Where Did Trump Come From?

A new history of the American right sheds light on the GOP in 2016.


Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, by George Hawley, University Press of Kansas, 376 pages, $34.95

George Hawley appears to have completed Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism before Donald Trump began his rise, which makes it all the more surprising that this scholarly tome is the best guide we're likely to find to the bizarre reality of the 2016 GOP.

As Hawley, a political scientist at the University of Alabama, points out in considerable detail, the post–World War II conservative movement has never been a monolithic bloc. Many of its left-wing critics have perceived it that way, but those who Hawley calls its right-wing critics have known better—particularly the ones who were purged and consigned to the ideological equivalent of Siberia. The movement has always been beset from within and without by dissension, even as its leaders have tried to fashion a sense of unity.

Even the definition of "right-wing" is up for grabs. In Europe, conservatives have historically defended a hereditary aristocracy, an established church, and other fixed social hierarchies. ("The men who supported King Louis XVI during the French Revolution," Hawley notes, "would have had no interest in wars to spread liberal democracy in the Middle East, a free market capitalism that recognizes no social distinctions, or a populist form of evangelical Christianity.") Not so in America. "From the major figures of the conservative movement," he writes, "we consistently hear the same values advanced: limited government, strong traditional families, and strong national defense."

But conservatism is not always identical to the right, more broadly defined. If the left is characterized by holding social and economic equality as its primary value, the right is characterized by its skepticism toward—or outright opposition to—equality as a political goal. Hence Hawley's compact definition of the right as "all of those ideologies that, while not necessarily rejecting equality as a social good, do not rank it at the top of the hierarchy of values. The right furthermore fights the left in all cases where the push for equality threatens some other value held in higher esteem."

In similar fashion, the right-wing critics of the present conservative movement criticize it for what they see as its ongoing capitulation to the left's values. Almost without exception, those "purged" from the conservative movement have been so for being too far to the right, not too far to the left.

University Press of Kansas

Hawley's overview begins with the Old Right of the 1930s and earlier. Anti–New Deal, anti-interventionist, and pro-states' rights, the Old Right was not cohesive enough to be called a "movement." It was also not exclusively Republican, as there was considerable overlap with many conservative southern Democrats (the so-called Dixiecrats), the GOP having been associated with the unpopular Reconstruction policies that followed the Civil War. The Old Right had a perhaps unfair reputation for a lack of intellectual depth, despite the presence of colorful and insightful figures in its ranks, from H.L. Mencken to the Southern Agrarians who wrote I'll Take My Stand.

Enter William F. Buckley and Russell Kirk, perhaps the two most influential and iconic conservatives to gain a public hearing in the early 1950s. Kirk's 1953 book The Conservative Mind aimed to give his worldview a pedigree, tracing conservatism back to Edmund Burke. Buckley, first with his 1951 book God and Man at Yale and then with the 1955 launch of the magazine National Review, took on the task of publicizing conservative ideas and laying the groundwork for what would later coalesce into the current conservative movement.

National Review brought together a mix: a few Old Right survivors, a few ex-communists, a few proto-libertarians, and a good number of traditionalists. The initial glue that held them together was the Cold War, which effectively minimized anti-interventionism as a component of conservatism—much to the chagrin of the libertarian economist Murray Rothbard, who was initially a part of the National Review coalition but fell away quickly because of his anti-war views.

Over time, Buckley took on the role of gatekeeper in chief, reading problematic groups and individuals out of the growing movement. Hawley describes early targets, such as the John Birch Society and the Objectivists, as well as later ones, including various "paleocons" (among them Pat Buchanan, Joseph Sobran, Sam Francis, and Mel Bradford) and others deemed racist or anti-Semitic. Even after Buckley's death, National Review has continued to boot former contributors, such as John Derbyshire and Peter Brimelow, whose so-called "race realism" was considered unacceptable.

Frank Meyer, a National Review editor, championed the idea of "fusionism," an attempt to wed a libertarian emphasis on individual freedom with traditional conservative values. The fruits of this effort included both Young Americans for Freedom and Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign. But fusionism spun apart in the maelstrom of the 1960s: Most conservatives supported the Vietnam war, while figures like Rothbard not only opposed it but attempted to make common cause with New Left groups such as Students for a Democratic Society. Add conflicts over conscription, the counterculture, Black Power, and other issues, and fusionism unraveled; libertarians began to establish their own institutions and organizations, from which the present movement has grown.

Hawley devotes two substantial chapters to the ups and downs of libertarian influence on the conservative movement. The first chapter covers those he dubs mainstream libertarians, by which he means those willing to push for incremental changes in a libertarian direction within mainstream politics and culture. These include Milton Friedman (whom he describes as "conservatism's favorite libertarian"), the Koch brothers, the Cato Institute, reason, the Paul family, and various libertarian youth organizations. The second chapter covers radical libertarianism, which Hawley defines by its purity of principles and its insurgence against the state. Hawley cites the 19th century individualist anarchists Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, and Benjamin Tucker as early examples of this impulse; in the National Review era, he mentions Rothbard and Karl Hess.

In the late '80s and the '90s, long after the New Left dissolved, Rothbard returned to the right to attempt a new fusionism of his own, along with Llewellyn Rockwell Jr., steward of the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. The goal was to ally with "paleoconservatives." That term—reportedly coined by the conservative historian Paul Gottfried—was a play on "neoconservative," a term applied to Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and other former leftists and liberals who had not just joined the right but brought along baggage (support for global military crusades, greater tolerance for the welfare state) that the paleocons opposed.

Embodied most memorably in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report, a monthly newsletter that spanned much of the '90s, the "paleolibertarian" alliance combined free market economics with Rothbard's cultural conservatism, which had little patience for gay rights and other liberation movements championed by the mainstream libertarians. Rothbard's death in 1995 cut this initiative short, however, dooming yet another effort at libertarian-conservative fusion.

Hawley isn't just interested in libertarian critiques of conservatives. (If that were the case, he wouldn't have much to tell us about the Trump moment.) Hawley breaks form with most summaries of American conservatism by devoting a chapter to the European New Right (Nouvelle Droit), a predominantly French intellectual movement spanning the late '60s to the present. The "New Right" label was chosen not by the movement's participants but by its critics (many of whom consider it neofascist), and in many ways the movement is neither left nor right, instead combining elements from all over the ideological spectrum: pan-Europism, anti-colonialism, a critique of egalitarianism and democracy, a nod toward polytheism, and so on.

Rather belatedly, the works of New Right writers such as Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye are being translated into English and finding an American readership, particularly on the "alternative right," a largely online milieu of white nationalism and opposition to multicultural immigration. Hawley's New Right discussion thus dovetails with his following chapter, which is about white nationalists—perhaps the most vociferous right-wing critics of mainstream conservatism.

