Media Criticism

Vice Writer Is Okay With the New Generation of Libertarians, Possibly Because His Friends Are Libertarian


Over at Vice, the highly Reason-y topic of libertarian kids today gets a respectful treatment from writer Vinnie Rotondaro. But Rotondaro's choice of talking about — and including photos of — his two good buddies (both gents) and discussing how cool they are for several grafs before mentioning their libertarianness is interesting. It seems clear that Rotondaro was trying to avoid assumptions of socially inept Ron Paul worshipping basement dwellers (somebody get a cryptozoologist to find these fabled beasts, but never mind…). He in fact he pretty much says as much:

Most people, when they think of a libertarian, picture some kind of outsider, a weirdo—a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten-gallon hat, or someone like that sloshed constitutionalist whose DUI arrest video went viral last year. I've often heard liberals write libertarians off as "idiots." But Danny and Matt are two of my best friends, and they aren't idiots. They're smart, thoughtful guys. I don't exactly agree with their politics, but I understand where they're coming from. Both voted for Obama in 2008. Now they can't stand him. But they're not so keen on Romney or the political right, either. Danny and Matt are fed up with everything, the whole political system.

"I see shenanigans," Danny told me. "As an American, and even going back historically, being a Virginian—part of a legacy of people who stand up to power—I think the reality is that the government can't solve our problems at this point."

Matt, remarking on the federal government's appetite for spending, said, "It's like we have this plate full of food, and it's just an enormous plate. It's obscenely huge. We're never going to finish it. But we just keep adding to it and piling on."

While both of these complaints are standard republican talking points, Danny and Matt differ from the average GOP member in that neither is socially conservative.

"I think conservatives went to shit with Jerry Farewell and the Moral Majority," says Matt.

And, they aren't into war.

First, let's take a moment to appreciate the descriptor: "a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten gallon hat." Even as a slur against libertarians (imagined or otherwise), well, it is much lovelier than "Ayn Rand! Robber barons! Monocles! Kochtopus!" And again, I waited for the expected scorn for libertarianism, but it didn't come. Even the comments are a mixed bag, with some enthusiastic fans of libertarianism, and others claiming that it's a philosophy for the prosperous and the pale-skinned.

To underline his thesis, Rotondaro drops a link to a Harvard Institute of Politics Poll about how kids today really are embracing more economic freedom, while generally being the more chill on gay  marriage and marijuana than their boomer parents.

A few lines further, the Reason Foundation's polling director Emily Ekins makes an appearance:

Where political reality could break down, she says, is over social issues. Ekins tracked self-identified conservatives under the age of 35 on social, fiscal and foreign policy issues using data dating back to 2004. Over time, they remained fiscally conservative, but grew more and more socially liberal – a classic libertarian mix. And if the precepts of political science have anything to say about it, she says, it looks as though they'll stay that way.

"If people do change over time," Ekins explained, "they tend to become more economically conservative. But that's typically not the case with social issues. So what we've seen is something like a permanent shift, starting now, over social issues."? ?If Republicans want to get those votes, she said, they'll need to soften their stance on social conservatism. If Democrats want them, conversely, "they'll have to clamp down on being so economically liberal."

Bottom line, one party or the other will need to change the way it does business.

Here's hoping, of course. But in general it's nice to once again see libertarianism treated as a legitimate political option, not just a "look at these weirdos" trendpiece…Even if Rotondaro's beginning part smacks a little of trying to hard to prove an opposite point, that is, libertarians! They're moderately handsome dudes who do sporty stuff! But hell, they're also friends of the non-libertarian author. So much for political bubbles and social media echo chambers spelling our doom, maybe. 

Go check out the Reason-Rupe poll archives here. For a good look at just why the kids might be gettin' all liberty-minded, check out Nick Gillespie's latest, "The Real Class Warfare is Baby Boomers vs. Younger Americans."

And, there's this book on the subject of an exciting new future of libertarianism, you might have heard of it…

NEXT: UFOs over the UK

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  1. a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten gallon hat

    I love progressives… Most of them just can’t let go of the demeaning stereotyping. They may not join the Klan to defend against the Catholic menace like they did in the 20’s, but they just can’t help but dehumanize the lesser races/cultures/classes over which they wish to impose their rule.

    1. Something about that wording tickled me, though. It has a ring to it.

      Am I kicked out of libertarianism forever?

      1. No. Libertarianism is focused on violence. Aesthetic questions have nothing to do with it.

        That’s why we tolerate Episiarch despite his disturbingly intense love of Robin Williams movies.


      2. You are not a true libertarian unless you have been kicked out of libertarianism forever.

        1. Ain’t that the truth. I liked the ten gallon hat Texas fire works salesman. One, I almost know that guy, and two, it is much more flattering than basement guy who is just the laziest analogy ever as he has been used to rip on every group who doesn’t kiss club scene ass over the past decade.

    2. This Glenn Beck U crap is getting very tiresome. The Klan is a far-right movement. During the Progressive Era there was some minor flirtation with eugenics, but “progressives” or liberals or people of the left are by definition the opposite of such groups as the Klan. To be a liberal is to believe in the advancement of racial equality.

      1. To be a liberal is apparently to believe that words mean whatever you want them to mean at any given moment.

        1. This sums it up.

          1. Dammit. Start at 4:49.

              1. oh damn, the squirrels like ampersands, eh?

        2. That would be correct… Reposted from the morning links…

      2. Hahahahahahaha!!

      3. Hahaha!!!

      4. The Klan is a far-right movement.

        Then why did Wilson kick all the blacks out of the white house and why did FDR segregate the WPA and why was the Jim Crow South controlled by Democrats?

        I agree that the Klan are fascist…but so are progressives.

        there was some minor flirtation with eugenics

        How many women were forcibly sterilized again?

        In the end, over 65,000 individuals were sterilized in 33 states under state compulsory sterilization programs in the United States.

        Pretty sure 65,000 constitutes a genocide especially when the vast majority of them were minority women.

        1. “The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation….. until at last there had sprung into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.” – Woodrow Wilson, as quoted in Birth of a Nation.


