Election 2016

Will Ted Cruz or Donald Trump Pick Up Rand Paul's Supporters?

Or will followers of the libertarian-ish senator sit out the rest of the 2016 election?


The Rand Paul postmortems have been coming fast and furious. And, depending on where you stand in relation to libertarianism, they've been either gloatsome or sad.

I put myself in the latter category. For all his feints away from the libertarian-ish positions that had made him not just "the most interesting man in politics" (as Time put it a while ago) but the leader among Republican presidential hopefuls (a year ago), he was the only candidate in either major party who was actually bringing new ideas and combinations to the table. The presidential race will be far less interesting and, more importat, far less substantive, without him.

So why'd he fail to catch fire? In a new Daily Beast column, I suggest that Donald Trump is the primary reason:

Trump didn't just usher in a new tone more bracing than Aqua Velva on an open cut—he called Mexicans rapists mere minutes into his official campaign announcement, for instance, and dubbed competitors "weak" and "low-energy" to their faces—but a different set of concerns, too. Despite no indications that even Republicans were overly concerned with these things, the 2016 election suddenly was all about immigration and killing terrorists' families. The economy, government spending, and serious foreign policy discussions were pushed to the background.

I'd add also that Paul never fully articulated a principled response to the rise of ISIS and the beheading of two American freelance journalists in late summer 2014. Those killings changed U.S. public attitudes toward re-engaging in the Middle East and rather than offer a response consistent with his generally smart (and popular) foreign policy prescriptions, Paul went mini-hawk on Syria and the Middle East. One of the knocks against non-interventionism or libertarian realism is that it's not up to the task of protecting American interests in a world gone mad. I don't think that's at all true. In fact, it's more important than ever to argue that interventionism, which is articulated by all the other GOP candidates and Hillary Clinton, is at the core of our sinking global standing. In this arena, Paul may have lost but it's also true his critique has left a lasting mark on discussions of war: None of the most-likely-to-succeed candidates are calling for boots on the ground, or at least not openly. We've experienced total foreign pollcy failure on the part of Republicans and Democrats so far in the 21st century—failures that have come at enormous cost to life and liberty (not to mention money and other resources). It's a shame that Paul wasn't able to more forcefully change the conversation.

So where will Paul's GOP supporters go now? My preliminary thoughts:

Trump has no realistic shot at picking up Paul's votes, given his lack of interest in or adherence to any set of unifying principles. Whatever happens, Rubio has already revealed himself as an apple-polisher, more eager to sit behind the desk than get the job done. His tax plan is the worst sort of social engineering via the tax code and he's easily the most unreconstructed interventionist among the top GOP candidates.

That leaves Ted Cruz, who is nobody's idea of a libertarian but who at least makes head fakes toward some limits on political power. Corie W. Stephens of Rare notes that Cruz has already apparently picked up one major Paul backer less than a day after the senator's withdrawal….

Or it might be that much of Paul's support simply goes into hibernation, waiting not just for one more candidate who pats them on the head and whispers stray Ludwig von Mises quotes, but actually lays out exactly how she is going to create a new operating system for a country that is both financially and ideologically broke.

Read the full article here.

What do you think, folks?

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  1. I plan to pull the lever for Gary’s Johnson.

    1. I plan to support the man who made Big Johnson Construction great.

  2. Gary Johnson. End of discussion.

    1. He’s not the LP nominee yet.

      1. Johnson was a soporific hand-me-down-republican candidate last time, but he did get a passel of votes compared to idiots like Barr and Badnarik. And I will again vote LP even if he is nominated. But so far reason has been real quiet about Austin Petersen, Smith, Sterling, Waymire, Robinson, Perry, Kerbel, Cecil Ince and Feldman. ALL are also on the LP straw poll and NO information is provided about a single one of them. Cecil Ince is a real libertarian, like Austin Petersen, somebody is investing in smearing Feldman or he has the same name. McAffee seems to only have found out a month ago we want to legalize coke. But hey, two genuine LP candidates ain’t a bad start…
        Oh… the LP is for some reason not accepting Paypal.

  3. Rand was the snappiest dresser in the race. I can’t imagine anyone appealing to his supporters on that level.

    1. Turtlenecks are not okay, Hugh.

      1. Normally I’d agree with you, but Rand makes it work.

        1. That actually is a pretty solid outfit for a politician. I don’t know why the fuck he’s looking at the floor, though.

        2. As did Steve McQueen in Bullitt and the guy who plays Ilya Kuriakin Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie.

