Donald Trump

China Points to Donald Trump as an Example of Democracy

But he'd be a better fit for an autocracy

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Gage Skidmoe

The Global Times, a state-owned tabloid newspaper in China, published an op-ed today calling Donald Trump a "pandora's box" for the United States and insinuating Trump's rise was illustrative of the problem with adopting democracy.

"Fist fights among voters who have different political orientations is quite common in developing countries during election seasons," the op-ed reads. "Now, a similar show is shockingly staged in the US, which boasts one of the most developed and mature democratic election systems."

The Global Times' political analysis of Trump is relatively simplistic—but much of the domestic analysis has been too. "Trump's rise was not anticipated by most analysts and observers," The Times declares, explaining to readers he was "the last option for the GOP establishment," who can either compromise their values and accept Trump if he wins, or reject him as the nominee which, The Times speculates, could lead him to making an independent run.

The Times identified Trump's supporters as "mostly lower-class whites" who "lost a lot after the 2008 financial crisis," attributing that crisis and a perceived decline in the U.S. middle class as the catalyst for Trump.

"Big-mouthed, anti-traditional, abusively forthright, he is a perfect populist that could easily provoke the public," The Times declares. "Despite candidates' promises, Americans know elections cannot really change their lives. Then, why not support Trump and vent their spleen?"

Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek made a similar point in Newsweek last month while discussing Trump's "vulgarity."

"Whatever Trump is," Zizek wrote, calling him relatively moderate, "he is not a dangerous outsider… The function of his 'refreshing' provocations and vulgar outbursts is precisely to mask the ordinariness of his program.

Zizek continued: "His true secret is that if, by a miracle, he wins, nothing will change." Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) Zizek undercut his own point immediately after this by claiming Bernie Sanders, a sort of doppleganger to Trump on the left, would induce change because "he understands and respects the problems and fears of ordinary workers and farmers." It shouldn't be surprising a left-wing "thinker" like Zizek would mindlessly accept at face value what a politician he agrees with is saying.

Nevertheless, the point on Trump is largely correct. And contrary to China's op-ed assertion, Trump isn't exactly a refutation of democratic principles. After spending months insisting Trump wasn't the worst Republican candidate, Vox.com's Matthew Yglesias now claims he was just being a "contrarian" and Trump is too dangerous of a person to be allowed to win.

His argument inadvertently helps identify how the left helped bring us here too. "The framers of the Constitution rather sharply circumscribed the president's authority to make and repeal legislation," Yglesias wrote. "…But the president and his appointees have enormous discretion over the enforcement of existing laws."

The executive is supposed to be a co-equal branch of government, along with the legislative and the judicial, Obama and his supporters' demands that Congress do what he says notwithstanding. Yglesias has been right there too, endorsing the generations-long effort at building an imperial presidency.

China is right that placing Donald Trump in that kind of a role is dangerous. But so would putting Trump at the head of the Chinese government—the crucial difference being that in a democratic system the head of state is supposed to be limited constitutionally, while in a one-party authoritarian system the party alone can limit the leader's power.

Of note here is that Trump is something of a fan of China and its system. In 1990 he spoke fondly of the Chinese crackdown on and massacre of student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square, saying China was strong where the U.S. was weak. And it's not just authoritarians nominally on the right who envy China. Liberal thinkers like Thomas Friedman have praised China's autocratic model as one under which political leaders can "get things done." Their problem with Trump is his perceived ends, not the means by which he appears to be ready to pursue them.

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  1. Alt text win, possibly.

    1. Looks like a weber grill in front of a fence.

      1. Exactly.

      1. I notice one of the trnslations is “chink”. Lacist?

      2. Hopefully the alt-text was meant to mean discord or occasion for dislike and not “chink”.

        I guess I need clarification to see if I’m triggered or not.

    2. Ed cares about the alt text, which puts him head and shoulders above the other cocktail-sippers.

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  2. Getting things done [whether or not there is anything of value to the done doing]. That is a perfect encapsulation of…

    1. Your mother’s work ethic?…

      1. You know that you’re stealing someone else’s meme here. Lucky for you, it’s not copyrighted [see libertarianism 101] and you won’t be sued.

