Donald Trump

Why Libertarians (and Other 3rd Parties) Should Thank Donald Trump

On substance and style, he's a dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack. But he's shown how easy it is to destroy a major party.

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Todd Krainin, Reason

With just three months to go before the long national nightmare that is Election 2016 transmogrifies into a either a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump presidency(!), let's take a late-summer moment to squeeze some lemonade from lemons. Whatever happens in November, all of us who have political perspectives that are routinely discounted or dismissed by the Republican-Democratic duopoly should thank Donald Trump for creating a blueprint to power for us.

Pull yourself out of the news cycle that he has been so expert in dominating with a daily—sometimes hourly—spew of sensational utterings, proclamations, and half-baked policy plans: Extreme vetting! Mexican rapists! Crooked Hillary! When he's not creating outrage himself, he brings it in other people, such as when his supporters get egged at rallies or unflattering naked statues of the billionaire crop up in cities around the country.

The simple fact is, as conservative commentator and Finding Mr. Righteous author Lisa De Pasquale, writes,

There has been much hand-wringing among the right on where Republicans go now that Trump has "destroyed" the party. They complain that the Republican Party has left them, while millions of Trump voters and libertarians believe party leaders and professional pundits left them decades ago. Regardless of whether the #NeverTrump crowd has valid points, it is clear that Trump has done libertarians a favor in busting the Old Guard of Republican kingmakers. The Old Guard isn't mad that Trump doesn't represent their principles, but that they no longer hold any power in picking the top of the ticket. The proof is that rather than get behind Gary Johnson, they'd rather trot out a candidate with zero name recognition or campaign infrastructure.

Beyond revealing the emptiness of the power bases in the existing Republican Party (and party members' absolute lack of interest in moving toward their ostensible principles of limited, smaller government), De Pasquale argues that Trump is the shape of better things to come:

The Trump campaign has been a battering ram for libertarians. In just over a year, Trump has succeeded in what the Libertarian Party hasn't been able to do in the 35 years since it was conceived. Not only has he upset traditional party politics, but he's also paved the way for non-traditional candidates. Who needs stuffy party leaders and pundits when you have social media and 100% name recognition?…

In the current political climate, personality, authenticity, and even celebrity reign. Trump has shown that at least in the primaries, the absence of a traditional ground game and campaign budget can be overcome. Libertarians have an advantage because we already know they're authentic by going against the dominant parties….

Libertarians also have a good celebrity bench that could help them replicate the Trump campaign. I wouldn't necessarily endorse famous libertarian Vince Vaughn for president (though I would endorse myself as First Lady), but I would enthusiastically get on the Peter Thiel Train.

Set aside policy disagreements libertarians have with Trump. They should be thankful that Trump has created a new path for national office. He built libertarian candidates a path to success and he paid for it.

Read the whole piece and start thinking: Who are the agents of libertarian influence that can either transform the existing major parties and bring a bold new "free minds and free markets" sensibility to independent runs at all levels of government? Better yet, who are the crossover figures that might do for the Libertarian Party what athletes such as Joe Namath did for the old AFL by legitimizing an upstart league as a major force?

It's a given that Americans know nothing and care even less about history. That's certainly true when it comes to journalism generally and political journalism specifically. Did you ever wonder just why every election is the most important one in our lives? The answer is only mysterious to dead-enders within those group and to journalists, both of whom have no sense of history and really think that everything is on the line every four years and that whatever happened 10, 20, or 30 years ago is irrelevant to understanding the current moment. For the most part, we have simply been repeating the same play over and over again, but to less-and-less-engaged audiences.

As Matt Welch and I wrote in The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, all the trends of the past 40 to 50 years show that Americans have weaker and weaker ties to the Republican and Democratic Parties, just as we do with all consumer brands. Whatever post-war coalitions those parties once represented no longer exist. Everything in American life is vastly different than it was in, say 1964, when the current identities of the GOP and Democrats were being formed. These parties are designed to groups of people that either no longer exist in the same numbers as they once did (private-sector union members and socially conservative Christians, say) or who don't link issues the way they used to (what's the necessary connection between before for marriage equality and higer marginal tax rates?).

Yet most party leaders and media ignore the at-or-near-historic lows in voter identification with the Democrats and Republicans. They also act as if the ideologies and policy platforms of parties can't or don't change over time. The result is a conversation about politics that is less and less moored to basic reality. We need a new operating system for politics in the 21st century, but the people most invested in the current one don't want to migrate or upgrade to anything different. We need Windows 10, but they're fine sticking with 3.1, thank you very much.

Trump's rise—and the semi-successful insurgency of Bernie Sanders, too—puts the lie to the idea that the power structure is capable of maintaining a status quo that serves fewer and fewer people. Given his absolute lack of consistent, coherent policies and his radically backward-looking agenda (anti-trade and migration in an increasingly globalized world?!?), he is not the future of anything, but the last gasp of a 20th-century politics that, in one final push, was able to reduce at least one of the major parties to rubble. It's up to those of us who actually want a new operating system for American governance to determine what comes next.

NEXT: In Judge's Rejection of $100 Million Uber Settlement, Nobody Wins

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  1. On substance and style, he’s a dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack.

    He’s no Rob Ford.

      1. Christie could be, if he would just try harder.

        1. Christie sold out with the lap band. Either commit to being an unapologetic slob or get out of life’s rich buffet, I say.

    1. Crack hits are a lot more entertaining and fun than Trump.

  2. Thanks Obama.

  3. A year from now, President Hillary Clinton and her associates will look at this article and laugh and laugh.

    1. Let’s not kid ourselves.

      Hillary Clinton is not reading Reason.

      1. An aide will point it to her to cheer her up.

    2. She is going to call herself president of her charity? That seems pretty pretentious for losing the 2016 presidential election to Trump.

    3. Hillary Clinton is easily the least electable candidate in history. The only reason why she has any chance at all is that she is running against a GOP nominee about as bad as herself. Fortunately,those two lunatics are performing the public service of actually giving Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party a chance of a strong showing–maybe even victory in November.

  4. It is only easy if you have balls Nick and are willing to offend the right people and not care. Sorry but I can’t see the current crop of Libertarians at reason fitting that description.

    1. John from the top ropes!

    2. McAfee would have been the better choice. Nutty as he is.

      1. McAfee is to McAfee as Raoul Duke is to Hunter Thompson. Yes I wish it was him.

    3. Yeah, it’s all about offending the right people and not caring.

      Actual policy outcomes are secondary.

      And I thought that proggie politics was a big circle jerk.

      1. Getting good policy outcomes is going to offend some people, so a lack of squeamishness is a prerequisite, though you’re right that it isn’t good in and of itself.

        1. I’m not sure that he’s offending the “right people” in that case.

          The good policy outcomes are things like entitlement reform, freer trade, and criminal justice reform .
          And those would mean offending some of Trump’s core constituencies.

          It’s all culture-war bullshit – he offends the social justice crowd, but not the socialism crowd.

      2. That’s protection Hazel, as you’ve been suggesting for some time now that libertarians are stupid if they don’t give up on freedom of association based solely on the fact that by anyone arguing to uphold this right is incorrectly, but easily labeled a racist.

        So to recap, on one side we have a basic natural right required for true liberty, a right protected by the US Constitution (a historical document which libertarians have praised, especially the Bill of Rights), and a right with strong historical support by almost all libertarians. Note: I almost wrote “all libertarians”, but know it’s not possible… So need to add that “almost all” isn’t wishful thinking, as even though I know there’s no such thing as a True Scotsman, most basic rights protected in Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech, right to bear arms, right to due process, etc, have enjoyed near universal libertarian support.

        On the other side, you believe libertarians should exclude this right from further support due to those who incorrectly, and sometimes maliciously, conflate such support with racism.

        IE – with you, it’s all about not offending the right people and not caring about liberty.

        And sorry, but while policy objectives should be a primary goal, if they are sought at the expense of disregarding basic rights, then what’s the point?

        1. Furthermore, if the liberty minded continue to disregard freedom of association as antiquated, exactly what argument will/do they have when other rights such as freedom of speech, right to bear arms, or due process are being attacked?

          Once libertarians agree to the idea that some natural rights must be regulated due to modern thinking, their argument that other rights shouldn’t be treated similarly is substantially weakened.

          But that’s a feature of having principles, not a bug.

          1. if the liberty minded continue to disregard freedom of association as antiquated, exactly what argument will/do they have when other rights such as freedom of speech, right to bear arms, or due process are being attacked?

            Again notable for the lacking of giving a shit about economics.

            It’s all about guns and gay cake to you, isn’t it?

            What’s libertarianism minus free markets? A bunch of yokels wanking off to their guns and confederate flags, complaining about anti-discrimination statues and how it sucks that they can’t tell racist jokes in public anymore. Gamergaters and Sad Puppies bitching about feminists and SJWs.
            SoCons ranting about the gay agenda.

    4. ” But he’s shown how easy it is to destroy a major party.”

      If the party has been busy destroying itself for 30 years, yes. The GOP has long since stopped being the party of limited government, fiscal restraint and individual rights and has become Progressive Lite. There’s nothing left at the core but a bunch of donor funded apparatchik job holders and elected officials who forget who elected them as soon as they’re in office.

      The Democrats, on the other hand, have never strayed from their core principles of free shit and grievance mongering and their elected officials keep passing out free shit and mongering grievance throughout their tenure.

      You won’t be breaking up the Democrats any time soon.

  5. https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/241670/

    Meanwhile Trump gave a pretty interesting speach last night about the Louisiana floods. No coverage of it at reason In fairness reason hardly ever mentions Trump normally.

    1. Also in the article:

      “A Louisiana newspaper on Thursday called for Obama to cut his vacation short, saying, “A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero.””