        2. lol on “minor flirtation with eugenics”

          “officer, i have a perfectly clean record, except for that pesky “child rape” charge”

          1. Hey, I’ve been told that if he only does it about 2% of the time, it’s not that big a deal.

        3. The point idiots like tarran are trying to make is that modern-day liberals have some sort of ancestral connection to far-right movements and attitudes of the 1920s. Southern racists were and are southern racists, whether they called themselves Democrats or Republicans. The only reason, in fact, Democrats are all but extinct in the South is because Democrats passed civil rights laws and the South abandoned them. You’re stuck on words and you’re being sold a disingenuous narrative that makes no logical sense.

          1. The link is very real, and still very prevalant.

            1.) Abortion. Billed as a way to keep the blacks from breeding as much(which it does).

            2.) Minimum wage. Billed as a way to keep minorities from getting jobs by pricing lower-skilled workers out of the market (which it does).

            There are more, and if pressed, I will google (but I’d prefer if someone else chimed in, kinda busy today).

          2. You mean like the Civil Rights Act, Tony?

          3. The point idiots like tarran are trying to make is that modern-day liberals have some sort of ancestral connection to far-right movements and attitudes of the 1920s.

            Yes, because they do have links to the eugenics movement. The ethos behind eugenics is the same as the notion behind the public health and nanny state movements: that it is the responsibility of the technocratic intellectual class to reform and improve the lower classes, whether they wish to be changed or not.

            They didn’t abandon eugenics because they decided that racism was bad, they abandoned it because the sociological/psychological community grew to believe social environment played much more of a role than genetics, so progressives embraced paternalistic social engineering in its place. We’re increasingly seeing acceptance in the scientific community that genes contribute a fair bit to behavior, so we’ll see if eugenics comes into vogue again, especially if paternalistic laws fail to stop those terrible poor people from continuing to do unacceptable things like watching reality TV, eating fast food, or believing in magical beings.

      5. Actually, the Klan was a social group which was composed primarily of upper-class whites (initially started as an “veteran officers’ club” of sorts). In 1915, the Klan could primarily be found in cities operating as a club for well-to-do up-and-coming Anglos who strongly supported Prohibition, nativism, gun contral and increased government to promote “Americanism” as they saw it both economic and social. Governments in the South, larger Midwestern cities, and some cities on the East Coast were heavily influenced by the Klan. The last gasp of the Klan during the Civil Rights era saw an expansion into lower-class white neighborhoods and especially law enforcement rank-and-file throughout the country.

        Not quite progressive, but they were fellow travelers with many leftist movements and found cachet primarily with Democratic and/or progressive administrations.

      6. To be a liberal is to believe in the advancement of racial equality.

        And not too many decades ago progressives were trying to advance racial equality through breeding.

        1. Be sure not to confuse liberals with progressives. The ACLU is filled with liberals, which is why they’re often tolerable. Progressives are the sort of people who couldn’t decide whether Hitler or Stalin was the awesomer leader during WWII (until it was obvious that Hitler was doomed, at least).

        2. And to achieve racial equality, they want to treat people unequally, depending on their race. One must be on the left to understand the brilliance of this conclusion.

      7. So you’re going with Buck v Bell as being a “minor flirtation” with eugenics? Your progressive hero Se?or Holmes codified it in to US law as something that is not only appropriate, but necessary to the health of the nation.

        1. He also held that freedom of speech does not protect your right to protest the draft, cuz national security and whatnot. A real fucking peach, was Holmes.

          1. Worst president ever, and he was never even president when you think about it.

  2. I’ve often heard liberals write libertarians off as “idiots.” But Danny and Matt are two of my best friends, and they aren’t idiots. They’re smart, thoughtful guys. I don’t exactly agree with their politics, but I understand where they’re coming from. Both voted for Obama in 2008.


    1. Eh. I don’t really blame anyone who voted for Obama in ’08. He talked a good game.

      Anyone who votes for him in ‘012, OTOH, is pretty clearly retarded.

      1. Well, the truly smart move (ahem) was to realize he was a fucking politician from TEAM BE RULED, was probably lying, and to vote for a more palatable choice, like Kodos or Kang. Or not vote at all (ahem).

      2. Obama didn’t talk any kind of libertarian game at all in 2008.

        1. he didn’t talk any game of any sort. He talked in ethereal tones about spring flowers and rainbows and unicorns and ending the tone and ending blue/red and, of course, change.

          1. Hey, I was totally in favor of healing the planet, ending war and coming together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals! On the other hand, I voted for Barr anyway.

          2. I like unicorns. Those things taste even better than bald eagles.

        2. Yeah. McCain’s “Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb, Iran.” was SO libertarian.

          Kang v. Kodos.

          And in 2012 it’s Kang v. The Wooden Mitten.

          1. McCain actually votes against farm subsidies and sincerely opposed torture. He was a horrible libertarian choice on most issues but Obama was zilch on everything. Matt Welch and Terry Michael wrote the “libertarian case for…” articles on each of them in 2008. I’d consider these guys idiots for voting for McCain but at least they could have rationalized their choice.

            1. If you believed BO’s campaign rhetoric he was much better on Iraq and the drug war, plus the war on terror in general.

            2. Obama claimed to be for transparency, against torture, and for MM tolerance.

        3. Medical marijuana, closing Guantanamo, ending the war in Iraq, transparency in govt, etc.

        4. I posted this in the famous thread back in 2008:

          “Voros McCracken|10.29.08 @ 4:47PM|#

          FWIW, I just ran the standard libertarian platform through four of those “choose your candidate” calculators. Each time it spit out Barr or Ron Paul (when Paul was available) and each time it rated McCain above Obama (sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot), and both far below Barr and Paul.

          Mighty big grain of salt and all, but I’d still like to see a more rigorous test as to how Obama can be seen as more libertarian than McCain. It’s not that high of a bar to clear, but I don’t see him doing it”

      3. Alll anyone had to do was look at his history, which wasnt too hard to find, and see what he was. I do blame those who voted obama 2008.

        1. If I had any doubts, his Berlin speech where he compared pot dealers to Al-Qaeda did it for me.

      4. Everything about Candidate Obama screamed the idea that any and all of life’s problems have a government solution. And that’s even problems that don’t exist.

