Election 2016

The Real Fight in the GOP Is Between Authoritarianism and Libertarianism

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz vs. Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie.

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Daily Beast

As the GOP presidential nomination process narrows to a contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, it's easy to see the battle for the soul of the Republican Party as a contest between the candidate who would deport 12 million illegals and…the other candidate who would deport 12 million illegals.

In fact, the real fight in the Republican Party is between authoritarians such as Trump and Cruz and a band of libertarians such as Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Justin Amash of Michigan. Inspired by Sen. Rand Paul, these guys are seriously working to scale back the size, scope, and spending of the federal government. As important, they are working create systems by which power is decentralized throughout the government and, ultimately, devolved to individuals. Both are strong opponents of the government's attempt to get Apple to write software to unlock iPhones and mandates for backdoors into encryption.

Where Trump and Cruz talk blithely about rooting out a population equivalent to the Los Angeles metro area—and act as if the mechanisms necessary to do so wouldn't create a de facto police state—libertarianish Republicans are actually moving in the other direction. My latest Daily Beast column discusses some of those efforts, including this one?

There are other libertarianish forces at work within the Republican Party that are pushing back against authoritarian tendencies (which inevitably attach themselves to the presidency). Mike Lee, the Utah senator who was one of Rand Paul's wingmen during his 2013 filibuster of John Brennan's nomination to head the CIA, has started the Article I Project, which seeks to restrain presidential power and return primacy of policy-making to Congress. Lee's gesture isn't simply a partisan attack on a Democratic White House masquerading as a principled commitment to the separation of powers. Lee has lambasted both Cruz and Rubio for flip-flopping on criminal justice reform and opposing privacy and encryption standards. He's joined in the Article I Project by characters such as Arizona's pro-immigration Senator Jeff Flake.

Flake, who calls himself "an unapologetic member of the Gang of Eight," for years has pushed for an actual budget process with votes on individual spending bills as one way to decentralize power. "This is not just a partisan issue," Flake told The New York Times."There is an accumulation of power in the executive branch that is unprecedented."

If the GOP is serious about reconstituting itself along the lines of its libertarian rhetoric, it would do well to follow the lead of Amash, Massie, Paul, Flake, and Lee. Not only are these characters energetic, their ideas will appeal to the growing number of Americans whom Gallup identifies as libertarian (that is, they want a government that doesn't promote a single set of traditional values and believe that government is doing too many things that businesses and individuals should do). In the last Gallup Governance survey, fully 27 percent of the electorate was classified as libertarian, compared to just 26 percent as conservative, 23 percent as liberal, and 15 percent as populist.

Read the full Beast column here.

In 2014, Reason TV talked to Mike Lee about ending crony capitalism, why it's good to primary Republicans, and how his Mormonism intersects with his politics.

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  1. Justin Amash supports Cruz, how’s that fitting your narrative?

    1. Amash has repeatedly indicated that while Teddy doesn’t see eye to eye with him on everything, there is enough overlap in the Venn Diagram for them to be able to work together and that Teddy is the only possible remaining candidate that would advance any thing on the libertarian agenda.

      1. A better attitude, to my eyes, than Reason’s, which has generally seemed to be “he’s bad on immigration and gays…MURDER HIM!”

        I think government shrinks under Ted Cruz (not as much as any of us would like, but a little), and it grows under any other R or D.

        1. I think it grows under Cruz, but way less than the other guys.

          Its why I am voting for Johnson but hope Cruz is the nominee.

      2. I didn’t realize the libertarian agenda includes electing a President who is not a natural born Citizen.

        1. Beware the Manitoban Candidate!

      3. Kasich kills Cruz on every level. He’s actually balanced the federal budget.
        He works across the aisle, like Reagan and O;Neil.
        He’s not totally hated by the people he has to work with, like Cruz is.
        He’s the only one who’s not a thorough liar.
        Cruz would advance nothing on a libertarian agenda (which is not the conservative agenda)
        A Cruz nomination (Or Trump) would cost the GOP at least one house in Congress, probably both, with four more years of gridlock. Goldwater was correct that the “Moral Majority” was a major threat to his party, and has now also infiltrated the libertarian movement.
        Cruz is crazy enough to say he’ll sign a law repealing Obamacare on his first day in office, which shows a remarkable lack of personal responsibility.

        1. And he won’t be the nominee.

        2. Kasich tried to ban Fargo. He’s dead to me.

    2. It doesn’t, much like every piece of real-world evidence.

    3. No shit, and he told Nick that in and interview just last week.

  2. Pretty sure the authoritarians are winning, here.

    1. For the libertarians to win, they need to start thinking and acting like authoritarians.

      1. Just in the primaries, right? RIGHT?!

        1. Oh, yes. Right after the primaries any power gained will totally be given back.

      2. Yes, we need to appeal to all those Trump voters in order to seize power.

        1. Yes, we need to appeal to all those Trump voters in order to seize power.

          The dumbasses are only 36% of the GOP. Libertarians draw also from Democrats, which is the whole point.

