Why President Trump Would be a Bigger Disaster Than President Clinton

Clinton would lead to gridlock, Trump could lead to effective bipartisan anti-freedom coalitions.

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There's still time to turn it around, of course. But now that many conservatives are moving from the bargaining phase to the depression phase of the Kubler-Ross model, we can begin to grapple with the prospective reality of a Trump-vs-Hillary general election.

Whether you're an ideological conservative, a proponent of limited government or someone who believes that the president has too much power already, you shouldn't think of this matchup as a contest between horrifying candidates. Rather, you should ask yourself which scenario would be more damaging? I'm pretty sure you'd find that Donald Trump is the form of the Destructor.

But Hillary Clinton is the worst, most evil liberal ever!

Yes. You can count on it. Clinton, as you may have noticed, does not have the charisma of Barack Obama. Not only would she be divisive and ethically compromised, but she would also galvanize the Right. Republicans would almost certainly unite against her agenda, which would be little more than codifying Obama's legacy: a collection of policies that half the country still hates.

She won't be able to pass anything substantial. The most likely outcome is another 4 to 8 years of trench warfare in Washington D.C., giving conservatives a pass for a number of winnable, state-level issues. There will probably be, if historical disposition of the electorate holds, a Republican Congress. (Who knows what happens to Congress if Trump is elected.) Hardly ideal. But unless you believe that an active Washington is the best Washington, gridlock is not the end of the world.

The myth that Democrats get everything will persist. But despite plenty of well-earned criticism, the GOP has been a more effective minority party than constituents give them credit for. People are frustrated, but the conservative idealists have been gaining ground since the tea party emerged. The tea party's presence has put a stop to an array of progressive reform efforts that the pre-2010 GOP would surely have gone along with.

Just as some Republicans are already warming to the idea of his candidacy, the temptation in Congress to follow "Trumpism"—a philosophy based on the vagaries of one man—will be strong. Trump's inclination is never to free Americans from the state, but rather to do a better job administering the state ("we're gonna take care of everybody!") through great deals and assertive leadership. Or in other words, everything the Founding Fathers didn't want the presidency to be.

So, while gridlock will still hold up most of the issues conservatives care about, chances are high—considering his long history of supporting big government—that Trump would try and cobble together a populist coalition for the polices that conservatives hate. This will end up marginalizing ideological conservatism from within the party.

I mean, what will Reaganites gain from this presidency? The idea that Trump could dismantle Obamacare—when, in reality, he backs many of its components and has yet to offer any genuine solutions—is a fantasy. The idea that Trump would name originalists to the Supreme Court is equally risible when you consider that Trump has shown absolutely no hint or inclination that he understands what originalism entails.

But the people of the working class are mad! How dare you disrespect their concerns?

There's a difference between caring about the plight of working stiffs and embracing isolationism, high tariffs and other policies that would destroy working class long-term prospects. Is everyone supposed to surrender to mercantilism because it makes 30 percent of angry voters feel better? You can't let a mob run your party. And it's not a mob—it is hyper-populist or constructed around a cult of celebrity or even because it's angry—though all those things are true. The problem is that it's incoherent and nihilistic.

It's worth pointing out that the chances of Trump's protectionist policies passing—with a bipartisan coalition of progressives and right-protectionists—are far higher under Trump than Clinton. Why should free traders help facilitate this kind of disaster? So they can brag about having a Republican president?

None of this is to argue that the conservative movement or the Republican Party is in good shape, that the status quo is working well or that the leadership doesn't deserve what's coming. I'm not saying someone shouldn't blow up the Republican Party. I'm saying that that someone shouldn't be an unprincipled imposter. Because at some point there's going to be a counterrevolution. Those who swear up and down that they would never vote for Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio because they aren't conservative enough shouldn't be surprised that a large faction on the Right—more than likely, the larger faction on the Right—won't support a candidate who is adversarial to its belief system. To support Trump would be an exercise in pure partisanship. For conservatives, it would mean facilitating their own destruction. It makes no sense.

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  1. “Clinton would lead to gridlock, Trump could lead to effective bipartisan anti-freedom coalitions.”

    Do you really think so David? Isn’t the more likely scenario that, after a brief electoral honeymoon, Trump finds himself isolated with no support from either side, much like Jesse Ventura in Minnesota, and is reduced to ranting rage against his own impotence? Also recall that unlike the business world — where a new CEO cleans house and brings in his own team top to bottom — Trump will be forced to inherit a bureaucracy filled with Big Government devotees with their own agendas who will undermine him at every turn, but are untouchable due to civil service laws.

    I see ineffective chaos, not effective coalitions. And maybe that is a better outcome than Hilary.

    1. I guess it comes down to how much faith you have in the Republicans. I see the party whose “conservative” wing–the folks who we’d be counting on to stand up to a potential Democrat-moderate coalition–skipped merrily from “social conservatism” to war hawkery to faux libertarianism as their defining ideology. And I for one think there will be quite enough of them to welcome their new overlord (there do not have to be many). Trump will indeed have sold himself, as he repeatedly claims, as the future of a completely new Republican party.

