Election 2016

Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and America's Growing Political Disaffection

The story of Sanders and Trump is a growing and general frustration with politics as it is typically practiced.

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If not for Donald Trump, the biggest story of the current presidential race would be the surprising success of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Polls show Sanders with a clear lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and running quite close to Clinton in Iowa, leading many to speculate that he could win the first two states, and, in the process, significantly complicate Clinton's march to victory.

In response, Clinton has in recent days stepped up her attacks on Sanders, labeling him as, among other things, out of touch with political reality. This was not Clinton's plan: She was happy to have competitors, whose presence allowed her to avoid the appearance of a primary coronation, but at no point was she supposed to encounter anything like real resistance.

In a way, then, Clinton's plan was similar to Jeb Bush's plan for the GOP primary race. Bush hoped to come in early, sweep up supporters and donations in a shock-and-awe campaign, and thus render the race an already-done-with non-contest early.  Bush raised the money, but the rest of the race hasn't gone according to plan, thanks in large part to the presence of Donald Trump.

In a way, then, the stories of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the same stories—the outsiders whose campaigns turned out to have far more energy and staying power than anyone expected a year ago.

What the success of both Trump and Sanders signal is the breakdown of the party establishments, and the generalized dissatisfaction with the political status quo, especially when it comes to federal politics.

It's not an accident that their successes come as party identification continues to sink to all-time lows and as a Gallup survey finds that the most important problem facing the country is government. (Yes, most people who say they are independents still lean one way or another, but the increasing unwillingness to identify with either party nonetheless suggests the decline of both party brands, and their inability to serve as satisfy large swaths of the populace.)

Both Sanders and Trump, in their own very different ways, speak to those sorts of feelings. They are candidates of dissatisfaction and disaffection, of frustration and irritation; they are avatars of anger and alienation, embodying the sense that the system isn't working—or, at the very least, that it isn't working for enough people.

In the end, Sanders will probably not win the nomination. Trump has a better shot, turnout willing, although he's far from a lock. (Trump's closest competitor at the moment, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, represents a related sort of disaffection in a somewhat more conventional way, though he is hardly an establishmentarian.) But even if both Trump and Sanders lose, their constituencies will remain, and continue to influence both how candidates run for office and what they do when they get there.

Which is to say that the story of Sanders and Trump is in some larger sense not the story of either candidate, but the story of a growing and general frustration with politics as it is typically practiced, and politicians as they typically present themselves—and it is a story that cuts across parties, and is not likely to go away when the election is over. 

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  1. Bush raised the money, but the rest of the race hasn’t gone according to plan, thanks in large part to the presence of Donald Trump.

    That alone should reduce the spittle content of anti-Trump rants.

    1. Trump singlehandedly ruined Bush, Walker and likely Kasich, down tempo candidates with (arguable, yes) history of achievements who likely would have had few problems in the general election by sucking the oxygen of the room.

      I’ve been debating whether Trump is an agent of Rubio or Clinton. Seeing Rubio’s recent listlessness despite the great opening Trump has provided him makes me think Trump is working for Clinton. It’d be ironic if Clinton doesn’t become the nominee…

      1. Early on I threw out the idea that Trump may be working for the Clintons. I was called a conspiracy theorist because of that.

        I don’t really get that since it’s well known that Bill Clinton personally encouraged Trump to run. Then Trump comes out and immediately starts saying the most outrageous stuff he could think of.

        But at some point, I started to notice a subtle change in Trump. I think that change was he started thinking ‘Holy fucking shit, I’m winning! I could be the most powerful man in the world!’. I think at that point, if there was ever a time he was a plant, his ego took over and he went rogue.

        1. That seems perfectly reasonable.

        2. I think we belong to the same school.

          I have heard two interviews with him in the last day or two where he wasn’t playing ‘The Donald’. The guy is actually quite smart, perceptive and level-headed sounding. He seemed more like a serious candidate than the bomb throwing Donald.

          I saw an interview with Hillary this morning. She is a goddamned moron. She stumble-bumbles her answers, ducks every question and has made such amateurish tactical mistakes. It has occurred to me that if Trump got i n the race to throw it in her favor he might have changed his mind when he saw how completely awful she is.

          *Paraphrased interview with Hillary:

          Interviewer – “Many are saying that you made a tactical mistake when you attacked Trump as being anti-woman because you opened the door for him to go after you about the allegations against your husband. What do you say about that?”

          Hillary – *huge fake smile, chuckles* “He can run his campaign anyway he likes but my issue is with his economic policies. Working families need protection blah blah blah”

          Interviewer – “But how do you address Trump’s assertion that your husband committed abuse of women and that you supported your husband in the face of those allegations against him?”

          Hillary – *bigger smile, hand waves* “Working families in this country…”

          I turned the damned thing off. I figured Bill was groaning and slowly shaking his head while somewhere Trump was saying ‘Holy shit’ under his breath.

          1. I suspect “The Donald” stuff is just an act and that he’s slowly abandoning it because he realizes just how weak his competition is. I think he’ll continue to be “The Donald” during the campaign because it pays off for him (and, let’s face it, with the Clintons the opponent needs to unapologetically say a lot of nasty things to win). I can’t bring myself to vote for the guy, yet, because I hope Clinton isn’t the nominee for the Dems (or, even better, that she’s indicted and forced to drop out) but if she wins I could probably see voting for him. My concern with that would be that, if “The Donald” is an act, we really have no idea what policies he *actually* supports.

            1. I think he’ll continue to be “The Donald” during the campaign because it pays off for him

              He buries the other candidates every news cycle, without spending a penny. Why would he stop?

          2. Hillary has always been many things, but she was never a moron. Even in her 20s, she was writing scholarly journals that had both the left and the right taking note. She was a legitimate intellect, though she apparently became a little rusty after becoming First Lady of Arkansas and then the rest.

            In one of the released emails, Huma said that Hillary was “often confused” (which would have been a bombshell if anyone had been interested in turning it into one) during her time as SoS following her fall. It isn’t much of a conspiracy at this point to wonder whether her concussion has affected her cognition, particularly after that debate moment and the way she’s been so carefully shielded from the press.

            The 2008 election was basically set up for Obama, as the nation was fragmented and rudderless and ready to be taken over by a charming personality. Now the nation is just as fragmented and rudderless, and there’s nary a big personality to be found. What a shit show.

            1. The Donald certainly has a big personality – one might even describe it as YUGE – but i don’t think anyone would consider his public persona to be “charming.”

            2. Hillary has always been many things, but she was never a moron. Even in her 20s, she was writing scholarly journals that had both the left and the right taking note

              The fact that she was able to write impressive sounding prose doesn’t mean she wasn’t a moron as well. I have never heard Hillary say anything insightful or interesting. All that ever comes out of her mouth is partisan, self-serving bullshit.

        3. I was called a conspiracy theorist because of that.

          You say that like it’s a bad thing, Hyper. You can fill in for Switzy while he’s on detached duty. [offers sheet of tinfoil]

        4. It sounds like the plot to a Neal Stephenson political thriller. Presumably the burgeoning VR movement, bitcoin and the P2P economy, and ISIS will get dragged in at some point too.

      2. I think Trump is working for Trump. I think he started the campaign because he likes the attention and figured it would be good for business. Now I think he realizes he can win and is going all in.

        1. Seems to be the right interpretation of events to me.

        2. Sounds about right. Remember his short-lived run in 2012? He bowed out after not getting much traction, and he was mostly in the race to stir up the birther stuff against Obama anyway. I figured he was doing the same thing this time around, but now he’s got the serious numbers behind him… so at some point, he probably thought “Fuck it now, I’m riding this all the way to the end”.

    2. It’s not trump but bush that is the problem with the bush campaign. As soon as there was an option, no matter how bad it is, people whole heartedly rejected another bush.

      1. people whole heartedly rejected another bush

        Do you mean Jeb or Hillary?

  2. Bush raised the money, but the rest of the race hasn’t gone according to plan, thanks in large part to the presence of Donald Trump.

    Hillary raised the money, but the rest of the race hasn’t gone according to plan, thanks in large part to the presence of Hillary.

    1. Unlikable by any standard or stretch of the imagination.

    2. Even with the MSM doing their damnedest to drag her across the finish line, she is simply an unusually unappealing candidate. Her campaign plan to date seems to be ” say nothing, appear nowhere and hope to get elected” Which might still work.

      1. It may work for the primary where the press is focusing on GOP catfights, but she won’t be able to hide in the general election. She’s going to have to make public appearances and explain her views, because if she doesn’t and the GOP nominee is either Trump or Cruz, they won’t hesitate to call her out on it.

        She’s really the worst candidate the Democrats could have backed…she’s stupid, transparently dishonest, and has the personality of a girlfriend you dump immediately after she meets your family (and they all hate her).