    2. They always do and they always will. That’s the libertarian conundrum: how do people who do not desire power over others gain the power to control those who do desire power over others?

      1. With reasonably-worded white papers written by PhDs. Duh.

      2. “They always do and they always will”

        Wrong. They lost on Jim Crow, the draft, and Uber.

        1. Arguably, “they” lost on Jim Crow because the majority that didn’t support Jim Crow used the power of the federal government to force those states that supported it to stop through various federal Acts; essentially, it was one type of authoritarianism overpowering another. Yes, that was a “right” outcome that expanded the rights of a marginalized and oppressed class but it didn’t come about because of some libertarian revolution in legislature of Alabama.

          1. Fair point, but my counter-point still stands.

          2. The CRA replaced forced segregation with forced association.

            1. It was still a vast improvement.

              1. A lesser of two evils is still evil.

                1. And still an improvement. You seem to struggle with concepts beyond flogging your own doomsayer abilities.

                  1. And now the personal attacks begin….

          3. So … equal rights are only defended by “authoritarian” governments?
            You must be a follower of Ron Paul’s Cult, who deny government has any power to protect individual liberty. Fascism combined with racism.

        2. They may lose the occasional battle, but they win the war.

          1. Wrong again. Human freedom is increasing, not decreasing.

            1. Government power is increasing, not decreasing. And all government power comes at the expense of liberty.

              1. “Government power is increasing, not decreasing.”

                On a global basis, wrong. Economic and personal freedom are increasing.

            2. Probably, world wide.

              But not sure true here. Actually, from most objective metric scores, we arent. For example, I think Freedom House has us scoring worse in subscores even though we are in best category (1,1).

              We excludes canuckistan.

              1. The US is definitely performing below par. Even in America there are good things going on like MJ legalization and civil asseiture reform. Uber keeps winning.

                1. It is true that rays of light get past the storm cloud here and there. But the cloud is growing, regardless.

                  1. In America, but not on a global basis.

                    1. Move the goalposts much?

                    2. “In America, but not on a global basis.”

                      Is it growing in Europe?

                    3. To a bigger point, it feels like Liberty is reverting to the mean. The very authoritarian third world countries are getting richer and getting more socially liberal, but the first world is implementing regulatory socialism.

                      So, yes the world average is moving towards more Liberty, but the first world is moving towards less Liberty. Are there many First world countries that don’t have more governmental control via regulations today than they did 20 years ago?

                      The Socialists lost the battle to take direct control of the means of production, but they are well on their way to winning through indirect regulatory control.

                    4. Well put, Watts.

                      I think with regard to the developed world, liberty is probably decreasing.

                      I’d be curious to know, as the third world develops, is it actually getting more free? Is government control retreating, or morphing into something different?

                    5. Are there many First world countries that don’t have more governmental control via regulations today than they did 20 years ago?

                      Yes. Sweden is far more free market than it was 20 years ago. Also, seven EU countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia) have introduced a flat income tax. Seven EU countries (Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Sweden) now allow or mandate (oops) their citizens to invest a portion of their retirement contributions in private pension funds.

                      http://www.cato.org/publicatio…..et-reforms

                    6. Also, seven EU countries … have introduced a flat income tax.

                      Easy for them, impossible for us. Their high individual taxation never allowed what we have here — a massively subsidized middle class Here, a flat tax would go almost entirely to the rich.

                      The income tax rate for the Obama/Buffet $50,000 school teacher is 8%.
                      For millionaires and billionaires, 28%

                      If we look at the core middle class ($40-100k Adjusted Gross) their average is 8.8%. The rich subsidize 40% of their entire share of the personal income tax — up sharply from the Bush tax curs. And they’d need a 64% tax increase just to pay their own share. Social democracies were NEVER anywhere close to that.

                      A 15% flat income tax would require over $139 billion in annual spending cuts, just to offset the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires

                      Oh yeah, 18% of our personal income tax — prox a quarter trillion per year — subsidizes Medicare (instead of tapping the “Trust Fund”) — also thanks to Dubya’s administration.
                      And Canada et al, tax their employers little or nothing for their single-payer plans, which also levels the tax load.

                2. Uber keeps winning by spending money on lobbyists, candidates and regulators. It’s not winning on principle.

                  1. Uber keeps winning by spending money on lobbyists, candidates and regulators. It’s not winning on principle.

                    The only way to win at their game is to play their game.

                  2. Uber keeps winning by spending money on lobbyists, candidates and regulators. It’s not winning on principle.

                    Now the FASCISTS label self defense as lack of principle! It never ends with authoritarians.

            3. Human freedom is increasing, not decreasing.

              Not if you define it as “what people can do without regard for the government”, I don’t think it is. Certainly not in the US and many other countries. And that’s the classical definition of liberty, anyway.

              Now, if you want to argue that, in spite of the increasing power and intrusiveness of government, human freedom is increasing because economic growth is outracing the growth in government, go right ahead. I think that is what the Reason writer generally mean when they argue that freedom is increasing, but they rarely put it in clear terms.

