Election 2016

The GOP's Two Man Race Between Trump and Cruz Will Leave a Lot of People Out

Time to despair, folks.

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Foter / Gage Skidmore

After last night's sixth GOP primary debate, it looks very much like race is down to two contestants: Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, both of whom solidified their place at the top of the Republican heap last night.

As Will Rahn argues in a smart analysis for The Daily Beast, all the signs right now points to either Trump or Cruz as the nominee. It's possible that Marco Rubio, who had a good but not spectacular performance last night, might make some headway, but it's a long shot, and there's essentially no evidence that a Rubio surge is in the works. (Other folks seem to think Chris Christie had a good night. If so, I didn't see it.) Trump and Cruz aren't just leading; they're dominating.

Trump is well ahead in both the national polls and the election betting odds, where he's up 11 percent in the last week. In a new national poll from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal released yesterday, Trump more than doubled his overall lead, clocking as the first choice of 33 percent of GOP voters, with Cruz lagging behind in second place with 20 percent support. For months, the hope has been that Trump would fade as the field inevitably narrowed, but the poll suggests that Trump would win in either a three-man race against Rubio and Cruz or a head to head against Rubio. Republicans seem to be coming around to Trump as the nominee, with 65 percent now saying they can see themselves supporting him, up from 23 percent early last year.

Notably, however, the NBC/WSJ poll finds that Trump would lose a head-to-head matchup against Ted Cruz. Cruz, who is virtually tied with Trump in Iowa (and leading in some polls), seems best positioned to beat Trump, if anyone can.

One takeaway from this is that everything is kind of terrible, although that is probably an evergreen description of politics.

Another is that it means that in any likely scenario, libertarians and libertarian ideas will be largely absent from the presidential race. Trump has no ideology except self-preservation, and his instincts consistently lean toward petty (and not-so-petty) authoritarianism. Cruz holds a few positions that libertarians agree with, but many, many that run contrary. And even where there's overlap, he tends to go about things in ways that backfire: He's been better on surveillance than many Republicans, but has still declared that Edward Snowden is a traitor who needs to be tried for treason. His 2013 crusade against funding Obamacare was a disaster that resulted in a pointless and ineffective government shutdown that probably made the health law more popular while it was happening. The gambit's failure was completely predictable and widely predicted.

For the most part, then, a primary battle between Cruz and Trump means a conservative culture war, in which fist-shaking foreign policy pronouncements and trollish immigrant-bashing account for the majority of the discussion.

I find the failure to represent libertarian ideas both disheartening and frustrating, especially given how influential those ideas have been in recent year. But there's an even more generalized failure in the works: A Trump-Cruz contest means that calm, rational individuals who are not liberals, and who do not support either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, have essentially no place to go in the general election. Trump and Cruz are running angry, hysterical campaigns full of hyperbole, misdirection, and easily provable lies. They are running campaigns based on fear and nativism, and are utterly untethered to the practical realities of politics and governance. For those who find that approach incredibly distasteful but who also find much to object to in both the flippant semi-socialism of Sanders and the cynical, corrupt-seeming center-leftism of Clinton (and yes, I fall into this group myself) there is little to latch onto in this race, and more than a little reason to despair.

It is a problem that extends beyond this particular campaign. In the sense that presidential candidates represent their parties, and those parties represent the spectrum across which national politics is debated, those same people now have little home in national politics of any kind. Which may suggest an explanation for why we're seeing party identification hit all-time lows, and why the public generally seems to be more down on the political process than ever. At this point, then, regardless of who ends up winning the primaries and facing off in the general election, it seems clear that a lot of people will end up left out.

NEXT: Republican Candidates Pretend We're in the Midst of Iranian Hostage Crisis II

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  1. So, Mr. Suderman is voting for loose cannon?

    1. If by loose cannon you mean Bernie Sanders.

    2. If Trump is the nominee and wins the presidency, the country is saved.

      If the evangelical Cruz wins the GOP nomination, Hillary will be our next president and the country will be a socialist country for at least the next 75 years.

      1. If Trump is the nominee and wins the presidency, the country is saved.

        This is some kind of high-brow humor I don’t understand, right? RIGHT???

        1. Ship — What I stated is 100% true. Do you disagree? How so

          EXACTLY WHAT do you need me to explain to you?

  2. OTOH, between the commie and the criminal, the Ds have have a real winner!
    For pete’s sake, there are 300,000,000 people in the US, and these four are the best we can find to sit in that chair? I’ve worked places where the guy in the mail room is far more perceptive and logical.
    Re: Churchill’s claim about democracy, I guess it’s just that the other bars are set even lower.

    1. “At that time [colonial America], there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States. Today there are about a hundred times more. So if there were ten people of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jefferson’s today. Where are they?”

      Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

      1. Here, and depressed.

        1. I’m not too sure about most of y’all…

      2. Please keep in mind – in those days only landowning males were allowed to vote. Take away from that what you will, but my observation is that the more we expanded the franchise, the lower the quality of officeholders has become.