        1. And she’s a hag, in a pantsuit.

      2. Her campaign plan to date seems to be ” say nothing, appear nowhere and hope to get elected” Which might still work.

        It’ll get her the nom. I think it will be really hard to win the general with this strategy.

    3. I think her strategy is “be a Democrat, let the media fight your battles”. Which ordinarily would work, but The Donald knows how to work the media.

  3. But even if both Trump and Sanders lose, their constituencies will remain, and continue to influence both how candidates run for office and what they do when they get there.

    For Trump and Sanders, try plugging in Perot and Nader.

    The take-away from failures by the mules kicking at the traces could just as easily be that it doesn’t matter how hard they kick, they ain’t gonna break free so no need to pay any attention to the kicking. You think when Hillary gets her crown she’s going to be thinking maybe she should respond to the obvious dissatisfaction with her coronation represented by the Sanders vote or do you think she’s going to be thinking she doesn’t need to respond because fuck ’em, they tried to stop me but even their best efforts failed so I don’t need to worry about those weak pathetic losers, I can do whatever I want and nobody can stop me?

    1. she’s going to be thinking she doesn’t need to respond because fuck ’em, they tried to stop me but even their best efforts failed so I don’t need to worry about those weak pathetic losers, I can do whatever I want and nobody can stop me?

      Ding! Ding! Ding!

      Which is why the disaffection keeps growing; throughout my entire adult life, I’ve watched the electorate repeatedly express a preference for an outsider who will rein in the excesses of washington and/or who will stop ripping oof the middle class for the benefit of the wealthy and well connected.

      Inevitably the guy who wins has promised them everything they wanted and then delivered more of the same.

      I think the electorate is getting more outre as a result. A significant minority is willing to vote for the nutty because they lack any confidence that a more normal person will deliver.

      1. Pretty much that. Also, what the various half wits in the media call “nutty” is what the rest of America calls common sense or mainstream thinking. Take Trumps statement about stopping Muslim immigration. He said that the day after 14 people or however many people were murdered by two Muslims in California. It is not that the government didn’t immediately ban Muslim immigration. It is that the idea was just out of hand dismissed as “crazy”. If you have a group of people who are occasionally going nuts and murdering people, maybe letting none or at least fewer of the group in the country might be one place to start in preventing it from happening in the future.

        In reality of course it would be difficult to ban every Muslim from entering the country. But there are ways to lower the number and perhaps better keep the dangerous ones out. But Washington and the court media never had that conversation. Instead, they called even thinking of limiting Muslim immigration crazy and immediately started talking about gun control.

        So Washington and its media mouth pieces told the country the day after two radical Muslims slaughtered a bunch of innocent people that the proper response to that was to look at taking away their ability to defend themselves and anyone who even thinks we should slow or stop Muslim immigration is a crazy racist.

        And you wonder why people are pissed off.

        1. I think white Christian people are still up on mass shootings.

          1. I think white Christian people are still up on mass shootings.

            This frustrates me because its a stupid exercise in collectivism. We all know numerous Christians. We all know that the notion that Christians are dangerous because of their religion is stupid. It doesn’t matter which group has the higher body count. We understand that *some* Christians are dangerous, and *other* Christians are not.

            Once you collectivise, then you are forced to make policy based on collectivisation. Since most rapists are men, you punish men as potential rapists. Since black men are more likely to be criminals (based on arrest rates), you punish all black men as potential criminals. It doesn’t stop.

            My insistence that the state treat people as individuals, especially when collectivisation is so seductive, arises from the track record of disastrous unwarranted assaults, imprisonments, and even executions that has accompanied such collectivisation is past episodes of history.

            I don’t mind people collectivising privately. If Christians scare you because of their higher body count, have at it, exclude them from your business dealings and personal affairs. But it’s terrible when the state does it.

            1. It is frustrating because it is a lie not because it is collectivist. There is a huge difference between being part of this or that group and doing something horrible and doing something horrible in the name of that group.

              The central fallacy of the statement is that the guy in say Colorado who is white and according Chipper therefore Christian shoots a bunch of people because he thinks he is the joke says the same thing about Christianity as what the people in San Bernadino says about Islam.

              In guess it is in one sense a form of collectivism but it is a really crude and retarded form.

            2. Tarran, I agree with you. I was just countering John’s collectivism.

              1. Except that you haven’t shown a single instance of anyone committing a mass shooting in the name of Christianity. So you didn’t counter anything. You just made up a fact to fit your narrative

                1. I believe there were several massacres in the wars between Mormons and non Mormons over the 19th century. Not sure what the exact body count is, but I expect it numbers in the thousands.

                  If I recall correctly there was some pretty nasty violence in the 17th century between Dissenters and the Church of England followers. In the 18th century on there was a low grade violence aimed at Catholics (certainly the KKK had a hard on for them).

                  The slavery and brutalization of blacks was heavily justified using Christian scripture as well as the pogroms against the native Americans.

                  1. The ones against the Mormons were over 170 years ago. And slavery ended in the US in 1965 and in all of the Christian world by 1900. The only place it still exists and is endorsed is in the Islamic world.

                    Tarran, you have no examples that are even remotely relevant to today.

                  2. The KKK existed in the 18th Century?

                    1. I meant 19th century. Initially I was typing 1800’s and decided it was too cumbersome. 🙂

                2. Should we split the baby on Anders Breivik since he saw himself as “culturally Christian” mostly as a venue for being culturally opposed to Islam?

                  1. I think he counts Jessee but not against Christianity but against Europeans, and he wasn’t in the US. But if you count him, that is one. I can’t think of others. And if you are going world wide here, the Islamic number is going to be enormous.

                    1. If we’re just talking within the US 9/11 is a significant event, but the rate of actual Islamic violence against Americans on American soil is pretty negligible since then. For 2013 (the last year I could get an entire year’s reliable data) most of the “terrorism” in the US was from people claiming to be sovereign citizens and shooting at politicians. It’s been a few weeks and a lot of vacation time since I looked at the numbers, but I believe it was almost twice as much as Islamic violence.

            3. exclude them from your business dealings and personal affairs. But it’s terrible when the state does it

              The trouble is: people can’t exclude them because we have a plethora of anti-discrimination laws that compel association and business dealings. So, as long as our society doesn’t give its citizens the freedom to choose their personal associations and as long as it forces people to pay for services used by others, people (including myself) are going to insist in having a say in the selection of the people that the state admits in that way.

              We understand that *some* Christians are dangerous, and *other* Christians are not.

              Hence, we shouldn’t exclude “Christians” or “Muslims”, we should exclude “fundamentalist Christians” and “fundamentalist Muslims”, for the same reason we exclude communists and fascists.

            1. I think it depends on the place and time period.

              If you look at the CONUS since 1600, then the religious violence of Christians towards other Christians, apostates like the Mormons, or heathens like the American Indians is going to dwarf the moslem religious violence because moslem religious violence really only crops up in the past few decades and hasn’t passed 5,000 people.

              On the other hand, if you pick CONUS September 2001 to present, then moslems win hands down.

              1. When was the last religiously motivated mass killing committed in the name of Christianity in this country? I can’t think of one since the ones committed against the Mormons in the mid 19th century. Can you?

                1. When was the last religiously motivated mass killing committed in the name of Christianity in this country? I can’t think of one since the ones committed against the Mormons in the mid 19th century.

                  I think you are right. I think religious violence didn’t end as a major social force in the U.S. until the collapse of the Second Ku Klux Klan in the 20’s. They didn’t go in for mass killings so much as beating the shit out of individual Catholics and burning their stuff.

                2. When was the last religiously motivated mass killing committed in the name of Christianity in this country?

                  Why limit it to “this country”? Nazi Germany was overwhelmingly Christian, viewed itself as a Christian nation, was supported by both the Catholic and protestant churches, and it killed Jews by the millions over their religion.

              2. I wouldn’t even cherry-pick from September 2001 to the present.

                It would be interesting to see just how far back you would have to go before the Islamist terror body count is less than the “all-other” terror body count. The 3,000 killed on 9/11 is a big hill to climb for “all-other”.

                Even a shorter period that ends after 9/11 probably wouldn’t work, if we used a definition of “terrorism” that didn’t include “mentally ill nutters with no political agenda.”

                1. IT would be an interesting statistical exercise but, as you say, ultimately cherry picking.

                  Islamic terror really started with the Palestinians in the 70’s (IIRC). I expect before that there’s a lull where nobody is really doing anything. Then you get the Protestant/Catholic violence of the 20’s and earlier.

                  In the end, though, I don’t think it’s meaningful. In the 30’s and 40’s the Shinto religion was the apologist and some would say motivator of some pretty horrible atrocities. Today, a devout follower of shinto moving in next door wouldn’t be an item of concern.

                  In my mind, the exact numbers shouldn’t really affect the qualitative argument vis a vis does someone being a moslem make them unacceptably dangerous to you.

                  1. does someone being a moslem make them unacceptably dangerous to you.

                    Nope. I know a couple of Muslims who work here at the hospital. Good folks.