              1. If “human freedom” means “you are free to do something if you ask permission or have been issued orders” then yes, human freedom is indeed increasing.

                If “human freedom” means “you may do what you like without asking permission or obeying orders so long as you aren’t harming the life, liberty, or property of another person” then human freedom is on a major decline.

                1. Nicely put, sarc.

                  To me, the only variable is whether human freedom properly understood is increasing or decreasing in developing countries. I really don’t know.

                  But the idea that human freedom can increase while the size and power of the state is increasing sounds definitionally . . . difficult.

                  I think the Reasonish claim depends on human freedom being defined as what you can do, and growth and technology are increasing that. However, that starts verging on positive rights – if freedom is what I can do, and I can’t afford a Rolls Royce, am I free to have a Rolls Royce? If I can’t afford one, I’m not free to have one, therefor why say that I have the right or liberty to have one?

                  That’s positive rights thinking, and anathema to “liberty” as I understand it.

                  1. But the idea that human freedom can increase while the size and power of the state is increasing…

                    To quote Penn Jillette: “Government is force.”

                    In my mind, government should be completely reactive. I can’t think of much of anything government should do except react to things like invasion, or the reporting of a crime (against a person’s life, liberty or property), or the request to have a dispute settled in court. Other than that, government should just sit there and wait.

                    Government should not be proactive in any way.

                    1. what has any government ever done that is not a reaction to something?

                    2. what has any government ever done that is not a reaction to something?

                      I’m sorry. In reaction to something that actually exists.

                  2. But the idea that human freedom can increase while the size and power of the state is increasing sounds definitionally . . . difficult.

                    That’s not a matter of definition, but a question of fact. An example I usually give of that happening is when a state that previously banned lotteries goes into the lottery biz itself. They hire staff & make $, so the state grows, but freedom grows also, because people who previously had no legal ability to play a lottery get one.

                2. Given that “may do what you like without asking permission or obeying orders so long as you aren’t harming the life, liberty, or property of another person” has never described any part of the world and still doesn’t, your “decline” is a decline from 0% to 0%.

                  1. has never described any part of the world and still doesn’t

                    It’s a goal. Progressives have their goal of total and complete control over society, and libertarians have a goal of liberty. Neither will ever be totally achieved.

                    1. It’s a goal.

                      Not the point. You’re claiming that “human freedom is on a major decline”, but defining “human freedom” as something that humanity has never actually enjoyed.

                      You can’t suffer a decline from a state you were NEVER IN. You might as well claim the population of the Sun is “in decline” because it dropped from 0 to 0 last year.

                    2. You’re claiming that “human freedom is on a major decline”, but defining “human freedom” as something that humanity has never actually enjoyed.

                      Degrees. Every time some piece of legislation or regulation is passed, it no doubt requires someone to ask permission to do something that didn’t have to ask permission to do in the past (license, fee, etc), obey orders (if you’re going to do X then you have to do it the way we tell you), or just plain get put in a cage for doing something that they could legally do before.

                      In most cases there is no victim, and if there is it is usually a matter of fairness, not justice.

                      Freedom is lost.

                  2. The more you can legally do without asking permission or obeying orders, the freer you are. By my measurement anyway.

                  3. “your “decline” is a decline from 0% to 0%.”

                    I think your comment doesn’t reflect reality very well. The regulatory state routinely restricts what I can do and the overall trend is overwhelmingly in favor of more rules and regulations not less. It’s disingenuous to claim that every activity always required permission and that seems to be what your saying.

                    To give a concrete example:

                    In the 1980’s my father with some help from me and my mother, bought some land (which had to be perked to allow a septic tank) and we cut some lumber, built fences, a barn, a house (which required one permit, including an electrical inspection and a final inspection) and lived on the property for years. We drilled a well for water. We dug out and built our own septic tank with concrete blocks. We voluntarily paid a fee to the volunteer fire department and gave them access to our pool which we built without a permit.

                    Today, you couldn’t build the pool, septic tank or barn without permits. The fire department fee is mandatory. The housing inspections have risen to 4 and require an improved HVAC unit installed by a licensed technician, the electrical work must be signed off by a licensed electrician. (I’m unsure about the plumbing.) The septic tank would require an independent inspection. The toilets have to be low flow in your own house that uses your own well and drains to your own septic tanks, which makes no damn sense whatsoever. That’s a change.

                    1. But what if at some previous time, construction were just plain illegal. Simple rule: nobody’s allowed to build anything, period. Then they liberalize it by allowing you to build, provided you get these permits according to these rules. A vast increase of rules & regs, but also an increase in freedom. From just plain illegal to sometimes permitted is obviously an increase in liberty, and obviously also an increase in rules with a concomitant increase in the personnel needed to administer those rules.

                      That’s an extreme example to make the point, but there are plenty of other imaginable or actual situations in which an increase in rules & administration is part & parcel of an increase in freedom.