        1. Username checks out.

        2. only landowning males were allowed to vote

          This doesn’t seem to have been uniform. Here’s the 1777 Constitution of New York (emphasis mine):

          That every male inhabitant of full age, who shall have personally resided within one of the counties of this State for six months immediately preceding the day of election, shall, at such election, be entitled to vote for representatives of the said county in assembly; if, during the time aforesaid, he shall have been a freeholder, possessing a freehold of the value of twenty pounds, within the said county, or have rented a tenement therein of the yearly value of forty shillings, and been rated and actually paid taxes to this State

          I would say that “free male taxpaying resident of sufficient age” is more accurate.

          1. I may have truncated that section when I quoted it; the rest is at the link.

        3. Trump owns a whole lot of land.

    2. Sortition for Reps, Appointment for Senators, and sortition followed by democratic winnowing for president.

  3. libertarians and libertarian ideas will be largely absent from the presidential race

    I’m sure they’ll miss us terribly too. I’ve turned the corner and am now hedging for this clownshow to go full donkeybrain. Sanders/Trump 2016, no one escapes the stupid.

    1. We’ll let Sanders handle domestic issues and Trump can handle the military and foreign stuff. WCGW?

      1. You mean like domestically we wouldn’t have a President interfering in decisions about whether to have a baby, whether a gay couple can get married, and whether you can smoke pot AND get involved in a nuclear war? No thanks… I’d rather go with Sanders without his date.

        1. When I wrote “domestic issues” I was thinking of regulations and markets and the economy. I forgot about all the stuff you mentioned. We’ll let Trump handle abortions, gays and drugs, too. WCGW?

        2. “I’d rather go with Sanders without his date.”

          Of course. Poverty is so appealing to proggies.

        3. If Sanders wins, we should celebrate a la Burning Man, except we will burn a giant effigy of a calculator. Or an abacus. Will you attend, AmSoc?

  4. This website continually trumpets the fact that an increasing number of people don’t feel represented by the established political parties. So why is it a terrible thing that anti-establishment candidates are winning or are competitive in their respective parties? I’m much more interested in a Sanders-Trump match-up than I am a Bush-Clinton one. So cheer up, right-wingers, it isn’t all bad.

    When is the next Republican debate? There was a lot of gnashing of teeth last night, but I for one loved it and am looking forward to it.

    1. As we can see from this example the clownshow has gone fully donkeybrain. We are reaching uncharted territory here. How long it can continue is anyone’s guess.

      1. Yeah, if it were honest, you’re safe to presume an IQ roughly equal to its shoe size. Since the post is a pathetic effort at satire, I’m gonna be nice and add another 10 points.

          1. So it’s stupidity?
            OK, knock another ten points off the IQ.

    2. The problem is that these guys aren’t anti-establishment. They are, in fact, caricatures of the two established parties. They are what you get when you strip away all semblance of rationality and compromise from either side. All that’s left is impotent ideology (and yes, Trump’s bluster is an impotent ideology).

      1. Oh yeah, only Rand Paul is anti-establishment. Do you know how many people in Congress have pledged to support Bernie?

        1. Rand Paul? Congress? I thought we were talking about Sanders and Trump…

        2. Guy who’s been in Congress since 1991 and has never had a non-political job = “anti-establishment”

        3. Do you know how many people in Congress have pledged to support Bernie?

          WTF? Is he going to push for an Enabling Act? Why do “people in Congress” need to “pledge support” for a Presidential candidate?

        4. “Do you know how many people in Congress have pledged to support Bernie?”

          OK, ten MORE points!

      2. Some guy gets it right. Trump and Sanders are distillations of two idiotic belief systems, which are both anti-liberty and anti-individual.

    3. “So why is it a terrible thing that anti-establishment candidates are winning or are competitive in their respective parties?”

      Because they were drinking their own propaganda that Independent = Open Borders Libertarian, and they were very very wrong.

  5. Time for Gary Johnson to save the day?

    1. If picking sides in the election is a coin flip (heads they win, tails you lose), GayJay represents the coin’s edge: A third option with no chance of happening.

    2. Nothing says “libertarian” like a clown running on a platform of using federal power to dictate women’s fashion choices.
      GayJay won’t get the LP nom. He sucks too bad even for them.

      1. GayJay has already admitted that he made a mistake when he said that he would outlaw burqas. He no longer holds that position. Frankly, being willing to admit (and correct) a mistake is a good quality in a leader.

        1. We really shouldn’t stop at burquas though. We should ban Islam entirely and get it over with.

        2. That comment was probably enough for him to lose at least 2/3’s of libertarians. Which is typical.

          Instead of this fantasy about a presidential run, can we even get ONE libertarian elected to the senate?

      2. They went for Bob Barr. They’re really pretty retarded.

  6. “His 2013 crusade against funding Obamacare, for example, was a disaster that resulted in a pointless and ineffective government shutdown that probably made the health law more popular while it was happening. The gambit’s failure was completely predictable and widely predicted.”

    So let’s see…he wanted Congress to cut Obamacare funding from the budget bill*.

    Isn’t that pretty much what being against Obamacare entails?

    I mean, the people who owe an explanation are the ones who are “against Obamacare” but vote to give it money.

    Oh, but it’s part of a huge budget bill, and unless you include Obamacare the President will veto the whole thing and nonessential government workers will be furloughed! And it would be the Republicans’ fault!