        1. If you mammals were paying attention than I wouldn’t have to bring:
          1. The jokes
          2. Rhetorical questions about notable Austrians
          3. Narrow gazes

          1. I don’t spend enough time on this site. I go on binges obviously. [sobs relentlessly]

          2. 2. Rhetorical questions about notable Austrians

            Arnold Schwarzenegger?

              1. Nikki Lauda

            1. Paul Hogan?

              1. That Mesmer dude that gives us that word mesmerize?

            2. Josef Fritzl?

            3. The worthy young man who is marrying my daughter this September?

              (O.K.; he’s half Puerto Rican: Bonus!)

            4. Georg von Trapp?

      2. “Your mother’s work ethic?…”

        Says the egg baby…. 😉

        1. You don’t know he is an egg baby. Maybe he is a Skink

    2. I believe this was actually a chapter in one of Trump’s books – do something, even if it’s the wrong thing. The guy throwing gasoline on a fire is more to be praised than the guy throwing nothing. Which, you know, is kinda what some of us say is the whole damn problem with Washington. “Don’t just do something, stand there” is what we’d rather see.

      1. I think the principle is choosing the sub-optimal fix now is better than attempting the optimal fix later. And no it’s not the same as “throwing gasoline on a fire.”

        A bad leader might make that poor a choice, but a bad leader might also dither and fail to make any choice.

        1. A bad leader might make that poor a choice, but a bad leader might also dither and fail to make any choice.

          Yeah, see, some of us don’t need a leader to make our choices for us, even if it is a manly man that makes our naughty bits moist and tingly at the thought of him forcefully dominating us like the dirty, dirty girls we really are.

          1. Brilliant comment

          2. “Yeah, see, some of us don’t need a leader to make our choices for us…”

            Well, my bad, I thought we were talking about the reality where the US will elect a President and that person would make a lot of choices regardless of our specific wishes. Clearly you are referring to some other reality.

  3. The Gang of One. China jealous.

  4. “Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek made a similar point in Newsweek last month while discussing Trump’s “vulgarity.”

    “Whatever Trump is,” Zizek wrote, calling him relatively moderate, “he is not a dangerous outsider? The function of his ‘refreshing’ provocations and vulgar outbursts is precisely to mask the ordinariness of his program.”

    There’s little more vulgar than a Marxist taking the faux high road.

    1. Given Zizek’s reported fondness for fucking undergrads and the fact his clothing usually looks like he just got done rolling around in the buffet at a Golden Corral, I can see him being an authority on vulgarity.

    2. Slavoj Zizek, the “philosopher” who thinks the problem with Hitler and Stalin was they just weren’t violent enough.

  5. It shouldn’t be surprising a left-wing “thinker” like Zizek would mindlessly accept at face value what a politician he agrees with is saying.

    Well, when the correctness of it is so obvious that it doesn’t need to be defended in correct-thinking circles…

  6. insinuating Trump’s rise was illustrative of the problem with adopting democracy.

    Isn’t he? A populist windsock was always the argument against direct democracy. And the only thing that makes him dangerous rather than just a joke is the erosion of rights that has gone on since Constitution was put in place.

    1. Yeah. Just because it’s Chinese government propaganda doesn’t mean it’s technically wrong.

      1. The value of an idea has nothing to do with the sincerity of the person expressing it.

    2. Yep.

    3. The fact – YES, FACT – that he can’t win the national election deflates the notion of his extraordinarily dangerous populism.

      1. No, he’s dangerous in the same way that Obama was dangerous before his election. Trump panders to people that want to make the country worse, and either he keeps those pander-promises or he forges the same sort of will-o’-the-wisp, empty suit presidency that Obama has had.

        Nothing about Trump or Hillary or Sanders or Cruz would make anyone sane believe that they will be a pro-liberty President, but only one of them has scads of defenders in the comments.

        1. only one of them has scads of defenders in the comments

          Hitler?

        2. You’re using the commenters as you bar of rational behavior? For sure, I’ve spoken with people completely deluded to what Trump is, so blinded by the Us versus Them of presidential elections. The Trumpbots are as real and devoted as the Obamabots, but in no way as numerous. I see enough of a force of Trump haters to counter him, with an intensity far above what Obama saw arrayed against his candidacy.