                3. That needs to be scaled a bit according to how easy or costly it is to get permission. If you need a license to drive, but it’s a routine & cheap thing for people to obtain, that’s one thing; but if it’s a privilege only allowed to few or made very expensive, that’s another.

              2. I’d measure it as what people can do or keep w/o regard for their gov’t, criminals, or a foreign force.

        3. They lost on Jim Crow,

          One group of authoritarians (pushing restrictions on property and association rights) beat another group of authoritarians (pushing a different set of restrictions on property and association rights).

          A clean repeal of Jim Crow would have been a victory for libertarianism. The creation of protected classes that have special privileges against certain businesses deemed to be public accommodations muddies the waters, at a minimum.

      3. It’s the same question as with any type of weapon. It can be used for offense or defense.

      4. That’s the libertarian conundrum: how do people who do not desire power over others gain the power to control those who do desire power over others?

        Incredibly naive.
        Learn what a LUST for power is. No different than business. It’s only a conundrum for the purists who ridicule any and all need to ever get elected. Thankfully, they’re a small minority, or liberty would be hopeless.

  3. libertarianish Republicans are actually moving in the other direction….There are other libertarianish forces at work within the Republican Party

    Fuck –ish.

    1. Is she cute with a nice rack?

  4. I don’t see Cruz as an authoritarian as I see Trump. Cruz has shown he is intelligent in a way the other current candidates haven’t and has even voted with Paul more than once.

    Cruz’s intelligence leaves me to hope that he could understand the principles that libertarians have and why they have them. No other current candidate leaves me anywhere near that view.

    Lastly, the libertarian movement’s seeming position that illegal immigration is OK with support for open borders is clearly a socialist view which depends on the view that public property is public for anyone everywhere in the world.

    Those libertarians I will be calling out as supporting socialism, including Nick Gillespie.

    1. I’d pick Cruz over Hillary, but he can’t seem to stop putting on his jackboots and reminding me that he used to be a prosecutor.

    2. Lastly, the libertarian movement’s seeming position that illegal immigration is OK with support for open borders is clearly a socialist view which depends on the view that public property is public for anyone everywhere in the world.

      Those libertarians I will be calling out as supporting socialism, including Nick Gillespie.

      +1

    3. And aptly demonstrating you have no idea what socialism is or how public property actually works or what immigration has to do with it.

      1. State socialism is any system based upon state-mandated associations over freedom of association.
        And public property is only public the local citizens who supposedly gave it up for local management of the local area. (including guests to the area)

        Only a socialist could believe it is pubic for anyone everywhere in the world which is what would be required for open borders

        1. There is no such thing as ‘public property’. It’s government property. It’s not more socialist if the government lets illegals on it than if it doesn’t.

          1. Meaning that is is still local property controlled by the local state. And while wrong, iy is property supposedly for the citizens in the area being managed by the state for them .

            It Certainly is not any kind of property those living outside the area have any right too!

            1. Why would the citizens have a ‘right’ to it? Military bases are government property, and citizens can’t just wonder on it.

              1. If you ever understood what public property was suppose to be, you would understand that they do have some sort of right to it, even if not complete

                That cannot be said for illegals.

          2. It’s not more socialist if the government lets illegals on it than if it doesn’t.

            But then if the state allows it , they are no longer illegal, right ?

          3. “The public” is everyone except you. Everything that belongs to “the public” belongs to everyone but you. “Public servants” serve everyone but you. And people go along with it because of the magic of Representation. Representation means the government does The Will Of The People (everyone but you).

            It’s no different than The Divine Right Of The King granted by God. Replace God with Representation, and The Divine Right with The Will Of The People.

            We live in a feudal society. Only the costumes have changed.

            1. In effect, they belong to the government. “Public ownership” is a con.

              1. In effect, they belong to the government. “Public ownership” is a con.

                At least we can agree on something.

            2. I diasagree, the public isn’t simply other people who live on earth! It refers a a society of people which in turn is useually somewhat defined by the country/state they live under.

              1. “It refers a a society of people which in turn is useually somewhat defined by the country/state they live under.”

                And that’s why it’s a con.

                1. lol, so you don’t believe it is a society simply because it has been overtaken by a state ?

                2. Ya know, I understand Cyto’s disdain for the notion of nationhood. I would too, if I lived in America’s Hat.

                  1. I do too …. but that disdain doesn’t mean we reject ALL the background and ALL the concept upon which these mis-directed views were formed. They still have valid point to them

            3. How is it less socialist if the state allows non-citizens to access its property?

              Would it be less socialist if the state allowed non-citizens to receive welfare? To vote?

            4. Socialism inevitably leads to feudalism. Equality just means equality of suffering and inequality of redistribution. We just replace hereditary land titles with bureaucratic dynasties and corporatism.

              1. Equality just means equality of suffering and inequality of redistribution.

                Equality means reducing society to the lowest common denominator.

                Yet socialists like to describe capitalism as “a race to the bottom.”

