Election 2016

Trump: Now More Than Ever?

Nate Silver says the billionaire xenophobe is still the clear GOP favorite.

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Donald Trump won easily in South Carolina over the weekend, though by a smaller margin than recent polls showed, prompting naysayers to declare his ship is finally sinking. And most people believe that Jeb Bush's dropping out will throw support away from Trump (likely to Rubio or Kasich).

Nate Silver disagrees:

A reasonable person might adjudicate the case as follows: Yes, if the Republican nomination becomes a two-man race between Trump and Rubio, it could be pretty close. But that might not happen, or it at least might not happen for a while, not until Trump is off to a pretty big head start in delegates. What happens in a three-way race between Trump, Rubio and Cruz is a little murky. This reasonable person would concede that Rubio had a chance. But who's the favorite? Trump!

The Trump skeptics might bring up one last line of argument. They'd claim, perhaps more tentatively than they did before, that GOP elites still have some ability to influence the race. Maybe voters don't care about what "the establishment" thinks, but individual Republican politicians can still have some influence — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's endorsement of Rubio very probably helped him, for instance. These elites have quite a bit of money to throw around, especially with Bush out.

Silver notes that betting markets have Trump's chances of being the nominee at 50 percent, Rubio's at 40 percent, and everyone else's at 10 percent, which he says sounds about right.

More here.

NEXT: Trump Wins South Carolina, Jeb Bush Drops Out, NASA Releases Audio of 'outer-space type music': A.M. Links

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  1. I don’t know how exactly it works, but money somehow seems to translate into primary votes. They might yet be able to spend Trump out of the nomination.

    1. In practical terms it’s easier to bribe one superdelegate than tens of thousands of primary voters or caucassers (caucasians?).

      1. Raaa????……yes, definitely. Racist!

        1. But I’m not Irish!

            1. By that token the education department should be honoring days taken off due to drunk tank stays.

              1. Well, they’re functionally equivalent, so yes.

    2. Money didn’t help Jeb Bush. In previous elections, it didn’t help Meg Whatshername in California, and hasn’t helped plenty of candidates in other elections. It’s a pretty sorry correlation.

    3. You’re right, you don’t know how it works.
      Jeb! out spent everyone combined by a huge margin and only managed to achieve 1% of the vote.
      Trump spends next to nothing and is leading the pack by double digits.
      What he says, despite however crudely he says it, resonates with the public.
      You would have to change peoples perception of reality before Trumps support will change.
      Trump has changed the dynamic, he has changed the national conversation.
      Now that he has, you can’t put that genie back in the bottle.

  2. If Cruz and Rubio actually believed Trump is the anti-christ of the GOP, they should just make an agreement that one of them drop out and throw their support to the other (and maybe that one names the other as his VP or SCOTUS or some other cabinet position pick). Whether it’s flipping a coin, a wrestling match, whoever wins more votes in the next primary, having a panel of experts decide who’s better – if defeating Trump is the top priority, let’s see it. But if Trump is so bad, we might have seen some candidates refuse to take the GOP pledge of supporting whichever of them became the eventual nominee. Winning is more important to the GOP than being right.

    1. Oh, but which one, Jer, which one? That’s the dilemma. Everyone agrees that the cat should be belled, but nobody wants to be the first to try it.

      1. Don’t you mean “pussy”?

    2. Well, this seems to be what’s going on with the rapid whittling down of the field. We’re down to just three: Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich. Most likely Kasich will drop out next and throw his support behind Rubio.

      1. Kasich will hold on as long as he can and the price for his support will be the VP nomination. So he has to wait it out so he doesn’t end up being promised the VP slot by someone who doesn’t get the nomination.

        1. Yes, this makes the most sense as to why Kasich is still in it. But frankly he doesn’t have enough delegates or support to move the needle at this point. So, I don’t think he’ll have much leverage.

          Granted, his likely boost from being Governor of Ohio, might give him the VP slot in any case.

      2. We’re down to just three: Rubio, Cruz, and Kasich.

        Are you on the Cruz campaign or something? Ben Carson is still in the race!

  3. Just to pick a nit, why is Trump a xenophobe but Bernie Sanders not one? Reason is aware that Sanders has called open borders a “Koch brothers plot”?

    1. Um, Sanders isn’t calling for a national registry of Muslims, for example.

      1. So reason now believes closing the border is not a xenophobic position and those who hold it not necessarily xenophobes? That is interesting news for sure. I doubt, however, that is the case.

        1. Sanders isn’t nearly as anti-immigrant as Trump is either. He’s certainly not making hating immigrants the center of his campaign.

          1. Sanders isn’t nearly as anti-immigrant

            So closing the border isn’t “anti-immigrant” and it is okay to be a xenophobe as long as you don’t say it too loudly?

            Do you plan to stop digging anytime soon Hazel?

            1. Sanders is in favor of what Trump and Republicans consider amnesty, so there’s no way Sanders is as anti-immigrant as Trump. He’s been very clear that he doesn’t plan to deport current illegal immigrants.

              1. And he wants to shut the border after that. Sanders is unpologetically anti-immigration. Even the Republicans claim to be for legal immigration is good. Sanders rejects event that.

                Look Nikki, I know he is on the left and your lefty friends won’t like you if you say he is just as bad as Trump. But I don’t have that issue and am thus forced to believe my lying eyes.

                1. How could he be “as bad as Trump” if he only wants to restrict immigration but not deport people currently here, when Trump wants to do both?

                  1. Because he is anti-immigration both legal and illegal. He may want to let immigrants who are here stay, but he is clear about his commitment to let no more in.

                    I don’t see how that is any less anti-immigrant than Trump or any of the GOP who say they are fine with at least some legal immigration.

                    And maybe you missed this but Bernie is a SOCIALIST. it was in all the papers. He doesn’t just hate immigrants, he hates the entire human race.

                    1. I don’t see how that is any less anti-immigrant than Trump or any of the GOP who say they are fine with at least some legal immigration.

                      You don’t see how two bad things are worse than one bad thing?

                    2. Nikki, I think someone who says they want to seal the borders to insulate US workers from any future competition is anti-immigrant. The fact that he claims to be willing to let the ones already here stay, doesn’t make him less anti-immigrant.

                    3. Sanders is anti-immigrant. But he isn’t as anti-immigrant as Trump, which is the point Hazel made that you tried to dispute.

          2. How do you know Trump is anti-immigrant? I don’t think Trump even knows what’s coming out of his mouth at any given moment, much less that he actually believes it.

            1. How do you know Trump is anti-immigrant?

              Because that’s the centerpiece of his entire campaign.

              1. Hillary’s campaign centerpiece is trustworthiness – I can see now why you’d vote for her.

        2. “reason” believes? Hadn’t realized all reason staffers were from the same mold.

          1. Has reason ever published an article that supporting anything short of full open borders or said those on the other side have a reasonable case based in something other than racism?

            If they have, please link to an example and I will take that statement back. If you can’t provide an example, then the point stands.

            1. The point doesn’t stand because reason is not a single entity with a single belief. Good grief.

              1. Reason also isn’t edited and written by anarchists which is why I’ve pretty much never seen anyone actually call for open borders. They seem fine with the existence of customs.

                1. Here you are Nikki. Maybe you missed this

                  What Scarface Can Teach Us About Mass Immigration
                  The Case for Open Borders
                  Zach Weissmueller | February 16, 2016

                  Fetzer sat down with us to discuss what these three natural experiments in mass migration tell us about the arguments for, and against, opening our borders. These are some of his key findings:

                  Unrestricted migration does not lead to job loss for natives, and in some cases even may lead to reduced unemployment.
                  Mass immigration is not a net drain on public resources.
                  Only in the Cuban case did violent crime spike, a phenomenon Fetzer attributes to the fact that Castro purposely sent criminals to America. Burglaries did increase slightly in all cases for a short time, but in at least one case it appeared that migrants may have more often been victims than perpetrators of the crimes.

                  I suppose there is some theoretical limit to immigration that Reason would endorse. Where that limit is, however, has never been elucidated.

                  I would put in the link but the reason server won’t take a reason link.

                  1. That doesn’t look like a call for the complete elimination of national borders and all customs enforcement to me.

              2. Sure it is not a single entity. But just because it doesn’t have one view on every subject, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have THIS view on THIS subject. Again, if you have an example that is contrary to my point, provide it. If you don’t, then cede my point.

    2. why is Trump a xenophobe but Bernie Sanders not one?

      HHAHAHA!

      Good thing I’m not voting for either.

  4. Please. Please. Don’t make me vote for Hillary, Republicans. I’m begging you. Don’t nominate Trump.

    1. No one is making you vote for anything. You vote based on what positions are most important to you and which can be compromised on. If you are a single issue open borders voter, then you should be voting for Hillary no matter who the GOP nominates. If you are not, then I don’t see why you are shitting your pants over Trump.

      1. Free trade, eminent domain, regulation, and the size of government aren’t things I’m going to compromise on.
        Trump is anti-free-trade, pro-eminent domain, and has nothing to say about regulation or spending.

        If you combine that with his horrific positions on civil liberties, libertarians should run screaming. And I having even mentioned open borders.

        1. Free trade, eminent domain, regulation, and the size of government aren’t things I’m going to compromise on

          And Hillary is worse on every single one of those issues than Trump. And sorry but unless you think “free trade” means signing international agreements that circumvent the US constitution and rule of law, Hillary is in no way pro free trade.

          And yet, the GOP nominated Trump will “force you to vote for Hillary”? Looks to me like there is one thing you won’t compromise on; virtue signaling and making sure that the world knows you are not one of “those people”.

          1. Does Trump actually have any positions on regulation and size of government? His website doesn’t seem to say much about those issues and, to the extent it does (e.g. military), it says the government should be even bigger.

            1. I don’t think he does. I don’t see how anyone can say what he would do. I don’t think Trump knows. That is not good by any means. But I don’t see how you can say it is worse than Hillary, whose stated and known positions are objectively terrible.

              1. But the problem is that Trump is a complete buffoon that will say any do anything to please his populist base, so his unknown positions could well be significantly worse than Hillary’s. I’ll concede there’s a theoretical possibility they’d be be better, but there’s no evidence of that.

                1. It doesn’t matter what he says. It matters what he does. He is also a guy who sees himself as a “deal maker”. So my guess is that he would say a lot but then agree to a lot less.

          2. And Hillary is worse on every single one of those issues than Trump. And sorry but unless you think “free trade” means signing international agreements that circumvent the US constitution and rule of law, Hillary is in no way pro free trade.

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

            So basically, you’ve drunk the kool-aid and and concocted some rationale to be against the TPP because “international agreements circumvent the US constitution”.

            Either that or you’re reading the BS that a bunch of anti-trade Republicans are spouting, and are swallowing it whole.

            1. So basically, you’ve drunk the kool-aid and and concocted some rationale to be against the TPP because “international agreements circumvent the US constitution”.

              Criminalizing IP vilations seems like a real problem for free speech. Are you down with that?

        2. Plenty of libertarians are screaming against Trump. But there are other options besides Hillary. Gary Johnson for instance….

    2. I would write in one of my cats before voting for Hillary. Surely you have other choices too.

      1. I hope Bloomberg runs as an independent. At least he’s sane!

          1. Compared to who?

            1. Whom.

              Rhywun’s cat, for one.

              1. In this field, I think “compared to what” is appropriate.

            2. Hillary, Trump and Bloomberg are all terrible choices, and one is not superior to the other.

              1. But at least if Bloomberg won as an independent, that might break the two-party system’s grip on power. Tear the shit down right?