      We might not like it, but an enormous number of people who were waving their Gadsden flags and thumping their Constitutions when Obama stood alone as a focus of political cleavages are now swooning over a man who has **promised** to govern as an authoritarian. Trump can be the new “conservative” because damn near **anything**, even the agenda of a gay-loving, property-seizing, socialized-medicine-pushing etc. Democratic donor with a New York accent, can be remade into a conservative litmus test with proper marketing. The public really is that stupid. And politicians will take notice. Trump will get far more than the handful of Republican acolytes on Capitol Hill he needs. (And I’m sure the Big Government devotees in the bureaucracy will find his agenda quite agreeable as well.)

      1. …Oh, and by the way, how many of **Bernie**’s supporters do you think spent the last seven years waving Gadsden flags and carrying on about “threats to our liberty”? There’s your answer right there (part of it, at least; I got another comment further down) as to why it’s so much more newsworthy to talk about Donald’s authoritarianism. Even for the greatest cynic of public wisdom and judgment, it’s been a sight to behold.

        1. …Last time this thread, I promise (maybe):

          Another flaw in the “Why is Reason picking on Trump” premise: Even as we speak, another article from an obscure contributor named Nick Gillespie is up, viciously taking down a bit of WaPo histrionics about the rise of Trump. In it, he makes the case that Trump, beyond the bombast, is actually no worse than anyone else running for President, and that we as a nation have survived plenty of similar demogoguery. (I really do not buy either argument at all, despite how skillfully they were made, but who cares. The point is, so much for Reason being in the bag for Sanders or whatever the claim is supposed to be.)

    2. Do you really think so David? Isn’t the more likely scenario that, after a brief electoral honeymoon, Trump finds himself isolated with no support from either side

      Given that the mainstream GOP insiders can’t fucking stand Trump, I tend to agree with this.

      1. Except that the GOP insiders already started making waves about how they can work with Trump, but not Cruz. Even before the first Cockus had been held, GOP members were already starting to buddy up to Trump.

        The party of Reagan became the party that passed No Child Left Behind, Medicare Plan Bankrupt, nationalization of the airport security industry, and all sorts of other drek. They did it because the populace wanted it and because they could do it instead of Dems. They got behind massive social engineering efforts that they would have fought tooth and nail against had Gore been in the whitehouse.

        I see two possibilities: 1) Trump goes mad with power and just starts shoving shit down the throats of congress who will eagerly lap it up as he promises them votes and money. 2) Trump gets into office and decides he is uninterested in complicated shit like Healthcare Reform and congress will eagerly put together packages for him to pass while beating up critics on the podium.

        I can possibly see a blend between 1 and 2. Every now and again he’ll latch onto an issue with good PR spin (e.g. immigration) and the GOP will be forced to get in line, but for most everything else he will sit back and let congress do all the heavy lifting.

        1. #2 is an opportunity for libertarians, as I keep saying.

        2. It should be Medicare Plan Default. Come on.

        3. Maybe it won’t be Congress he’ll defer to, but some members of the glitterati who get his ear. Like how Hillarycare got put together, only not by glitterati but wonkerati & donorati in her case.

    3. I duh-know,,,, I am not a Trump Fan but he would have the Bully Pulpit…

      He might be able to get in front of the American people and point out who is unwilling to compromise in any given situation.

      Unlike Obama and the Democrats who were unwilling to compromise on anything and then turn around and unfairly blame the Republicans…. I mean the Republicans did not have a seat at the table and were shut out….. this will continue if Clinton is elected…

    4. Clinton would lead to gridlock

      Not to the federal bureaucracy or the Supreme Court. She would continue and extend the Obama expansion of federal power. And being the criminal she is, she would unleash the IRS and other departments against her political enemies.

      Putinism, here we come.

      She won’t be able to pass anything substantial.

      She would be blocked in Congress, but Congress is largely democracy theater. It’s the federal bureaucracy that rules, with the only potential partial check on them being the Supreme Court.

      Hillary gets the Presidency, she appoints up to 4 Supreme Court justices, making an insurmountable Progressive majority for a decade. She further empowers the apparatchiks to rule.

      Almost all gains made in recent years toward smaller government have come from a tenuous 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court. A number of big cases to turn the government toward smaller government were coming this year. Affirmative action and mandatory union dues were poised to fall. Then Scalia croaked.

      Meanwhile, Trump has said he would appoint justices like Clarence Thomas – the only guy who consistently follows the constitution. For the Supreme Court alone, Trump needs to win.

      Also, Trump, as an authoritarian, might bring the regulatory state to heel. Certainly Hillary would only expand its power.

      1. Of course, Hillary would keep the immigration pipeline of big government voters flowing, and therefore Reason must LUVVV HIllary.

