Libertarian History/Philosophy

Libertarianism 3.0; Koch And A Smile

The visionary brothers' paradigm could frustrate the left and alter the right by fusing social tolerance with fiscal responsibility.

|

Note: This article originally appeared at The Daily Beast on May 30, 2014. Read it there.

As a libertarian, I'm always slow to tell people what they should do. But if you care about politics and the ultimately far more powerful cultural direction of these United States, the new book by Daniel Schulman, Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty is mandatory reading.

Written by a senior editor for the lefty magazineMother Jones, the book is hugely revelatory, though not in a way that will please or flatter the conspiracy theories of Democrats, liberals, and progressives who vilify the Kansas-raised billionaires Charles and David Koch for fun and profit. Sons of Wichita chronicles the post-World War II transformation of a mid-size oil-and-ranching family business into the second-largest privately held company in the United States. From a straight business angle, it's riveting and illuminating not just about how Koch Industries—makers of "energy, food, building and agricultural materials…and…products [that] intersect every day with the lives of every American"—evolved over the past 60 years but also how the larger U.S. economy changed and globalized.

But what's far more interesting—and important to contemporary America—is the way in which Schulman documents the absolute seriousness with which Charles and David have always taken specifically libertarian ideas and their signal role in helping to create a "freedom movement" to counter what they have long seen as a more effective mix of educational, activist, and intellectual groups on the broadly defined left. By treating the Koch brothers' activities in critical but fair terms,Sons of Wichita points to what I like to think of as Libertarianism 3.0, a political and cultural development that, if successful, will not only frustrate the left but fundamentally alter the right by creating fusion between forces of social tolerance and fiscal responsibility.

"One misconception that's out there," Schulman told me in an interview, "is that these guys are merely out there to line their pockets. If you look at their beliefs in a consistent framework, Charles Koch has been talking about a lot of this [libertarian] stuff since the 1960s and 1970s. This didn't just happen during the Obama era. And if you look at it that way, you have to start to see these guys as outside the political villain-robber baron caricature."

In the interests of disclosure, I should note that David Koch is a trustee of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes Reason.com and Reason.tv, of which I'm editor in chief. Back in 1993, I received a fellowship for around $3,500 from the Institute for Humane Studies, of which Charles Kochis a major benefactor; the grant helped me complete my Ph.D. in American literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Imagine, if you will, a country in which government at every level spends less money and does fewer things (but does them more effectively), doles out fewer perks to special interests (from Wall Street banks to sports teams to homeowners), regulates fewer things across the board, engages in fewer wars and less domestic spying, and embraces things such as gay marriage, drug legalization, and immigration. If surveys showing record levels of Americans are worried that government is too powerful are accurate, libertarianism may well be on its way to becoming the new civic religion. That's partly out of necessity (no country can spend money it doesn't have forever) and partly out of intellectual shifts borne out of argumentation and world events.

Nick Gillespie interviews Daniel Schulman for Reason TV (story continues below video).

In a recent piece for The Washington Post, Schulman reminds readers that while the Koch brothers remain staunch opponents of Obamacare and government spending, "they are at odds with the conservative mainstream" and "were no fans of the Iraq war." As a young man, Charles was booted from the John Birch Society (which his father had helped to found) after publishing an anti-Vietnam War newspaper ad, and David told Politico of his support for gay marriage from the floor of the 2012 Republican National Convention. In the past year, the Charles Koch Institute cosponsored events with Buzzfeed about immigration reform (which angered many on the right) and with Mediaite about criminal justice reform.

The libertarian or "freedom movement" is a loose and baggy monster that includes the Libertarian Party; Ron Paul fans of all ages; Reason magazine subscribers; glad-handers at Cato Institute's free-lunch events in D.C.; Ayn Rand obsessives and Robert Heinlein buffs; the curmudgeons at Antiwar.com; most of the economics department at George Mason University and up to about one-third of all Nobel Prize winners in economics; the beautiful mad dreamers at The Free State Project; and many others. As with all movements, there's never a single nerve center or brain that controls everything. There's an endless amount of in-fighting among factions and Schulman does an excellent and even-handed job of reporting on all that. (For the definitive history of the movement, read myReason colleague Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism.) On issues such as economic regulation, public spending, and taxes, libertarians tend to roll with the conservative right. On other issues—such as civil liberties, gay marriage, and drug legalization, we find more common ground with the progressive left.

Libertarianism 1.0 spans the 1960s and '70s. It was a time of building groups and having arguments that hammered out what it meant to be a libertarian as opposed to a liberal who grokked free trade or a conservative who was against the warfare state. The Institute for Humane Studies was founded in the early 1960s by a former Cornell economics professor to nurture libertarian-minded college students and would-be academics. The founder, F.A. Harper, was an important intellectual mentor to Charles Koch, who became a major donor to the group.Reason magazine started publishing in 1968, created by a Boston University student who disliked cops and hippies in equal measure and wanted to create a conversation pit for libertarian ideas, news, and commentary. The Age of Aquarius didn't end before The New York Times Magazine declared libertarianism to be "the new right credo" and the next big thing among students in a cover story co-written by future Wired magazine founder Louis Rossetto. The article described John Kennedy and Richard Nixon as differing types of statist "reactionaries."