                    Islamists are a subset of Muslims who buy into the sharia/Islam should rule the world strain. Them, I don’t like.

                    1. Islamists are a subset of Muslims who buy into the sharia/Islam should rule the world strain. Them, I don’t like.

                      I don’t like them either.

                  2. Are your restricting your body count to Islamist killing non-Islamists? Because the Islamic body count, especially between the sects, has pretty much been there and consistently high for centuries. We just don’t hear much about it because it wasn’t affecting others much.

                    1. I am illustrating the effects of cherry picking in region and time by describing the results of cherry picking various starting and ending years in the continental U.S. post colonization by europeans.

                      My argument is that assertions like “christians have a higher body count” really aren’t a meaningful datapoint to the question as to whether moslem immigration should be permitted or forbidden and that those assertions can safely be ignored when considering the question.

                      I am very amused that the people most pissed at this assertion appear to be the guys who are opposed to moslem immigration to the United States because they are more dangerous than Christians.

              3. Seriously? Muslim religious violence only crops up in the past few decades? You need to go back a while, say the 800s and see about the muslim violence. These people have been at war with each other for centuries, not just decades, unless you mean tens of decades. Need to also look at the time before the crusades where most of that region was being christianized. A little history lesson here, the crusades were an ill-gotten attempt to take back or defend lands that were christianized.

                1. JESUS TITTY FUCKING CHRIST!!!!

                  I’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT WITHIN THE CONTINENTAL US!!!

              4. “the moslem religious violence because moslem religious violence really only crops up in the past few decades ”

                If we’re talking about whether and how ideologies suck, should Muslims get a pass just because most of their recent violence has taken place overseas? The ideas are the same regardless. Certainly, most of the Christian on Christian violence was in Europe as well, not that it never translated to the New World.

                1. No. My original point is that saying christian terrorists have a higher body count than moslem terrorists really requires cherry picking times and places to be truthful. Thus, arguing about who has the higher body count is kind of a stupid exercise.

                  Naturally, then I waded in to doing that using the continental us after European colonization to demonstrate how the cherry picking worked.

                  Comically, the people most upset by my argument to justify ignoring “Christians have a higher bodycount” claims seem to be the guys who collectivize moslems as being implacable foes of western civilization. Some are, some aren’t and the collectivizing is at best a pointless exercise and at worst a distraction from effectively confronting a real, serious problem.

        2. It is that the idea was just out of hand dismissed as “crazy”. If you have a group of people who are occasionally going nuts and murdering people, maybe letting none or at least fewer of the group in the country might be one place to start in preventing it from happening in the future.

          I guess it depends on how much interactions people had with moslems. Being born in Turkey to a lapsed moslem parent, living among moslems, the notion is hilariously stupid and crazy; like banning people from Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists from moving to Georgia because of a violent home invasion. I guess if all one knows is from news reports from shitholes like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan it would make sense.

          However, the condescending response to people’s natural concerns from Obama on down did nothing but inflame people’s fears. Saying islamic terrorism has nothing to do with islam, claiming that we need to disarm the populace to make it harder for terrorists to get firearms (and explosives) when everyone knows that the first is false, and the second a completely insanely ineffective idea as anyone watching the news can attest.

          1. My experience with Muslims is in the Gulf and Iraq. And it is totally different from yours. Even the Muslims I knew and liked had views about Jews, religion and government that were appalling. And not Bernie Sanders appalling as in “what an idiot”. I mean “Oh my fucking God I don’t want this guy living near me” appalling.

            And being a Muslim isn’t the same as being from Massachusetts. Being a Masshole, despite claims to the contrary is not an ideology. So being from there says not a whole lot about you. Being a Muslim is an ideology. And it should be treated as such and instead is being treated like a race.

            Imagine if instead of Muslims going insane and shooting people, communists were doing so. If that were happening, would it not be prudent to perhaps not let more communists in the country? Sure not every communist goes crazy. There are tons of wonderful hard working Marxists out there who are not going to shoot anyone. Yet no one, and especially no one on this board would ever agree with that.

            IS every Muslim a crazy radical or even most? No. But life sucks when people in the religion or political group you choose to follow do horrible things. If the non violent Muslims don’t like being associated with the ones who are, maybe they should consider giving up being a Muslim. If they don’t want to do that, then being associated with the rest of their chosen ideology, good and bad, is the price we all pay for having ideologies.

            1. Being a Muslim is an ideology.

              Islam, or at least the more traditional? strong? versions, does not map over well to what we think of as “religion”. We think of religion as being a spiritual code that may/should affect a person’s private decisions about how to live their life. Plenty of religious people take it outside this narrower scope, of course, but (some versions of) Islam hardcode the idea that Islam should govern public life via the state, which is more of an ideology.

              Like terrorism doesn’t map onto Western ideas of warfare, Islam doesn’t map onto Western ideas of religion.

              1. Islam is politician in a way modern western religions are not. Beyond that, religions are still voluntary forms of ideology. You choose to be a Muslim just like you choose to be a communist or an anarchist or an atheist or whatever. So talking about Muslims as a group is not the same as talking about racial groups. No one chooses to be black or white and therefore the fact that they are says nothing about them.

              2. Like terrorism doesn’t map onto Western ideas of warfare

                The French Resistance would like a word with you…

                Islam doesn’t map onto Western ideas of religion.

                What? That’s just an assertion. Judaism and Mormonism have plenty to say about governance, Christians all over the place have ideas about what makes a “Christian Nation” although they have a much harder time citing the source text for it. Unless your assertion is that Christianity is a religion and other religions are not religions, in which case…Great point, dude!

                1. Jesse is right about terrorism and the western way of warfare.

                  You are however wrong about politics. Islam demands a theocracy in a way Christianity does not.

                  1. in a way Christianity does not.

                    Christianity or Christians? Because I addressed that very clearly in my comment. Jump back to the early 2000s and read up on the ink spilled over just war theory and the responsibilities of a Christian nation, or really read anything written by a religious republican when discussing gay marriage. A subset of Christians clearly believe that they have a mandate to rule America in whatever way they envision a Christian Nation to function. I don’t believe that that’s scriptural, but Christianity was deeply entwined with the state from the conversion of Constantine until the Enlightenment took hold. In fact, I’d argue that the only reason there aren’t more Christian theocracies running around is because people are generally happy with secular civil institutions post-Enlightenment and there’s not a critical mass of demand for anything else.

                    1. Christianity was deeply entwined with the state from the conversion of Constantine until the Enlightenment took hold.

                      I’m talking about here and now. And here and now, Christianity is not deeply entwined with the state much of anywhere, but Islam is, in a lot of places.

                    2. Christianity is not deeply entwined with the state much of anywhere

                      “In fact, I’d argue that the only reason there aren’t more Christian theocracies running around is because people are generally happy with secular civil institutions post-Enlightenment and there’s not a critical mass of demand for anything else.”

                      Yep, I covered that.

                    3. In fact, I’d argue that the only reason there aren’t more Christian theocracies running around is because people are generally happy with secular civil institutions post-Enlightenment and there’s not a critical mass of demand for anything else.

                      In countries like Germany, church and state are deeply intertwined. I think the same is true in much of the West. The US is more an exception rather than the rule.

                2. Like terrorism doesn’t map onto Western ideas of warfare

                  I was thinking of “war” as armed hostilities between sovereigns. Its a limited definition that doesn’t really encompass civil wars or “irregular” resistance against an invader, I know.

                  Terrorism like 9/11, Charlie Hebdo, etc. is in no way comparable to the French resistance. Its always messy to try to fit the real world into defined categories, but I recall any number of pieces about how the terrorists were fighting 4th gen warfare, etc. that was fundamentally not what our armies are about.

                  Unless your assertion is that Christianity is a religion and other religions are not religions,

                  I am not aware of any other religion (Buddhism, Taoism, animism, Christianity, etc.) which has, as part of its holy texts, anything like sharia. I think governance according to religion is hardwired into Islam in a way that it is not in any other religion. Sure, other religious folks try to smuggle their religion into governance, but as you point out, they don’t have the hardcoded scriptural support for it the way Islam does.

                  There aren’t bright lines, true. But only a fool tries to navigate this world as if there only real distinctions are the absolute ones.

                  1. You’re very good at tailoring definitions around the point you want to make, Mr. Dean. I see you left out Catholicism which in fact runs its own state today (and which had an Inquisition to torture and murder people who were apostates or heretics), established churches with parallel legal systems (much weakened in a post-Enlightenment West, but a nice vestigial reminder of a time that wasn’t true), or really Confucianism which strongly informs how Korea, Japan and China interpret all of civil society (not Western but since you name-checked Taoism).

                    Also as I mentioned Judaism has plenty to say about statecraft and God even gets titchy when the Jews try to break the theocracy and put a king in charge.

                    1. jesse, I’m contrasting the current state of affairs (the Vatican runs a micro-state v. Islam is wired into the government of tens or hundreds of millions of people).