      5. he was pretty clearly full of shit. i am sorry, but regardless of what he talked, he had a voting record, and that voting record showed him to CLEARLY be an unrepentant statist and collectivist.

      6. True. And the GOP hadn’t really shown much evidence of having learned a damn thing from the debacles of the Bush administration.

        I mean, I assumed Obama would be a disappointment on economics, but I didn’t actually think he would manage to be worse than Bush on war, civil liberties, and all that shit.

        1. Before Obama was elected, I said that the Democrats would have a hard time outspending Bush.

          1. Hahaha…!

    2. liberals may or may not write off libertarians as idiots, but i see the same elitism here all the time

      how many threads have i seen where posts like “90% of americans are morons” etc.

      LOTS of them.

      it’s actually one of the most disgusting things i see here. personally, as somebody who deals with people from all social, racial, demographic strata etc. in the course of my job, i think two things

      1) most people are good people. flawed but good people on the whole
      2) most people are plenty smart. they may not be super edumacated, sophisticated or be able to bandy about lots of nerdy star trek and other pop culture references a la reasonoids, but the “average person” imo is not stupid or to be looked down upon like oh so many reasonoids do with their “90% of americans are idiots” type comments.

      i find elitism like that fucking disgusting and also evidence of people who don’t get out enough and deal with people who are different from them.

      the condescension i see, for example , at democratic underground towards “ordinary merkuns” is fucking disgusting.

      1. liberals are the origin of such concepts as “flyover country” (iow filled with people and places that don’t matter to the “elite”) and an incredible bias against people from the south (jimmy carter notwithstanding) , NASCAR culture, etc.

        i get to see people at their absolute worst (few things are worse than a guy who rapes 8 yr olds for example) and their absolute best (i have seen amazing acts of heroism, sacrifice and selflessness) and if there is one thing i am convinced of, the ‘average person/american’ is a damn fine person.

        1. The problem with politics can be summed up with one phrase: “rational ignorance”. It doesn’t pay off to have intricate knowledge of something that you don’t understand, so only people who are uniquely affected or who have hobbies which intersect with politics are going to be aware of, much less think deeply about, politics.

          Libertarianism isn’t terribly difficult to understand, but generally requires more of a commitment than the average voter is willing to put into understanding issues. Nothing wrong with that on a case-by-case basis, but structurally it produces some absolutely wretched and anti-liberty results.

        2. You can think that the average person is a damn fine person (I agree, btw) and still think that he is an idiot.

          1. ^^^So much this^^^

        3. Right on, I admire your optimism and mostly agree on those points. From having travelled and lived in a number of places in the world and having had constant interaction with a wide variety of people here, I’d say ‘mericans are overall decent folk.

      2. Sorry, when polls indicate that 70% of Americans want the government to balance the budget and 80% want no cuts to SS and Medicare benefits, it’s hard to not look askance at the average American.

        Is it a moral fault to be apathetic and superficial about politics and government? Maybe not, if you’ve always been that way and surrounded by people who are. But with the great power of the ballot box comes great responsibility (Raimi formulation).

        1. i think it’s far more of a moral fault, as well as a stupid, elitist attitude, to believe “90% of americans are stupid”

          but it’s something many reasonoid elitist bigots share with leftist bigots – the idea that they are OH SO SUPERIOR to the “90%” (to borrow a term” and that they, by inference of such logic, are the ELITE

          most people are damn good people, plenty smart, and also having common sense, which i see often as sorely lacking amongst many of the “elite” whether libertarian or liberal. reading a book about X doesn’t make one an expert on X, but oh so many elitists think they are an expert on this or that because they can talk shit about it after reading some “seminal tome”

          the average elitist, whatever their political persuasion could learn a LOT from that “90% of americans” that they believe are idiots if they’d get off their fucking “i’m so much better than you” high horse.

          again, it disgusts me. also, for a niche political movement that intends to grow members (vs. one that is already entrenched e.g. dems and repubs) it’s immensely harmful to the movement if people speaking to you sense that you think you are oh so fucking superior.

          1. Sorry, dude.

            I know too much about the results you get when you test Americans on basic facts. Like “What war was fought first, the Revolutionary War or the Civil War?” I mean stuff you have to literally be functionally retarded to not know.

            The whole expression “plenty smart” brings to mind a semifunctional gorilla who’s been taught to do his own job reasonably well, but simply doesn’t know basic, everyday facts.

            M O O N spells American.

            1. I suspect on some of those polls the respondents are just fucking with them.

              1. I wish that was it.

            2. You’re making the classic “X is stupid” mistake, which is equating education with intelligence. They are NOT the same thing.

              Living in rural Central KY, I know a whole shitload of uneducated rednecks, but many of those are smarter than your average PhD.

              1. There’s probably a good term for these types of folks like “Jed Clampett intellectuals” or something.

                Furthermore, there’s also the phenomenon where a guy with some sort of problem at birth with a 68 IQ can be a far more admirable human being than a genius who spends his waking hours making others miserable.

          2. And your elitism rant is spot on. It is one of the attributes of the left that drives me crazy. Just can’t take that much smugness.

          3. We are superior to the majority of Americans because we don’t want to use naked government force to make people do what we want.

      3. You can think that “people are idiots” and still not believe that they need to be herded like sheep for their own good. That’s where libertarians and leftists part company.

        1. i agree. but i still think it’s elitist, WRONG and stupid to believe that 90% of americans are idiots

          that’s where i part ways with the elitist snarky snobby assholes

          i LIKE people. i respect people. i think MOST, iow the vast majority of people are plenty smart and good people.

          but plenty of people here will post shit like “90% of people are idiots”.

          except of course the people posting such comments (rolls eyes).

          1. When the Rs and Ds start getting less than 90% of the combined vote….

            1. again, thanks for proving my point

              if you truly believe somebody is an “idiot” because they vote for either major party and you are therefore OH SO FUCKING SUPERIOR, you need to get over yourself

              elitism is disgusting. 90% of people/americans are not idiots. that’s where i draw a distinction between myself and so many fucking elitist assholes, because if you think 90% of americans are idiots (and you of course are not), you need to get out more and deal with real people.