The always-rumbling fault line between equally anti-communist conservatives and libertarians in the Bill Buckley's student group, Young Americans for Freedom, ruptured irrevocably over the Vietnam War at the 1969 YAF national convention (PDF), when the libertarian protesters burned their draft cards and were expelled as "lazy fairies," a play on laissez-faire. That was one of the events that gave rise to the Libertarian Party in 1971, whose platform called not only for an end to gender discrimination but equality for gays (virtually unthinkable among Democrats and Republicans at the time).

In 1977, Charles Koch was one of the co-founders of the Cato Institute—and, as Schulman puts it, "the organization's wallet." In a 1978 issue of Libertarian Review, Schulman writes, Charles "decried corporate leaders who preached 'freedom in voluntary economic activities,' but simultaneously called for 'the full force of the law against voluntary sexual or other personal activities.'" He didn't have patience for businessmen who railed against welfare for the poor while lobbying for subsidies and protectionist policies for their own bottom lines, either.

In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket, which pulled 1 percent of the popular vote on a platform that assailed Carter and Reagan in equal measures while calling for massively lower taxes and spending, the legalization of drugs and prostitution, and the abolition of virtually all government programs and agencies, including the FDA and the EPA along with the CIA and FBI. The campaign was explicitly informational and intended to preach the gospel of less interference in the boardroom and the bedroom. "The ideas are so persuasive," David said at the start of the campaign, "that once people hear about them they will be willing to accept them." Schulman notes that David listed "his vice presidential candidacy years later under 'proudest achievement' on an MIT alumni questionnaire."

Libertarianism 2.0 covers the past 30 years or so. By the early 1980s, the libertarian movement had established a distinct ideological identity, albeit one often ignored or put down by an older, square conservative movement that still considered libertarianism as a punky younger brother. On the left, libertarians were routinely dismissed as "Republicans who smoke pot." As they gained strength and acknowledgement, libertarians started more actively engaging in mainstream politics, especially by working within the Republican Party, which at least espoused similar rhetoric about limiting the size, scope, and spending of government (that Reagan and the GOP did nothing of the sort remains a sore point for libertarians). Bill Clinton's tax hikes, his attempt to put government-accessible "backdoors" into all computer and telecom equipment, his bid to regulate the fledgling Internet via The Communications Decency Act, and of course his proposed health-care plan in the early 1990s galvanized many libertarians against him. The occasional pro-freedom and futurist pronouncements by characters such as Newt Gingrich (who graced the cover ofWired in 1995 with the tag line "Friend and Foe") seemed to offer serious common ground between libertarians and the Republican Party.

By century's end, Al Gore's increasingly strident environmentalism had for libertarians fully trumped his full-throated early '90s defense of free trade while debating H. Ross Perot on Larry King Live. His leading role in giving his wife Tipper's Parents Music Resource Council a platform to push music labeling in Senate hearings was a real problem too. By contrast, George W. Bush's low-tax record in Texas and belief in a "humble" foreign policy sounded pretty good.

Yet Bush's subsequent record on spending, civil liberties, foreign policy, and bailouts underscored the longstanding libertarian conviction that most differences between the two major parties were cosmetic. Not only did Bush—who had six years with a Republican House and Senate—grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real dollars, he massively increased the regulatory state like no one else had since the days of Richard Nixon. Consider this damning January 2009 summary of his record compiled by economist Veronique de Rug of the Mercator Center (a Koch-supported outfit, by the way):

The Bush team has spent more taxpayer money on issuing and enforcing regulations than any previous administration in U.S. history. Between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2009, outlays on regulatory activities, adjusted for inflation, increased from $26.4 billion to an estimated $42.7 billion, or 62 percent. By contrast, President Clinton increased real spending on regulatory activities by 31 percent, from $20.1 billion in 1993 to $26.4 billion in 2001.

About the only thing that could seem worse to libertarians was the prospect of a President Obama who not only readily signed on to Bush's TARP and auto bailouts but pledged to expand them, spend hundreds of billions of additional dollars on "stimulus," and then top it off with a nationalized health-care plan.

As Schulman writes, the Kochs already started organizing invite-only, heavily attacked (by the progressive blogosphere), and fully compliant-with-campaign-law meetings to raise money for political action starting in the Bush years, with an eye toward funding candidates and causes that would push for freer markets and less regulation, defeat Obama, sink his health-care reform plan, and push back against other aspects of the progressive Democratic economic and regulatory agenda.

Despite some electoral successes, these efforts have largely come a cropper, especially with the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012. Schulman writes that although David Koch ultimately became a major supporter of Romney, he withheld his "formal support" until New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declined to run and Romney had dispatched his GOP rivals. He quotes a friend of Charles saying, "Charles loved the governor from New Mexico, Gary Johnson," who ran on the Libertarian ticket (and pulled more than 1 million votes and around 1 percent of the popular vote, the party's best showing since the 1980 ticket that featured David).