Hawley notes that while the internet has enabled an explosion of racist websites and blogs, many "offline" membership organizations, such as the National Alliance, Aryan Nations, and the Ku Klux Klan, have fallen by the wayside, and it is difficult to tell who is a genuine leader in this political niche and who is "simply a lone blogger, broadcasting his or her ideas to no one." One suspects that a tech-savvy teaching assistant might have been able to direct Hawley to available web ranking data, but that's neither here nor there. The fact remains that even a wildly popular website (or network of aligned sites) does not constitute a social movement per se.

In the book's concluding chapter, Hawley touches on the so-called Dark Enlightenment, the online neoreactionary crew who have spent considerable time and energy dissecting "the Cathedral," their term for the egalitarian values upheld by both the American left and the mainstream American right. Hawley concludes: "At this point, the Dark Enlightenment is predominantly interesting because of its unique style and lingo, but it adds relatively little to the political debate that is truly inventive." Perhaps I'm just a sucker for unique styles and lingo, but I've found the milieu to be at least entertainingly provocative if not truly inventive—and the neoreactionary belief that the antidote for democracy's failures is a return to monarchy does strike me as inventive, if unconvincing.

Hawley has captured the present moment surprisingly well, even though his book was researched and written before Trump's candidacy arrived. That Trump has proven popular with some of the movements described here—all but the libertarians, basically—is unsurprising, as he has given voice to many opinions shared by those who criticize conservatism from the right.

Whether it be his opposition to unconstrained and illegal immigration, his argument that free trade agreements facilitate the offshoring of Americans' jobs, his sporadic skepticism toward foreign entanglements, or his refusal to kowtow to P.C. truisms, Trump has leap-frogged over the mainstream right and landed in the proximate zone of the dissident right. This is not to say that he has done so with conscious calculation. His off-the-cuff bluster seems more an instinctual feel for topics that have been taboo in the well-policed conservative movement than a self-conscious pivot to the far right. In that sense, his campaign is less an expression of his own giant ego than an eruption of the national id.

Hawley notes in his concluding sentence that "the day may be approaching when one or more of these other right-wing movements is given the opportunity to make its case, and it is therefore important to know what that case will be, even if such knowledge is used only to refute their arguments." That day may be already upon us, making Hawley's book more timely than even its author could have anticipated.

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  1. I would describe the left as extending its ideas of equality to outcomes. However, a society that’s actually free necessarily has different outcomes for different people with different priorities. You can’t have the freedom to succeed unless you have the freedom to fail.

    1. How can I have freedom to do what I wan’t if I have to live with the consequences of my actions. I may not have the talent or an audience to live well as a pan flautist. The government should guarantee a minimum lifestyle so I can pursue my dreams.

      1. “Freedom” from the consequences of your actions is it exactly. Do you have a better idea for how to sell socialism to Americans?

        1. ” the left is characterized by holding enforced social and economic equality as its primary value,”

          1. Nancy Pelosi sold Obamacare in part due to it freeing folks from “job lock” – the situation where one had to stay in a bad job because the health insurance wasn’t portable. Or some variation to that.
            Talent lock is where one’s abilities are insufficient to meet the market needs of the desired vocation as well as inadequate to earn enough to meet the person’s material needs

            1. I need more than just Obamacare to free me from job lock. What about my addictions to food, driving around, and access to the interwebs? Help, I’m suffering from Food Lock and I need Nancy Pelosi to liberate me!

      2. So if you are caught in “talent lock” the government needs to step in and make up the difference between ability and desire.

        1. What’s talent lock?

          1. Nancy Pelosi sold Obamacare in part due to it freeing folks from “job lock” – the situation where one had to stay in a bad job because the health insurance wasn’t portable. Or some variation to that.
            Talent lock is where one’s abilities are insufficient to meet the market needs of the desired vocation as well as inadequate to earn enough to meet the person’s material needs.

            1. If you are unwilling or unable to improve your talents or take greater risks, then adjust your demands and expectations accordingly.

              1. No! You find another irresponsible, lazy idiot and the two of you vote away the fruits of a productive person’s labor into your possession! Democracy! Justice! Welfare Clause! *drops mic made from shed unicorn horn*

                1. I’m very desirous of being a starting QB in the NFL but I am short and slow and can’t throw a football very far.

                  Can you help me Mr. Chumby man ?

                  1. Team Blue will make it happen!

                2. Aesop’s democracy:

                  Two grasshoppers, one ant

                3. Unicorns don’t exist. Silly Chumby (any relation to Gumby btw?).

            2. Funny that job lock was another Democrat created issue during WWII. The Feds prohibited raises so employers looked for any way to attract talent. Employer health insurance/care was the result. Kaiser was a prime example of a company creating their own health care system for employees because of gov regulation prohibiting any cash incentives for talented employees.

        2. You misspelled “talent lack.”

      3. Obamcacare is freedom.

        1. Yeah! Now my wife can join me. I will play the pan flute. She will perform interpretive dance. We are free from the tyranny of producing something someone else desires.

          1. You really should have an entire troupe of interpretive dancers, forced against their will, to accompany your music. Otherwise you hate the arts and are racist.

          2. Reality is the tyranny that forbids us from living in a paradise of chocolate unicorns and rainbow lollipops. Reality is evil and so are you if you insist on shoving it down people’s throats.

    2. The problem with equality of outcome as a prescriptive doctrine is that it requires legal inequality in order to effect redistribution. Obviously this presents a problem for political groups who try to sell themselves as concerned first and foremost with equality and who paint their political enemies as advocates of divisiveness. You have to perform a lot of mental gymnastics to square that particular circle, which is why a lot of Progressivism has so much to do with emotion and calls for “common sense” legislation, i.e. legislation that can’t be justified by logic or evidence.

      Equality under the law is the only equality that matters. It’s a shame that the “equality” of preferential treatment and punishing the other is so much easier to sell.

      1. Somehow, I’m not finding this “equality under the law” thing convincing, especially from people who acknowledge that equality in fact just plain doesn’t exist.

        First off, why do you insist that the law treat people equally, when you know perfectly well people are not equal?

        Secondly, if you’re going to insist that your laws treat everyone equally, then by necessity your laws are going to be written to apply to the lowest common denominator. i.e. most gun laws are passed under the presumption that they’ll keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but more profoundly affect non-criminal gun owners. Seems to me it would be more to the point to target your laws to the specific populations you need to target, and to hell with equality.

        1. Seems to me it would be more to the point to target your laws to the specific populations you need to target, and to hell with equality.

          Yeah, it would be great if the government could levy a tax on white people, or impose greater criminal penalties on men, or intentionally target Christians for reeducation.

          What a wonderful world that would be.

          1. Given that the government has already effectively done those things anyway, I’m not sure what your point is.

        2. Equal used to mean merely not recognizing aristocratic privileges of birth, and instead allowing everyone
          equal due process rights under the law, with Lady Justice wearing a blindfold and such like. Once you got convicted you were not treated the same as those who were not convicted, or is it necessary that we all get tossed into the hoosegow just to maintain equality?