          Turtlenecks FTW

          1. Don’t forget the first man to recognize its potential as a tactical garment. Sterling Archer.

      2. Someone has to wear turtlenecks, and Rand could often make it work.

        1. Elizabeth Holmes makes it work.

      3. I had a ribbed grey mock turtleneck in college that I looked really damn good in. But that was before I got fat.

    2. And tortoise shell Ray Bans?? It’s fucking 2015!

      1. Bugger off! Tortoise shell never goes out of style.

      2. Exactly. That’s why they call it retro style.
        All the nicest stuff is retro.

        1. Call me when parachute pants are back

    3. We need Gilmore to weigh in on this.

  4. I think that this entire charade is a fucking joke and whoever wins, we all lose. And the people who get caught up in it like it’s American Idol or the Superbowl of politics or whatever fucking idiotic way we want to actually say “bread and circuses” are idiots or water-carriers or both. Who cares who gets Paul’s supporters? It’ll just be another power-hungry piece of shit who will do everything they can to expand their own power (and therefore the power of the imperial presidency) once they take office.

    1. Nah, the 1% will win if a Democrat or Republican takes the White House.

    2. That’s a good point, but THIS IS DA MOST IMPORTANT ELECSHUN OF UR LIFETIME!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!


      1. What about the Supreme Court? YOU’RE FORGETTING ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT!!!!

  5. I’m writing in Aqua Buddha.

    1. Maybe all of HnR should write in Almanian. He has a clear platform.

      1. That’s actually a better idea.

        1. He’s got my vote, cuz I already took one of those tiny flags from him.

  6. I suppose a somewhat noticeable number will go to Cruz, some to the LP, some will write in Almanian/Cthulhu (looking like a good option right about now)…I suspect they will mostly avoid the rest of TEAM RED. TEAM BLUE won’t pick up any of them, I should think.

    So, Cruz, Gay Jay, SMOD-types.

    1. Bernie could get half the cosmos.

    2. Cthulhu, I could see as a joke, but Almanian? That’s just offensive.

      1. He brings much needed balance to the ticket….Cthulhu, that is.

  7. I really don’t think it is “interventionism” that is causing problems. It is useless and weak interventions. Like spending billions in Afghanistan. Delivering millions of dollars of weapons to “the other rebels” in Syria, fucking around in Libya. At the time we were attacked on 9/11, who were invading or occupying? NOBODY.
    Hell, the first WTC bombing was 1993. What was that retaliation for? The first Gulf War? For what liberating Kuwait or not liberating Iraq?

    My point is not that we should get involved everywhere. In fact, we do need to pick our battles. But those battles that are worth fighting, are worth going all in. I am also not advocating “nation building”. Obviously we have see what a disaster that has been.

    But, there are times and places that the US should intervene. But they should be for vital US interests, and have some vision of what victory looks like.

    1. At the time we were attacked on 9/11, who were invading or occupying? NOBODY.

      Welp, I LOLed.

      1. Look nicole, just because America had enough troops to populate Richmond deployed internationally, doesn’t mean they were “invading” or “occupying” anybody.


          What else did I miss?

          1. What else did I miss?


        2. So are you blaming the Germans or the Koreans (both of whom get agitated when we talk about moving troops out)?

          1. If the Germans or Koreans want to pay us to station troops fine. Otherwise, they can go get bent.

        3. Funny that according to your own graph, at the time of 9/11, American troops deployed in foreign countries was the lowest number since prior to WWII. And also significant numbers of troops were spread out in many places such as South Korea, Japan, Germany, etc.

          1. “I don’t know what she’s getting upset about, I didn’t hit her near as hard this time.”

        4. When US troops are stationed on a military base in a foreign country by invitation of the stable government of that country, then US troops are not “invading” or “occupying” that country. But perhaps it’s too hard to comprehend for the SJW wing of HnRers.

          1. And since the House of Saud is a totally legit regime that represents not only the interests but also the will of its people everything should have been totally cool.

            1. Since we weren’t helping the House of Saud suppress a local insurrection, it shouldn’t be fucking relevant to them one way or the other. Do you think that if Russia invades Mexico, and Canada sends some troops to American bases as a precaution, that anti-government Americans are going to want to blow up Canadians?