      What advantage will peole get from Obama’s personal presence – will Obama heal people of their scrofula?

      1. Nothing. But the standard is Presidents are supposed to show up and act like it matters. Obama of course doesn’t give a fuck. Just a bunch a crackers to him.

        1. I’m not defending Obama here. But the standard should change. Presidents touring disasters is just more bullshit self-aggrandizement and arrogance and can only hinder recovery efforts. Fuck that shit. The president shouldn’t be the nation’s daddy.

          1. The standard can change after we eliminate FEMA. Since they are using federal tax dollars and it is a federal function, I expect the President to care. This is another example of Obama not doing his job

          2. “I’m not defending Obama here. But the standard should change.”

            The standard will change. It changes with the party of the incumbent.

            1. Well, my standard is the same as it was for Bush in Katrina. Stay the fuck away if you care about these people at all.

              1. I hope you can get your standard adopted.

        2. President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
          With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
          The President say, “Little fat man isn’t it a shame what the river has done
          To this poor crackers land.”

      2. What advantage will peole get from Obama’s personal presence….

        Not really much.

        Of course, that didn’t do much to tamper the criticism of Bush 43 for not “being on the ground” after Katrina.

    2. Well, a couple of short paragraphs about the LA floods at the beginning of a mostly content free campaign speech.

      If I were in the flooded areas, I’d want all politicians and candidates to stay the fuck away, myself. Not sure why people think it’s so important to have the president visit disasters.

      1. But Trump is the crazy Zeb. What do you mean content free? It is all hate and racism you know. It don’t see how you can call it content free. The standard is the Feds are supposed to show up and help when the states are overwhelmed. That whole FEMA Staffod Act thing.

        And just a suggestion Zeb, but your pants shitting over Trump would have more credibility if you would give him credit when it’s warranted. Granted doing that would create the danger of sending the wrong social and virtue signal. But don’t worry. I know you are not one of those people.

        1. Pants shitting? Just stop it. I really don’t give a shit about Trump. Honestly, I hope he wins. It will be more entertaining and probably less horrifying than a Hillary win.

          I read the speech and commented on it. It’s not a dig at Trump. I’ve got no special animosity toward Trump that I don’t have for any other candidate. It’s just a typical, say-as-little-as-possible campaign speech. If you want to point out where the substance that I missed was, please do.

          1. The content is that he is calling out the hypocrisy of the Democrats and the media. They claim to care so much about these issues but then never tell the truth about them and only even talk about them when it suits their purposes. That is a valid point and one that the Republicans should make but never do.

            1. The media criticism is valid, but mostly I see “everything’s gonna be great when I’m elected” without and explanation of how that is going to happen.

              If I am elected President, this chaos and violence will end ? and it will end very quickly.

              Yeah, sure. And the fucking oceans started to recede when Obama got elected.

              1. What is he supposed to say? Everything will suck?

                Regardless the media criticism is valid. Therefore you can’t say it lacked content.

                1. “a mostly content free campaign speech.”

                  I stand by that.

                2. And I’m not saying he’s supposed to say anything. Campaign speeches are usually low-substance, feel-good BS. It’s to be expected.

    3. Mofo has only five months left, so this is probably his last lavish, taxpayer funded Martha’s Vineyard vacation, and I don’t think even the outbreak of World War III would be enough to cut it short.

    4. I was going to repeat the oft-mocked Bush praise of FEMA Director Brown during Katrina, but that would sound racist.

  6. This was a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    1. Don’t be so hard on Nick.

  7. Why do you think Trump is not the future Nick? Sorry but the progressive view of history is a lot of undergraduate horse dung. Internationalism is failing. And it’s being rejected by voters all over the world. If there is anything that doesn’t have a future it is your odd brand of cultural relativism and elitism that seems to be on the ropes.

    1. I, for one, look forward to our new Trumpian overlords and Slovenian trophy wives in every garage.

      1. What will the straight women get?

        1. Whatever it is, it’s going to be …uuuuuuge.

        2. An end to work/life balance issues, unless you count making sammiches and bringing me beer as work.

          1. Trump is using *you* to bribe women voters?

      2. Better that then the overlords who will come after if he doesn’t win.

      3. A Slovenian trophy wife of my own? I may have to reconsider voting for this Trump fellow.

    2. Internationalism is failing.

      Where on God’s green earth is internationalism failing? Syria and Lybia and Iraq, certainly. It’s not the fault of globalism that Germany, Sweden, France et al. lost their collective minds on the subject of border control, and the UK has opted to walk back that bit of bad advice. We happen to border a country that regularly sends us drudges and drugs. Poor us! Yes, we could do better on border security. So what? We could do better on many and much more important things, like education and regulation. Making immigration and trade the centerpiece of this election fired up a lot of poor dumb whites and lost Republicans the rest of country.

      1. Sure but Nick defines it to mean open borders.

      2. +1 Jerb-terkin brown horde
        +1 Inscrutable Chinaman

  8. http://www.express.co.uk/news/…..y-services

    How is the future working out in Germany Nick? Oddly reason doesn’t cover this issue much anymore.

  9. Nick, if you want, email me your articles.

    I’ll proofread them, correct them, and email them back.

    1. You’ll have to submit a resume if you want that thankless job.

  10. Given his absolute lack of consistent, coherent policies and his radically backward-looking agenda (anti-trade and migration in an increasingly globalized world?!?)

    Why do libertarians care about globalization? If I/we thought these trade deals were pure-market economics driven, you might have a point. But they most assuredly aren’t. Further, there’s plenty of evidence of ‘peak Globalization’ and/or the idea that globalization isn’t, and hasn’t been, an intrinsic good. At least, America’s decreased reliance on foreign oil is, in many circles, seen as a good thing and Brexit has hardly been the catastrophe everyone thought. The really big downside to both is when people who relied on their nation’s oil wealth suddenly become unemployed, disgruntled and migratory. Being anti-trade/immigration in an increasingly globalized world is only anachronistic if you consider globalization as a God-like force for good.

    1. All good points. Nick doesn’t consider those questions because he has a Marxist view of history. To Nick globalism is the next historical wave and anyone opposed to it for any reason is a reactionary standing in the way of progress. Reason often takes Marxist theory and apllies it to the language of Libertarianism.

      1. How do you oppose or stop or regulate globalization without limiting the rights of people to freely engage in commerce?

        Maybe Nick takes the Marxist view of history (I’m not quite convinced), but you can get to the same conclusion simply by respecting liberty and basic economic rights.

        1. You can’t. But you also can’t embrace globalism without doing the same thing. Life is really hard like that. Do you think Europe is going to end up being more free or in any way a better place for embracing the rights of Muslim boards to come there? And what about the rights of the people who live there to live in peace and have the kind of society they want? Why do the Muslims rights include transforming other people’s nations without their consent?

          These are the kinds of issues Nick can’t answer and is not honest enough to even admit exist So he just calls anymore who raises them a racist.

          1. Yeah, shit’s complicated. If that’s what Nick is saying, then I disagree.

            Europe is in a shitty situation. Though I blame their welfare state and demonization of self-defense more than their immigration policies (to the extent that you can separate their immigration policies from their welfare states).

          2. Why do the Muslims rights include transforming other people’s nations without their consent?

            Sorry, but that depends oin the nature of the “transformation” you’re talking about. To the extent people are behaving peacefully and respecting the rights of other people, no consent is necessary. Our own country’s culture was transformed by successive waves of immigration. Should every successive wave needed the permission of everyone else?

            1. The notion that there is a collective right to determine how a country should proceed is some authoritarian bullshit. You have the right to control your own property, and that’s it. Europe is fucked because they don’t give a shit about that kind of rights and are giving everyone’s property away.

              1. I think it’s a bit more than that, though that’s also part of it. Europe’s nations, unlike the US, are NOT traditionally immigrant and assimilationist. But they have large amounts of immigration. The combination has consequences of the sort that we don’t see here.

                1. Yeah, culture (both of the natives and the immigrants) makes a big difference too.

              2. It’s sort of inherent in democracy, though.

                1. It is inherent in sovereignty. Zeb is a transnational it’s who doesn’t recognize sovereignty.

                  1. No, sovereignty does not imply a collective right to determine how a society should proceed, it implies the sovereign’s right to determine how society should proceed. In a monarchy, collective’s got nothing to do with it. It is inherent in popular sovereignty, IOW democracy.

                  2. “Zeb is a transnational”

                    Kinky.

                    So are libertarians the new Jews? Ties are to international ideals rather than nationalist ones?

                    1. No, they’re (((Proventials))), to use John’s creative neologism.

                    2. Wait, what? Wouldn’t provincialism be the exact opposite of cosmopolitanism?

                      George Orwell is breathing heavily in his grave.

                    3. “Proventialism”, on the other hand, appears to mean that you are some kind of cosmo-fag who doesn’t understand how real people live.

                  3. Zeb is a transnational it’s who doesn’t recognize sovereignty.

                    Not how I’d describe it, but close enough.

                    1. Not how I’d describe it, but close enough.

                      How about “nationfluid”?

                    2. “sovereign-neutral”

            2. “To the extent people are behaving peacefully and respecting the rights of other people, no consent is necessary.”

              And when they are not behaving peacefully and hot to trample the rights of other people, we merely call those complaining about violence and rights-trampling nativist know-nothing racist fascist xenophobes and everything will be OK because principles.

              1. Well, some of us complain about the laws that keep people from defending themselves against the ones who don’t behave peacefully (and the idiots who embrace such laws) and stupid policies that reward people for just showing up and contributing nothing.

          3. Muslim boards to come there?

            These euphemisms are out of control.