    3. One of the knocks I have against the left is that their claim of supporting “social equality” is a fraud. That they actually seek social inequality, with the New Class being a new clerisy and/or aristocracy that benignly rules over the inferior classes of flyover country and elsewhere. That they want us to acknowledge them as “our betters.”

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  2. What the hell? I’ve never seen the Hihn/Winston/Cytotoxic light lit before. It’s byootiful.
    *Reaches hand up to touch it.*

    1. I think you forgot SIV.

  3. I am conservative precisely because I care for the poor and (true) equality. Anyone with open eyes can see the disastrous results of social programs of the left. Capitalism = free markets have brought brought to the world a prosperity never seen before. Socialism = government/centrally controlled markets always, always, always results in shared misery in the end. You can go for a while with centrally controlled markets, e.g., scandinavia or Canada, but it will always result in Venezuela or Soviet Union.

    Why the “true” with equality? Because the leftists put out nonsense like “77 cents on the dollar”. That is fake equality that they push for.

    1. As Eman wrote above, “equality of outcomes”. I prefer the made-up word similaritanism, replaying the “equality” root of egalitarianism since that word seems to have connotations of fairness. Mandating outcomes that look similar isn’t necessarily fair, and in fact is usually grossly unjust.

      1. Everyone having exactly the same amount of money doesn’t mean they’ll get the same amount of pleasure (or freedom from pain) out of it. I knew a girl a few years ago with some metabolic disorder where she had to eat like twice as much as most people, just to survive (and be really attractive). How would both of us having the same amount of money to spend on food be at all fair?

        1. When we have the same amount of (limited) seat space on a commercial airplane it discriminates against fatties.

          1. And short people have more legroom than tall people.

          2. Not accommodating != Discriminating

        2. Nobody and nothing is the same no matter how much progs want life to be.

          Life is tough and hopefully you have family and/ or friends to helps you through it.

    2. Anyone with open eyes can see the disastrous results of the social programs of the left.

      Sadly, we’re a closed-eyes nation now. Even most of the people working for this “libertarian” journal are pretty cool with the social programs of the left.

      1. Like what?

    3. Canada is not ‘centrally’ controlled. It’s the most decentralized federal system around. It’s much MUCH easier to open, for example, a business here. You can open online too with little issues. Not the case in the USA from what I’ve come to learn through personal experience.

      1. And I’d like a detailed description on how Canada – among the most stable of nations on earth – can turn into Venezuela.

          1. Do you have a couch I can lie down on to explain Quebec?

            1. How does my mention of the word Quebec make you feel?

            2. Show me on the doll where Quebec touched you.

      2. Sadly you are correct. You can see the “list of countries by economic freedom” in wikipedia (google it). Canada is moving up in freedom and is now 6 (2014 data) with improvement of their absolute score. The U.S. is falling: number 10 in the world with absolute score dropping.

      3. Yeah, if you’re looking for a centrally managed nation state Canada is not a proof of concept. Literally half of our political history is basically “states’ rights” conflicts. Hell, we probably have more separatist movement than the states do per capita. Before Confederation MacDonald and Co. were interested in a unitary, centralized system, but the American Civil War made them favour a decentralized system instead.

      4. So, in Canada you can just open a cake business that refuses to make cakes for homosexuals, Nazis and/or French people?

        I thought not.

    4. Equating Scandinavia or Canada to Venezuela or the Soviet Union is wrong. What are those countries rankings on economic freedom indices?

      1. Who cares?

        Those indices useless.

      2. I retract my inclusion of Canada. See rufus’ note and my reply. Again, google “List of countries by economic freedom” to see the wikipedia article that lists the numbers.

        And I should say that countries can pull back. They can move back to economic freedom. Canada improved their lot under Harper (and probably will backslide under Trudeau). The scandinavian countries did make a huge correction from the unbridled socialism of the 70s.

      3. I retract my inclusion of Canada. See rufus’ note and my reply. Again, google “List of countries by economic freedom” to see the wikipedia article that lists the numbers.

        And I should say that countries can pull back. They can move back to economic freedom. Canada improved their lot under Harper (and probably will backslide under Trudeau). The scandinavian countries did make a huge correction from the unbridled socialism of the 70s.

      4. They are/were socialist. Period. Every Scandinavian country has state owned businesses, so don’t be fooled by Scandinavian socialism.

  4. Its such a really nice post.. I like it…




    1. A wife who’s fit enough to do yoga? Sounds good to me.

  5. The second chapter covers radical libertarianism, which Hawley defines by its purity of principles and its insurgence against the state.

    I hate those guys. Libertarianism has no place for those who aren’t team players.

    1. But how can he know what a truly pure libertarian is?

      1. Well, he has to be male. I know that much.

      2. For every three libertarians, there are four philosophies, and the ‘pure’ libertarian is the one who has two.

      3. Hold the person being tested up next to Shriek and see if there are any variations. Shriek has assured us all that he scores 100% on the purity test. Right?

    2. All Scots look alike to me.

      1. Even under their kilt?

        1. Way to other trans Scots, you cis shitlord.

            1. How do you think the Sottish sheep feel ?

              1. Violated?

                1. The goal is to fleece the sheep. Not skin them.

                  No cheating. Who said it?

                  1. I DON’T KNOW ,TELL ME!!

                    1. But,brevity is the soul of wit.

    3. What about roadz?

  6. Hawley has captured the present moment surprisingly well, even though his book was researched and written before Trump’s candidacy arrived.

    Someone should probably start writing about how the GOP, conservatives and the country as a whole will restructure itself in the aftermath of the electoral slaughter to come. I can only see to November.

    1. Dude, I honestly can’t even imagine how this will pan out. There are so many possibilities, from business as usual to a smoking ruin, and they all seem about as probable as the other. I genuinely don’t know whether we’ll have a President-for-Life Donald Trump, a President Clinton starting a war in the Balkans, four years of whoever and then the same old shit, or what.

      1. I expect the same old shit, circling ever faster until finally the country goes down the toilet.

      2. Same old shit, with a few really awful legislative developments and one or two kinetic actions on the other side of the planet.

      3. There is no way Clinton loses the election at this point, and the GOP almost certainly will lose the Senate.

        For domestic politics, it’s going to be a continuation of the Obama administration, with the added joy of a new super left wing SCOTUS justice. It’s pretty much automatic that the incoming Dem Senate will kill the filibuster for all judicial nominations in retaliation for stalling on Obama’s nomination (SMART MOVE, MCCONNELL). That and the obliteration of the moderate Dems in 2010 and 2014 will make this even worse than the 2009-2014 Dem Senate.

        The economy is headed deeper into the gutter, as the Fed and central banks worldwide run out of ordinary tools to keep things going and turn to more science fiction kinds of stimulus like NIRP and direct stock purchasing. This can go on indefinitely or blow up at some point.

        Geopolitics are a chaotic mess right now, so who knows what effect they will have.