                If you’re going to vote for Trump because he promises to destroy the Republican party, I can vote for Bloomberg, because he promises to destroy BOTH parties.

                1. If you’re going to vote for Trump because he promises to destroy the Republican party, I can vote for Bloomberg, because he promises to destroy BOTH parties.

                  I am not going to vote for Trump. Bloomberg will destroy nothing political, and if anyone is going to destroy a political party, it is Donald Trump.

                2. A Bloomberg run would hand the presidency to Trump gift wrapped with a gold bow.

                  1. Absolutely. Hillary is vile and Trump is a clown. If given a choice a lot of people would jump to Bloomberg, but not enough to make him anything more than third place. And plenty of non-traditional voters are enthusiastic about Trump. He draws very large crowds. He’s easily beat Hillary in a three person race, with a third candidate that has some legitimate draw for Democrats.

                    Frankly, I think there’s a decent chance that Trump wins regardless. People keep insisting his poll numbers are “capped” and yet that cap keeps climbing higher. Which looks to me like they aren’t really capped. They also dwell on his negatives, but ignore how high HRC’s negatives were last year.

                    And then there’s the FBI investigation….

                    Given a choice between Trump and Clinton, I’m going with the candidate who’s not obviously corrupt.

                    1. So then, by your logic, I would have to vote for Hillary.
                      Because a Trump win would cement the GOPs move towards anti-trade big-spending, big-government, populism.

                    2. Yes, if that’s the way you feel.

                    3. And on a positive note, if HRC wins, I’ll get to rib you for the next 4 years every time she does something awful. Which should be about every other month, if prior precedent is any indication.

                      So from my POV, it’s a win-win. 😉

        1. So you don’t think the 2nd Amendment is part of the Constitution? Good to know you are happy to take my right to own a gun and to defend myself so you can avoid the horrors of Trump. How noble of you to expect other people to sacrifice for your conscience.

          1. John, calm down. If you vote for Hilary, you will be protected by the proggie Shield of Righteousness, so you won’t need that icky 2A. There is no way the Feds will ever turn on you.

            1. And Hillary is such an obvious caring person who’s love knows no bounds, too. You’re good.

            2. Hillary isn’t going to do any more gun control than Obama because she’s not going to control either house of congress.

              1. The BATFE begs to differ that Congress has anything to do with more gun control.

              2. “Hillary isn’t going to do any more gun control than Obama because she’s not going to control either house of congress.”

                Hillary will do everything in her power using the resources of the Executive branch and all the power of the Clinton Foundation/Move On, etc as a propaganda source to circumvent the Legislative branch. This is obvious. And if she can get another Justice installed, then SCOTUS will rule that the Legislative branch has no standing to object to any of it. 5 to 4 in favor of President Hillary, every single time. Read it and weep bitches!

                Hillary will be a mini-Tyrant. (I think the checks and balances will keep her from being a full on Tyrant). I’ll vote for the mini-clown Trump over the mini-Tyrant Hillary.

                1. Of course she will. She’s just be marginally less horrible than Trump.

                  I’ll vote for establishment cunt over racist ass-clown.

            3. “Proggie shield of righteousness”

              excellent

    3. I couldn’t vote for Hillary.

      I couldn’t vote for Trump either.

      Elections are won on the margins.

      Swing voters aren’t about to break for Trump, and people like me, who might hold their noses and vote Republican if only to keep a socialist out, won’t show up on election day for Trump either.

      Who will swing Republican because Trump is the nominee?

      The Reagan Coalition was about bringing blue collar workers and Southerners into the fold–not gunning for them at the expense of everyone else.

      Jesus, Trump’s support is all unions, blue collar workers, and people who can’t compete for jobs against non-English speakers with an eighth grade education.

      You know who else said, “The machinery of capitalism is oiled with the sweat and tears of the proletariat”?

      1. Roger Waters?

      2. Jesus, Trump’s support is all unions, blue collar workers, and people who can’t compete for jobs against non-English speakers with an eighth grade education.

        Yes, or as he likes to call them, winners.

      3. The proletariat?

      4. The eternal debate between turnout v. swing voters.

        The Repubs have chased swing voters at the price of turnout for the last two Presidential elections. I don’t think its worked for them. In the off-year elections, they’ve tended more to their base, and won.

        Of course, that only works to a point, but I think the place to put your emphasis is on your base.

        1. 67% of the base is voting for someone other than Trump–because their alternative isn’t Trump.

          And it isn’t the base they need to get out. It’s the people who either wouldn’t vote or would vote Republican.

          Those people are not about to show up for Trump in the general election.

          Marginal Democrats who hate Trump will show up on election day . . . not because they like Hillary but because they hate Trump.

    4. Hazel, please consider this

      1. Trump is full of bluster but no one in his own party likes him. That means a president Trump would be a lame-duck from the moment of inaugaration. The Democrats won’t support anything *any* Republican proposes – at best they’ll wait until they’re in power and then claim it as their idea and say any R that doesn’t support them is a racist – and most of the R’s won’t support him.

      2. Clinton is familiar with the levers of power inside DC – she has a chance to get shit done despite R opposition.

      3. Trump is more likely to push hard on the boundaries of presidential power – but Clinton is more likely to *get away with doing so*.

      4. A vote for the Democrats is a vote for Obama’s ‘legacy’.

      Between Trump and Clinton, IMO Trump is the lesser evil. Between Trump and Sanders – its a toss-up with Trump having a slight edge in that he’s *only* a fascist and not a communist.

      1. 1. Trump is full of bluster but no one in his own party likes him. That means a president Trump would be a lame-duck from the moment of inaugaration. The Democrats won’t support anything *any* Republican proposes – at best they’ll wait until they’re in power and then claim it as their idea and say any R that doesn’t support them is a racist – and most of the R’s won’t support him.

        K Street broke for Trump weeks ago, and everything he says suggests he would happily make deal after deal with Democrats or anyone else who wanted to negotiate. Considering he’s in favor of the individual mandate and shit tons of welfare, I don’t see why he’ll have any trouble playing with the Ds in Congress. And plenty of the Rs.

        1. F’ed the blockquote…the “K Street” graf is me.

          1. I agree with you, Nikki, that on Trump’s ability to work with lobbyists and Congress. The thing is, he’s not going to be able to do that and also hold firm to the positions he’s laid out at, e.g., his website.

            How specifically he goes back on those positions, I’ve no idea. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he ended up doing a near 180 on immigration after getting elected, if by doing so he’d get more acclaim.

            The parallels between Trump’s campaign, and Obama’s in 2008, are really eerie. Lots of desire for change, lots of faith placed in someone who, on the surface, you’d never have faith in them accomplishing what they were claiming. I mean, who believed that a Chicago politician was going to clean up Washington?

            Anyone who says they know exactly what Trump’ll do after getting elected is, IMHO, as full of shit as those in 2008 making the same claims about Obama.

            The difference between Trump’s bad intent and Hillary’s/Sanders’s is that, while I suspect the Donald will sell out liberty and small government—-I know that Clinton and Sanders will.

            1. There are a lot of parallels Ghost. There is, however, one big difference. Obama has turned out to be the exact leftist ideologue his worst critics said that he was. Trump in contrast seems to be anything but an ideologue.

              The thing about Obama is that he never did sell out. Almost 8 years into his Presidency, he is the same obstinate faculty lounge leftist he has always been. No way in hell is he going to fold and cut some sell out deal with the Republicans. Trump in contrast, has no real ideology to prevent him from doing that. Trump is what he says he is; a deal maker.

              Trump would almost certainly make extreme proposal after extreme proposal on various issues only to in the end settle for whatever he could get out of Congress. I leave it to you to judge whether that is a good or a bad thing.

              1. The thing about Obama is that he never did sell out. Almost 8 years into his Presidency, he is the same obstinate faculty lounge leftist he has always been.

                From your point of view, that’s true. From the point of view of a lot of lefty’s—which I have the misfortune to correspond with—they feel he sold out and hasn’t pushed change nearly enough. True, they generally blame the Tealiban, or something equally puerile, for obstructing the glorious plan of Obama, but still.

                When Obama soft-pedalled Kevin Johnson getting caught with his hand in the Sacramento Americorps cookie jar, that’s when I started to go, “Uh oh. We may not have elected the Lightbringer after all.”

                I’ll go with bad thing, on the Trump plasticity. I think he would literally sell out every single position on his site, if he felt he needed to in order to achieve some short term goal. That’s not good.

                It’s hilarious that the closest thing to an amalgam of Reagan and Goldwater in the last thirty years is running (of course minus the charisma of the former and the extremism of the latter), and he can’t get any traction in this race because of a reality tv personality that lost money running a casino.

                1. Ghost,

                  Obama “sold out” in leftist eyes because he did not accomplish enough. What Obama did not do, and Trump likely would, is “sell out” in the ordinary sense of giving the other side something in return for part of what he wants. Obama never did that.

                2. I’ll go with bad thing, on the Trump plasticity. I think he would literally sell out every single position on his site, if he felt he needed to in order to achieve some short term goal. That’s not good.

                  What if it’s short terms goals that are good for positions that were bad? Doesn’t expediency ever work in your favor?

                  Like for instance some of the health food nuts who would’ve made medicine illegal but sold out in favor of making dietary supplements legal.

                  1. What if it’s short terms goals that are good for positions that were bad? Doesn’t expediency ever work in your favor?

                    That’s fine, but I can’t predict which positions he’ll sell out. Your logic would work better if I expressed the same concerns about Sanders selling out, since I can’t stand pretty much any of his positions, hence, if he changes them, I win.

                    As Trump’s a Republican, I agree with more of his platform than I don’t. So if the odds are equal concerning which position he sells out, I’m more likely to lose than gain.

                    In practice, I don’t see supporting him over a hypothetical moderate Democrat, where I might disagree with a lot of their positions, but I could trust that some of them would work for me. Trump? Who knows what he’ll do?

        2. And Trump would not have a hostile congress, Clinton would. Therefore Clinton is better than Trump.

          1. I think Hillary would have a less hostile Congress than Trump. Most of the Repubs in Congress are pretty establishment, and they’d rather work with an establishment Dem than an “insurgent” Repub.

          2. Gary Johnson would have the most hostile congress, so clearly the best choice.

    5. Or, y’know… don’t vote for either. This isn’t hard. Don’t put out this false choice and act like someone put a gun to your head to vote for the evil bitch.

  5. I’m more interested in what Trump’s emergence means about America’s love affair with capitalism. With the Democrats marketing themselves as socialists, if Trump emerges as the Republican nominee, won’t that mean American voters are rejecting capitalism?

    I see Trump as anti-free trade–that’s one of the reasons why so many people like him. Trump is anti-immigration and pro-eminent domain abuse. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Trump say anything that led me to believe he’s a genuine fiscal conservative.

    I’d try to console myself with the observation that Trump is only getting 33% of the Republican vote–that two-thirds of registered Republican are actually voting against him. Unfortunately, I don’t see any reason to believe those Republican primary voters are voting against Trump because he’s anti-free trade, he’s not fiscally conservative, or any other reason that would make me think Republican voters are pro-capitalism.

    1. America has not always believed in free foreign trade. America was a protectionist nation for most of the 19th Century. Unless you are going to claim that reconstruction America wasn’t a capitalist nation, I don’t see how you can say ending free trade means America wants to end “Capitalism”.

