Bill Weld

Are Attitudes About Discrimination and Guns More Important Than Policy About Spending?

Conservatives continue to write off Johnson/Weld for being insufficiently anti-left.

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Robert Tracinski at The Federalist pushes back at Reason's Nick Gillespie, in the context of Gillespie's own pushback against people on the Right (including Tracinksi) slamming Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld for being insufficiently libertarian.

Gage Skidmore/Foter

Tracinski accuses Gillespie of just having a reflexive desire to brush off conservatives and their concerns.

The interesting part, though, is when Tracinski makes aspects of his own priorities crystal clear:

Johnson actually dismissed the entire concept of religious liberty as meaningless, which strikes me as kind of a big deal for supposed libertarians. Weld called the AR-15 a weapon of mass destruction. Those are two issues that are of direct practical import and at the center of today's political debate. I'm a lot more interested in that than in Johnson's promise to submit a balanced budget, which in the current context is frankly unrealistic.

Let's look at Tracinski's concerns, which he thinks for unstated reason are of more "direct practical import" in a presidential aspirant than spending, taxing, and debt.

It is true that Johnson has a defective conception of the scope of discrimination law and religious liberty, as has been laid out here at Reason by Scott Shackford. And within that defective conception, to my read and I suppose Tracinski's, Johnson values preventing imagined harm over people's rights of conscience and of association.

Johnson isn't always the best at digging deep into even his own thought processes, but I'm pretty sure from conversations I've had with him that the root of his stated attitudes about discrimination and religious liberty is, in the first place, that he thinks leaving business people the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want will lead to harms he doesn't want to see happen. And in the second place, he thinks the hill of the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason in a way that contravenes existing civil rights law is a terrible political position for a Libertarian to be in.

Whether he's right as a matter of either existing law or practical politics or libertarian principle about any of that is a somewhat interesting question, but almost certainly irrelevant to his actions as president of the United States. At best we know he's unlikely to take executive action to overturn any kind of existing anti-discrimination law, even if he doesn't really fully understand its parameters.

Now to Weld and guns. Despite the obvious fact that Weld is less of a fan of, or less comfortable with, the widespread existence of guns in our culture than a Tracinski or a me, Weld did acknowledge to Nick Gillespie in an interview for Reason that to try to ban them now would create an instant 30 million or so felons.

The context strongly implies he is not interested in creating those felons. So, seeing Weld on guns as a dealkiller is just a matter of one's sense of the personal stances and attitudes of the candidate, who as vice president clearly was not about to be passing legislation banning any kind of weapon or restricting American weapon rights in any manner anyway, not about what would actually happen to America if he were vice president.

I, too, am quite unhappy that a Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate says things like what bothered Tracinski about guns. But again, that's internal libertarian movement amour propre, not an actual worry about how a Johnson/Weld presidency would affect the country.

So we have Tracinski very explicitly saying that merely knowing that these guys have attitudes about those two issues that are signficant "progs v. right-winger" culture war considerations that rub him the wrong way is more important to him than something that is actually a core part of the president's role—proposing budgets, and in Johnson's case a budget that might actually rein in government's size and scope and perhaps stave off the various problems associated with ever-ballooning debt.

You know, the sort of basic "keeping government within its means, not mortgaging our children's future" stuff that used to be a core part of the basic conservative message.

Even though like so many things in our constitutional divided powers republic, spending is not something our president controls, it's something he has far more influence and say in than in his personal attitudes that the kind of anti-discrimination law we've had for many decades is not something he's interested in rolling back, or that the vice president is uncomfortable with guns.

Tracinski is explicit that the attitude stuff related to culture war issues about discrimination and guns is more important to him than spending or budgets or the growth of government. This might indicate that Gillespie was right all along that people worried Johnson isn't Libertarian enough—especially in the context of choice between him, Trump, and Clinton, though I would never want to state or imply that anyone has any obligation to vote for any candidate who make them uncomfortable for any reason—are less than serious about libertarianism or even conservatism in its best sense. They just want a guy who shares their predilections on a couple of issues that mark them firmly as "not left."

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  1. Given how much reason and nick devote to the culture war over spending (except fighter jetz) that seems like a question that requires some introspection.

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    1. This is true. Is it a matter of $numbers being boring? Or are spending issues seen as such a lost cause that culture war is all that’s thought to be tractable?

      1. I see Ken Schulz below entertaining the latter notion.

      2. Maybe it’s that most people are knowledgeable enough about American constitutional law to understand that the Congress controls the budget and the President’s authority is limited to a veto, whereas the President’s guidance on enforcement of regulations can have a material impact on how certain cultural liberties… a ha ha, okay, no.

      3. Constitutionally, yeah, spending is toast with the unwillingness to go beyond Lopez and Morrison years ago. Let alone Raich (FU, Scalia). You’d have to assassinate 4 non-Thomas justices to ever see the commerce clause actually rolled back

      4. Constitutionally, yeah, spending is toast with the unwillingness to go beyond Lopez and Morrison years ago. Let alone Raich (FU, Scalia). You’d have to assassinate 4 non-Thomas justices to ever see the commerce clause actually rolled back

  2. Nick, let me explain the problem with Gary Johnson.

    The lesser of three evils is still evil.

    It’s as simple as that.

    Johnson isn’t always the best at digging deep into even his own thought processes, but I’m pretty sure from conversations I’ve had with him that the root of his stated attitudes about discrimination and religious liberty is, in the first place, that he thinks leaving business people the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want will lead to harms he doesn’t want to see happen

    Change a few words in that statement, and you get the progressive justification for having a minimum wage to drive “wage parasites” out of society; you get the progressive justification for banning home-schooling; you get the socon justification for banning porn; the socon justification for outlawing sodomy; the proggie justification for requiring hair braiders get cosmetology licenses; and the segregationists justification for Jim Crow and antimiscegenation laws.

    Moreover, the notion tht Gary Johnson has good ideas about imposing fiscal restrain on the US government and liberating the U.S. economy from the drag of government tax adn spend policies is laughable. The guy supports adding a national sales tax to the already crushing tax burden we struggle under (and the claim that the law will only go into effect if the income tax is declared unconstitutional is a fig leaf: the income tax is here to stay).

    1. Gary Johnson just doesn’t understand freedom. He says, “Obama chastised you with scorpions, I shall merely chastise you with whips.”

      He can go fuck himself as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure we would all be better off if he would invite Hillary and Trump to go climb the matterhorn with him. I’m sure they’d have a great, invigorating time, and we could get on with our lives.

      1. Everest would be preferable.

        1. +1 high altitude cerebral edema

        2. I’d settle for the top of the Washington Monument, as Mencken suggested.

        3. I’m thinking – the Eiger.

          Two of them are already stone-cold killers so . . .

        4. K2 is more deadly for the inexperienced. That mountain is a bitch with snow and ice.

    2. Trump has said a lot of good things about ending the regulatory state. And he is a lot better on gun rights. If we are talking lesser evils here.

      1. You have no idea what he thinks about regulations or guns. HE has no idea, it can change within the course of a sentence. But a guy (or woman) who is skilled, experienced, and successful at playing the crony game is automatically not anything anyone wants near any sort of power to regulate.

        1. Yeah because Bill Weld was never a crony

          1. But Johnson is the candidate for president, putting aside your mendacious non sequitur.

            1. And Weld is chopped liver? Doesn’t Johnson choosing a crony for VP say that he is pretty comfortable with them?

              1. Who’s Trumps VP? Oh yeah – Mike Pence. Another crony.

                Everybody here keeps pulling up reasons to not vote for the other guy – completely forgetting that most of those reasons apply to their own favorite.

                1. The anti-gummint libertarians (aka goobers) are PISSED because Johnson is replacing the grave threat they pose to liberty, The flip side of when Ron Paul created the threat. The writing was on the wall when Rand’s campaign showed that his dad’s coalition of socons, bigots and conspiracy nuts could never be expanded.

                  Trump stole their playbook.

            2. Dick Cheney was a VP too.

            3. Wasn’t Weld Gary Johnson’s hand-picked, preferred VP?

      2. Trump is better on gun rights? In what fucking sense?

        This entire comment section has become unreadable with republican concern trolls cherry picking and misrepresenting bullshit to attack the libertarian nominee, but this repeated mantra is absolutely fucking ludicrous.

        As governor, Gary Johnson vetoed every gun control bill that hit his desk. 100%. In the real world.

        In the really real world, where real lives are affected, and hype and talk don’t mean shit, Gary Johnson is 100% on guns. If you look at his statements, he is 100% pro-Second-Amendment.

        In our lifetimes, there has never ? and I mean never ? been a candidate at this level of support in the general election for president as solid as Gary Johnson on guns. Never, not once.

        1. Gary Johnson is the Republican politician in the race, dumbass.

          1. (laughing) He’s not crazy enough for you?

      3. Citation needed.
        The Trump-fellators around here keep saying that but I’ve never heard a damn thing from Trump to indicate any such thing.

        His core issues are hating on free trade and hating on immigration. If regulation is in there somewhere, it’s way at the bottom of the list of priorities.

      4. But 5 minutes later, he says the exact opposite.

        The guy is an incoherent blubberdoofus.

    3. Then it doesn’t change the current tax structure at all. Johnson’s support of the fair tax is the only reason i would consider voting for him.

      1. Why? You want to pay both add a sales tax to the income and excise taxes you already pay?

        1. No it’s one or the other. The fair tax bills as written only go into effect upon repeal of the 16th. And if you want to start substituting your own ‘pragmatic’ strawman then there’s no discussion to be had.

          1. ^This. At worst, passing GJ’s stance on the fair tax means that nothing changes in our tax code (as the bill passes but never gets implemented.)

          2. Except there is no way in hell that is PRACTICALLY going to happen, so you will be left with paying the most immoral of all taxes (income) and a consumption tax to boot.

            1. Why? If the bill says that the 16th must be repealed, why would the law go into effect? Or are you saying that the law would be passed without that restriction? If so, then why wouldn’t GJ veto it since that is a central plank to the whole fair tax clause?

              1. If the bill says that the 16th must be repealed

                Why are you confident that is what would pass? The “fair tax” is first and always nothing but a stalking horse for a VAT.

                1. Why are you confident that is what would pass?

                  Because Johnson will veto anything that leaves open the door for maintaining the income tax.

                  You’ve said this is a stealth VAT before, but have never explained how a bill that explicitly excludes b2b transactions will suddenly tax b2b transactions.

                  I think the more likely outcome is that no bill will be passed, for any tax reform. However if one is passed, the FAIR tax as written is hell of a lot better than any other reform, so there is good reason to support it.

            2. There’s no way in hell any PRACTICAL tax reform is going to happen by that logic.

      2. The Fair Tax? A MASSIVE TAX CUT FOR THE RICH … and nobody else????

        1. Git them damned 1%ers that be tekin’ our jerbz!!

          1. Goober just assumed — we all see it — that opposing a tax cut for the rich … or ANY favored group .. means defending the current tax policy. (sigh)

            Welcome to the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of anti-gummint libertarians. And see how eager they are to be brainwashed.. Does he also defend the infinitely crazier “plan” by Ron Paul — repeal the income tax, replace it with nothing, and run 98% of the federal government on FICA taxes alone? (lol)

            (Ron never mentions FICA, which makes it easier to brainwash his goobers with mathematically impossible bullshit) Progs aren’t the only dumbasses in the American electorate!

            1. Nice corpse-fucking, you demented old loon.

              1. WTF
                Nice corpse-fucking, you demented old loon.

                It’s called self-defense, sonny
                Why do you oppose it?

    4. Brian Doherty wrote this, so not sure why you’re addressing Nick.

      1. He started the pissing contest.

    5. I have heard on these here pages, repeatedly, that voting the lesser of evils is the stupid.

      1. My only consolation in this debacle is that a vote for GayJay is a vote against Cankles.

        1. I thought it was a vote for Hillary.

          I can’t figure out if I’m spoiling the election with my single, solitary vote unless everyone tells me how they’re voting, first.

          Damn, democracy is hard!

          1. Hillary is going to win, thanks to the Trumpkins and their emotional obssession with offending people. So any vote that isn’t Hillary is a vote against Hillary.

          2. Well, according to all the leftards, not voting for Hilary is voting for Trump. According to the right wingnuts, not voting for Trump is voting for Hillary. Since I would never vote for either, I’m apparently voting for both of them. I should probably turn myself in for vote fraud.

            1. Unless you live in Ohio or Illinois, in which case you should just start taking bids.

    6. “…he thinks leaving business people the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want will lead to harms he doesn’t want to see happen”

      As tarran points out this logic can be used to kill liberty in a myriad of ways. It is the justification behind every liberty killing measure ever.

      Pathetic.

      1. What a crock of shit. Shame on you and your hysteria/ignorance/lies

    7. Yup, pretty much this.

    8. The guy supports adding a national sales tax to the already crushing tax burden we struggle under (and the claim that the law will only go into effect if the income tax is declared unconstitutional is a fig leaf: the income tax is here to stay).

      He supports replacing the income tax with a sales tax. Probably isn’t going to happen, but it is a fiscally conservative idea. If you tax spending, people are encouraged to save more.

      1. Not good, how are we supposed to prime the pump?
        /sarc

      2. A national consumption tax — replacing a sales tax — is not “fiscally conservative” and even less libertarian.
        With government so huge, ANY single tax — on income or consumption — will necessarily distort free-market decisions, severely.

        The current income tax punishes investment. A replacement 30% sales tax would punish consumption. von Mises, Hayek and Friedman roll in their graves at either. Libertarians don’t take sides.

        Plus, look at winners and losers. The current income tax includes a MASSIVE subsidy to the middle class, paid by the rich. A replacement sales tax would create a massive subsidy to the rich, paid by the middle class. That’s because the rich consume a tiny portion of their income, so they’d pay a lower rate on much fewer dollars.

        When the rubber hits the road, a national consumption tax will NEVER have popular support, which means it’s impossible. So why waste time on it?

  3. Tracinski is explicit that the attitude stuff related to culture war issues about discrimination and guns is more important to him than spending or budgets or the growth of government.

    This election really is all about the feelz. Come to think of it, I don’t remember an election that wasn’t.

    Something about merrily skipping toward the edge of a cliff. I think Dennis GILMORE has the right idea; vote Hillary and turn that skip into a sprint.