                Like rain on your wedding day or something, and stuff.

      2. Public property is the state owning the means of production, so it does fit.

    4. @HAPLibertarian for those more interested in my views.

    5. The libertarian movement’s seeming position that illegal immigration is OK with support for open borders is clearly a socialist view which depends on the view that public property is public for anyone everywhere in the world.

      The words in italic are bat-shit crazy. Libertarians aren’t huge on public property. Many of us even know the facts!

  5. I would say Rand Paul’s willingness to politic with Mitch McConnell is a much more worrying sign than being willing to enforce immigration law.

    1. Why? McConnel is the least worst of The GOP Establishment.

  6. Gillespie still doesn’t seem to get that Gallup’s classification is based on agreement with *abstract* statements (“the federal government is too big”) which have very little relation to a voter’s actual behavior. I’m sure that many people see nothing inconsistent in saying the federal government is too big and favoring mass deportation and higher tariffs and opposing entitlement reform (“I worked for those Social Security/Medicare benefits” etc.). The notion that 27 percent of the electorate is libertarian is ridiculous, even given a broad definition of libertarianism.

    1. I think he knows, it just doesn’t fit his narrative.

    2. “The notion that 27 percent of the electorate is libertarian is ridiculous, even given a broad definition of libertarianism.”

      27% of the electorate is probably about as libertarian as Ted Cruz is. In other words they lean that way, but not strongly.

      Most vocal Libertarians (including Nick Gillespie) would decry the overwhelming majority of that group as not being Libertarian enough. So, instead you have a Libertarian movement representing, in practical terms, 1-5% of the US voters.

      Gary Johnson got 1% of the vote in 2012. I suspect that Rand Paul could probably get a much higher number running as a third party. But I’m doubtful that number could extend beyond 5%. It only gets that high because he’s at the fringe of what most Libertarian’s consider acceptable.

    3. The notion that 27 percent of the electorate is libertarian is ridiculous, even given a broad definition of libertarianism.

      It’s 59% per the Cato/Zogby survey. But 91% of them reject the libertarian brand.

  7. Another worthless shitty article from Gillespie. Cruz has tons of problems but equating him with Trump is retarded and proves Nick is not a remotely serious thinkers as if that wasn’t proven already. Christ I’m supposed to be the immigration-obsessive, but no I’m not allowed to have even that.

    1. I eagerly await Nicks future piece about how Hillary is the most libertarian candidate…

      1. If Trump is the nominee, there will be more than just Nick making that argument.

  8. The libertarian movement is like Y2K and 2012. It’s happening, then we get there and its the same old same old.

    libertarians don’t understand people, plain and simple.

    yes libertarians would demolish any typical politician in an economical or philisophical debate, but its politics. Libertarians need to pick an emotional appeal and stick to it, try nationalism it works.

    Lastly libertarians seem to be clueless about how demographics and culture work in modern times. Some cultures are trash and letting cultures in which are trash who then can vote is idiotic.

    1. ” try nationalism it works.”

      LOL no it doesn’t. It’s anti-thetical to freedom and has no appeal in a modern society. It’s gonna die off with grandma and grandpa.

      “Lastly libertarians seem to be clueless about how demographics and culture work in modern times. ”

      Right the people who shit their pants about The Brown Horde ruining America and getting it wrong every time are the ones we should listen to.

      1. Nationalism is alive and well. Look at how Trump is doing. It’s just an extension of the tribal part of human nature, and you can’t change human nature. It has tons of appeal in modern society, or at least the part of society that subscribes to man-on-the-street-economics. Gotta keep those manufacturing jobs in the country by putting tariffs on foreign goods because comparative advantage is hard.

        1. 1) Trump can’t even clear a majority in the GOP, and would/will get crushed by Hillary in a general election.

          2) “you can’t change human nature” -you love saying this, and like most things you love saying, it’s bullshit. People today are very different from how they used to be. Racism is on the outs. Not liking gays is on the outs. Human nature is not etched in stone.

          Nationalism isn’t hip so it doesn’t have a place among the young crowd, and that means it has no future. This kind of old-timey bullshit will rot into the soil along with the people who like it.

          1. Nationalism may go out of fashion, but it will always come back. Like socialism. Or communism. Communism didn’t start with Marx. It is an ancient idea. Same with socialism. It is the idea that if society can work together as a family, that we’ll all be happy. The problem is that families do it willingly while society must be forced. But there are always those who are more than happy to force society to act like one big, happy family, giving to each according to need and taking from each according to ability. It happens again and again. It won’t go away. It appeals to the most basic part of human nature.

            1. Nationalism may go out of fashion, but it will always come back. Like socialism. Or communism.

              No, not like socialism or communism.

              Socialism and communism tie into something that really *is* part of human nature — the instinct that if someone has much more than you, there’s something unfair about that. There has always been and will always be some variant of “take the other guy’s stuff and give it to me” in politics.