                      Canon law has pretty much always been a parallel system to the law of the state. In Islamic countries, sharia is a foundation of the legal system. Only at a useless level of abstraction can you compare the two.

                      As I noted, its messy, there are no absolutes, but I don’t think its possible to say that Islam and Christianity, right now today, are indistinguishable in terms of their use of states to govern people according to their precepts.

                      Tell me, please, what other religion currently, now, today, has anything like sharia, or has anything like the number of governments imposing its precepts on society.

                    2. One more thing:

                      Confucianism is an excellent example of how messy things get when you try to map Western ideas about religion onto non-Western cultures. To most Westerners, it doesn’t even really scan as a religion.

                      Maybe this is just all too messy to even have a conversation about. If so, then we should stop referring to major belief systems using the word “religion”, because if you can’t define it in a way that is useful, you shouldn’t use it.

                    3. Confucianism is an excellent example of how messy things get when you try to map Western ideas about religion onto non-Western cultures. To most Westerners, it doesn’t even really scan as a religion.

                      Agreed, although by the time Confucianism was established it’d absorbed a whole pantheon of dieties/saints besides the abstract “Will/Mandate of Heaven (Tian)”. Most Americans end up familiar with the structure of society elements of it, which takes it closer to what we’d call “philosophy” in Western academia.

                      One of my profs argued that religion was rooted in the Latin for “to reconnect or to bind” and that “anything that looks to bind the mundane with the divine” is as useful a definition as any for “religion”. But I agree, “religion” ends up a hopelessly muddied term pretty quickly. Especially when you start looking at Chinese philosophy.

                    4. I don’t think that anyone was trying to “say that Islam and Christianity, right now today, are indistinguishable in terms of their use of states to govern people according to their precepts”, but I think you’re creating a false sense that Islam is a singular thing because currently Western states have Christian-inflected, but largely Enlightenment legal codes. In this time and place, in a world where we seem intent on toppling secular strongmen dictators in the Middle East, I think you’re absolutely right.

                      But we know from history that Christians are more than capable of burning witches, heretics, infidels, and apostates. We know that Christian nations can twist themselves into pretzels for a “just war”. We currently live in a West that is shaped by a successful secular civil society. The people in 1960s Kabul or in the late Ottoman Empire or Ataturk’s Turkey could’ve argued the same. We watch with concern as Putin cozies up to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Saudi’s fund Wahabbism or Erdogan appeals to hard-line religious elements because secular civil society *isn’t* a given state of affairs that can be taken for granted.

                3. You’re defining the religion as the people, but once you do that, it gets harder to disentangle culture from dogma. For the big three Western monotheist faiths, the big factor is not their unknowable god, but their human face — mainly, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. You don’t see Muslims murdering cartoonists over mockery of God, or Jesus for that matter, even though he is a prophet to them and theoretically as important as Mo. Each of those religions are cults of the leader, and God’s more like The Force than a person in these stories. To the extent Islam is shit, it’s a reflect of their prophet, and his grotesque incompatibility with the modern world.

                  1. Compare that with Jesus and Moses — Jesus rejected political power and violence and showed uncharacteristic tolerance for his day; Moses was more of a war leader, but the violence was mostly in defense of his people’s rights and miraculous in nature, ie plagues and parting seas and whatnot (as an act of God or his emissaries, it provides no justification for human violence). Moses was humbled by God for his hubris, helping to prevent him from being quasi-deified like Mo or actually deified like Jesus. The conquest of the Holy Land, while somewhat analogous to the problematic parts of Islam, is still less of an issue because it is a very limited mandate (this is your property, evict the people living there) instead of a directive to use whatever means necessary to conquer the world, and also because it is not a part of Moses’ story.

                    1. That’s incredibly arbitrary. Let’s judge a religion based on their purported founders rather than the accumulated tradition and actual history of practice we can look at. I’m more likely to judge Christianity’s failings on Rome or John Calvin than I am to judge Jesus for them. More likely to blame the House of Saud or Muhammad ibn ?Abd al-Wahhab than Mohammed, and more likely to blame King Josiah’s Deuteronomists and the post-temple rabbinical movement than Moses, but more importantly the failings or successes of any religion lay at the feet of the people who are willing to tear down or build up in the name of their faith. Religions don’t operate in a vacuum.

                    2. The thing is that Calvin is non-canonical. If Calvin’s ideas are abhorrent, you can annihilate them from Christianity without creating something fundamentally non-Christian; it’s just a reform. So it might represent a shitty part of Christianity as it is or was, but not as it must be.

                      But you can’t excise Jesus from Christianity, or Mohammed from Islam, without creating a new religion. The founders represent a bound on what the religion can be while still being itself.

                    3. But you can’t excise Jesus from Christianity

                      Jesus was an itinerant Jewish end-time preacher who didn’t give a f*ck about non-Jews. It was Paul who transformed Christianity from an obscure, limited Jewish sect to something with mass appeal to gentiles.

          2. Why didn’t you include some other, not relevant descriptors? Was the home invasion you mention a result of some ideology? Was it a result of their “Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists” teachings? Did they shout “Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists are great” as they committed their crimes? Do “Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists” commit home invasions all over the planet? Do “Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists” teach martyrdom in the name of “Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists”?

            I guess if all one knows is from news reports from shitholes like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan it would make sense.

            You are simply being purposefully obtuse. How about news reports from Rotherdam or Cologne?

            1. How about news reports from Rotherdam or Cologne?

              Okay, tack those onto my argument:

              Being born in Turkey to a lapsed moslem parent, living among moslems, the notion is hilariously stupid and crazy; like banning people from Massachusetts/black people/high school dropouts/baptists from moving to Georgia because of a violent home invasion. I guess if all one knows is from news reports from shitholes like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, London (you did notice that I linked to an article from London right 😉 ) Rotherdam or Cologne, it would make sense.

              You realize that about 40% of my relatives are moslems, right? That they actually go to mosque on Fridays? That they not only don’t want to kill or maim or subjugate anybody are more worried about things like how to get their sales numbers up or close the next deal? That they hug and kiss my father every time they see him rather than beheading him as an apostate?

              1. Do they love your father and accept his apostasy because of the teachings of Islam, or despite them?

                I mean, if your grandparents were white nationalists, and you were mixed race, they might still love you and forgive or accept the choice your parents made (possibly even while hypocritically refusing to do the same for non-family members). It doesn’t make white nationalism ok, it just means your parents don’t let it completely annihilate their humanity the way ISIS has done.

                There’s a big difference between hating Muslims and hating Islam, or even hating specific Islamic beliefs.

                1. Do they love your father and accept his apostasy because of the teachings of Islam, or despite them

                  I have no idea. Maybe they believe the bits of their religious doctrine that says they should be merciful. Maybe they think they are turning a blind eye to their duty. Or maybe they don’t want to go to jail. Or maybe they just don’t give a shit.

                  Out of curiosity, do you ask that question of wiccans you encounter who have christian relatives?

                  1. No, though if Christians were routinely burning witches in the here and now, it might be a worthwhile question.

                    But it isn’t a difficult religious adjustment for Christianity to have made, because any commandment to kill witches is found in a part of the less canonical reference material that has been partially rejected (e.g. dietary restrictions, Saturday as the Sabbath) from the very beginning.

                    1. o, though if Christians were routinely burning witches in the here and now

                      Bloody hell! We may need to ban Christians immigrating from Africa!

                    2. Ok, sounds good. I mean, you’re clearly a racist, but I’ll back you up on it regardless.

        3. Quit sugarcoating what it was Trump was proposing. He suggested that even Muslim Americans should be forbidden from returning to their own country. Seriously, is that a power you’re willing to give the government? If so, you might want to take a step back and consider how some future progressive just might be willing to use that power.

          1. You have a citation for that? I don’t exactly listen to all his speeches. So maybe I missed it. Please show me a link to where he said that Muslims should not be allowed to leave the country. I would be interested to see that Bill because it is news to me.

            And even if Trump said that, my larger point about the media’s reaction to the San Bernadino attack still stands.

            1. From a previous article here:

              When asked by The Hill whether [preventing any Muslim from entering] would include Muslim-American citizens currently abroad, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks replied over email: “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.'”

              https://goo.gl/XMi5rQ

              1. Okay. But it is not like the media objected to that. They said even the idea of limiting Muslims entering the country is crazy.

                The point of my post was not to defend Trump. It was to explain why people are pissed off. I don’t think many people knew Trump said that. The impression I got from the media reports was that he wanted to stop Muslims from immigrating here and the media immediately went into “you can’t say that” mode. That combined with the love fest about gun control is a good example of the kind of thing that causes so many people to be angry and hate Washington and the media.

                That was my point. But yes, in contrast to stopping new Muslim immigration, saying ones who are citizens cannot return is absurd and legally impossible without amending the constitution.