    1. And then when the economy fails, they’ll find some way to flame fiscal conservatism and capitalism—just you see.

      There is absolutely no way any fiscal liberals would say, “Oh gee, boy was I wrong.” Absolutely zero percent chance of that happening.

  4. Why is GJ telling the French “I can still shoot you?”

  5. Yeah gun rights are a big deal to a lot of people. And they are under real threat. And Nick’s response to those of us who consider them important is “sucks to be you”. To steal a line from Mickey Rat this morning; Nick thinks we need to think strategically, what are gun rights and freedom of religion when we can get Trannies in the military.

    Thanks to Nick and Doherty for living up to the worst cosmotarian stereotype. If it is t immigration, pot or sodomy, Nick doesn’t seem to give a fuck.

    1. Can you imagine what Reason’s position would be if Johnson’s positions re the 1st ammendment were similarly contemptuous to liberty as his position re the 2nd and 13th amendment are?

      Oh, we don’t need to imagine. Just look at their collective freak-out over Trump’s promise to go after the Washington post and Thiel’s use of the court system to nuke Gawker.

      1. Their cultural biases are appalling.

        1. Did the pot just call the kettle black?

          1. RAAAAAACCCCCCIIIIISSSSSTTT!!!11!!!

          2. POC!!!!!!

            Pot of Color

          3. I am culturally biased against hipster doofuses When have I ever denied this ?

    2. I don’t know how it came to be that I should have to choose between one or two pet issues. The attraction of a libertarian worldview was the principled idea of unobtrusive federal government and maximum freedom for everyone.

      Now it seems like people are treating freedom as some sort of zero-sum idea where we have to accept restricting some to make room for others.

      SAD!

      1. Welcome to politics in the real world … instead of an ivory tower.
        If you swallowed that shit, it’s your own fault, nobody else’s.

        1. So if I go into an emergency room with a kidney stone and they say they’ll treat it but only if they saw off my perfectly healthy foot, and say ‘well you can’t have it all’, and I’m miffed, I’m just being a naive ivory tower ER patient.

          1. MarkLastname
            So if I go into an emergency room…

            That’s retarded, even from you. And you do it constantly!

            MarkLastname
            And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

            Wait for it …

            All documented at this link. Cato’s privatization hustle for goobers.

            Workers would keep and control their 6.2% FICA contribution. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but “a one-time event” ? Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

            Also Page 10 “Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year.” Versus $410 billion! And how to pay for it is not Cato’s job anyhow!

            “There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices.” Page 6.

            Same “short-term” bullshit.
            f anyone is STILL confused ….
            $410 billion is 50% FICA revenues Page 102
            All budgeted to benefits
            Loss declines slowly as seniors die off.

            Your turn, Mark. Show me HOW you were bamboozled
            (lol)

  6. Johnson actually dismissed something I’m a lot more interested in and Weld spoke negatively about another thing that I’m a lot more interested in , both of which are two issues that are of direct practical import and at the center of today’s political debate.

    I think I can understand what Mr. Tracinski wants to focus upon, rather than Johnson’s promise to submit a balanced budget….

    What both said about these two topics seem more relevant to Mr. Tracinski than balancing the budget and thereby possibly reign in the size and scope of the central government.

    Did I misunderstand his emphasis or does anyone think his quote was taken out of context (either by myself or Mr. Doherty)?

    1. Greece. Puerto Rico. Can’t happen here. Budgets smudgets

    2. rather than Johnson’s promise to submit a balanced budget….

      Which would be a totally useless waste of time.

      It’s not Gary. It’s the libertarian establishment with not a single policy proposal for him to run on, His only hope is to turn his back on the establishment, develop ACHIEVABLE policies to get us on the road to liberty.

  7. So long as no one is willing to address entitlements, spending is a moot point. It is, in fact, something that requires a tremendous amount of political capital to do anything about regardless of your ideology. GWB talked about privatizing SS more than Gary Johnson has talked about any entitlement reform whatsoever, won his Presidential bid — and still got crucified on the issue and was unable to enact it. BO almost didn’t get ObamaCare despite having a veto-proof majority of his own party. It is beyond belief to suggest that a third-party candidate who has spent a very small amount of time on the campaign trail addressing this would be able to get entitlement reform enacted even if you’re high enough to think he’d be elected in 2016. Paul fucking Ryan has spent more time talking about entitlement reform, for Christ’s sake — and we’re really supposed to give the L candidate credit for *not deviating from his party’s platform*, to say nothing of actually campaigning on it?

    Guns and discrimination bills are something that Gary has gotten more attention for this campaign season than entitlement reform, and is eminently more of a going concern at this point. Why the hell shouldn’t people have that as a priority when picking Presidents? I’m profoundly irked that a candidate who suggests banning burqas is being presented as “reasonable” much less libertarian by people.

    1. GWB talked about privatizing SS more than Gary Johnson has talked about any entitlement reform whatsoever, won his Presidential bid — and still got crucified on the issue and was unable to enact it. BO almost didn’t get ObamaCare despite having a veto-proof majority of his own party. … Paul fucking Ryan has spent more time talking about entitlement reform, for Christ’s sake [and was painted by the press as a monster who was literally going to shove grannies off a cliff]

      Maybe there’s a reason why GJ isn’t spending much time talking about entitlement reform.

      1. Absolutely I agree, but if that’s the case then he can, in fact, correctly be stated not to be running on those issues even if they’re in his platform.

        In which case we go back to the question of how Gary Johnson is supposed to effectively be promoting good governance or libertarian ideas if we’re getting such awful answers on the social side of things on everything from drugs to prostitution to guns to religious freedom. What’s the awesome, well-defended libertarian thing that’s supposed to get me or anyone else of that persuasion thinking “hell yes, Gary Johnson at 10%!!!!”

        1. It’s a good idea strategically this election season.
          The two major parties have horrible candidates that nobody wants to vote for.

          Johnson should be able to win just by running as a non-crazy, honest, reasonable guy.
          It’s foolish for him to stick his neck out by advocating entitlement reform.

          By contrast Trump has positively promises NOT to touch Social Security and Medicare.

      2. So why is reason clutching so many pearls over it all of a sudden?

        1. Examples?

    2. “I’m profoundly irked that a candidate who suggests banning burqas is being presented as “reasonable” much less libertarian by people.>

      YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. Banning women from wearing burquas is discriminatory. Therefore, we need to ban women from wearing any clothing.

    4. Banning women from wearing burquas is discriminatory. Therefore, we need to ban women from wearing any clothing.

    5. Umm, Bush discovered privatizing Social Security is impossible. And Cato’s version is actually insane.
      So insane that Michael Tanner says it’s the job of Congress and the President to find nearly $400 billion per year.
      He just says it can be done? He doesn’t know HOW, but it can!!!
      And the anti-gummint libertarians swallow anything.

      1. A pro government libertarian isn’t a libertarian Michael. And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

        1. MarkLastName
          A pro government libertarian isn’t a libertarian Michael.

          Nobody said it was, dumbass. And you’ve just revealed what you are.

          NOTHING is libertarian excerpt proposals approved by you and your anti-gummint goobers.
          Exactly like the hallmark of McCarthyism, a loyalty oath.
          You shame liberty

          (now punish me again for apostasy)

          And that’s just your first fuckup in three short sentences

          1. I went trolling for an anti-gummint retard and one of the wackiest took the bait! (MarkLastName)

            . And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

            Wait for it …

            All documented at this link. Cato’s privatization hustle for goobers.

            Workers would keep and control their 6.2% FICA contribution. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but “a one-time event” ? Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 20 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion!

            Also Page 10, “Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year.” Versus $410 billion, suckers! (OMG)

            But how to pay for it is NOT Cato’s job anyhow!

            “There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices.” Page 6.

            Same “short-term” bullshit. If anyone is STILL confused ….
            $410 billion is 50% FICA revenues Page 102
            All budgeted to benefits
            Loss declines slowly as seniors die off.

            Your turn, Mark. Show us HOW you were bamboozled
            (lol)

            1. Why don’t you respond around the same time time Mark posted, you corpse-fucking lunatic.

              1. WTF
                Why don’t you respond around the same time time Mark posted, you corpse-fucking lunatic.

                First you deny me the right of self-defense.
                Now I need YOUR PERMISSION on when to be here???

            2. So John Galt II is a Hihnpuppet

              1. jarflax|
                So John Galt II is a Hihnpuppet

                Yes, that is what I said.
                Is this your revenge for being publicly exposed …. by a puppet?

                https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6350632

  8. Have any of you considered that the plan these two are following requires not to look like crazy So-Cons in the eyes of potential voters and that they have NO intention of banning guns or prosecuting people for “discriminating” against transgender gays?

    I find it fascinating because a lot of people whose comments I read about Ron Paul were very critical of him because of his stance on social issues. And there’s a possibility this is what turned off some potential voters who are not that interested in debates about principles but about who is better at leaving them the heck alone. I am thus not concerned at all about Johnson and Weld, since at least they have held the same positions for years, whereas the other candidates are either crooked shysters, dangerous narcissists or Marxian kooks.

    1. Of course it’s possible; in fact I’d say that’s exactly what’s happening. The problem is that the set of people who actively dislike any hint of SoCon is, factually, much more hostile to liberty than the set of people that either are SoCons or are fine with some kind of modus vivendi with the weirdos outside of the politically acceptable window. Merely from a factual standpoint, libertarian efforts to cozy up to this class of people hasn’t fared well and tends to be coopted by establishment or progressive modes of thought and style. For the same phenomena in a different context, witness the evisceration of meaning, content and ultimately membership within mainline denominations after they oriented themselves towards upper-class people of this same mindset.

      1. Merely from a factual standpoint, libertarian efforts to cozy up to this class of people hasn’t fared well and tends to be coopted by establishment or progressive modes of thought and style.

        Good point! I think a lot of right-leaning/socially conservative libertarians are still smarting from the bait and switch sold to them on gay marriage, and they’re not much interested in more of that. The libertarian position on marriage was to get the government out…. all the way until it became politically feasible to get gay marriage codified. Then, all of a sudden, the LP and left-libertarians pulled the rug out from under that position and hopped on board the gay marriage train.* GJ’s position on discrimination law seems almost exactly like that. Principled libertarians have been skeptical of anti-discrimination laws for 50 years, but now the LP and left-libertarians are starting to hop on the anti-discrimination train, and they’re spewing out all the same excuses.

        *Yes, I know that many supported gay marriage from day one, but the point is that they were all about getting government out until it was feasible to “have their pony.”

        1. Exactly that. You describe it perfectly.

        2. Exactly, Trshmnstr — a true commitment to libertarianism comes in to view when it becomes reality.

          The idea of a libertarian complaining of (religious) freedom leading people doing whatever they wanted and uncontrolled freedom or whatever he worried about — like REALLY?

          Sigh …

      2. Libertarians oppose EXTREME socons because — like Ron Paul — they’re fascists who shit on the Constitution with a perverted version of States Rights originating with southern racists and the KKK.

        Technically, the wackos are a minority of even socons.

        1. This is too funny – Hihn calling other people wackos.

          1. WTF
            This is too funny – Hihn calling other people wackos.

            Yeah, Sparky, anybody who shits on the constitution is a wacko. I’m libertarian. Deal with it.
            Also anyone who denies my right of self-defense, and tells me when I’m allowed to read this page … like you did/ That’s a wacko AND a thug,.

            (my tone and boldface in defense of MULTIPLE aggression, by a stalker)

      3. The problem is that the set of people who actively dislike any hint of SoCon is, factually, much more hostile to liberty than the set of people that either are SoCons or are fine with some kind of modus vivendi with the weirdos outside of the politically acceptable window.

        hogwash.
        Objectivists actively dislike any hint of socon, and they are infinitely more libertarian-friendly than the morons in the Trump camp.

        The set of people who are socon are only friendly to liberty to the extent that it’s THEIR liberty. They are all for the rights of straight white christian men to do things that straight white christian men like to do. Including being bigots and assholes to not-whites, non-males, non-straight, and non-christian people.

        Their only mouthing respect for the First Amendment because their dominant cultural position has been threatened for the first time.

        Note the amount of bitching that goes on in those quarters about BLM, Muslims, Mexicans, gays, and feminists. They’re pissed off about everyone who isn’t *just* *like* *them*.

        1. Wow! That was great, Hazel! I hasten to add that not all socons are like that, Probably a minority.

          ran a successful tax revolt and recruited a slate to take over the school board. My greatest supporters, both time and money, were Christian Conservatives. They knew I was an atheist — they always ask! — and didn’t care. That was 30 years ago. I’m still paying them back.

          They have plenty of legitimate issues. if we defended those issues, we’d shut down the Cruz’s and Santorums in less than a year. Living one’s values is what libertarians do. We just use different words.

        2. The set of people who are socon are only friendly to liberty to the extent that it’s THEIR liberty. They are all for the rights of straight white christian men to do things that straight white christian men like to do. Including being bigots and assholes to not-whites, non-males, non-straight, and non-christian people.

          Yes because the First Amendment completely exempted bigots and assholes. #leftLibertarianLogic

          I’m sorry that your candidate doesn’t even excite the fucking libertarian base, Hazel. Hopefully next time, a true libertarian will run as the LP candidate.

          1. Says the fucking anti-govenment thug who has helped destroy our movement.

            And a pathetic liar

            Yes because the First Amendment completely exempted bigots and assholes. #leftLibertarianLogic

            #DumfuckLiar

            1. Jesus, get help you crazy old fuck.

        3. BLM and feminists are decidedly anti libertarian and bigoted themselves, so someone who doesn’t take some issues with them probably isn’t much of a libertarian at all.

          You seem to buy the Gawker party line that conservatism is all about preserving white malt privilege and that bullshit. Blacks in this country are more socially conservative than whites and women decidedly more religious than men, but whatever, I shouldn’t interrupt the narrative.

          1. MarkLastName
            I shouldn’t interrupt the narrative.

            https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6350061

    2. they have NO intention of banning guns or prosecuting people

      they have held the same positions for years

      Hmm…

      I’m mostly with you – I think their intention is to downplay these issues and sound ‘sensible’ and all that – but I don’t think they’re being untruthful or even coy. Weld really does not seem to respect gun rights. Johnson is not just trying to avoid restroom fights, he’s elaborating a whole confused framework to stake a position in the discussion. I think it’s silly to get too caught up in all this, as they’re not going to win and the point is only to get significantly more votes than previous years, but complaints are warranted. Even more so if we are only talking strategy, because between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, why isn’t the LP ticket coming out big on gun rights? They should be getting the GOA or some similar org on their side, motivating voters to check them out.