            2. If there were 2 political parties that were entirely different from the major ones we have today, and they still got over 90% of the vote, you would still be inferring that people are idiots for voting for them. Look, it makes sense for there to be 2 major political parties, and it also makes sense that neither of them would reflect your views. There are good reasons for these things, and you’re just blind to them.

      4. The same elitism? You don’t see any difference between wanting to make every decision for every single person on earth and forcing them to abide by that decision at gunpoint, and wanting to leave them the fuck alone except for voluntary interaction? Look, Dunphy, the fact that 90+% of people who vote in November will pick either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney means that the majority of the country is either evil or stupid. Absent evidence of malice, I’m willing to grant stupidity. Not that I or any of us here would use that as an excuse to deny the stupid their rights.

        1. You don’t see any difference between wanting to make every decision for every single person on Earth and not being a radical libertarian? You think voting for one of the 2 major candidates is something that only someone who wants to make every decision for every single person on Earth would do?

          Sheesh, even the most radical authoritarian doesn’t want to make every decision for every single person on Earth! They know that’d be silly, so why don’t you?

      5. Thanks so much for writing a sentiment that I wish I saw more of here. Seems to me too many commenters are curmudgeonly and try to compensate for what they see as lack of getting their way by asserting their superiority over the rest of mankind.

        1. I wouldn’t be so quick to sign onto his world view if I were you. He also thinks that “the vast majority of laws are just”. I would submit that his “bigger picture” views are pretty fucking skewed towards unreality.

          1. And I suppose I have to agree with his taste in music too? Where do you get my signing onto his world view from my agreeing with him that most people are not morons, and that too many people here (and in many other socio-political discussion forums) express the sentiment that they are?

            1. I did qualify that with “bigger picture”.

              1. “World view” and “bigger picture” are different?

                1. Then I mistyped. Can’t really think of another term offhand that would encompass an opinion of all people which would be more appropriate.

      6. You’re two points are, personally, essentially the foundation that my libertarianism is built on. If you believe, as you and I seem to, that the majority of people are inherently good and that people are generally able to handle their own affairs responsibly, the only consistent set of politics are libertarian.

  3. To underline his thesus

    Oh Lucy. You were doing so well.

    1. That’s awesome.

      1. The spelling and Grammar police are on the case!

        “A few lines further, the Reason Foundation’s polling director Emily Etkins makes an appearance:

    2. I wanted to think he had a figurine of the Greek hero who slew the Minotaur.

      1. “To underline his Theseus, Rotondaro drops a link to a Crete Institute of Politics Poll about how kids today really are embracing more Procrustes-killing, while generally being the more chill on minotaurs and black sails than their boomer parents.”

        1. But the labyrinth-navigation skills of today’s youth are deplorable.

          1. No one teaches proper using-string-to-navigate-the-labyrinth skills any more. Theseus must be rolling over in his grave.

            Remember, always forward and down. How hard is that to learn?

            1. And with today’s draconian cutbacks to sex education, what is to prevent our young men from accidentally banging their hot moms?

            2. The internet has ruined heroic mythology culture. Now any idiot can just Google “best strategies to trick a Greek god into date-rape” and Wikipedia the layout of underground labyrinths. Lemme tell ya, Zeus is pissed at the sheer lack of effort and dramatic irony.

              1. Lemme tell ya, Zeus is pissed at the sheer lack of effort and dramatic irony.

                Fuck that little snot-nosed punk. Shit was better when we were in charge anyway.

                1. Didn’t you spring from Uranus?

                  1. We don’t like to talk about that. Besides, would you rather be ruled by some dude named Uranus?

  4. I will never understand what belonging to a pale-skinned haplotype has to do with libertarianism.

    1. It’s not the melanin gene that specifically causes libertarianism, but rather a recessive trait that correlates with lighter skin, causing retinas to form in the shape of dollar signs rather than the conventional circle.

    2. Progressivism has a very nasty axiom built into it – that lesser people are incapable of self government and must be ruled for their own good.

      Many of them hold on to the racist belief that blacks are one such lesser people.

      They reason that since blacks are incapable of self-government, anybody who wishes to not have progressives provide such enlightened management must, therefore, want blacks to suffer the negative consequences of being left to their own devices.

      Only a white person who wishes to hurt blacks could so racistly deny white progressives the power and tools needed to rule black people.

      It’s really no wonder they joined the clan in droves in the early 20th century.

      1. If libertarianism is both correct and unracist, how come it has very little minority representation?

        Explain the fact that black people almost universally vote for Democrats. Bonus points if you can offer a nonracist explanation.

        1. let’s do it the old-fashion way – results rather than intentions. How’s the war on poverty worked for black folks? How about pouring money into schools? Affirmative action, quotas, set asides, and other means that instill a sense of victimhood and/or entitlement?

          Spend enough time treating people as though they are special snowflakes (hey, is that racist?), that anything that does not go their way is whitey’s fault, and absolve them from things like responsibility for their actions (see: dropping out of school, kids out of wedlock), and eventually, they will act in a specific way. And they will keep supporting those who enable their behavior.

        2. “If libertarianism is both correct and unracist, how come it has very little minority representation?”

          The question answers itself.

        3. Pre 1964, the split was much more even.

          Democrats supported advanced the Civil Rights amendment, Republicans either opposed it or gave it lip service.

          Once people’s voting patterns are established, they change very, very slowly.

          As for libertarians, blacks have percieved government to be beneficial to them (whether this is true in the long run is disputed), so they vote their pocketbook. Pure cornpone politics, like unions supporting Team Blue and defense contractors supporting Team Red.

          1. Defense contractors support everybody. Except maybe Paul and Kucinich.

          2. Wait, what?

            From Wikipedia…

            Votes on the 1964 Civil Rights Act by party:
            The original House version:[15]
            Democratic Party: 152?96 (61?39%)
            Republican Party: 138?34 (80?20%)

            Cloture in the Senate:[16]
            Democratic Party: 44?23 (66?34%)
            Republican Party: 27?6 (82?18%)

            The Senate version:[15]
            Democratic Party: 46?21 (69?31%)
            Republican Party: 27?6 (82?18%)

            The Senate version, voted on by the House:[15]
            Democratic Party: 153?91 (63?37%)
            Republican Party: 136?35 (80?20%)

            Doesn’t that pretty clearly show that by percentage, Republicans were more for the bill than Democrats?