      I don’t understand how “capitalism” has now morphed into being the same as “Libertarian”. You can be a capitalist and still support protectionism. And moreover, protectionism while like anything can be very damaging if taken too far, is not the end of the world people have convinced themselves it is. You have to roll your eyes at people who are on the one hand convinced that the country under the Lockner Court was the height of freedom and Justice and think a national sales tax is the key to prosperity who then get a case over the vapors over Trump even mentioning tariffs on trade with China.*

      *For those who don’t understand those references, the US relied on tariffs to fund the federal government before the income tax and a tariff is nothing but a sales tax on foreign goods.

      1. You can be a capitalist and still support protectionism.

        You cannot be a libertarian and still support protectionism. If there is one core thing that libertarians believe in, it is the free market.

        If you aren’t going to support civil liberties, OR free markets, OR non-interventionism, you should just fuck off right now, because you have next to nothing in common with us anymore.

        1. You cannot be a libertarian and still support protectionism

          No shit. But Ken is claiming that Trump is not a capitalist. No one to my knowledge is claiming Trump is a Libertarian.

          Let me say it again, being a capitalist is not the same thing as being a Libertarian.

          1. By that definition, then libertarians are against capitalists that don’t believe in free markets. Because that’s fucking corrupt. That’s why we call Donald Trump a crony capitalist.

            And crony capitalism is the shit that makes voters vote for people like Bernie Sanders. If we’re going to continue to have anything like a capitalist system, we should make damn sure we have a free market, because nothing will destroy public support for capitalism faster than crony capitalists like Trump.

            1. Since not all capitalists are libertarians, yes, sometimes “capitalists” disagree with libertarians.

              Its called a “Venn Diagram” Hazel. Look it up if you don’t know what that means.

              1. Yes, crony capitalists disagree with libertarians. News at 11.

                Why I don’t get is why you think that libertarians should support a crony capitalist.

                1. For the third time Hazel, capitalism is not the same thing as Libertarianism. I am sorry sweety but Libertarians do not have a monopoly on the term.

                  1. Whatever term you want to use, however you want to define the language, a person who is in favor of putting up trade barriers is advocating policies that are incompatible with libertarianism and should be opposed.

          2. ThJohn you need to toe the line on the libertarian orthodoxy. There is no room for dissent. Or we are going to kick you out of our little club. An if election results are any indication, it is a very little club.

            1. John = ThJohn..

              /leaves to go fuck off.

            2. Again, if these is any rock solid central tenet of libertarianism, it is free markets. So yes, anyone who doesn’t support free markets can go fuck off. And that includes Donald Trump and any of the people sucking his cock around here.

              1. Yeah, the subject here isn’t John.

                It’s Trump and whether he’s pro-capitalism.

                The question isn’t whether we should kick each other out of any club. The question is whether Trump is a capitalist despite all of his anti-capitalist positions.

              2. “Again, if these is any rock solid central tenet of libertarianism, it is free markets.”

                Private property (and the NAP) is the central tenet, free markets are what could (and probably would) emerge from that legal order, but it isn’t required. You could have all sorts of crazy schemes theoretically. David Gordon talked about this recently.

                1. Private property means having the right to make choices for yourself about the things you own.

                  Markets are essential to people making choices for themselves as in the NAP–market forces are essentially people making choices.

                  If capitalism is private property + market pricing, then capitalism is essential to both private property and the NAP.

                  I agree that there is no issue more central to libertarianism than capitalism.

                  1. “Private property means having the right to make choices for yourself about the things you own.”

                    Yes. For instance, an agrarian society could exist while maintaining those rights. Not capitalist but still libertarian.

                    “Markets are essential to people making choices for themselves as in the NAP–market forces are essentially people making choices.”

                    You’ve elevated the market to something much bigger than it is here.

                    “If capitalism is private property + market pricing, then capitalism is essential to both private property and the NAP.”

                    That’s clearly circular.

                    1. 1 + 1 = 2 isn’t circular.

                      Capitalism = private property + market pricing isn’t circular either.

                      I’ve simply broken those last two terms down into their constituent parts.

                      If property is the ability to make choices about what you own, and market forces are people making choices, then capitalism (private property + market pricing) is fundamentally about people making choices for themselves.

                      People making choices for themselves is my fundamental definition for libertarianism. It’s the foundation upon which the NAP rests, too. It’s about agency, which is the real fundamental building block of all libertarianism. A right is a choice. Our rights choices should only be circumscribed by our obligation to respect the rights choices of others.

                      If private property is about choice, and if the NAP is about respecting other people’s right to make choices, and if market forces are people making choices, then it is not circular to conclude that choice is fundamental to property, the NAP, and capitalism. Maybe you just haven’t thought about it that way before.

                      P.S. Can you name a market force that isn’t ultimately composed of people making choices? When we talk about changes in the price of orange juice after unseasonably cold weather hits Florida, we’re ultimately talking about the choices people make in response to that weather, aren’t we?

            3. …it is a very little club.

              We are the 1%!

              1. Do you know who else had a very little club that did not tolerate dissent?

                1. Who’s not tolerating dissent?

                  You people have been listening to Obama for too long.

                  Everyone who disagrees with Obama is intolerant, too, you know.

            4. John you need to toe the line on the libertarian orthodoxy. There is no room for dissent. Or we are going to kick you out of our little club. An if election results are any indication, it is a very little club.

              I laughed. Then cried. Well done.

              We really are a rounding error in the national electorate, aren’t we? Libertarian moment indeed.

      2. “You can be a capitalist and still support protectionism.”

        This is garbage.

        Whatever else you mean by capitalism, it also means private ownership of the means of production and prices set by markets rather than the government.

        Protectionism is government interference in the market–in fact, it’s limiting consumer participation in the market.

        The government telling me I can’t participate in foreign markets because the price is too low is completely incompatible with capitalism. Insulating suppliers from market competition is fundamentally incompatible with capitalism.

        1. You can be a capitalist and still support protectionism.”

          This is garbage.

          Then by your definition the US was not a capitalist nation in the second half of the 19th Century. You can define the term however you like Ken. So if you want to say that, fine. Understand that virtually no one else in the world is going to agree with your definition.

          1. However you want to define capitalism doesn’t matter it’s semantic. Let’s use the term “free market” instead. Protectionism is fundamentally incompatible with a free market, and therefore, protectionism, and by extension Donald Trump, are fundamentally incompatible with libertarianism.
            And it’s fucking depressing to a libertarian that fully 1/3 of the GOP has displayed protectionist impulses. Do you not get that?

            1. “However you want to define capitalism doesn’t matter it’s semantic.”

              It’s semantic to people who want to make it sound like they’re something they’re not.

              Capitalism = private ownership of industry and prices set by markets.

              Socialism = public ownership and prices set by government.

              These terms are accurately descriptive even if neither capitalism nor socialism have ever existed in a perfect state.

              There are a million different shades of blue. Because some of them are darker blue than others doesn’t mean they’re red.

              1. Capitalism = private ownership of industry and prices set by markets.

                Sure it is. But if your claim is that any government that in any way affects that is not “Capitalist”, then by your definition there is never been a capitalist government in history. Indeed, it is difficult to see how there every could be such a thing or at least not one that meets your definition.

                Ken, you are claiming that any nation that has any kind of tarriff or restriction on international trade is not “capitalist”. Hello, McFly, the US has those restrictions now. And that is not going to change. We restrict the hell out of the trade in nuclear power technology because we don’t want the knowledge of how to build atomic weapons to fall into the wrong hands. Does that mean we are not “capitalist”?

                Stop it Ken. You have lost the argument. Even I am getting bored with beating on you.

                1. “Stop it Ken. You have lost the argument. Even I am getting bored with beating on you.”

                  Oh yes, the things you’ve taught me today–they’re ingenious!

                  Like that there’s no real difference between capitalism and socialism.

                  LOL

                  1. Like that there’s no real difference between capitalism and socialism.

                    Who said that? Can you build a bigger strawman? My position is that supporting protectionism is not inconsistent with being a capitalist. You have yet to come up with a single cogent argument why that is not true.

                    1. However you want to define capitalism doesn’t matter it’s semantic.

                      Actually, there are important differences between capitalism and socialism.

                      They have to do with ownership and price setting.

                2. So we should be totally OK with a candidate who promises to roll back important advances in free trade, because, HEY, the US didn’t used to be as much in favor of free trade is it is today?

                  Libertarians should be hunky dory with that? After all, we’re still nominally “capitalist”, so who cares?

                3. “But if your claim is that any government that in any way affects that is not “Capitalist”, then by your definition there is never been a capitalist government in history. Indeed, it is difficult to see how there every could be such a thing or at least not one that meets your definition.”

                  Isn’t that anarcho-capitalists critique of minarchists?

            2. So anyone who is not a Libertarian does not beleive in the “free market”. I suppose that is true, if you take a really strict view of free market. But so fucking what?

              Let me say it again Hazel, no one is claiming Trump is a Libertarian. So why do you keep arguing that he is not like anyone, including Trump, thinks differently?

          2. Capitalism isn’t like being pregnant. You can want more capitalism. You can want more market competition.

            ObamaCare stinks because the healthcare markets are less capitalist than they were before. Wanting to make the healthcare market more capitalist makes one pro-capitalism.

            Trump wants protectionism, and that means he wants less capitalism. It is correct to describe his stance as anti-capitalist–since he wants less capitalism by way of less free trade.

            1. So explain why the US was not a capitalist nation in the 19th Century or really any time in its history?

              Stop ranting about Obmacare and answer my point Ken. And while you are at it, explain why it is that “Capitalism” is now a subset of and entirely contained within Libertarianism such that you cannot be one without being the other. Since Libertarianism is a 20th Century invention, it would seem that there were not any capitalist before the 20th Century.

              You do realize how ridiculous that is? But it is a conclusion that necessarily flows from your argument. So either endorse it or admit you premise is flawed.

              1. “However you want to define capitalism doesn’t matter it’s semantic.

                So, I suppose we shouldn’t care whether Presidents are capitalist or socialist then?

                You’ve painted yourself into such a ridiculous corner.

                The words “capitalism” and “socialism” have specific meanings involving ownership and price setting. Because they’re descriptive, in that you can have more or less of them, doesn’t render the words meaningless.

                There’s this thing called heat. Just because my food isn’t as hot as the sun doesn’t mean my food isn’t hot; just because some things are hotter than others doesn’t mean the word “heat” is meaningless.

                1. “Ken, you are claiming that any nation that has any kind of tarriff or restriction on international trade is not “capitalist”

                  John is arguing with voices in his head.

              2. It’s entirely possible that the US had elements of capitalism in the 19th century, and that trade policy was not one of them. This is an example of “subtlety”.

                1. Can someone tell me why whether America was especially capitalist in the 19th century has any bearing on whether we should want more capitalism now?

              3. Since Libertarianism is a 20th Century invention, it would seem that there were not any capitalist before the 20th Century.

                Or the first half of the 20th Century, if we take the view that a country having tariffs meant that the country wasn’t capitalistic. Tariffs were prevalent enough that an agreement like GATT wasn’t started until 1947. Tariffs were certainly prevalent during the Gilded Age.

                If protectionism, no matter how minor, means that a country cannot be Libertarian, has this country even been Libertarian then? And if it hasn’t, why do we have faith that it ever will? Don’t we sound like Communists, bitching that our ideology would work great if it were tried by the right people?

                1. It looks that way Ghost. It is one thing to object to protectionism. But to say anyone who disagrees is effectively a socialist, is absurd and makes Libertarians look a whole lot like Communists.

