There Were No Survivors: Libertarians Debate Donald Trump, Pro and Con, at FreedomFest.

Matt Welch, Jeffrey Tucker, Wayne Allyn Root, and Dan Mangru get into a shouting match, "moderated" by yours truly.


Note (2:45 P.M. ET): If any of this seems familiar, it's because Matt Welch linked to the full debate back on July 28. Apologies for the duplicated post, but give the video a play if you haven't done so yet.

Among the many good times had at FreedomFest, the world's largest gathering of libertarians and fellow travelers held in Las Vegas each July, was a debate over whether libertarians can or should support the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump.

Taking the pro side of the argument were 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root and investment advisor and commentator Dan Mangru. On the "no way, Jose" side were FEE's Jeffrey Tucker and Reason's own Matt Welch. I acted as the moderator of the "YUGE debate" (as it was advertised).

More than a few of the 2,000 attendees said it was the highlight of this year's event or, same thing, that it was among the worst things they ever saw in their entire lives, partly because of my partisan moderating (I am and remain firmly anti-Trump as well as anti-Clinton).

The good folks at FreedomFest have made the whole spectacle available on YouTube, so take a look now and decide for yourselves.

And go here now to reserve a seat at next year's FreedomFest, which will be the 10th edition and will feature William Shatner among many other special guests (including a day-long lineup of Reason journalists and policymakers). The discount rate ends soon, so don't delay.

NEXT: This Is Not What Non-Intervention Looks Like

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  1. "Libertarian convention voted most humble gathering of intellectuals by"

  2. Donald Trump sure does bring out the worst in everybody, doesn't he?

    1. Politics. Trump is just the funnel through which american political-sludge is being dredged

  3. In other news, Tony's mum has paid the intertoobz bill once again. You can always anticipate a Tony sighting right around the first of the month in any given month.

    1. So it's.... that time of the month again? God damn it.

    2. You'd think Correct The Record would at least provide him with enough for Internet access!

      1. They mostly pay him to stay away from their office.

  4. Why come there no libertarian case for Hillary?

    1. Isn't it about time we had a libertarian case for women presidents?

      1. women presidents

        If we strip the govt of most of its current powers, i would be happy to have a trio of lesbian gymnasts as the group-president of the US. Or any combination of man/woman/houseplant/domesticated animal.

        1. I vote all houseplants. Just put a sunroof on the Whitehouse and Capital building and put a potted plant in each space a human used to occupy. Guaranteed improvement in no time.

          1. Green job creation!

  5. Matt looked good.

    And that counts for something.

    Also - this exchange was funny, and sort of like a "real life"-example of cliche H&R tete-a-tete

  6. (I am and remain firmly anti-Trump



  8. Wayne Allyn Root may be the one person on the right actually more insane than The Donald. Fuck that guy.

  9. I'm certainly envying the Dead.

    1. "Driving that train, high on cocaine . . . "

      Now that you mention it, so am I.

  10. This just proves you're all gonna vote for Hillary.

  11. More than a few of the 2,000 attendees said it was the highlight of this year's event or, same thing, that it was among the worst things they ever saw in their entire lives, partly because of my partisan moderating (I am and remain firmly anti-Trump as well as anti-Clinton).

    Alright, so in the sense that you're aware and declarative of the flagrant bias, after the fact at least, you're coming in ahead of John King, George Stephenopopopopulous and Candy Crowley as a debate moderator. Good for you, Nick.

  12. "I say, old chaps, we certainly did a bang-up job of talking about a loudmouth bully. What's say we all go for brandy, eh chums?"

  13. Reuters now saying - "No Evidence" of Terror-Connection in London Stabbings

    last night the UK cops were saying, "yes". CNN also reported that. e.g. "Officials briefed on the investigation had earlier told CNN they believed the case was a terror attack based on the initial evidence.""

    I note: Reuters don't mention the perpetrator's name, or anything about him, other than 'he's 19'. Very honest of them.

    CNN had noted that he was "a Norwegian national of Somali origin"

    What's sort of odd is that you can go from "initial evidence" to "no evidence" as time-passes. Did the initial evidence become less significant? or did new evidence outweigh the old evidence?

    the way things would be reported in the past is to distinguish the "known motive" from the actual objective nature of the act itself.

    i.e.. "the motive is unknown, but the attack is a) random, b) targeted foreigners, and c) conducted in public place, leading people to assume it may be terror-related"

    Now they insist its *not* until the evidence is so overwhelming that they have to admit there's no better explanation.