              They hate us because we are powerful, and because they are supremacists, and therefore we are in between them and their rightful place as rulers of the world. 9/11 might not have been a date with significance to Americans, but it does matter to Muslim supremacists — it’s the date of the Battle of Vienna, where the last Caliphate’s attempts to enslave Europe were decisively crushed. If they were avenging some injustice or fighting for freedom, they’d pick a date where we wronged them or they defeated an aggressor; picking 9/11 said that the wrong they were trying to correct was “Kuffirs not being ruled by the Master Faith”.

              1. ObL disagreed with that analysis. He saw the US as occupiers propping up a corrupt regime.

                1. ObL was a propagandist, and the messages he aimed at gullible Westerners were not necessarily the same as the ones he aimed at jihadis (they were filled with more prog bullshit, for one thing — he clearly saw who the easiest rubes to work were).

      2. Then tell me, who were we occupying? Or is the fact that we had several thousand troops, that were essentially restricted to a military base in Saudi Arabia considered justification for slaughtering 3000 civilians?

        1. Bin Laden certainly didn’t have any qualms accepting stingers and ak’s from the great satan.

          1. Neither did Saddam, nor do the Syrians who will inevitably become the next regional warlords.

        2. Or is the fact that we had several thousand troops, that were essentially restricted to a military base in Saudi Arabia considered justification for slaughtering 3000 civilians?

          Well, we do have evidence that they considered that a justification, so…yes.

          1. Oh Nicole, don’t you understand that what the attackers considered a justification doesn’t matter? All that matters is a pedantic argument over whether stationing troops is “occupation” from the US’s perspective.

            1. This is from Osama bin Laden’s letter justifying the attack on 9/11.

              (a) We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling’s, and trading with interest.

              After the US withdrew its troops from Saudi Arabia, shouldn’t we get rid of all the homosexuals too? Just to be on the safe side.

              1. We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honour, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling’s, and trading with interest.

                So I take it he’s not a commenter here?

              1. I just picture some 18 yr old would-be Jihadi, saying “Wait, you mean they got McDonalds, whiskey, more chicks than dudes, and the dudes are Betas? Instead of blowing them up, why don’t we just move their and establish harems?”

                1. I think the guy is claiming that they only do this in McD’s located in Arabia. Our hamburgers are unadulterated, because Jews, probably.

              2. Who the hell wants fresh whiskey?

            2. Uh, it doesn’t. I mean, not necessarily. If they were an apartheid nation and their beef was that a black American soldier married a white native, and they murdered 3000 people on that account, fuck them and fuck their justification. Their justifications had a lot less to do with secular notions of occupation, and a lot more to do with a sense of “defilement” rooted in religious bigotry.

              If we accept the morality under which they decide that they are justified in doing violence, we can argue or negotiate. If we can’t accept that morality, then we can either respond with violence or not at all.

          2. Quick, withdraw US troops from Italy before an Italian Osama bin Laden organizes a 9/11-style attack.

            1. Oh, since Italians aren’t bothered by having foreign troops in their country, nobody else should be either. Seems legit.

            2. Aren’t the wops too busy ignoring 23 flavors of deodorant?

          3. Do you consider it a justification?

    2. “At the time we were attacked on 9/11, who were invading or occupying? NOBODY.”

      Have you read bin Laden’s letter or do you just not buy it?

      1. I buy that he used American troops in Saudi Arabia as a pretense. But considering the restrictions on US troops there, I really don’t see how anyone of good faith could possibly argue that it was an occupation.

        1. What does the restriction matter, they were literally too close to Mecca in his (and many others) mind.

          If we called it a “presence” instead of an “occupation” would it be satisfactory?

          (His letter cited other reason besides Saudi Arabia, of course)

        2. How many troops would China have to deploy to their bases in the US before you called it an occupation?

          1. We can argue for non-interventionism without being disingenuous. The Gulf War bases in KSA were not a Guantanamo Bay situation; they were constructed at the request of the Saudi monarch.

            1. True, if that brutal unelected dictator wanted American bases there why should people get all upset about it?

              1. The need to make such narrow and semantic points is growing tiresome. Yes, the US troops
                “occupy” the acreage that the bases are built on, and the mere fact of their presence clearly upsets many people in the region.

                Neither the entire country of Saudi Arabia nor even some majority of it is under US occupation.

              2. A cadre of violent salafists doesn’t equal “the Saudi people”, unless this is your coming out at the Neoconservative Ball.