                1. But it is not like the media objected to that.

                  They have strenuously objected to specifically that ever since the initial announcement, and focused on it heavily. We have even talked about it in previous threads. You have seen people discussing this here for weeks.

                  1. They have strenuously objected to specifically that ever since the initial announcement, and focused on it heavily.

                    I had no idea he meant to apply it to citizens as well and have never seen a single media report until now that he did. All I have heard is that he wants to stop Muslim immigration. And I have not heard a single person say otherwise even the ones who hate Trump.

                    So I don’t know what media you are talking about and you don’t give a source. But it is not any media I or anyone I personally know has seen. I really don’t think people are pissed off because the media won’t entertain the idea of not letting Muslim citizens return to the country. They are pissed off because they won’t even consider the idea of stopping new ones for coming.

                    That is my point. Do me a favor and please don’t make this thread a vehicle for you to virtue signal about your hatred of Trump. My point has nothing to do with Trump and is about why it is that the public is angry.

                    1. So I don’t know what media you are talking about and you don’t give a source. But it is not any media I or anyone I personally know has seen.

                      Bill just put a quote from this website. It’s been all over CNN. It was a huge part of this discussion from the very beginning. For example, here’s Reason’s first post on it, which you commented on dozens of times.

                    2. No shit Nikki. I am not saying it is not true. I am just saying it is not well known and not why peole are pissed off.

                      Have you completely lost the ability to respond to an argument?

                    3. I am just saying it is not well known and not why peole are pissed off.

                      Have you completely lost the ability to respond to an argument?

                      Have you completely lost the ability to stop lying? I’m saying YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BECAUSE YOU COMMENTED ON STORIES ABOUT IT.

                      You’re claiming you never heard this until today and I’ve heard hours of coverage on CNN. But you don’t have to go by my TV viewing because YOU COMMENTED ON STORIES ABOUT IT.

                    4. Nikki, a word of advice when arguing with John.

                      He often uses a technique where his reply is concentrated on an aside rather than the point you are making. This was in full force in my big discourse of yesterday with him on the subject of what he inferred about the nature of the presidency given his incredibly astute observation that all presidential candidates were lying shitbags.

                      Basically, he kept trying to divert the conversation to the subject of border control. Thus the main question or thrust of my argument would go unanswered.

                      Thus, if you want to have a meaningful conversation with John, you must not allow yourself to be sidetracked. I got him to answer my question by staying utterly focused on asking the question and pruning any asides or rebuttals on side issues from my responses.

                      I suggest you try something along those lines when you debate him.

                    5. Thus, if you want to have a meaningful conversation with John

                      Has never happened, to my knowledge. At least not since the gaypocalypse. I’d block him if it didn’t mean half of all the threads’d be white space.

                      Used to be semi-rational. Now he’s full blown, batshit crazy, Republican troll who can’t be reasoned with. My advise is to not bother trying.

                2. But, here’s the thing, sometimes the media is right. Sometimes the guy they’re warning about really is a statist turd.

                  It’s the boy who cried wolf syndrome. If anyone who doesn’t agree with the President is a racist, then what do you say about a guy who actually is racist? If a drunken hookup is rape, well what the hell is some bastard sticking a knife to a woman’s throat and demanding she have sex with him?

                  1. Putting it another way, if Ted Cruz is Satan, what’s Donald Trump?

                  2. Okay Bill,

                    Do you honestly think it is crazy to consider limiting Muslim immigration or ending it? If you do, then good for you. You are in the club and have signaled your virtuous nature. The rest of America for the most part disagrees and is tired of being told by their betters what they can and cannot think. And that is why they are pissed off.

                    1. I think it’s wrong to do it based strictly on religion. If you want to limit immigration based on country of origin, fine have at it. If you want to limit from some countries based on membership in a persecuted group, no problem.

                      I just don’t think American law ought to be singling out a religion to be treated differently. It goes against the essence of what this country is supposed to be about.

                      But, it’s more than that. I don’t trust the proggies. I don’t have your faith that, once you say the government can discriminate on the basis of religion, the proggies will limit that treatment to just people we can all agree are a problem Sure, John, maybe you’re cool with giving a future President Warren or President DeBlasio the power to make separate rules for religious folks. I’m not.

                    2. That is nice Bill. As I said you have signaled your virtuousness. But the rest of the country disagrees and would like their concerns taken seriously instead of being told to fuck off and suffer in silence.

                    3. And you’ve signaled your unity with the volk. Don’t worry, though. I’m sure President Warren will never discriminate against your religious beliefs.

              2. Did you actually read the tweet? Nowhere does he say that Muslim Americans should be forbidden from entering the U.S.

        4. Also, what the various half wits in the media call “nutty” is what the rest of America calls common sense or mainstream thinking.

          Part of it is that the MSM and mainstream politicians are just as nutty. When a practicing Muslim commits a murder, openly pledges his loyalty to an Islamic supremacist organization that is so Muslim that it even kills Muslim fundies for not being Muslim enough, and quotes the Muslim holy book to justify his action, they say “this has nothing to do with Islam”.

          That’s… no one believes that. If they said “this guy is an outlier”, it would be one thing, but they say “workplace violence”, “not a Muslim”, “nothing to do with Islam at all” (someone can identify as anything they want and we have to accept it — unless they identify as a Muslim and cause problems). So there is a total credibility vacuum that is easily filled by anyone on the right, because whatever they’re saying, it isn’t as transparently “the sky is green and the sun is purple” stupid as what the progressive charlatanate is selling.

      2. Precisely, tarran. I’m wondering when that disaffection will reach its breaking point, and what will happen then. I imagine we’ll find out pretty soon.

  4. How could you not break out “antidisestablishmentarianism”? What are you antilearnin’ or something?

  5. I could be wrong, but I seem to remember such analysis during most election seasons, about the disaffection of citizens from politics as usual.

    In fact, denouncing politics as usual is an applause line for even the most mainstream, established politicians.

    1. “My friends, there is a lot of talk about avoiding politics as usual, but on the basis of many years’ service in Washington, D.C., of which I am proud, I say that politics as usual has helped this country and we should continue do do it!”

      /stuff politicians don’t say

    2. In fact, denouncing politics as usual is an applause line for even the most mainstream, established politicians.

      Obama has spent most of his presidency campaigning against “business-as-usual” by Washington insiders.

  6. I shall remain stoic.

    The establishment-abandoning hordes streaming into the Trump/Sanders pavilions express little regard for the fundamentals of raw freedom that form the structural integrity of open society.

    Their collective fever for alternative result is understandable but largely pathetic when their solutions are considered.

    Very few of them give a single fuck about the widespread unleashing of the human spirit.

    1. If we ever lose AC, I’m going Galt.

    2. This, uh, actually makes sense…

    3. What the…
      Agile, you get back on acid right this minute!

      1. AC straight drops knowledge; it’s just not always in English-comprehensible sentences. 🙂
        I like the write-in “Agile Cyborg 2016: Unleash the Human Spirit…Baby”

    4. The motor is sputtering and all the mechanics under the hood have been arguing over what exactly the problem is and how to fix it, they’ve each taken turns trying their own suggested fixes and nothing seems to have worked. But you’ve still got that one guy over there, the one guy who’s been insisting all along the way to fix it is to whack the fuck out of the battery with this big goddamn sledgehammer. And people keep seeing the failure of the mechanics to fix the motor and they’re starting to think it couldn’t hurt to let that guy with the sledgehammer have a try. It’s not like whacking the fuck out of the battery with a big goddamn sledgehammer could make things any worse, could it? Let’s watch the video and see what happens next. The results probably won’t surprise you.

  7. The news has become like reality TV. Not real at all. If you didn’t cover every time he farted he would have about 1% of the vote. The media is destroying this country and if there is ever a revolt in this country reporters, politicians and professors will be the first to go. Look to the past because it all happened before. Try giving equal and unbiased coverage to everyone

    1. You left out the punch line – in a revolution the reporters politicians and professors will be replaced with new ones who will be even worse than the first bunch.

    2. Agree: the descent of our “fourth estate” into tabloid trash [fueled by the appetite of our citizenry for tawdry trivia; they’re just selling them what they want] and news as “Pravda” is a major downfall of our Republic. You have to be willing to work a little to get any factual information and troll a lot of sources and read/listen between the lines…most people just want to be spoon fed what they think are most easily digestible sound bytes. A typical headline reads “LATEST POLL [that supports our agenda] SHOWS…[never mind all the others we buried].

      Our press may be free, but is ain’t responsible.

  8. OT: When a 60’s liberal sees the snake he helped create turns on him, he’s shocked.

    1. Hayek said something to the effect that the purpose of human beings is to not learn from history. You would think that groups like the gays would see what is happening to the Jews and realize they are likely next. Sadly they won’t. When the day comes that the Muslim vote is more important to the Progs than the gay vote, the Gays will be told to go back in the closet and shut up just like the Jews are being told that now.