      2. You know who else had a globalist view of history?

        1. Kissinger?

        2. Atlas?

        3. Toynbee?

        4. Rand? McNally?

        5. Chiwetel Ejiofor?

        6. Pythagoras?

        7. The Stoics who first called themselves cosmopolitans?

    2. Why do libertarians care about globalization?

      My thought is that globalization, per se, is neither good nor bad. The removal, or at least reduction, in artificial barriers to individuals seeking their own happiness that inexorably leads to “globalization” is a good thing. People should be free to purchase from who they want, to peacefully interact with who they want, and cooperate with who they want. To the extent “globalization” reflects this, it’s a good thing. To the extent “globalization” reflects centralization of political authority in the hands of increasingly homogenous, increasingly technocratic, and increasingly corrupt elites, it’s a bad thing.

      1. Bingo.

        Globalization is a wide umbrella that covers some things that enhance freedom and some that restrict it. It shouldn’t be considered an end in itself, but a lot of free-market thinking will produce results that lend themselves to globalization.

        1. And the Trumpistas are against the parts that enhance freedom.

          They want you to be forced to buy domestically produced products. They want you to be prevented from going to live in some other country. Or from coming to live in theirs.

      2. My thought is that globalization, per se, is neither good nor bad.

        Agreed, but only if defined in a bit of a ‘no true globalization…’ sense. We aren’t, and for the past several decades haven’t been, talking about Joe the Plumber plying his wares in China when we talk about globalization (Unless it was to discuss the Chinese firewall). Instead, we’re talking about free trade on the one hand and and what we’re gonna do about corporate flight and the loss of American jobs (by any/all candidates) on the other. Globalization is so removed from libertarianism and individual liberty I find it hard to justify any meddling by the government one way or the other.

      3. “Globalism” is the radical proposition that the natural rights of man don’t disappear when one crosses an imaginary line drawn by long-dead statists.

        1. In other words, a complete fucking fantasy.

    3. America’s decreased reliance on foreign oil is, in many circles, seen as a good thing

      Not to muddy the picture too much, but the fact is that the US will *always* ‘rely on foreign oil’. and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. but this idea of “energy independence” is a stupid canard.

      All that actually happened was a dip/slowing in growth of imports. We went from 45% imports, to 60% imports between 1995-2005, and then fell back to ~45% by 2015; but the trend is now rising and isn’t going to really change significantly from “about half” of total oil demand.

      I think the more significant change has actually been in the nature of our sources of foreign oil. We’ve doubled our intake from Canada/Mexico, and cut our OPEC supply by more than half. In that sense, “where we get it from” has moved to the Western Hemisphere.

      There’s a similar point to be made re: Brexit. Simply leaving the EU doesn’t mean the UK won’t still be just as reliant on intl-trade as it was before (if not more so). All that it means is that its international relations will be unilateral. The UK could theoretically do “more” intl trade than before.*

      Too often people wave points like this around like truisms. The reality is that the superficial understanding is wildly exaggerated.

      1. Not to muddy the picture too much, but the fact is that the US will *always* ‘rely on foreign oil’. and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. but this idea of “energy independence” is a stupid canard.

        Nonsense. Soon there will be a major war, and you can’t invade China if you’re wasting all your time defending your supply lines from the middle east.

        Trust me, I spent 45 minutes playing Hearts of Iron III last week.

        1. I’d have more faith in your prediction if you had also stayed at a Holiday Inn.

      2. Not to muddy the picture too much, but the fact is that the US will *always* ‘rely on foreign oil’. and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. but this idea of “energy independence” is a stupid canard.

        I don’t think you’re muddying the waters at all. My point is that the term globalization is a big nothing burger, esp. from a libertarian standpoint.

        America gaining energy independence is about as sensible as China buying up all the world’s rare earth metals.

        1. Globalization = fewer borders, fewer border controls, fewer restrictions on what you can do across borders.
          Which is, by definition, more freedom for you. if I can go to Canada without a VISA, I am more free. If I can buy a car from Japan , I am more free.

          It’s fucking elementary why libertarianism goes with globalization.

          1. Bingo. “Globalism” is just the elimination of regionalized statist restrictions.

            1. And replace them with even worse international ones.

              1. After working for some years in Europe watching the centralized EU regulatory vise squeeze tighter, I agree with John.

              2. What would those be John? Can you even articulate them?

                Being able to buy some stuff, sometimes, is better than not being able to buy stuff at all.

          2. Sorry I meant to say “visa” in lower case. Not talking about credit cards here.

        2. I was thinking about China today and came to the realization were are making out like bandits. We send them fiat money in exchange for real goods and they send back the fiat money in exchange for treasury instruments that finance our government at sub inflation rate of return.

          1. Exactly. People are somehow pissed that we’re getting actual stuff instead of subsidizing make-work jobs for a bunch of people who think because they’re “American” (read – they’re white and own trucks) they’re entitled to a better standard of living than people in other countries.

            Trump is all about the entitled rage of the white working class. It’s just another hand out yelling “I want a pony!”

            1. Having foreign enablers for a runaway national debt and budget deficit is a good thing. I guess.

              1. Trade has nothing to do with China buying our debt. Governments don’t need trade agreements to be able to purchase each other’s bonds.

                1. You might want to think one level deeper on that one.

        3. You sounded as though you were downplaying the significance of intl trade, and pretending that “Energy Independence” was a noble goal.

          My point was that from a big-picture POV, there’s been little real change in the nature of the global economy, and the direction of it is probably going to continue to go the way it has been going.

          iow, everyone is going to be more ‘globalized’ one way or the other. The notion the Alt-Righties have of reducing foreign-trade and increasing protectionism and therefore improving the lives of some fictitious class of factory-working yokels is not only “not going to happen”, it wouldn’t produce the results anyone wants regardless.

          I don’t know to what degree libertarianism is supposed to be by-default, “pro-international trade”. I think it should be. Its consistent with the general ideas of allowing the marketplace to improve people’s lives. Its mutually beneficial.

          My thought is that the evidence doesnt suggest any real change in the global status quo, and i don’t think anyone who gets elected will have any significant influence on it either. Sort of like Climate Change = if it exists at all, the best thing one should do (*and the only thing ANYONE can do) is “adapt to it”, because you sure as fuck aint stopping it.

      3. It’s also noteworthy that global trade is responsible for 90% of the changes in our oil consumption. If US-China trade weren’t lifting China out of the middle ages, demand for world oil would not have pushed prices to where fracking was economical. And it is no coincidence that our increased dependence on oil from non-OPEC countries happens to be with those countries that we have the most liberal (relative to the rest of the world) trade policies.

        Even our demand for oil has been driven by an unlocking of value in the lower and middle classes. Their increased productivity and spending power is a direct result of those people getting goods and services at cheaper rates, thanks to our trade with countries like China.

    4. Why do libertarians care about globalization?

      Because, fundamentally, most libertarians are selfish narcissists. And these selfish narcissists are gonna whine and bitch if they have to pay an extra buck for a toaster if it mean another american have a job that would put them in the middle class (i.e. rent, a car payment, insurance, and maybe a family).

      That many, if not most of them are parasitic lawyers (at least in these parts) that produce nothing utterly escapes them.

      2ndly, globalism is like marxism. They are gonna believe what they are gonna believe despite the facts. Like marxism has killed tens of millions of lives and globalism is in the late stages of destroying the American middle class.

      You see, if you have to live in squalor so Nick can attend his cocktail praties and the local fucks can buy cheap, shitty appliances, so be it.

      1. You see? The fundamental premise of the nationalistic anti-trade protectionists is that OTHER AMERICANS be forced to buy stuff from the right people.

        it’s a bunch of bitching and moaning that other people have freedom to buy shit from someone else.
        It’s anti-freedom, by definition.

      2. Great satire of the anti-trade mindset.

        At least, I hope it’s satire.

      3. Oh for fucks sake. That dollar that you would force a person to spend on a toaster is a dollar they won’t spend on an american-made computer, or american made car.

        There are companies all over this country that were started by guys building shit in their garage. They built websites on computers that were made in China. They create clothing from fabrics made in mexico. They deliver goods with cars assembled in Mexico.

        How noble that you would levy a shadow tax on them so that your prefered industry stays afloat, making it too expensive for them to start the next business. Why don’t we just shut all the fucking borders so that no money can leave the country. Sorry if you want tropical fruit or non-native fish to eat. Sucks if a non-american company comes out with a better, cheaper phone. We don’t have any of that stuff to buy, but at least the toaster industry is strong.

        Christ.

      4. Is my sarcasm detector malfunctioning?

    5. If I/we thought these trade deals were pure-market economics driven, you might have a point. But they most assuredly aren’t.

      Why do you care whether Asian markets are open to US products?
      You should care about whether US consumers (i.e. you) are free to purchase products made in asia or not.
      Unilaterally dropping all import tarriffs would be the most libertarian thing of all, but that’s not what Trump and the other nationalists want. They want YOU to be forbidden to buy stuff from other countries so you’ll be forced to buy stuff from Americans.

      ALL import restrictions are anti-libertarian by definition, because they are, by definition, a restriction on the freedom of Americans to buy things.

      1. Jesus Christ, Hazel! What part of “zero sum” don’t you get?

        Watch this over and over until you understand.

    6. “Brexit has hardly been the catastrophe everyone thought”

      Ummm, Brexit hasn’t actually happened yet. It’s been approved, but is currently in the planning stages. While I don’t think it’ll be as bad as people make it out to be claiming this as an example of some kind of positive reversion from globalization is premature.

  11. It’s far from clear that Trump has in fact “destroyed the republican party.”

    It’s more arguable that Trump has destroyed the Bush family and their brand of “conservatism” (which isn’t totally the same thing as the republican party), but I would argue that George W. Bush was more responsible for that than Trump.