                  1. Nuance is important. I wouldn’t characterize Ken’s or Hazel’s position as that any protectionism means that the country isn’t capitalist, though I am reading that they feel that way about Libertarianism. World of difference between a minor tariff that attempts to equalize trade barriers between countries, and the sort of stuff Japan used to pull. (and maybe still does, it’s been awhile since I last read about their trade practices.)

                    I just thought that it was strange that Libertarianism deifies the Lochner-era, Gilded Age economy and labor practices of the U.S., and yet claims its protectionism denies it the ability to claim that it was Libertarian. (Well, for white males anyway.)

                    Has there ever been a trade barrier free country? Are we talking about entities like post-WW2 Hong Kong?

                2. Don’t we sound like Communists, bitching that our ideology would work great if it were tried by the right people?

                  But…Ken isn’t bitching that his ideology would work great under these circumstances. He’s simply saying people who don’t share his ideology, don’t share his ideology.

                  1. No Nikki, he is claiming only Libertarians are capitalists. And that is just smug bullshit and exactly what Ghost is talking about.

                    1. I’ve said people who want less capitalism are anti-capitalist.

                      You’ve just become unhinged.

                      Is it because I’m talking about Trump?

                      He’d never have you over to watch football, you know.

                    2. I’ve said people who want less capitalism are anti-capitalist.

                      If someone is “anti-capitalist” doesn’t that make them by definition not that thing? Are not people who are “anti-communist” by definition NOT COMMUNISTS?

              4. Who cares if the US was ‘capitalist” be Ken’s definition in the 19th century. Trump wants to take us backwards to less free trade and less free markets. We should and are, justly against that.
                Trump wants to move in the opposite direction of libertarians on core libertarian values, on BOTH economics AND civil liberties. He’s pushing the Republican party in the exact opposite direction from libertarianism. Anyone who supports his is actively working against libertarianism.
                And I will NEVER vote for that guy. I will fight to do anything in my power to prevent him from winning, including voting for Hillary Clinton.

                1. Who cares if the US was ‘capitalist” be Ken’s definition in the 19th century.

                  Those who think words ought to mean something for one. And it matters because lying is never a good option. And saying the country is turning its back on capitalism because it might embrace protectionism is a lie by any reasonable definition.

                2. “Capitalism = private ownership of industry and prices set by markets.

                  Socialism = public ownership and prices set by government.

                  These terms are accurately descriptive even if neither capitalism nor socialism have ever existed in a perfect state.”

                  Just for the record, “Ken’s definition” [of capitalism] was never absolute. It’s descriptive, and people who want less capitalism can be correctly described as anti-capitalist.

                  I suspect John’s just going off the deep end because he’s a Trump fanboy.

                  Also, for the record, if I were the one who originally described capitalism and socialism in those terms, I should be given a Noble Prize for something or other. That definition (or some minor variation thereof) is standard.

                  Again, I think the most likely reason somebody here finds what I’ve said controversial is because I’ve said it about Trump. That’s the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions anyway.

                  1. Just for the record, “Ken’s definition” [of capitalism] was never absolute. It’s descriptive, and people who want less capitalism can be correctly described as anti-capitalist.

                    But you initial said

                    ‘m more interested in what Trump’s emergence means about America’s love affair with capitalism. With the Democrats marketing themselves as socialists, if Trump emerges as the Republican nominee, won’t that mean American voters are rejecting capitalism?

                    The top statement is a complete walk back from the bottom one. What you call “going off the deep end” the rest of the world calls losing the argument.

                    You have had your ass handed to you Ken. Just admit it and move on. It happens to everyone.

                    1. Those statements are in no way contradictory.

                      1) Trump is anti-capitalist in that he is anti-free trade (among other things).

                      2) Meanwhile, if American voters flock to Trump–because he is anti-free trade (among other things)–then why wouldn’t that mean America is becoming increasingly anti-capitalist?

                      Why are those two things contradictory in any way? They’re perfectly consistent!

        2. Then we aren’t and never have been a capitalist country.

          The founders implemented tariffs for two reasons:

          1. They preferred the federal government be financed by taxing foreign goods rather than domestic citizens.

          2. They did indeed want to protect domestic industry. For some crazy reason, they figured self-suffiency was a more important component of independence and liberty than being able to buy cheap merchandise from overseas.

          1. Then we aren’t and never have been a capitalist country.

            If you want to define capitalism that strictly and make it effectively mean the same thing as libertarian, then yes. That, however, is a definition almost no one would find reasonable. If your point requires defining terms in unreasonable ways to be valid, your point is unreasonable.

            1. I was responding to Sgt. Schultz’s comment that protectionism and capitalism were mutually exclusive. Personally I’m not really that interested in hair-splitting.

              1. protectionism and capitalism were mutually exclusive.

                They are.

                Protectionism is anti-free market capitalism. If you are engaging in it, whether you’re seen as a capitalistic society on the whole or not, that particular policy is NOT capitalism.

                And, yes, it is perfectly reasonable to call out Trump as an anti-capitalist for proposing anti-capitalist policies. The fact that the US has done it in the past has no bearing on the matter.

                1. That, however, is a definition almost no one would find reasonable.

                  There is always, however Frank. Of course you think that Frank. And in one sense, you are not wrong. Define capitalism, however you like. Just understand that under your definition there has not been and likly never will be a capitalist nation on earth. That may be true, but it will come as one hell of a surprise to 99% of the entire world.

                  If you want to define a word in a way that 99% of the world would find unreasonable, have fun. I don’t know what else to tell you.

                2. Mutually exclusive isn’t the correct term. They can exist together, but they are at odds.

                  1. Mutually exclusive isn’t the correct term. They can exist together, but they are at odds.

                    I am not even sure about that. Protectionism and libertarianism are incompatible for sure. Is it “capitalism”, it depends on whether you think “capitalism” means the same thing as laize faire capitalism. That is not crazy but I am not sure it is self evident either. If for example, a country spends encouraging some kind of export business in hopes of building a trade surplus, that government is messing with the market and is strictly speaking preventing the free market from operating. Is such a policy “anti capitalist”?

                    Maybe but that seems like an awfully extreme and dogmatic view of capitalism.

                  2. “Mutually exclusive isn’t the correct term. They can exist together, but they are at odds.”

                    It’s possible for some areas of the economy to be more privatized and subject to market pricing while other areas are made less so. Reasonable people might disagree about whether the whole system, taking every area under consideration, is more capitalist or more socialist.

                    However, within each of those areas, on an item by item basis, socialism happens at the expense of capitalism and vice versa. You cannot implement rent control without doing so at the expense of the market pricing of rent. You cannot eliminate rent control without doing so at the expense of price controls. In that way, capitalism and socialism are mutually exclusive.

                    The idea that things can’t become less capitalist because they aren’t already perfectly capitalist doesn’t survive basic real world examples. If Bernie Sanders eliminated private pay completely and put us all on Medicare, that would be less capitalist than what we have now. . . . even if what we have now isn’t by any means perfectly capitalist.

                    Meanwhile, even if Bernie Sanders putting us all on Medicare didn’t make the U.S. a socialist country, it would certainly make us more socialist than we were before.

                    1. And, incidentally (and in that spirit), at no time is it ever in our best interests not to become more capitalist. There may be short term problems in the transition, but is there a formerly communist country that hasn’t benefited from the transition to being more capitalist?

                      The standard of living in Russia is higher today than it would have been if they hadn’t made the transition towards more private ownership and more market pricing–and they were much, much less capitalist than we are. If being more capitalist helped them (despite not everything being capitalist already), then there isn’t any reason why it wouldn’t help us–whenever and in whatever area we decide to become more capitalist, too.

                      The downsides of those transitions to more capitalist solutions are necessary. It’s a nice chunk of what we mean by “creative destruction”. This is progress.

                    2. Ken, we are in complete agreement.

                      I was clarifying my position above that, which supports yours.

              2. Is “capitalism” the first time some of you have thought about descriptive terms?

                Not everything is equally hot, but “heat” means something specific.

                Not all shades of blue are the same, but “blue” means something specific.

                Is any of this getting through?

                Because the observation that people who want less capitalism can be described as anti-capitalist really shouldn’t be controversial.

                What, am I dealing with a bunch of Trump fanboys or something?

                1. No kidding Ken. Protectionism may be in your view “anti capitalist” but yes you can support it but otherwise be a capitalist.

                  Thanks for finally conceding my point. Lets go back to the beginning here. If as you now finally admit, it is possible to support protectionism and still be somewhere on the capitalist scale, why then would America electing a protectionist mean America is walking away from capitalism?

                  One does not follow the other.

                  1. If you go from 65% capitalist to 60% capitalist, you, by definition are walking away from capitalism, instead of toward it.

                    Even if you have no interest in going all the way down the spectrum to socialism.

                    1. If you go from 65% capitalist to 60% capitalist, you, by definition are walking away from capitalism, instead of toward it.

                      Fair point but I don’t think Ken meant it such a qualified sense. Beyond that, I don’t see why protectionism is incompatible with capitalism. Capitalism is not the same as “free market” or “libertarian”. It just isn’t.

      3. Not only that, but as Clarence Carson & others have pointed out, “capitalism” was a word coined by Marx or Marxists to mean rule by capital. The USSR was capitalist. What you want is not capitalism, but free enterprise.

    2. if Trump emerges as the Republican nominee, won’t that mean American voters are rejecting capitalism?

      No. Symbolically it means the American voters embrace enterprise, because they chose an entrepreneur. Unfortunately he may be an entrepreneur who favors true capitalism, i.e. rule by capital, rather than free enterprise.

  6. If Trump is nominated, I hope Blooomberg runs as an independent, so I have some alternative to voting for Hillary Clinton. I mean, it’s not like Bloomberg is a libertarian, but compared to Trump or Hillary , I’ll take it.

    1. Really, Hazel? Michael “Big Gulp” *Bloomberg*?

      1. Yes. I’ll take soda taxes over the corrupt and incompetent Clinton, or the insane racist clown Trump.

          1. Donald “National Registry of Muslims” Trump?

    2. on which civil liberties are Hillary and Bloomberg not equally as bad? guns? speech?

    3. As if you have the deciding vote? You are delusional, as indicated by (a) considering Hillary under any circumstances, (b) considering Bloomberg under any circumstances, (c) thinking your vote matters.

      1. Anyone who thinks Trump is a viable choice for a libertarian is delusional.

        The way I see it they ALL suck.
        There is no fucking way in HELL I am EVER voting for Trump. I’d only vote for Bloomberg, because I’d hate voting for Hillary Clinton so much, and if Trump wins I’d have no other choice.
        But at least Bloomberg would give me the option to say “fuck you” to both parties.
        And he might actually break the two-party, which I could thoroughly get behind.

        1. Pretty sure Trump is saying “fuck you” to both parties.

          1. He’s running as a Republican, so no.

            1. I’m not voting for him. He chose the Republican party just like he chooses a necktie in the morning. Pure means to an end. Himself being the end.

              1. In Trump’s Playboy interview, he said he would prefer to run as a Democrat since that party is more likely to represent the beliefs of the working man.

                …which political party do you think you’d be more comfortable with?
                Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican-and that’s not because I’d be more Republican-and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.

                http://www.zerohedge.com/news/…..rview-1990

                1. btw, I recommend reading this 1990 interview since it gives insights in what Trump thinks. And, as far as I can tell, he is actually very consistent.