    If the public believed *that,* then it’s probably because the Dems and the media** did a slicker marketing campaign than the hapless Republicans, whose heart wasn’t in it.

    *Or continuing resolution, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

    **Overlapping Venn diagram

    1. The only way to prove you’re against something is to vote to approve it. Suderman should be happy Ex-Im got reapproved by the same logic.

    2. Umm… shouldn’t a libertarian WANT to see the government shut down? Like, even for a minute? If for no other reason but to prove that the moon won’t fall out of the sky? Isn’t that a small victory in and of itself?

      I really don’t understand what side the Reason contributors are on.

      1. Indeed. I really don’t get why every commentator has constantly claimed the government shutdown was stupid and a bad idea and that it “backfired” on Republicans. Nope, the government was briefly “shutdown” and no one noticed any difference in their lives. Sounds like a win to me. Also, yeah, really backfired or Republicans, what with the huge hit they took in the 2014 elections, oh wait.

        1. Because libertarians are more interested in being contrarian dicks than actually advancing policy.

          They’re so tied up in the notion that Republicans Are Just As Bad As Democrats (TM) that they shoot themselves in the foot at every possible opportunity.

    3. The Senate is composed of 99 people who believe that the federal government is omnipotent and one person who believes that maybe, just maybe there are a few things that the government is incapable of doing. Given those numbers is it really surprising that every “compromise” always means more power and more spending?

      These Senators have their jobs because most people agree that the Feds are, and should be, all-powerful. They only disagree about who that power should be used against.

  7. What is the betting line, over/under, on Bernie endorsements in the general from Reason contributors?

    1. 90% of Reason will declare for Bernie, guaranteed.

      All the writers really want is to be cool, desperately. And republicans aren’t cool.

      1. It’s true, as outlined in Greg Gutfeld’s book “Not Cool”.

      2. “All the writers really want is to be cool, desperately. And republicans aren’t cool.”

        Can’t get invited to the hipster cocktail parties by voting Republican.

        Remember the Liberaltarians? Time for the Libersocialists.

  8. “His 2013 crusade against funding Obamacare, for example, was a disaster that resulted in a pointless and ineffective government shutdown that probably made the health law more popular while it was happening.”

    Right? I mean it made it so popular that conservatives increased their lead in the house and won the senate, while also taking seats in state governments across the nation in a tsunami election. Oh, wait?

    This is why libertarians will never have a legitimate party, they nit pick shit to death and only accept candidates if they are perfect. It’s fucking ridiculous.

    1. The only way to fight increased government is to not fight increased government.

      1. How libertarian of you.

    2. This is why libertarians will never have a legitimate party, they nit pick shit to death and only accept candidates if they are perfect. It’s fucking ridiculous.

      All hail the right-thinking people with a legitimate party who elected George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama twice.

      1. Tu qoque/diversion. Yellow flag.

    3. “This is why libertarians will never have a legitimate party, they nit pick shit to death and only accept candidates if they are perfect. It’s fucking ridiculous.”

      by this logic, all republicans should just vote for Hillary, because she wants to bomb stuff too….. not agreeing with every thing else she says would just be nit-picking. libertarians just find it easier to see things in candidates that we don’t like, because they pre-fit themselves into an overall platform that we don’t like. we don’t agree with a large portion of the basic ideology of either party. we really don’t agree with any of them, just for different reasons than they usually fight each other.

      plus, it is not just the fact that it was a disaster… everyone knew it would be a disaster. no one ever thought, even for a second, that it would work. this is like rushing a swat team, yelling and screaming, with a wiffle ball bat. just because the cops are jerks, does not make that a good idea. it was dumb… it wasted money, time, resources, and ultimately did nothing but give Obama the chance to put up a definitive “win” in the publics view.

      1. Huh?

        First of all, if libertarians were actually concerned with anything other than being smug contrarian dicks at every possible opportunity, they’d see that Republicans — while not perfect — are certainly aligned with libertarian goals on roughly sixty percent of issues. And all the justices on the supreme court that libertarians fawn over, like Scalia and Thomas and Alito… where did they come from again? Oh yeah, Republicans.

        Oh but they don’t like drugs and some of them talk about yucky stuff like Jesus. I guess that means we’re better off with a socialist then.

        Hey guess what — you know how you achieve libertarian reforms? Elect conservatives. At least they’ll listen to you.

        Progressives, on the other hand, are just about ready to set up reeducation camps. But hey, you go ahead and keep letting the good be the victim of the perfect. When the first, second, and fourth amendments are effectively nullified because President Sanders put three more progressives on the supreme court, at least you’ll have your smug ideological perfection to comfort you.

        1. Chip has hit the nail on the head. The point here is that if the Hildebeast or the Bern win, it is game over on the Supreme Court. The Republicans have only about a 60% chance of appointing someone who believes in limited government, but the Dems have zero chance of doing so. That means Roberts and the girls get to say “yes, the first, second, fourth amendments really are subordinate to the latest HHS/IRS/EPA etc bureaucratic dictat.”

          So if you believe in limited government, and if you are a Libertarian it is difficult to see how you could not, then this is the ONLY issue that matters.