              3. Like “elected” confers some special sort of sovereign legitimacy.

          2. It sort of depends on if the U.S. *invited* them.

            1. Not sure if that would be completely analogous.

              King Fahd allowed the US military to have a base there without the consensus of the Royal Family. bin Laden called him out on that (as well as the violations of Islamic tenets)

              There’s also the longer claim of them not being the rightful rulers of Saudi Arabia at all…

      2. It’s been a while since I’ve read about that. When did bin Laden write that letter?

        1. It was released a year after 9/11. I don’t know when he wrote it.

      3. Putting the wisdom of interventionism aside, does that many any random person gets veto power over all U.S. foreign policy actions? Even consensual actions between governments?

        1. Even consensual actions between governments?

          I LOLed again.

          Any random person gets veto power over anything if he’s willing to blow himself up.

        2. “Putting the wisdom of interventionism aside, does that many any random person gets veto power over all U.S. foreign policy actions? Even consensual actions between governments?”

          The terrorist veto isn’t quite the same as any random person.

          But I’d say no, there could very well be tangible benefits to some form of occupation that outweigh outrage and potential backlash. How that is even measured and over what time period is extremely difficult though.

          1. Well, if you want to gamble away your own money to get these mythical “tangible benefits” of occupying other countries, go right ahead. Just don’t steal my money to do it.

    3. Hell, the first WTC bombing was 1993. What was that retaliation for?

      Grenada, 1492

      1. Figures it’s all the fault of the Spaniards, the siesta-ing bastards.

      2. We had troops stationed in Saudi Arabia from 1991 Gulf War.

    4. Why did you move the goalpost from interventionism to invading and occupying? Merely propping up the various ME dictatorships has bought us plenty of ill will in that region.

      1. I think it’s explained by his opening two sentences:

        I really don’t think it is “interventionism” that is causing problems. It is useless and weak interventions.

        1. Fair enough, though that seems like a copout. I doubt he could define what a “useful and strong” intervention in the Middle East would look like, in which case interventionism is the problem.

          1. It is never entirely clear to me what “interventionism” means when people use it.

            I think of it as a foreign policy based around intervention as the default action. In which case, not every intervention qualifies as an example of intervenionism; only those undertaken without a specific purpose (stated and practiced) besides “we must appear to be doing something”.

            As to what a useful and strong intervention would look like besides conquest and perpetual occupation a la 19th century imperialism, I don’t know. And that doesn’t guarantee success, either. The Ottomans decisively crushed the early Saudi states and beheaded the early Wahhabis. Hardly useless or weak. Yet today the Ottomans are gone, but the Saudis and Wahhabists/Salafists are still around.

          2. My point is that throwing smart bombs and drone strikes which appear damn near to be random, doesn’t do us any good. Nor does trying to nation build in a country like Afghanistan.
            Also intervention also doesn’t always equal invasion. And a strong intervention is one in which we define what victory looks like, and we do whatever it takes to achieve it.
            War should be a last resort. But it must never be taken off the table completely when dealing with those who obviously want to hurt us.

      2. And yet everybody else who is opposed to those dictators is WORSE! Stopped propping up Mubarak, and the Muslim Brotherhood steps in. Give up n the Shah, we get the Ayatollahs. If not the Saud family, then an Osama Bid Laden?
        Sometimes you make alliances with somebody bad to fight somebody worse. Should we not have allied with th Soviets against Nazi Germany?

        1. Which was the “worse” in that scenario?

  8. My thinking on this –

    The Choice:

    Donald Trump – Out-and-out crony capitalist with little more than disdain for Constitutional limitations with a foreign policy that amounts to “Nuke their ass and take their gas!”. A little closer to me culturally, but sort of the dregs of that culture. Wildly inflated view of his own adequacy. Once advocated drug legalization, but now is standard issue drug warrior.

    Ted Cruz – Arrogant prick. but can usually follow through with the brains to back it up. Probably too much the religiousy sort for my cultural tastes. But, also a guy who at key points that he “gets it” with regard to liberty and the Constitution, albeit incredibly inconsistently. Foreign policy realist who recognizes that it’s not America’s job to make the world like Westchester county. On the flip-flop front, there’s his recent disgraceful performance on criminal justice reform. Still, a marijuana federalist.

    For me, it’s a pretty clear choice, as far as the GOP nomination goes. Cruz might even be able to get my backing in the general. He’s just got to get a lot more consistent and prove that those key points are what he’s willing to stand with than the times he’s pandering.