    4. Don’t understand why you believe you must vote for anything. One can always stay home on election day. It’s what I do.

      1. True, but I would feel a moral obligation to stop either Trump or Hillary from winning.

        1. 5 minutes ago you going to vote for Hillary

          1. If Bloomberg doesn’t run, I’ll have to vote for Hillary to stop Trump from winning.

            1. So you have a moral obligation to stop Trump, but not Hillary, from winning.

              1. Yes. Trump is much worse for two reasons:

                1. He would not have an opposed congress.

                2. He would shift the politics of the Republican party permanently away from civil liberties and smaller government.

                1. #2: I think you’re too late.

                2. There’s no such thing as “permanently” in politics or anything else. Everything changes eventually.

              2. What HazelMeade really wants is a candidate to vote for so he/she doesn’t have to vote for Bloomberg, in order to not have to vote for Hillary, to prevent a President Trump!

                The only problem is if said candidate is also a raving statist fuck.

                1. Agreed. It’s a race for least statist of the statist fucks at this point.

        2. True, but I would feel a moral obligation to stop either Trump or Hillary from winning.

          Then get your gun. That’s the only way you’re going to manage it, but you’d better make a clean getaway after killing one & then get to the other before that one gets wise.

    5. Bloomberg said he likely wouldn’t run if Clinton is the Democratic nominee. Either way, how is Bloomberg better than Clinton, ideologically speaking they’re about the same. Both are Nanny Statists, both are hawks, both are terrible on civil liberties, hell Bloomberg is even to the Left of Clinton on taxes (he called for getting rid of all the Bush tax cuts) and he’s a bigger proponent of the Drug War. Clinton is still terrible on the Drug War, but considering her party’s base she has more incentive not to be than Bloomberg.

      1. But Bloomberg did accede to NORML’s use of the “smoked marijuana & I liked it” signs. Plus he’s practically made out of business, so he’s not going to do anything to hurt the biz climate badly.

  7. I don’t know who to vote for. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. Screw it. Rhywun’s cat it is.

    1. Vladimir Harkonnen / Piter DeVries 2016

      Since America seems to want a despot, give them one. Good and hard.

      1. Zheev Palpatine/ Anakin Skywalker 2016
        For a safe and secure society!

  8. It’s going to be Rubio. Trump is at his ceiling and the majority of votes from candidates that drop out will go to Rubio.

    1. Trump is at his ceiling and the majority of votes from candidates that drop out will go to Rubio.

      Maybe. Depends how long Cruz wants to stick it out. Kasich’s vote’s will go to Rubio. Carson’s should go to Cruz. That leaves the field at about a 35-40 for Trump, 30-35 for Rubio, 25-30 for Cruz. Which isn’t enough to get any of them past Rule 40, AIUI.

      I can easily the RNC picking Rubio in a brokered convention, with the effect of pissing off Trump supporters enough that they’ll take their ball and go home. And without them, I dunno if the GOP has the votes to beat either Hillary or Sanders, never mind if the Dems grow a brain and nominate someone who’s neither a felon nor batshit insane.

      1. Carson’s should go to Cruz

        Not so sure about that, but you left out Bush votes that will likely move to Rubio also

        1. I’m not sure how 7 voters are really going to make a huge difference.

  9. I don’t see this as a whole lot worse than Obo/McCain.

  10. I thought a lot about this on the commute to work this morning, and if Trump wins it really should cause a lot of introspection across the ideological expanse. Including among libertarians.

    A lot of Trump’s support is coming from people who feel like globalization and trade have left them worse off. And for some people, it probably has. But regardless of the reality, the perception is powerful, and we (supporters of free markets and trade) have, evidently, done a piss poor job of addressing the concerns of a lot of people.

    That doesn’t absolve Trump supporters for backing a guy who would likely be a terrible president, but if we can’t be a credible alternative then we’re just going to see more Trumps.

    1. I’ve read a lot of stuff about how the rest of the GOP has “nothing to offer” these people, but all the possibilities are simply wrong. The only things they want are immoral: scapegoats and welfare. But just saying, “Welp, these are all bad people” doesn’t do anything except allow them to get together under a strongman like Trump; it’s not like you’re going to convince them they should kill themselves, or that they’re at all responsible for their own problems.

      1. That is nice and all but if your answer is “go fuck yourself welfare queen”, you really can’t complain when they are not fond of it either.

        Libertarians are just as bad as Conservatives in this respect. Both groups are primarily middle and upper class white people with the time and the luxury to obsess over shit like abortion, gays and technical interpretations of the equal protection clause. Meanwhile, in the real world over 47% of the working age population is not even looking for work. Do you think those people give a fuck whether Planned Parenthood gets it tax money or some tranny can use the women’s bathroom or whether some cop shot some dog or if some gay couple gets a wedding cake or any of the other issues that Progs, Conservatives and Libertarians spend their lives obsessing over?

        The free market is not some magical potion that solves everyone’s problems and gives everyone a unicorn anymore than the government is. If the proposed solutions are wrong, then it is incumbent on Libertarians to explain why and offer their own solutions beyond “the free market unicorn will solve it” or “fuck off and die you God damned hillbilly”.

        How about rather than hating people you try and figure out what they are saying and how your ideas offer a cogent solution to their concerns?

        1. How about rather than hating people you try and figure out what they are saying and how your ideas offer a cogent solution to their concerns?

          I don’t have a solution to their concerns, because their concerns are the concerns of immoral people. That is literally my whole point. Their problems are not my responsibility or anyone else’s, but they believe they are.

          1. Their problems are not my responsibility or anyone else’s

            I agree with your use of the word responsibility, Nikki. It isn’t our responsibility. But evidently it is our problem, because we face the very real prospect of Trump vs Hillary, and liberty is going to get fucked either way.

            1. By and large, that’s always true; most people don’t want liberty. I find Trump especially distasteful (and Hillary as well), but realistically most people are a problem for liberty.

              1. I hope that’s not true on a fundamental level.

                Either way, I’m fairly confident that, barring buying our own island or colonizing space, we have to engage with people who don’t want liberty as much as we do. We may not like having to do it, but the alternative is to get nothing we want.

                It’s like going to work. There are plenty of days that I would rather just blow things off and go trekking through the mountains. But that’s not really a viable long-term solution, no matter how much I might wish otherwise.

                1. Oh, well, I’m 100% convinced it is true on a fundamental level, and that the vast majority of people do not share anything like my preferences about life and liberty. Frankly I think it’s silly to hope for things like “long-term solutions”; I’m not even sure I know what that means. Everything is pointless and we’re all going to die. That’s what people are really looking for a solution to, and why they’re so unhappy.

                  1. That’s 1 way to look at it. Another is Robert Ringer’s: Since Earth is going to become a frozen ice ball eventually anyway, what have you got to lose?

          2. Their problems are not my responsibility or anyone else’s

            Sure. But what other than the fact that you are a typical special snowflake makes you think they should give a flying fuck about your precious abortion and gay rights? They are not gay and don’t want an abortion. So why they fuck should they care about your problems?

            What do you want to do Nikki, hate these people or get their support? You can do one or the other. Just please make a choice and live with it.

            1. What the fuck do I want their support for? They don’t believe in anything I believe in; they don’t want anything I want. The only thing I want is for them to fuck off out of my life.

              1. If you don’t want their support, stop bitching about the people who do and understand they don’t give a fuck about you either.

                1. If I don’t want the support of bad people, I’m not allowed to call them bad people? I’m not allowed to say it’s bad to associate with bad people?

                  1. Yes Nikki, they are bad people. But you don’t sound like a Prog or anything. Ghosts point about Libertarians turning into communists is totally off base.

                    1. I’m a communist because I think only bad people would support a man making the kind of strongman appeals Trump does? Or am I a communist because I think only bad people want to oppress their neighbors?

                    2. Nikkki,

                      You think anyone who disagrees with you on any one of a broad range of things is a “bad person”. That makes you a fanatic you has bought into the Marxist idea that ones political beliefs determine their moral character.

                      It is a lousy way to be and you should consider changing.

                    3. That makes you a fanatic you has bought into the Marxist idea that ones political beliefs determine their moral character.

                      Do you think their political beliefs don’t reflect their moral beliefs? They think it’s morally acceptable to oppress they’re neighbors. I don’t.

                    4. Do you think their political beliefs don’t reflect their moral beliefs?

                      Not usually. But I don’t live in a fog of my own smug thinking I have a monopoly on morality. I live in this strange universe where being mistaken or having a different perspective is not an indication of moral defect.

                    5. I live in this strange universe where being mistaken or having a different perspective is not an indication of moral defect.

                      Sure you do, unless the person’s different perspective actually violates your morality. Or did Hitler just have a different perspective about the Jews, and not a moral defect?

              2. And also be happy losing elections.

                1. We’re going to “lose” the election either way since a libertarian isn’t going to win. If we’re going to buy votes, I’d rather buy them from Sanders supporters.
                  Maybe we should start endorsing free college tuition so we can appeal to the youth vote. It’ll work just as well as compromising on immigration or free-trade to appeal to the Trump vote.

        2. The free market is not some magical potion that solves everyone’s problems and gives everyone a unicorn anymore than the government is. If the proposed solutions are wrong, then it is incumbent on Libertarians to explain why and offer their own solutions beyond “the free market unicorn will solve it” or “fuck off and die you God damned hillbilly”.

          Shorter John: What’s the libertarian solution to the health care crisis?

        3. How about rather than hating people you try and figure out what they are saying and how your ideas offer a cogent solution to their concerns?

          Got any ideas yourself?

          1. I have a lot of them. First and foremost, I would suggest we stop screaming about the Mexicans and China and just adopt a position hat we are going to enforce the immigration laws as written. Meanwhile, we should devout our efforts to killing off the regulatory state. The regulatory state costs the economy, depending on who you believe, something like a trillion or more dollars a year in lost GNP. You want to help those people? How about we get together and get the government’s foot off the throat of the economy and let people work and make a living again?

            That sounds a hell of a lot more productive than sitting around arguing about whether we owe every poor Central American, Somali and Syrian free entry into the country.

            1. we should devout our efforts to killing off the regulatory state

              So I honestly don’t understand. Because that is a HUGE component of libertarianism. But you seem to have been arguing for months that libertarians offer nothing to blue collar America.

              1. Yes it is. What I am saying is Libertarians should take their own advice and kick the culture war shit to the curb (and I include immigration as part of the culture war) and concentrate on real economic issues that matter to people and will immediately help people.

                1. With respect, it sounds like you’re saying that libertarians need to drop the things you dislike and focus on the things you do.

                  I dunno, maybe that is what we would need to do to make real progress.

                  I’d prefer to find a way to effectively compartmentalize and work towards multiple goals simultaneously. If that means not taking over a single party, then fine.

                  Admittedly, we haven’t found a good way to do that so far. But I’m not ready to give up just yet.

                  1. With respect, it sounds like you’re saying that libertarians need to drop the things you dislike and focus on the things you do.

                    In one sense sure. But two things about that. First, that is of course the exact advice that Libertarians are constantly giving Republicans. So, I can’t see how they can complain when someone gives the advice right back to them. Second, it is not just what I like, it is what will appeal to a whole lot of people who don’t now listen to them but might if given the opportunity.

                    1. So, just be Red and everything will be okay.

                    2. Well, yeah, if the Repubs back-burnered the kulturkampf and foregrounded seriously cutting back the regulatory state.

                      Which they aren’t going to do, of course.