        1. Would you share with us next week’s lottery numbers ?

        2. Just like wild bill’s death, Seth is oblivious to how badly Hitlery will lose in November 2016.

        3. “There is no way Clinton loses the election at this point.”

          What a bizarre statement.
          There are three glaringly obvious ways Clinton loses.
          1) The poll numbers that have shown Trump back in the lead now are “accurate” and he wins on the numbers, carrying what Bush held in 2004.
          2) Hillary’s bizarre cough/seizure issues turn worse and kills her polling numbers. Easy to imagine a health event at a live televised debate. She’s had enough of them at fundraising stops.
          3) More server/email/Foundation corruption issues are leaked and/or FBI investigation of the Foundation goes hot. MSM can no longer look the other way, and her campaign implodes.

          And of course, the dozen or so other potential black swan events that would kill the Dems in November. Not the least of which is a terrorist attack by militants that crossed the southern border.

    2. Sure in 2008, the Rs got slaughtered and Thr GOP responded by… Calling the tea party assholes and doubling down on awful policies. And that’s what they’ll do again. Blame Trump voters and expand their Dem-Lite policies.

      1. 1. There is no comparison between the Tea Party and Trump. The former was a return to conservative principles, the latter a lifelong liberal’s exaggerated caricature of conservatism.

        2. The GOP did move closer to limited government as a response to the Tea Party. Their effectiveness in reigning in big govt is of course limited due to existing big-government laws and the presidency being held by a hardcore leftist with no regard for the rule of law.

        1. I might disagree with this. I think there are a lot of Tea partiers among the trumpsters. The fault lies in the GOP establishment who said thank you for giving us republican majorities in the house and senate and now sit down and shut up. I am talking Boehner, McConnel, and Ryan. They so pissed off the Tea partiers that many took the radical step of supporting Trump with the thought that he would tell them to shove off. He hasn’t.

    3. First, the RNC gets purged for allowing this disaster to happen, and indeed aiding and abetting Trump’s nomination. If that dolt Chairman Rinse is still chairman 6 months from now, there won’t be much of a GOP worth going back to. He’s proven that he’s only concerned with putting out today’s fire and not preventing tomorrow’s. The squelching of the floor vote on releasing delegates at the convention is a perfect example. Chairman Rinse was more concerned about a few C-SPAN viewers seeing the “appearance of disunity” for a day than he was of cementing the nomination of a clown who would drag the entire party down in the election…. a clown who every Republican who wants to win this election will have to disunite from.

      Next, we need to clearly delineate who are the Trump supporters and who are the Republicans… the former can go off their own separate way and start a party based on border walls, trade barriers, religious discrimination, and isolationism, while the Republicans focus on limited government and try to scrub the Trump stain off. Buh-bye Jeff Sessions, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart News, etc. Let a thousand flowers bloom, even the ones that stink like Trump.

      1. This is delusional. The GOP no longer belongs to chamber of commerce cons like you.

        1. You’re replying to yourself again Tulpa.

  7. It’s impossible to analyze the GOP of today, particularly that of Trump, without full dibs given to right wing media. FOX, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Brietbart, and so many more. They have become the tail that wags the dog, and all GOPers have had to genuflect at their altar.

    And what have these folks stoked through a couple of decades? Fear of the other, looming invasion of Muslims, hatred of gays and feminists, guns being taken away, Obama a Muslim as well as Kenyan, and so much more.

    Sounds like Trump. And roosting chickens.

    1. By the way, O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Ingraham, and others… They love Trump.

    2. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN have been the tail wagging your dumb ass your entire life.

    3. Those evil right wing media types are probably just playing to their audience, not controlling the thoughts of their audience. Occam’s Razor.

      “Obama a Kenyan” – that was Hillary.

      1. They are playing to their audience, and their audience is huge in the GOP base.

        1. Obama was a Kenyon Muslim according to Hillary and she was the first to say so.

    4. Yeah, I don’t know that the “vast right-wing conspiracy” is that useful as explanations go. The media is an echo chamber, sure, but that has held as true for the left as for the right. Really, for every strongly-held opinion, be it that immigration is bad or that AMD video cards are junk, there’s a media outlet of some kind that makes a living from confirming that viewpoint.

      Trump is a different phenomenon. He’s just the right-wing version of Bernie Sanders and serves the same purpose: antiestablishment fury. The reason Bernie didn’t succeed is that, quite honestly, his side of the spectrum is a lot closer to the mainstream, thanks to eight years of a Progressive president and a national media that is generally center-left.

      1. The national media isn’t even CLOSE to center-Left. They are largely full-bore Left with more than a smattering of ‘getting radio venus on their bridgework’ far Left.

        1. The majority of media is socialist or useful idiot types.

          Evidence is in how they treat a dipshit like W. Bush on topics that they give Obama a pass. Hillary is given an ignore because supporting that stupid bitch cannot even allow one to keep journalistic integrity.

          At this point, most media types are open about supporting Hitlery and beings against trump.

      2. Bernie also failed because regardless how much folks on the left have different opinions they do what they are told when “mommy” or “daddy” is on the left and they were instructed it is Hillary’s turn. The superdelegates fix also didn’t help. Nor did his complete lack of charisma, especially with minorities.

    5. I do agree that the conservative talk radio’s support of Trump was a major factor in getting enough votes (along with Democrats crossing over in open primary states to vote for the weakest GOP candidate). This year has proven that Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, etc are more concerned with entertaining and firing up their listeners than with helping the conservative movement. And they need to be dealt with accordingly.

      1. The people who gave us Trump is not conservative talk radio. They were preaching to the choir and didn’t change any votes. Rather, CNN and actually MSNBC gave Trump millions of dollars in free advertising. He was on their stations with relatively with pretty much softball interviews during the entire primary season. He spent nothing.

        But as soon as Trump clinched the nomination it has been non-stop Trump bashing. Why would the completely biased “news” networks do that? Answer that by asking which of the republican candidates was most likely to lose to the amazingly horrible candidate Clinton.

  8. I am a classical liberal . I believe all laws should be based in harm to another ,the military should be used only to protect the country. Our foreign policy should be based in national interest only. I favor a flat tax of 15% with the first 25000 exempt and no capital or ‘death tax’. Roads and education are state issues. The departments of Ed,,TSA,EPA,AG,Home land HHS,Energy and the DEA and ATF should be abolished. and the NSA reined in and only allowed to monitor out side the U.S. boarder In a word,I’m a prick.

    1. The term I use is ‘Crank’.

      1. I prefer Classical Crank.

    2. But without 95% of the federal budget what is stopping a state from making roadz that you have to buy a different car for to drive on? – Derp that thinks economies of scale exist due to socialism

    3. Oh yeah, the other reason Trump is ascendant is that pricks spouting warmed-over Republican bullshit because they don’t feel like paying taxes feel persecuted. That’s why Trump is doing well too.

      1. Isn’t there an oven somewhere you need to be in?

        1. ? Is this about how I don’t like ISIS and support the YPG? I didn’t cry about anwar al-awlaki like you guys did. OBAMA BAD MAN!