The Kochs' political network spent more than $400 million trying to unseat Barack Obama—the weakest, most vulnerable incumbent president in decades to win re-election. Their failure to do so didn't just create a dark night of the soul for the Republican Party, which pledged to do an official post-mortem and organizational reboot. It also, says Schulman, has energized the Koch brothers and their political operation to figure out where they failed to connect with the American people. And unlike the GOP, whose dedication to fundamental change went missing the minute Obama's popularity dipped after his second term began, the Kochs, Schulman told me, "really do learn from their mistakes. What you see right now is kind of the overhaul of their political operation."

Which brings me to Libertarianism 3.0. The first iteration of the modern libertarian movement was focused on figuring out who we were and what sorts of institutions and outreach were necessary for the movement. The second was about working within existing power structures, sometimes even to the point of keeping mum on matters of serious disagreement. I'd argue that Libertarianism 3.0 will be a phase in which libertarians pursue two parallel political paths.

The first is outlined in The Declaration of Independents, the book I co-authored with Matt Welch: As increasing numbers of Americans flee affiliation with either major party, libertarians and others will form ad hoc coalitions that focus on specific issues and then disband after a threat has been stared down. That happened in 2012, when a rag-tag group of people from all over the political spectrum teamed up to defeat The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart The Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Ralph Nader is calling for something similar in his new book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Right-Left Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. In a recent interview, Nader—no fan of major parties, he—told me that libertarians and progressives could get a "hell of a lot done if they would band together on specific issues" such as cronyism and corporate subsidies. (The problem, he said, is that "everyone wants to win every argument on the things they disagree about.")

The second strategy is relevant to those trying to work.within the Republican Party (and possibly the Democratic Party in time). They will startinsisting that their economic and social views not only get taken seriously but start driving the agenda. That's the strategy that Matt Kibbe, head of FreedomWorks, champions in books such as 2011's Hostile Takeover and this year's Don't Hurt People and Take Their Stuff.

It may well be the path that the Kochs are pursuing. There are signs that this is already happening. As Schulman writes, the Republican establishment has always had reservations about the Kochs, "who often aligned with the Republicans on free-market issues and downsizing government… [but] Republicans [couldn't] count on the Kochs to fall in step on issues such as immigration, civil liberties, or defense, where they held more liberal views. The brothers and their company also opposed subsidies across the board, a position GOP members didn't always share. 'The Republicans don't trust us,' said one Koch political operative."

But at this point, the GOP may need the Kochs—and the libertarian vote—more than they need the GOP. You don't have to be a savvy businessman to know that spending $400 million to lose a very winnable presidential election isn't a good use of money. If the Republican Party refuses to take libertarian ideas seriously, there's really nothing in it for libertarians to stick around.

There remains a serious question of whether or how far the Kochs will push for unambiguously libertarian positions as the price for their support. On economic issues, that will be daunting enough when you think about the massive growth in the size, scope, and spending of government under George W. Bush and a Republican Congress. Even now, the House Republican budget plan calls for increasing annual spending over the next decade from around $3.6 trillion to $5 trillion.

When it comes to the social issues the GOP refuses to stop talking about despite declining levels of support among voters, the Kochs' record of direct activism has never been strong. During the Libertarianism 2.0 phase, they supported libertarian groups such as Reason Foundation and Cato that call for drug legalization, marriage equality, open borders, and the like, but there's no question that they focused most of their literal and figurative political capital on economic issues that caused less stress among establishment Republicans.

"The brothers have traditionally avoided bankrolling advocacy on controversial social issues," Schulman writes in his Post op-ed, "but they would certainly throw a curveball to their opponents on the left (not to mention their supporters on the right) by actively backing the causes of marriage equality or reproductive rights."

The standard GOP response to unapologetic libertarianism is fear and dismissal: It's too whacked out, too radical, too scary. Yet the only branch of the Republican Party that isn't dead and withered is precisely the libertarian one. Retired Rep. Ron Paul (who ran for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988) packed college campuses with young kids and retirees with a vision of limited government, fed audits, and restrained foreign policy. If he fired up an enthusiasm that was never fully reflected in his vote totals, he also inspired a new generation of candidates and activists who want to be part of a major party. Whose heart flutters at the sight of John Boehner or Eric Cantor? While not necessarily doctrinaire libertarians, characters such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) are not only pushing for defense spending and the NSA to be put on the chopping block, they are increasingly pushing for marriage and drug issues to be settled at the state level. Paul is consistently at the top of polls for 2016 presidential contenders.

Consider, too, the re-election campaign of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). McConnell is not running for another term like he used to. In 2008, McConnell ran ads touting the billions of dollars of pork he had brought home to Kentucky over the years.  "That would never fly today," the former head of the Tea Party Express told Business Insider. In 2010, McConnell did everything he could to keep Rand Paul from becoming the junior senator from the Bluegrass State (Paul defeated McConnell's pick in the GOP primary). This time, McConnell worked overtime to secure an early endorsement from Paul. He even hired Paul's former campaign manager and supported a state bill championed by Rand Paul and Thomas Massie that legalized hemp production.