              Nationalism is just one particular flavor of the human instinct that says “members of my group deserve better than non-members”. It exists only to the extent that people identify primarily as “Americans” or “Germans” or “Mexicans”. For most of human history the groups people identified with were something else entirely. Nations are less important with each passing year, and there is no reason to expect that to change (barring an energy crisis that makes shipping and travel prohibitively expensive again).

              1. It exists only to the extent that people identify primarily as “Americans” or “Germans” or “Mexicans”.

                Tribal nature.

                1. I think he’s saying there are lots of other ways tribalism can express itself. Which is true. Its the same wine in different bottles, and kinda pedantic to say that if we start pouring wine into a different shaped bottle, its not wine any more.

                  If nationalism really does go out of fashion, the question is, what flavor of tribalism will replace it, and is there any reason to believe that it will be more libertarian? Nationalism, let’s not forget, came into being to replace dozens or thousands of constantly warring “tribes” by subsuming them into one big “tribe”.

                  Or, perhaps we will all just join one huge global tribe, under the control of a global government. The idea that will increase liberty strikes me as ludicrous.

                  1. No borders so obviously Libertopia.

                  2. Libertarianism is counterintuitive. It forces people to examine their desire to be ruled. It makes a clear distinction between what actions are acceptable for government, and those that must not be disallowed for private actors.

                    Libertarianism destroys the safe space of authority, and burdens humans with terrifying freedom. Want to live in a commune with no private property? Go ahead! Just don’t make me do it.

                    I think libertarianism is antithetical to those who need to be ruled, which is most people.

                    1. I think libertarianism is antithetical to those who need to be ruled, which is most people.

                      “How can I know it’s OK unless Authority says so? Who said you could do that? Who told you to do that? May I do this? What am I supposed to do? Please! Someone!”

                    2. Who told you to ask questions?

                    3. Who told you to ask questions?

                      “I’m sorry, sir! I will sit down and await orders, sir! Please forgive me, sir!

                    4. Most people, I guess, feel secure in an environment with rampant authority… but just wait until they end up getting swindled by someone who’s buddy-buddy with the government or the police chief, and as a result get treated like shit by the justice system. Or in the pursuit of “letting off steam”, they or their kids end up unwittingly on the wrong side of the law, and thanks to either zero-tolerance or cronyism they again get treated like shit by the justice system.

                      And at that point, are you gonna drop out of “the matrix” and realize that your rosy world of authority isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and fight to the bitter end for justice? Or would giving up and giving in seem easier, because what’s the point of retaining a lawyer and appealing the decision until you win, if it ends up costing more (in money AND time towards that effort) than what was swindled away or confiscated in the first place?

                      That may be the real reason so many of us end up slouching towards authoritah… we lust for freedom in our youth, but our spirit is broken by the bureaucracy and the process. We need to not lose sight of keeping our options free and our government honest.

              2. Nationalism is just one particular flavor of the human instinct that says “members of my group deserve better than non-members”.

                It doesn’t always say that. Sometimes it just says, “Whether we deserve it or not, we’d better band together to protect what we’ve got.”

              3. Socialism and communism tie into something that really *is* part of human nature — the instinct that if someone has much more than you, there’s something unfair about that

                You confuse state communism and socialism with voluntary ones, which even Ayn Rand supported, And would be quite welcome in a free society,

                The Roanoke colony began as communal, which had nothing to do with envy.
                Several religious communes, like the Oneidans, in early America,
                Many small, private communes in America today.
                And, of course, the Jewish Kibbutzim,

          2. “1) Trump can’t even clear a majority in the GOP, and would/will get crushed by Hillary in a general election.”

            I still think Hillary has the edge, but you’ve been reading too many biased news sources if you think Trump will get crushed. I’d bet that Trump (assuming he wins the nomination) does better than McCain did against Obama in 2008.

          3. “you can’t change human nature”… Racism is on the outs. Not liking gays is on the outs. Human nature is not etched in stone.

            ummmm. I am not sure that racism and homophobia are human nature. What would correspond (in human nature) would be the need to belong to groups. And in the US, we are being taught to be secretive about our true feelings in order to belong to the group that is currently in control of our ability to hold jobs, run businesses, and move about in a society we want to be welcome in.

            I believe that beneath a thin veneer of acceptance there is a large population merely paying lip service to SJW issues and that only in trusted relationships do they divulge their true feelings on these things. It is protective coloration, and I also believe there will be a severe backlash soon for being forced to say things they don’t really believe and associate with those they would rather not.

        2. Comparative advantage doesn’t imply that you get to keep your current standard of living. The current issues effecting US trade is that there is a positive gain to trade, but that the effects don’t accrue equally.

          IE under a simplified trade model, the US might gain 1,000,000 to trade. However, the likely results are 1,000 people’s income dropping from 60K to 59K and 10 persons income rising 1.1 million.