          1. Well, yes. I am using the commenters. Much in the way that you would be more concerned about someone shitting in your house that shitting in a park miles and miles away.

            1. Well, the joke’s on you because I’m very active in my local park system volunteer cleanup organizations and none of your fellow commenters here will vote come November anyway.

              1. local park system volunteer cleanup organizations

                That’s an awful lot of words to say “cruisin’.”

                1. He cleaning up the lonely men.

                  1. Eugene: “Excuse me, you’re not one of those silly men who dresses up like a woman, are you?”
                    Hooker: “No, baby, i’m all wom-”
                    Eugene: [peels out]

                    1. I’m more a Bob Loblaw type.

                    2. That’s a low blow, Loblaw.

              2. I show up to vote no on every new law. It doesn’t matter, but the library I vote at is next to my house and it seems like early voting is now 8 years before the election, so I can do it when I’m bored.

                1. Florida is a hell of a place.

      2. That FACT actually remains to be seen. I have given up trying to make sense of the American electorate, and November is a long way off.

        1. LEAVE ME MY SELF-DECEPTIONS.

          1. Just kidding! Come November, we will all live on rainbows with unicorns farting gold!

            1. So you’re a Sanders man, eh?

            2. Why do you want the value of gold reduced?

              1. To crush the dreams of goldbugs, obviously.

      3. “The fact – YES, FACT – that he can’t win the national election”

        That’s wishful thinking. Trump has a pretty significant chance of winning the election. The betting odds are currently 1 in 5 and I believe those probably understate his chances.

        If the FBI recommends for indictment and Trump has become the Republican nominee he wins.

        If Hillary has medical issues Trump wins.

      4. You spelled “supposition” wrong.

    4. Yes, populism is a danger of democratic systems. There is nothing perfect. The danger of autocratic systems are “one child” policies and building unused urban areas. I’d rather take my chances with a democratic republic than what China has.

      1. Yes. That’s what I was doing, alright, advocating for a autocracy. You caught me.

        1. I actually thought I was agreeing with you, but if you say so…

          1. Oh, sorry then… tone is hard onlline.

      2. Trump is absolutely and example of democracy — and the danger of mob rule via strongman that it represents. There’s a reason the founders sought to defend liberty against majority (or plurality) votes.

      3. Yes, populism is a danger of democratic systems.

        It’s a danger to the ruling elite. It’s a benefit to the populace in general.

    5. They’re right that the Trump problem was caused by an excess of democracy. If we got rid of primaries and went back to letting party officials choose their party’s candidates, a “populist windsock” candidacy would be far less likely.

      1. Or just use super delegates, the way the “democratic” party does it.

  7. Holy Shit. How does this not bury Cruz. Of course it won’t, but dayum.

    1. Isn’t it interesting how many more people are passing that around now compared to when it happened in November?

      But don’t worry, everyone here assured me that no one should care about it, because Cruz won’t actually take away gay marriage.

      1. Yeah, because Cruz is totally responsible for some fundie quoting some Bible verse out of context that gets twisted into meaning something he didn’t even say.

        1. Would YOU follow that guy on the stage? I would. Only to say, “That mother f***** is a goddamn lunatic that I want nothing to do with.”

          1. smdh straffinrun with the virtue signalling

            1. Is that what I’m doing? Hmmmmm.

          2. There are millions of people around the world that think god will punish sinners. You’ll probably get tired of calling the lunatics after a while

              1. Apparently societies as large as Uganda are into the Ugandan model. What has that to do with
                Cruz and his views on gay marriage?

                1. What has that to do with
                  Cruz and his views on gay marriage?

                  I don’t know, what do you think it means when a presidential candidate chooses to associate himself with people who call for the execution of homosexuals?

                  I personally think it means Cruz wants people who want homosexuals to be executed to like him and vote for him.

                  1. I don’t know, what do you think it means when a presidential candidate chooses to associate himself with people who call for the execution of homosexuals?

                    I personally think it means Cruz wants people who want homosexuals to be executed to like him and vote for him.

                    This “association” consists of going to a conference and being introduced to speak. If that’s how you assess someone’s views on any particular subject, rather than their own words, I think you’re the moron in the scenario.