      1. If I didn’t have any principles, I’d be tempted to tell them, “too fucking bad. Oh well.” If they want an atheist’s help, I’ll do it, but grudgingly.

        1. Look at what is happening to women in Europe. A few years ago it was all about slut walks and empowerment. Now hundreds of women are sexually assaulted on New Years Eve and the response is “the sluts were asking for it by not dressing more conservatively and traveling in large groups.”

          Does anyone honestly think that had those animals attacked gay couples the response would not have been the same?

          1. What I’ve seen here are:

            A) Open borders are libertarian so end of story.
            B) Welfare state can’t exist with open borders.
            C) Bomb the shit out them, piss them off, then open border.

            I’m sure I’m missing a bunch, but you can add it you want.

          2. “the sluts were asking for it by not dressing more conservatively and traveling in large groups.”

            Wait, are people actually saying this? If so that happened faster than I expected. I would have guessed the progs would have thrown teh gayz under the bus long before feminists.

            1. Yes. That is a crude paraphrasing of what the Mayor of Cologne said.

              http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..98186.html

              Those women need to follow a code of conduct while in public as a way to prevent future sexual assaults.

              1. It is their fault for inciting Muslim men [by being in public in the first place] and not respecting their culture; it is axiomatic that European culture is not deserving of respect, so accommodation of others is the rule. Why would anyone be surprised by this? Of course feminists, gays, and anyone else who offends them are a notch or two down to cultural sensitivity.

              2. Wow, so European feminists are now faced with the choice of either going back to Victorian behavior and fashion or abandoning their anti-western ideology. Gotta love it when they eat their own.

              3. As a man, I shouldn’t have to be told walking around bad neighborhoods flashing my iPhone around is a bad idea.

                These women are more than just stupid. They are insane.

                John

                1. Yes Nikki. You shouldn’t walk around in bad neighborhoods like that. But you know what the bigger problem is? That the neighborhood is bad in the first place. What was appalling about the Mayor’s response to this was that instead of dealing with the problem of these gangs of refugees, her response was to tell the public “just fucking adjust to how it is”.

                  And apparently you agree with her. I guess you consider it thsoe German women’s duty to get raped so that Muslims may roam free. You really are the queen of sophistry on these issues.

                  1. But you know what the bigger problem is? That the neighborhood is bad in the first place.

                    Dude. I invite you to click through and read yourself and dozens of other regular commenters making fun of the “teach men not to rape” concept. So apparently that the neighborhood is so bad in the first place is just something people are supposed to live with.

                    Until now, I guess. I wonder what’s changed.

                    1. I don’t need to read myself. I know full well my opinions. Why don’t you tell me yours. I take it from your posts you are okay with what the Mayor said and think the answer to this problem is for German women to adapt not for the Refugees to be deported or stop what they are doing. If not, then we agree and you are just trolling.

                    2. And since when is saying “hey it is pretty stupid to walk through a bad neighborhood” the same as saying “all women need to adopt a code of conduct in public lest they be raped by roving gangs of refugees”?

                      Good God Niki, way to bring the false equivalency. And BTW, are you still convinced it wasn’t really Muslims who did that in Collogne? Still thinking those lying German women are just framing those poor wonderful refugees?

                      You seem to be awfully silent on that issue after talking shit for two days about how there was no way to know if this happened or it was really Muslims and not evil Germans who did it.

                    3. And since when is saying “hey it is pretty stupid to walk through a bad neighborhood” the same as saying “all women need to adopt a code of conduct in public lest they be raped by roving gangs of refugees”?

                      Um…those statements are the same. Or do you somehow not think “don’t walk through bad neighborhoods” isn’t a “code of conduct”?

                      Good God Niki, way to bring the false equivalency. And BTW, are you still convinced it wasn’t really Muslims who did that in Collogne? Still thinking those lying German women are just framing those poor wonderful refugees?

                      You seem to be awfully silent on that issue after talking shit for two days about how there was no way to know if this happened or it was really Muslims and not evil Germans who did it.

                      I was never “convinced” of anything, which was only my whole fucking point.

                      I know full well my opinions. Why don’t you tell me yours. I take it from your posts you are okay with what the Mayor said and think the answer to this problem is for German women to adapt not for the Refugees to be deported or stop what they are doing. If not, then we agree and you are just trolling.

                      It seemed to me that the mayor’s advice was stupid because it did not seem to directly apply to the events alleged on NYE. I believe in the NAP and private justice, as always.

                    4. Here’s another regular from another thread on?well, I’ll just let him explain:

                      There is no sense in which “teach men not to rape” or “rapists should stop raping” is a meaningful contribution to the discussion, nor should we pretend that it is for the benefit of the Marcusian feminists which comprise 99% of the movement. At a minimum, it is poor engineering to require the enforcement of anti-rape efforts to fall at their weakest point (the rapists). It is an idea that an eight year old would find insulting to their intelligence, and it is being used to push for the feminist version of gulags, complete with collegiate show trials.

                      Should the president of GWU not have apologized, but the mayor of Cologne should?

                    5. Yes Nikki. But saying women shouldn’t get drunk and go home with men is not the same thing as saying that women should never walk in public alone, which is what the mayor said.
                      Go find me somewhere where I said young women need to stop walking alone in public and then get back to me.
                      Are your reasoning skills so poor that you can’t understand that just because there are some reasonable steps women should take to avoid rape does not mean that it is okay to tell women they now can no longer walk in public alone because of the risk of rape? Seriously, I had no idea you were this dumb. Actually you are not. You are just letting your desperation make you appear that way.

                      And again, how is your hunt for the real rapists from NYE going? You still haven’t answered me. You were awfully sure this thing was a hoax or these poor refugees were being framed.

                    6. And again, how is your hunt for the real rapists from NYE going? You still haven’t answered me. You were awfully sure this thing was a hoax or these poor refugees were being framed.

                      In John world, saying that we don’t know something is a sign of being “awfully sure.”

                    7. Are your reasoning skills so poor that you can’t understand that just because there are some reasonable steps women should take to avoid rape does not mean that it is okay to tell women they now can no longer walk in public alone because of the risk of rape?

                      BTW, do you have a source for that? Because that is a far fucking cry from anything I have seen attributed to Henriette Reker.

                    8. “Dude. I invite you to click through and read yourself and dozens of other regular commenters making fun of the “teach men not to rape” concept. So apparently that the neighborhood is so bad in the first place is just something people are supposed to live with.

                      Until now, I guess. I wonder what’s changed.”

                      Nikki, we do teach men not to rape. That’s why the concept is so fucking stupid. Our culture is not a rape culture, it is about as far to the opposite of that as human cultures have gone without descending into the sort of insanity seen on campuses these days. No amount of teaching good social norms will prevent some small fraction of the population from violating them, and law enforcement is only capable of acting after the fact, so the feminist expectation that society has failed if any man is ever a rapist is ludicrous.

                      The immigrants, on the other hand, come from an actual, no-shit rape culture, they’re taught that there are plenty of circumstances where a woman’s consent isn’t important (like, if she’s a slut, or is out without male protection, or is your wife, or is from a different religion). It isn’t a failure to adopt good social norms, it’s a success in adopting terrible ones. And ISIS (which is increasingly attracting the sympathies of the frustrated Sunni worldwide) has formalized it and industrialized it, the way that the Nazis turned the disorganized cultural anti-Semitism of Europe into a bureaucratic, hi-tech slaughter machine.

      2. And that closet is located on top of and just slightly set off from the edge of a tall building.

        I’ve been saying since Breivik that Europe is going to come under the heel of either a native or a foreign far-right ideology. The funny thing is, libertarians in the US had better hope the native European right wins that fight, however horrible things turn out. If they crush the Islamists, Muslims (Islamist or otherwise, once it gets that far out of hand) will flee to the middle east. If the Islamists crush them, the Euro-fascists and more sensible socialists and progtards will flee to the US. Have fun with the new influx of bloodthirsty hyperstatists.

    2. I see that the article changes “radical leftist students” to “liberals.”

      As to Dershowitz’s remarks:

      “And if they want to be safe from ideas, there are better places to be than college and university campuses”

      Really? Where else can you have better protection from dissent if you’re a radical leftist?

      “When I was first teaching in the ’50s there were attempts to censor speech by Senator McCarthy. the right wing was trying to censor left-wing speech.”

      What does he mean by “attempts to censor speech by Senator McCarthy?” Does he mean “Senator McCarthy attempted to censor speech” or “there were attempts to censor Senator McCarthy’s speech”?

      1. OK, it seems McCarthy helped sponsor a list of books the State Department should *not* be including in its Overseas Library Program. The objective was to educate people abroad about America, and McCarthy thought that books by American commies did not serve this educational objective.

        The link also claims that public libraries relied on the McCarthy-sponsored list to remove books from their own institutions. Strictly, public libraries were outside McCarthy’s jurisdiction, but if people used his list for censoring libraries in the US, he’ll have to take some responsibility.