        When the inevitable endorsement of corrupt to the core Hillary finally comes, I’ll say:
        Reason LUVS HIllary!
        Reason LUVS HIllary!
        Reason LUVS HILLARY!

      2. I agree, if the Hildebeest gets to appoint judges the 2nd amendment is dead…and I don’t think that will end well.

    5. “Trump will be forced to inherit a bureaucracy filled with Big Government devotees with their own agendas who will undermine him at every turn …”

      Trump is a Big Government devotee as well, so no problem there.

    6. Let’s not forget that it has been two decades of trench warfare that has so many people soured on party politics and willing to vote for Trump.

      Four (or more) years of a Clinton in the White House would not solve that problem, only increase the pressure.

      Pressure that will one day be released.

  2. We need to know who their veep choices are. Neither Hil nor Don is a spring chicken.

    1. Trump/Biden – Lulztopia is at hand!

  3. I say with either candidate more executive orders and congress does nothing and show their impotence. Although career politicians might block trump more than Hilary.

  4. I for one welcome my new incompetent overlord…..whichever one it may be.

  5. Shit sandwich or giant douche. Fuck them both. I’m voting for John Mcafee because he has the kind of manic semi-insanity that I find attractive in a politician.

    1. I’m voting for John McCain because he doesn’t have a chance.

  6. Once and for all, the “lesser of two evils” ship sailed about twenty years ago. Now it’s “let the shit hit the fan and get it over with” mode. And that depends on how old you are, so there’s no one right answer as to that timing.

  7. LOL

    I hate trump, but if reason can’t be honest with themselves and say every candidate is a horrible shit storm, then they’re as crazy as Howard Dean is.

    When you’re talking insanity of this level, the difference in Hillary, Bernie, the Donald, Cruz Missile, and not-so Marco Polo is symantics.

    Seriously, write something besides how bad Donald Trump is. We get it. How about you find something bad on THE ACTUAL FUCKING SOCIALIST RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT WHO COULD POSSIBLY BE ELECTED. You sure that won’t be bad?

    1. Bernie hit pieces don’t get clicks.

      1. Well…yes. A Bernie hit piece is far less newsworthy **because**:

        –He is **by far** the least likely of the three to actually become President.

        –The idea that a self-described socialist would be awful from the freedom perspective is practically a campaign promise of the terminology. The idea that a self-described “conservative” or “liberal” (and, preposterous as it sounds, a majority of voters seem to regard them as that) would have barely any sign even of those virtues commonly associated with the labels is far more remarkable. On the other hand, when the man who proudly describes himself with the same word as history’s greatest enemies of freedom turns out to be quite good on a small number of things–better not only than these two complete charlatans, but better even than those with a much more reasonable claim on being called conservatives or liberals these days–**that** is news. (It is a **tiny** number of things, of course, but from a socialist you’d expect zero.) **Reason** has given Trump his due plenty of times. Let them do the same for Sanders every once in a while; they’ve hardly been acting as his campaign mouthpiece.

        1. Reason likes Sanders though, cuz cosmo and cocktail parties and such.

          1. …Alright man, that cocktail-party cosmolibertarian suspicion has long been there, and it’s a good thing to consider from time to time, but my points seem pretty plausible for this particular case.

            1. …Oh, fuck, just realized you were being sarcastic. Of course. I’m terrible at picking up on it online (and I’m always the first one to deploy it and get burned myself!)

              1. Lol, it’s all good. I tried to make the sarcasm obvious enough.

          2. Yes, they’re trying to figure out a way to endorse him based on the notion he may be the ‘most libertarian’ on an issue; not plural but singular.

            Which is retarded of course.

          3. “Reason likes Sanders though”

            Not surprising since Reason wants smaller government and Sanders is the only candidate to run on cutting down the size of government’s biggest expense, the Pentagon. Don’t know about Cosmo.

            1. while simultaneously expanding the rest of the government so damn much that even Krugman laughs at how impossible it will be.

            2. The pentagon is far from the biggest expense; mandatory spending, Soc Sec, and the Medi programs, is approaching 2/3 of all Federal Spending

        2. –He is **by far** the least likely of the three to actually become President.

          Well, I think Reason said the same about about Trump not to long ago…

          We’re fucked regardless – if Bernie gets elected and Congress remains Republican, nothing gets done at all for four years. Might be the best case scenario.

          I could see Hillary actually trying to ‘work’ with Congress and maybe having some success, provided Bill can keep his pants on long enough to help her out.

          1. Trump, Hillary, and Bernie are all horrible choices.

            If it came to Bernie vs. Trump, I’d roll the dice on Trump, since Bernie’s project would be a long-term change of the US into a European-style social democracy, and he might be able to put us on that trajectory.

            If it came to Hillary vs. Trump, I suppose I’d prefer Hillary, since she will just be Obama II, while Trump has the potential to trigger a trade war and another Depression.

            Regardless, I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson (or *sigh* John McAfee), since I live in Massachusetts, so my vote doesn’t count.