    1. All of that. And reason hates that brand of conservatism. You would think they would be happy about that. It is almost as if they were lying in all of their bitching about Bush.

      1. Wait until jeb endorses johnson. I think you’ll find a newfound appreciation of his insight and history. All part of the anti-team team.

  12. I think that the point is (or should be) that globalization, whether it is all good or not, is what is likely to happen when the technology exists to make it possible. And the only way to stop or hinder it is with even more freedom-limiting pollicies.

    I don’t think that any libertarian with half a brain thinks that moving towards more free and open trade an freer markets will have no downsides for anyone. Everything has tradeoffs.

    1. Sure they know that. The problem is when you tell the people suffering downsides to go fuck themselves and call them racists for even raising the issue. The other issue is no libertarian with half a brain or no ever suffers those downsides. What you call your principles look to someone on th outside like a set of rationalizations for your self interest. That is fine but it gets a bit rich when you talk about how wonderful and principled your self interested policies are and how everyone else policies are just racist and anti progress.

      Find me a libertarian who ever once supported a policy that didn’t also benefit them.

      1. The other issue is no libertarian with half a brain or no ever suffers those downsides.

        Yeah, because we are all well-off lawyers with cushy government jobs. No libertarians work in industries that might see negative effects from foreign competition.

        1. Game. Set. Match. Zeb.

        2. snark doesn’t take away from my point Zeb. Show me one open borders libertarian calling everyone who disagrees a racist who has kids in a school overwhelmed by immigrants. Reason is headquartered in a nice area of DC. You know where the government sent the Syrian refugees reason wanted so badly? Rural Virginia. Far away from Reason and its staff

          It is a valid question to ask when anyone ever supports a policy that adversely affects them personally but because it is the right thing to do. If you can’t answer yes to that question, fine. But then stop questioning those who disagree with you motivates.

          1. Show me one open borders libertarian calling everyone who disagrees a racist who has kids in a school overwhelmed by immigrants.

            I would raise my hand except that I don’t go along with “overwhelmed.” And I don’t think “racist” but I do think “pants-shitting ignorant nativist.”

            1. And I will go with Bum Fuck Provential who doesn’t know shit about the world and thinks everyone is just like him

              Renegade you seem to be a pretty solid bum fuck Provential. The idea that there might be people out there you don’t want to meet let alone live next door to you would never occur to you

              1. Well, I can certainly say that I wouldn’t want to meet any of the evil fucks who work for DHS or the other unconstitutional agencies that would be abolished in any just world where the constitution wasn’t treated like toilet paper.

                Then again, I can spell “provincial.”

              2. John, check the handles. Please, it’ll help a great deal. ‘Coz that’s Renegade you’re calling provincial, and the guy’s lived in more states than quite possibly anyone except me. And I’ve been both a military wife and a hitchhiker, the only way to see more states than that is to work for IBM.

                You two have been talking to (and, granted, sometimes at) each other for, what, a decade now? The word has neither point nor meaning if you level it against someone you know doesn’t fit.

                1. Well, also in several other countries. But that’s part of Proventialism.

          2. Show me one open borders libertarian calling everyone who disagrees a racist who has kids in a school overwhelmed by immigrants.

            [raises hand]

            I’m not a libertarian and I don’t call everyone who isn’t open borders a racist, but you don’t have to swing that dead cat very far in that room to hit one.

          3. My middle class white kids are part of the 6% of the white portion of the school population. The rest is largely Hispanic, black and Asian.

            As a result, The Boy has a smoking Filipina as his first serious gf. He really knocked it out of the park.

            1. Most of the kids in my boy’s school are Mexican and Central American immigrants. They set a great example of hard work and ambition, and he’s developing a taste for the brown. He seems impervious to the influence their work ethic, sadly enough.

              1. *the influence of their work ethic

                I blame the keyboard.

                1. I learned it from you Dad!

              2. Yeah, the response I would get, when they were told that they to work harder in school was, “God dad, we’re not Asian, you know.”

              3. Most of the kids in my boy’s school are Mexican and Central American immigrants. They set a great example of hard work and ambition,

                What are the test scores and graduation rates?

                1. No idea, and I have something less than zero interest and faith in test scores. They’re great kids, they speak at least two languages, and they work their asses off.

                  1. So in other words, it could be one of the poorest-performing schools in the district, but hey, two languages!

            2. Yesssssss…

          4. Show me one open borders libertarian calling everyone who disagrees a racist who has kids in a school overwhelmed by immigrants.

            How are we defining “overwhelmed”? My kid goes to a public school as part of a dual language program where 50% of the class is composed of native Spanish speakers, a substantial part of whom I would presume are immigrants.

            1. How are we defining “overwhelmed”?

              Yeah, right there is the tell that the “question” was mendacious.

          5. Show me one of these people screaming “No Globalization” who hasn’t directly benefited from it. They are following trump’s tweets on phones from china. They eat food imported from mexico and canada. Even if they wear made-in-america clothes or drive USA trucks, the price of those items is driven down by overseas competition and by the fact that their input resources were produced globally, or similarly driven cheaper by foreign competition.

            1. “Why are these people voting against their own interests?”–Gee, where have I seen that lament before?

      2. The other issue is no libertarian with half a brain or no ever suffers those downsides. What you call your principles look to someone on th outside like a set of rationalizations for your self interest.

        Aaaaand John goes full Red Tony.

        Find me a libertarian who ever once supported a policy that didn’t also benefit them.

        I mean, seriously? Are you really so blindly partisan that you can’t find one of 8 million examples? Here’s a simple one: I think the state of NJ should completely eliminate its teachers’ pension. Doing so would likely cost me a quarter of my future retirement income.

          1. His Red Tonyness is overstated, IMO. He’s usually between a 3 and a 6 on the RT scale. But actually parroting Tony’s favorite argument? That’s pretty rare.

            1. If you wouldn’t call anyone who disagrees with you about open borders racist and insist that only you are making a good faith argument, you would not be so easily called out on this.

              1. I don’t do that, but thanks for your concern.

                Note: arguing against the libertarians in your head instead of the arguments they make is part of the reason you’ve acquired that nickname in the first place.

                1. I guess I have just imagined all of the hundreds of times people have called me racist and collectivist for objecting to open borders on here.

                  Of course when called on it You swear it never happened. Libertarians are perfect. Everyone knows that.

                  1. So your feelings were hurt on the internet?

                    1. My feelings are never hurt. But I know a bad faith argument and call people on it. And that seems to hurt a lot of feelings.

                  2. You’ve been called a racist plenty of times, sometimes when you weren’t even making racist arguments. But it’s to be expected considering that there is a clear and obvious racist streak among a substantial minority of the border control movement.

                    Point is, I’ve never done that.

                    1. No. I have been racist because the idiots doing it had lost the argument and that is all they had.

                      Sorry but, you can’t blame Libertarians for making bad faith arguments because all you racists look alike isn’t much of a defense.

                    2. Maybe stop using the useless hyperbole of “open borders.” That could help. Also having a coherent immigration policy argument.

                  3. I guess I have just imagined all of the hundreds of times people have called me racist and collectivist for objecting to open borders on here.

                    Gee, John, I have no idea why people might assume that someone who ascribes arguments to someone that they didn’t make because other people who have similar views have made such arguments might be a collectivist.

        1. Good for you. We have one. And there is nothing partisan about this. Where did I say Republicans are any better? They are not. People are generally self interested. My problem is libertarians have a bad habit of acting like they are different and they are not.

          And of course the board is going to go insane over this. Striking a nerve does that. The truth always hurts more than lies.

          1. Libertarians tend to be fairly well educated and smart and capable of navigating the maze of regulations and rules that have been set up to make doing business harder. Those rules help to keep a lot of less sophisticated people from doing things like starting businesses and getting ahead. A lot of libertarians gain a competitive advantage that way. Getting rid of a lot of regulation, licensing, etc. would help out the poor and minority populations a lot more than it would most libertarians. It’s really not all about self-interest.

            1. That is bs. No libertarian I have ever met thinks they would personally be worse off without regulations. Come on Zeb do you really think they hate regulations because they care so much about the poor or because the regulations suck and make life worse? The latter like everyone else

              1. I agree that libertarians think that all their policy ideas would personally benefit them. Libertarianism is, as a whole, a total contradiction, and thus amounts to a wishlist for specific types of people. The contradiction is “Government is bad because it is violent. Thus it should only do those things that involve shooting or imprisoning people.” The upshot is that libertarians get to keep their property but don’t have to care about the needs or wants of anyone else. I seriously believe, as you seem to, that libertarians think they could live pretty much exactly the same lifestyle they do now, or better, in a libertarian world.

                What they don’t get is that all their policies, contradictions and all, are not actually their own wishlist, but the wishlist of the uber-rich. Low taxes, no redistribution, but all the property protection they could possibly ask for? It doesn’t actually benefit most true believers, but is great for people who have only certain needs from government; the rest they pay cash for. The term useful idiot comes to mind.

                1. And they’re off…

                2. The contradiction is “Government is bad because it is violent. Thus it should only do those things that involve shooting or imprisoning people.”

                  You’re right, government probably oughtn’t be involved in those things, either. I never took you for an anarcho-capitalist.

                  1. Anarcho-capitalism, even more of a self-contradiction, helpfully distilled into a single oxymoron. That’s literally what I described: no government, except for those parts that secure people’s hold on capital. Because that’s fair.

                    1. Er, no. Everything is privatized. Private police, subscription-based defense, the lot. No, it’s not practical, let alone achievable. Yes, to an extent we must rely on collective provision of certain functions the State normally provides. Which is why those services should be as even-handed and light of touch as possible, because it’s a bad solution to worse problems. Instead we have your system, the pervasive and perverse exercise of authority over every facet of life whilst empowering a bureaucratic and political elite.