            1. That was before the South switched parties.

              1. After the South switched parties all the ugly and violent public acts of racism were in places like Boston and the Chicago suburbs, Democrat strongholds.
                Nice try, joe jr.

              2. Oh so the south left the Democratic party after…

                Then how do you explain the 1980 election?


              3. Tulpa, even if that were the case, they didn’t switch before they voted on the bill, which is why I posted the numbers in response to Aresen’s claim that:

                …Republicans either opposed it or gave it lip service.

              4. That didn’t occur until 1980, as I have documented here in several times. South went hard for Carter in ’76.


                Not so much in ’68 and ’72 over the issue of Vietnam because the Democratic party nominated hippies. Look at this map, how many states outside the South did McGovern win?


                If the Democrats nominated a pro-war candidate in those years, he would have been competitive.

                In local races it was damn hard for Southern Republicans to break the Democratic stranglehold over the region even in the McCarthy and McGovern era.

                The turbulent issue of that time was Vietnam, and civil rights as a matter of conflict had faded and settled by the late 60’s and moved up North with the riots. The LBJ quote about losing the South was pure self serving democrat apocrypha. LBJ had an entirely racist history before his presidency, and I would say during as well. He hated blacks so much he invented black trash through social policy.

        4. What a pointless question.

        5. Plenty of Vietnamese and Cubans vote Republican — more than vote Democrat.

          When is the Democratic party going to acknowledge its history of racism and ethnic shaming of the Viet people and Cubans? Surely there is no other reasonable explanation.

        6. Because many of them get paid to vote Democrats? Like unions.

      2. They reason that since blacks are incapable of self-government, anybody who wishes to not have progressives provide such enlightened management must, therefore, want blacks to suffer the negative consequences of being left to their own devices.

        The Bastiat corollary?

    3. “I will never understand what belonging to a pale-skinned haplotype has to do with libertarianism.”

      Nor will I. One would think that a people who were once enslaved would be champions of liberty.

      1. Frederick Douglass was no fan of big government.

        If he were alive today, modern liberals would despise him more than they do Clarence Thomas.

        1. “…liberals would despise him more than they do Clarence Thomas.”….or Allen West or Herman Cain.

        2. Clarence Thomas is just a self-hating house nigger!

          /liberal tard

  5. Kochtapus!(sic)

    This word should be in any Reason editor’s spellcheck, Lucy.

  6. While both of these complaints are standard republican talking points

    Keeping spending in check is a republican talking point, one that they only seem to talk about….and until about 2006 or so it was a democrat talking point as well.

    1. exactly. to paraphrase PJ ORourke, republicans are the party that claims government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it

  7. Wait…

    Over at Vice, the highly Reason-y topic of libertarian kids today gets a respectful treatment from writer Vinnie Rotondaro.

    So Vice is saying Libertarians are not crazy and out of the main stream???


    So an unread popular culture fan boy site that can’t even get the hipsters to read is saying we are now “ok”….

    1. Eh how about Conan O’Brien acknowledging Ron Paul even it was to portray his policies are causing some anarchist dystopia. Victory is around the corner.

    2. Vice may not have readers but it is heavily subsidized by the Canadian government…so there.

    3. Ah, vice tv’s trips to North Korea and Liberia are definitely worth checking out. The piece featuring bringing lady boys to the shooting range in Bankok was pretty fucking awesome as well.

  8. A few lines further, the Reason Foundation’s polling director Emily Etkins makes an appearance:

    Your colleagues like to see their names in print: SPELLED CORRECTLY.

    1. Head on desk. I am seriously having some sort of stroke that is only about failing at names.

      In my last post, I could not stop referring to Thomas Ricks as “Evans.” WHO IS EVANS.

      1. Actually that’s my last name. I AM IN YOUR HEAD!

  9. First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the descriptor: “a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten gallon hat.” Even as a slur against libertarians (imagined or otherwise), well, it is much lovelier than “Ayn Rand! Robber barons! Monacles! Kochtopus!”

    I have never pictured you guys with monocles.

    1. Dammit! You made me laugh. ;-P

    2. I wear two of them.

    3. Your mistake — Mr. Peanut is actually a frequent commenter here. So is the monopoly guy. And the boot, but he’s just a troll.

  10. actually, if one read the liberal sites (DU for example), the usual liberal attitude towards libertarians is republicans who smoke pot. they also view libertarians as extremely selfish, even moreso than conservatives in many cases, iow “i got mine screw you”. this is largely based on libertarians dislike of social welfare, etc.

  11. I’m sorta sheepish to put this out there because I know y’all are gonna rag on me incessantly but… I hang out with a lot of 20-something hipster kids, and it’s pretty surprising how many of them are either full-on libertarians or at least sympathetic to libertarianism. their politics are more of a blend of liberalism and libertarianism. They’re hardly the Obama-supporting Borg that they’re portrayed to be here.

    The other group I’m around a lot is 30-something urban professionals – most of whom work in the government or nonprofit sectors. They’re an entirely different story. *They* are every bit the unmovable Obama supporting, economically-illiterate, fantasy world dwellers they’re made out to be. I find their cookouts painful as hell, listening to them screech about greed while they drink $9 microbrews a few feet from their $40K luxury/sports cars. (mind you, i do enjoy the microbrews – I just don’t screech about greed while drinking them.)

    1. seems you have a couple of options with group B:
      –call them on their bullshit re: greed when they are driven by the material
      –stop hanging out with them because it makes you look disingenuous.

      As to group A: good luck convincing folks that liberalism and libertarianism are anything but diametrically opposing forces.

      1. i have seen a strong strain of libertarianism too amongst youth, with the exception of baseline social programs.

        iow, i have heard many times a version of “i would like libertarianism with a “conscience””

        iow, they buy most concepts of libertarianism with the exception that they also support govt. welfare etc.

        1. I have had great success with this crowd by emphasizing that libertarianism is not just about market-based transactions – that it also allows for a strong community fabric to be woven through voluntary connections.

          1. preach on, brotha!

          2. then perhaps group A is where hearts can be won. Those working in govt are likely lost causes.

            1. myself excepted. i became MORE libertarian from working in govt.

              there is no better way to see the inefficiencies of govt., and the perverse incentives, than from the inside.