      1. You make good points. And the only answer I have to your question about gun rights is that given a choice they would rather appeal to disaffected Democrats than disaffected Republicans.

        The funny thing about that is the strategy Nick is endorsing is likely to help Trump get elected as Johnson turns into a bigger drag on Hillary. When reason isn’t losing its mind over the possibility of Trump winning the election, they are telling disaffected Republicans “fuck you we don’t want your support or care about the same issues you do”. I don’t think reason has thought this through very well.

        1. That may be it: They don’t want to see Hillary in the White House again either. So they’re pursuing Gene Cisczewski’s late 20th C. idea to target the Democrats for destruction.

        2. “You make good points. And the only answer I have to your question about gun rights is that given a choice they would rather appeal to disaffected Democrats than disaffected Republicans.”

          That makes no sense. Out of the GOP members who can’t stand their candidate, some are neocons or socons or establishment hacks, to be sure, but many are just opposed to his views on immigration, his comfort with eminent domain, his unreliable support for gun rights, and so on. IOW, people who feel ideologically closer to libertarians than the Trump party. On the other hand, Democrats who can’t stand their candidate are mostly literal fucking communists.

          1. his unreliable support for gun rights

            Trump’s support for gun rights is much more reliable than the last 2 GOP president’s and the last GOP nominee. I’d call it about even with McCain’s.

            Bush I: Gun import ban by executive order, resigned NRA membership in response to criticism of federal agent’s actions at Ruby Ridge (while he was the executive) and Waco.

            Bush II: Same position on AWB as Trump professed in 2000. Never wavered or recanted through two terms.

            McCain: Supported gun control in public statements while a senator. Never voted for any bills. Switched to pro-gun during election seasons.

            Romney: Signed gun bans as governor. Switched position while running for President.

            1. Umm, NO rights are absolute, because they can conflict with each other, That was affirmed in the majority opinion in District of Columbia v Heller.

              “It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service ? M-16 rifles and the like ? may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty,” -Antonin Scalia

              Bottom line, there is NO right to place gun rights above ANY other fundamental right, for over 200 years now. The real task is to challenge whatever right supposedly needs protecting, which can only be in the judiciary.

              1. Umm, NO rights are absolute, because they can conflict with each other

                You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                1. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                  Ummm, unalienable rights cannot be taken away for ANY reason. Dictionary
                  That includes Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness among others
                  Thus they OBVIOUSLY cannot be absolute … but I already explained why.
                  Since you’re still confused. Fundamental rights are limited by other fundamental rights, thus not absolute..
                  Do you know what absolute means?

                  P.S. Regarding gun rights, I have Antonin Scalia. Who do you have?

                  1. Retarded idiot, or just demented? Maybe both.

                    1. NOW my stalker even insults Antonin Scalia
                      Is anyone safe from his cyber-bullying?
                      :

          2. If you’re saying the strategy makec no sense then you are a absolutely correct. I don’t understand why Reason berates the anti-trump right for not getting on the gary train when they do nothing to court them.

            As you point out the strategy is stupid. Reason hasn’t done anything to show that leftist who like hate hillary will lean libertarian. Leftists who are dissafected are dissafected because hillary isnt statist enough. I mean Hillary is campaigning as the beacon of freedom against trump, why can’t GJ even try to make himself a palitable alternatives to conservatives who dislike trump.

            1. Let’s check in wth thw Paulista Cult deep thinkers

              Reason hasn’t done anything to show that leftist who like hate hillary will lean libertarian

              They don;t have to, and nobody ever stated your blatant strawman fallcy, The SOCIAL liberals are OBVIOUSLY worth mining for libertarians.

              Leftists who are dissafected are dissafected because hillary isnt statist enough

              You said that in public? On a libertarian website?

        3. There are quite a few disaffected Democrats who care quite a bit about gun rights. I work with several of them.

          1. Me too. Several are FLAMING liberals on fiscal issues … tend to be socially liberal, this VERY approachable by libertarianism..

            1. Should be “THUS very approachable …”

    3. Our anti-gummint faction suffers SEVERE denial of reality … akin to Birthers — by REFUSING to see the definition of libertarian has been fiscally conservative and socially liberal since 1969.

      That makes no sense in a deep tribal cave, if one believes that Ron Paul’s cult is somehow libertarian, when he’s really a stalking horse for the Christian Taliban. His perverted view of states rights was invented by southern racists as an excuse to reject federal protection of constitutional and fundamental rights. Today, homophobes and various other bigots really believe that they’re just follwo9ng thre constitution. They are EAGER to be brainwashed as were southern goobers after emancipation.

      So, because the cult has attracted mostly statists, many are totally befuddlled on the entire issue of social liberalism (tolerance). Some even claim that gay marriage is an assault on THEIR liberties Yes, precisely that wacky. Government should be OUT of marriage and IN marriage, both at he same time, an egregious assault on equal rights.

      So Gary is out there, all alone, with NOTHING behind him. Not a single policy that makes sense.

      1. I’m waiting for you to explain how one can be fiscally conservative and ‘pro-gummint.’

        1. MarkLastName
          I’m waiting for you to explain how one can be fiscally conservative and ‘pro-gummint

          Another bullshit assumption. I’m waiting for you to stop your lies and stalking.

          This is link shows how easily anti-gummint goobers were bamboozled.
          https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6350061

          How best to sell liberty has had two factions since the very beginning. Pro-liberty vs anti-government, Liberty lovers vs government haters. I’ve showbn PART of anti-gummint’s threat to liberty in this thread.

          Liberty lovers follow what even 20-year-old kids know as good salesmanship – sell the benefits, not the features.

          Shall we develop policies and programs, show voters how liberty works better for them, and move toward liberty? Or snarl about ebil gummint, wave our arms and propose nonsense like Ron Paul’s cult.

          Anti-gummint libertarians ridicule positive programs as “watered down” libertarianism. Why?
          Because they have NO FUCKING CLUE how to sell liberty to voters, which means ,.. wait for it …
          THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW OR WHY LIBERTY WORKS BETTER .. NO IDEA HOW TO SELL ANYTHING … except that gummint is ebil (irrelevant anyhow)

          Yes it is. But THEY have no idea how to dismantle government … not one fucking clue.
          the unwitting co-conspirators with the government they hate.
          A cult

          1. Try responding around the time he actually posted, you corpse-fucking demented old lunatic.

            1. WTF
              Try responding around the time he actually posted, you corpse-fucking demented old lunatic.

              First you say you don’t allow me to defend myself.
              Now I need your permission to be on the website?
              Fuck off, thug.

  9. “Tracinski is explicit that the attitude stuff related to culture war issues about discrimination and guns is more important to him than spending or budgets or the growth of government. This might indicate that Gillespie was right all along that people worried Johnson isn’t Libertarian enough… are less than serious about libertarianism or even conservatism in its best sense.”

    Maybe this is another Rorschach test but I can’t quite follow that line. I’d say one’s liberties (culture war issues) are indeed more important from a libertarian point of view than spending and budgets. Especially at this point. To go to an extreme, what’s the point of focusing on balancing the budget if it’s going to help maintain an increasingly unlibertarian world?

    I’m probably missing something here though.

    1. I don’t see how anyone who doesn’t care about gun rights is serious about freedom.
      Serious question; does anyone on the reason staff even own a gun? None of them seem to be religious. It is not surprising that reason is so happily willing to walk away from two rights their staff neither understands or cares about on any personal way.

      Notice reason has the token gay out covering the gay beat but would never in a million years think to hire someone to cover religious freedom or gun rights in the way Shackford covers gay rights.

      1. Notice reason has the token gay out covering the gay beat but would never in a million years think to hire someone to cover religious freedom or gun rights in the way Shackford covers gay rights.

        Uh, they don’t? Isn’t religious freedom Slade’s beat? Granted that she doesn’t have as many articles as other writers, but I don’t know whether that’s Reason’s decision or not. As for guns, they had 2chilly, and there is still the occasional article from him. I mean, you could argue that there’s a definitely progward slant just due to how many articles are sourced from which writers, but less prog-leaning voices are still around.

        1. I don’t know who owns guns, but they have several writers who write fairly regularly on gun rights. Sullum and Doherty in particular.

      2. I’d like Shackford to one day cover plural marriage rights, but he seems too square & conventional.

        1. Premature.

      3. Smart money says H&R commenters are better marksmen than Reason editors.

        1. Smart money says H&R commenters are better marksmen than Reason editors.

          Says the guy who celebrates feeding humans into woodchippers
          And your logic is kinda poor

          https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6349454

      4. Serious question; does anyone on the reason staff even own a gun?

        Why would they have to?

        None of them seem to be religious

        Why would they have to be?

        reason is so happily willing to walk away from two rights

        Your bigotry is exceeded only by your ignorance of unalienable rights.
        Because fundamental rights are “unalienable” NONE of them can be taken away for ANY reason.
        That means they’re all precisely equal, Rigjht? Check a dictionary. Any dictionary.

        For you to demand special privileges for YOUR favorite rights is .;. precisely what progressives do.
        So you’re both anti-constitutional statists, merely in competing tribes.
        Any questions?

        1. Way to completely miss the point, jackass.

          1. 17th aggression on this page. So far.
            Tell us the point so I can ridicule you, too.

  10. “[Johnson] thinks the hill of the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason in a way that contravenes *existing civil rights law* is a terrible political position for a Libertarian to be in.” [emphasis added]

    Seriously? You think that compulsory Nazi cakes are part of “existing civil rights law”?

    As for “anti-gay” and “anti-trans” discrimination, there’s a big battle right now over whether that’s covered by existing civil rights law. And the President has been using his power to appoint federal bureaucrats to obtain administrative decisions in favor of the “pro-gay” and “pro-trans” interpretation.

    So much for the claim that the President can’t affect the laws in this area.

    And Weld isn’t simply agreeing with existing gun laws, he’s calling for new ones – and there is in fact a debate going on about whether we should have new gun laws.

    Again – it’s one thing for a pragmatic libertarian to decide he isn’t going to challenge existing law on, say, race discrimination or guns. But for a supposed libertarian to demand *new* laws and regulations – that goes *way* beyond pragmatism and becomes actively working against liberty.

    (cont.)

    1. And what assurance do we have that Johnson will balance the budget? The fact that he said he would? The fact that he balanced the budget under a state Constitution which requires voter approval for any public debt over $200,000?

      If a candidate says on one hand that he’s totally going to make radical budget cuts, but when it comes to actual programs he calls for expanding rather than cutting them, what are we to think?

      Johnson wants more protected classes under the Civil Rights laws, which means more money for enforcement. His handpicked running mate wants new gun laws, which means a bigger BATF budget, plus a federal “jobs program” to “help” black people.

      When do the budget cuts begin?

      1. Oh, I beg your pardon, according to this, the New Mexico constitution authorizes the state to “contract debts to suppress insurrection and to provide for the public defense.”

        So I guess Johnson can take credit for keeping New Mexico’s military-industrial complex under control.

      2. And what assurance do we have that Johnson will balance the budget? –> 750 vetoes

        1. I’m sincerely curious – would the bills he vetoed have unbalanced the budget?

          1. Feel free to do your own research.

            1. If I absolutely have to…I was hoping his supporters might have some links at their fingertips explaining how the New Mexico legislature was just like Congress and was unbalancing the budget in the same way.

              1. Here we go

                739 vetoes, or nearly 800 if you count line-items (which Johnson doesn’t).

                Pete Wilson and Ahnuld seem to be the only governors during this era who vetoed more bills, but then California has more bills to veto.

                “Johnson’s vetoes covered a wide range of different legislative proposals, including, for example, state funding for new museums, additional municipal judges in New Mexico cities, amendments to state liquor laws and a request for funding to cover “interim and pre-session expenses of the legislature.””

      3. But for a supposed libertarian to demand *new* laws and regulations – that goes *way* beyond pragmatism and becomes actively working against liberty.

        Nobody’s doing that. Since you people lie through your teeth, here are the facts.

        Have you seen his op-ed praising the deal negotiated by the leaders THE MORMON CHURCH and the LGBT community? Yes, Mormons and queers, goobers.

        THAT is liberty,. MUTUAL CONSENT. The most conservative state government in America arranged it, accepted by Mormon and LGBT

        No new laws. Sorry.

      4. And what assurance do we have that Johnson will balance the budget? The fact that he said he would?

        As always, you’re full of shit. He said he’d SUBMIT one. He’s running for President, not Emperor.

    2. You think that compulsory Nazi cakes are part of “existing civil rights law”?

      Coming from a guy who explicitly said that he’d put me in jail because my concept of marriage is different than his, the use of the term “civil rights” is hilarious.

        1. I recall supporting criminal prosecutions for adultery, but I also recall changing my mind and saying the wronged spouse should be limited to *civil* remedies, like suits for criminal conversation and alienation of affection.

          Also, I don’t see how what I said on this topic has any relevance to whether compulsory Nazi cakes are required by existing civil rights law.

          Apparently you hope to get me into a debate on this subject and hope people forget you haven’t responded to my original point.

          1. Well, much as I’d love to get into a debate about the evolution of my views on the adultery laws (and I’m sure it would be a very civil debate, filled with “you’re lying!” and “you want to put me in prison for my beliefs in marriage!” “yes you do, stop lying!”), let me get back to the question I originally asked:

            Are compulsory Nazi cakes are part of “existing civil rights law”?

            1. Do we also need civil remedies for people who cheat at Monopoly?

              Haha, I’m sorry I’m just amazed that a person identifying as libertarian could favor state sanctioned punishment for adultery, criminal or civil. Can a guy at least due his wife for refusing to have sex with him under your regime?

              1. I’m just amazed that a person identifying as libertarian could favor state sanctioned punishment for adultery

                It’s called Breach of Contract … and it’s YOU who assume criminal instead of civil

                He asked for a civil debate. You attacked (falsely)

              2. MarkLastname|8.21.16 @ 8:56PM|#
                Do we also need civil remedies for people who cheat at Monopoly?

                How is that breech of contract? Why do you repeatedly sneer at Sanctity of Contract?