    1. No evidence that it was terrorism. Those Norwegian Somalis are just a hot tempered bunch. Someone probably over cooked his fish and chips and he just snapped. We really never know.

      Every day the media grows more appalling.

    2. Reuters, the Liberal version of RT.

      1. to be fair - maybe since they've arrested the suspect he's been insisting that he's a missionary from Pluto and that he was only trying to protect himself from the plague of purple bears.

        but that's just 'new evidence', and if they actually know that, then say, "police are saying he's fucking nuttier than squirrel-poop".

        instead its more of a Sergeant Schultz attitude, pretending that it can't be what it appears to be but never saying why not.

        1. A Youtube video spurred him into action.

  14. There Were No Survivors: Libertarians Debate Donald Trump, Pro and Con, at FreedomFest.

    Yes, I know. You already posted the video. It was jard to watch, like someone trying to drown a cat.

    1. jard

      The 'j' is pronounced like the one in jalape?o.

      1. Bigot! Clearly, OldMexican made his comment after hitting the range and getting him some 2nd A love, which also makes you a hoplophobe, as well, Sparkler.


    So Bill Clinton just publicly called for massive and systematic vote fraud in the coming election. And No that is not an exaggeration. It is so bad, even the Hill felt the need to write an editorial condemning it.

    We can add this to the list of things "reason dare not cover".


      1. Sure Sparky, I am sure if Trump had said something like that reason would have not said a word.

        I understand Sparky. Seeing things like that must be really hard for you. It is never good when you see someone you really believed in turns out not to be what you thought they were. But hang in there.

    2. "Democracy" is only possible within a united community with a shared sense of identity. Once you have multiple distinct communities involved, it's really more like diplomacy, which is really just a variant of war that relies more on the potential for violence than actual violence. And, unlike democracy, it's more likely to devolve into actual war.

      Federalism is rooted in the distinction between the two; leftists' reasons for conflating the two should be self-evident as a means to gaining power. If a people is subjugated to a more numerous (or less numerous and more organized and power-hungry) people, what better means of maintaining that subjugation in perpetuity than spreading the myth that the subjugation is actually an exercise of autonomy and freedom on the part of the subjugated?

    3. I don't know what you're talking about... but this sentence?

      After being told by the globalist elite they're illegal entry into the country is without consequence, helps rather than hinders American workers, and unites the national culture, any existing moral qualms of further violating the law, such as by voting, have been thoroughly scrubbed away such a freaking mess that it suggests anything that follows is just going to get Mo'Dumber.

      1. Speaking directly to illegal aliens, Clinton stated to an applauding audience of delegates that "if you love this country, you're working hard, you're paying taxes and you're obeying the law and you'd like to become a citizen, you should choose immigration reform over somebody that wants to send you back.

        That is what Clinton said. You don't need to read the rest.

        1. He didn't even use the word vote.

          1. Good point, Tony. Nicky the Nose's associates never referred to him by name, so one never knew who they were talking about.

            1. The column is a joke. It was worse than even I expected from John.

          2. So, in what other context are they capable of exercising choice in these matters?

      2. I think John read the headline and that's it.

        1. It looked a little overhyped, to me.

    4. Pretty much all of the illegal immigrants I've been acquainted with here, have a minimum of 3 aliases with fake IDs and fake SSNs to match that. So they could potentially vote 3 times each and no one would know about it.

      The voter ID laws here are insane. I need an ID to drive, get on a plane, get a job, and many other things. But no ID required to vote? It's insane. In Brazil, for instance, you have to have your CPF, national ID number to vote. They really frown on fraud also, you wouldn't want to get caught trying it.

      What the hell is wrong with this country? Rule of law is really on life support.

      I know a lot of people here want open borders. Does that include foreigners coming here illegally and voting for people who are going to pass laws we have to live under? I mean, you wouldn't even have to come to stay, you could just come with a tourist visa and stay long enough to vote, a few times.

      1. Speaking for myself, I don't want anyone to vote... at all both illegal and legal resident alike.

        With that having been said, I don't have a problem per se with aliens voting - they have to live under the same laws the citizenry live under, they have to pay the same taxes the citizenry have to - they have as much a 'right' to vote as I do.