              1. Ditto. Became more libertarian after serving in the AF than I was when I was outside of it. Self-serving bullshit becomes a second language after working around Pentagon types for a while.

            2. then perhaps group A is where hearts can be won.

              Yep, absolutely – a lot of hipster kids are open to libertarian ideas. Many of them are crazy for Ron Paul. Again, I’ve had the most luck by emphasizing the benefits of voluntary cooperation as a complement to market-based competition. Because, really, there’s room for both cooperation *and* competition in a libertarian world, but the former hardly gets mentioned in our movement.

              1. From Sheldon Richman writing in The Freeman:

                “At FEE’s Advanced Austrian Economics Seminar last week, more than one speaker mentioned that Ludwig von Mises considered a different title for the book we know as Human Action. The other title? Social Cooperation.

                I’ve heard that story before, but this time it got me thinking: Would the free-market movement have been perceived differently by the outside world if Mises had used the other title? With the question phrased so narrowly, the answer is probably no. So let’s broaden it: Would the free-market movement be perceived differently if its dominant theme was social cooperation rather than (rugged) individualism, self-reliance, independence, and other synonyms we’re so fond of?


    2. The words “I despise politicians. All of them. They are all scum.” work wonders for killing a circle jerk political conversation at a party. Because everyone knows it’s true, and they will look like utter fools if they disagree with you. It makes the political conversation utterly unpalatable and will switch it to something else. The only people who this doesn’t work on are bomb throwing hyperpartisan nutcases, and if you’re in a conversation with one of them you’ve already made a terrible mistake.

      1. Good advice. How does one stop a boring and clueless party guest from discussing, say, the aesthetic merits of The Best of Times?

        1. Segue into a discussion of the aesthetics of Maria Conchita Alonso in Moscow on the Hudson.

          I thought you had social training, Hugh, but I’m starting to think you might be poor.

          1. I’m not the one who keeps linking to wikipedia entries on movies. Clearly this is your first day on the internet.

            The only movie I’ve seen Maria Conchita Alonso in is Running Man, and she is the third hottest chick in it after that old lady in the audience and Richard Dawson.

            1. See, now we’re discussing the aesthetics of Maria Conchita Alonso in The Running Man instead of discussing the aesthetic merits of The Best of Times. Which, by the way, you brought up. Do see how I deftly and subtly changed the conversation to what I wanted to talk about?

              You could learn a lot from me, Hugh. Too bad I’m a lousy teacher.

        2. You don’t invite academics to your party.

          When I was in grad school studying medieval literature, I couldn’t watch a fucking weather forecast with colleagues without discussing the socio-political implications of what the female caster was wearing. It was a fucking terrible existence having to take everything so fucking seriously.

      2. It makes the political conversation utterly unpalatable and will switch it to something else.

        So you don’t vote and don’t talk about libertarianism in social situations… how are you part of the solution again?

        1. Are you retarded, Tulpy-poo? (Don’t answer that, we all know what the answer is.) When have I ever said I am “part of the solution”? It is nice to know that you think we all need to “serve the cause”. It really shows how “libertarian” you are.

          Also, talking politics at a party is the height of gauche tastelessness. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you do it. Well, since I doubt you get invited to any parties, maybe it isn’t a problem for you.

          Tulpical thread full steam ahead! WHOO HOO!

          1. Bringing up politics (or religion) at a party is tasteless. Once the deed is done by someone else, and the conversation is already going, all bets are off. Obviously you don’t want to go on “we must privatize roads now!” screeds but a little gentle nudging is not uncalled for.

            There’s nothing unlibertarian about exhorting your fellow libertarians to try to persuade people when the situation is right, either. The NAP isn’t a sterility pact.

            1. Don’t you see, Tulpa? The proper way of changing the world (as endorsed by sometimes-goddess Ayn Rand herself) is to stuff your head up your ass and rest assured things will improve – and when they don’t: blame black people.

              1. What are you talking about? Has a single person on this thread blamed or even discussed black people? What does libertarianism have to do with blacks or whites?

                Is part of the maturation process learning how to speak exclusively in non-sequitur?

                1. Let me introduce you to something called “the past”. I realize abstract concepts like that are difficult to grasp while jammin’ but give it a try.

                  You see, in this thing called “the past” many libertarians saw fit to blame blacks for things that weren’t their fault. Like that little economic collapse a few years ago. To name just one. Search the archives and you’ll see this time and again in the comments.

                  1. You do history about as well as you do snark. But that might just be my rampant misogyny coming to the fore.

                2. Dude, it’s obviously Mary or some other troll trying out a new handle. Ignore it.

                  1. Or it’s you trying to change the subject. JUST LIKE AT THE DINNER PARTIES.

                    I’m onto your game. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m getting another shishkabob.

                  2. Or, just a flaming imbecile, otherwise known as a college sophomore. Truth be told, it’s a tossup.

                3. I’m trying to set this to music:

                  Oh we got New Troll!!
                  Oh we got New Troll!!

                  All Libertarians are Racist!!

                  Oh we got New Troll!!

                  I would like a really up tempo beat.
                  Can Anyone help?

                  1. How about “We Got a New Troll” to the tune of “I Want a New Drug” by Huey Lewis and the News?

                    1. How about we never fucking mention that the horror of Huey Lewis ever existed?

                    2. All that say ‘aye’ say ‘aye’. Wait, there is an amendment being offered.

                      In the context of mentioning the above not mentioned non entity if mentioned in the context of American Psycho it may be allowed

                      Agreed then?

          2. Yeah, I am with Epi, but then we are anarchists. I would much rather say “all politicians are scum” and deemphasizing the political as a part of everyday life. In real, everyday life, most of what most people do involves voluntary interactions with other private entities that need no government mediation. I’ve seen lights go on in a few statist heads when I go that route in explaining why they shouldn’t really be all that worked up about mostly pointless campaigns and such.

        2. I prefer to be part of the precipitate.

          *rains on your parade*

    3. An important distinction: for as much as we like to bag on hipsters for their expensive mayonnaise and city-beekeeping, a lot of them are acting as entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses. I can’t imagine it takes long for even a Brooklynite hipster to turn cynical against taxes and regulations, once they actually experience it. Unlike your urban professionals who could probably never work up the courage to build something themselves.