          1. Not surprising that a stalinist would support the extrajudicial murders of its fellow citizens.

      2. They don’t feel like paying taxes their mortgage.

        Funny that people should be forced to pay for something with which they fundementally disagree whereas others voluntarily enter into a contract then back out of it against the wishes of the other party.

        1. It depends I guess on where you draw the line. If I think it’s realistic that one has to pay the tax man to ensure that the firefighters will come when my house is on fire or that the police will come if someone breaks into my house that’s an arrangement I’m willing to abide by. If the company I’m buying a loan from is privately betting that I won’t pay that loan back and doesn’t disclose that fact I call that fraud. Believe me, I tried to negotiate with an entity that I considered a criminal syndicate in as good of faith as I could muster. It didn’t work out. Then, I tried as much as possible to make their lives as difficult as possible and to turn the situation into one that worked out financially for moi. Sue me.

          1. Firefighters and police not only make up a small fraction of what tax money gets spent on, they are also some of the biggest welfare queens on the government payroll. But I think it’s great that they get afforded decadent wages and special deference from the law, just so you can feel smug about yourself.

            If you can’t be bothered to pay your mortgage, I doubt you pay much in tax, either. Like a good socialist, you demand others pay for you.

          2. If the company I’m buying a loan from is privately betting that I won’t pay that loan back and doesn’t disclose that fact I call that fraud.

            And everyone else calls it a pretty lame justification for defaulting like you said you did.

          3. So because your opinion is that the banksters secretly wanted you to fail it is ok that you did so? Guess you got to sleep at night thinking you’re the good guy. Unless the bank acted to make you fail (see Washington Mutual credit card where they allegedly forward posted payments to make them late when they weren’t per contract) whatever you think the really wanted is moot. And if they are so bad why did you enter into a contract with them in the first place?
            I pay the firefighters directly. And I’m ok with that. I’d like to do that with the police. I nostly do it with the roads and bridges. And keep the five figures in taxes per year I cede for all the government stuff I neither want nor use.

          4. ” If the company I’m buying a loan from is privately betting that I won’t pay that loan back”

            Reading minds? And why do their wishes or side bets matter?

            You signed a contract and didn’t perform. You should be held accountable, preferably in jail doing hard labor.

          5. Sure, there are a lot of things the govt currently does that I would voluntarily pay for too, but that doesn’t make it voluntary (without, as someone here pointed out, defining “consent” down to meaninglessness). In fact, that’s a good argument against the necessity of taxation, isn’t it?

          6. Sure, there are a lot of things the govt currently does that I would voluntarily pay for too, but that doesn’t make it voluntary (without, as someone here pointed out, defining “consent” down to meaninglessness). In fact, that’s a good argument against the necessity of taxation, isn’t it?

    4. Yeah? Well you sound like my kind of prick.

  9. I was in Colorado last week, and came back to a few days without power thanks to that Harry Potter storm. Did I miss anything?

    Apparently Ireland Baldwin posed for Treats. So there’s that.

    1. Given the small average distance between oak limb and power line in Tallahassee, they seem to be doing well getting it back on. Maybe a week or ten days for 100% restoration is pretty good. Maybe they’ll think about burying some of the lines in the future.

      1. They didn’t bury the lines after Hurricane Kate.

        1. And they won’t after Hermine. Too many oak roots in the way.

          1. Are they required to bury the lines in New developments?


              Are they required…?


              no. no they aren’t.

              that said, burying them isn’t a solution, it just creates different problems

      2. No complaints. My neighbor’s daughter has to be hooked to a pump at night. Her ex-husband drove several hours away to get a generator, but the power was on when he got back.

        I keep thinking all the weak trees (Laurel oaks are notorious) will be weeded out and the next storm won’t be so bad, but they keep coming down en masse.

        Unlikely they’ll bury any existing lines. Southwood did though and probably similar new, upscale developments will, if the developer pays for it.

        1. I should add I wouldn’t be complaining if I was one of the ones without power still; I know they have a real mess out there.

    2. Apparently Ireland Baldwin posed for Treats. So there’s that.

      Thank you. I like the results of a Google Image search for her.

  10. A bit OT: Free Speech is alive and well on Campus

    But today’s conservative “free speech” campaign doesn’t want you to know that. What motivates it is not the defense of free speech, but an ideology that condemns “politically correct” activists and administrators and dubiously recommends “free markets” as the best guarantors of such rights.

    1. Free and markets,two words socialist hate. They are killing words.

    2. Free speech is fine. You’re free to express your disagreement with the local orthodoxy, right? Asshats.

      1. If anything, the real threat to free inquiry isn’t students, but that same market imperative that First Amendment defenders claim to hold dear.

        It’s the market that is the real threat to free speech.

        1. I blame the butcher,baker and candle stick maker.

          1. The candlestick maker should not be forced by government to make same-sex candlesticks.

            1. Candlesticks are sexist. Need candle vaginas!

    3. Common sense restrictions, that’s all we want!

  11. “From Where did Trump Come?”
    – Stannis

  12. OT: I begin my semi annual BBQ pilgrimage this up coming week. This year, the Gulf Coast Tour. I’ll be driving from East Texas to West Alabama in search of deliciously smoked bits of dead animal. So far I have a small group of joints picked out with a few maybes. As of now I have on the list: Moe’s Original bbq, Tambo’s Pig Pen, Murky Waters bbq, Stanley’s Famous Pit bbq, Baby J’s bbq and Little Daddy’s bbq.

    This will be a two week endeavour so any and all help getting pointed in the proper direction for superior que would be greatly appreciated.

    Happy Sunday.

    1. How east is East Texas? Killens in Pearland is highly rated. The beef ribs are ridiculous. Everything else is simply well-executed.

      1. I’m trying to stay roughly no more than 50 miles inland from the water but it’s not a hard rule. Pearland should qualify. Thanks for the tip.

        1. So, the Constitution-free zone.

      2. Killens is de nutz.

        Their brisket is the best I’ve ever had after 40 years of buying it and cooking it myself.

        They offer a beef rib that looks like the old cartoon where the guy drove his car by pedaling his feet on the ground in a stone age setting. Killen’s beef rib is worth waiting in line for and I’ve never liked beef ribs before I had theirs.

        If you start your trip by eating Killen’s then it might be all down hill from there. I would say that if you don’t eat at Killen’s you will not have a marker to judge the rest of your trip.

        Until recently I lived a few miles from there and looked forward to waiting in line to bring home their meat every weekend.

        Don’t complete your trip without eating there .

        1. That’s two recommendations for Killens, added to the list.

  13. So the book does not actually deal with Trump’s candidacy or even mention it, and the headline is just clickbait.

    The claim that “the entire right (except libertarians)” supports Trump is another head-scratcher. Are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Bill Kristol now libertarians?

    1. *Steaming pile of Dung*

      Hey, look what I did.