        2. “Progressives, on the other hand, are just about ready to set up reeducation camps. ”

          Recall that when the Supremes came out against Socialists United vs. FEC a couple of years ago, the Progs started agitating for a constitutional amendment to gut the 1st amendment.

          But I would note that the Progs don’t need reeducation camps, they already control all “education” camps through the teachers unions and academe.

          1. But even that’s not enough for the social justice mobs… they’re actually demanding mandatory political reeducation — er, social justice training — within the academic institutions that are already controlled by progressives. Because I guess they haven’t reached 100% compliance yet, and that’s just unacceptable.

            And yes, the senate under Harry Reid actually voted on the Udall Amendment, which would have effectively repealed the first amendment for a great deal of political speech, had it made its way to the constitution.

            So everyone needs to think real hard before they vote, because if Hillary or Bernie get in there and are able to appoint two or three more justices, we can say basically say goodbye to the constitution as we know it.

        3. Republicans also appointed John “penaltax” Roberts. Sorry, but if you want my active support, you’re going to have to come up with a better slogan than “Vote Republican! We might not screw you!”

          1. Again, here’s your choice you fucking obtuse contrarian dickhead.

            Vote republican, and get a roughly sixty to seventy percent chance of another Scalia, Thomas, or Alito.

            Don’t vote republican and you’re GUARANTEED another Kagan, Sotomayor, or Breyer.

            That’s the choice. That’s it. Republicans at least have a chance at appointing a justice that respects the constitution (I’d say 95% if Cruz is the nominee), mostly because past Republicans have been beaten with the ‘bipartisanship’ cudgel one too many times. Democrats, on the other hand, have absolutely zero compunction about ONLY appointing justices who are committed progressives.

            So when you figure the fact that the next president will appoint at least two and possibly three new justices — and that justices shape the political and social landscape of the country FAR more than any single president — the importance of keeping Bernie or Hillary out of the White House becomes clear.

            Do you really think the constitution can survive with three more committed progressives on the court? Or do you not care, because Republicans are yucky Jesus-people who don’t like to smoke pot?

            1. And this year’s Republican/conservative is Trump, supporter of single-payer healthcare, thinks government should have the power to take property from little people to “create jobs”, admirer of China’s building binges, New York billionaire who inherited his wealth and has all incentives to keep the debt-fueled bubbles going, etc.

              1. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the courts at this point; that’s where the real power is.

                No president has the kind of long-term influence on this country as the supreme court does. It’s become all the marbles. There are increasing numbers of people in this country calling for drastic limits on the first amendment, the nullification of the second amendment, and readings of the fourth and fifth which explicitly bend to racial justice politics. This is what’s happening right now.

                If the next president — I don’t care who it is — appoints two to three committed progressives to the court, the constitution as we understand it is over. That’s it. Last nail in the coffin.

                So again, with a republican — even Trump — you at least have a CHANCE that we’d get nominees who respect the constitution as its written.

                With Hillary or Bernie you’re GUARANTEED to get social justice progressives. Guaranteed.

                This is the only calculus anyone should be concerned about for the next election. Nothing else matters.

            2. “Vote republican, and get a roughly sixty to seventy percent chance of another Scalia, Thomas, or Alito.”

              The hilarious thing is, you think this is a GOOD thing. LOL

        4. “you know how you achieve libertarian reforms? Elect conservatives”

          Yeah! I mean, look how the state shrank under Reagan… oops, no I mean Bush Sr…. oops, no I mean Bush Jr… Oops, no I mean whoever the Republicans nominate this time.

          And look at how the GOP has reduced federal spending across the board when elected to a majority in the House and Senate! It’s happened so many times… like ZERO.

          And look at how they’ve stood strong against predation by federal agencies. Defunding the EPA — oh, that didn’t happen? Well, at least they killed the Department of Education. Oh, that didn’t happen either? Well, they did cut military spending down to size, right? Oh, no, they didn’t?

          Well… I agree the perfect is the enemy of the good. That’s why Republicans stood strong against bailouts for banks, automakers and other private companies that went insolvent due to their poor decisions. Oh… I guess that didn’t happen, in fact, TARP was a GOP program.

          So I guess on the size of government spending, they’re not perfect.

          But let’s look at all the other stuff that isn’t government spending. Like civil liberties.

          Remember their spirited war against the Patriot Act, FISA and the NDAA? Me either.

          How about their efforts to pull down and kill the drug war? Oh yeah, they didn’t do that, did they?

        5. you are kind of a twit. your complaint is that libertarians are nit-picky… finding things we don’t like about GOP candidates…. and that is because we are not republicans. is not because we are contrary, it is because there is a real lack of what we want to see in a candidate. in the eternal match up between the giant douche, and turd sandwich, we probably will go with the giant douche (GOP) at the end of the day, but that does not mean we need to like the douche…. we still know the guy is a douche. talking about the other guy being a turd sandwich really is a terrible complaint when we are only pointing out that your guy is a douche.

          douche

    4. Yup. Libertarians are most notable for an uncanny willingness to ride their ideological purity straight to hell just so they can tell the rest of the world I told you so.