      1. Yep. Many of the kids I know are super-entrepreneurial and doing some really innovative things with food, farming, bicycle sales, live entertainment, etc. They are for the most part flying under the radar of the regulatory authorities – mainly by keeping their sales in-network (i.e. by not selling to squares who are going to report them). Basically, it’s considered uncool to nark someone out for arbitrary permit bullshit. These kids are every bit as agorist as actual agorists, and they don’t even know that’s what they’re doing. I think it’s actually better that way.

        1. Forgot to mention… on the other hand, many of them are also drawing government benefits, even while not paying taxes on their innovative small businesses activities. I guess they see nothing wrong with “working the system”. I personally wouldn’t feel right doing that.

    4. Of course they’re libertarians! Anything that validates marijuana use is going to be popular with young hipsters (how many white “rastafarians” fall into this same category?). Older people realize there’s more to life than tokin’ up.

      1. Wow you manage to combine the “libertarians are just young and stupid” and “libertarians are just want to smoke pot” canards.

        Go fuck yourself Susan.

        1. No, no, she makes a good point: many of them will mature out of their good instincts and grow up to be just as dumb and patronizing as Susan.

          1. Many will mature out of realizing that there’s more to life than immediate self-indulgence, actually. Not all make that cut as I can see, but most do.

            1. there IS more. but why is the self-indulgence of a martini after work BETTER than the self-indulgence of a toke of mj?

              neither is harmful in small quantities (in fact, evidence is that moderate quantities of alcohol is actually healthy)

              however, the former is physically addictive, the latter is not, and the former is associated wiht FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more death, domestic violence, and general mayhem than the latter

              abuse of EITHER drug is bad (although from both a health and a social pathology standpoint, alcohol abuse is worse), and use of either drug is neither.

              i think that with the advent of medical MJ, a lot more older people are STARTING to realize MJ is a lot more benign than they originally thought, and we are on the slippery slope towards legalization

        2. Lemme see, “Go fuck yourself” as the standard of reasoned (drink!) discourse and kinda paranoid. Stupid: Check. Stoned: Check.

          Thanks for helping prove my point!

          1. You come to a libertarian website, insult libertarians by grossly misstating their beliefs, and then try and think you actually proved your point when you get insulted right back? Give me a fucking break.

            Where’s barfman when you need him?

            1. Dude. It’s Mary. With a new handle. Just ignore it.

              1. I admit, I should have known better than to respond to the troll.

                And her response is exactly as I expected. What a patronizing cunt.

  12. How does a libertarian deal with someone who thinks that the likes of Mitt Romney is a crazy anarchist who will end welfare and Social Security?

    1. I tend to point out how as Romney was elected governor of The People’s Republic of Taxachusetts he is to the left of most of the Democrats they are voting for in our state. Sometimes they shut up. Usually they go off on how Romney is now the King of the Tea Party so I leave or at least change the subject.

    2. Romney is a typical libertarian. I think I read that somewhere.

  13. I wouldn’t get too excited. This piece is just a “look, see how objective we are” flim-flam act. I’m sure they’re scheduling an extremely vile, spit-flecked Mobutu Sese Seko diatribe as we speak.

  14. Isn’t Vice where Monynihan decamped to? I admit that some of his pieces were a nice antitode to the worst aspects of anti-war war movement but I can’t say for certain that he wasn’t a warmongering neocon.

  15. Don’t trust anyone between 25 and 45!

    1. Don’t trust anyone before the first trimester!

  16. ROTONDARO!!!!

    1. Clap clap clap.

    2. Ha, I kept misreading it that way, too.

  17. Damn it squirrels. I am a registered member of this board and you WILL post my comments!


  18. fwiw, speaking of alleged double standards for cops use of force vs. “civilians’ and how comparision need ot be made comparing ARRESTS (civilan vs. cops) UOF’s

    we had a guy who was chasing some neighborhood kids, clearly high on drugs and menacing , and two (rather large) adult male “civilians” tackled him and he was a bloody fucking pulp.

    and i can triple guarantee the prosecutor’s office will not even CONSIDER any type of assault charges.

    because tackling a guy, even if his face ends up smashed to shit , and holding him down, based on that fact pattern is going to be viewed as reasonable.

    but if you saw the booking picture, and cop made the arrest, you would be horrified.

    awesome citizen arrest btw. guy was a convicted felon. HUGE shock, i know. just like the vast majority of folks we end up using force on, especially deadly force, they almost always have extensive records. because dirtbags tend to continue being dirtbags, resisting, being assaultive, etc.

    anyways, great jobs by the neighborhood dads in policing their own neighborhood and holding the guy until we could arrive.

    1. Do the many dogs killed by LEOs also have extensive records?

  19. Also, does this mean I can trade out my Top hat for the 10 gallon hat I was issued when I moved to Texas? And what monocle goes with a 10 gallon hat?

    1. One of those big magnifiers that goes in front of a small video screen.

    2. It depends. Baser metals for straw, Gold or better for 3 beaver and above.

  20. Over time, they remained fiscally conservative, but grew more and more socially liberal ? a classic libertarian mix.

    It’s not a mix, it’s consistent opposition to coercion.

    Liberals and conservatives are the mixed breeds, not us.

    1. Libertarian’s classic hatred of mixed breeds comes to the fore yet again.

      1. Ha! I see what you did there… turd.

        1. Nope, sorry… I’m the turd who can’t sniff out the sarcasm over my own stench before insta-posting. Back to the hole with me.

      2. I am pretty sure there is a disproportionate amount of admiration for Polynesian/Japanese women among libertarians then any other political group.

    2. Usually, when the topic of centrist politics gets brought up, the most respected of groups are the economic liberal/social conservative blends. This blend is more appealing because it convinces a lot of people that just adding more government to their lives will make things better. That’s why you inevitably get liberals praising corporatism (seen favorably as a liberal shift to the right), and “compassionate” conservatism (seen favorably as a conservative shift to the left.

      Most confuse the economic conservative/social liberal blends with anarchy.

      1. We’re wired to think that someone needs to be in charge. When evolution was actually in play for humans this was a highly utile attitude.

