Burning Man

Grover Norquist on Burning Man: 'This is the way the world should be'


On last night's episode of The Independents, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, fresh off his first trip to Burning Man, described it as a life-changing event:

Back when the proposed Norquist trip was pointlessly controversial, Reason TV did a funny video about his untenable views. And of course, Senior Editor Brian Doherty wrote the book on Burning Man.

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  1. I’m telling you, the guy smoked a giant doob right before that interview. You see how dangerous pot is? You start smoking it, next thing you’re going to Burning Man.

  2. +1 Marihuana menace

  3. fresh off his first trip to Burning Man, described it as a life-changing event:

    Sounds to me like Grover lucked into some good acid.

    1. Of course. Libertarians can always get their hands on good acid. Who do you think runs the Dark Web markeplaces?

    2. Maybe he met a hot babe, or just liked seeing all the boobies.

  4. Didn’t know much about Norquist other than the intolerant/extremist/right-wing caricature depicted by the mainstream media. His great attitude and positive reaction to his experiences at Burning Man were a pleasant surprise. Would love to see it myself someday…

    1. I would like to see it also.

      Here’s one thing that I just don’t understand and it sort of drives me nuts. I bet if you asked most of these folks at Burning Man what side they are on politically, that a majority would identify themselves as being on the left.

      I just do not get that. I mean socialism/communism is all about everyone having the same. The same little gray houses, everyone wearing the same gray state issued uniform, everyone on the block shares the same roll of the only one brand of toilet paper, and all phones I assume will be gray rotary phones.

      It doesn’t make sense to me. Why would anyone who vaues freedom of expression and speech want to be associated with the left, who despise all of those things?

      1. In a delectable twist, I identify the problem as false consciousness.

        1. This.

          Consider the fact that most of the people who go to burning man come from, and have been raised in, a liberal coastal California culture where their exposure to “right-wing” thought is limited to what is passed on by the liberal media and by the biases of their local culture.

          So a lot of them have never been exposed to or really considered libertarian arguments for free markets. To them, “communism” just means “sharing” , which is like, what AirBnb and SideCar do, right?

      2. I agree, it is a baffling contradiction. However, Burning Man is only a week. During that brief time people are probably too busy enjoying their freedom and having fun to care what everyone else is doing. I bet that if it went on any longer, there would be those who would disapprove of some of their reveler’s activities and would band together with like-minded folks to force them to be just like everyone else.

        1. Yeah, probably. In 3 weeks they would all be gathered on the same stage in their gray uniforms singing some song about a horse faced lady.

        2. There are some of those people already. The Temple Guardians are kind of a bunch of hippie facists. Thou shalt not desecrate the temple by partying too loudly or doing anything that disturbs the mellow spiritual vibe. Some people are trying to transcedentally meditate.

          1. Thou shalt not desecrate the temple

            before we burn the whole thing to the ground.

      3. Hyperion: I’ve been working on that same problem, and I think much of it boils down to emotional/tribal identification trumping rationality. Yes, in theory every artist should lean libertarian, but the social identification with the counterculture (to use an old term) trumps that.

        Heck, most of my friends and colleagues are of the writer/artist/designer/hacker sort, and most are left of center. So why am I not hanging out with more libertarians? Partly it’s that they are hard to find around here, but partly it’s just that I’ve been drawn to the writer/artist/etc. social and work groups. Lots of people don’t put a lot of thought into choosing political beliefs, and just go with what their parents/friends believe.

    2. Norquist is actually a libertarian minarchist.

      His strategery is to build a coalition of people who just want government to butt out of some aspect of their existence (business, 2nd Amendment, home schooling, religion, drug war, etc.) Since public choice theory has proven it is nearly impossible to get politicians to cut, or even to stop raising, spending by democratic processes, one of his tactics has been to get legislators to promise not to raise taxes. This tactic has been so successful that he is the bane of the statist elites and the media portrays him as a villain of the order of Koch.

      1. Unfortunately, the tactic has not been adequately successful to actually cut spending or limit government intrusiveness so far.

        But anything that so annoys the statist elites and their MSM scribes is a good thing.