            2. Why do Christians get special privileges?

      1. It’s still a valid point. It is not part of civil rights law as it has historically existed. From someone who brags about being a scientist you seem to have a real problem with logical fallacies.

  11. Brian, what you are missing is the impact of Weld’s disinterest–if you want to call it that–in banning guns, it is his appointments to the SCOTUS that will have the same effect that bother me. In an interview with Nicky, Johnson said he would somewhat defer to Weld on nominations to the SCOTUS. Weld said in the next sentence that he thought the anti-Gunner Breyer was great. He thought Obama’s anti-Gunner nominee Garland was also great.

    So J & W don’t need to ban guns, just nominate those who Weld thinks are just peachy, and we have will have the individual right, just validated by Heller and McDonald, striped from us so fast your barrel won’t even have time to cool.

    That is what I worry about regarding the 2nd Amendment.

    1. And, yes, to me that is *far* more important than a Federal balanced budget — which is structurally impossible with our current Federal Behemoth regardless of who is President. With 435+100+2+9 Ron Paul’s it could be done, but figure those odds.

    2. MORE bullshit about Weld and guns??

      What he REALLY said, which is true, is how easy it is to convert AR-15s and AK-47s into fully automatic “machine guns” You know, right, that they fire 600 rounds per minute?

      Justice Scalia said that banning “dangerous and unusual weapons” would be constitutional, specifically mentioning the M-16. As an originalist, he always noted that that the “militia” mentioned in the Amendmen consisted of citizens bringing the weapons it was normal to have in the home.

      And, of course, Reagan supported a ban on “assault weapons.”

      So … you guys’ hate screeds and hysteria about Weld … he’s with Reagan and Scalia!!

      1. The only way to see what weapons are normal as time, tech, and preferences change is to allow all weapons so that one can measure what is “normal.” But even if you determine what is normal now, once you ban the non-normal you have, through state action, prevented them from becoming normal through changes in use and preference by the end users. Thus, any ban of non-normal becomes artificially true and thereby arbitrary which is by definition an illegitimate use of power.

        1. How does any of that — whatever it means– compare with Justice Scalia’s argument?
          It’s crackers to slip a rozzer, the dropsy in snide.

    3. Fucking Weld agrees with Antonin Scalia, Hang the bastard!

    4. “Freedom Advocate” thinks Vice Presidents nominate Supreme Court Justices.
      And MAY be ignorant enough to believe gun rights are absolute … when NO rights are absolute.
      So the seek “special treatment” for their own favorite rights, above all other rights, the same statism promoted by extreme progressives ,, and by extreme socons …. and various smaller statist cohorts.
      Since when is that Freedom?

      What does it tell us when even Antonin Scalia called them out. Imagine that, too extreme for Justice Scalia!

    1. Public Policy Polling (PPP) on Tuesday released its Texas poll data ? an offbeat new survey ? and found that only 2 percent would vote for Stein. Harambe also garnered 2 percent of supporters in this unconventional poll.

      Dicks out for Dr. Jill Stein.

      1. I would honestly pay $5 a month for access to your Youtube history and ‘recommended’ lists.

        Because i just don’t understand how you seem to maintain a steady stream of ‘intense batshit’, while mine is a pretty tepid mix of “car-related stuff“, humor, fight-sports, and funk 45s.

  12. People don’t like to told to go fuck themselves … news at 11!!!

  13. Are Attitudes About Discrimination and Guns More Important Than Policy About Spending?

    It certainly seems that way for some people.

    1. Why aren’t they for you? What other rights are you willing to give up in the name of fiscal responsibility? If Johnson came out against the sacred gay marriage would you be okay with that? What if he came out in favor of Citizen United?

  14. I suspect that the Johnson campaign’s “focus” on religious freedom and other culture war issues is more a creation of the media than of Johnson himself. They toss him culture war questions to put him in a bind, while ignoring his economic platform, which I suspect would be more broadly popular with the electorate.

    So, Johnson is asked a bunch of questions about religious freedom because the left-wing media knows the libertarian principled stance would normally make them opposed to (much of) the Civil Rights Act, which is broadly popular, and a “right” answer gives the left a license to forever tar him as racist (see, e.g. Barry Goldwater), while the “wrong” answer gives the right and many libertarians a reason to dislike him. Gary’s actual position – supporting the Utah compromise – has been somewhat under reported.

    And he is asked questions about guns because the “right” answer similarly makes him look “un-moderate”, when the more moderate position (i.e. guns for me, not for you, or guns for some but not for them) is very common, while the “wrong” answer pisses off another large swath of Americans.

    1. Part II

      Meanwhile, how many times has Clinton been asked about abortion, for example? Her “right” answer would be quite extreme and piss of many Americans, who are, again, quite moderate on the issue, but her “wrong” answer would piss off the activists who actually enthusiastically support her.

      Now, you may not care about the left-wing media, but they play an unfortunate gate-keeper role in demarcating “mainstream” from “fringe,” and Gary’s ability to get the LP into mainstream this year may provide longer-term dividends.

    2. How do you explain his proposed expansion of protected classes; his position on compulsory Nazi cakes?

      How popular is *that* with the public? It’s certainly not in the law.

      1. I am not all that familiar with the former, to be honest. You mean transgendered people? And the latter I am not going to defend – it was a very weird statement and have no idea how it would poll. And he walked it back. My point is, has anyone asked Trump or Clinton about the Nazi wedding cakes? Would the first thing a Johnson presidency would do be to prod congress to pass a law mandating Nazi cakes? How many questions has Johnson got on foreign policy? That’s something a president actually controls and Johnson is miles ahead better than HRC and maybe Trump (but who knows with him? sad.)

        1. You seemed to me to be saying this is like Rand Paul’s speculation about repealing the Civil Rights Act altogether, and legalizing private racial discrimination.

          This is *already* covered by existing laws.

          In contrast, Johnson wants to bring the civil rights laws into new territory, by adding gays, transpeople, and apparently Nazis to the list of protected classes.

          Maybe that’s swell idea, maybe it’s the wave of the future and we should all just sit back and enjoy it.

          But it’s not the same as if he’d simply said, “no, I don’t want to repeal the Civil Rights Act.”

  15. Weld did acknowledge to Nick Gillespie in an interview for Reason that to try to ban them now would create an instant 30 million or so felons.

    I didn’t catch that interview.

    Does Weld think a more slower approach is in order?

    1. Johnson and Weld have also made this point in (IIRC) at least the most recent CNN Town Hall, the Fusion Forum, and several rallies. The video is out there on YouTube, if you want to watch it. One thing Johnson is very consistent on is that we don’t need more laws that make good, law-abiding people into criminals, and we already have a few that need to be repealed or radically reformed (pot prohibition, for example, or the byzantine immigration policy). He has, on multiple occasions, expressed that it is better for people to be free to make their own decisions about their own lives and property. He delivers these particular statements with more passion and apparent sincerity than many other things he says, and on the basis of them, I judged him as essentially libertarian at heart, and “more than good enough” as an LP POTUS candidate in 2012; nothing since has made me change that opinion.

  16. Slightly OT, but you people constantly bitch about the LP candidates(and a lot of it is warranted), but it’s still annoying from my perspective.

    God, to have a candidate like Johnson up here. How do you think liberty-minded Canadians feel? The last election we got to choose between the local representatives of the shitbag Blue, corrupt android, the shitbag Christian socialists, the shitbag and delusional hippie party, and Prime Minister Zoolander. And Rufus gets all those choices, and the shitbag French nationalists. The Libertarian Party of Canada is run in a largely incompetent fashion and only got 0.2% of the vote, the best it’s ever been, and it still only ran seventy candidates.

    Anyway, what’s my point? I guess I’m jealous.

      1. Costa Rica is just great all around. Damn, I miss being there.

      2. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’d like that even more. It’s just frustrating when my libertarian option up here is “get drunk on election night and avoid the news telling you how you’re going to get fucked for the next couple years”.

    1. Lauren Southern > Garry Johnson, so they should envy us.

      We’ll of course skip over the whole “removed by LP leadership, reinstated by member pressure, leadership got into hissy fit over it” thing.

      1. And that incident is one of the many, many ways our LP constantly fucks up for no good reason.

        1. *shrug* You were talking candidates.

          If we want to talk our version of LP, I will say that this is what the US LP will look like if they keep pushing Johnson-type thinking (we want low taxes, but lefties are uniformly right on culture war issues).

          1. I wouldn’t say that Southern is a very good poster child for libertarianism either. She definitely can’t articulate libertarian principles in a solid philosophical manner, it’s more of a general political appeal and pissing off social justice types. But whatever, she’s 21, she’ll mature.

            I also should have clarified that my position is less about the candidates themselves and more “holy shit I’ve love the possibility of the LP getting 10% of the vote up here and actually running candidates in every district.”

            1. She definitely can’t articulate libertarian principles in a solid philosophical manner, it’s more of a general political appeal and pissing off social justice types.

              As I said, Johnson doesn’t articulate anything in philosophical manner either, and he is extremely careful NOT to piss off Social Justice types, while showing that he will grind Stupid Religious Types into the dust.
              I can’t see any difference between him and The Economist‘s editorial stance, guns included. “Yes we love private enterprise, provided it’s correctly regulated. We also live in The Society, which means We Must Have Rules, as determined by Us The Wise, that worthless masses will follow.”

              1. I wasn’t saying Johnson was some great candidate, only that Southern is only superior because, let’s face it, she’s hot and pisses off social justice types. She comes off as a little too comfortable on The Rebel sometimes.

                Look, I don’t think Johnson’s actually going to win. I think this will probably be his last run for the Presidency. I don’t think his or Weld’s positions are going to be carried over next election. But he’s the best out of a collection of truly garbage picks, and has an opportunity to get the libertarian name out there. He’s not really doing a good job with it, but it’s still a massive improvement to the way the LP handles itself up here.

                1. I guess the TL;DR version is “Goddammit, you people complain about having a bad liberty candidate, and you’re right, but I’d love just having a liberty candidate, no matter how bad.”

                  Guess it comes with having to spoil my ballot in every election I’ve ever participated in.

                  1. I guess the TL;DR version is “Goddammit, you people complain about having a bad liberty candidate, and you’re right, but I’d love just having a liberty candidate, no matter how bad.”

                    On this you have my sword. This is how I feel when I see comments on primary system various ‘measure 3240’ things come up. How I wish us plebs up here were allowed to bind Our Betters at the ballot box. But no, on the rare occasion when we are allowed to have input, we inevitably prove that we can’t be trusted (in BC, abolishing HST and keeping FPTP electoral system) and thus we need less and less democracy up here.

        2. For no reason at all I gave to the LP party of Canada earlier this year.

    2. Nailed it JT.

      1. I want to add, I’m not sure what American libertarians are bitching about. They’re close to achieving a big moment in the movement’s history. I understand all this purity stuff and that GJ may just be libby-light but he DOES identify with OUR side. I say our because what happens in the USA has a huge impact on Canada and I for one hope GJ has a good showing – warts and all.

        Stop whining and get behind him Yanks.

        1. ” Stop whining and get behind him Yanks.”
          Definitely a euphemism.

  17. I am no fan of GJ, but the point of this article is interesting to me. It is true that the Budget is the most important issue of our election, and everyone gives lip service to it in pursuit of their other holy cows.

    The only time Hillary talks about the budget is to club Rich people over the head with new taxes in pursuit of social justice. Trump never talks about it unless he is forced to.

    This is like my wife and I fighting over whether or not our children should go to Little Worldmakers Prep or Bright Minds Academy, while our credit cards are maxed out.

    Libertarians- all US citizens for that matter- should be sick by the way the news media, social justice warriors, so-cons and others dominate our headlines with these wedge issues when they wouldn’t even be possible if the US Budget were severely curtailed.

    Remember when “Fuck you, CUT SPENDING!” was a thing?

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree that gun rights and freedom of association are real issues. But there will ALWAYS be real issues concerning government intrusion into some hot wedge issue while government spending represents 36% of our GDP. There are just too many places government meddles, that it will always gall the most vocal people.

    1. The budget *is* important but cannot be addressed without talking entitlements and defense spending.

      To his credit, Johnson has mentioned this in passing.

      Not to his credit, his campaign has not put the spotlight on at least one of these things and has said at least a few things that contradict this idea (for example, wanting to fight ISIS ain’t gonna drop that national defense budget any).

      Even the fucking Bush re-election had some focus on reforming Social Security.

      So when the LP guy is doing such an awful job on 2nd Am and religious freedom, don’t pretend that I’m supposed to get excited that Johnson talks about entitlement reform slightly less than Bush Jr.

      1. I still remember the first time I really thought, “You know, these Libertarians are onto something.” I was reading Harry Browne’s campaign site back in 2000, I guess.

        On his “Issues” page he had short, 1 or 2 paragraph blurbs about everything from abortion to environmentalism to gay rights. And almost every one of them brought its argument back to how these unjust uses of government overreach had a monetary impact.

        Absolutely, we have to address entitlement spending. But no one will talk about it. No one. And when someone does bring it up, all people do (here or in the media) is reflexively point out how impractical it is to talk about entitlements.

        1. Where’s the fun in that? There’s much more moral preening to be done by nick and company fighting the culture war and the ‘nam, man.

      2. You don’t get it. Fighter Jetz. FIGHTER JETZ, man!!!!

  18. Even though like so many things in our constitutional divided powers republic, spending is not something our president controls, it’s something he has far more influence and say in than in his personal attitudes that the kind of anti-discrimination law we’ve had for many decades is not something he’s interested in rolling back, or that the vice president is uncomfortable with guns.

    I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Yes, executive power has expanded dramatically over the last couple of decades, but spending is still kind of the baileywick of Congress. The President does seem to have significant influence in areas of anti-discrimination law– like what we’ve seen with the executive re-interpreting Title IX, and of course since the executive appoints judges, can certainly apply considerable “english” on the process of things like Gay Rights etc.

    Immigration law which can certainly be considered “an area” where discrimination is present, is wholly under the control of the executive, insofar as the INS is concerned.