    1. I thought Cruz was more of a hawk on foreign policy?

      1. No, not really.


        Cruz, if elected, will have to do his own thinking [on foreign policy], to an extent that no American president has had to do since Lincoln. He is intelligent enough and arrogant enough to do that, and he will owe no favors or patronage to the Establishment. He would be the cleverest man to occupy the oval office in a century and a half. He carries no baggage from the Bush administration, and will not invite the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol or Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer to draft an inaugural address, as did Bush in 2004. Cruz, if elected, will have to do his own thinking, to an extent that no American president has had to do since Lincoln. He is intelligent enough and arrogant enough to do that, and he will owe no favors or patronage to the Establishment. He would be the cleverest man to occupy the oval office in a century and a half. He carries no baggage from the Bush administration, and will not invite the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol or Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer to draft an inaugural address, as did Bush in 2004.

        1. Hmm. So what is he bad on from a libertarian perspective? Gay marriage and immigration? Anything else?

          1. From Ted Cruz and Chuck Grassley Switch Places on Sentencing Reform:

            At a time when police officers across this country are under assault right now, are being vilified right now, when we’re seeing violent crime spiking in our cities across the country, I think it would be a serious mistake for the Senate to pass legislation providing for 7,082 convicted criminals potentially to be released early

          2. Pretty much. And abortion, plus while he’s a federalist on marijuana legalization now, he was more of a drug warrior at one time (he criticized the Obama admin’s more or less laissez-fare approach to CO and WA’s legalization in 2012).

          3. Well, he’s probably a lot more religious than a lot of people are comfortable with. What’s not clear is that that means he’d translate that to government action that most of us wouldn’t like. My impression is no. But, I can see where some of his rhetoric might be a little off-putting, to say the least. I mean, if you’re an atheist, I can see why someone saying that someone who isn’t a good Christian shouldn’t be president might bug the hell out of you, even if the guy doesn’t think the government ought to do anything to bar non-Christians. If you’re gay, I could see why a guy saying that you’re the enemy might get you a little riled up, even if he doesn’t intend to do anything to enforce his enmity.

            1. Cruz’s big problem isn’t religiousness — it’s that he lacks ANY libertarian ideas. Sure, he used to back criminal justice reform and limits on surveillance, but he did a 180 on both of those, and I suspect (I admit I have no proof) that his current views are more reflective of where he actually stands than just pandering to the base.

              I also don’t like his wanting to get more involved in fighting ISIS. I’m sick to death of Middle Eastern embroilment. Especially now that oil from that region is not anywhere near as vital as it used to be, I’d like to see more of a practiced neglect and even abandonment of that whole region. For once, the U.S. ought to say, “You local countries can deal with that pile of crap you have there. Call us when you evolve out of the 6th-century and enter the 21st. Until then, we’re done with you!”

              As a libertarian, I’m fed up with giving up more and more liberty for the sake of “security” against these so-called “existential threats” that don’t even have a navy or air force and no longer even have the ability to hijack planes with a box cutter. Sorry, but I’m willing to take my chances when attending rock concerts in Paris. It’s not worth yet another perpetual war.

              The way it’s going, if ISIS does get wiped out, our leaders will just trot out Procul Haram or whatever those girl-murdering idiots in Nigeria call themselves as the new threat that requires shredding what’s left of the Bill of Rights. It’s time to call bullshit on the whole game.

              1. Cruz’s big problem isn’t religiousness — it’s that he lacks ANY libertarian ideas.

                Compared to what? Compared to either of the Pauls? Sure.

                Compared to whoever the Libertarian runs on the ticket? Suire.

                Compared to anyone else still running for a major party nomination? I’ve got to call bullshit. On economics, Cruz sounds pretty much straight-down-the-line libertarian. He’s a marijuana federalist. He’s opposed to the growth of government surveillance. He’s said we need to scale back our role as global policeman (even Rand Paul argued we need to take out ISIS – there wasn’t a candidate in the running at all who was opposed to confronting them).

                Who’s more libertarian on a major party ticket? Trump? The guy’s an out-and-out statist. Clinton? Show me what the hell she doesn’t want to control. Sanders? I don’t think you can be all about pointing a gun in people’s face and taking their stuff and still call your self in any sort of libertarian.

          4. There’s plenty more religious ban-abortion zealots in the GOP. They rejected young Rand Paul because he wanted half of humanity to enjoy individual rights–anathema to God’s Own Prohibitionists. What part of zero tolerance don’t you people understand?