    2. Harsanyi doesn’t work for Reason, and if you look the guy up, you’ll see it’s a joke to think he’s some sort of cosmotarian. And Reason has called pretty much everyone running aside from Rand a horrible shit storm.

      Also, Bernie is not gonna win. Hillary will build an insurmountable lead in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday. Trump really might win the GOP nomination.

      1. Trump really might win is the runaway favorite for the GOP nomination.

        There we go. Much better.

        1. Probably accurate at this point

  8. Worse than Hillary? Try worse than Hitler.
    http://theantimedia.org/chomsk…..ed-hitler/

  9. That was amazing. I can’t wait for this whole thing to come crashing down.

    *gleefully skips off*

  10. That was amazing. I can’t wait for this whole thing to come crashing down.

    *gleefully skips off*

    1. *gleefully skips off*

      Not soon enough.

      1. Or far enough. There is no far enough.

  11. “Republicans would almost certainly unite against her agenda, which would be little more than codifying Obama’s legacy: a collection of policies that half the country still hates.”

    Republicans court the image of being bumbling cowards because it allows them to ultimately “surrender” and give the government more power. They don’t believe in individual liberty any more than Clinton does.

    If statists were to create their own opponents for the purpose of an easy win over them, they would create a group that feigns opposition and then shows the white flag whenever push comes to shove. In other words, they would create the Republican party.

    1. In other words, they would create the Republican party.

      So, the Washington Generals?

    2. They don’t believe in individual liberty any more than Clinton does.

      Some

      of them do. I’ll take a government populated with clones of Rand Paul and Clarence Thomas any time.

      1. — Don’t know that happened with the formatting there.

        Some of them do. I’ll take a government populated with clones of Rand Paul and Clarence Thomas any time.

  12. When America eventually ends up with concentration camps (again) It will be a Democrat who orders them (again).

    1. Of course. Left-wingers/progressives love camps and fences; literally and metaphorically.

  13. Hillary would be far worse than the Donald. We don’t need royal families.

  14. I don’t understand why Reason is bothering to write articles like this. Can you guys, like, talk about Libertarian-ish stuff and not be a prog-tard proxy for Salon/HuffPo/etc.?

    1. They don’t get invited to Washington parties if they talk about icky stuff like libertarianism, except maybe pot and then only if they talk about how much tax money can be raised if they make pot legal.

    2. “Can you guys, like, talk about Libertarian-ish stuff and not be a prog-tard proxy for Salon/HuffPo/etc.?”

      Have you tried, like, Cato?

    3. No. That doesn’t get them on MSNBC panels.

  15. “She won’t be able to pass anything substantial.”

    Of course, Obama didn’t let that stop him, did he?

    President Hillary will just keep bypassing Congress with executive orders, and Congress will sit back and let it happen, because if there’s anything that Republican pols fear more than constituency anger, it’s being hated by Democrats.

    So, once Hillary gets her shiny new proggie Supreme Court Justice seated, and wears out pens signing executive orders, you reckon that’s still preferable to President Trump?

    1. “She won’t be able to pass anything substantial.”

      Are you saying she needs to up her fiber intake?

      1. HIllary doesn’t shit. She doesn’t eat food. She sucks the blood and marrow from virgins.

        1. So you mean Bill isn’t really raping all those girls? Just doing his duty to exempt them from Hillary’s unholy unquenchable thirst for virgin blood?

  16. So Reason has now published the “Libertarian case for Sanders” and an article explaining why Clinton is better than Trump. Does Reason think that the left will stop calling libertarians and the Kochs bad names? The cute SJW you are trying to impress is going to hate you no matter how much you do this. Trump is awful and his election would be awful. Bush was awful. But seriously, how can anyone who cares at all about liberty give Clinton or Sanders even left handed compliments?

    Sanders is a socialist. You know, socialism, the philosophy that led to a century of genocide. And Hillary, the woman who’s bragging point is to claim credit for the Arab Spring. The woman who never met an anti entrepreneurship regulation that went far enough.

    1. Reason’s articles reflect the same frustration we all feel (in a way). They’re desperately trying to find a glimmer of light in a very dark storm. These are the tough choices you have to make when you’re in the middle of a libertarian moment.

      1. Hillary’s cankles…a source of cheap renewable energy?

        1. Hey, it’s lunchtime! Stop that!

        2. The heat from the hard drive that was produced while her intern deleted all those emails could have powered a small village in Lincolnshire.

        3. They are not renewable, their vastness just makes them seem inexhaustable.

      2. As near as I can tell, Reason has pretty much abandoned the idea that libertarianism requires a small, limited government.

        Their “libertarian moment” seems to be based on the thesis that a large and growing government is perfectly consistent with increasing liberty, because we measure liberty not by what we can still do without being jailed. Thus, the fact that you can lose your life or your livelihood under an infinite number of laws and regulations is irrelevant, because until that happens you can stream youtube videos on your phone.