        1. Once government officials release a list of suspect books, even for limited purposes, the list is probably going to be used for broader purposes than originally designed.

      2. I’ve worked for every type of organization outside of government. I’ve never taken a government contract. I’ve worked for companies who had government contracts, but have never worked directly for the government, so I have to leave them out of this topic. But I’ve done work for every type of organization from manufacturing to healthcare to academia.

        I can tell you this, there is nowhere you can go and be completely shielded from any ideas that are not pure leftist indoctrination outside of liberal universities. And there are plenty of people on those campuses who do not agree with the left at all, but they keep their mouth shut. If they don’t they will be ostracized and they know it. It’s a very oppressive climate.

        Once you leave the coddled safe place of academia you’re going to get slammed straight into reality.

    3. Whatever else you think about Dershowitz, he’s usually been pretty good about freedom of speech and expression.

    4. That’s not irony. This is irony:

      Progressive view 1: Historically marginalized communities should have spaces where they can feel safe from prejudice and violence, even if it entails excluding members of the groups that have historically marginalized or oppressed them.

      Progressive view 2: Israel is an apartheid state!

  9. Seems to me the supporters of both want more government control.maybe not in the same areas of policy,except for trade.Both side seem to want to go back to Smoot – Hawley. There’s the hate too,one side hates successful people ,the other,well,everyone not like them.Their taking are jobs or their not paying their fair share.Choose your poison.

    1. Oh,and I’m not a complete open boarders guy,there needs to be some control,so don’t shit with me.You know who you are.

  10. Excellent post, Mr. Suderman.

  11. The good news: Most Americans are dissatisfied with politics as usual, want change.

    The bad news: Most Americans are imbeciles who should never be allowed to vote.

    1. I really hate that attitude among Libertarians. If Americans are such imbeciles, why then are the Progs not right that the proper answer is to just make sure the right top men are in charge of their lives? It seems to me that you really can’t believe in freedom consistent with also loathing and despising the public, That doesn’t necessarily make you a Prog. But it means you only differ from Progs in the sense that you think a different set of top men should be running people’s lives.

      1. But it means you only differ from Progs in the sense that you think a different set of top men should be running people’s lives.

        Most of us think nobody should be running people’s lives.

        Although some libertarians do argue that monarchy tends to be a lesser evil than democracy because of the different incentives perceived by the top men in those systems.

        1. Gawd, I just made this argument today.

        2. Yeah, you don’t want to run their lives, you just think they should not be allowed to vote and the government should conform to what you think it should be. Putting top men in charge to leave people alone is still putting top men in charge. A benevolent dictator is still a dictator and living under one is still not really being free. Self determination and self government are an essential part of being free.

          1. John, you’re missing the point in a way that’s really typical of Progressives and statists but that seems very uncharacteristic of you.

            What you’re saying is just like when the auto bailouts were being debated. Supporters of government bailouts would always say something like, “Well, smart guy, if you don’t like these bailouts how do you think the government should use tax money to help failing automotive companies?”, when, as I think everyone was well aware, many if not most critics of the bailout didn’t see any intervention whatsoever as appropriate.

            The point is that people are stupid when it comes to things like making policies that affect large groups of people using imperfect information, which is why governments are so bad at things. People are, however, really good at making individual choices in their own self-interest, which is why markets work so well. Democracies (including our own republic) are problematic because they put incredibly important decisions in the hands of people who have incredibly flawed information and are far removed from potential results.

            That’s why libertarians don’t want different government, they want less government. Governments distort the market of personal choices by isolating actors from consequences and magnifying the consequences of poor decisions.

            1. I think to be free you must choose to be free. If you have “freedom” shoved down your throat from above, you are not free. The real question here is are people who live under a benevolent dictatorship free? I say they are not because even though they are free to do all sorts of things, they are not free to choose their government and to be free. They are having that choice made for them by the dictator. Yes, that dictator is making a better choice than a tyrannical one makes. But he is still making the choice for them and thus his subjects are not really free.

              1. I say they are not because even though they are free to do all sorts of things, they are not free to choose their government and to be free.

                Then none of us are free. Am I free to chose my government? I don’t want Obama to govern me, yet he does. I don’t want to be governed by any of the Republicans and Democrats running for office on any level, but I am doomed to be governed by them.

                I don’t want my children to face jail if they drink a beer. Yet that is being rammed down my throat. I don’t want to vulgar masses to tell me who I can hire or fire. Yet that is what is being rammed down my throat.

                I don’t want the devout methodists running a bakery to be forced to cater to gay weddings. They don’t want do be forced either. Guess what’s being done to them good and hard!

                So why, if your premise is correct, are people living in a democracy free and people living under a dictator not free? How does that criticism not apply to anyone on earth who isn’t living alone on a desert island or in some de-facto anarchic society?

              2. I think you both make good points. Which is why I generally support federalism. Let people choose their government and laws, but only THEIR government and laws. What we have now is one of the worst political outcomes, an irresistible central government where only a handful of people essentially make all political decisions for 300 million people.

              3. If freedom is the absence of compulsion or restraint, how can it be “shoved down your throat from above”? Except, I guess, in the Bernie Sanders theory of liberty, where freedom means being liberated from making difficult choices. Or easy choices, like choosing between deodorants.

                1. how can it be “shoved down your throat from above”

                  It’s a very tonyesque assertion, isn’t it?

        3. BTW, Tarran, do disagree with Hoppe’s argument? I find it compelling.

          1. I think he makes some very good points. However, monarchy at its worst seems to be far worse than democracy at its worst.

            In my mind, what matters are having political institutions that are able to check and thwart each other rather than rule unchallenged. In such a situation monarchy is less inferior. In the absence of such a situation democracies are less inferior. However, once an institution or group is able to gain dominance and no longer faces checks on its power, the result quickly devolves to despostism and you get the worst form of monarchy.

            1. Even with, or because of, the checks and balances, Democracies can lead to the machine of government bureaucracy propelling the state towards war or planning by regulatory fiat. I don’t want a monarchy, but if given the choice, I’d choose the benevolent king over the mature, read corrupted, democracy. In the long term, they both fail regardless.

            2. However, monarchy at its worst seems to be far worse than democracy at its worst.

              An awful lot of totalitarians who rack up truly impressive body counts win elections, you know.

              1. Yes, and perhaps before they rack up a big body count it’s a free and fair election.

                But eventually, you get sham elections. Saddam Hussein wins with 100% of the vote; an assembly formed by members of the three political parties in the Democratic Front for the Reunion of the Fatherland proclaim Kim Jong Il as the supreme leader, the German parliament renews Adolf Hitler’s mandate as F?hrer, the senate proclaims Augustus as Imperator.

      2. There is a strand of libertarian elitism – eg, the Randians (I know they swear they’re not libertarians, but if it quacks like a duck…)

        The idea is that the enlightened minority will achieve their excellence if only their inferiors won’t drag them down with government power. The interest of those inferiors is secondary.

        Then there are the libertarians who think that people in all walks of life will benefit from liberty, especially those who reach for the opportunities provided by a climate of freedom, a course of action which they recommend for everyone.

        1. Then there are the libertarians who think that people in all walks of life will benefit from liberty, especially those who reach for the opportunities provided by a climate of freedom, a course of action which they recommend for everyone

          And most of the useful idiots that libertarians want to give freedom to don’t want it. They want nothing to do with freedom, they just want their EBT and their monthly expedition to Walmart, and for you to be equally poor and controlled by the government. And that’s what they’ll vote for, every time.

          1. Actually, more than half of people don’t vote. It’s just that the busy-bodies that want to tell others what to do are a lot more motivated to make it to the polls.

            1. There are some of us who vote to express an albeit limited and far less than ideal choice as to who and what will cause us the least damage.

          2. Like I say, a lot of that is concluding – often reluctantly – that politics is a struggle for who has a chair when the music stops. And anyone standing outside the process will end up without a chair.

            And there are others who just don’t vote at all, who conclude that they’re all crooks and voting only encourages them.

      3. No, it’s reality. Most people are fucking stupid. That’s how we got where we are now.

        1. I think it’s part dumbitude, but part rational self-interest.

          A lot of people seem to think (and they’d be right) that most politicians have no interest in leaving them alone, and that politics is about doing unto others before they do unto you. If you idealistically refuse to support the guy who will give you goodies and screw your enemies, then instead of ending up with a libertarian, you’ll end up with a hostile politician who screws you and gives goodies to your enemies.

          That’s why many campaign appeals are more about “my opponent will screw you over, don’t let them” rather than “you’re going to *love* my policies on their own objective merits.”

          1. So in reality, we’ve really not really progressed much beyond a warring tribal state, we just have cars and cell phones.