      1. If the alternative is gobbling down the enormous turd labelled “voting Republican” with a big, brown-toothed smile while insisting it’s just the tastiest thing ever, I’ll choose “ideological purity,” thanks.

    5. It’s not just that the candidates aren’t perfect, but that they are absolutely in opposition to freedom. I cannot give my support to anyone who despises freedom as much as the candidates from The One Party do.

  9. A Trump-Cruz contest means that calm, rational individuals who are not liberals, and who do not support either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, have essentially no place to go in the general election.

    Everyone knows a truly rational person would vote R even so, because it’s not like being a huge, aggressive, lying, outrageous asshole actually matters in any way. And look at the alternatives!

    1. Yeah.. as we’ve seen here before a truly rational person wouldn’t even vote because it’s not worth their time.

      If a truly rational person were to vote, they’d be aware of and willing to support third parties because they know their vote won’t affect the outcome of the election.

      In other words, truly rational people are irrelevant in modern politics.

      1. Feature, not bug (if you’re a politician).

    2. Hey, if you don’t vote for a lizard, the wrong lizard might get in!

  10. Other folks seem to think Chris Christie had a good night. If so, I didn’t see it.

    To me, Christie is the worst of the worst and that’s saying a lot with the current crop of candidates. He’s a complete police-state fascist.

    1. Ya he has all the charm and principles of Trump, but with a much lower probability of intentionally even getting 2 or 3 things right.

    2. Trump is a salesman. A good salesman doesn’t tell you what he thinks, he tells you what you think and pretends to agree with you. Christie, on the other hand, is a former prosecutor. He tells you what to think.

      Trump will occasionally say something that may not increase the power of the government so long as he thinks you believe it. Christie will never shy away from power. The modus operandi of federal prosecutors is to make you afraid of being convicted of a dozen counts of a crime with a mandatory sentence of 10 years each so as to get you to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Fear is the key to their thought processes. Fear is part and parcel of every action that Christie takes.

      Christie is not alone in the use of fear but it is the only tool that he can use effectively. Inducing great fear would be his primary goal as president. He must never be allowed in the White House even as a tourist.

    3. Christie is a thug.

  11. I saw pictures of the young rand paul supporters that interrupted the Republican debate last night. They look like optimistic, young Bernie Sanders types. I wonder if they know their candidates’ position on Syrian refugees or how he likes to cozy up with Steve king. Some Young people are stupid, I guess

    1. Some Young people are stupid, I guess

      Yes, it’s much smarter to vote for the guy or gal who’s going to take your money, take your guns, throw you in jail for making and selling the “wrong” products, and then still capriciously bomb third-world countries because he feels a deep sense of noblesse oblige instead of an icky motive like self-defense or national interest.

      1. Not to mention making sure you have no toilet tissue! Commie-kid’s kind of guy!

        1. As we learned the other day, Barack Obama is the greatest President of amsoc’s lifetime. Which apparently means it’s perfectly okay to go around blowing up the world, as long as you act like it’s no big deal and you don’t bother to fix any of the problems you create or assist in creating.

          1. kbolino|1.15.16 @ 12:31PM|#
            “As we learned the other day, Barack Obama is the greatest President of amsoc’s lifetime”

            We can hope he’s 8 years old, and his posts suggest such.

          2. “Barack Obama is the greatest President of amsoc’s lifetime.”

            Choco rations are up to 25 grams a week!

            I’m running out to the demonstrations to thank Big Barack now!

        2. Who needs 28 types of toilet paper? The line for single ply four packs starts back there. Only two per customer!

          1. As an aside has Sanders mentioned what his single state approved shoe and deodorant would be? I’m guessing the deodorant would have that sanitized but musky nursing home smell.

    2. I don’t know who Steve King is, so I don’t care.

      I don’t care if Rand Paul cozies up with him, rolls him in flour, and looks for the wet spot.

      I stand with Aqua Buddha!

      1. Steve King is a representative (R-IA) who says things amsoc doesn’t like.

        1. Whatever.

          Why should Rand Paul supporters know about or care about him?

          american socialist has too much free time. Or maybe american socialist works for the government and can sit around all day worrying about other people’s representatives in the House?

          That being said, if Rand Paul rolled King in flour and made him pray to Aqua Buddha, that would be totally awesome!

          1. If american socialist had a government job (he wishes!), he’d probably be able to pay his mortgage.

            1. I’m sure he has the ability. What he lacks is any compelling reason to do so, and the moral fiber to find his own actions disgraceful.

              1. See, and that speaks to government employment.

                No compelling reason to do . . . anything.

                No moral fiber.

                No shame.

                If he isn’t already working for the government, he should. Wait, never mind the government, he should be working for a public employee union. He could be the organizational leader for lazy ass, self-entitled, unaccountable scumbags everywhere!

    3. And some people like you stay stupid their whole Goddamn lives. And some also don’t pay their fucking mortgage.

  12. “Republicans seem to be coming around to Trump as the nominee, with 65 percent now saying they can see themselves supporting him, up from 23 percent early last year.”

    Better stated as 77% of Republicans could not see themselves supporting him a year ago–and now 35% say they can’t.

    This is mostly a function of his perceived electability. And his support is mostly about people being fed up with PC.