        Or something.

    2. “The woman who never met an anti entrepreneurship regulation that went far enough.”

      Hillary doesn’t need entrepreneurs. Wall Street is handing millions to her. Probably she gets more Wall Street money than any other candidate.

      1. “Probably”?

    3. So Reason has now published the “Libertarian case for Sanders” and an article explaining why Clinton is better than Trump.

      I can’t wait for the “Libertarian case for Trump” article from Reason. That’s coming soon, right?

      1. Maybe. I wouldn’t be surprised if Napolitano would choose Trump over Hillary or Bernie.

    4. Anyone who supports Hillary is a traitor.

  17. I’m not going to go all “COSMOS!” here, but maybe, just maybe, instead of talking about which two major party candidates would be less terrible, Reason could use its position as one of the best known libertarian publications to — and I know this will sound crazy, but hear me out — advocate for third party libertarian candidate?

    1. And I know Reason isn’t a single person, but seriously, when was the last time anyone said anything about any actual libertarian candidate?

      1. I haven’t really considered it but you’re right. I can’t remember the last time Reason talked about any of the various Libertarian Party candidates.

      2. Reason has never been that kind of magazine, at least not in recent memory to my knowledge. The Foundation is a policy think tank, like Cato; and the mag reports on “the real world” **as it is** (“mainstream” politics and policy proposals that are part of the “mainstream” debate) from a libertarian perspective. It does a fair amount of “constructive” work–not just calling antifreedom policy shitty, but actually exploring a libertarian alternative–but it almost always uses “politics as it is” as a jumping-off point to explore such topics. Gary Johnson will get a little glance here and there, but he’ll have to get back into office to get more than that. It’s just the kind of magazine Reason chooses to be, and I think there’s a place for that. (And it’s hard to be both, as a publication with limited resources. Third-party politics and even to some extent independent politics is a fucking journalism beat unto itself. You have to get pretty deep into some involved and downright weird-ass stuff to do it justice, and that’s a hell of a distraction.)

        Besides, I suspect–this is just a hunch–that confirmed nonvoters outnumber third-party voters among Reason readers. They’ll likely be reading Reason and other mainstream-politics news and commentary sources, and Reason Foundation or Cato for their hardcore “ideas” fix.)

      3. “when was the last time anyone said anything about any actual libertarian candidate?”

        When the Libertarian Candidate manages to get himself sent home from school for wearing the wrong T shirt, rest assured Reason will write about it.

    2. They could. Or at least, I don’t know, discuss Libertarian candidates on local/state levels that might gain traction. As well as other kinds of pro-liberty actions people could consider taking, etc.

      Penning article after article ad nauseam about how horrible Trump supposedly is? not constructive. Nor interesting.

      Besides this, if anything, Libertarians should welcome Trump since he might prove very destructive to the status quo.

    3. that is a good point. i checked the other day and there are 12. not many that could be taken seriously on a national level, but still.

      i think reason represents those who know what they want can’t happen, but hope that one or both of the major parties can become “more libertarian” instead. the last hope of someone who has already given up.

      basically, they are covering the people they think might win, not who they wish would win. (the might throw a gay john article up every once in a while, but never muse on those what if’s)

      they also seem fairly inattentive on the election laws that still get passed to make it harder for third parties to even get on the ballot.

  18. This article is unfortunately true, but the key difference that a **Trump** nomination makes pretty much centers around **the judiciary**.

    But for that factor, libertarians could pretty much say without reservation that their best scenario for the foreseeable future is always a Democratic President and a deeply Republican Congress and all the oh-so-horrifying “gridlock” that entails. Democrats are generally a little better on foreign policy, of course; and, even more importantly, Republicans only even make a half-assed **attempt** at looking libertarianish when they’re in opposition. (The Democrats don’t really try any more, not even for most issues of noneconomic personal liberty, under any circumstances.) A Trump Administration would only exaggerate this phenomenon. He is indeed the first major-party nominee to **promise** to be a thoroughgoing authoritarian; and he will certainly get enough Republicans on Capitol Hill to follow him as the future of their party. But again, it’s only an exaggerated version of a normal phenomenon….

    1. but the key difference that a **Trump** nomination makes pretty much centers around **the judiciary**.

      The judiciary, and who will be worse about empowering the regulatory state?

      An authoritarian might actually work to bring the regulatory state to heel.

  19. Most Republicans, on the other hand, have been quite good about the kind of judges they try to put on the bench. …They do get burned, of course (Souter, O’Connor, Kennedy), but that’s because “conservative” judges are unreliable, not because they wanted them that way–Republicans **feel** burned when that happens to them. Scalia-style originalism, now by far the dominant form of “conservative” jurisprudence, is of course not the ideal philosophy from a libertarian perspective (it’s the one I favor as “correct,” whatever its practical disadvantages, but that’s another story), but it’s certainly orders of magnitude better than what the other side has to offer. And the difference this time is, yeah, Trump cannot be trusted **at all**, and it is certainly preposterous to rely on a Republican Senate to unite against the choice of their new leader, even if he poached it directly from the legal advisory board of Everytown.