                    2. If something is necessary it is therefore good. If it is good, why not have more of it?

                    3. Tony:

                      If something is necessary it is therefore good. If it is good, why not have more of it?

                      “If something Food is necessary it is therefore good. If it is good, why not have more of it?”

                      Uh, to have some mitigation strategy against becoming a fat bastard?

                      Is that a trick question, or sarcasm? I’m sorry, but I feel Poe’d on this one. That’s a stupid question.

                3. Holy shit, you may have missed a leftist cliche in there. Better go back and fix it.

                4. A Leninist term comes readily to mind for you? I’m shocked.

                5. “Government is bad because it is violent. Thus it should only do those things that involve shooting or imprisoning people.”

                  Democrats and socialists are a contradiction:
                  “Government is awesome because it stands up for the little people! Damnit, when will it stop being ruined by plutocrats?”

                  And, that’s fair.

              2. do you really think they hate regulations because they care so much about the poor or because the regulations suck and make life worse?

                One of the great things about being an individualist is not buying into the horseshit altruistic claptrap that your motives are evil if they don’t benefit the collective. But more importantly, those things aren’t mutually exclusive. Everyone would benefit from less regulation, and poor people would arguably benefit more than wealthy people since wealthy people can afford to defend their wealth and navigate the regulatory environment better than the poor (Google “regulatory capture” some time).

                As a person anecdote, ending Social Security, for example, would not benefit me in any way and would pretty much decimate some of the closest people in my life who I love very much. I nevertheless support it wholeheartedly because it is good policy and the right thing to do.

                1. My point is that you can’t blame the people who would be decimated by ending Social Security for thinking that is a bad idea. Too often Libertarians talk about greedy geezers as if they would act any differently if they where the ones facing ruin.

                  1. My point is that you can’t blame the people who would be decimated by ending Social Security for thinking that is a bad idea.

                    Sure. I don’t do that, and have sometimes noted it as well. People’s life experiences obviously shape their views on such things. Reason proudly touts that its readership is better educated and wealthier than the general population. Still, it doesn’t mean that every libertarian is a spoiled robber baron, and even for the lucky ones who are, it doesn’t mean they can’t speak to issues that primarily effect the poorer or less educated even if they can’t necessarily empathize or identify with their thinking. Not every libertarian is cytotoxic (who, it should be noted, is a troll and only says that retarded shit to get a rise out of people).

                    1. Still, it doesn’t mean that every libertarian is a spoiled robber baron…

                      You mean all this time I might have been mixing with the hoi poloi? You’ve shocked me so badly my monocle just fell into my champagne!

                  2. Zeb is a transnational it’s who doesn’t recognize sovereignty.

                    Don’t tell me what I can do!

                    But seriously, I can blame them for pretending that SS is a good idea that we must keep going. I can’t blame them for wanting to get what was promised and/or what they already paid for.

              3. Perhaps I stated it badly and oversold the advantage part. But what I am trying to get across is that rules and regulations privilege smart, educated people and established businesses. Of course libertarians believe that they and everyone would be better off with less regulation. But the point is that poor and working class people have as much or more to gain from freer markets, contrary to what the leftist assholes always going on about people voting against their own interests would claim.

                1. What about regulations that are meant to prevent the poisoning and injury of people, who whether poor and dumb or not, don’t have time in their life to do lab tests on every breast of chicken they buy or the water they drink?

                  Your characterization applies only to bad, useless regulations.

                  1. “What about regulations that are meant to prevent the poisoning and injury of people”

                    You mean like the regulations that were in place to stop an Enron-like situation, prior to the Enron collapse?

                    Or maybe the 127,000 pages of SEC regulations that didn’t stop the dot-com stock scam of 2001 nor the CDO scam of 2008?

                    Perhaps you’re referring to the regulations that ban the poisoning of water supplies prior to the Flint situation?

                    Or maybe the regulations that prevent e coli from entering the food supply, right before yet another e coli outbreak?

                    “Oh but our intentions are good” doesn’t cut it.

                    1. So because regulations don’t prevent every bad thing, they are therefore always useless. Ah how I missed the heightened level of debate at reason.

                  2. Certification companies. Do you even Mises, bro?

                  3. So only to 99 percent of regulation?

                  4. What about regulations that are meant to prevent the poisoning and injury of people, who whether poor and dumb or not, don’t have time in their life to do lab tests on every breast of chicken they buy or the water they drink?

                    Lab tests are not performed by the USDA on every breast of chicken you buy or the water you drink you ignorant fuck. And civil and criminal law are more than sufficient to incentivize food and water producers not to poison their customers. If anything, regulations actually shield shitty producers since compliance with minimum standards that are not necessarily best practices insulates them from liability.

                    I say this, of course, for the benefit of the already converted, as this has been explained to you at length many times and you continue flogging the same tired bumper sticker-depth talking points as if you are elucidating some heretofore unexplored territory in political philosophy.

                    1. At least I’m not the one implying that courts aren’t part of the fucking government.

                    2. At least I’m not the one implying that courts aren’t part of the fucking government.

                      You’re the only one stupid enough to think that anybody actually said that, or that the two are inseparable. Of course, that is nothing new.

                    3. regulations that are meant to

                      There’s the key.

                  5. Tony actually believes that poisoning and injuring people is a good business model. Yes, he really is that stupid.

                    1. Do you believe that all businesses automatically have good business models?

                      Or that without a floor on acceptable business practices, there wont’ be incentive to have lax standards, especially if it saves money, because of the looming threat that a victim will use the fucking government to seek restitution?

                    2. So there are businesses who have bad business models… but all government is 100% flawless and effective. Gotcha.

                    3. You suck at arguing.

                  6. Most people just cook their chicken before eating it.

                    1. Is there a clearer illustration that libertarianism is nothing more than lame, flimsy excuse-making for narrow corporate interests? Jesus Christ, people are arguing that it’s freer and more efficient for people to get sick or die and then for them or their loved ones to take up space in the government court system than just to have rules in the first place.

                      Presumably after this system is in place it would be time to argue for “tort reform.”

                      The plutocrats don’t want their restaurants less regulated. They want their corporate behavior less regulated and their wealth less taxed. Forcing the little people into the court system where they’d have to compete with entities that are a million times wealthier, rather than having government protect the little people in the first place, isn’t really about mom-and-pop restaurants.

                      And anyone with half a brain can see that this isn’t an argument for less government.

                    2. “Corporations! Billionaires! The 1%! Surely throwing out some of these tired cliches will help me avoid having to address the fact that the socialist system I advocate has failed, still fails today, and will continue to fail in the future!”

                    3. Jesus Christ, people are arguing that it’s freer and more efficient for people to get sick or die and then for them or their loved ones to take up space in the government court system than just to have rules in the first place.

                      This logic only works if we presume from the outset that it is in the best interest of a business to poison, maim and kill its customers. It is not. Also, the process for remedy when injury occurs is the same in either case. Government regulations failed to prevent recent outbreaks of listeria and salmonella, and a government-controlled water monopoly failed to prevent mass contamination of an entire city’s water supply. The only difference the regulations made is that retards like you had a false sense of safety because they assumed that a collection of self-interested assholes calling itself “government” was somehow more noble than a collection of self-interested assholes calling itself a corporation. Your world is a Captain Planet cartoon where businessmen are innately evil as an ends unto itself, and must be opposed by a small but dedicated band of innately good G-men. And this represents sophistication and nuance of thought in your mind.

                      And anyone with half a brain…

                      Well, there’s your problem. Not everyone is operating with half a brain, as you are.

                    4. Again, you’re arguing that all businesses operate at peak efficiency. What if there is a business whose interest it would be to poison people? Say, a factory that dumps toxic waste into a river rather than pay the expense of disposing of it properly? Is that something that never happens?

                      If the market worked like the clockwork machine you claim it does, the regulations would never have been necessary in the first place.

                    5. Because companies don’t have a huge incentive not to make their customers sick without government regulation.
                      You realize that food safety regulations do more to shield companies that sell tainted food than to punish them? Probably not.

          2. Partisan doesn’t just refer to political party, you know. You’re blindly anti-libertarian at this point. Or, perhaps more accurately, populist and anti-internationalist and you seen to view libertarianism as opposed to both.

            It’s more than a little off-putting, and it makes it hard to take your arguments seriously.

            1. I am not blindly anti Libertarian. I agree with them about a lot of things. They are however wrong about some things and they are no more or less self interested and enlightened than anyone else.

              You think I am blindly ant libertarian because you can’t accept any criticism of your own ideology. Who is blind here? Me for saying that libertarians are just as apt to be self interested as anyone else or you for being offended that I would even suggest such a thing?

      3. Find me a libertarian who ever once supported a policy that didn’t also benefit them.
        Dude, come on. That’s ridiculous.

        Okay, I work for an oil refining company in the U.S. We benefited like hell from the crude oil export ban, got to munch on oceans of cheap domestic crude that legally couldn’t go to any foreign competitors.

        I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see the crude oil export ban lifted because it was better for freedom of trade in energy, and government has no business telling anyone who to sell oil to. I even gently needled a company higher-up about how complacent we seemed about that particular freedom when he was presenting on how freedom-loving the company’s PAC was.

        1. Did you lose your job over it? I am speaking more about Libertarians who love open borders but the closest the come to an actual immigrant is that great taco stand.

          Again, there is nothing wrong with self interest. What is wrong is when Libertarians and others think that anyone else seeking their self interest is just racist and bad faith but their self interest is pure and about freedom and principles.

          1. “Did you lose your job over it?”

            LOL! You still believe in “jobs” and all the other false promises that statists make to you.