                    3. Which they aren’t going to do, of course.

                      Looks to me like Trump is going to get the nomination. Since Trump is left on most of those issues, how can you say that RC? Trump is the GOP walking away from the culture war. That is why so many rightwing journalists, who all love the culture war, are shitting their pants.

                      The real culture warriors are having a stoke because Trump is unpure on abortion. And actual Republican voters seem not to give a shit.

                    4. John,

                      Who are the libertarians who you think should take this advice? The LP isn’t going to get any traction regardless because they’re a third party. And the libertarian Republican candidate in the race wasn’t exactly your idea of a culture war-fighting liberal caricature you seem to think most libertarians are. Rand Paul was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage, and far from being pro-open borders, and he still got no traction in the primary.

                    5. Rand Paul was anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage, and far from being pro-open borders, and he still got no traction in the primary.

                      Rand was mostly known for being anti NSA spying, which most people don’t care about. His father in contrast got real traction. And his father talked about the economy and things that mattered.

                      I am sorry Calidissident, most people don’t have the time to worry about the NSA and gays and all the rest of it. They mostly are too busy trying to make a living.

                    6. I am sorry Calidissident, most people don’t have the time to worry about the NSA and gays and all the rest of it. They mostly are too busy trying to make a living.

                      Yeah, fuck being a moral person, gotta make a living so the next generation can say fuck being a moral person, gotta making a living so the next generation can say fuck being a moral person, gotta making a living so the next generation can say fuck being a moral person, gotta making a living so the next generation can say fuck being a moral person, gotta making a living so the next generation can say fuck being a moral person, gotta making a living.

                    7. Senator Rubio is that you?

                    8. “Rand was mostly known for being anti NSA spying, which most people don’t care about. His father in contrast got real traction. And his father talked about the economy and things that mattered.”

                      Ron Paul was probably most known for being anti-interventionist. Rand was too, but not as much, as was more moderate on the subject. Rand talked about budget reform all the time. If there was any point where he focused too much on non-economic matters, it was a period of time where seemingly all his facebook posts were about Planned Parenthood or Obama’s immigration executive order. You’re basically cherrypicking anything you can find to fit your narrative. Trump has offered nothing substantive to voters, just vague blowhard statements about immigration, trade, etc. that sound strong. I don’t know why you are incapable of criticizing his supporters for being shallow and easily led. You have no problem attacking people on the left for supporting vague or illogical policies and the politicians peddling them, but you are completely incapable of holding the right to the same standard.

                    9. I am not defending Trump. I am saying you should try and appeal to his supporters by understanding why they are supporting him. Here is a clue, screaming about how vague he is, while true, isn’t going to work because every politician is vague and full of shit and Trump’s supporters know that.

                    10. Trump is the GOP walking away from the culture war.

                      Even so, I don’t see him attacking the regulatory state.

                    11. Trump is the GOP walking away from the culture war.

                      Even so, I don’t see him attacking the regulatory state.

                      Never know what’s going to pique his interest, but I could very easily see him taking on some “crazy, loser” regulations some people get his ear about. He’d certainly feel no attachment to them, & would be willing to sweep all aside as “the old world”.

                  2. “With respect, it sounds like you’re saying that libertarians need to drop the things you dislike and focus on the things you do.”

                    Capitalism is an integral part of who we are. Whatever else we disagree on, “free markets” is almost certainly the least of them.

                    My central criticism of Obama was, is, and will always be that he’s hostile to capitalism.

                    I voted for Romney because I thought Obama was soooooooo bad in that way, he had to be stopped.

                    If Donald Trump is the best the Republicans can put up to be pro-capitalist, then that’s pathetic.

                    I can’t vote for Hillary because, in addition to being insufficiently capitalist, she’s also an imperious crook.

                    Give me a capitalist to vote for, or I won’t vote at all.

                2. What I am saying is Libertarians should take their own advice and kick the culture war shit to the curb

                  Yeah, right. No, what you’re advocating is that libertarians capitulate to the conservatives in the culture war, in order to win the support of racist hillbillies. Despite the fact that the liberal side is actually WINNING the culture war.

                  1. Yeah, right. No, what you’re advocating is that libertarians capitulate to the conservatives in the culture war,

                    Looked at one way, I suppose. Of course, you tell conservatives they should do the same to Progs in the culture war. Why is offensive when I do it and not when you do it?

                    And since when is “shutting up” or really “putting your efforts into other areas” the same as capitulating?

                    Thanks for providing a perfect example of what I am talking about Hazel. I get it, you love the culture war and it is important to you. Just understand, not all of us agree.

                    1. I hate the culture war because it distracts attention from serious issues like the regulatory state. As long as the Progs can point the finger at how backwards Republicans are on gay marriage, race, and civil liberties, then they can keep changing the subject.

                      And, fact is, the progressives/SJWs are essentially *correct* on those issues. They are smug assholes who take it way too far in terms of speech censorship, but they are basically *right* that gays should be able to get married, transexuals should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice, abortions should be legal etc. So if the culture war is going to end, YES, it should be the Republicans who shut the fuck up so we can talk about something else.

                  2. Despite the fact that the liberal side is actually WINNING the culture war.

                    Not in big swathes of the electorate.

                    One of the few pieces of good news lately is that bills to make gays a protected class are failing in a lot of states, which is oddly unreported at Reason, seeing as it gets to one of their hot-button issues. Sorry, I saw an article that looked at it nationwide recently, but can’t dig it up as Google foregrounds gay activist sites when you search.

                    1. That is a good point RC. You would think Reason would be on the front lines fighting those bills and making a big deal about opposing them. They constantly say they dont’ support public accommodation for gays and are therefore not responsible for the effect the harm they have caused to religious freedom because of gay marriage.

                      It is almost like their commitment to stop those laws is nothing but meaningless posturing or something.

                    2. One of the few pieces of good news lately is that bills to make gays a protected class are failing in a lot of states, which is oddly unreported at Reason, seeing as it gets to one of their hot-button issues.

                      Thought it was almost uniform that when gay marriage was put up to a vote in a state, it lost. What’s the percentage of states that recognized gay marriage due to referendum/initiative vs those that had it imposed by judicial ruling?

                    3. What’s the percentage of states that recognized gay marriage due to referendum/initiative

                      Pretty sure its 0%. Which, apparently, is winning the culture war.

                    4. “Not in big swathes of the electorate.”

                      Again, this fantasy. The young are culturally liberal get over it.

                    5. Again, this fantasy. The young are culturally liberal get over it.

                      reply to this

                      Says the idiot who has never met a religious Muslim in his life and wants to import them by the millions.

                    6. The young are culturally liberal get over it.

                      And as they age, they get less so.

                    7. Failing *for now*. You know they will eventually pass, right?

                      Anyway, if we’re going to be against public accomodation laws, we should be against ALL public accomodation laws. Opposing *just* the ones about gays makes us appear to be treating gays unequally. It’s another thing that makes otherwise moderate liberals feel that libertarians are just a bunch of Republicans in disguise.

                    8. Failing *for now*. You know they will eventually pass, right?

                      Kinda like how the Equal Rights Amendment was going to eventually pass?

              2. But you seem to have been arguing for months that libertarians offer nothing to blue collar America.

                Judging by this website, and the “it’s funny because it’s true” meme of pot, ass sex and Mexicans, killing off the regulatory state is a minor emphasis of Libertarians. Nowhere near as important as ensuring 11 million illegal immigrants get legalized anyway.

                As for health care, I’m not John, but I’d solve it by utterly repealing Obamacare, opening up the insurance markets to sell whatever they wished, to whomever they wished, repeal EMTALA, broaden the tax code to allow charitable hospitals to pick up the slack for indigent emergency care, and get rid of Medicare/Medicaid. Or at least means-test the shit out of it.

                Get it through to Grandma and Grandpa that the country will not go broke paying for their medical care. Or by giving them a pension. They can afford a house, an RV, hobbies: they can afford to pay for their own damned CAT scans and surgeries.

                “Health” “Medicare/Medicaid” “Income Security” and “Social Security” is 2/3 of the budget. And none of it is a proper Constitutional function of the federal government.

                Then I’ll ride off on my pony that shits Neapolitan ice cream.

                1. While Reason’s coverage is probably tilted towards immigration and culture, Reason is hardly the only libertarian institution out there. Deregulation is a huge part of what Cato focuses on, and I think Reason Foundation (as opposed to Reason magazine) devotes more towards it as well. And the commenters here are pretty well balanced, I would say.

            2. What has Trump said about killing off the regulatory state? Anything?

              1. I have no idea Hazel. But maybe you missed it, but I am not saying vote for Trump. I am saying appeal to his supporters. So the fact that Trump isn’t talking about the regulatory state and should be if he actually wants to help these people should create an opportunity shouldn’t it?

                Hazel, don’t you see how you subconsciously equated Trump and his supporters there? In a conversation about how to appeal to Trump’s supporters you say “What has Trump said about killing off the regulatory state? Anything?” as if Trump and his supporters are the same thing.

                Every think maybe your dislike of Trump is really just an expression of your dislike of his supporters? Maybe just a little?

            3. “I would suggest we stop screaming about the Mexicans and China and just adopt a position hat we are going to enforce the immigration laws as written. ”

              Nope not interested.

              1. Nope not interested.

                That is because you are exactly the kind of fanatical idiot that I am talking about. But we already knew that.

        4. Libertarians are not obsessing over abortion, gays, planned parenthood, trannys using the bathroom, or gays getting wedding cakes, John.

          It’s true that the free market is not a magical potion that solves everyone’s problems, but maybe that’s because THERE IS NO magical potion that will solve everyone’s problems. The best we can do is establish a set of fair rules and allow people to solve their own problems. Hence our obsession with the equal protection clause.

          But apparently, the voters believe in magical unicorns and libertarians are to blame for not having a magical unicorn to offer people. How dare you, libertarians, not offer up a magic government unicorn to fix everything?

          1. Libertarians are not obsessing over abortion, gays, planned parenthood, trannys using the bathroom, or gays getting wedding cakes, John.

            Since I can’t read their minds, I can’t say that is wrong. I can say however, they are leaving that impression on a lot of people. Perhaps they should consider ways to remedy that because it is not helpful to their cause.

          2. Welllllllll

            I’d say we obsesses over abortion no more or less than the rest of the country. We’re also equally as split, though I think we do a better job of debating the core issue.

            Libertarians were, in general, big supporters of gay marriage and very vocal about it. But that seems to have mostly passed. On the public accommodation front, libertarians are on the same side as conservatives (though perhaps not for the same reasons).

            The other issues do seem to be of relatively little import, event at Reason (save for the stray ENB article, and I definitely would not characterize her as a zealot).

            1. On the public accommodation front, libertarians are on the same side as conservatives (though perhaps not for the same reasons).

              See RC’s point above about the failure of proposed laws mandating public accommodation of gays. When is the last time Reason published an article about those laws and the efforts to stop them? I have never seen one. Have you? Yet, RC tells us there has been multiple political fights going on about them. I have no reason to think RC is lying, so why hasn’t reason cover those fight?

              Given that they haven’t, is reason really on that side or just paying lipservice to it in order to maintain the illusion of consistency?

              1. Given the degree to which people like Shackford (and I think even Nick and Welch?) have criticized public accommodation, I’d say they are serious about it. I don’t know why they haven’t covered those stories yet. Maybe they will? Either way, failing to cover that doesn’t invalidate the other things they have said.