            1. Do you have a better hypothesis?

              1. Clever primates, with a better [Stanley Kubrick inspired] stick to throw.

            2. Of course not. Human nature has no history.

      4. Not so much once you accept that pretty much any Top Man who wants the job is as imbecilic as anyone else, with a healthy additional dose of pathological narcissism likely shading to outright sociopathy. One might then conclude that imbeciles of all types are best dealt with by limiting the extent to which they can rule others, whether directly or by elected proxy, and that the ideal society is one in which individuals are free to figure out how best to make their own lives, for better or for worse. I, personally, have faith that even most imbeciles will rise to that particular occasion – especially since it imposes socially Darwinian constraints (that, in the current system, do not exist) on the perpetuation of said imbecility, in the sense of ‘get smarter if you want your life to get better.’

        1. Not so much once you accept that pretty much any Top Man who wants the job is as imbecilic as anyone else

          This. And nowhere did I, or have I ever advocated for TOP MEN to control anything. I merely stated that the majority of the general public are morons. If you don’t believe that, go talk to some of them. And by some of them, I don’t mean your white collar co-workers or libertarian friends. Just walk around your community or grocery store, local walmart. Start talking to people about different topics. Trigger Warning: You will be depressed afterwards.

          1. Leave out what I said about white collar co-workers, most of those will be morons also.

        2. Yes, anyone who wants to rule others lacks the judgement and wisdom to do so. But being in charge is still ruling others, even if you choose not to exercise the power, you still have it.

          1. How about if you get to be in charge of you, and i get to be in charge of me, and neither of us is in charge of anyone else (aside from, temporarily and provisionally, other people who we’ve brought into the world through our own actions)?

            1. If you tell me that I am in charge of myself and only myself, who is making the rules there? You are me? You are telling me the rules and they are the rules you want. That is nice and all and I would rather have you in charge than a lot of other people, but I still don’t get a vote and am still under your boot. It is just a soft boot that doesn’t press hard.

              1. And now you’re an anarchist. Congrats, John.

              2. It’s only a boot if you think you have the right to tell me what to do, and are thereby oppressed somehow when i say that, barring my interference with your person or property, you don’t.

                1. Sure Citizen X. But so what? Pot being illegal is only a boot if you want to smoke pot. Just because I don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean you telling me I can’t isn’t a boot.

                  1. My point is that me saying that you don’t get to put a boot on my neck is not me putting a boot on your neck.

                    1. Yes it is Citizen X. It is for the simple reason that I don’t get to choose not to do it. Unless I choose to be free, I am not free. I am just a dog with a long leash.

                    2. But you do get a choice. It’s just that if you choose not to respect my personal freedom, i have the right to object as strenuously as necessary to change your mind. And vice versa.

                      Freedom is the ability to say “No.”

                    3. This subthread is John going Full Tony. Not allowing me to oppress you oppresses me. Libertarianism is oppression.

                    4. Tony tends to give up quicker, though. He rarely sticks around in a subthread for more than three or four increasingly vituperative responses, tops.

      5. It’s not complicated, John. Most people are stupid when it comes to politics. They are not stupid when it comes to running their own lives.

        1. this, thank you.

        2. Right – the amount of energy needed to master political issues would often divert time and resources from helping oneself in one’s own sphere of activity.

          1. You you delegate your political analysis to someone you feel comfortable with – a group, party, newspaper, etc. – and that’s one less thing to worry about.

        3. Exactly. Fucking incentives, how do they work?

        4. ^This. For most.

          Even if people were stupid and bad at running their own lives that would d not be justification for violating their liberty.

          1. Plus, the beauty part is that if I make a bad choice having to do with my own life, the repercussions are generally limited to me and maybe a few other people. When you start giving people authority over others, the results of their bad decisions are magnified without the personal cost being raised significantly.

      6. You don’t get do you.The constitution was written so to stop the harmful impulses of the majority.You do not need top men to control the country.

        1. Sure it was. Just because you understand the need for checks on majority rule, doesn’t mean you reject the right to vote and self determination. The Constitution also guarantees suffrage. And as many checks as the Constitution has on the will of the majority, if the majority is large enough, even the Constitution does not stop it from getting what it wants.

          You don’t get it.

      7. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans in general are fat and stupid and lazy. And that’s a pretty goddamn awesome accomplishment when you consider that for most of humanity and for most of human history, being fat and stupid and lazy meant you’re getting eaten by wolves or enslaved by those guys on the other side of the hill. It brings a tear to my eye to go to Walmart and look at all the fat slob white-trash morons wandering around buying shit and think “How fucking goddamn rich and powerful must we be to be able to afford to have this damn many fat slob white-trash morons?” And how great is it that if you want to be a fat slob white-trash moron, you’re perfectly free to do so.

        So no, I don’t think making society better or this country greater depends on us having better top men, I think the whole idea of making a better society or a greater country is as un-American as it gets. The individual reigns supreme – the individual does not exist to serve the needs of society. “Ask not what your country…..” is something that should make any good American vomit with rage. My idea of a great leader would be Mr. T blocking the door to the Oval Office, making sure nobody gets in.

        1. I agree. And I think the fact that most Americans don’t know much or give a fuck about politics is one of the best if not the best things about this country. We don’t want to live in a country where most people take politics seriously. Those countries suck and are places where people start killing each other over politics.

          I will take low information America over that every time.

        2. for most of human history, being fat and stupid and lazy

          meant you were royalty. Otherwise, being stupid and lazy tended to work against being fat.

  12. You know it’s bad when this would make a better SOTU address.

  13. growing and general frustration with politics as it is typically practiced

    Don’t worry – when it’s inevitably down to Jeb v Hillary, sanity will have been restored and America will move on.

  14. Everyone I’ve spoken to who is enthusiastic about Trump also intends to vote for Cruz as the more electable alternative. It’s like Trump is the hot chick you hook up with at a bar, but Cruz is the tamer version who you marry.

    1. So poor Cruz gets all the STDs you picked up from the hot chick.

  15. Trump and Sanders are both the candidates of the Twitter and Derpbook era. Not only in that it has been the medium they’ve leveraged for their candidacies, but more importantly in that it’s bred the mentality of their followers. Derpbook and Twitter enables people to form little circle jerks where the wisdom of commentary that a bumper sticker is to complex a medium for can be posted as a meme. As a result you get a ready-made following of idiots who believe their every wish and whim is a moral entitlement and anyone who disagrees or says no is just a big old poo-poo head.

    1. I’ve often wondered if some type of stupid virus can travel the intertoobz via derpbook or twatter. The evidence of this virus doing mass brain damage is definitely a clue.

      1. Of course it can. You stick enough people who think along the same lines in a closed circuit and soon enough you’ll find that they can justify just about anything to themselves.

        “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals. ”
        Agent K

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  17. my neighbor’s half-sister makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her payment was $17900 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not try this out

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    1. Your neighbor’s half-sister, is she, uh, is she interested in ….. photography? Know what I mean? nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

      1. You mean like holiday snaps?

  18. Does anyone think this is all a little two neat? The breakdown of the establishment is heralded by the failure of two scions of despised political dynasties, while outsiders with outlandishly extreme views swoop in? Seems sort of like the plot to a book, and one more interested in going over the top to make a point. Once Morgan Freeman does run for the LP, I think I will be convinced.

    1. It’s like Game of Thrones, but with grosser sex scenes.

        1. I’m sorry, did you think SugarFree was writing fiction?

  19. “What the success of both Trump and Sanders signal is the breakdown of the party establishments, and the generalized dissatisfaction with the political status quo, especially when it comes to federal politics.”

    Bern has a loyal following based upon his promises of “free.” Trump has a loyal following based upon his promises of “restoring.” Neither is strong enough to win a nomination on its own, the rest of that rests on just how listless the Rep field is and how repugnant Hillary is.

  20. Americans are just looking for anything to distract them from the $20T deficit they racked up. Anyone who tries to talk about it will be ignored, and those who ignore it will get the most attention.

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  23. Anyone else hear whisperings of a Trump-Sanders ticket ?

    An imaginary note to the Donald:

    Mr Trump-please consider a Trump Sanders ticket. I know…too absurd but it would allow the American people to tell the establishment within each party to Feck off in a way that has never happened before. Imagine the appeal of you guys meeting in a big pow wow on behalf of all Americans with a promise to show members of Congress the necessity of reaching consensus, how to do it. Congress members learn the “art of the deal ” or find themselves ejected from the game. Obviously, the plan is dependant on Sanders and you finding a way for your disagreements to evolve into winning policy representing the interests of ALL Americans.

    Americans are enraged by politicians, Washington DC, corruption, lies, insults, and the crazy perks members of congress give themselves. Give the American people with a way to hold these career politicians accountable like never before. You win the hearts of everyday Americans by forcing members of Congress to straighten up and fly right. Americans would love you for it.

    Yes, the Sanders-Trump ticket is crazy like a fox. Mr Trump you have taken it this far. Bring Sanders aboard to chart the course to a strong and prosperous and proud USA. Take us all the way so America really does become great again !

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