            Your “job” is at will, your “pension” is a promise that will never be fulfilled, and your “economic security” is a myth.

            Put on your big boy pants and accept that anyone who is “promising” you a “safe, secure, well-paying job” is either unbelievably stupid and ignorant, or manipulating your stupidity to control you.

            There is NOTHING that is “secure” or “safe” or “guaranteed.” NOTHING.

            Until you drill that point into your skull, it’s not worth conversing with you, because you’re still buying into nonsensical bullshit like “job security” and “losing my job.”

            1. Why don’t you put on your big boy pants and make a cogent response because that dogs breakfast isn’t cutting it.

              1. The cogent response is already there.

                Until you give up your fantasies about “jobs” and “wages,” you’re living in la-la fantasy land.

          2. No, that’s why I included “gently”. I made the room uncomfortable but I didn’t press my luck.

            I don’t wholly disagree with you on immigration, but if you’re talking about one issue don’t deliberately phrase it like you’re talking about every single issue using words like ever once.

      4. This sounds just like the arguments that progressive lefties use against libertarians and conservatives too. “Sure, free markets and hard work might help YOU, but what about all the urban poor?!? We need socialism now!”

        Funny how the left and right are indistinguishable these days.

        1. Sometimes even the left has a point. The market is not a judgment from God. And not every result the market produces is necessarily fair or just. Libertarians just act like they are because considering those issues requires a bit more thinking

          1. And not every result the market produces is necessarily fair or just.

            In a completely freed market all transactions are, by definition, voluntary and hence fair and just (unless it is discovered that one party has defrauded the other or fails to adhere to the bargain – in which case that’s what arbitration and courts are for). Not necessarily beneficial to all current constituencies would be more accurate.

            1. What John said is accurate. You’ve already opened the door to government involvement for transactions that don’t go the way you think they should. You just choose not to think about things in more complex terms–and we’re talking about the most complex institution on earth.

              1. You’ve already opened the door to government involvement for transactions that don’t go the way you think they should.

                Well, no, not at all actually. You could (and do) have arbitration and dispute resolution with no government at all. A great many contracts are subject to private arbitration even today. And the great thing about a contract is that the terms are written down so that it’s easy to tell if someone fails to live up to the agreement – it’s not based on “transactions not going the way you think they should”. You’re creating imaginary hobgoblins and calling them “complexity” because you think it might possibly paper over the utter vacuity of your argument, which is that every voluntary transaction has a winner and a loser, which relies upon every single person in the world being an irrational, drooling idiot who cannot sufficiently comprehend their own interests without the guiding hand of other irrational, drooling idiots to guide them.

                1. Do you guys seriously sit around and daydream about a form of society that will never exist in a million years? How useless is that.

                  You’re an obsessive-compulsive scrubbing away any signs of government from this mental construct, because you think that’s the one pathway to a just society. Obviously this world in which disputes are resolved through private arbitration alone is a total nonsensical fantasy. But if the sum total of your political worldview is that government is the boogey monster, I can see how you’d feel the need go down that stupid road.

                  1. And then you sit around and argue with us about it, so who’s really the loser here?

                    (Me, for responding to Tony.)

          2. The market is just free people deciding to do business with each other.

            What you’re advocating is a basically holding pistols to the heads of the people who want to do business with each other, and telling them that you’ll kill them if they do it the way they want to.

            1. Except you need some arbiter to hold a pistol to anyone’s head who would commit fraud, as defined by you I guess. Probably doesn’t include polluting the commons or packaging risky loans or anything like that. Just imagine externalities away, and a government-free is possible!

    2. That seems questionable. It’s always going to be more efficient to rearrange matter where it is than ship it halfway across the planet to be rearranged.

      In the short run, division of labor and the expense and specialization of capital mean that globalization has an edge. In the long run, production of capital itself becomes optimized enough that capital is easily accessible and it makes more sense to produce locally, or even domestically, with the exception of certain rare materials that can only be found in certain places.

    3. I don’t think that any libertarian with half a brain thinks that moving towards more free and open trade an freer markets will have no downsides for anyone. Everything has tradeoffs.

      I conceptualize ‘globalization’ as distinct from ‘free markets’ or at least, meaning something different. The market has trade offs. Globalization (esp. when regarding immigration policy) includes things like protectionism and even interventionism (military or bail-outs), soft and hard diplomacy, addressing corporate flight, etc. When Nick acts like globalization is a/the unyielding endpoint and anyone opposed is backwards and anachronistic it, very much, strikes me as being a naive/optimistic/foolish one-worlder.

  13. Trump Derp II: The Wrath of John

    1. Did you stay up all night working on that pithy response? You forgot to yell TRADE WAR and red tony. Or are you saving the big guns for later?

      1. Nah, I just think you’re cute when you’re angry. Those quivering lips and flashing eyes…

        1. That was a pretty good one for you. I fingered you must have thought hard

          1. That was a pretty good one for you. I fingered you must have thought hard

            That’s HAWT.

            *lossens shirt*

          2. ” I fingered you must have thought hard”

            Go on….

          3. That was an interesting Johno.

            1. And people on here say I am not gay affirming.

              1. By the way, that wasn’t really chocolate. You were just enjoying it so much I didn’t have the heart to stop you.

  14. When did “Dumpster Fire” become a common phrase.

    “Given his absolute lack of consistent, coherent policies and his radically backward-looking agenda (anti-trade and migration in an increasingly globalized world?!?), he is not the future of anything”

    This is pretty good, but with this logic though libertarianism is what, nothing but an idealized relic of the 19th century?

    1. According to Google trends is had a spike in popularity as a descriptor for the 2004 election, muddled along and then really took off with Trump.

    2. I’ve seen it used pretty frequently on message boards and in comment sections over the last 5 years wrt the management teams of the Maple Leafs and Oilers, but its usage in respectable publications is a recent development.

      1. I’m probably just an old crank, but it just looks so desperate.

        1. Indeed. “Dumpster fire” needs to be thrown under the bus of clich?s.

  15. Sorry, what does “destroying” the Republican Party get you? A large portion of the electorate does not like open borders and you do not seem to want the votes of conservatives, so what does that give you but Democrat dominance?

    1. They’re sooooooo good on civil liberties. I saw a lot of libertarian ideas up on that stage. Welfare should just be pure, unrestricted cash. What could go wrong?

      1. Nothing that isn’t already going wrong, only you’ll get a lot less overhead.

      2. You have to be pragmatic, giving up political free speech is a small price to pay for trans in the military.

  16. Today’s Pew research poll showed GJ at 10%.

    Matt, how is the trend looking?

    1. Matt who?

      And what are the start and end-points of your trend?

    2. Well, Gary’s having a good August poll-wise, but after his terrible July he probably needed a stupendous August to stay on track for the debates.

  17. People get this stuff backward in never-ending attempts to proclaim to the Internet that they’re above it all. The Republican and Democratic parties 100 years ago looked nothing like their current incarnations. Their policies and demographic makeups change or even completely swap places, while their names remain the same.
    Libertarians have had much success influencing American politics–via the Republican party, which shares at least some of their policy positions and rhetoric. Same goes to some extent for the Democratic party, which shares libertarian ideas on criminal justice reform and such. The Libertarian party, however, is, along with the Greens, just another in a constant supply of outlets for

        1. About time, you were never effective in the first place.

    1. What you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone here is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

  18. Whatever happens in November, all of us who have political perspectives that are routinely discounted or dismissed by the Republican-Democratic duopoly should thank Donald Trump for creating a blueprint to power for us.

    Libertarians need another blueprint outlining how to lose? I don’t get it.

  19. Nick you poor deluded fool, I get that you like to look at the world through rose colored glasses but it is getting close to the time that we need to have an intervention for you.

    No, Trump did not destroy the Republican Party, George Bush did that when he doubled government spending and bailed out the banks. Trump’s rise to power only happened because the Republican Party was little more than a derelict hulk drifting and helpless with no direction or energy.

    What’s more, there is no libertarianish savior who can come in and take over an existing party because as much as people might be libertarians in their private lives the overwhelming majority of them WANT someone in power politically. There is no libertarian moment and as much as the world is getting better in the private sphere in many ways the political sphere has been moving in a less and less libertarian direction for decades and the majority of people have cheered it along.

    The best we can hope for going forward is to live superficially free lives within a semi fascist police state

    1. No, Trump did not destroy the Republican Party, George Bush did that when he doubled government spending and bailed out the banks.

      Bush wasn’t alone. The GOP establishment aided the destruction by giving their base McCain, Romney, Boehner, McConnell, Ryan, etc. and then supinely failing to impede the Democrats march toward progressive utopia.

    2. George Bush did that when he doubled government spending and bailed out the banks.

      *ahem* Iraq War *ahem*

      1. Goes without saying that the Iraq War hurt the GOP, but many limited govt types could believe their betters’ arguments about the evil Saddam and his WoMD. However, limited government types simply could not believe that the GOP elites really supported their touchstone of limited govt when GOP elites enthusiastically supported Medicare Part D, NCLB, steel tariffs, TARP, GM bailouts, the Fed’s monetary policy, govt-guaranteed home mortgages and student loans for deadbeats, etc., etc. Bush might as well of declared that “the era of limited government is over”.

        One name stands out among those who wrecked the GOP: Karl Rove.

        1. What Cato said. The domestic spending spree the Bush administration went on is what made me finally admit to myself that limited government was nothing more than boilerplate for the GOP, something they talked about endlessly and did nothing to pursue.

      2. The Iraq War in and of itself did not destroy the Republican Party, however the complete and utter failure to even have a plan for what to do in it’s aftermath sure helped. As a general rule most Republicans were (and remain) pro military and would have at least mostly backed the Iraq war even if it had been lead by a Democrat. Sure it increased the political divisions between Republicans and Democrats and hurt the Republican brand among independents but it wasn’t really a factor in the breakup of the Republican coalition.