  19. Of what use is it for the 1,000 or so “hard core” libertarians who cannot support Johnson to withhold their votes?
    They won’t be missed in the grand total. Instead, maybe they should run hard core races in their state and local areas and prove how much better principled Libertarian candidates are at getting the voters to listen. A case could be made, I suppose, for the LP espousing nothing more than hard core but I doubt it would include winning any elections beyond uncontested park and rec positions. If, say, the will to raise s.s. retirement age by a year or two cannot be accomplished, what tremendous levels of education and political action will be necessary to abolish s.s.?

  20. They just want a guy who shares their predilections on a couple of issues that mark them firmly as “not left.”

    Social signaling: not just for progtards.

    1. Neither is single issue voting. If you don’t care about gun rights enough to vote on them, perhaps others do

  21. So we have Tracinski very explicitly saying that merely knowing that these guys have attitudes about those two issues that are signficant “progs v. right-winger” culture war considerations that rub him the wrong way is more important to him than something that is actually a core part of the president’s role…

    Oh bullshit — are you trying to tell me that Clinton/Obama had NO control over the cultural changes that were forced upon this country at gun point? Seriously? Just because it ain’t important to you does not mean it is not important — funny how when the rubber meets the road, so-called “libertarians” sell out freedom.

    Hypocrites.

    Funny, one man’s “choice” is another man’s “discrimination.” To some, choice goes beyond killing babies.

    You will NEVER get freedom go guns or economics from the left, but feel free to try …

    1. are you trying to tell me that Clinton/Obama had NO control over the cultural changes that were forced upon this country at gun point?

      I’m pretty sure that Obama’s Dept of Education ginned up the whole ‘Rape Culture’ and Title IX insanity entirely out of the “Dear Colleague” letters. it was like a shot across the bow that said “we will back up any batshit-crazy culture-warrior demands” with threats to remove funding.

  22. Mr. Doherty, I’m largely inclined to agree with you. But, I think you do overlook the role of the White House in selecting the judiciary. As much as the president has a lot more power over the budget than gay wedding cakes or gun bans, his picks for the judiciary do have a lot of influence over those other things. And everything we’ve heard to date from Johnson (deferring to Weld, the model of justices he’d claim to pick) tells us that those picks would be less than optimal from either a conservative perspective or a liberty perspective.

  23. Watch the video of the other night’s rally in Las Vegas. It seems to me as if Johnson/Weld are hearing the criticisms and are trying to communicate more clearly and connect more solidly with the libertarian base, even as they are courting a broader constituency. For instance, Johnson made clear that he and Weld must operate under constitutional limitations, implying that there are a number of things they might like to do, or a number of things libertarians would be afraid they might do, which cannot happen without (unlikely) support and cooperation from other branches of government, mostly Congress. Johnson wants the Fair Tax or something like it, but unless Congress gives him a bill to implement it, nothing will happen. He did say that he would submit a balanced budget, encourage 20% real spending cuts across the board, and veto tax increases. On guns, he expressed support for the 2nd Amendment and the individual RKBA, but said that we should at least be open to the discussion of how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and (potential) terrorists. On religious liberty — people’s right to worship as they choose and to practice their religion — he said he supports it, especially via legislation, such as in Utah, which upholds religious freedom without letting that excuse be used as a convenient cover for discrimination (which he said he is against). The messaging seems clearer than I remember from the Town Halls, or even from the Reno rally, awhile back.

  24. They aren’t insufficiently anti-left. They are too far left.

    Stick your carbon tax up your ass. Also, fuck you, you cant have my guns, especially my converted to automatic Springfield M1903.

  25. RE: Are Attitudes About Discrimination and Guns More Important Than Policy About Spending?

    This question is the reason why we desperately need a socialist totalitarian state with a person that is willing to end all discussion about any controversy. The right person will only discriminate against doubters and counter-revolutionaries that question the wise and benign policies of The State. A good leader will confiscate all firearms from the untermenschen. This way, the law abiding citizens of The State will be disarmed and be at the mercy of violent criminals and The state. Spending the little people’s money will not be questioned, even after the national treasury has been emptied for decades. Policy is what Dear Leader says it will be. Our lives will be simplified as we work to make our socialist masters happy, rich and content as they oppress, terrorize, murder and incarcerate us all until there is no one left but them. Those are the goals of the Glorious Peoples Revolution, and if you do not accept these wonderful and humane ideals, then you must be some sort of unenlightened capitalist pig who still clings to the archaic beliefs of a free market, financial freedom and independence from The State. If that is the case, we socialist slavers cannot help you.

    1. Hey, what could go wrong?

  26. “… I’m pretty sure from conversations I’ve had with him that the root of his stated attitudes about discrimination and religious liberty is, in the first place, that he thinks leaving business people the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason they want will lead to harms he doesn’t want to see happen. And in the second place, he thinks the hill of the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason in a way that contravenes existing civil rights law is a terrible political position for a Libertarian to be in.”

    First, are the harms Johnson does not want to see happen anything the government has any business correcting? If Johnson thinks it does, it has some disturbing implications as to what he thinks the role of government is and the scope of its powers.

    On the second point, it easy to defend rights when everybody likes how people are exercising them, but 1st Amendment protections are for unpopular beliefs. Somehow, the leftist culture war stances have corrupted the classical liberal stance of “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” to “I hate what you say, and even if I thought you had a right to say it, I would not taint myself by admitting it!”

    I would prefer Johnson’s position was the first, at least you know where he stands. The second position is just craven.

  27. After skimming I have to add this: Guns are not an issue in the culture war. They are the foundation of every freedom we enjoy to whatever degree we enjoy them. Take the guns and all of those freedoms disappear in less than a generation.

    We have the most loathsome creature possible in the center of the political stage and she cant wait to get her claws on the levers of power. Does anyone really think the will stop at prosecuting just global warming deniers? Stop at penalizing just companies that try to leave the country? Not sell out her country more than she already has? How will she treat an unarmed and helpless population that she clearly despises?

    This is not a culture war issue. No one ever wanted to disarm you and make you helpless for your own good.

    1. That depends on the definition of culture war.

      If “culture war” issue means “irrelevant distraction,” then guns are not a culture war issue, and neither is the right to life, freedom of association, or freedom of religion, or the rule of law. These are all basic disputes about fundamental human rights.

      So either we shrink the term “culture war” and limit it to periodic disputes about confederate flags in the gift shops of national parks (which *is* a fairly irrelevant issue), in which case it no longer covers most of the things people mean when they use the term…

      or we just admit that “culture war” means “a dispute where the side I’m not on should just shut up already.”

    2. You can call it whatever the fuck you want. Try to take my guns and you will die. Any quesrions?

      1. Yeah? You would fit in pretty well around here JB. Most of the people around here won’t just make a fist if someone tries to take their guns, they will do the same if they see someone trying to take their neighbor’s guns.

        1. Oh yeah… I’m totally there. Not happening on my watch.

          1. Thing is that I’m betting most of the military is on board with us as well so…

      2. BTW… I’m talking to all ADs not just you Preet.

    3. Um, this is a little melodramatic. The 1st amendment, not the 2nd, is the foundation for all the others, and frankly is more necessary to safeguard the 2nd than the 2nd is for safeguarding the 1st.

      Seriously, gun control isn’t nearly a harbinger of totalitarianism that curbing free speech is, and if the country is ever in immediate danger of succumbing to totalitarianism, private gun owners aren’t the thing that’ll stop it. They’ll have bigger guns, better armed, and tanks and fighter jets and whatnot. Not to sound pessimistic, but the idea of private gun ownership as a broad safeguard against tyranny is probably outdated by a century or so.

      1. All unalienable rights are precisely equal, because none of them can be taken away for any reason.
        The founders did not play mind games, weighing rights against each other. The assumed all fundamental rights are precisely equal, per 400 years of so of common law, and Jefferson’s Declaration.

        This, too, is severely misguided:.

        https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6350073

  28. Welds views on guns are purely retarded. Regardless of whether you are pro or anti gun being for the assault weapons bans as written would be like suggesting we should eliminate high powered race cars from our streets by banning racing stripes and number stickers on car doors. You have to be fucking retarded to suggest this which makes Weld fucking retarded.

  29. Fact is Hillary Clinton will be next president so most of these conversations are mute except whether or not Johnson/Weld is sufficiently representing libertarianism. It’s clearly a mixed bag.

    1. so most of these conversations are mute

      Oh, if only…

      1. I’m very tempted to tune out until it’s all over.

  30. OT:

    “US says $400M to Iran was contingent on release of prisoners”
    […]
    “The Obama administration said Thursday that a $400 million cash payment to Iran seven months ago was contingent on the release of a group of American prisoners.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol…..171242.php

    But it wasn’t ransom-ransom. And Hillary’s server was tots secure. And no one bought her blue-light specials on political access when she was SoS.
    It beginning to look like Obo and that hag don’t have to open their mouths to lie.

  31. “Let’s look at Tracinski’s concerns, which he thinks for unstated reason are of more “direct practical import” in a presidential aspirant than spending, taxing, and debt.”

    I think part of what’s driving this is that cutting spending has been pushed outside the scope of the Overton window.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

    When you get to the edge between “acceptable” and “radical” in the Overton window, there’s a bit of overlap between what is acceptable discourse and what is acceptable to do.

    I’d argue that cutting spending is in this area today. Even establishment Republicans who will say they’re in favor of cutting spending (acceptable) don’t expect anyone to actually cut spending–because that’s too radical to actually do.

  32. In other words, there may be another window, that overlaps with the Overton window, built on a scale of plausibility. Banning guns used to be something that the Democratic leadership thought was okay to talk about but was too radical to actually do. It’s no longer that way. The Democrat leadership really would ban guns if they could.

    Meanwhile, the Republican Party has gone from thinking of spending cuts as implausible–even if it’s okay to talk about, that’s something too radical for them to actually do. So when you read establishment candidates ranking one issue against another like that–gun bans vs. spending cuts–what we may be really talking about is the plausibility of one vs. the other.

    If the Republican leadership and their pundits think cutting spending is actually implausible but the threat of gun bans are entirely plausible, then they may think sticking up for gun rights is more important. But it isn’t the issue itself they’re ranking–it’s the plausibility of banning guns vs. the plausibility of cutting spending that’s being ranked. One of those may be more likely to happen than the other.

  33. I guess the question is – would President Gary Johnson hold the line in favor of a balanced budget, vetoing the unbalanced budgets and “forcing a government shutdown.” This time the shutdown won’t be painted as the fault of Congress – every leftist in America and many “conservatives” and “moderates” will blame Johnson for endangering the country with his radical austerity blah blah.

    The only people supporting him in that situation will be on the right. His old supporters in the Bernie movement will be denouncing him vehemently.

    Would he be able to endure the loss of all his left-wing supporters?

    1. Why would they support him? He doesn’t give a shit about the issues they care about.

      If Johnson were to win, the left would turn on him in a minute. He would not have a friend in the world.

      1. Leftist opposition is a given.

        I’m wondering if Johnson would take them on and fight for a balanced budget.

        I just read about his Las Vegas speech where he promises to…submit a balanced budget to Congress.

        Which to me seems to mean he’ll just phone it in…”oops, I sent a balanced budget, but gosh, the budget they ended up passing *isn’t* balanced. Well, I did what I could…[signs unbalanced budget].”

        1. Umm, Presidential vetoes can be overriden. Even Ayn Rand rejected this nonsense
          “Voluntary taxation will be the last step, not the first, toward a free society. The last reform to attempt, not the first.”

          So if anyone wants to attack Gary for being as big as pussy as Ayn Rand …. I’m rolling of the floor with laughter, tears streaming down my cheeks.

  34. For years Libertarians swore up and down that just because they supported gay marriage didn’t mean they supported public accommodation laws. Now we not only have gay marriage and all the predictions about its effects on religious freedom are true, but also the LP candidate e Dorsey’s public accommodation laws and rejects religious freedom.

    Tell me again how Libertarians care about anything but pot Mexicans and sodomy?

      1. Someone who thinks adultery should be illegal isn’t in a position to lecture anyone about libertarianism.

        1. MarkLatName
          Someone who thinks adultery should be illegal isn’t in a position to lecture anyone about libertarianism

          1) That’s not what he said, Senator McCarthy
          2) Someone who commits REPEATED verbal aggression and dishonesty, is not in a position to lecture anyone about libertarianism.
          3) Especially when they display such staggering gullibility to mindless propaganda as seen here

          https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6350039

          I can anticipate your confusion. PHYSICAL aggression is illegal and violates a fundamental libertarian principle, the initiation of force

          Verbal aggression is allowable, but springs from the identical mentality. Lunching unprovoked attacks is aggression, by definition, also know as bullying, thuggery, intimidation, forms of slander and the like.

          So feel free to defend your right to verbally attack people.
          .

    1. Ahhhh…. sodomising Mexicans while getting high… I’d vote for that.

  35. Conservatives continue to write off Johnson/Weld for being insufficiently anti-left.

    Isn’t it called a “straw man” when you try and rebut arguments the other person didn’t actually make? You yourself note that his actual criticisms were GJ/Welds posture on “Religious Liberty” and “guns”. I don’t recall the 1st and 2nd amendments being particularly “Anti-Left”

    Johnson isn’t always the best at digging deep into even his own thought processes

    If someone said this about me, i’d probably kick them in the balls. Its basically saying, “he’s dumb”.

    Its not the best defense, and maybe its not even true.

    I think the truth is probably that “Johnson isn’t all that ideological”. Which is maybe the defense no one wants to make in an ideological debate.

    he thinks the hill of the right to discriminate against anyone for any reason in a way that contravenes existing civil rights law is a terrible political position for a Libertarian to be in.

    simpler = he doesn’t think it will poll well. (with the voters *he wants*)

    The entire section there trying to “clarify” and defend johnson’s “not just wishy-washy, but actually very UN-Libertarian”-position on religious liberty…. frankly, kind of sucks.

    Ignoring Tracinksi for a minute – i think there’s a good point he doesn’t make, which is that Gary’s simply “leaving votes on the table” trying to sell soft-serve Demopublicanism.

    1. Gary’s simply “leaving votes on the table” trying to sell soft-serve Demopublicanism.

      … following on this =

      I think libertarians can (theoretically) sell religious liberty (or Free Association) without being “anti-gay” ( or anti anything)

      I think when you advocate for the principle of free association, it doesn’t require complex contortions like Johnson attempts. It does require some passion for the idea and a willingness to put up with heated disagreement.