      *Crouches for battle*

    2. *Steaming pile of Dung*

      Hey, look what I did.

      *Crouches for battle*

      1. What you did is referred to as a doubletap.

        1. Can you spare a square?

  14. Russel Kirk was by far the best mind the American right produced in the 20th Century. He just wasn’t the media whore that Buckley was. And Kirk didn’t like the John Birch nuts any more than Buckley did. The conservative movement was largely united behind Reagan. The real break in the conservative movement happened under Bush I. Buckley fell under the spell of the Neo conservatives and they kicked Kirk out of the movement for objecting to the first Gulf War. Anyone who had didn’t embrace international free trade at all times under any terms was kicked out over NAFTA.

    It is not so much that people have been criticizing conservatives from the right. It is that the conservative movement has gotten more dogmatic and more insular and kicked more and more people out of the movement until they now no longer represent the majority of people who once called themselves conservatives. No one noticed this because revulsion over Clinton and later people not trusting the Democrats to fight the war on terror kept things together. After people soured on the Iraq war, there was nothing left to paper over the differences. All Trump did was be the only candidate take advantage of the split that was already there.

  15. That Trump has proven popular with some of the movements described here?all but the libertarians, basically?is unsurprising,

    I don’t know about that. The neocons hate him like poison. Libertarians seem a bit more divided. And I’m sure Rothbard would have loved Trump. That sort of thing was right up Rothbard’s alley.

    1. Funny how in the review, neocons were just tacitly swept in to the “right”. When you look at even the broad (yet interesting & provocative) definition of “right” therein, it’s hard to see how neocons even come close to fitting. The only thing they seem to share w the “right” is enemies.

      1. As if there is a clear definition of “the right”, or “the left” for that matter.

        1. But clustering is a real phenomenon. It’s interesting to see what tendencies a cluster has.

          1. Clustering requires a definition of a distance function.

            If you’re using voting/donation behavior, the neocons are in the heart of “the right” cluster.

            1. Fuck off Tulpa.

              1. Is there a Voight-Kampff-Tulpa test to be used on potential sockpuppets?

                1. Check last night’s thread and decide for yourself.

                  1. Did Bo end up being outed as Tulpa?

    2. ^This^

      The #NeverTrump crowd is almost totally neocons and Chamber of Commerce establishment types. While Trump doesn’t enjoy widespread enthusiastic support from libertarians the TDS, pants-shitting hysteria seems confined to a noisy narrow slice.

      1. I agree.

    3. And I’m sure Rothbard would have loved Trump.

      Bullshit. You are lucky the dead can’t rise and punish insults like that.

      1. He supported Buchanan, and Trump is essentially Buchanan without the Jesus sauce. And I’m having a hard time believing that the lack of Christianity would have been a deal breaker for Rothbard.

  16. How timely! Volokh has another rant on the immorality of democracy and the irrationality of voters. This one is about epistocracy as an alternative to democracy, rule by an informed elite, chosen by tests of political knowledge, weighted by race, gender, class, and whatever else the elites can use to get the desired self-selection. What annoys me about all these irrational voter rants is the core assumption that it is entirely reasonable for government to have the power to do anything it wants, bar a very few limited areas — freedom of some speech, for example.

    Goddammit, democracy fails only because government fails. Government does not have the moral right to tell me how many hours of schooling my barber must have, or limit the size of my store signs, or dictate what I do to my front yard — because I do not have those moral rights, cannot delegate them to the government, and they are not threats to anybody in any form that requires a common monopoly of action.

    I am sick and tired of these clowns arguing over how to enslave all the peasants, how to make it seem less immoral, when the answer is that coercive government is immoral by definition. You may as well argue whether pink or orange has more red in it, or whether crows or ravens are closer to the dinosaurs of 65M years ago.

    1. Any time someone says, “There ought to be a law”, my first thought is, “Perhaps there ought not be a law.”

    2. Freedom is at its heart anti elitist. You shouldn’t support freedom because the Constitution says so as if it is some holy document from God. You shouldn’t support freedom because some egg head says it is “natural right”, whatever those are. You support freedom because people, as fallen, self destructive, and aggravating as they can be, if left alone do amazing things that no “top man” could ever do. You support freedom because people know what is best for them.

      I read people like Volkh and I think they are just Progressives who have a different master plan for the world. They don’t really believe in freedom. They believe in making people slaves of the state just as much as Progressives. They just want to give them a longer leash.

      1. You support freedom because people know what is best for them.

        LOL. Democracy gave us the federal reserve, the income tax, the New Deal, Social Security, the Drug War, the Great Society, etc. These are all popular programs still today among the people.

        In general, people do a better job running their own lives than a central planner would due to the problem of information, but let’s not generalize that by saying that people always know best. People do obviously stupid things even in their own lives.

        1. No people do things in their lives you think are stupid. They are the only ones who can judge that not you. If you could judge what is “stupid” and what is smart for other people, then you would have a claim to run their lives, which you don’t.

          The bottom line is you are not appreciably smarter than anyone else. You just like to think you are because it is easy to judge someone’s actions when you are not them.

          1. Patently false statement: “The bottom line is you are not appreciably smarter than anyone else. You just like to think you are because it is easy to judge someone’s actions when you are not them.”

            You are ignorant about ignorance. Mr. Bullock cites various leftist programs that the washington elites use to the public purse to buy votes. You live one of those “I don’t know how X won because I don’t know anyone who voted for him” worlds. My job entails working with people of all walks, and I can tell you that very few have any idea what the New Deal or Great Society programs are.

            Blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama…twice. They are worse off for it. Mr Bullock is correct. Voters make poor choice repeatedly. Perhaps, that is why our wiser founding fathers created a republic and not a democracy.

            1. No, you are ignorant about your own ignorance. You assume people vote Democratic because their votes are bought. You don’t know that. You assume it. And you assume it because doing that is easier than thinking that other people might have different assumptions and views on life. All you are doing is a variation on “I am so much smarter than everyone”. That is it.

              You want to run people’s live just as much as any Progressive. You just for now want to give them a longer leash. If you ever got power, that of course would not last. Once you buy into the idea that you are smarter and know better than others, it is just a matter of time before you start wanting to control more and more of their lives.

              1. You assume people vote Democratic because their votes are bought. You don’t know that. You assume it.

                Again, it’s hard to see how you can function in society if you really believe the argument you’re making. We have to guess other people’s motivations all the time based on what they say and do, yet you’re claiming that’s impossible.

              2. Fucking hell John.

                “You dare to assume you know the motivations and worldview of your opponents! Now I’m going to assume your motivations and worldview without a hint of self awareness!”