Nick Gillespie interviews Daniel Schulman for Reason TV (story continues below video).

In a poll from last fall (the most recent on the topic), Gallup found that "a majority, 53 percent, favor less government involvement in addressing the nation's problems in order to reduce taxes, while 13 percent favor more government involvement to address the nation's problems, and higher taxes."

That's a broadly libertarian point of view, and it's certainly one that comports with Schulman's analysis of the Koch brothers' political vision. And it may speak to their influence on setting the terms of the conversation as well. In this passage, Schulman is writing specifically about Charles, but the idea applies to David as well: "He has arguably done more than anyone else to promote free-market economics and the broader ideology surrounding it. By mainstreaming libertarianism, he helped to change the way people think."

Of course, it's far from clear whether the Republican Party—or the larger country—will actually embrace anything resembling a principled libertarian approach not only to economic matters but to foreign policy, civil liberties, social issues, and more. Regardless of the outcome, though, one of the reasons—not the only one, to be sure—we're even having this conversation is the Koch brothers. After eight disastrous years under George W. Bush and six (so far) under Barack Obama, it's a conversation that's been postponed long enough.

Note: This article originally appeared at The Daily Beast on May 30, 2014. Read it there.

NEXT: Alexander Shulgin, RIP

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Koch’s don’t round, they truncate.

    Bastards!

    1. They are the good guys. A counter to evil Soros.

      1. Yeah, their ideals about being able to pollute and cause as much disease as possible – backed up their money and “front” institutions, is especially pleasing to those on the far, far, far, far authoritarian end of the scale.

        To most others, though, it’s somewhat troubling.

        1. Union’s work in fossil fuel industries, and donate money as well.

      2. Being libertarians, maybe they should… I dunno… give their campaign funds to the Libertarian Party? Four hundred million would give the LP a non-miniscule chance in an election as well as shock the shit out of the GOP.

  2. Sure Nick…next thing you know they’ll try some cheap stunt like donating money to a pet liberal cause….maybe one of the various college funds.

    1. Hey Asshole,

      You never know what billionaires will do? They have been known to change their minds and switch sides. That’s because they are billionaires. Are you a billionaire?

      Have a nice evening, shit for brains.

      1. Hi Mandalay. The other day you said that you immediately bring snark and ad hominems in your posts because you know you will only receive the same in reply.

        I just want to repeat my offer to have a respectful, honest debate with you at any time. I am going to bed now, but I will look for your response in the morning. Don’t disappoint me!

        1. LynchPin1477

          I was thinking about quitting this web. However, with your offer before me in good faith, I have changed my mind. I will of course ignore certain cretins.

          I never saw your offer until now, but I accept it. I will look for you around the site.

          Thanks. Have a nice weekend.

          1. The ass chunk was implied in this instance.

  3. Excellent article.

    The message is that if you are a billionaire and get a bit bored with business, then you can always try your hand at politics. Of course money talks, and billionaires know that better than anyone. Therefore, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to controlling some movement or political party.

    All of our political parties are probably controlled by billionaires anyway. Naturally, this is heartily denied by the highly paid propagandists who work for these billionaires. The ideology can also be manipulated, so that one day it is this, and the next day that.

    Excellent article. Dr. Goebbels would be proud if he read it.

    1. Do you EVER have a point, or just mindless babble about how nothing can be done and it doesn’t matter and everybody does it?

      1. I figured you would surface sooner or later. What took you so long?

        MY POINT is, that politicians and political movements are usually controlled in some way by billionaires. BECAUSE, billionaires have the money to control and manipulate things. DID I SAY “NOTHING CAN BE DONE”? No, I did not. Big money is behind most political parties. Political parties and politicians need money!

        If you don’t believe this is true, than you are a damn fool. Who do you think donates money to political campaigns? Billionaires do, and the deal is that whoever they bankroll is going to have to believe in whatever they believe in, at least to some extent.

        If you don’t agree with this, than that’s fine. And stick your “mindless babble” COMMENT up your Hershey Highway.

        1. It’s always for everyone else though. You came to your ideas through brilliance, everyone else is a corporate shill.

          1. Fuck you dips hit.

          2. Sorry about that. I meant Fuck You Dip Shit.

        2. …”DID I SAY “NOTHING CAN BE DONE”? No, I did not. Big money is behind most political parties. Political parties and politicians need money!”

          So nothing can be done, since they do this and that’s what happens? Are you claiming that this is some epiphany you’ve had?
          What is your point?
          ——————–
          “If you don’t believe this is true, than you are a damn fool. Who do you think donates money to political campaigns? Billionaires do, and the deal is that whoever they bankroll is going to have to believe in whatever they believe in, at least to some extent.”

          And?
          ——————–
          “If you don’t agree with this, than that’s fine. And stick your “mindless babble” COMMENT up your Hershey Highway.”

          You should seek some professional help for your fixation with the bowels.