        Both social and economic liberty (that is, liberty) are historical anomalies that are slowly dissipating into the dustbin of history. Especially if we’re afraid to talk about libertarianism at dinner parties.

        1. “When evolution was actually in play for humans…”

          Did our species stop evolving while I wasn’t paying attention? Have we reached the evolutionary zenith? Peak Evolution, as it were?

          Because, you know, evolution’s goal all along has been to make US.

          1. Well, yes. Once we got to the point where we were molding our environment more than it was molding us, we pretty much stopped evolving.

      2. the most respected of groups are the economic liberal/social conservative blends.


        They just get more money from government to lobby the government for more government.

        The intensives are more direct and the opposition groups generally are less funded and more isolated.

  21. To meet Libertarians working worldwide and those using Libertarian tools see the Libertarian International Oreganization.

  22. “a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten gallon hat.”

    I always picture Yosemite Sam when going for a western theme. But that works for gun nuts as well so it isn’t exclusively libertarian.

    1. Yesterday, I visited a spa open house and decided to have a consultation. OK, I think I need Botox! The physician asked me where I had my cheeks done. I have never had any work up till two days ago when I convinced another Dr. to fill in my laugh lines.

      1. Oh, the gift that keeps on giving. Mary, you are so fucking stupid. I love it.

  23. Most people, when they think of a libertarian, picture some kind of outsider, a weirdo?a lip-smacking Texas fireworks salesman in a ten-gallon hat, or someone like that sloshed constitutionalist whose DUI arrest video went viral last year.

    *looks around nervously*

  24. Comments from the article:

    They simply sent me a bill for thousands of dollars a few months later. A bill that dogged me forever. A bill I was incapable of paying. A bill that will be forever unpaid and ultimately ends up absorbed into the operating costs of hospitals, raising the costs of their procedures, in turn raising the costs of the premiums of people who DO have insurance. And you can bet they won’t treat me THERE again once my name pops up I’m a deadbeat on the 20 grand I apparently owe them. This is what I mean when I say people who hold libertarian beliefs have never had to live in the real world.

    Fuuuuuck you. Real world. Some of are libertarian precisely because we’re living in the real world.

    1. This is what I mean when I say people who hold libertarian beliefs have never had to live in the real world.

      Their complete lack of self-awareness would be funny if it weren’t so fucking frightening.

      And you can bet they won’t treat me THERE again once my name pops up I’m a deadbeat on the 20 grand I apparently owe them.

      You’ll just give them another fake name, sweetie.

    2. Well, let me just say, if reading Lucy Steigerwald isn’t “living in the real world”, then, baby, you can call me delusional.

      …But they might have a point about those who read Doherty.

    3. How can you not pay a 20,000 bill?

      Call em up say you cannot pay and you would like to set up a payment schedule.

      Make monthly payments. If you cannot make a payment call them up and tell them.

      Why the fuck should we feel sorry for a dead beat who won’t pay the people who saved his life with money they would use to save other people’s lives.

      1. So anyone who’s not wealthy or well insured is one medical emergency away from being labeled a “deadbeat”?

        Doesn’t the rigid, biblical strictness of your moral worldview require that people are free agents? How do random medical events factor in to that?

        1. Since you didn’t get it on the first pass, here it is again:

          Make monthly payments. If you cannot make a payment call them up and tell them.

          Not doing that is what makes you a deadbeat, you mendacious moron. It has nothing to do with not being able to pay the bill upfront.

          1. But some people will never be able to afford it. It is not a rational market choice. It’s a huge expense forced by random chance. Some just won’t be able to afford it, and others will bear the costs. The only choices available are to deny medical care to people who can’t pay or to socialize the risk and the costs. There is no “free market” to be seen here.

            1. But some people will never be able to afford it.

              Very, very few will not be able to make payments. And that rounding error is no reason restrict everyone in the country’s healthcare options.

              And that has nothing to do with what your tiny brain thought was a clever retort to joshua.

              But some people will never be able to afford it.


              So anyone who’s not wealthy or well insured is one medical emergency away from being labeled a “deadbeat”?

              Can you take the time to see the difference, or are you too busy digging up the goalposts?

            2. How much does she spend on totally useless shit in a five year period? I’ d bet at least 20 grand.

              1. Most people I know who bitch about not being able to afford medical care hammer out their screeds on $2,200 Macbook Pros.

        2. Someone who does not even try to pay a bill for work that saved his life, and has the audacity to bitch about the likelihood that they will be blacklisted for so choosing, is a deadbeat.

        3. Why the fuck do you keep bringing religion into this, Tony? WE aren’t.

          1. Libertarians are constantly on a moral high horse. They don’t care about social policy so much as making sure everyone is abiding by their peculiar moral obsessions–or else being punished.

      2. Seriously, my roommate has $60k (Krohn’s Disease surgery sans insurance) in medical bills and sells cars at a used car dealership. He pays them something every month. I keep advising him to declare bankruptcy as he has dick all in assets, but he wants to pay it off. This young person could declare bankruptcy if she was really so hopelessly unable to pay that being without credit for seven years would still put her ahead in that timeframe. I have no problem with medical bankruptcy in such cases. It would be far cheaper for everyone than the current system. Nobody ever brings that up as an option.

    4. A bill I was incapable of paying.

      Note: This is almost certainly a lie.

    5. Well, the city hospital sent me a bill after treating me after my bicycle wheel got caught in a crack in the city street. I paid…over time.

    6. A bill that will be forever unpaid and ultimately ends up absorbed into the operating costs of hospitals, raising the costs of their procedures, in turn raising the costs of the premiums of people who DO have insurance.

      Whereas if we collectivize medicine, then you still don’t pay your bill, and instead it gets absorbed into the cost of government, raising other people’s taxes. So as far as you’re concerned, it has essentially all the same downsides, except that you get to pretend you’re not a deadbeat.

  25. That sounds like a perfect plan to me dsude. Wow.

    1. Lucy, you’ve infected the anon-bot with your spelling problems.

      1. Shut up, dsude.

  26. Welcome back, Lucy!

  27. “Bonus points if you can offer a nonracist explanation.”

    Bonus points if you can use the word “racist” correctly in a sentence, Tony.

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