                    1. This “association” consists of going to a conference and being introduced to speak.

                      You are aware, I assume, that Ted Cruz was campaigning for president at the time?

            1. Please let me introduce you at a speech sometime. I mean, really, you won’t be responsible for what I may say. And don’t you dare denounce me afterwards.

              1. You can always backpedal. “I swear i didn’t know she was going to call for the voluntary extinction of the human race!”

        2. He’s fully responsible for appearing with him. And Kevin Swanson does publicly support making homosexuality punishable by execution, so I’m not sure what you think was so “out of context.”

          1. He’s fully responsible for appearing with him

            What does that even mean? Asshole A supports stupid idea, so Asshole B is responsible when he is near Asshole A?

            Kevin Swanson does publicly support making homosexuality punishable by execution, so I’m not sure what you think was so “out of context.”

            He may support it, but that’s not what he said in the cited article, so the point remains.

            1. What does that even mean? Asshole A supports stupid idea, so Asshole B is responsible when he is near Asshole A?

              How about, “presidential candidate is responsible for the views expressed at events he chooses to campaign at, because that’s literally the whole point of him being there”?

              He may support it, but that’s not what he said in the cited article, so the point remains.

              You act like Ted Cruz didn’t know who this mf was. You don’t have a point.

              1. You act like Ted Cruz didn’t know who this mf was

                And you act like Ted Cruz DID know who this mf was. my point is you aren’t in his mfing head and neither am I

                1. Yeah I know if I were campaigning for president I’d show up to a bunch of conferences without checking out what the people who host them are into.

                2. So Cruz is a moron that can’t vet the people he associates with?

                3. Perhaps if you’re running for president, doing a bit of due diligence on events you’re attending can be expected. If you show up at the event, presumably your due diligence turned up no red flags or you don’t care about what came out. We’re back to incompetence on the part of his staff (which seems unlikely) or he doesn’t care that the guy hates fags.

                  Would you be arguing the same line if he had showed up at a Stormfront rally?

                  1. Would you be arguing the same line if he had showed up at a Stormfront rally?

                    CampingInYourPark? Yeah, he probably would.

                  2. Would you be arguing the same line if he had showed up at a Stormfront rally?

                    Would I argue that speaking at a Stormfront rally doesn’t necessitate that you hold the views of the person that introduces you at the Stormfront rally or even the majority of Stormfront members? Why not? Does Rand Paul agree with ever viewpoint of the faculty and student body of Howard U? Who introduced him? This must be investigated!

              2. How about, “presidential candidate is responsible for the views expressed at events he chooses to campaign at, because that’s literally the whole point of him being there”?

                ‘Cruz had this to say:

                “Listen I don’t know what this gentleman has said and what he hasn’t said. I know that when it comes to religious liberty, this is a passion of mine that has been a passion of mine for decades. And that I have been fighting for religious liberty for everyone?for Christians, for Jews, for Muslims, for every one of us to practice our faith?”‘

                I’ll let him speak for himself as to “his whole point of being there”

                1. Okay, so I guess we’re going with “moron” then.

                  1. Sure, he’s a total moron and you’re a brilliant internet blog commentator associating with who knows what riff-raff holding abhorrent views

                    1. Sure, he’s a total moron and you’re a brilliant internet blog commentator associating with who knows what riff-raff holding abhorrent views

                      Ever notice how I…call people out?

                    2. Ever notice how I…call people out?

                      I don’t see you calling anyone out when you’re not paying attention or agree with their post. You are responsible for every word since you’re here, remember.

                    3. I don’t see you calling anyone out when you’re not paying attention or agree with their post. You are responsible for every word since you’re here, remember.

                      Why would I call someone out for something I agreed with?

                      And the fact that I do call things I disagree with out suggests I am not responsible for them whether I am around or not. I’m on record as being against it. And I’m not on record pandering to people who are into it.

                    4. Why would I call someone out for something I agreed with?

                      Not sure how to explain this any better. Millions of people believe the content of Romans 1. You basically argued that Cruz should have called out someone that quoted Romans 1 because he happened to hold an abhorrent view of it in another context that Cruz should have known about.

                    5. Millions of people believe the content of Romans 1. You basically argued that Cruz should have called out someone that quoted Romans 1 because he happened to hold an abhorrent view of it in another context that Cruz should have known about.