        1. The Iraq War in and of itself did not destroy the Republican Party, however the complete and utter failure to even have a plan for what to do in it’s aftermath sure helped.

          And notice that it’s simply presumed, even by the “no blood for oil” Democrats, that we’ll simply continue to keep troops stationed in the Middle East for an indeterminate amount of time. We’ve been there over 25 god-damned years now, and what exactly do we have to show for all that money, materiel, and human lives spent? A region that’s even more fucked up than it was when we arrived.

          Seriously, who gives a fuck if Trump destroyed the GOP? Our middle east policy alone the last 25+ years should be justification enough to burn both parties to the ground.

  20. There is no libertarian moment

    I prefer to think that the libertarian moments are very fleeting.

    But Nick’s blind optimism is getting to be a bit over the top, even for me.

  21. On substance and style, he’s a dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack.

    Only a hint?
    Given the paranoid conspiracy theories and getting the Khan twitter spat, I’d say he’s somewhere between wigging out meth-head and flakka face-eating.

    1. Hit no hint. Here, smoke moar crack.

  22. Penn Jillette 2020!

  23. From the AM Links =

    If Libertarians Want To Be Relevant, Maybe They Should Focus On Promoting Liberty
    “Nick Gillespie’s version of libertarianism is fundamentally defined by its hostility to the ideas and concerns of everybody else on the right.”

    I haven’t really taken the time to read it in detail. but he hits a few sore spots.

    I will say that once i get the gist of what Nick’s/Suderman/Shikha’s latest Trump-screed is going to be? I don’t read them anymore. Call me back when you guys have something to say about policy.

    1. Libertarians aren’t “on the right.”

      Lots of libertarians have kissed conservative ass for decades to try and get ahead in the GOP — and adopted statist right-wing ideology as a result — but that doesn’t make us righties. It makes them conservatives.

      That freedom for individuals “offends” lefties or righties shouldn’t bother libertarians at all — in fact, we’re not doing our jobs if we don’t induce rage amongst the control freaks who want us to “tone it down” and “accept some reasonable authoritarianism.”

      1. Soi-disant “fusionism” has always been as much as a farce as “liberaltarianism“. Tracinski’s piece serves as a prime example that it has been nothing more than an 8-year extended hissy-fit by “libertarian-leaning” conservatives that we won’t accept their demands for one-sided compromise, as their cows are inherently more sacred than ours.

        1. Yep. Trouble is, a one-sided compromise doesn’t do much for us, which is problematic in a free market exchange.

          What value do we get out of expanded statism? Zero.

      2. Libertarians aren’t “on the right.”

        Yes actually, yes they are, in whatever form we continue to use the old seating arrangement of the French. Libertarians seems to view human nature in the same way the right does, slightly malleable but not completely modifiable. The right in general may support diversely different principles, but it’s that focus on principles in an unperfect world that defines it from the left.

        The left’s position is, and always will be, the expansion of state power in an attempt to bring about utopia via a heavily regulated society and the destruction of institutions they believe are detrimental, where they attempt to fundamentally change human nature into some New Soviet Man. Its position is inherently an anti-thesis to libertarian values. If you think libertarianism has any future in that environment there’s no hope for you.

        1. Don’t fool yourself. The right loves state power, and “conservatives” are some of its fiercest defenders.

          They even contrive concepts like “states’ rights,” which argue that a jackboot on your face with a federal logo is an outrageous travesty, but the same boot on your face with a state government or city government logo on it is “liberty.”

          1. Hence ‘they may support diversely different principles’. ‘States’ rights’ are in no way reflective of power abuse in the same way the left’s desire for control is. They are reflective of conflicts between libertarianism and conservativism, of course, but no true conservative is aiming for utopia and willing to destroy anything that gets in their way. The very concept you use as an example shows this. ‘States rights?’ You mean the theory of decentralizing power into smaller management systems and allowing a politically diverse landscape of ideals representative of the population? Sorry, doesn’t scream “unlimited power” in the same way the ‘centralize and control’ of the left does.

            Again, the ‘right wing’ mentality has far more in common with libertarianism than the ‘left wing’ mentality. Burke may be a sonofabitch, but he’s a sonofabitch with principles.

            1. “‘States’ rights’ are in no way reflective of power abuse in the same way the left’s desire for control is.”

              Do you actually believe this stuff?

              Both the left and the right use local government to control other people. What they seek to control is just different.

              Right wingers say that I shouldn’t be able to make my own basic family choices. They say I shouldn’t be able to ride the whoopie train with my husband because that’s “immoral,” and that it’s better for a kid to waste away in a government orphanage than have two dads. They pass all sorts of local laws to show “society’s disapproval,” pass zoning laws that say you can’t live together, pass laws preventing you from visiting your spouse at the hospital, etc.

              Left wingers say that I’m too stupid to make my own economic and personal decisions. They pass local laws that force me to hire a union electrician to change a fixture in my home, get a permit to add a door inside my home, tell me when and where I can get health care, regulate what banks I should have nearby, etc.

              Both of them are identical. The idea that one branch of statism “wants more control over your life,” or that local statism is somehow massively different, is a comforting lie that libertarians who sold out to the right wing tell themselves to silence that little voice in their heads that is screaming in protest.

              1. And again, you didn’t actually read what I wrote and just spun it into a rant. Please, explain to me how saying “I want more local control of a political unit. And the political unit next to this unit can have policies or positions I disagree with, and that’s fine” is more about power and control than “I want everything managed from on-high with no deviation, except that which is approved from on-high”. It’s almost like they’re two divergent worldviews, one of which is more conductive for liberty?

                They say I shouldn’t be able to ride the whoopie train with my husband because that’s “immoral,” and that it’s better for a kid to waste away in a government orphanage than have two dads.

                You then spend the rest of your comment collectivizing all right-wingers into religious, anti-gay conservatives. In fact, seeing your other comments you clearly have a very vapid and stereotypical view of those on the right wing in general. There’s tons of right-wingers who express disapproval of homosexuality behaviour but aren’t willing to involve the state. That’s not to say that anti-gay conservatives don’t exist or that some aren’t willing to use the state or control, monitor or actively punish homosexual behaviour, but to cast all on the right as just waiting to do so is fundamentally dishonest or ignorant. Again, their principles in regards to government can and will trump their principles in regards to sexuality.

                1. And if you jump back on and scream about how everyone on the right is just waiting to oppress the homosexuals, I am perfectly willing to provide examples.

            2. Should California be broken up into more manageable populations? What is the proper population size that can manage self-governance?

              Assuming we’re going to go on pretending that “states rights” has never, ever been about anything else but the right of states to allow slavery or various other oppressions of minorities throughout the centuries.

              1. Assuming we’re going to go on pretending that “states rights” has never, ever been about anything else but the right of states to allow slavery or various other oppressions of minorities throughout the centuries.

                Except for that whole period when states’ rights were used a justification to avoid enforcing federal mandates in regards to slavery, which directly contradicts your idiotic talking point.

                Tony, being a typical arrogant and self-centered American, is also ignorant enough not to realize that there are states’ rights issues outside of the United States, and have in fact been an issue outside of the United States for hundreds of years.

        2. I disagree with your characterization of the Right. The Right is not just non-utopian; they are anti-utopian. That is, as per Leviathan, human nature is inherently depraved due to some variant (secular or not) of an Edenic Fall. Therefore, the purpose of the state is to conserve what is seen stemming from a “golden age” from the innate ignorance and selfishness of modern man.

          This view of human nature is radically opposed to a libertarian view.

          1. Some on the right have a utopia — it’s just a religious one. They want to be Raptured, and long for the day when they can sit on a cloud, laugh and point while the people they hate are all tortured for all eternity.

          2. And libertarianism is not an inherently anti-utopian philosophy as well? If given a choice between a system where everyone has all their needs met but are required to follow a strict, unbending regime of rules and schedules, would the libertarian accept this utopia? Or does a libertarian accept the world as inherently imperfect and challenge any subjective notion of a ‘perfect society’?

            Therefore, the purpose of the state is to conserve what is seen stemming from a “golden age” from the innate ignorance and selfishness of modern man.

            (Ignoring ancaps)Our willingness to accept a state to impose libertarian law in regards to NAP violations is not in the same vein? Most libertarians do accept a partially Weberian view of the state’s monopoly on violence, it’s just that their philosophy qualifies it as being solely for combating violence.

            I’d also argue that Burke has way more influence on modern conservatism than Leviathan. And his argument is more about the pragmatic application of long standing traditional systems that work. In his conservatism, the utility of libertarian principles becomes obvious.

            1. “If given a choice between a system where everyone has all their needs met but are required to follow a strict, unbending regime of rules and schedules, would the libertarian accept this utopia?”

              In general a libertarian would deny that such a society was actually meeting all of everyones needs because they recognize a human need for freedom and autonomy.

              So even if that society was meeting all of the peoples physical needs it would still not be meeting all of their needs.

              That said libertarians are not so much anti Utopia as they are agnostic when it even comes to the idea of Utopia because they recognize that Utopia is in the eye of the beholder. A society which is a Utopia for some would be a living hell of others, libertarians don’t care either way we just want people to be free to live their lives as they see fit as long as they aren’t infringing on others equal right to do the same, if you see what results as a Utopia then great for you, if you see it as a living hell well then we’re sorry go try to gather some like minded individuals and make a commume according to your desires.

          3. Is it? I think the libertarian view just doubles down on the cynicism and assumes that the state is likewise fallen, and that the more powerful it becomes, the more corrupt and dangerous it becomes such that at some point it is worse than anarchy. I guess anarchists would take the same view except put that point at 0 power.