    The progressive PC police have become so successful, comedians are complaining that it isn’t safe to be funny anymore. If The Donald represents a rejection of progressive puritanism, then I guess that’s a good thing.

    But I can’t think of anything else good to say about him.

    1. While he has a number of troubling policy positions, he is not off on everything. Foreign leaders will think twice about trying to push him around. Unlike Obama, who is nothing but a paper tiger.

    2. “And his support is mostly about people being fed up with PC.”

      Trump could make a fundamental contribution to freedom in the country if he could break the power of the Progressive media.

    3. He’d be a very ineffective and comical one-termer, and discredit government from top to bottom.

      Ironically, Donald Trump is the libertarian savior. By the time he finishes his first and only term, people around the country will scream in horror and run away whenever someone suggests a “federal government solution” to a problem.

  13. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, rumors keep flying that Michael Bloomberg will swoop in with his gazillions to run a third-party challenge to a Trump/Clinton campaign. If ever a third party run had a chance–and I still don’t think it ultimately would–it would be in a year when most of the electorate cannot fathom how the two parties’ nominees possibly got that far…

    1. Bloomberg would split the progressive vote.

      If Bloomberg runs a serious third party candidacy and gets 4% of the vote, then the Republican will almost certainly win.

      1. I think Bloomturd could get at least 10-15% of the vote. He would definitely turn states like NJ, PA, and CT red…

        1. Run Bloomie Run!

    2. Funny, I just posted something about this…

    3. Let him. It guarantees Cankles will lose.

  14. calm, rational individuals who are not liberals, and who do not support either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, have essentially no place to go in the general election

    Don’t worry Mr McArdle. Mittens still might make an independent run.

  15. I remember in 2004 when Reason staff walked around on the floor of the Republican convention with a camera asking delegates, “Tell us, why should a libertarian vote for George W. Bush?” There were some ridiculous responses indicating that people thought libertarians were pro-terrorist liberals–because who else would ask such a stupid question?

    But the most consistent response at the time was “Because Kerry would be worse”. That became a meme here at Hit & Run for years after that. Every time Bush Jr. did something awful from a libertarian perspective (from violating our Constitutional rights and outrageous overspending to TARP and expanding Medicare), the joke was, “Remember, Kerry would have been worse!”

    I’d be interested in hearing Republican responses to the same question about The Donald. Tell me, why should a libertarian vote for Donald Trump?

    I doubt most Trump supporters could articulate a response beyond, “FU, that’s why!”

    But I also doubt the few who could articulate a decent response would respond with anything better than “Hillary would be worse”.

    And of all the reasons to vote for someone, that is the shittiest reason of all.

    1. And of all the reasons to vote for someone, that is the shittiest reason of all.

      Shittier than “It’s her turn”?

      1. Maybe I should have written, “Of all the [legitimate] reasons to vote for someone, that is the shittiest reason of all”.

        When I ask why a libertarian should vote for Donald Trump, if the answer is that there is absolutely nothing about him for a libertarian to like–only that the alternative is Hillary Clinton–then you’re telling me there isn’t anything about Trump, specifically, for me to like.

        Nothing.

        That is the shittiest legitimate reason to vote for Trump possible. Not because there isn’t anything to like about him–only that his opponent is even worse.

        You’re conceding that he has nothing to offer libertarians himself. He’s an enemy of libertarians–he’s just less of an enemy than someone else.

        1. Isn’t it always best to minimize your enemies?

          What’s the difference between this lesser-evil reality & that in medicine, where regardless of what you do, eventually you’re dead? Does it mean you shouldn’t pick the lesser evil?

    2. I’d get a bigger kick out of the Dems response to the same question but with Hillary or Bernie as the subject.

      How do you sell theiving government to libertarians?

      1. Yeah, they asked the same question at the Democratic convention that year.

        And they were especially pathetic that election because they weren’t against the Iraq War yet. The Dems were still rubber stamping everything Bush wanted to do.

        They wouldn’t take a position against anything Bush did in the name of fighting terrorism.

        Otherwise, they could have said something about that.

        I wish I could dig that coverage up from the archives, but they sectioned the 2004 election coverage off in a different site that I don’t think was folded into the archives. Back then, they didn’t want the political coverage infecting the rest of the site.

    3. Tell me, why should a libertarian vote for Donald Trump?

      They’re a masochist?

      Their only hope for NAP is to make the government implode into its own stupidity through both parties and then pick up the pieces?

      They have decided that they hate the establishment so much (for so many good reasons) that they’ve decided that killing it by destroying the entire country along with it is worth it?

      1. The beatings will continue until morale improves!

      2. Their only hope for NAP is to make the government implode into its own stupidity through both parties and then pick up the pieces?

        That’s actually not a bad solution. It’s gonna happen anyway, though, with or without the votes of libertarians.

        1. I’m kind of going for this one.

          “Fuck it, if it breaks faster maybe the pieces left will be bigger.”

    4. Candles will bring with her a thousand years of darkness.

      1. “Cankles”. Fucking cunt autocorrect.

    5. “Tell me, why should a libertarian vote for Donald Trump?”

      First, because he’ll likely be running against The Socialist or The Corrupt Queen.