        The major objection to non citizens voting is that they have less of a stake in the outcome - for example, a Russian immigrant might support the guys who are best for Russia rather than America, leading to the election of politicians who neglect the military defense of the U.S. against Russian hegemony. There is also a fear that they will bring their alien notions of ethics and morality to play - an extreme example would be voting for legilators who decide to make murder laws more shariah friendly (by exempting honor killings of one's daughters, sisters or cousins from the murder statute as happened in Turkey a few years back.

        1. These are very legitimate fears. But they should also apply to our citizens albeit to a much lesser degree. In my experience, For example, Americans were more favorable towards communism and surrenderign to the Russians than people who had experienced actual Russian communism and came here nonetheless. On the other hand, I think the legalize honor killing thing will always be far more popular with Pakistanis than with any native born citizens.

          Nonetheless, it could happen. Americans could decide to adopt shariah and vote for legislators, support constitutional ammendments to bring it about. The danger that these terrible things will happen is really inherent to allowing anyone to vote... at all. And the proper defense against aliens voting for terrible things is the same defense against citizens voting - persuasion.

          My 2 cents

      2. Hyperion, its one of the intentional blind spots of the amnesty-now crowd:

        Most illegal immigrants (those who aren't living a life of crime or on the cash-only day labor market) have fake IDs. Because you can't get a job without an ID. They aren't just breaking immigration law, they are committing identity theft or fraud. And the level of ID you need to have a job will easily get you a ballot.

        Bottom line: I have no doubt that a large number of votes are cast illegally every year by illegal immigrants.

      3. I need an ID to drive, get on a plane, get a job, and many other things.

        Maybe we should get rid of that requirements, rather than adding more.

    5. Talk about a clickbait article John.

    6. Before I click the link I'm gonna bet this is an exaggeration.

  16. And to think that a debate with Wayne Allyn Root on the stage could be such an undignified affair.

    1. Serious question, because I really don't know. Who the fuck is Wayne Allen Root?

      1. Former LP presidential candidate, now full-throated Trump supporter. He's the sweaty guy in the video that looks like his blood pressure way too high.

        He's pretty darn kooky, but that was long before Trump.

        1. LP Candidates used to be so much more kooky and fun. Gary Johnson is probably the first politician whose claim to have smoked pot was greeted with skepticism. If they ever come up with a sitcom about a left leaning gated community, Johnson is born to play the part of the well meaning HOA President

          1. I ended up watching the 2008 convention with my then seven year old son, who was starting to show an awareness of politics. After watching Wayne Allen Root deliver a speech, I turned and asked him if he would buy a used car from Root. My son instantly said "No way! That guy will cheat me!"

            Out of the mouths of babes....

            1. That convention was a lot of fun to watch, even if it did end with Babar as the nominee.

      2. Wayne Allen Root is going to save this country from Obama.

        1) He has proof that Obama didn't attend Columbia. He will show it imminently.

        2) With his running mate Bob Barr, he will ensure Obama does not get reelected in 2008.

        3) He almost became head of the Libertarian National Committee a few months before realizing that he was a Republican and a fan of Mitt Romney. Now that Wayne Allen Root is supporting Romney, Romeny is sure to win the 2012 election, and Wayne Allen Root will have once again saved America from Obama.

        1. Plus he's dreamy, and he was totally the inspiration for Boogie Nights. You could ask his girlfriend, who lives in Canada, but she's too busy modeling to reply.

          1. He is incredibly successful. He has written several books describing what a successful man he is.

            1. You know who else wrote a book about struggling and achieving success?

                  1. Would.

                    *check comment history to see if Lena Dunham or Durham records nude scene everytime a troll is debated*

                  2. Huh. I'd cosign her loan, if you know what i mean.

                  3. Hey I'm cute! Send me money!

                    Not fishy at all.

                    1. That's my thought. The mom is a hottie, almost too hot....

                    2. But a lot of the donors appear to have either a Russian surname, or given name, or both. So the Russian angle seems to be playing better for her than the fact that most single men would give her their own car for a good bang.

  17. But ... I thought nick exchanged freedom for cocktail parties???


    1. Even if he did, still better then Megyn Kelly with or without pleasuring Ailes. I'll say that much for Nick.

      1. Well, the 21st Century is the "Gayest Evah!!!" so he's peaking at the right time!!!!

  18. i get Paid Over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    Heres what I've been doing,.........

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