the same time. That’s more of a mystery than bending spoons to most people.

    2. “porno-scanned and rape-searched”

      Why doesn’t anyone take you seriously?

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