    2. About sums it up for me too. I could probably vote Cruz in the general. If it’s any of the others I’ll be looking down-ticket.

    3. Cruz might even be able to get my backing in the general.

      Well don’t strain yourself; you are in NY, after all.

      1. True. But, my New York dollars spend just as well in Ohio and Florida.

  9. I’m going to Trump. It’s been very enjoyable to see him tool the media and the establishment.

    1. And the rest of us.

    2. Trump is also licking the blacking off of antichoice boots. But as Republican bigots go, he strikes me as less nauseating than the field. Still, if the LP doubles to 6% of the reported vote in Texas and 2% nationwide (12 and 4% in real votes), every Republican losing by 2- percentage points will be a nail in the Federalist, Whig, Republican party’s coffin.

  10. Not this one.

  11. Somehow, I’m getting the feeling the biggest beneficiary won’t be a Republican at all. I’m guessing that most of the stick-it-to-the-man types will be Feeling the Bern. I’m not seeing your generic Republican type having much to offer that crowd.

    1. Agree.

    2. You what you’re saying is that you’re all in for Bernie now.

      1. He makes me wince every time he opens his mouth. But I don’t think the Fight the Establishment types really know or care about the difference between a socialist and a libertarian. They support anyone who makes them feel like they’re Striking A Blow Against The Empire.

      2. You may not have noticed, but there are more than just those two looter parties on the ballot in non-Klan states. Some of us–the ones who know High School math–would rather repeal bad laws than wallow in teevee-induced collectivism.

  12. I wish none of the above was on the ballot an if it won the office would be abolished.

    1. They’d put it in the top slot and use that as a pretext to nullify the result. See Rudebarbs

  13. While it would be nice to vote for someone without a war fetish, I vote on economic policy first. Gary’s the best guy left, but I think either Cruz or Rubio is a sufficiently practical compromise that I’ll probably accept the war they’ll monger just to keep from ending up with a $15 minimum wage and a tripling of cap gains taxes. I think Cruz will actually cut spending. I think Rubio will at least keep it from growing, and will have a better chance of actually winning than Cruz.

    Can’t say I’m very comfortable with either one, but that comes with the territory of being for liberty.

    1. You must be too young to remember George W. Bush. Many said the same of him, but when he got the Trifecta, spending soared.

    2. Marco is even worse than Bernie.

    3. Cruz yes, Rubio….God No.


      I’m not looking for a repeat of Dubya. Elect Rubio and in four years everyone here we’ll be talking about another “liberaltarian” alliance. God help us.

      1. Looter parties only care about their hand in the till. Mystics care about coercing women, prohibition, genocide and war. Both are unacceptable, but by casting libertarian spoiler votes we can lever them against each other and repeal a bunch of idiot laws and taxes. This is not highly abstract science, but the way the mystics and looters ended up with the communist party income tax and the prohibition party amendment in the Constitution. The case for voting libertarian is brain-dead simple to anyone who knows how to turn off a teevee.

  14. I’m voting for Cthulhu. Why choose the lesser of evils.

    My god can eat your god!

  15. Jimmy Carter weighs in on the topic – chooses Trump because he has no principles and is malleable. I don’t think this endorsement will help Trump. Cruz, on the other hand, is a big conservative meanie who fights for stuff.


    1. Throw the rabbit in the briar patch.

  16. I can’t speak for anyone else that would have given Rand a shot, but I guarantee I would never vote for any of the clowns that are left.

    I’ll vote for Gary Johnson, or Deez Nutz, or Almanian/Chthulu.

  17. I can see libertarians voting for Trump simply out of rancour. Politics brings out the worst in people, so why not vote for the one person who does it best?

    1. Why not the one PARTY changing laws in the proper direction? Communism failed. Nationalsocialism failed. That leaves the LP as the last platform standing–the Unknown Ideal.

  18. I don’t think Trump caused Rand to crash. I think that Rand simply misunderstood Trump’s appeal and wavered between attacking it and aping it. Cruz undermined it more effectively simply by articulating basic principles. Cruz is actually pretty good on that. The question for me is whether he really believes what he says (but honestly I have the same question about Rand). And then of course whether he can properly reason from principle to policy. But I agree with Nick’s analysis on the warmongering. But it’s simple pandering – they think that’s what we want to hear. Cruz’s threat to ‘glass the desert’ is a perfect example of that absurdity. What he doesn’t get is that we want more blood and guts. This naivete suggests he might not be the carefully programmed Manitobian candidate after all.