          1. This is my last communication to you.

            As usual, all you do is quote what I said. However, you simply can’t refute what I have said, because you don’t have the intellectual skills to do that.

            As for my so called “fixation with the bowels”, the reason (no pun intended) for that, is because I see so many undereducated assholes posting on this site, that it is hard not to.

            Anyway, this is my last post on Reason anyway. I know you will be glad to hear that.

            You should take all of my responses to your posts, print them out, fold, spindle and mutilate them, and then of course ram them up you butt until they reach your brain.

            Finally, I have diagnosed you with a case of Optical Rectumitis. This is where the Optic Nerve somehow connects with the Rectal Nerve causing a shitty out look on life.

            Have a good life you son of a bitch asshole pig fucker!

            1. On The Road To Mandalay|6.6.14 @ 7:58PM|#
              “However, you simply can’t refute what I have said, because you don’t have the intellectual skills to do that.”

              I didn’t bother to try to refute the obvious; I asked what your point was.
              You might just as well have posted that gravity makes things fall. Yeah, so what? What is your point?
              ————————–
              “This is my last communication to you.”

              You keep promising…

              1. My point is the same point of the article. A tribute to a billionaire means that billionaires get involved with political parties and movements. Everyone knows that.

                That was my original point, you piece of worthless shit.

                Now, I promise it’s goodbye. Once again, have a good life you son of a bitch asshole pig fucker.

                I leave this website so a bunch of camp followers can post their mindless bullshit, so that the creators of the site will be assured that they still have control over a bunch of robots and zombies.

                1. “Now, I promise it’s goodbye”

                  You know who else made empty promises…

                  1. Sevo. Do I have to name every politician, or do I have to name just one ?

                    1. JPyrate|6.6.14 @ 10:57PM|#
                      “Sevo. Do I have to name every politician, or do I have to name just one?”

                      Well, it’s easy to start with ‘the big lie’, but there’s no reason to godwin the thread when we have the lying bastard currently in the WH.

                  2. Sevo. Do I have to name every politician, or do I have to name just one ?

                    1. Just name the ones that didn’t lie.

                  3. Come in Sevo. Come in Sevo. Last time for sure. When we meet in outer space some day you can lick the sweat off my balls, and be grateful for it. Signal getting weak. Last words are FUUUUUUUKKKKK you!

                    1. On The Road To Mandalay|6.6.14 @ 11:04PM|#
                      …”Last time for sure.”…

                      For your listening pleasure:
                      “how can we miss you when you won’t go away”
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW9-FOLG-iA

                2. “Son of a bitch asshole pig fucker.” Nope, that doesn’t flow. Try again.

                  1. FUCK YOU.

                    1. All caps this time. =D

            2. Does this mean that you are no longer posting on this sight ? Because honestly I enjoy reading the articles here, and I learn a few things from some of the commenter’s here. You however offer nothing of value.

              1. Seconded.

              2. JPyrate.

                That’s because you are an ignorant asshole. But don’t blame that on me. It’s not my fault that you are an abortion who lived.

                1. “Now, I promise it’s goodbye. Once again, have a good life you son of a bitch asshole pig fucker.” -On The Road To Mandalay|6.6.14 @ 8:29PM|

                  So you lied. That’s too bad.

                  1. Yes it is too fucking bad isn’t it. Tough shit all around. Guess you will just have to suck it up.

                    1. Like you suck it up right out of the shower drain OTRTM.

                    2. Fuck you, ass chunk.

                2. How many times are you going to threaten to leave ?

                  Posting under a new name doesn’t count.

                  You can’t quit Reason.

                  Admit it.

                  1. It’s hard to quit, but if you try hard enough, YOU can do it OneOut.

                    1. And you keep cumming back for more OTRTM.

                    2. That’s because I’m absolutely fascinated by retarded people such as yourself.

                    3. Wow OTRTM. Not only have you shown yourself as a Socialist, racist, and a homophobe, but now someone who likes to laugh at special needs people. Keep up the good work of representing your team ace. =)

                    4. “I swear I am leaving now. As in now. Immediately. Effective Now. Any second now. Not now, Just one last thing. Fuck, damn, piss, cunt. Last comment, really, for like reals this time.

                3. On The Road To Mandalay|6.6.14 @ 11:01PM|#
                  …”It’s not my fault”…

                  OK, folks, do we see something of interest here?
                  I’m betting when the road guy breaks something, the comment is “It broke!”

                  1. Is that you asshole? Did you say something?

                    1. Just one last final ultimate goodbye. Really, no more posts, not a single comment, I am really through with all you. Poopy head libertarians.

                4. OTRTM. The best part of your genetic material washed down the shower drain while your father was masturbating.

                  1. Rather crude. But typical of the human trash that you represent so well. At least I had a “best part” while your genetic material has always been defective.

                    1. At least my defective genes live “Topside”. Your “Best Part” breeds with shit, and piss in the philosophical cesspool, validated by your lack of intellect.