                1. Given the degree to which people like Shackford (and I think even Nick and Welch?) have criticized public accommodation,

                  Yes, that is called lip service. When has reason ever covered actual political fights, votes and elections that are debating these laws? Maybe they have and I missed it. I have never seen where they have however.

                  Contrast that to the coverage they gave gay marriage proposals. Given the huge difference in effort and coverage, is it not fair to say that reasons cares a lot mroe about gay marriage than it does about stopping public accommodation laws?

              2. When is the last time Reason published an article about those laws and the efforts to stop them? I have never seen one. Have you?

                The last time appears to be a whole two weeks ago.

                1. Two things Nikki. That article is about a court case not a proposed law. The law in Washington is already in place. RC is talking about the fight to stop other states from adopting similar laws. I have never seen reason cover those fights. So your link doesn’t answer the mail. And I assume I am right in thinking nothing would since you no doubt searched reason and that is presumably the best you can find.

                  Second, that article talks about CATO defending a flower shop on the basis of free expression. CATO, America’s preeminent Libertarian think tank is so loath to defend the right to object to serving a gay wedding on religious terms, they are resorting to claiming a flower arrangement is art to avoid having to do so.

                  Your link is very strong evidence Libertarians are walking away from the cause of religious liberty.

                  1. Your link is very strong evidence Libertarians are walking away from the cause of religious liberty.

                    [citation needed]

                    1. Your link is very strong evidence Libertarians are walking away from the cause of religious liberty.

                      [citation needed]

                      Explain why CATO isn’t defending it in that case and instead claiming it is art?

                  2. We’re not walking away from religious liberty. I continue to hold that Christian bakers should not be forced to bake gay wedding cakes. Indeed, nobody should be forced to accomodate anyone for any reason.

                    Where we part ways is with your absurd position that we can’t legalize gay marriage because of public accomodation laws. That’s every bit as absurd as yours stance that we can’t have immigration because welfare.

                    If we have to choose, I’m going to choose the right to pursue happiness over the right to be an asshole and refuse to bake someone a cake. (Although, again, I think both should be legal).

                    1. We’re not walking away from religious liberty.

                      CATO apparently sees things differently.

                    2. Come on John, it’s called a strategy decision. Cato is defending them and they obviously think this is the best tactic to use before the court. And you’re going to criticize them because you don’t like the legal strategy?

      2. Industry jobs left the Rust Belt because American workers couldn’t compete with foreign workers and domestic automation. It was probably inevitable, but government-backed unions and cronyist regulations exacerbated it, and Trump’s supporters were all for those things. But really, assigning blame isn’t constructive at this point. We need to give people options that don’t involve more government-backed unions, more regulation, and more protectionism without constantly reminding them that they liked those things.

        1. That is a tiny part of it. Mostly it is about the regulatory state making it expensive to impossible for companies to grow and hire workers.

          1. The relative importance of different factors is debatable, but I agree that regulations (mostly cronyist ways of protecting entrenched interests) are a big part of it.

        2. I once again reiterate my position that Trump basically acquired the dregs of white labor, who switched parties when the Democrats got too friendly with black people and immigrants. They are literally the worst people on the American political spectrum. They are protectionist big labor cunts on economic policy and racist turds on civil liberties. I hate everything about them.

          1. Don’t you understand that it’s wrong to hate bad people, Hazel?

          2. This. Fuck these people. They are The Enemy. We have more in common with big city liberal pricks.

            1. I don’t think they’re the enemy.

              I think they’re the battlefield.

              They show up whenever the Democrats become obsessed with minorities.

              We should be seeking to convert these people to more capitalist ideas–capture as much of the battlefield as possible.

              Americans who are starving for lack of economic opportunity aren’t our enemies. They should be the people we’re fighting for.

              1. Ken, we TRIED that. See libertarianism’s relationships to state rights movements. In an oblique way, we were trying to market libertarianism to racist southerners. We’ve been doing it for 40 years, and then Trump comes along and exposes that none of it sunk in. They are Blue-dog and Reagan Democrats who are just as statist as ever on economics, who just switched sides because the D’s were being too nice to black people and immigrants. We’re never going to convert those fuck-tards to more capitalist ideas. We have a better chance of changing the minds of the Bernie Sanders fan club.

                1. We’ve persuaded people that free market economics were the key to economic opportunity and prosperity before.

                  I wasn’t born knowing everything I know now.

                  Our political progress has always depended on persuading people that don’t already agree with us.

                  That’s how Jesus took over the Roman Empire.

                  That’s how Gandhi kicked the British out of India.

                  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.

                  Persuading people to trust themselves, their own judgements, and make their own choices has always been a pain in the ass. Unfortunately, it’s the only thing that’s effective.

                  And we have had victories. I don’t see this as a libertarian moment, but if you told me 10 years ago that I’d live to see gay marriage and legal recreational marijuana, I’d have laughed. What we’re trying to convince people to change should be easier than that.

                  We’re selling economic opportunity and prosperity. It should be an easy sell to everyone who pays taxes and doesn’t work for the government. Mostly, it’s about getting people to trust themselves and their own judgment to make their own choices–instead of having their choices made for them by politicians and bureaucrats. Like I said, it should be an easy sell.

                  If we’ve been doing it for 40 years without success, we’ve probably been doing it wrong.

                2. Wanna bet? I lived in New York and Massachusetts among both Hillary fans and Bernie Fans, almost none of them are interested in a Free and Open Market. At best they favored cutting subsidies to their political enemies.

                  I have a friend whose a Clinton supporter, she agrees with me on Health care and Decriminalizing Drugs, but buys the Progressive talking points on everything else. At best libertarians can form occasional alliances with these people, but anything permit is likely out of the question. Well, at least until three years from now when we’re dealing with a President Rubio and whatever shitty nanny statist/Drug War/ War on Terror policies he’s pushing. Then Reason will be pushing then Governor Jared Polis (CO-D) as the great “Liberaltarian” hope. God we are so screwed.

                  1. But the main thing is, she’s still your friend. Good.

                    All this here, it’s only politics. It’s not real people, friendships, etc. Everything can go politically against you, but if you still have your friends, you’re ahead of the game.

                  2. “At best libertarians can form occasional alliances with these people, but anything permit is likely out of the question.

                    That’s what the Christians said about the Romans.

                    Before long, you couldn’t be the emperor unless you were a Christian.

                    The way we’ve been going about things hasn’t worked.

                    That doesn’t mean we don’t need to convert people to our religion. Ultimately, there is no effective alternative to winning people over to our cause.

            2. If you got to know more of them you’d think they were perfectly nice people.

    2. “Credible alternative” = give the babies what they want. I know that’s not what you have in mind, but ultimately that’s the only way to make sense of it, I think.

      A lot of people want protectionism. A lot of people are tribal. A lot of people are attracted to strong men. The message argument is fair, but it’s not so simple that billions of people are merely mistaken or have the wrong perception.

      1. Yep.

      2. I think we probably would have to give them a little bit of what they want. So something like an end to government programs that favor unions and bunch of deregulation, coupled with tax-payer sponsored job retraining? I’m not sure job retraining would help that much, but I think the other things would, and if that is what it takes, I can live with it.

        That’s a simplistic proposal, but you get the idea.

        1. That would require compromising Lynchpin. And it would require understanding that not everyone wants the same things we do and progress towards big goals comes in small steps. Worst of all, doing that would deprive people like Nikki and MJ of the opportunity to feel smug and self righteous. And if you can’t feel smug and self righteous, what is the point of doing it all?

        2. What makes you think they want an end to government programs that favor unions? They’re pro-protectionist. I have no reason to think they aren’t pro-union.

          1. I think you are probably right in some cases, but are unions as revered in the Rust Belt as they used to be?

            Regardless, that was meant to be something we could support that they would compromise on in exchange for, say, job training or some such thing. Like I said, it was meant to be more illustrative than a serious proposal.

        3. So something like an end to government programs that favor unions and bunch of deregulation, coupled with tax-payer sponsored job retraining?

          This is a nice poli-sci answer. I don’t see how it is a real world answer. Is this a campaign pitch? You’re anti-union/pro-welfare. Is it a legislative proposal? The bill will be sand bagged by a bunch of other nonsense, and likely won’t do much to strip union benefits while overspending for piss poor job training programs.

          I can think up all sorts of piece-meal adjustments with the hope of rolling back Leviathan a wee bit. But I have little faith they will do anything of the sort, and no faith that they will propel libertarianism into a political force.

          1. Looking above, I think you got my point when talking with John:

            “With respect, it sounds like you’re saying that libertarians need to drop the things you dislike and focus on the things you do.

            I dunno, maybe that is what we would need to do to make real progress.”

            The only Serious Solution is for us to become politicians offering least-cost, least-pain solutions to the issues of the day, hoping we can accomplish a short-term goal with little idea of the long-term consequences.

          2. If that’s not the A, then how about the opposite? Take back welfare & give union in return. One or the other of those bargains must be a winner.

      3. “Credible alternative” = give the babies what they want. I know that’s not what you have in mind, but ultimately that’s the only way to make sense of it, I think.

        That is not surprising. I would make the long and detailed case why protectionism is more than a bit of a bogey man that while not good is not what you think it is, but considering that sentence and how unsprising it is, what would be the point MJ?

      4. “”Credible alternative” = give the babies what they want.”

        This comment paints Libertarian’s to be just as heartless as the Left says they are. The fundamental request here is not asking for mounds of “Free” stuff from the government aka Hillary and Bernie, but a belief that we reduce immigration.

        Reducing immigration will lessen the downward wage pressure that’s effecting the lower income working class. And it’s starting to spill over to the working middle class.

        At the point in time your ideology ignores the reasonable desires of a majority of the population, you’re message is hopeless.

        1. Reducing immigration will lessen the downward wage pressure that’s effecting the lower income working class. And it’s starting to spill over to the working middle class.

          Aren’t we seeing this, with the whole H-1B brouhaha? Given that a lot of self-identified Libertarians seem to work in IT and Engineering, the same places a lot of H-1Bs are being recruited for, it’ll be interesting watching Libertarians start to eat their own.

        2. That is really well put JWatts. That is exactly what I was trying to say only better said.

        3. Reducing immigration will lessen the downward wage pressure

          But, but, curiously cherry-picked studies beg to differ!

          1. “But, but, curiously cherry-picked studies beg to differ!” economics begs to differ -FTFY

            If you think that immigrants r takin r jerbs then you are a completely unserious person and your advice is worthless.

            1. IF you think increasing the supply of something doesn’t put downward pressure on price, then you are a completely unserious person and your advice is worthless.

              1. And if you think downward pressure on the price of labor is a bad thing then you are a completely unserious person and your advice is worthless.

        4. The fundamental request here is not asking for mounds of “Free” stuff from the government aka Hillary and Bernie, but a belief that we reduce immigration.

          They may get reduced immigration, but they’re not going to get it by voting for libertarians.
          You’re asking libertarians to compromise the basic belief that all human beings have a fundamental right to pursue happiness, and for what? To buy the votes of a bunch of backwards troglodytes who are pissing their pants in fear that a bunch of unskilled third world laborers can do their jobs better?

          1. This, and these backwards trogs are America’s yesterday. These losers are the past. They are going to die off. Fuck them we should be looking forward.

          2. So? They don’t have to “vote for libertarians” as long as the net result is more freedom. What are you more interested in promoting: yourself or liberty?

        5. Reducing immigration will lessen the downward wage pressure that’s effecting the lower income working class. And it’s starting to spill over to the working middle class.