                      LOL. You’re still pretending they’re different. That’s adorable.

                      I can’t believe I used to think the people who said you were Tulpa were wrong.

                    6. You’re still pretending they’re different. That’s adorable.

                      They are different. Question is why you think you’re now a mind reader and an expert on Christian theology? No form of the word “execute” is in Romans 1. It’s an unorthodox interpretation of the passage, and I don’t give a fuck who you think was wrong about being Tulpa

                    7. In other words, if you agree with someone about “free association” here on the blog, you have also agreed with any racist views they hold unbeknownst to you.

                    8. Sure, he’s a total moron and you’re a brilliant internet blog commentator associating with who knows what riff-raff holding abhorrent views

                      So then he did know that he was being introduced by a gay-hating dipshit?

                    9. posted at 11:27. You need it interpreted?

                    10. Listen I don’t know what this gentleman has said and what he hasn’t said.

                      So we’re back to moron who doesn’t vet the people he associates with.

                    11. It’s simple, Sug. The the conservative Christian candidate whose electoral strategy was to pander to conservative Christians just HAPPENED to be at some conservative Christian rally for NO SPECIAL REASON and had no idea what the people holding it believed and certainly wasn’t trying to associate himself with them in any way. Or get their votes.

                    12. Ah, Nikki. The “I just fell and my dick slipped right into her” defense.

                    13. The the conservative Christian candidate whose electoral strategy was to pander to conservative Christians just HAPPENED to be at some conservative Christian rally for NO SPECIAL REASON

                      We obviously need you to infer as to why he was there instead of his own words to explain his reasons for attending a “Religious Liberty Conference” because you’re telepathic or something right?

                      “I know that when it comes to religious liberty, this is a passion of mine that has been a passion of mine for decades. And that I have been fighting for religious liberty for everyone?for Christians, for Jews, for Muslims, for every one of us to practice our faith?”

                2. “But Ted, you don’t want to kill homosexuals?”
                  “Listen, I’ve made my view perfectly clear.”

            2. “He may support it, but that’s not what he said in the cited article, so the point remains.”

              “Yes, Romans Chapter 1 verse 32 the Apostle Paul does says that homosexuals are worthy of death. His words not mine! And I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God. And I am willing to go to jail.”

              I think he IS pretty much saying that he believes homosexuals should be punished with death here. He’s saying that this is Paul’s position, but he’s also saying he is not ashamed of the “truth” of Paul’s position. His quote sounds like he very much is supporting the idea Paul puts forward in Romans 1:27-32.

              Though I agree with you we shouldn’t always hold people accountable to what other people say around them, it DOES seem like Swanson is clearly endorsing the statement that homosexuals deserve death.

              1. Though I agree with you we shouldn’t always hold people accountable to what other people say around them, it DOES seem like Swanson is clearly endorsing the statement that homosexuals deserve death.

                Of course he is. It’s basic Christian orthodoxy. Homosexuality is listed along with a whole variety of things that deserve death that covers most of humanity. What he didn’t say in this introduction is anything about “execution” which is what the writer of the article inferred.

        3. He’s not any less responsible than Obama was for attending a church with a pastor that hates America and blames white people for all the problems of the world (or whatever the fuck he said) or for hanging out with Bill Ayers.

          That is to say, they are both fucking assholes.

    2. Fuck Ted Cruz in his smarmy dickbag face.

      1. He already has people for that.

      2. Cruz – The Anointed One – says his father. Let him denounce that!

    3. The media kind of buried it underneath all the Muslim love, but the imam Obama met with when he went to the mosque a few months ago has pretty much the same view. He has said multiple times that the worst thing a Muslim can do when they see a homosexual is to think “that doesn’t bother me.” He’s also vehemently against any sort of liberal reform within Islam.

      1. That was Obama, so it doesn’t matter. Obama attended for 20+ years and let his children be indoctrinated in a racist, anti-American church. But it was just blame by association when people pointed it out eight years ago.