    We are going to be eating some mighty big dicks over the next eight years no matter what happens from here on, no doubt about it. Goodbye sweet freedom, what’s left of ya.

  20. Et tu, Harsanyi?

  21. Why President Shit Sandwich Would be a Bigger Disaster Than President Giant Douche

    ftfy

  22. Here’s the thing =

    Everyone in the media shot themselves in the dick this year being wrong about everything over and over again.

    why should people care now?

    seriously. Everything written by pundits is likely to result in people believing the opposite of what is claimed. How do you think Trump *got here*?

    1. Just like all the cheering over Trump’s momentary stumble last night most of what pundits pundit is just wishful thinking.

      Paul the principled is out. Hillary the felonious traitor is in. Trump the clown is in.

      Pop your corn.

      1. Yeah.

        Here’s the other thing. If Trump’s election would “marginalize the ideological conservative movement”, what fucking good are these ‘ideological conservatives’ in the first place?

        Who are we talking about anyway? The people in congress insisting that data-encryption should be illegal? the people agitating to bomb Iran? The people who added another $2trillion to the national debt in the spending bill they just passed in December?

        where are these ‘ideological conservatives’ who care so much about principle? because if they haven’t been ‘marginalized’ up until now, i’m wondering what they’ve been so busy doing with themselves.

  23. I love it. David Harsanyi, who has long been known as a conservative-leaning writer popular among that crowd here at Reason, is now a cosmotarian or being too anti-Trump. Also, the guy doesn’t even work for Reason for everyone unaware, they just run his columns.

    1. I actually still think Harsanyi is a lot better than almost any other political-writer, including everyone at Reason.

      I just think that these scary prognostications about “who will be worse” are silly. Its unknowable. They’re highbrow clickbait. And nothing in the universe will ever get me to vote for Hillary Clinton. So, what’s the point?

      1. It is true that it’s unknowable, but so is pretty much any article about anything in the future. I would never vote for either of them, but I think Hillary would pretty much just be a continuation of the status quo, which is bad, but not catastrophically so in the short-term, while there’s a lot more risk with Trump. Not even necessarily what he would do as president, but just in terms of changing the direction of the Republican Party (more) towards nationalism, xenophobia, etc. could do significant damage in the long run.

    2. I know who Harsanyi is and I would never accuse of him being a “cosmo” but his bona fides are irrelevant when he pens an opinion such as this.

      1. I’m not saying you have to agree with his opinion. I’m just saying that the handwringing by some in the comments about how Harsanyi and Reason are all a bunch of cosmo fake libertarians because he wrote this article is ridiculous.

    3. I don’t see how this makes Harsanyi a “cosmo” because we got a tortured piece about the lesser of to weevils.

      My issue is it’s all beginning to feel like navel-gazing. I know Reason has to produce content, but these think-pieces on which utterly non-libertarian candidate is the best libertarian candidate because of something we find absent in their profile are tedious. Reason needs to push libertarian ideas, not help us suss out choices that probably none of us are going to vote for anyway.

      I’m not voting for Trump, Hillary, Sanders, Cruz, Rubio, or… whoever else I’ve never heard of that’s running on the GOP ticket. This horse race stuff on who has the most libertarian-ish position on a single narrow issue is just proof as to how bleak the situation is.

      1. This isn’t even Reason content, it was at the Federalist a while back.

        1. Understood, but Reason reblogged for a reason.

    4. Nothing quite says conservative quite like “I LUV HIllary!”

  24. That’s one way to look at it. But another is to look at what Trump represents in the larger picture. He is straight out of the Jacksonian tradition in American history. Yes, it is very rough around the edges, but to say that he would be worse than Hillary is a bridge too far. We do not need a femi nazi war monger in charge. The Republicans would rubber stamp every one of her imperial adventures. AS a Jacksonian, Trump is against nation building and stupid no win wars. He would make other countries pay for their own defense.
    Jeffersonian libertarians can work with Jacksonians. We cannot work with neocons like Hillary. If Trump is elected we will at least have something to cheer about. Free trade will take a hit, to be sure, but destroying the neocon establishment could very well be worth the cost.

    1. “AS a Jacksonian, Trump is against nation building and stupid no win wars.”

      unless you are Cherokee

      1. He said no-win wars. For that matter, he said “nation-building”, not “nation-moving”.

    2. Trump is more like the Old Right. Not for as small government, but no one is these days. No one is ending the welfare state.

  25. A while back I snarked “Sounds like someone is ready for Hillary” in response to one of the early articles like this.

    New snark: “Hey…uh…*points at floor* you dropped your mask.”