    2. I’m not going to defend any specific position advanced by Gillespie et al, but I’m fascinated by how many people who are not libertarians and vociferously oppose libertarianism are suddenly so very, very concerned about what libertarians ought to do to “win” or “be taken seriously” or what have you, which just coincidentally always involves moving further to the left or right in alignment with the author’s own predilections.

      1. I’m fascinated by how many people who are not libertarians and vociferously oppose libertarianism are suddenly so very, very concerned about what libertarians ought to do to “win” or “be taken seriously” or what have you

        its not that confusing.

        Most people’s political-identity is generally formed around some ‘core ideas’. The fact is that there’s a huge slice of the american public who is seriously concerned that “Religious Liberty” is being thrown under a bus by both the GOP and Democrats.

        And “religious liberty” isn’t something you can handwave away as merely anti-gay or ‘war on christmas’ bullshit. ~50% the country is still fairly ‘devoutly’ religious. And libertarians are (in theory) one of the few political traditions which (supposedly) emphasizes ‘freedom of belief’ and (theoretically) maintains a rigid support for constitutionally protected rights.

        basically, there are a lot of people who want a “Protest vote” to kick the GOP in the balls with, but sadly, Johnson isn’t trying to be that = he’s trying to be Demopublican-Lite

        I think the religious liberty thing is just the one angle that people like the dude @ the federalist gripe about; other people may choose other compromises to whinge about

        *(mine is the waffling on the drug war, self-ownership, gary’s openness to ‘climate change’ taxes, etc)

        1. Religion is vanishing, as science continues to progress and increasing numbers of people realize how silly superstitions are.

          It also doesn’t help that the primary external threat to western society today comes from radical Islam — and any legal system that recognizes the special rights that American fundamentalists demand for themselves would have to provide identical privileged status to fundamentalist Islamists.

          That could get pretty amusing if a Muslim DMV clerk refuses to issue driver’s licenses to women, or Muslim keepers of deeds refuse to recognize female property owners, or Muslim bureaucrats refuse to issue services to “kuffar,” under the same “special religious liberties” that wackadoodle Christians are using to claim they have a special right to deny public certifications based on their own beliefs.

          1. Religion is vanishing

            I don’t know that I’d go that far.

            1. He’s gotten his thought-provoking talking points from r/atheism and he’s sticking to them.

    3. I would sum it up this way: the Gary Johnson campaign is a test of whether the Libertarians love the votes of the mainstream right more than they hate the conservatives.

      Not quite true as stated, but it suggests a pretty accurate characterization of Gary Johnson. Most Libertarians who went to Florida were interested in nominating a candidate that would get media exposure. Now that he has it, Johnson seems to intentionally alienate limited-government conservatives and philosophically coherent libertarians in the hopes of appealing to what he thinks is the “mainstream right”. I rather doubt that Johnson understands what the “mainstream right” really wants in a candidate. Hell, with the GOP’s selection of Trump as its standard-bearer, I even doubt that the “mainstream right” exists any longer.

      1. I even doubt that the “mainstream right” exists any longer.

        What we have is a Progressive Party (Blue), and a Populist Party (Red). Both are center-left but differ on culture-war bullshit.

  24. RE: Why Libertarians (and Other 3rd Parties) Should Thank Donald Trump
    On substance and style, he’s a dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack. But he’s shown how easy it is to destroy a major party.

    Indeed, we should thank Trump the Grump for showing the fascism from the dying republican party.
    We should also thank Comrade Bernie and Heil Hitlary for showing the democratic party their true socialist slave face.
    Sadly, most people in this country wants either or party and cannot take off their blinders.

  25. Trump has effectively destroyed the republican party. Now it can either stay with the Trump model and become a European style right wing party or reject it completely and become more libertarian in the model of Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Mike Lee, Jeff Flake, etc. I do not see it ever going back to a kind of Neo-Con model.

    But at the same time, the Democrats are moving even beyond a European style left wing party of today and going to a European style left wing party of the 70’s. And I’m afraid that the country will move that way because they see the right as so bad. You already saw it with Bernie. And if Hillary is elected, she will fail miserably. And that will not push people to thew right. That is because Hillary’s critics on the left see her as the same as a Neo-Von (they are not wrong) and that the solution is to go full retard left.

    1. The neocons are lining up behind Hill.

      1. Yep. The neocons have no problem with a kleptocratic socialist state, so long as said kleptocracy funds their overseas wars and messianic missions to “reinvent world order.”

      2. Well, she is one of them.

  26. If nothing more, Trump has served a Darwinian purpose. Nick mentions the mid-1960s as when the current “personalities” of the big parties were formed. I think that’s right, and note that those personalities lasted about 50 years, which is a pretty good run. But demography, the almost-inevitability of an ever more secularist middle class, and the fall of the Soviet Union all have made the three-base repube party, long-term unstable. It had to die. Nixon put that coalition into place and Reagan gave it a brief and potent coherence. But the world has changed, and the breakup was accelerated by cynical Bushites and a party hierarchy of get-while-the-gettin’s-good con artists. There is always a free-rider problem in coordinating a collection of sociopaths, and the repubes were particularly prone to it.

  27. So if I understand John and the Trumpkins correctly:

    Government spending cuts destroy the livelihoods of government workers? Fuck them, get a real job.

    Welfare reform reduces benefits and kicks dependent people off the dole? Fuck them, get a real job.

    Globalization and free trade agreements lead to economic restructuring that render some middle class jobs obsolete? DEY TERK DER JERBS! WHYCOME COZMOZ NO FEEL SADZ FOR DEM?!?!

    I certainly see zero moral distinction between these three groups. If you’re relying on the state to take from the productive for your own benefit you’re a parasite. That’s true whether your money comes directly from the government or if it’s the result of the government rigging the market with protectionist policies that restrain the freedom of individuals to engage in commerce.

    1. It’s different when it’s your “Uncle Bobby”, Moff.

    2. Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

      There’s an over-emphasis on the income question as well… and for good reason. Nobody wants to talk about the bloated costs caused by government interference.

      Global free markets with associated income changes wouldn’t be painful at all if the key costs of living in the USA — housing, food, health care, retirement — weren’t all being manipulated and driven up sky-high by statism.

      In China and India, they can build a pre-fab 2-bedroom home for about $6,500 that will last fifty years. In the USA, a gutted 2 BR house requiring full restoration will cost you a minimum of $90K, plus taxes, plus the restoration costs… mostly due to government policies that make affordable housing illegal.

  28. How exactly how Trump shown Libertarians the way to defeat major parties? By offering crude and idiotic sound bites to the lowest common denominator, whipping the tired identity politics mule, or was it by persistently and shamelessly lying, self-contradicting, and promising the impossible?

    All The Donald has done is prove that the very antithesis of libertarianism is popular enough to carry a know-nothing simpleton to the top of a major party ticket. The problem with libertarianism is that what it’s selling is bitter medicine. People only dislike welfare when they aren’t getting it, only dislike taxes when they are paying them, and only dislike authoritarianism when the men with guns come for them. Until there’s a sea-change in American culture the only way a libertarian is ever getting within a mile of the oval office is if its party also gets corrupted by a Donald Trump.

    1. You’d think the year of Trump, Clinton, and Sanders would be enough to temper, maybe just a little, the absurd eternal optimism of the libertarian movement. But no, this somehow has become the greatest yet evidence for the imminence of our “moment.”

    2. Yes, I don’t think Gillespie has realized that the popularity of Trump (even if he won’t win the election) combined with the continued stamina of Clinton despite every example of corruption and incompetence is reflective of a political culture that entirely has no interest in a ‘libertarian moment’, and is much more interested in their personal strongman imposing their will on others.

      1. There’s never going to be a libertarian moment until libertarians stop insisting on everything, all at once. I see no evidence that, even if we had the most libertarian friendly president ever with a cooperative Congress, everyday libertarians would do anything but bitch and whine about everything they do not being perfect.

        Happens on the fringe left too. I don’t know about you guys but I think they just like being pissed off (and boasting about it to other people) more than they like getting anything accomplished.

        1. Considering you continuously and disingenuously misinterpret and lie about libertarian ideals Tony, somehow I doubt your insight into ‘libertarian moments’ is substantial or even slightly useful.

      2. Gillespie is a believer, and believers gotta believe. Perhaps, like Tertullian, he believes because it is absurd.

  29. Trump is simply a placeholder. Things are coming apart at the seams and the peanut gallery is making the decisions, decisions which aren’t even close to being done yet. Think of the gangs of bedraggled Frenchman cheering as the blades thunked down. The Establishment is circling the wagons for a last showdown with Cankles in the center. As the proverbial Titanic saw the burg and flipped it off, the Establishment will soon rip its hull on the crags underneath.

    So, no thanks to Trump for loudly and uncouthly filling a void. Anyone can do that. It’s what we diagnose from and do about it. Which will be exactly nothing from the Establishment. Sadly, in these transitional days, that seems to include Reason who seem to be caught in their own group think. Case in point that the continue of have it exactly backwards. Trump is an end product, not a prime mover.

  30. But he’s shown how easy it is to destroy a major party.

    Trump didn’t destroy the Republican Party, they self-destructed, by catering to social conservatives and neo-cons.

  31. Nick, Lisa, & Matt, this may not be the year of Libertarian victory, but it certainly is the emergence of Real dissatisfaction with what the two major parties have evolved to. Libertarianism is appealing to more and more people even if they are confused as to the path away from “politics as usual”. Good analysis by you Nick. The cause for Libertarianism needs to be aimed at the college level where the mind is malleable and not yet formed by the disingenuous-ness of the major parties that have strayed so far away from their beginnings.

    Joseph/ Lake Ariel, PA

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