          (These numbers are exaggerated to make them nice and round, but the effects have been well documented.)

          http://www.economist.com/node/11050137

          1. Income doesn’t mean shit. What matters is what you can buy with that income.

            1. I was assuming that Purchasing Parity remained constant, of course.

              1. But it doesn’t. That’s the whole point of comparative advantage. I make X cheaper than you, you make Y cheaper than me, and when we trade we are both better off.

                1. There’s also the fact that saying “10 persons income rising 1.1 million” overlooks the fact that people spend or invest their income. They don’t stick it in a Scrooge McDuck vault and swim around in it.

                  “My income rose by $1.1 million” = “the extra money I’m spending this year probably created a couple of dozen new jobs”. Like the saying goes, when’s the last time a poor person offered you a job?

                  1. Last week. But it doesn’t pay much unless the project succeeds.

                2. Even if you make Y more expensively but free me up to make Z which is worth more, then we still both win.

                3. “But it doesn’t. That’s the whole point of comparative advantage. I make X cheaper than you, you make Y cheaper than me, and when we trade we are both better off.”

                  Sure, which is why there was a net gain in my example.

                  1. To be clear, if it weren’t cheaper to buy the goods from overseas, no one would do it. But the economic literature is pretty clear that a) there are net gains to trade and b) the gains aren’t equitably distributed.

                    If it were truly free trade, I’d have less of a problem. But it’s not. It’s a series of carefully negotiated trade agreements between governments and the result is a selected set of winners.

                    Furthermore, China is intentionally pegging their currency at an artificially low value versus the dollar. The result is functionally equivalent to China having tariffs on US imports and using the tariffs to subsidize China exports to the US.

                    1. The result is functionally equivalent to China having tariffs on US imports and using the tariffs to subsidize China exports to the US.

                      No, it’s functionally equivalent to importing our inflation and subsidizing us. Now you can try to make the claim that this is only temporary and they’ll make it up when the corner the market on generic plates and flatware, but there are plenty of ex-rich people who’ve tried that game and lost.

                      But even if it were equivalent to having an import tariff, that is ultimately no different than an export tariff. Exit question: what do you do with all of these dollars you’ve gotten in exchange for tangible goods and services? Hint: there’s really only one place to redeem them.

      2. Cyotoxic, no it will not die out. in group-out group will always exist. When an out group shows up and distrupts a society nationalism shows back up. Nationalism is making a comeback in europe due to an outgroup.

        young people are disillusioned by current and past US foreign policy along with today’s trend of magnifying US genocide of indians and slavery. The only other country that inflicts such guilt on itself is the germans. Americans have had nothing to galvanize themselves to since 9/11.

        rah-rah nationalism was pretty strong right after 9/11.

        Is nationalism/cultural identity dead? ask canadians about quebec. Or ask a Canadian to let america take over canada. I’m they will give you a list of why canada is great and america sucks.

        Oh wait how could I forget that scottish referendum and a scottish national party.

        The only thing to LOL about is your weak response.

    2. Y2K didn’t “happen” as the idiotic media narrative portrayed because programmers and engineers spent a significant amount of effort prior to 2000 fixing the issue.

      nationalism

      is meaningless without some kind of principle behind it.

      1. my mistake. I was 10 years old during Y2K, wondering why my mom filled up the bathtub.

        Well there was this one time ron paul 2007 had this tea party moneybomb. It then evolved, invoking founding fathers, taxation, constitution, etc. By late 2009 that whole tea party thing had got trashed by social cons though.
        If somehow a libertarian could simply show that free markets is what it means to be an american it’s possible but I doubt they could present it in a way without sounding like a lecturer.

        Realistically using nationalism and cult of personality to get into office is more plausible than lecturing about how awesome free markets are. An estonian miracle turnaround is not going to happen until some person either bs’s their way there or shtf.

      2. Y2K didn’t “happen” as the idiotic media narrative portrayed because programmers and engineers spent a significant amount of effort prior to 2000 fixing the issue.

        Programmer/engineer contract pay went through the roof in the lead up to Y2K. Good times.

  9. I’m done with holding my nose and voting for any more GOP cunts.

    Hi, Gary!

    However, Cruz has helped Paul out during his filibusters and, most importantly, he’s not Trump–and the people Trump’s drawing to him are terrifying, especially in such numbers.

    1. I held my nose and voted GOP in 2008. I felt soiled afterwards. Like I fucked a fat chick out of sympathy or something. That was the first (and probably the last) time I voted for a major party candidate.

      1. You did the right thing given the circumstances.

      2. I felt soiled afterwards.

        Same here.

      3. Like I fucked a fat chick out of sympathy or something.

        And that’s…wrong…

        Right?

        1. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it isn’t something you brag about. Well, it’s not something I brag about. I’m not John.

          1. Hey! You leave John’s wife out of this!

            1. I’ve never met the woman, but I’m sure that she, um, I won’t got there.

        2. It’s like a moped, something to get you by, but not something you want your friends to know you’re riding.

      4. I couldn’t do it in 08 or 12. I have been trying to convince myself to this time, because Hillary is the worst (sorry Nikki), but if its Trump I am not sure I can.