      It requires saying that a free society is going to always have people who disagree, and we can’t (and shouldn’t) use the govt to force them all to pretend to play nice. And nothing eradicates racism and intolerance so much as forcing it out into the light of day, which is what free association *does*. The business that says, “Fuck off, we don’t serve your kind” has a lifespan of about 5 minutes in the modern world.

      Do we need Govt to prevent that person from existing in the first place? or do we have enough confidence in each other to allow these people to stand up and declare their prejudices and enjoy the popular consequences?

      Allowing govt that power is essentially mandating “RightThink”. The consquences of which could hurt everyone. and i think the risks of that are far more apparent than the “imagined harms” which so concern Gary.

      1. I think you could sell freedom of association by pointing out all the impositions consistently enforcing public accommodation laws would entail. Forcing Curves and lesbian bars to let men in, etc. and add the condition that if discrimnation becomes unbearable (e.g. Black people cant find a grocery store to buy food within 500 miles) it can be outlawed. But as long as it’s just a minor inconvenience, like

        1. less than 1% of bakers refusing to bake gay wedding cakes, then freedom takes precedent.

          Damned math signs cutting me off.

          1. Why should Christians be a privileged class?

  36. Whether he’s right as a matter of either existing law or practical politics or libertarian principle about any of that is a somewhat interesting question, but almost certainly irrelevant to his actions as president of the United States. At best we know he’s unlikely to take executive action….

    yeah, but here’s the thing Brian.

    he’s *not going to @*()#&$@*) win*

    So his articulated views on these issues are highly relevant to his value as a protest vote. which is the *only* value he has for people who share these basic-libertarian views.

    I’ve quoted this guy a few times, and i still think its a good summary of the problem =

    If you’re thinking of casting a vote for a guy who can’t win, it doesn’t matter what his positions are, really. All that matters is whether he’s gone too far in muddling the message you want to send with that vote. Johnson is, in theory, the candidate of smaller government; in practice, if he’s willing to entertain the idea of appointing another Breyer to the Court, then maybe he isn’t. Is ideological purity unimportant in a protest vote or is it very important since, after all, you’re choosing to forfeit what tiny influence you have over the outcome of the election in order to cast that vote? I’m leaning towards writing in Harambe the dead gorilla for president at this point but it’s something to think about.

  37. People are certainly free to think whatever they want about Johnson/Weld. The problem I have is that if if they had anti-libertarian positions on social issues that tended rightward (gays shouldn’t be allowed to adopt kids, we should intensify the drug war, cops are all heroes and we should eviscerate the fourth amendment to make their jobs easier) many of the same people declaring them unacceptable would be hectoring us about how we have to support them because of their views on the budget. I’m not saying that’s the case with all of the anti-Johnson people, but it’s definitely true for some.

    1. Not sure about that. The Pauls, p’ere et fils, got plenty of support here.

      1. Something about a drowning man and clutching at the blade of a sword.

        Great bit of French there, though. I’ll hold on to that.

  38. Having seen some of the shit progressives say about anyone that disagrees with them, I assign a non-negligible chance that gun rights are standing between me and a death camp right now. Can’t really say that for balancing the budget. Shit, if the government goes broke, it can’t afford death camps. Spend more, says I.

    Discrimination, generically speaking, is inherently a part of that freedom of association — in fact, it is of the essence, otherwise association would be an obligation rather than a freedom. Some types of discrimination are more palatable than others, of course. Freedom to disassociate is the basis for a peaceful, happy society. The only other alternative is forcing people who innately dislike each other together, making both miserable, and making them live under a set of rules that will necessarily feel oppressive to one or the other or possibly both, and which will prompt the party that feels most aggrieved to seek legislative (or, worse, extralegal) revenge rather than maintain a balance.

    1. Fair point It is revealed preference versus stated preference. The people you describe don’t consider those issues that important and are willing to sacrifice them. The same is true however for Nick and gun rights and religious freedom

      1. Yeah, it pretty much comes down to this — an alliance requires that you die on other people’s hills so that they are willing to die on yours. While conservatives and liberals each are, and should be treated as, unreliable allies (at best) for libertarians, actual right-leaning libertarians have shown a willingness to stand up and show support on issues where they have no likely personal stake, whether it be gay rights for straight libertarians, civil rights for white libertarians, drug rights for clean libertarians, or criminal justice reform for law-abiding libertarians. Religious libertarians part ways with socons and stand with people they see as sinners against state violence. The only real exception is abortion, and even there, it’s motivated by different views on how to best respect rights, not in rejecting them.

        But when the time comes to repay the favor with a principled stance on freedom of association or gun rights, left-libertarians say “this isn’t the hill to die on” or “let’s fight the culture war some other day”. With allies like that, who needs enemies? Left-libertarians need to realize that the warning “first they came for the X” doesn’t only apply to left-favored victim groups.

        1. My theory about why Reason is so over to the left on the culture war is because they think the LP actually did something for gay marriage. Nevermind that they pushed it for 40 years and nothing happened but as soon as it bevame a cause of the Dems it happened. Gay Marrige had nothing to do with libertarians, but Reason seems to think so and so they try to focus on what they think has been successful. People want to be with winners and all that.

    2. Talk about locking the barn door after the horse has fled.

      Gun rights are there to defend something. What freedoms are you defending, and what freedoms are you willing to sacrifice to keep your guns?

      A) The right to be a bigot to a bunch of people (Mexicans, Muslims, gays)

      B) The right to engage in free voluntary economic exchange with other people without government interference.

      If you’re sacrificing B, so you can keep your guns to defend A, then, well, I don’t need you as an ally. Fuck off forever.

    3. Having seen some of the shit progressives say about anyone that disagrees with them

      That’s to be expected from those who want government force to obtain special privileges and exemptions, as we see with extreme socons, both in and out of the Paulista Cult,

  39. One problem with Johnson is that he doesn’t seem to think very clearly (pro-forma disclaimer: I would much prefer him to Trump or Clinton.) Several Reason contributors have attributed this to Johnson not expressing himself clearly, but I think the problem is deeper than that. His instincts tend toward the reasonable but his woolly thinking heads him off at the pass. I’m not inclined to blame this on smoking too much pot, as some of the sharpest political thinkers I’ve known smoked a lot of the kind. This is, in a way, a strike against him, as his obvious logical lapses might not be ameliorated by simply cutting down on the weed.

    For instance Johnson is quite right, IMHO, that the religious should not be specially exempt from any law. Where he goes wrong is in coming to the conclusion that if we shouldn’t have an exclusive religious objection to something we should be willing to compel it. Because he had thought so fuzzily about the matter in the first place he wound up saying something stupid about Nazi wedding cakes.

    But that’s a really important fuzziness. If there is one right that matters above all others it is the right to say what you think, and to not be compelled to say what you don’t. I know Reason is very much on the “Yay, gays” train at the moment, but the law ought to be very careful about compelling speech.

    1. That said, fiscal responsibility is the _most_ important thing right now, IMHO. I’d be willing to put up with a Singaporean dictatorship for a few years if it put us back on track. That’s how fucked we are. Gary is just as useless on this subject as Clinton and Trump.

      It’s not enough to say “I will balance the budget” as a campaign promise. You have to have a plan to balance it, and that plan is going to inevitably involve cutting SS benefits and Medicare, by a lot. If you can’t get elected on that platform you’re not going to be very useful. Wake me up when Johnson says he is going to radically reduce SS payments.

      1. But in the end spending will be what it is. What you euphemistically call arguments over “discrimination” I am inclined to see as a shot in an argument over what will eventually be legally allowed (and disallowed) expression. We cannot give an inch on this, and it is in the end more important than the very important fiscal issues we face.

        I don’t like Illinois Nazis, but I’ll let them march. I will let them march because I want to be able to say what I have to say (at the moment the most important thing I have to say is that we are fiscally fucked.) Policy can not be disconnected from free [removed]even vile and stupid expression.)

        So which is most important? Each depends on the other, I’d say.

        1. Also fairly amused that the squirrels censored the word “expression” , followed by a comma. Apparently the phrase “free expression” is automatically censored here. There’s a bit of irony to that.

  40. I always get a kick out of that picture.

  41. Well, you have the second amendment being one Supreme Court Justice away from being irrelevant and the first amendment is, from freedom of association to Citizens United, under greater attack than any time in my lifetime. And if you add in the administration actively forcing colleges to ignore due process in dealing with extremely expansive definition version of sexual assault, let alone privacy issues, you could argue our civil liberties are under attack like no other time in our history.

    But hey lets ignore all that and concentrate on spending.

  42. This raging anti-Johnson hatred comes largely from the Paulista cult, despite Ron’s far more numerous and egregious violations of individual liberty and fundamental rights.

    Doherty’s bad reporting may come from his role as Propaganda Minister for the cult. Like the shameful lie about “weapons of mass destruction.” Doherty OBVIOUSLY never sourced it, but he’s no journalist anyhow. THAT lie hides another lie about Weld.

    Weld’s comments on AK-47’s are how easily they can be converted into automatic weapons. I’m one of few here with integrity so … I checked facts before yapping.. (gasp)

    Weld is correct!!! Youtube has dozens of videos showing how easy it is to convert into a machine gun . … which shows our local gun experts are laughably stupid about guns, compared with Weld. I LOVE IT!

    I know many readers have integrity. They don’t comment because they see the piling on and raging hatred against anyone who dares speak truth to cult. Anyhow truth, seekers merely google for ” AK-47 convert automatic ” (no quotes) Count all the videos and entries, then join me in laughing at all these goobers so eager to be brainwashed. Also google the “mass destruction” phrase.

    Theese same goobers also display stupidity when I state that gun rights are not absolute, because no rights can be absolute … per the definition of unalienable. Did they pass US History? (lol)

    Welcome to Gooberland!

    1. Weld’s comments on AK-47’s are how easily they can be converted into automatic weapons. I’m one of few here with integrity so … I checked facts before yapping.. (gasp)

      Weld is correct!!! Youtube has dozens of videos showing how easy it is to convert into a machine gun . … which shows our local gun experts are laughably stupid about guns, compared with Weld. I LOVE IT!

      I’m positive that all of “our local gun experts” here are familiar with the process of weapons conversion – without having to google it (gasp).

      I fail to see how that makes them “laughably stupid”.. unless you’re just being a cyberbully (as evidenced by your broadbrushing and namecalling of “goobers”).

      The correct answer to how easily it may or may not be to convert a weapon to full auto is “so what?”

      I’m told that it’s fairly easy to convert a pressure cooker into a bomb. The libertarian response is not to BAN COOKING VESSELS!!1!OMGWTF!! Nor is it to implement “common sense kitchen laws”.

      1. I’m positive that all of “our local gun experts” here are familiar with the process of weapons conversion – without having to google it (gasp).

        Then why are the dumbfucks going crazy about him ans assault weapons?

        The correct answer to how easily it may or may not be to convert a weapon to full auto is “so what?”

        See previous.

        I’m told that it’s fairly easy to convert a pressure cooker into a bomb. The libertarian response is not to BAN COOKING VESSELS!!1!OMGWTF!! Nor is it to implement “common sense kitchen la

        Machine guns are always illegal. Bombs are not. So you’re as fucking stupid as I said. Thank you for playing..

        1. Machine guns are always illegal.

          It’s actually still legal to own and transfer “machine guns” manufactured prior to 1986. By all means keep displaying your abject ignorance of this and every other subject though.

          Also, the first machine gun was invented in 1884. Manufacture and sale of new machine guns was not made illegal until 1986. Historically, machine guns have spent less time illegal than legal.

          Bombs are not.

          Might want to let the BATFE know. There’s a lot of people they can go ahead and let out of jail now.

          1. NOW you say people are jailed for merely OWNING a bomb!!! (OMG)

          2. And there were plenty of theoretically viable guns in the late 1700’s that were multi shot, or rapid shot. Not a machine gun, but no musket.

            1. Thanks. That could be what Scalia had in mind when he said that bans on certain guns would be constitutional.

              1. I’d imagine not, seeing how several of the founders helped bankroll these inventions.

                1. How is that relevant? Scalia would dismiss you out of hand. I asked.

          3. Machine guns are always illegal.

            It’s actually still legal to own and transfer “machine guns” manufactured prior to 1986. By all means keep displaying your abject ignorance of this and every other subject though.

            Not without a special permit from BATFE. The same agency you lied about lower down.

            And like the bluff/lie documented here

    2. Weld’s comments on AK-47’s are how easily they can be converted into automatic weapons.

      Weld actually referenced how easy it was to convert the 1903 Springfield to full auto, stating that it required only removing a pin. Not only do you have no idea what you’re talking about with regard to the firearm you mention, it’s not even the firearm your bum chum was referring to. I’d ask you to go shoot yourself, but you’re clearly too fucking stupid to figure out how.

        1. Indeed, exposed you were.

          1. Not to anyone who clicks the link, dumbass

            . MarkLastName
            And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

            Wait for it …

            All documented at this link. Cato’s privatization hustle for goobers.

            Workers would keep and control their 6.2% FICA contribution. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but “a one-time event” ? Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 20 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion!

            Also Page 10, “Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year.” Versus $410 billion, suckers! (OMG)

            But how to pay for it is NOT Cato’s job anyhow!

            “There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices.” Page 6.

            Same “short-term” bullshit. If anyone is STILL confused ….
            $410 billion is 50% FICA revenues Page 102
            All budgeted to benefits
            Loss declines slowly as seniors die off.

            Your turn, Mark. Show us HOW you were bamboozled
            (lol)

  43. Part 2 of Gooberland

    It’s also a shameful lie to claim Johnson is against religious liberty, Have you seen his op-ed praising the deal negotiated by the leaders THE MORMON CHURCH and the LGBT community? Yes, Mormons and queers, goobers.

    Doherty won’t tell you. I just did.