  19. Will Ted Cruz or Donald Trump Pick Up Rand Paul’s Supporters?

    Al, what, 5 or 6 of them?

  20. Here’s what I would do (partial list):

    Trump vs. Hillary – Gary Johnson (or libertarian candidate)
    Cruz vs. Hillary – will need to think about this
    Rubio vs. Hillary – will need to think about this too, but would be more inclined to vote libertarian than for Rubio.
    Sanders vs. Trump – Sanders (I think Trump would be an all-out disaster for civil liberties if elected)
    Sanders vs. Trump vs. Bloomberg- We are seriously screwed if these are the choices!

    1. Trump vs. Hillary – Johnson (whoever the LP puts up)

      Trump vs. Sanders – I guess Sanders, I might flip a coin between Sanders and the LP

      Cruz v. Hillary – Cruz (I wouldn’t even need to hold my nose)

      Cruz v. Sanders – Cruz (Sanders with a Republican Congress is appealing, but Cruz is better)

      Rubio vs. Hillary – Johnson (whoever the LP puts up) Clinton and Rubio are both a similar kind of awful just from different sides of the same coin.

      Rubio vs. Sanders – Leaning Sanders with a Republican Congess, Rubio with a Republican Congress makes me think of Obama with a Democratic Congress. It would be awful.

      Trump vs. Sanders vs. Bloomberg – I likely die from alcohol poisoning.

      1. How for both of you is Trump vs. Sanders not as bad as if Bloomberg’s also a choice?

        1. Adding Bloomberg usually makes everything worse from my perspective.

          It’s not that Trump and Sanders aren’t bad on their own. It’s that as soon as you put them on stage with Bloomberg in the middle, you realize just how screwed we really are. And its Mr. Soda Restrictions that will be seen as the sane moderate candidate here to save us all. George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot may not have been great, but they were better than this.

          But more importantly Trump and Sanders are worse with Bloomberg, because it would be their nomination victories that may lead to a Bloomberg run: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01……html?_r=0

          If Bloomy doesn’t get in then my original assessment is I flip coin on Bernie or the LP versus Trump. Either way I’m probably drinking, but with Bloomberg running I’m drinking much more heavily.

  21. I sent about $1k to Rand. Just sent Rubio $100 on Tuesday. Anecdotal information, but as meaningful as the simulations of the real world that go on in The Jacket’s mind.

    My rankings:
    1) Rubio
    2) Cruz
    3) Trump
    99x 10E 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) Hillary or Sanders

    Probably vote for Johnson unless my state is truly in play. In that case, I would vote for the Republican (ANY OF THEM, NICK!!!!!!!!!!!!). I have kids. We need to get the economy moving. Stop the retards now! Fix the social stuff later.

    1. That fear of hobgoblins Mencken mentioned… My vote for the LP candidate is against any cop shooting my kid in the back and having the Solicitor bitch rule it justified, against the GOP crashes, from TR to Herb Hoover to Ronnie and George Holy War to the Clinton crash to the Asset-forfeiture crash when infrared helicopter searches turned grow houses into presents for narcs and their chums… EVERY crash ruining your retirement is the work of God’s Own Prohibitionists aided by the other looters. The infiltrators have gotten desperate and thick to corrupt a party with 1-6% of the vote.

  22. Mature libertarians ie those backing Paul will move on to Cruz instead of sulking impotently.

  23. The Donald’s going to get more of The Rand’s supporters than you think, because you forget how much stock voters & low-level supporters put in personality. Someone interviewed in the street (probably Union Sq. or Wash. Sq.) recently by Clay Pigeon on WFMU said he liked Rand for his forthrightness & outspokenness, his willingness to call out other candidates on things; who else does that sound like who’s running for prez?

  24. Bernie Sanders obviously. Republicans don’t own libertarians.

    1. Maybe, but they sure own controlling interest in Reason magazine. The infiltrators all hiss “liiiibrull” as if it meant eaters of live baby entrails. But until November of 1932 liberal meant heartless selfish capitalists who care only about not having guns jammed into their nostrils and their cars confiscated over a bottle of beer. Rednecks in Texas are so worked up they think LIB on the ballot means beer-legalizing FDR-supporting wet LIBeral, and start dousing crosses in gasoline and striking matches.

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