                    2. JP:
                      …”intellect.”
                      Don’t do that. That’s THREE syllables!

                    3. Ask Sevo to piss in your mouth.

                    4. You hang up.

                      No, you hang up.

                      No, YOU hang up.

                      Let’s hang up at the same time?

                      On 3. 1… 2… 3…

                      You’re still there aren’t you? I can hear you breathing Mandy.

                      I’m seriously hanging up.

            3. “…because you don’t have the intellectual skills to do that.”

              Ah yes, the ever so common progressive white flag.

        3. What about contributors like SEIU and AFL CIO?

    2. Exactly…..

      As many historians will tell you “The Nazi’s built some fine roads, improved the infrastructure and enhanced the daily lives of tens of millions of German citizens”….

      So will the work of the Koch’s masters. Their pollution will kill and harm millions. Their willingness to compromise their own ideals by backing almost 100% the GOP and so-called “conservatives” will enlarge the body count everywhere – once these pols win office, they could care less that the Kochs (quietly) don’t like big wars (they can interfere with commerce).

      Of course, you can get the same “features” without the air pollution by voting in more conventional candidates from the left side of the aisle. But they won’t pay you like they do Nick.

      1. Whenever I need a politician that will keep us out of big wars, I reach for my nearest Democrat. They have a proven track record of keeping us out, like that one time in Europe. And that other time in Europe and in Africa and the entire pacific ocean. And that time in southeast Asia…

  4. Libertarianism 1.0 happened in writing the constitution.

    1. Did you write a book about this that I can read?

      1. I did.

        It’s called “George Soros: The Liberal’s Friend”

        1. Really? Bravo for you asshole.

          1. Aaah!

            He called e asshole. I suppose that is a term of endearment to you, huh ?

            I thought you were done here?

            You can’t quit us.

            You’re just gonna come back and be the same old asshole under a new name.

            1. Don’t get your hopes up, asshole. Anyway, the weekend is here so you need to join the other Redneck Hippies down at the trailer park so you can smoke pot and jerk off. Have a nice weekend ass chunk.

          2. Last. comment. ever.

        2. You happen to be correct. Soros paid for the pot decrim here in MA.
          He also pays for numerous “open society” program around the world.

          http://www.opensocietyfoundati…..orge-soros

          I don’t think the Koch’s do anything of the sort! In fact, they do the opposite – they are the Kings of Dark Money and behind the scenes politics.

          When a man doesn’t want his name on things…there are usually reasons.

          Backers of the Koch Brothers are, by definition, authoritarians who approve of Big Brothers doing stuff in sneaky ways (this site being one of the many, but most of them are buried further than this).

          1. $15 million to New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center

            $30 million to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

            $25 million to the Hospital for Special Surgery

            $20 million to a dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History

            $65 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

            $100 million to the Lincoln Center theater that is home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

            $30.5 million to 221 U.S. colleges

            And what did progressives do when they offered $100 million to build a new wing at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (the largest gift in the hospitals history? They held a protest. On International Women’s Day. To conflate the issue in the fake WAR ON WOMINZ.

            A press release accompanying the protest said the Kochs wanted to “defeat and repeal health care for all Americans.” And what a sneaky way they went about it: by giving hundreds of millions of bucks to hospitals!

            Sweet salty liberal tears. Keep going, I plan to use them as lube.

      2. You can’t read, let alone think for yourself. So no. You cannot read it.

        1. Fuck you.

          1. Sorry. I do not obey the old law “Fornication Under Consent of The King”. You may think that way, but I do not subscribe to your primitive way of thinking.

            1. That’s because you already are primitive, you piece of shit. Therefore you would not know the fucking difference.

              1. OOHHH It’s getting frissky !!!! =D

                1. It is indeed. That’s because I know you enjoy it, don’t you fuck nuts?!

                  1. Seriously, you read like a fat kid on the bus after Jr High that got his Game Boy taken away.

                    Tell me fatty, what grade are you repeating again this year?

  5. I have trouble seeing the wisdom of open borders prior to closing the welfare state.

    1. Did you just fart. Congratulations on another one of your “bowel movements in print.”

    2. @Marktaylor. For a while I had the same thought’s as you, until I started learning about mutual aid societies before the welfare state.

      1. Fuck off.

        1. That’s the best you got ? Pathetic. Maybe you should get the help you need, or do us all a favor and AnHero.

          1. I get even better than this. While you are waiting, you can stick your finger up you butt where your brain is, and contemplate all the good things that I have for you that will come your way soon.

            1. CACAHEAD !!!!! 8% !!!

              1. Now, JP, don’t make him have to look things up!

                1. I asked JP to ask you to piss in his mouth. You are both piss ants anyway, so that should work out for both of you.

                  1. Anyone with half a brain knows that piss ants are not programmed to urinate reciprocally.

                    OhhhH! That can be your summer school science fair project! And you’ll probably fuck that up too, won’t you Mongo?

                    1. Thanks for the enlightening debate, guys.

  6. On The Road To Mandalay|6.6.14 @ 11:04PM|#
    “Come in Sevo. Last time for sure.”

    Operator? A wake-up call tomorrow at 7AM, please.
    Yes, room 3825968.