            2. Voting for ‘government solutions’ to issues is itself is a form of elitist behaviour. It’s explicitly implying that the layman (or the hobbits and hooligans, as Volokh calls them) has the knowledge and the ability to understand and propose solutions to complex societal issues. It is, in an amusing fashion, populist elitism, the assumption that you, by nature of being able to cast a vote, are able to determine a solution to a problem. The elitism, however, is more tied into your greater tribal identity. So you vote for Brexit and it’s succeeds, and everyone who didn’t want that blame you for your obvious lack of knowledge and ability and start questioning your right to vote, not the system itself. The answers are apparently self-evident for both parties, regardless of what or how much knowledge they have on the matter. When in reality all of you really lack the knowledge required to make an absolutely rational decision on the matter.

          2. No people do things in their lives you think are stupid. They are the only ones who can judge that not you.

            Bullshit. If you really believed that, you would never be able to predict what another person is going to do in any situation, and would be unable to function in society.

            If you don’t know somebody’s desires, then yeah, you might think decisions they made are stupid when in reality they were not. But when you do know someone’s desires, you can tell whether their decisions were good or bad. You an also spot bad decisions when the person is unhappy with the consequences of their decisions.

            1. If you are the ultimate judge of whether someone doing something is “stupid”, then why don’t you embrace the idea of you having the authority to decide for them? You know what is right and wrong and they don’t. Should not you be running their lives?

              Moreover, what about the stupid things you do? Are you infallible? If you are, that is a pretty interesting claim. If you are not, then how do you know with any authority what someone is doing is stupid? You have been stupid before. And you no doubt didn’t think you were. So, how do we know you are not the stupid one?

              You think people do stupid things. Well, they think the same about you. Why exactly should I believe you and not them?

              1. If you are the ultimate judge of whether someone doing something is “stupid”, then why don’t you embrace the idea of you having the authority to decide for them?

                Because of the problem of knowledge. Even a sincere and smart central planner can’t possibly know enough about every situation to be able to effectively direct actions in that situation. (in the real world, central planners are likely to be corrupt as well, which adds another set of problems)

                I know next to nothing about cricket. If you put me in as a cricket coach it would be a disaster. I think you’re supposed to hit the ball and run fast, but beyond that I have no knowledge about what is stupid and what is smart for playing cricket. That doesn’t mean that “nobody can judge whether a cricket play is stupid” — there are scads of cricket coaches, players, and fans who could recognize that…. just not me.

        2. You are so damned ignorant even I am appalled at your stupidity. You did not read or comprehend even the slightest bit of what I or John wrote. To call democracy freedom is the surest sign that you don’t have a clue about either. To list the Fed, income tax, New Deal, Social Security (which was part of the New Deal, you moron), and so on as examples of people choosing for themselves just compounds your duplicity and ignorance, and labels you as a statist of the first water.

          The only way democracy can have any semblance of freedom is to carry it to its extreme: everyone is their own government and has no authority over others.

          1. Where did I say that freedom and democracy are the same thing?

            John is arguing against Volokh’s criticism of democracy.

            To list the Fed, income tax, New Deal, Social Security (which was part of the New Deal, you moron), and so on as examples of people choosing for themselves just compounds your duplicity and ignorance, and labels you as a statist of the first water.

            These policies still have overwhelming popular support. If there was a referendum on those policies tomorrow, they would all win in a landslide. So yeah, I’m totally comfortable characterizing them as the people’s choice.

            In the case of the income tax, they may not like having to pay it themselves, but they are happy that “the rich” have to pay it.

            1. Way to answer, ignoramus. Dodge, swerve, point at a shiny, but never ever answer what was said. Statist to the core.

      2. It must be hard to not be like that when you’re law profs.

    3. Goddammit, democracy fails only because government fails.

      True, but we will always have government in one form or another. A system that fails in the presence of government is a system that will always fail.

      As for what government’s moral rights are, in practice abstractions such as rights are as important as angels dancing on pinheads. They only matter to the extent they are enforced.

      1. People like Volokh are always yapping about the dangers of democracy. There certainly are dangers of unrestrained democracy. But the dangers of Democracy is not that the mob is going to run wild and do all of this evil. The danger is that they will elect people who will end the democracy and then run wild and do all of this evil. Oppressive and evil states are never Democratic. The people running them may have used democracy to take over but they quickly ended that once they took power.

        1. Oppressive and evil states are never Democratic.

          There are many roads to ruin. Not all of them require government that openly oppress the majority.

          It’s perfectly possible for a state to remain democratic while (a) openly oppressing minorities, (b) engaging in secret actions that harm the majority, and/or (c) engaging in actions that indirectly harm the majority in a way the majority is unaware of.

          1. Democratic states are no more perfect than any other states. They have both good and bad points. Autocratic states in contrast always end up being horrible and sometimes become mosterous.

            People like you and Volkh think things will be okay if you can just get your top men in charge of the proles. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Power is too tempting. I don’t care how great your top men are or claim to be. Once they are no longer accountable to the people they will start running other people’s lives because they will think they know best.

            What is the alternative to Democracy other than putting top men in charge and denying people a say in their own government? There isn’t any. And once you do that, it is just a matter of time before you end in tyranny. Democracies sometimes end in tyranny or forms of tyranny. Rule by top men always ends in tyranny and in the worst forms of tyranny.

            Volkh is just a tyrant who wants to give his slaves a long leash.

            1. There is no perfect system. I never claimed there was.

              While I think Volokh’s points about ignorant voters are spot-on, in practice his system would be unworkable. The government gets to determine what somebody needs to know in order to vote. The only time in history that such a system has existed, it was used to disenfranchise black citizens in the Jim Crow South, so obviously it is ripe for abuse.

              But you can’t ignore the problems that “one man, one vote” democracy has, and which are currently being exploited by the powers that be. They are quite literally “dissolving the people and electing another” with lax immigration policies and policies that discourage existing citizens from having children. If you think that our current political class considers itself accountible to the people, you’re smoking something the majority thinks you should be jailed for.

              1. You can’t think past 1st grade.

                NO government can do the right thing, precisely because, by definition of being a monopolistic coercive entity, it has to have only one solution for everybody, which means it must oppress some in order to satisfy others.

                People know damned well they can’t elect anybody who will satisfy everybody, because they are electing government elites. To claim voters are ignorant because they can’t elect the impossible is to betray your statist roots. You may as well claim industry is rife with liars because it can’t produce erasable indelible ink.

                Fuck off, slaver.

                1. They’re not ignorant because they can’t elect angels to office, they’re ignorant because they support stupid policies in opinion polls and at the ballot box. In many issues the politicians take stupid positions because those positions are popular with the people, not the other way around.

                  If the voters were demanding an end to gerrymandering, an end to lobbying, and end to ridiculous ballot access requirements, and all the other things that corrupt our election processes…. that would be different.

                  1. Your stupidity remains. I said they CAN’T elect fair representatives because there is no such thing as a fair government, and you wander off into the popular theme.

                    Apparently you can read, which means you either can’t think or don’t want to betray any semblance of thinking. Maybe you don’t want to ever change your mind, and thinking leaves open the possibility of change, therefore you shut down your brain at all times.

                    1. Because they can’t elect perfect leaders, you’re forgiving them for electing terrible leaders, who are far worse than other available options?