    THAT is liberty,. MUTUAL CONSENT. The most conservative state government in America arranged it, accepted by Mormon and LGBQ

    Anyone outside the cult knows that Ron Paul is a stalking horse for the Christian Taliban, providing a constitutional SOUNDING defense for hateful bigots. But Ron’s perverted version of states rights originated with southern racists and the KKK … for the same reason, to defy judicial defense of individual rights .,.. claiming the federal government has NO POWER to defend individual liberty!! (Goobers swallow it)

    P.S. (I’m laughing too hard to type) Ronald Reagan actively supported a ban on assault weapons … and Justice Scalia said it would NOT be unconstitutional … leaving the goobers twisting in the wind .. all alone. Reason won’t tell you. I just did.

    Hmm, uber-conservatives like the Mormon Church and Justice Scalia are on the same side as Johnson. Also leaving the cult twisting in the breeze. (lol)

    1. My deepest and most humble apology to Brian Doherty

      I have since read Brian’s report on Johnson/Weld in Las Vegas. I conclude he was merely negligent here, not fronting for the Paulistas. Sorry, Brian.

      1. Live through a grease fire, then kill yourself.

        1. More aggression. (sigh)
          Cyber-bullies run rampant on the only major political website without moderators.
          It’s how disincentives work in a free market, As everyone else shuts them down, they all eventually wind up here. They even travel in packs, like dogs.

          Did he check any of my sources? (lol)

        2. Whenever Hihn’s misanthropic narcisissm gets to be too much for you, just watch this clip and give a contended sigh:

          https://youtu.be/mtYUsOKKkNo

          1. More aggression. (sigh)
            Cyber-bullies run rampant on the only major political website without moderators.
            It’s how disincentives work in a free market, As everyone else shuts them down, they all eventually wind up here. They even travel in packs, like wild dogs.

            It’s a special kind of cowardice that can only spew the insults of a 12-year-old girl … but never anything of substance.

            1. Kind of like the cowardice that it takes to continually insult and disparge everyone with a opinion than yours? (on a comment thread no less, something tells me you wouldn’t be nearly as insulting in person) If Reason is such a cesspool why do you spend every waking minute on it poised to spit venom at anyone you disagree with, only to cry “Bully!” And “Agreesor!” When others respond in kind? I sincerely feel sorry for whatever happened in your life that you feel you need to act like this to feel validated. Good luck my angry friend, remember, walks, sunsets, time with loved ones.

              1. *different than yours

              2. Only in self-defense, thug. Your bullying started here:

                https://reason.com/blog/2016/08…..nt_6349139

                And you’re a coward hiding your real name. TYPICAL Paulista cultist.

                1. Buddy, the only one mentioning Ron Paul is you. Stop fighting windmills and get a new Shtick. Or better yet a prescription for antipsychotics.

                  1. I went trolling for an anti-gummint retard and one of the wackiest took the bait! MarkLastname

                    MarkLastname
                    And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

                    Wait for it …

                    All documented at this link. Cato’s privatization hustle for goobers.

                    Workers would keep and control their 6.2% FICA contribution. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but “a one-time event” ? Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 30 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion.

                    Also Page 10 “Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year.” Versus $410 billion! And how to pay for it is not Cato’s job anyhow!

                    “There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices.” Page 6.

                    Same “short-term” bullshit.
                    f anyone is STILL confused ….
                    $410 billion is 50% FICA revenues Page 102
                    All budgeted to benefits
                    Loss declines slowly as seniors die off.

                    Your turn, Mark. Show me HOW you were bamboozled
                    (lol)

      2. My deepest and most humble apology to Brian Doherty

        I don’t really want your apology, you’re kind of an idiot, and you’ll just start shooting your mouth off again at the first opportunity anyway.

        Instead of an apology, show your contrition by leaving and never coming back.

        1. (laughing) I documented everything I said, loser.
          You’re just another intolerant thug, stomping out dissenters to your Holy Grace.

        2. I already knew I had more class than Doherty and his type.
          Nice to see it proven though.

        3. God I hope this is actually Doherty and not just some cheeky commenter.

          1. God I hope this is actually Doherty and not just some cheeky commenter.

            Would the real Doherty see so many DOCUMENTED errors in his piece and not correct them?
            I think not. What do you think?

            I do understand why you’d cheer if Doherty was such a blatant bully.

        4. Comments from the Brian Doherty who writes for Reason (me) are bylined “Brian Doherty” (like this)

          1. Thanks.

  44. Gun rights and religious liberty (or more broadly FOA) are a hot topic among libertarians because it’s often assaulted by statists and liberals, who has a larger agenda in opposing them. And these are the issues where the movement’s values are ultimately tested.

    Should the government penalize you for not providing a service to an event that you feel morally objectionable? Making you pay a fine, forcing you to take sensitivity classes, or possibly hauling you to jail? If the answer is no, then whether it’s “discriminatory” would be irrelevant.

    Most commenters here don’t go to church. They don’t strike me as religious at all. But they would howl at the federal government if it forced a bunch of nuns to pay for contraception. It’s one of the most admirable things about libertarianism – a straightforward defense of liberty less mired in identity politics.

    It would take a no small amount of courage for a candidate to say “I don’t believe in minimum wage and prohibition on sex workers”. If Johnson can’t be that kind of refreshing candidate, where’s the point in voting for him? Any mush mouth moderate republican can be “socially liberal” on popular issues while paying lip service to cutting government. Johnson is a weird little kook to the left and this social liberalism just means “Well at least he got THAT part right”.

    1. This link is one of MANY where Gary opposes the minimum wage. And he goes well beyond free-market slogans. describing how liberty can work BETTER (gasp)

      Performance-based compensation works at all income levels. He used it in his business. This is how PRO-LIBERTY libertarians do things. SHOW how liberty works better.

      Google Gary and the minimum wage for MANY more examples. Then google prostitution and pick your own sources. Here again, Gary goes beyond anti-gummint slogans, saying that prostitution is safer when it’s legal.

      The movement has long suffered two contrasting visions … pro-liberty vs anti-government. One mostly rages against the evil government. The other SELLS liberty.

      Which would best expand liberty, snarling that gummint is a failure with memorized soundbites Or showing how liberty will enhance your life?

      Of those two, which is most likely to win the votes of your neighbors?

      We can also describe these factions as liberty-lovers versus government-haters. They both want smaller government. But only one has a clue how to get there.

      Salesmanship 101: Sell the sizzle, not the steak … Sell the benefits, not the features.

      1. What a sparkling clean sock you have there, Mr. Hihn.

      2. John Galt II
        Salesmanship 101: Sell the sizzle, not the steak … Sell the benefits, not the features

        Bingo! I can add another. I ran sales training for a billion-dollar corporate division (current dollars) The sign at the front of every classroom was a lot more relevant for libertarians, and politics in general..

        You’re not there to prove your prospect wrong. You’re there to agree with your prospect, and show how your product or service will best deliver what he or she already wants.

        Libertarian, mostly the anti-government ones, keep pushing voters into a topic that the libertarian wants to talk about. Never what the voters cares about. Bluntly, it’s because they have no idea how to show how freedom works better for the VOTER’S interests. All they have is slogans and soundbites … with a hatred for government that repels most voters.

        If two competing salesmen come to your house. which one will you buy from, the one who keeps attacking his competitor, or the one who shows the benefits of his own product? It’s just that simple.

        Americans are appalled by the hostility and divisiveness in today’s politics. But we’ve seen it for decades, from our anti-gummint faction. Likely why a Cato survey found the libertarian brand ejected by 91% of libertarians, That’s something to be ashamed of.

  45. Having a “pro gun culture” and “healthy attitudes towards guns” is absolutely important to keeping arms in the hands of citizens.

    The left isnt giving up on gun control. If there is a dramatic attitude shift on guns in this country, you can wave goodbye to your guns. Theyve already shown they dont need to abolish the 2nd to abridge people’s right to bear arms.

    1. Umm, you know, don’t you, that NO rights are absolute? Not even Life or Second Amendment rights.
      This is a LONG settled principle tracing back several centuries before our founding, in the common law.
      It’s WHY Jefferson’s cited “unalienable” rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and all the others.

      Jefferson was not stupid, He knew — and the founders knew — that “unalienable” rights cannot betaken away for ANY purpose. Thus all fundamental rights are precisely equal. But that also means they can come in conflict.

      Two well-known phrases.
      No free speech right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater
      More in the vernacular, Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.”

      They;ve already shown they don’t need to abolish the 2nd to abridge people’s right to bear arms.

      “They” always could and it does NOT abolish the amendment. Even Justice Scalia said so in his majority opinion, District of Columbia v Heller,.

      Name a fundamental right, any fundamental right. All of them have a group of statists, all demanding an exception for they’re own favorite right. Most noticeable in both extremes on abortion. They get REALLY pissed if their favorite right conflicts with another, because they DEMAND special treatment for their pet right — or claim the judiciary has no power to resolve the conflict. If not, who does?

      1. Yup even your right not to be murdered can be circumvented if it meets som government necessity. Spoken like a true statist.

        1. You fucking idiot. Here it is again, in boldface: (emphasis added for the mentally retarded)

          Jefferson was not stupid, He knew — and the founders knew — that “unalienable” rights cannot be taken away for ANY purpose.

          Still confused? I said CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY FOR ANY PURPOSE.
          You “mind” saw, “your right not to be murdered can be circumvented if it meets some government necessity”
          (Does he get it YET?)

          Spoken like a true statist.

          One more mindless gooober.

      2. Umm, you know, don’t you, that NO rights are absolute?

        Two well-known phrases.

        No free speech right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater
        More in the vernacular, Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose.”

        Hihn falls into the trap here of thinking rights can be abridged because they might have adverse impacts. Libertarians believe that the law can be directed at the adverse impacts without abridging the right. By smearing this distinction, the statists can leverage laws which properly address adverse impacts of exercising a right to justify laws which limit exercising the right absent any such impact.

        My right to own a gun is absolute. My right to shoot people with that gun is properly limited. Just because I might exercise my right to own a gun to wrongfully shoot people is no reason to abridge my right to own a gun.

        1. First, RC Dean’s lied on what I said.

          “unalienable” rights cannot be taken away for ANY purpose.

          Hihn falls into the trap here of thinking rights can be abridged because they might have adverse impact

          (sneer) The exact opposite. Because the Paulista Cult and Christian Taliban are demolished by one sentence.

          ” Thus all fundamental rights are precisely equal. But that also means they can come in conflict.”

          Again for the morally depraved:
          1) Jefferson and the Founders guaranteed Life, Liberty and others are “unalienable”
          2) Unalienable rights cannot be taken away for ANY reason.
          3) So they can conflict with each other.
          4) The 9th Amendment restricts the 10th.

          High school history. Conflicting rights can ONLY be resolved by the Judiciary, as a check on the legislative. ONLY they can approve a compromise that BEST protects BOTH rights EQUALLY.

          BOTH extremes in abortion HATE that. One extreme denies the right to Life. The other denies the Right to Liberty. All it takes is a dictionary for “unalienable.”

          Guaranteed in the 9th Amendment that Paulista’s also lie about.

          “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

          The 10th reserves unenumerated powers to the states AND THE PEOPLE.
          The 9th reserves unenumerated RIGHTS to ONLY the people.
          Rights trump powers. DUH

          Fucking thugs.

          1. Which is it ? Rights trump powers, or rights are subject to revulation? It can’t be both.

            1. Which is it ? Rights trump powers, or rights are subject to revulation? It can’t be both.

              No response needed to self-evident mental retardation. (even without the misspelling)

              1. “No response needed to self-evident mental retardation.”
                Couldn’t agree more. And yet we respond to you anyway. When will we learn.

                1. . MarkLastName
                  And actually privatizing social security is perfectly viable. I’ll provide reasons when you actually start to do so.

                  Wait for it …

                  All documented at this link. Cato’s privatization hustle for goobers.

                  Workers would keep and control their 6.2% FICA contribution. Michael Tanner says (page 10) the transition will be costly, but “a one-time event” ? Yeah, a one-time event lasting over 20 years, declining from a first-year cost of $410 billion!

                  Also Page 10, “Simply restraining the projected growth in nondefense discretionary spending by 1 percent would generate more than $20 billion per year.” Versus $410 billion, suckers! (OMG)

                  But how to pay for it is NOT Cato’s job anyhow!

                  “There are short-term costs that will require the president and Congress to make tough choices.” Page 6.

                  Same “short-term” bullshit. If anyone is STILL confused ….
                  $410 billion is 50% FICA revenues Page 102
                  All budgeted to benefits
                  Loss declines slowly as seniors die off.

                  Your turn, Mark. Show us HOW you were bamboozled
                  (lol)

  46. My problem with Johnson and Weld is that by watering down libertarianism, they’re doing exactly what we accuse the other parties of doing—homogenizing themselves with each other.

    Pro Johnsonites say they must be like this to gather more people to libertarianism, but I say no thanks if that means we’re going to have three of the same party instead of just two.

    1. Pro Johnsonites say they must be like this to gather more people to libertarianism,

      Ummm, “gather(ing) more people to libertarianism” is NOT the purpose here.
      It may be a cult to you, but it’s a political movement to the vast majority of us.

  47. Johnson will get around 1% again, if he is lucky. That will be the LP’s reward for selling out all of its principles.

  48. Spot on.

    It’s all about guns and gay cake to some people. Trump (and many of the anti-Johnson concern trolls around here) represent the final intellectual capitulation of the right to socialism. Free markets aren’t important to them. Free trade is positively anathema, as is free movement of people. Budgets and taxes are secondary. Entitlement reform is nowhere to be found.

    So what is left of conservatism after to remove the free market, limited government principles?
    A bunch of (mostly white male) yokels fondling their guns and flags, complaining about how unfair it is they can’t be bigots in public and refuse to serve gays and black people. Gamergaters and Sad Puppies whining about how the Social Justice Warriors are mean to them on Twitter. Nationalists waddling around in their American flag T-shirts ranting about Mexicans and Muslims coming to take their country away.

    I’m completely in favor of letting people be as racist as they want to be, but you can’t build a movement exclusively around the right to be a bigot.

    1. Thank god Johnson represents the full-bodied libertarian experience, then.

      Oh, he’s running as a moderate pro-pot Republican with warmed-over 90s fiscal Republican planks? Why didn’t you say so before — clearly anyone who isn’t all in for that is just a closet bigot with an itchy trigger finger.

      1. He’s running as a moderate, which makes him more likely to actually get anything done. You don’t win elections by being an extremist. Do you think Hillary Clinton wouldn’t love Single-Payer healthcare? Of course she would, but she knows it’s not going to get her elected to run on it.