    1. It’s been great posting with you asshole. It really has. Keep up the good work, and especially those one liner masterpieces imparting all that wisdom. Have a great weekend, and when you think about me, just buy a cucumber and stick it up your butt while drinking a cup of tea on a rainy day. See you around ace. Adios Amigo.

      1. You will be back. Craving a good emotiomal butthurting. =)

      2. …”just buy a cucumber and stick it up your butt while drinking a cup of tea on a rainy day.”…

        I’m trying to imagine what sort of fantasies would prompt that sentence, and I have to admit to failure.
        Any gays on this thread? Do tea and rainy days push buttons?

        1. Must be quite a few gays on the site, since you libertarian ass holes support them with your bullshit ideology.

      3. Not now, right now. no more comments. not a single word. But you guys are super poopy heads.

  7. Hi Mandalay. The other day you said that you immediately bring snark and ad hominems in your posts because you know you will only receive the same in reply.

    I just want to repeat my offer to have a respectful, honest debate with you at any time. I am going to bed now, but I will look for your response in the morning. Don’t disappoint me!

    1. LynchPin1477,

      My answer is above. Thanks.

      1. Ohhhh, this will be short and sweet!
        Road guy, he did say “honest”; pretty sure that’s not what you had in mind.

        1. Ohhh! Stick it in any orifice of you body that makes you feel good.

  8. Imagine, if you will, a country in which government … embraces things such as gay marriage, drug legalization, and immigration. ~ Nick Gillespie

    Nick Gillespie is as clueless as most Reasonoids who claim to be libertarian.

    Legalization of gay marriage, drugs, and illegal aliens, which Gillespie wrongly identifies with immigration, is the stance of progressive liberals and not authentic libertarians.

    More rights and duties means less liberty. If you are for more rights and duties, you are not a libertarian. Most likely, you are a liberal who doesn’t like the Democratic Party.

    Libertarianism boils down to liberty over duty and right. Adding to rights and duties is not how you expand freedom! It is how you lessen it! Liberty means that realm where the law (politicians) is content to leave you alone.

    The authentic libertarian position is liberty and thus fewer laws rather than more.

    The authentic libertarian stance is to rid marriage licensing as a legal determinant for anything. The authentic libertarian stance is to decriminalize drugs. The authentic libertarian stance is to decriminalize illegal immigration. The authentic libertarian stance is to end welfare and subsidy.

    1. Smack MacDougal|6.7.14 @ 12:04AM|#
      “Nick Gillespie is as clueless as most Reasonoids who claim to be libertarian.”

      Is a threaded site a bit much for the intellect of the anointed LIBERTARIAN?
      Did you get lost between the other thread and this one?
      Did you have anything to offer other than your totally un-warranted arrogance?
      Your mom may have said you were smart; she lied.

      1. You must have a puppy dog, school girl crush on me, following me about as you do.

        Clearly, you are suffering a deep psychosis owing to the pernicious effects of hyper indoctrination, and so your bouts of cognitive dissonance compel you to push back from the truth.

        Libertarianism boils down to liberty over duty and right. Giving X authority to decide duties and rights stands opposed to the NAP and thus libertarianism.

        You might want to join Democrats or Republicans. They’re all about rights and duties. You’d fit in with Gillespie, the Democrats and Republicans, perfectly.

        Good luck!

        1. Smack MacDougal|6.7.14 @ 12:24AM|#
          “You must have a puppy dog, school girl crush on me, following me about as you do.”

          So you blow it, end up posting a comment on the wrong thread and I have a crush on you?!
          Your mommy lied; you’re stupid.

          1. So in your mental illness fantasy life, anyone who comes to Reason.com is forced to only ever comment on one article and never can comment elsewhere?

            OK.

            Call 1-800-969-NMHA. The call is free, but you must pick up your handset.

            If you have any, your friends shall thank you. If alive still, your mommy and daddy shall thank you.

            1. Smack MacDougal|6.7.14 @ 12:38AM|#
              “So in your mental illness fantasy life, anyone who comes to Reason.com is forced to only ever comment on one article and never can comment elsewhere?”

              Well, if the comment is in regard to X thread, most people who comment here post it in X thread.
              If you wish to comment in another, you might make the comment germane to that thread.
              Just a hint, since you seem confused.

              1. You alone are the confused one. Now, how about picking up your telephone and placing that call?

        2. Smack MacDougal. Your name sounds like Phil MacCrakin to me. =D

          1. Ad hominem. How clever.

            1. You offer nothing of value. Therefore you get nothing of value.

              1. A value is the ratio of two thing in exchange. It’s an exchange rate.

                Clearly, you never will be one of those two things not only for me, but for anyone as long as you behave the way you do.

                1. You are projecting. Excellent. 😀

        3. OTRTM. I enjoy humiliating you, as much as you like to be humiliated. I also like seeing your pathetic arguments debunked time, and time again. You like being debased. Maybe you should just AnHero. For my personal pleasure.