      2. That’s different because…reasons.

  8. Trump is a great example of Democracy. So is Alcibiades, Robert Mugabe, and Hugo Chavez.

    1. You know who else…

  9. Trump tweeted what can really only be interpreted as a threat to send goons to beat up Bernie Sanders supporters.

    Donald J. Trump
    ?
    ?@realDonaldTrump

    Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren’t told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!
    7:48 AM – 13 Mar 2016

    13,090 13,090 Retweets
    30,983

    1. Um…are we relying on a novel use of the word “only” here?

      1. “in no uncertain terms”

        Coulter’s remark is truly despicable?she is saying, in no uncertain terms, that the maiming of her political enemies would bring her sadistic pleasure.

        1. Why are there no photos of Ann Coulter on your blog?

          1. Nobody’s hacked her iphone.

          2. Because those are for his private times.

          3. Ann has a cloaca.

    2. Trump isn’t actually lying. I don’t think Sanders or his campaign had anything to do with protesting Trump (it’s generally a huge waste of time, money and energy for a campaign to organize a mass protest against another, especially one they’re not directly competing against).

      It’s beyond dispute that a vocal number of protestors in Chicago were Sanders supporters, however. And they were told to be there.

      Trump telling his supporters to protest Sanders events would be an escalation, however.

      1. Yeah, he didn’t say Sanders was telling them to go, just that they ‘were told.’

        And they were. They admitted that.

    3. Threatening to retaliate is not a threat. Who is disrupting whose events? Would the leftists be crying one river, or two, if right wing goons were interfering with peaceful political rallies?

      1. Threatening to retaliate is not a threat.

        Uh. Try reading that sentence again.

    4. Trump tweeted what can really only be interpreted as a threat to send goons to beat up Bernie Sanders supporters.

      You mean he’s threatening to *fight back in kind* against Democratic thugs? About damn time some Republican did.

      You know that tit for that is usually the best basic game strategy, right?

  10. Hey, be nice to Matthew Yglesias! He’s had to overcome significant mental handicaps to get to where he is today!

    1. I wouldn’t say he’s “overcome” them…

      1. True, they still impact his day-to-day work, but I find it impressive that despite his disability, he is still one of the main writers at one of the most respected (inexplicably, since it’s garbage) political sites in the country.

  11. “Fist fights among voters who have different political orientations is quite common in DEVELOPING countries during election seasons”

    – Did anyone else notice the (attempted) backhanded pimp slap at Taiwan, who has seen fistfights & scuffles in their legislative sessions; you can’t tell me the Global Times’ editors didn’t throw a zinger their way on purpose.

    1. Taiwan, Korea, Japan… not like the civilized legislatures in more developed countries like Britain, where they call each other names and throw fruit instead.

    2. Yes, in mature, civilized countries like China, they quietly lead dissenters outside and shoot them in a dignified manner.

      1. “they quietly lead dissenters outside and shoot them in a dignified manner”

        That is not how China deals with dissent. What they do is to immerse dissenters in endless bureaucracy and petitioning. Mental hospitals are another avenue. It’s not that different from other civilized countries. One difference is that some dissenters are ‘disappeared.’ Not because of actions of Beijing but instead from local and provincial levels. Too much dissent from a local area reflects badly on local authorities and Beijing will react against the corrupt, sometimes with the death penalty. To keep the numbers of dissenters down, local authorities will send thugs to Beijing and round up dissenters from their area and drive them off into the unknown. There is nothing quiet or dignified about it.

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  13. Seems perfectly democratic to me. Not at all a republic, though.

    1. In a real republic, elected representatives would act and legislate in a manner that is best for the public. I don’t think we have that here.

      1. A useful fiction. the elected representatives always act and legislate in a manner that is best for those funding their campaigns.

      2. “In a real republic”

        In a real democracy, we’d have binding plebiscites to decide on the issues of the day.

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  15. Am I the only one who believes that thinking “democracy is the ideal government and it must be protected at all costs” is just like thinking “the current global temperature is ideal and it must be maintained at all costs”?

    1. Seems worse tbh

      1. It strikes me as a bit strange that a country that is willing to expend military power helping break up countries in the name of democracy completely misses the point at home.

        But then I understand that people with power are going to do everything they can to keep it.