      Second, because he is the first politician to take on the Progressive Media and win. Breaking their power would be a huge first step in breaking the power of the Progressive Theocracy which rules us.

    6. You ideological purist! George Dubya did all sorts of libertarian things, like, ummmm… supporting a reduction in the increase in spending from 12% to 11.9%.

      That’s not perfect but hey, you can’t expect perfection! And a 0.1% decrease in the rate of growth is MOVING IN A LIBERTARIAN DIRECTION!

  16. I have a feeling that if its Trump vs. Sanders, we will see the petty dictator and former NYC-mayor Bloomberg enter the race in June or July as an independent. He’s good friends with the Clintons and has been waiting for such an opportunity. This might have the effect of splitting the dem vote, since a lot of the more obnoxious progtards will vote for him. So you will then see a lot of true-blue northeastern states going for Trump, because you have 40% in these places that really hate proggies. Could get interesting.

    1. Trump v. Sanders v. Bloomberg

      Sweet!

  17. Well, if Trump gets elected, I’ll be glad to invest in ovens. Hopefully I’ll get very, very rich.

    1. I don’t think people are going to bother to buy new ovens to stick their heads in…

      1. Hey, I can see one silver lining! Maybe all the proggies will head out of the country like they promised to do when we got Bush II!

        1. Justin Trudeau will be waiting with open arms no doubt, but no oil money to fund their free healthcare.

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  19. No one has any actual votes yet though. Still time for people to come to their senses and vote for Rand.

    1. Sure, anything is theoretically possible. But short of a miracle, Rand is finished, at least for this election. Stick a fork in him.

      It does not make me happy to say those words, but they’re patently true nonetheless.

  20. One of my prog FB friends posted a meme proclaiming that, “Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” I must be pretty damn privileged then because I really don’t give a fuck if one of these two clowns gets elected. It will affect me personally NARY A FUCKING BIT.

  21. So, commentariat, what’s the plan? Lesser evil vote, split ticket, LP protest vote, or agorism?

    1. Vermin Supreme, then agorism.

    2. I’m writing in the great Ron. And I don’t give a fuck.

    3. Is this a good time to discuss my plan to euthanize all the progressives? Lots of better choices without threat of them maintaining power.

  22. I think it’s premature to say it’s either Cruz or Trump at this point.

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  26. “His 2013 crusade against funding Obamacare was a disaster that resulted in a pointless and ineffective government shutdown that probably made the health law more popular while it was happening. ”

    Lies.

    1. We have government shutdowns more years than not. This is a shit article.

  27. Thanks for explaining how the world looks to Leftists who get warm tinglies when they call themselves Libertarian. Those of us who are real libertarians would be happiest with Paul, who isn’t campaigning well, can easily settle for Cruz, and understand that ANYBODY on that stage would be better than the extreme Left scum the Democrats will nominate.

    1. Clinton is not extreme left. She is whatever she has to say to get elected, think modeling clay. What she really is after,… Power she can sell. She and her corrupt organization are in it for the money.

      1. Ya know, shit has about the same consistency as modeling clay.

      2. Progressives are in it for the Power.

        The desire to be a toe on the foot in the boot stamping a human face forever.

    2. “Thanks for explaining how the world looks to Leftists who get warm tinglies when they call themselves Libertarian.”

      I wonder if the Progressive takeover of Reason is inevitable. In the future, all restaurants will be Taco Bell, and all online politics HuffPo.

      “Those of us who are real libertarians would be happiest with Paul, who isn’t campaigning well, can easily settle for Cruz, and understand that ANYBODY on that stage would be better than the extreme Left scum the Democrats will nominate.”

      That’s my vote. The fact that Cruz has pissed off the Senate Republican establishment works for me.

    3. Good to see you’re certified.

      Certified insane, that is.

      Go gobble down that big Republican turd. Smile with brown-stained teeth and tell us how tasty it is, and how we’re missing out!

      But don’t think that everyone doesn’t know you’re eating shit and demanding everyone else do the same.

  28. I would despair even more if there were not either Trump of Cruz in the race.
    YMMV!

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  30. That’s it. I’m declaring individual sovereignty.

    1. Seriously, the least apalling candidate is Cruz and there’s no fucking way in hell I’ll vote for him.

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  34. This election, more than any other in recent memory, has more people competing for a position to which they are unworthy.

  35. I would prefer Cruz to Trump as the lesser of two evils, and I would definitely prefer Cruz as the lesser evil to either Hillary Clinton or Sanders. That being said, I doubt that I will vote for either party’s candidate – I never have. So that means I’ll either vote for the LP candidate or stay home and watch the world burn.

  36. Yes, I have to respect libertarians for remaining principled. Unfortunately, the real world has little room for principled people. Being too principled to tone down some of the aspects of libertarianism that alienate large numbers of people who otherwise agree with most of the basic tenets of libertarianism results in libertarians having practically zero influence in major governmental decision making.

    Surely, the soon to be new “shot-callers” in America, those who are coming here because they already used international democratic socialism to destroy their own nations, will appreciate those who helped them occupy this nation. Yeah, like that’s going to happen!