          At the point in time your ideology ignores the reasonable desires of a majority of the population, you’re message is hopeless.

          UGH!

        6. See? Thanks for proving my point, Watts.

          Are there credible alternatives to the “downward wage pressure” that is hurting the working class? Sure there are. We all know them and discuss them daily. Regulation, taxation, overcriminalization, welfare, etc.

          But getting rid of them immigants is the “reasonable desire” that we need to acquiesce to. If we don’t have “an answer” for that (read: the position the speaker already wants), we’re not serious or credible or worth supporting.

      5. Yes, it’s not for libertarians to try to placate these people or win their support. Their support is unwinninable without us ceasing to believe in everything we believe in.

        Instead, I propose the *exact opposite* approach. We should identify these people clearly as the PROBLEM and fight them. That positions us on the moral high ground and establishes a clear alternative to the horror show that Trump and his supporters represent. We’re fortunate this is happening at a moment when the Democrats are falling apart as well, because there are many reasonable liberals who might want an alternative to socialism or corruption.

        1. I agree, although I think we will lose because we are outnumbered.

        2. Fight them with what, though? We need to build our numbers, and that means changing people’s minds. We haven’t been very good at that, though, either.

          Man, this thread is a real downer.

          1. Many people don’t support libertarians because they suspect we’re really working for the interests of hard-core Republicans. Libertarian tolerance for bigots masquerading as libertarians under the “states rights” banner is one of the things that gives them that impression.

            Making a clear stand against the right on these issues might help make people more open-minded about our other positions. Someone who previously wouldn’t listen to us at all might actually be more open to considering arguments about free markets, if we don’t like like hypocrites when it comes to immigration.

            1. Maybe you’re right. And to be clear, I’m not arguing for tolerance for bigots. But I’m not convinced that every one of Trump’s supporters are bigots. Some certainly are, but I think a fair number are upset at stagnation or worse in their economic prospects.

              1. I am arguing for tolerance for bigots.

                The main things to get ahead are, don’t piss people off, & don’t get pissed off.

          2. Man, this thread is a real downer.

            What, the:

            “We should identify these people clearly as the PROBLEM and fight them,”

            “These losers are the past. They are going to die off. Fuck them we should be looking forward.”

            “What the fuck do I want their support for? They don’t believe in anything I believe in; they don’t want anything I want. The only thing I want is for them to fuck off out of my life.”

            hasn’t been inspiring for you? At least Nikki acknowledges that Libertarians are outnumbered on this. By my count, at least 6 to 1, using Rand Paul’s and Trump’s support numbers as proxies. The rest sound more deluded than Custer.

            It’s the same set of bullshit insistence on purity and wallowing in how enlightened we are compared to the, how did Hazel put it, “bunch of backwards troglodytes,” and how therefore doomed we all are, that prevented Libertarians from making more than a token effort to join and steer the Tea Party. While said organization in the last ten years has done more to actually achieve the goals of smaller government than anything that Reason or Cato have done in their entire existence.

            1. It’s the same set of bullshit insistence on purity and wallowing in how enlightened we are compared to the, how did Hazel put it, “bunch of backwards troglodytes,” and how therefore doomed we all are, that prevented Libertarians from making more than a token effort to join and steer the Tea Party. While said organization in the last ten years has done more to actually achieve the goals of smaller government than anything that Reason or Cato have done in their entire existence.

              Someone needs to chisel this paragraph into the store front at Reason and Cato’s headquarters.

            2. hat prevented Libertarians from making more than a token effort to join and steer the Tea Party. While said organization in the last ten years has done more to actually achieve the goals of smaller government than anything that Reason or Cato have done in their entire existence.

              Really? Whatever victories the Tea Party one were decidedly temporary. They got, what, a year and a half of sequester? Which was just repealed? Whoop-de-do.

              And then they all jumped ship as soon as a xenophobic asshole came along who was willing to tell them that he hates the Mexicans as much as they do. Proving they never gave a shit about smaller government in the first place.

              1. But I’m sure they would have gone with libertarian “steering”! lolz

              2. Everything is temporary. So what?

        3. We should identify these people clearly as the PROBLEM and fight them.

          Fight them if necessary, but first attempt to show them the better way. BUT, ABSOLUTELY, MOST CERTAINLY do not enable them.

        4. We should identify these people clearly as the PROBLEM

          Bull shit. That way lies wood chippers. The problem is not people. The solution is not people. It’s just a matter of how people do things.

    1. was the singular ‘reader’ deliberate?

      1. Sadly no.

  11. Silver notes that betting markets have Trump’s chances of being the nominee at 50 percent, Rubio’s at 40 percent, and everyone else’s at 10 percent, which he says sounds about right.

    This makes no fucking sense. Rubio and Cruz basicallly tied in SC, 22.5% versus 22.3%. Cruz won Iowa outright, and beat Rubio in New Hampshire. How does that translate to “Rubio is the overwhelming favorite to beat Cruz”?

    1. betting markets have Trump’s chances of being the nominee at 50 percent, Rubio’s at 40 percent

      I would guess the idea is that Cruz and Trump are both at their celing

      1. Trump getting more SC voters than Cruz that identify as evangelical, can’t be a good sign for Cruz.

        But I think it’s, as Camping pointed out upthread, that Rubio gets to draw on Kasich and Bush’s supporters, while Cruz only gets to draw primarily on Carson’s. And maybe not all of those. It’s enough to ensure that none of the three get a majority, while all three are still in it, but I can’t see enough voters defecting from other candidates to give Cruz the nod.

        Unless the Donald drops out…

      2. The betting markets they talk about are based in the UK. Usually what they mean is Bettingfair.com. American’s can’t legally bet in it, so it’s disproportionately based upon what European’s think. IE it’s biased towards American candidates who get good international press.

        https://electionbettingodds.com/

        Lott and Stossel’s site, but you’ll note the numbers are just a translation of Bettingfair.com expressed as a percentage.

  12. Dream On?

    “In your dream, Donald Trump is not a fraud,
    In your dream, Sanders is not a fraud,
    In your dream,all the rest are not frauds,
    In your dream, Obama is not a fraud,
    In your dream, Reagan was not a fraud,
    In your dream, all the rest were not frauds,

    In your dream, the constitution was not a scam,
    In your dream, the Supreme court is not a scam,
    In your dream, 9/11 was not a scam…….”

    Lyrics excerpted from:

    “Dreams [Anarchist Blues]”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMXtoU…..e=youtu.be

    Regards, onebornfree.
    onebornfreedotblogspotdotcom

  13. When I think of how godawful bad every single one of the candidates are for “American values”, I think of “Boston strong”. A couple of kids blew up some people at the Boston Marathon and the Boston PD declared martial law and started going door-to-door searching houses for the terrorist. And people applauded them. They got outraged at people who raised the question of whether or not warrantless searches weren’t maybe just a bit unconstitutional. What the hell kind of terrorist-loving asshole would dare question the need for the Constitution to take a back seat to catching a terrorist? 9/11 really didn’t “change everything”, it simply high-lighted the fact that a great many Americans don’t give a shit about liberty. They’ll trade their birthright for a mess of pottage in a heartbeat because they’re pants-shitting cowards who want a strong man to cuddle them and sing them a lullaby and tell them everything’s going to be okay. There’s your “American values”.

    1. STEVE SMITH STRONG TOO

  14. WTF, is John becoming Tulpa?

    1. What are you talking about? Can’t you just go back to yelling Red Tony and Strawman? It was annoying but at least it made sense on some level.

      1. What are you talking about?

        Your argument with Ken. It was like watching Tulpa stink up the place.

        1. The argument with Ken is simple. Ken says that America voting Trump is representative of America losing faith with capitalism. Ken thinks that because Trump is an avowed protectionist. My response to Ken is that protectionism is not inconsistent with capitalism. America has been protectionist for most of its history. And very few people would say it wasn’t a capitalist country, especially in the 19th Century when it was most protectionist. Therefore, America electing a protectionist does not mean it has given up on capitalism.

          The debate then ensured about whether you can be a “capitalist” and still support protectionism. I fail to see how the simple statement that libertarianism and capitalism are different terms and not every capitalist is a libertarian can make me Tulpa.

          1. ” My response to Ken is that protectionism is not inconsistent with capitalism. ”

            And that’s idiotic.

            1. How is that 8th grade project on Trumpism going? Are you going to just make it a diorama or try and do a full paper?

              Do you even try and read the posts? You must be in 8th grade because you are utterly incapable of understanding any kind of rational argument or doing anything but emoting a bunch of platitudes someone (and my God have mercy on their soul) taught you.

    2. No, because John is not reflexively contrarian. He’s quite consistent in his practice of turning every difference into a culture war that must be fought to the very death. Remember Sarah Palin? Hell, he’d still rather pull this place down on us all than admit that libertarians–or just thinking people in general–could have a legitimate disagreement with her.

      1. It is not that you can’t have a disagreement with Palin. It was that people’s disagreements with her mostly came from a place of cultural snobbery. It is one thing to say “Sarah Palin is wrong about this”. It is quite another thing to say that and then not make the same criticism of other politicians or make the criticism of Palin completely over the top.

        For example, you can think Palin is “stupid”. Stupid is of course a relative term. The problem arises when you claim she is stupid in some way that makes her remarkable from 99% of the other politicians in America.

        1. Pretty much this. Its not that Palin doesn’t have her own flaws, its that most of the attacks on her are bitter, personal attacks coming from hatred, not from her own shortcomings.

        2. “The problem arises when you claim she is stupid in some way that makes her remarkable from 99% of the other politicians in America.”

          Given the incoherent babble that compromises her speeches and other talk, this is not a problem at all. She is actually worse at covering up her stupidity at least.

      2. No, because John is not reflexively contrarian.

        Depends on the subject.

        1. True. I rarely defend cops.

    3. No, John is a fruit loop. Tulpa has a personality disorder; John is just nuts.

  15. Nick is misleading people. I read the article. Nate does not unequivocally say that Trump will win. He notes there are a lot of problems for him in the primary and even more in a general.

    1. IOW, as is completely typical at this stage of the campaign. You could have said the same about Obama in ’08.

      1. Obama did not have a hard ceiling of about 35% support or massive Everest-high negatives.

        1. Obama did not have a hard ceiling of about 35% support

          Neither does Trump. Recent polls (grain of salt) show him at a statistical tie or better with Hillary and Bernie.

    2. Nate does not unequivocally say that Trump will win.

      Compare to all the times Nate Silver said that Trump could not possibly win

  16. Look, Rubio the shiny new establishment boy has already been declared the winner. The establishment forced Bush out so that shiny boy can get his supporters.

    So by the logic of establishment hacks, this is what it means to win:

    3rd in Iowa
    3rd in NH
    Tie for 2nd in SC
    Current polling, distant 2nd in MA, 3rd in TX

    Yes, folks, that right there, that’s what it takes to be forecast a winner. You radicals just don’t get the math.

  17. I trust bookies over pollsters Ennyday. But Trump has admitted he 1. likes libertarians, 2. agrees with Jerry Falwell on abortion, 3. wants to ban tax marijuana, 4. hates foreigners, 5. hates free trade, 6. approves of torture. Only the first item is repugnant to Republicans and he has since refrained from again mentioning those hippies-of-the-right. The rank-and-file have finally found a genuine republican who is not a cog in a DC soft machine. Better dead than Ted…

  18. So Satan is running against Cthulhu to determine which gets to contest Sauron in the General Election. Who do you support? As for me, I am going to curl into the fetal position and pray for a comet…

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