  5. He wrote a column about his burnning man experience at the Gaurdian yesterday. The comments were priceless.

    1. I have to see it, heading over there now. I’m sure I’ll regret it later…

    2. Here’s the article

      And here’s one of my favorite comments from the derplicious festival:

      “There are a lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems get buried in those holes.” – Nicky Santoro, Casino. A missed opportunity…

      Instead, we get another installment of Norquist Nonsense ™ about iself-reliance? He hails from the richest town in the state of Massachusetts and made a career of telling the rubes they could be just like him and his billionaire backers. Anything he says should be regarded as the verbal equivalent of child molestation.

      1. What I was just saying, the left hates free speech, and never miss the opportunity to say as much, while at the same time pretending to be for it.

      2. Some day, I want to live 52 weeks a year in a state or city that acts like this

        So how much money is it that you have, Grover? Maybe it’s time to buy that free zone in Hondurus and start Libertopia?

      3. At Burning Man, everyone is expected to be a participant. Burners bring their art work, their art cars, their personal dress and/or undress: everyone is on stage.

        Ah, just what I thought. It’s not a hippie festival. It’s an attention whore festival.

    3. I like this one. It’s just missing monocles and orphans.

      blockquoteWhat an awful decision to run this piece. Mr. Norquist is not a conservative, he is nihilist. He wants to destroy the US and remake it as a plutocracy where he an his masters can play golf on the corpses of the masses that have died and will die because of his power over the “conservatives” in America. Shame.

      1. He wants to destroy the US and remake it as a plutocracy where he an his masters can play golf

        So, he’s really Barak Obama in disguise?

      2. Man, reading those comments…some people need to buy a fucking clue.

        As he likes cuban cigars, is he in favour of ending sanctions against Cuba?

        Oh, I dunno. What do you think?

      3. Leave No Trace? Flying in an out leaves a carbon footprint Fezzik from Princess Bride would be proud of.

        Or, you know, building lots of massive wooden and paper sculptures and then burning them.

      4. You haven’t really golfed until you’ve teed from the finger bone of a dead poor person.

      5. Next up: an extended visit to Cuba, with partner and kids, where another form of welcoming “inclusiveness” will be extended by the Cuban people, he can meet the workers that produce those cigars, perhaps understand the undeserved punishments he and his capitalist cohorts cruelly impose with the 50 years of blockade.

        These people are morons, plain and simple.

    4. What’s all this noise about hippies and bohemians not working? Where did you get that impression? Hippies and bohemians do nothing but work.

      What they don’t do is Jobs. You know: Everybody driving to the same place at the same time so that they can spend the entire day undoing the work they did the day before because the corporate financial system doesn’t function? Hippies and bohemians are interested in purposeful work, not paid incarceration. Know the difference


      1. Hmm, maybe drugs really do cause brain damage.

      2. Yeah man! Stupid kkkorporashuns don’t build nothin’! Now where did I put my smart phone….

      3. You didn’t build that! Hippies did.

        1. That explains why it took 24 years to replace the Bay Bridge span damaged in the 89 SF earthquake. Hippies don’t believe in the concept of time at all.

  6. ‘This is the way the world should be’ is possibly the most dangerous phrase ever uttered by man.

    1. Especially Burning Man. A world where everyone pays $400 a week to be there and the feds as well as the Sheriff are either breathing down your neck or undercover looking for any reason to arrest you.

  7. This exchange is priceless (commenting on someone who said they met Norquist)

    Matt Perry

    Where you armed with a mace ( Medieval spiked club, not the spray) ?


    Yes, because if you are at an event which is founded on inclusiveness and empathy and tolerance and you happen across someone who has ideas and opinions that differ to yours, someone who genuinely ‘reaches out’ and makes a big step to ‘connect’, then you must kill them immediately & brutally.

    Lol, I think StepUpHo has truly captured the mindset of the left.

    1. I met him at this year’s Freedom Fest.

      My own opinion was largely informed by the MSM. Though I already liked the tax pledge and his objective of “cut the size of government so small that it can eventually be strangled in its crib”, my impression was that he was really more of a country club Republican with a whiff of Abramhoff. I don’t know whether he calls himself a libertarian, but he seems to be so on most issues. Some conservatives distrust him because he favors “defense” cuts and his wife is Palestinian Muslim, thinking that makes him unreliable on issues most important to neocons and theocons.

      1. I should clarify the foregoing: I used to think he was a country club Republican. Now he seems, in the words of Friedman to be “a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And … a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.”

      2. I’m mildly positive about Norquist, but always wondered about his sometimes unbalanced-seeming pro-Islam beliefs. Now I understand all that better.

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