  10. Ted Cruz fits more with the latter category than the former, all things considered. Not as a perfect fit by any means, but still.

  11. Among Republican Primary voters, at least, the authoritarians appear to outnumber the libertarians by around 20:1.

    1. I have lost two very good friends, long-time friends, like 20 years, because I pointed out that they were just as authoritarian as the left; they just had different rules. They got pissed off at me for daring to accuse them of being less than liberty-loving patriots, and that was that. (God figured in there somewhere and I pushed back against that, too.) I still mourn those friendships.

      But since then, I’ve had more conversations like that and I’ve come to this conclusion:

      They do not think they’re authoritarians. They truly believe they’re liberty-loving patriots.

      1. I’ve never met an authoritarian who actually believed they were one. In most people’s minds, “forcing people to do the Right Thing” doesn’t count as being authoritarian. People are results-oriented in their morality.

        1. We should be framing the argument on just how much of the Right Thing we should be forcing people to do. I’m happy with just “don’t infringe on others’ life, liberty or property” while socons be like “don’t grow pot or have buttsex, either”.

      2. Do you mourn that you lost the friendships, or that you had them in the first place?

        1. The friendships. Rather, the memories of those friendships.

          You know, people move on. Friendships fade, leaving behind remnants tinted rose and limned in soft sunsets. You look back and that friendship was perfect. That’s how it always was with me, anyway.

          Those friendships had already gone that way, and picking up old friendships is almost always a really bad idea.

          But then Facebook happened.

          I didn’t go looking up those old friends. They needed to stay in the past. Those friends weren’t quite as prudent as I was. They weren’t people I would be friends with NOW and they intruded into my life NOW and you know what? I resent that. All my rosy glow memories, gone. Nuked.

          So I mourn.

          1. You still have us, MJ!

          2. I connected with an old friend about 4 years back. He lives with me. (not THAT way you preverts). And he leans socialist. We both agree that Prohibition is bad. So we leave it at that and do projects together.

            1. People have lost the fine art of leaving things at that. :/

  12. E-Verify would make this country a literal police state?

    1. Of course not. We’re already a police state.

  13. As always, libertarianish = authoritarian.

    1. * The ever elusive Hihnbflower is spotted

      1. Are you stalking him again? You know he invented the ‘L.’

        1. Shh he’ll hear you.

          * resumes stalking

        2. You know he invented the ‘L.’

          (LOL) I just know what i means, while you two attack the Cato Institute, David Nolan, the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and the definition for 40 years.
          This is indeed stalking. And aggression. Also both defined in dictionaries,

          1. No, it’s ridicule. And I literally meant the letter ‘L.’ That’s OK, I used to work with a few people who thought they invented the electron and electromagnetism, so I can talk crazy.

            I’m curious, what is the general pitch of the voices in your head? Baritone? Soprano? Bass? Do any of them claim to be your father?

            1. You accused me of inventing the letter “L”?
              (snicker)

          2. * unaggressively watches the delicate Hihnflower from the shrubbery.

            Ponders whether “i” means “L”

            1. Ok I am done, this is boring. Enjoy your evening Hihnflower, I will trouble you no more with my aggressive gaze.

              1. Wow! After only four aggressions!!.
                (On this page, 28 for the day)

                1. Those are microagressions. I hope you’re keeping a good count, so you can report them to Office of Social Transformation.

                  1. You’re drooling again.

          3. Are they triggering you Hihny-pooh?

            1. Are they triggering you Hihny-pooh?

              Just more childish insults.

        3. You know he invented the ‘L.’

          And he did it for the L of it.

        4. Are you stalking him again? You know he invented the ‘L.’

          Bullies get nasty when documented as liars.

          https://reason.com/blog/2016/03…..nt_5966377

          Many become stalkers, some for months. Most are extreme socons, so bullying is their nature.

  14. Jeff Flake is an authoritarian. He supports the government doing shit to people much more than Ted Cruz.

    1. Stop trying to use imaginary people to make your point.

    2. They’re both social conservatives but Cruz is much worse. Flake says it’s “inevitable” that a GOP Presidential candidate would support gay marriage, that he would support such a candidate but never gay marriage itself. A rare statement from a socon, but he is in Arizona. Not quote as libertarian as Reagan though — who was an aggressive defender of gay rights in the 70s, along with Goldwater, decades before Clinton shamelessly signed both DOMA and DADT.

  15. “Where Trump and Cruz talk blithely about rooting out a population equivalent to the Los Angeles metro area”

    In fact, it pretty much would entail uprooting the LA metro area.

  16. I wish they didn’t keep (or return to) using the term “populist” to stand in for “authoritarian”. 35 yrs. ago Maddox & Lilie had their reasons for doing so (basically because America did not have a true authoritarian tendency as many other countries did) which were at least arguably valid for the study results they presented, but in general populist does not mean that. You can even be a radical libertarian & populist at the same time. Populism is usually a style or strategy rather than an ideology.

    1. Populism is Democracy. What the people want today.

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