    2. This article sure attracted the retards like moths to flame.

  9. All every asshole in this country wants (and there are millions of them), is for the government to do whatever it is that tickles their fucking fancies at any given time. Most people can juggle about three to five contradictory ideas around in their pea brains, and believe in all three to five of them simultaneously. Libertarians are no different than anyone else.

    1. Exactly. Granting rights and imposing duties is the anti-thesis of liberty and thus libertarianism.

      Reasonoids of Reason.com are progressive Republicans. They haven’t awoken yet to this truth about themselves.

      1. Smack MacDougal. So… In your world I get a choice between “Progressive Republicans” , and “Progressive Democrats”. Umm… I make my own choices. Whether you like it, or not. Good, or bad. Up The Wolves.

        1. It’s not “in my world”. It’s reality, or said another way, everyone’s world, whether or not you, some, many or most fail to see that reality.

          Libertarianism boils down to liberty over duty and right. Giving X authority to decide duties and rights stands opposed to the NAP and thus libertarianism.

          Reason.com boosts a progressive Republican agenda. In short, Reason stands with the feel-good progressive liberalism of the Democrats ? gay marriage, illegal immigrants, legalized drugs ? with the pro big business, anti-welfare side of the Republicans.

          Reason.com has nothing to do with authentic libertarianism, except masquerading with the word libertarianism.

          1. “Reason.com has nothing to do with authentic libertarianism, except masquerading with the word libertarianism.”

            Well, in that case, you need to start a brand new site featuring your twisted vision of what the world needs!
            If you’re right, why the world will beat a path right over there!
            I have a feeling you’ll be ignored by everyone but your mommy.

            1. There, there, it’s all right.

              There is no reason to fall to the floor and thrash about merely because you are suffering cognitive dissonance owing to hyper indoctrination.

              You are suffering from Reason.com’s equivalent of Stockholm syndrome. Because of your deep psychosis owing to hyper indoctrination, you fail to see that you need deprogramming to get you out of the crypto Republican progressivism religion pushed by the cult leaders at Reason.com.

              1. You keep cumming back here, and taking the abuse, because of your own Stockholm Syndrome OTRTM. =D

                1. AnHero.

                2. Only in your ill in mind fueled fantasy to you perceive anyone being abused.

                  You might want to see a psychiatrist for your illness.

              2. Smack MacDougal|6.7.14 @ 1:19AM|#
                “There is no reason to fall to the floor and thrash about merely because you are suffering cognitive dissonance owing to hyper indoctrination.”

                Yes, Monty, you apprehend a reality which intelligent people somehow miss.
                What is it about your new site that will draw people there? Your laughable stupidity? Yes, I think we have it.

              3. I spend all my free time thrashing about on the floor. It gives meaning to my life.

          2. I agree with you. Except for the last sentence.

    2. Show us on the doll where the Evul Kroch Brothers touched you ?

    3. Yeah, that’s the problem with having a political movement that’s at all compelling to anyone. The next thing you know, some rich person likes it and starts donating money, thus poisoning the well.

      I mean, take the humane society. People feel sorry for dogs, and the next thing you know, some rich person feels sorry for dogs, and donates money, thus cluing us all in to the reality that taking care of dogs is really a rich, corporatist plot against us all.

      On this basis, we’ll have to come up with an authentic political movement, and by authentic, it must be completely free of any support or appeal to rich people.

      How about we call it the “kill all the rich donors” political movement.

      On second thought, damnit, someone rich bastard is probably stupid enough to donate to that.

      I’m not sure what the solution is.

      I know: let’s take over society and destroy all concepts of private property. Then, and only then, can we start creating a pure political movement.

      Go, team!

      1. Don’t forget to kill the kulaks. We could also starve everyone in Iowa. Then we could have a fair first primary election.

  10. Good night and fuck off to all. Nice posting with all of you jerks.

    1. This time I am not kidding! It really is the absolute final post. You never loved . You should know, I am highly intelligent and a great dancer. But you’ll not have me to kick around any more. Last comment. Finito.

      1. He needs a dog named Checkers.

    2. Still Cumming back OTRTM. =D

  11. I love the Koch’s if. For nothing else than they drive Harry Reid apeshit. The Koch’s need to get kochier and give that vile treasonous shit sack a fatal stroke.

  12. Leave it to an article abouts the Kochs (!!!!!1!!!!one!!) to act as a call to arms for the resident anencephalics.

    Fuck this thread.

  13. its awesome,,, Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. http://www.Fox81.com

  14. I leave for a day, and the comment thread turns into a war zone. WTF.

  15. Democrats like to say they are for personal freedoms. A complete joke when you consider the forced participation in Obamacare, SS and Medicare.
    Republicans claim to be for economic freedom. A complete joke when they support special tax breaks and subsidies for favored industries.
    We are certain democrats oppose economic freedom and want to regulate and micromanage them to no end. We are equally a certain that republicans oppose personal freedom, gay marriage being front and center.

    Time to treat people like adults. Personal and economic freedom is the way to go.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.