    2. The purpose of government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizenry, largely through providing a forum for the enforcement of contracts and other rights, repelling foreign invasion, and punishing crimes. Democracy is (mistakenly) believed to be among the better forms of government for preventing overreach of government. Democracy is not an end unto itself and is at least as susceptible to abuse as most other forms of government.

      1. The purpose of government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizenry,…Democracy is not an end unto itself

        I think this is the fundamental issue for Libertarians in the US.

        Liberty has been losing. What’s the best we can do in a democracy, and is it good enough?

        Trump’s candidacy is a last gasp to avoid a perpetual statist voting majority brought on by the importation of statist voters. Unless he succeeds there, democracy will just be the people’s stamp of approval on their own subjection.

        If that statist voting tsunami is stopped, then we can think about addressing the current statist majority. Is a realignment toward smaller government possible?

        I think it is, but it requires buying off some of the 47%. Tradeoff a secure welfare state in exchange for freedom from regulation. I’d take that deal.

    3. Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

      1. I’m not sure I agree with that statement.

  16. “I USE YOU AS AN EXAMPLE OF GOOD AND FORCEFUL GOVERNMENT AND THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY ME” – Trump

    1. You just wait. After he rolls over his first protester in a tank, they’ll be begging him for autographs.

  17. “China Points to Donald Trump as an Example of Democracy
    But he’d be a better fit for an autocracy”

    How so? Trump is an example of the problems of democracy, which is that a fearful mob can turn to a belligerent buffoon under the mistaken assumption that he’ll save them from all the things that scare them

    1. And there’s nothing the Chinese government fears more than a mob.

      1. “And there’s nothing the Chinese government fears more than a mob.”

        A mob can be dispersed or appeased. What the Chinese really fear is a religiously motivated mob. The Trump phenom lacks the focus and righteousness that religionous movements have.

        1. Trump will leave eventually as will everyone else. Religious convictions tend to stick around a little longer.

  18. Ching chong. Ching chong.

  19. This is what happens in a democracy, your leaders get too popular!

    Thank God the Chinese government is there to prevent the Chinese people from loving their leaders too much.

  20. Zizek? People still read that plagiarist seriously?

    1. You mean you dont have a subcription to the “International Journal of ?i?ek Studies”!

    2. “Zizek? People still read that plagiarist seriously?”

      In Newsweek, no less. You may find this incomprehensible but I thought this was interesting:

      “The need for PC rules arises when unwritten mores are no longer able to regulate effectively everyday interactions?instead of spontaneous customs followed in a nonreflexive way, we get explicit rules, such as when “torture” becomes an “enhanced interrogation technique.”

  21. Trump is no more autocratic than Obama or Hillary or Bernie so when will you include those in your list of people to to hate as well. Trump is not alone and may may be less autocratic than the others

    1. Trump is more of a threat to the political class than the ordinary citizen so he’s at the top of the hate list. This site is no exception. So called lovers of freedom at Reason have no problem with opening the borders to those who prefer government programs over freedom.

      1. Trump’s idiotic “Top Man” negotiation approach to trade is a lot more of a threat to ordinary citizens than open borders

        1. Don’t like the Top Man negotiation approach?

          How’s the Apparatchik State negotiation approach working out for you?

      2. But there might be some libertarians coming.

        Libertarian Moment !!

    2. Obama has been the most autocratic president so far. The next guy will no doubt be worse, regardless of who wins or whether it’s a guy.

  22. It shouldn’t be surprising a left-wing “thinker” like Zizek would mindlessly accept at face value what a politician he agrees with is saying.

    I have Robby shit over his non-balance, so thank you Ed for square quotes there. The fact that Zizek is still a thing makes me embarrassed that Slovenians used to be the most sensible part of form Yugoslavia.

  23. “[Bernie] understands and respects the problems and fears of ordinary workers and farmers.”

    Hahaha. It’s the US in the 21st century, and Marxists are still talking about agrarian reform.

    1. Laugh it up, but the same could be said for the conservative fixation on what we do with our sinful parts.

      1. Next thing you know, Republicans will demand consent decrees before having sex!

        1. Yes means Yes!

    2. Not to corpsefuck a dead thread, but I give him slack on this. It’s an English translation of the phrase “Radnika i Seljaka” (or whatever Slovenian equivalent is), i.e. “workers and peasants”, and as such has been part of the Marxist university phraseology for decades. To have him not use it would be like telling a physicist not to use Newton’s Laws when describing the universe.