  26. Trump vs Clinton::Pol Pot vs Kim Jong Un

  27. No discussion of the Clinton Presidency is even remotely complete without a discussion of the degree to which she is compromised and subject to blackmail by foreign governments who harvested her illegal emails.

    For that reason alone, her Presidency would be the worst of any of the current candidates.

    And that’s without even considering the web of domestic and international corruption she and her husband have spent the last who knows how many years building. Yet another, independent, reason why her Presidency would be the worst of any of the current candidates.

    1. We’re talking about the issues here, RC, like what her opinion on sex trafficking is.

      1. Maybe we could hold her down to a definition of what sex trafficking is?

        And how much it involves the the future FGOTUS?

        1. We’ll get Crusty to “hold her down,” ok? I ain’t touchin that!

          1. I thought sex trafficking was Bill’s job.

            1. Yes, while his SS detail holds them down for him. Especially the tweens at his buddy Jerrey Epstein’s place on Pedo Island

  28. I’m gonna have to disagree with DH. The thing about Clinton is that you aren’t just electing a single person, you’re electing an entire pre-existing political machine, a high tech weapon of mass corruption, and that doesn’t really seem to be the case with Trump.

  29. Clinton=War

    Trump = Peace

    1. Clinton = Smart Power
      Trump = Dump Power

      1. Should have been Dumb power, but strangely, the typo works, so I’m leaving it– mainly because there’s no edit button.

        If Hillary Clinton got a Delete button on official U.S. communications, why can’t I have an edit button?

        1. Just donate enough to Hillary and you’ll get your edit button.

      2. Are you claiming that Trump has a fiber rich diet?

  30. I’ve been spending this primary absolutely dumbfounded by the popularity of a weirdo unreconstructed socialist geriatric, and now I’m gonna have to spend the general election feeling the same about a racist cartoon character with roadkill on his head. WTF America.

    I usually hate the sentiment that “we deserve what we get,” considering roughly half the country always votes the other way. But if we are capable of electing Donald J. Trump as president, we deserve it. I will feel personally responsible for whatever role I played in that outcome. We lose at civilization.

    1. I get what you’re saying, but who is “We,” kemosabe?

      1. First they came for the Mexicans… you know the drill.

        1. Then they came for the Somalians? And then the Canadians?

          Thing is, we’ve been through this before, under Eisenhower IIRC. It didn’t turn into the Holocaust then, so there’s no reason to expect it to now.

        2. Considering that they are being sent back to the country that are, you know, citizens of, instead of to gas chambers, spare me the theatrics

        3. Fuck off Tony.

    2. Kind of like the way Obama got elected. You should commit suicide Tony.

  31. I dunno… I’m kinda looking forward to seeing President Trump kicking David Brooks right in the balls as his first official act…

    1. You are giving Trump a rather small target there.

  32. And now the Libertarian Case for Hillary Clinton is out of the way. Who’s next?

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  34. If Reason’s articles really are attempts to impress the cute SJW girls they are going about it all wrong. First you woo the female, which is the easy part unless you’re a complete loser, then if/when politics comes up you just shut them down in argument so hard (mansplain if you must) that they never want to discuss it again. If they stop sleeping with you over it then good; move on to the next one.

    Hot ladies are a dime a dozen.

    1. ‘Hot ladies are a dime a dozen.’

      I have some bad news for you….

    2. You must have the most awesome dollar stores in the country if that’s the going price for hot ladies in your area.

      1. I shop exclusively at “Whores R’ Us”. Where there are a million whores for me to play with.

  35. At least for all his negatives, Trump is a question mark who *might* keep us out of the mess the neocons want to continue to plunge us into. Clinton and Rubio will *certainly* keep us on that dark path. Increasing the odds of avoiding WW3 trumps 😉 other concerns.

    This is where I was hoping Cruz would hammer Rubio in the debate as being a neocon, as being equivalent to McCain/Clinton on foreign policy — he blew that opportunity by focusing on Trump, and also has me doubting he’s really much different than Rubio on this most-important of issues.

    I could also make the same point about pro-life issues in general (war being one of them): at least Trump a question mark. Clinton is an exclamation point in the wrong direction. This article misses these points completely.

  36. “Is everyone supposed to surrender to mercantilism because it makes 30 percent of angry voters feel better?”

    Oh please. NAFTA/GATT/WTO is a fact of life. We’re not rolling back a generation of trade policy even if the flim flam man really does win over the flim flam uterus. The great recession didn’t bring back mercantilism, neither will another depressing presidential contest.

    The courts are another matter entirely. Supreme court justices are a coin flip even if the president pretends to favor originalism.

  37. Once again, true conservatives are going to be forced to vote for the lesser of two evils which is never good. I might not vote at all this time around because being forced to vote for someone who does not represent ANY of your morals, values or conservative belief makes no sense. Based on this article, as much as I despise Clinton if she won we can hope for gridlock which would give at least some warped sense of stability since not much would change. On the downside, I don’t think this nation can take much more of this type of policy-making and survive. BUT, I also don’t think Trump’s seemingly “blow it up and start over” attitude will help anything and will create chaos in the midst of our current decline as a nation. This nation is falling as we speak…do we really think Trump can catch us and save us–doubtful.