        I’d bet that Johnson would love to be able to eliminate the entire social welfare system if he could. But he’s not retarded and so he’s not going to run on it. He’s doing what sane politicians everywhere do and advocate incremental movement in the direction that he wants to go in.

        What direction does Trump want to go in? He wants to repeal NAFTA and deport all the Mexicans. He wants to return America to some fantasy version of the 1950s where everyone was white and middle-class and worked in a factory and waved their little American flags.

        1. You don’t win elections by being an extremist

          You don’t win elections by being the LP candidate. GJ isn’t even gonna get 15% of the vote, even if all of the disaffected libertarian base were to hold their noses and vote for him.

          1. Johnson will be lucky to best his 2012 percentage of less than 1%.

            1. By election day, Johnson will have CRUSHED the anti-gummint goobers who have nearly destroyed the libertarians movement.

              He will have reconnected us to our ORIGINAL base (pro-liberty NOT anti-gummint) and we can rebuild from there, wherever it is. That wlll be our new base. But this time we’ll be too smart to get suckered by The Enemy Within.

              Or the movement is forever killed by “True Believers,” as all mass movements have been killed by zealots and fanatics for all of human history (Eric Hoffer, “The True Believer”)

    2. Free markets aren’t important to them. Free trade is positively anathema, as is free movement of people.

      Funny! It’s my support for all those things prompting me to write in “None of the Above” on my ballot under Johnson & Weld’s names on my ballot this November.

      1. What caused such confusions? Or are you anti-government instead of pro-liberty?

        1. Government is antithetical to liberty.
          You think you can make nice with it. I think that has been tried.
          Coercion by proxy (voting) is still coercion.

          Government? I would rather starve it, at least ’till it kneel.
          And you can call me a bully and a goober to, if you like.

          1. Pro-liberty means making nice with government?????
            Then you say the exact opposite????

            Government is antithetical to liberty

            Which is why pro-liberty is antithetical to government!!!!!!
            And why you took both sides of the same issue.
            Anything else?

    3. I can present a balanced budget right now, on a post-it note: No taxes, no spending.

      It will never pass Congress, but Johnson didn’t say anything about that.

      Have I earned your vote?

      1. It will never pass Congress, but Johnson didn’t say anything about that

        That’s when he campaigns as a “real” libertarian (for the goobers) Goobers believe anything that has anti-gummint slogans Look how eager they were to be bamboozled by Ron Paul’s, “Repeal the income tax, replace it with nothing, and run the entire federal government on $250 billion LESS than current FICA revenues.”

        As easy to sucker as extreme progressives and extreme socons,

    4. I might’ve been inclined to agree with much of what you said, until you started whining about white males and gamergaters and whatever, leave that shit at your Jezebel account ok?

      1. I thought that bit fit in rather well with the marvelously facile straw man construction earlier in the post. Real SJWs always know what people really think, which makes the name-calling and moral judgements a lot easier.

        And…SJW/Libertarian. SJW/Liberarian??? The internet does still generate remarkable concepts sometimes. Not to refer to Ms. Meade as all that exotic or strange, I’ve probably just led a sheltered life…

  49. The gun issue is extremely important because it nakedly shows how much Dems are willing to systematically wipe out Americans’ rights in order to create a compliant populace. It’s sickening.

    Look at how instead of mobilizing the process to repeal the Second Amendment, they just claim we never had the right to bear arms in the first place. It’s ballsy as hell, and scary.

    I have numerous otherwise reasonable people on my Facebook feed who keep insisting the Second Amendment gives the government the right to be armed, not the other way around. And they say this with a straight face and aren’t thought of as fringe leftists, but mainstream in line with their party candidate, the academic community, the media, etc. Its a damn weird thing to behold.

  50. … Dems are willing to systematically wipe out Americans’ rights in order to create a compliant populace. It’s sickening.

    No more sickening than your intense hatred of unalienable rights.

    they just claim we never had the right to bear arms in the first place. It’s ballsy as hell, and scary.

    Yeah, but equally scary are those who have been brainwashed into believing gun rights are absolute … when NO rights are absolute.

    You do know, right? that Justice Scalia’s ruling in District of Columbia vs Heller confirmed his long-standing position that banning extreme and unusual rifles would be totally constitutional. As an originalist, he notes that the “militia” was compromised of people who brought normal weapons from their homes. So that’s all that’s guaranteed … until a later militia requires more advanced weapons.

    1. When the ‘militia’ (the people) allow that they be ‘declawed’ such as to be no credible deterent to government excess, the nation has become psychology and in attitude “wussified”. “Rights”, unalienable rights, justice, and all that nice enlightenment era written ink, is just that. The state will just party until it rots.

      1. What does that have to do with Scalia’s ruling? Or anything else?

        As long as you acknowledge that gun rights are not absolute, because no rights can possibly be be absolute. You do know what “unalienable” means, right?

        1. Shall. Not. Be. Infringed.

          1. No. Rights. Are. Absolute.

            You need to learn two definitions: unalienable and infringed.
            Do you need links?

        2. Unalienable (actually inalienable) does not mean incapable of infringement. It means the right exists whether or not the law recognizes it. Jefferson was talking about a moral basis for making judgments about the law. Since the rights are fundamental aspects of human existence, laws and governments that infringe them are illegitimate.

          You seem to be saying that since the rights are inalienable it is ok for the state to pass any regulation it wants, because the right would still exist. That is incoherent.

          1. Unalienable (actually inalienable)

            The two are synonyms. And the text says UNalienable. National Archives.

            does not mean incapable of infringement. It means the right exists whether or not the law recognizes it.

            Same thing, but yours is incomplete. It means inherent in humankind. Yes, it exists regardless of being recognized. More importantly, government may not take it away for ANY reason. Which means all such rights are precisely equal.

            You seem to be saying that since the rights are inalienable it is ok for the state to pass any regulation it wants, because the right would still exist.

            You have an active imagination. They aren’t absolute because ALL fundamental rights are precisely equal, BECAUSE none can be taken away by government. Nor may government favor any fundamental right above another, when two or more rights are in conflict, “There’s no free speech right to yell fire falsely in a crowded theater.”

            Do they still teach “conflicting rights” in US History?

            Anyhow, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are all unalienable, along with the others, are all precisely equal to each other. None is absolute because another can limit it, when in competition.

            Further secured by the 9th Amendment

    2. Sorry, didn’t mean to insinuate the Bill of Rights “gives” is any rights. I was simplifying for the case of brevity.

      As far as rights being absolute and how far along the spectrum weapons can be available—meh, standing up for my right to own a bazooka isn’t a hill I personally would die on, but I could understand why people would think, “Are these weapons any more dangerous in Joe Schmo’s hands than they are in war-boner president’s hands?”

      1. Sorry, didn’t mean to insinuate the Bill of Rights “gives” is any rights.

        No problem, since nobody took it that way.

        As far as rights being absolute and how far along the spectrum weapons can be available—meh,

        Ignoring reality and elementary logic does not change either.

        “Are these weapons any more dangerous in Joe Schmo’s hands than they are in war-boner president’s hands?”

        An interesting issue added to the thread, which had not been addressed at all..

  51. Wow, you can tell Hillary is starting to worry about Gary Johnson. The paid trolls are working overtime on Reason.

    1. They’re not paid trolls. They’re mostly Koolaid-drinking supporters of the Paulista cult.

  52. Johnson is a lot better than the Dem and GOP candidates but he is far from perfect on the federal government fiscal issues either.

    He advocates means testing for social security as a way to shore it up.

    So people who have paid into it all of their working lives who have also managed to become financially successful are punished for their success by getting a zero return on their FICA payments.

    The program is socialist on it’s face and Johnson is willing to double down and make it even more so than it already is.

    If the program is NOT to be completely phased out altogether (as it should be) and there are going to be benefit cuts to “save” it those cuts should apply exactly equally across the board to everyone. Higher income people are already ripped off enough by the current rules of the program.

    The benefit formula gives lower income people a higher benefit relative to the FICA taxes that they paid in than it does to higher income people. Furthermore, higher income people have part of their benefit taken back via a backdoor method of making up to 85% of their benefits subject to federal income taxes. And the dollar threshold that makes those benefits subject to taxes is not adjusted for inflation so it hits more and more people every year.

    1. If the program is NOT to be completely phased out altogether (as it should be)

      It cannot be.

      Higher income people are already ripped off enough by the current rules of the program.

      The tax ends at $118,500, which is hardly high income.

      Furthermore, higher income people have part of their benefit taken back via a backdoor method of making up to 85% of their benefits subject to federal income taxes

      Not quite..

      (Not defending Social Security. Attacking the fantasy-lie-propaganda that it can be replaced … which NOBODY has shown how to do. Nobody.)
      .

      1. “The tax ends at $118,500, which is hardly high income.”

        The benefit formula calculation ends at that threshold as well.

        And that doesn’t refute my point about “progressive” nature of the existing benefit formula or my point that Johnson is advocating bailing out the program by making it even MORE socialist than it already is by means testing benefits instead of cutting benefits equally across the board.

        “Not quite..”

        Bullshit. There is a tax on social security benefits that kicks in at a certain income level and it absolutely is a means of taking back part of the social security benefits of those who have to pay it. You can attempt to deny economic reality all you want but it remains an economic reality nonetheless.

        1. Johnson is advocating bailing out the program by making it even MORE socialist than it already is

          Hysteria, and not true.

          means testing benefits instead of cutting benefits equally across the board.

          Umm, that just spreads the penalty on rich people that YOU say is unfair. Which is it?

          “Not quite..”

          Bullshit.

          “Not quite” means you were incomplete. Now you are, everyone can see that means testing is the same thing.. That’s called fairness.

          … take back part of the social security benefits of those who have to pay it.

          Huh? It’s current workers who pay for it. The benefits go to retirees.

          You can attempt to deny economic reality all you wan…

          I just taught you economic reality, like your apparent confusion on means testing .

          Now to your dishonesty (or misinformation). Social Security is not in his platform at all..

          Second, he’s only said “probably” on means testing. The only reform he’s stated with certainty is raising the retirement age.

          Not enough to be sure, but you sound like the entitlement class, fighting for your entitlements and massive subsidies. If so, that’s hardly productive.

          1. You are a flat out economic moron.

            “Huh? It’s current workers who pay for it. The benefits go to retirees.”

            And it is those benefits that are being subject to federal income taxes depending on income. That constitutes taking some of those benefits back – your idiotic attempts to deny that notwithstanding.

            “Umm, that just spreads the penalty on rich people that YOU say is unfair. Which is it?”

            Means testing puts ALL the burden of “saving” the system on higher income people instead of applying it equally to everyone. Again you are an economic moron.

            1. You are a flat out economic moron.

              So you’re ALSO nasty.

              take back part of the social security benefits of those who have to pay it.

              Huh? It’s current workers who pay for it. The benefits go to retirees.

              That constitutes taking some of those benefits back – your idiotic attempts to deny that notwithstanding.

              Umm, what benefits are being “taken back” from the workers (and employers) who pay for it?

              Means testing puts ALL the burden of “saving” the system on higher income people instead of applying it equally to everyone.

              It applies only to those who are WORKING UNDER SOCIAL: SECURITY. That means no change for high-incomes, because YOU say they’re already taxes. Again, which of your versions is it?

              Again you are an economic moron.

              I’m sure you HAVE to believe that. Again… why did you lie about Gary Johnson?
              And why do you believe the program can be phased out, when nobody else on earth has figured out how to.

  53. So the gist of these comments tell me that Johnson does not pass the Libertarian purity test, and even less so Weld.

    So it’s pretty much all for nothing? Don’t bother voting for them or anyone because they do not live up to all of your ideals?

    What do you guys expect? That the savior of all free livers is going to descend on a fucking cloud and deliver us from all forms of government? Short of that why bother?

    I honestly do not know if that is more fantasy or cynicism; either way it just loses.

    1. They have no idea what they’re talking about. And it’s technically not a purity TEST. It’s a purity COMPETITION
      They compete to see who can be the purest, like teenage boys showing and comparing their dicks.
      They’re too extreme for Ayn Rand, which says all we need to know,

      Not a one of them has a clue how to achieve or move to a free society. Not a clue. Ask them!
      Most even SNEER at the notion of seeking votes and getting elected.
      That leaves an armed revolt to gain a free society … which is hysterical on its own … and even funnier when they’re maybe 2% of the population. A strategy worthy of George Custer!

    2. I suspect the dissatisfaction (“hatred” or “whining” also used) with the Johnson/Weld message so far is because it is neither effective as a “winning” strategy nor as a libertarian message in a “protest” strategy. Since actual electoral victory is unlikely (“impossible” or “wut?” also used) even against hugely unpopular major party candidates, it would seem a cost-free opportunity to make clear the principles that attracted most of us to Libertarianism in the first place.

      Better than the message, “Hey! See us? We can go along to get along too, sorta.” That does seem kind of “all for nothing”.

      1. Great excuses tor losing. Anyone concerned with “Libertarian messages” or “protest” brings nothing to the table.

        … the principles that attracted most of us to Libertarianism in the first place.

        This is a political movement not a cult. A special kind of arrogance assumes everyone would be libertarians in a free society … and have no idea what a free society is.

        Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Your “plan” has been a massive failure for 40 years. Deal with it.

        A Cato survey found that 59% of Americans described themselves as libertarians, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But 91% of them rejected the libertarian label. If it IS impossible to win in this rare opportunity, then THAT is how badly your “plan” has betrayed liberty.

        Americans are moving toward greater acceptance of both fiscal and social libertarianism. Who causes it.
        a) 59% of Americans who are Nolan libertarians, with 40,000-50,000 elected to local public office?
        b) 5% of Americans are “movement” libertarians, MANY totally invisible who think “spreading the gospel” is more important than governing .

        I’m one of those who won public office (twice) launched a winning tax revolt, AND active in the party for decades as an officer and state director.

        As in all human endeavors, there are achievers and there are talkers.

        I’ve never seen talkers do squat. Have you?

  54. Now they support a carbon “fee”. Don’t worry it’s free market and not a tax. Seriously WTF.

    1. Carbon fees or taxes would be revenue neutral. The INTENT is to distort the market toward reducing fossil fuels. If it’s revenue neutral, WTF?

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