  24. The Global Times, a state-owned tabloid newspaper in China, published an op-ed today calling Donald Trump a “pandora’s box” for the United States and insinuating Trump’s rise was illustrative of the problem with adopting democracy.

    Trying to find something wrong with this.

  25. One question: how much support does Trump draw from those Americans who are not Independent, not Democrat, and not Republican? It may be that all the fuss is the result of Trump’s ability to mobilize the majority of eligible voters who typically don’t vote and pay little attention to the debates that exercise those with the most invested in red/blue, left/right dynamics.

    1. Americans who are not Independent, not Democrat, and not Republican?

      […]

      Trump’s ability to mobilize the majority of eligible voters who typically don’t vote and pay little attention to the debates that exercise those with the most invested in red/blue, left/right dynamics.

      If we don’t categorize those Americans as independent, what do we call them then?

      1. We don’t call habitual non-voters anything. We ignore them. Until someone like Trump appears. Then we fear them. That’s my thesis.

  26. Just curious, does China still tacitly back North Korea?

    If so, it’s just the democratically elected autocrats that are a problem versus those that inherit the position?

    1. Yes, but I suspect that China simply doesn’t talk about the retarded stepchild in the back room.

      1. “Yes, but I suspect that China simply doesn’t talk about the retarded stepchild in the back room.”

        North Korea just may be the most independent country on the planet. I know this flies in the face of common wisdom here that it is a puppet of China, but it was North Korea that decided to proceed with a nuclear and space programme, not China, and they did it without outside help.

  27. “Despite candidates’ promises, Americans know elections cannot really change their lives. Then, why not support Trump and vent their spleen?”

    Vent their spleen? Is this some weird Chinese idiom that gets lost in translation to English? I’ve never heard that as a metaphor for anger. Who talks like that?

    1. “Vent their spleen … as a metaphor for anger.”

      That’s a very old idiom, and pretty common:

      Origin: In European medicine from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century, the spleen was thought to be the source of the “humours” that caused the emotion of anger. Therefore one could expel anger by “venting the spleen”.

  28. RE: China Points to Donald Trump as an Example of Democracy

    Right.
    Nobody knows more about democracy than the People’s Republic of China.

  29. The USA is NOT a democracy………..

    The USA is a Constitutional Republic……………..

  30. The Global Times, a state-owned tabloid newspaper in China, published an op-ed today calling Donald Trump a “pandora’s box” for the United States

    Trump criticized by China. Gets 5% bump in polls.

  31. “Fist fights among voters who have different political orientations is quite common in developing countries during election seasons,” the op-ed reads. “Now, a similar show is shockingly staged in the US, which boasts one of the most developed and mature democratic election systems.”

    Violent leftist mob shows up at Trump rally. *Entirely* Trump’s fault.

  32. Democracy: the worst form of government, except for all the others.

    Chinese style communism: a cure that is worse than the disease.

  33. Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek made a similar point in Newsweek last month while discussing Trump’s “vulgarity.” “Whatever Trump is,” Zizek wrote, calling him relatively moderate, “he is not a dangerous outsider? The function of his ‘refreshing’ provocations and vulgar outbursts is precisely to mask the ordinariness of his program.

    Good, I hope so! I prefer government to be ordinary, boring, and above all, small.

  34. Wrong, Mr. Churchill

    “Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time . . . .” -Winston Churchill, House of Commons (11NOV1947)

    “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” -John Adams (1725-1836)

    One might note that, to the Founding Fathers of the USA, the word, democracy, was an obscenity. It connoted mob-rule as we now are witnessing across this nation on fire.

    Anarchy followed by tyranny typically are the consequences of democracy. It is the destination towards which we are headed here in America.

    Fortunately, aristocracy or authoritarianism isn’t the only alternative to democracy. A much better alternative is participatory republicanism, the concept upon which the USA was founded … the concept now being discarded in favor of a democracy in which the unproductive rob the productive of the fruits of their labors. Is there is a remedy for this social malignancy? Yes.

    See “Democracy? Wrong, Mr. Churchill” at … http://nationonfire.com/category/government/ .

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