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  39. As much as I despise Trump, I am tired of war and he is the only Republican who has said that we would have been better off leaving Saddam in power (and we should leave Assad alone also). Millions are dead all over the ME and other parts of the world because of our government’s regime-change foreign policy and it has all been for absolutely NOTHING. I won’t vote for any Republican or Democrat this year but I am less afraid of Trump than anyone else despite his penchant for taking other people’s property under eminent domain laws.

    1. I got news for you pal. The ME is lousy with murdering muslims. Millions were going to be bloody corpses no matter what we did or did not do. And millions more will continue to die. It’s the islamic way.

  40. “Not only would she be divisive and ethically compromised, but she would also galvanize the Right.”

    Obama hasn’t galvanized the Republican Party, but Clinton will?

    And what exactly is Trump supposed to do that makes him so much worse than Clinton? Build a wall across the border? Screen Muslim immigrants? Impose tariffs so that our domestic industries can compete with the subsidized industries of socialist countries?

    This might come as a shock, but open borders and globalism aren’t especially moving to some of us. Maybe I’m not a “real libertarian” or whatever, but I care a lot more about:

    – a balanced federal budget and reduction of the national debt
    – a non-interventionist foreign policy
    – protection of free speech, due process, privacy, etc
    – decriminalization of both prostitution and drugs
    – a fair tax plan that doesn’t shift burden to those without children
    – an end to government interference in lives and markets *within* our country

    1. ^Authoritarian^

      Why don’t you think of Megan McArdle’s selfless public servant friends on the government payroll?

      1. Noooooo! 😉

        The Megan McArdle bit is lost on me… Is there a fun/funny/sad story I should be aware of?

    2. If there was a candidate who supported all of these things, I’d vote for him/her in a second. Unfortunately, all of the major party candidates are horrible on the vast majority of these issues.

      So I guess I’ll be voting LP as usual.

      1. Agreed, and I’ll probably vote LP, too, since Rand is out. I’m just not convinced that Trump would be worse than HRC.

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  51. Obama does not have charisma.

    He is evil who continued unjust wars, the war on drugs, and other relentless attacks on individual liberty.

    The sad part is the party of limited government did not impeach his evil ass.

  52. The premise of this article is total bullshit. Cankles will flip the SCOTUS for decades, continue Obama’s abuse of executive power and further push us on a trajectory towards WW3 with her idiotic foreign policy.

    Way to get out in front stumping for the progtards Reason. This kind of bullshit is why I will never donate a penny.

  53. Trump will turn center the second he steps foot inside the white house. He’s has already done that by turning against Bush and praising Planned Parenthood. This would have sunk 99% of other GOP candidates. Clinton is a Wall Street darling and has refused to release transcripts of speaking engagements. But none of that matters to their fans. Trump and Clinton are leaders of a cult.

    No one hates Trump because he’s hostile to free trade and visas for foreign workers. All of that can be can in the progressive playbook. Making it easy to sue or intimidate someone for expressing an opinion is a liberal wet dream. He’s controversial because of things he said about Mexicans and building giant walls. Trump has no chance of building walls or deporting massive amounts of people at his whim.

    But if we’re talking about protectionism, both Clinton and Trump will be able to pass it, easily. There is no nationwide support for free trade, oustourcing, and economic liberty in general. People want “Americans first” policy now. They want to lock down the jobs and he free stuff for themselves. That’s why Sanders and Trump are doing so well. They’re unapologetic about their populism while Clinton still employs the formulaic “opportunities and bridges” rhetoric.

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  58. Kind of a pointless debate really, as Trump doesn’t have a chance:

    http://townhall.com/columnists…..585/page/2

  59. Trump in 2011:

    “This country is a laughingstock throughout the world. It’s being ripped-off by every country. If you look at what China is doing, they’re stealing our jobs, they’re taking our money. They’re building bridges. They’re building airports. They’re building cities, brand new cities. When was the last time you saw a bridge being built in the United States?”

    Trump represents Chinese-style “state capitalism”. President Trump will mean more bridges to nowhere and ghost cities, debt and money-printing in overdrive.

    Trump owes his wealth to the real estate bubbles of the last decades. He has every incentive to keep that going.

    This generation of Americans can’t deal with the realities of 2016. They expect Trump to make it all go away and bring back the 1980s.

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  61. I have no clue as to whether Clinton or Trump would be worse. Clinton would be bad for certain. Trump changed by the hour, completely serious and completely different day by day.

  62. President Cyanide would be worse than President Arsenic?
    How so?

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  65. I would not say that president clinton was a disaster, neither would i judge president trump, one thing i beleive in is the power of the people. The president they choose seems to suit their preference and so i think jugding is too soon. Thanks for the blog, you really took my attention.
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