  37. I’m not sure whether this is more or less depressing than a Bush/Clinton rematch.
    .
    I’m going to vote for Rand Paul in the primary, and he’s going to lose. Then I’m going to vote for Gary Johnson in the general, and he’s going to lose. That would probably be the same if we were looking at Bush/Clinton redux.
    .
    Libertarians argue about whether to remain absolutely principled or whether to compromise for electability, but so far, it looks like neither option works. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are completely uncompromising and had no chance of winning. Rand Paul compromised early and often with the GOP establishment, and he’s not doing much better.
    .
    At least the debates will be more interesting than they would be in a Bush/Clinton race. If it’s Cruz vs. Sanders, voters will have a clear choice between all-in right-wing ideology and all-in left-wing ideology. (Even if libertarians don’t want either.) If it’s Trump vs. Clinton, it will be amusing to see whether Trump’s nonsensical but crowd-pleasing rants will make Hillary’s wonkish head explode.

    1. “I’m going to vote for Rand Paul in the primary”

      You are the Devil!

      Rand Paul isn’t for Open Borderz! Haven’t you heard? A vote for Rand Paul makes you Worse than Hitler!

      1. Oh, look, a conservatarian who mocks someone else’s important issue, while insisting that HIS important issue on taxation or guns is sacrosanct and can never be compromised. How original.

  38. “hysterical campaigns full of hyperbole, misdirection, and easily provable lies”…………..

    Are we talking about Trump and Cruz, or Reason’s multiple daily attacks on GOP candidates?

    1. I’ve been calling Reason’s Open Borderz attacks on republicans “hysterical pants shitting fits”, so it looks like the Reason attacks to me.

  39. “Time to despair, folks.”

    Since I’m not an Open Borderz Anarchist, I really don’t have to despair. It’s actually a time of hope for me.

    The biggest structural challenge for libertarians is to roll back the Progressive Theocracy and its grip on government.

    Cruz’s federalism and constitutionalism might actually do that.

    Even Trump might do it. Trump at least has been successfully fighting them in the media,and winning! That’s actually the biggest victory against the Progressive Theocracy I can remember. He’s shown that you don’t have to bend over to their will or be crushed. Resistance is not futile. It may be that that is the last victory against them, but it is at least a first. He has shown that the monster can be bled, and in the immortal words of The Arnold, “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

    The statist quo is an ever expanding regulatory leviathan enforced through indoctrination from the progressive media and academe. For decades, Republicans have been nominating guys who would tap the breaks at times on the trip there, but never change course, and never back up. They would occasionally try to restrain the Progressive Theocracy, but never truly fight back.

    This year, it looks like the Republicans will nominate someone who will fight back, at least in some ways. The Party bosses aren’t getting their way. I’ll take it. It’s the first little ray of hope for decades.

    1. Yeah, let’s defeat authoritarianism by electing authoritarians!

      That’s totally gonna change stuff man.

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  45. The premise of this column, that Libertarians aren’t being represented in this year’s presidential election, is utterly ridiculous. Ted Cruz supports abolishing the IRS, repealing Obamacare, is pro-second amendment, is pro-business, is pro-freedom of religion, opposes the Patriot Act, and is against the NSA collecting phone data. If you’re a Libertarian, you should be walking across broken glass barefoot to vote for Ted Cruz. Thanks for the belly laugh, Suderman!

  46. Well there could have been more Let’s take an example–Rubio couldn’t answer it could he–on illegal immigration. This is what the GOP should have said with Rubio

    There is no pathway to citizenship for any illegal alien. And don’t even bother responding to that one, Mr. Progressive, with your “where did your ancestors come from” nonsense. Mine came legally.

    They say we can’t deport 11 million people. Fine, this year we deport only a million. And close our border–completely. Then next year we only have 10 million illegal aliens. In five years we only have 5 million. In twenty years. . .gee who knows we may have an entire nation of people legally living here.

    Every illegal alien then lives in fear. Fear of going to the hospital. Because we’ll deport him. Fear of applying to a job–because he will be deported. And benefits and entitlements? Deported the second he applies for them. Gets pulled over for speeding? He pays a fine–then gets deported. Because that’s what should happen when you break the law. That’s what we should ALL be saying. Unless you’re really smart from Berkeley and can use that intelligence to justify breaking the law.

    The fact that the GOP and that milquetoast Rubio, whose parents never taught him the definition of the word legal, won’t say the above is why they will sit in the audience as someone else swears the oath in 2017.

    Charles Hurst. Author of THE SECOND FALL. The prophetic novel of America’s collapse. And creator of THE RUNNINGWOLF EZINE

  47. Cruz jumped on Rand’s wagon immediately after his “Smith goes to Washington” move. Player.
    Still… He has referenced “Constitutional rule of law” infinitely more than anyone other than Paul or Jindal, but… Player.
    Still… His voting record is almost decent.
    He didn’t hire city thugs to steal a single woman’s house.
    He uses words we can like, a little bit… but, Player.
    Then there’s Trump, who plays a playing player’s player, perhaps for play.
    Cruz it is. Push for Rand as VP.
    —-Maybe a dumb dem will win a natural-born suit, and somebody will produce bozo’s Kenyan certification, and then all of his vetos would be voided!

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