                      And I don’t see how the problems inherent to representative democracy absolve the voters for holding terrible positions themselves, before we even get to the question of how to keep elected representatives true to their representation.

                    2. Of course you can’t understand English. And for that, I don’t forgive you. I also don’t forgive you for not understanding basic logic as is inherent in the impossibility of having fair representatives to a fair government, let alone electing them.

                      After all, you are a true blue statist.

      2. Just wait until your Cosmotarian friends have flooded the country with Unregistered Democrats who will be happily voting a living out of your pocket.

        I suspect that unspoken eventuality is a large part of what’s fueling the trend in anti-democracy movements.

        1. After the uprising of the 17th of June
          The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
          Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
          Stating that the people
          Had forfeited the confidence of the government
          And could win it back only
          By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
          In that case for the government
          To dissolve the people
          And elect another?

          — “Die L?sung” (The Solution), Bertold Brecht

    4. “rant” word used by those not interested in true debate and exchange of ideas but basically a veiled use of the rhetorical fallacy of ad hominem argument.

      I read the op-ed piece of Mr Volokh and it is the antithesis of a rant. You really need to consult a dictionary. Rant does not mean speech or writing that you disagree with.

      One can disagree with Volokh (and I do) but not stoop to crude name calling. He is correct on all counts of the diagnosis – but wrong on the treatment.

      “A well informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.” The would be tyrants in Washington certainly know this principal and with that knowledge, act accordingly. They are very motivated keep the peasants ignorant. The federalization of education is no idealistic endeavor to improve the lot of the masses. Civic education down, federal power up. These are not uncorrelated.

      The only solution, is return of control of education to local level. Invoke the moribund 10th amendment. Abolish the Department of Education. Abolish Title IX and X and CCCLXXXIV.

      Yes, I oppose making voting as easy as picking up groceries. The leftist fascist would be tyrants wouldn’t be pushing for all these laws such as motor voter if the average “hobbit” voted for conservative, libertarian principals of limited government. Obama was well aware of the Obama-phone lady and her many compatriots whose votes can be bought with the public purse.

      1. No, I said rant because I meant rant. Coercive government by definition cannot satisfy everybody; it must oppress some to satisfy others, against their will. To complain that voters are ignorant because they cannot do the impossible (elect representative who will satisfy everybody) is illogical at best and a rant more likely.

        Anybody who defends democracy as fair is a moron. Tyranny of the majority may seem fairer than tyranny of a single dictator, but because government does so many things, every action it takes oppresses a different minority at the behest of a different majority, completely regardless of the form of government. You may as well say that the Sahara is drier than Antarctica; you would be as correct.

    5. This is especially true when the medical decisions in question are extremely important, and the “patients” have no choice but to obey the doctor’s orders.

      Funny, I pretty sure obtaining a patient’s consent is still required for even extremely important medical decisions.

    6. Even if epistocratic selection mechanisms work better than I expect them to, the resulting more competent electorate might still lack the knowledge needed to effectively monitor more than a small fraction of the activities of the large and enormously complicated modern state.

      I found your problem.

  17. Regarding libertarianism and “gay rights”. Gary Johnson gave himself a major wedgie for his complete fence straddling with respect to religious rights vs “gay rights”. He said he would support a don’t bake the cake bill but he supported “gay rights”. So he presumably support some bill that spelled out specific protection of the religious. (You don’t have to bake a cake, take wedding photos,…, but they can force you to do something that isn’t specifically on the list, e.g., cupcakes.)

    Libertarian politicians are forced in the end to choose between the social left and the religious/social conservatives. I am not saying that religious/social conservatives have always been closer to libertarian principles. However, the social left should be a complete anathema to libertarians. They are the worst of the big government types. In complete irony, they talked a good talk about “tolerance”. But we have all seen that their tolerance is empty rhetoric and that you will be forced to conform to them, and then they will tolerate you. They push “hate speech” laws where hate speech is defined to be espousing views different from their own.

    In the end, Gary Johnson chose. His choice is manifest in his running partner, Weld, who is no libertarian but a classic big governmenter.

    1. “Rights” are things you have that the government can’t take away from you. They are restrictions on the government. They are not positive things. I don’t have a “right” to anything except what I have the ability and desire to do. My “rights” are things that the government can’t do to me or take away. Once you go down the road and start thinking of rights as positive things, you are finished. I don’t have a right to demand that you serve me at your business. And I certainly don’t have a right to make the government put a gun to your head to make you do that. Johnson has completely embraced the concept of positive rights. By doing that, he has given up the ability to object to much the Progs want. He thinks gays have a right to demand people bake them cakes. Well, that is nice Progs agree and also think people have a right to demand a lot of other things. Since he has embraced positive rights, who is Johnson to say they are wrong?

      1. Gary Johnson said that he wouldn’t want the government to force a jewish baker to make a cake with a swastika for a Nazi but would force a religious person to make a gay wedding cake. Because, you know, that is opening a religious “black hole” (Johnson’s very words).

        Vomit! All libertarians should throw up.

        So, the Constitution, in the eyes of Mr. Johnson, gives you the right to the free practice of politics but NOT religion: There are no religious restrictions of a Jew on making a Nazi cake. A Jew turning down that job is a making a political decision (and a quite reasonable one). A Jewish baker turning down a Hindu’s cake celebrating the gods, would be a religious decision and should be disallowed by the government according to Mr. Johnson.

        1. Johnson’s position on religious freedom (and freedom of association in general) is execrable. If anything you’re giving him more credit for coherence than he deserves.

          He’s campaigning for the MSM’s vote, not for libertarians’ and certainly not for any part of the electorate that isn’t already taken by Hillary. The fact that he loses 20% of his votes to Jill Stein when she’s included in polls indicates that 40% of his meager poll performance is due to not being named Clinton or Trump.

  18. I see last night’s Tulpa infestation went to more than 500 comments.

    On the other hand, there are still good things in the world. The world’s largest wine festival. Next booze fest on my list after Oktoberfest.

  19. Interesting, but it doesn’t mention the role of fundietards in destroying the party by importing the values of the defunct Christian Socialist Party into the modern GOP after finally being tossed out by the DNC in the 60’s.

    Considering that the GOP has been nothing but a relabeled CSP for the past 30 years, practicing a strain of “big government with big taxes for christian zealots” politics, you’d think that would get some airtime.

    1. Good example of name calling when you can’t make a rational argument. Perhaps you missed the name of this website is

  20. “Where did Trump come from?”

    It’s a combination, really. It’s “they tuk ayr jobs”, “Black people are getting Welfare from the taxes I pay on my 20k/yr job, and one day my $20k/yr is going to make me rich.

    I say form a labor union, but that’s apparently anachronistic. I’m ‘ol skool. Sad.

    1. “form a labor union”
      Because coercing one’s way to prosperity is moral and sustainable.

      1. Collective bargaining is both moral and sustainable – for the private sector. The private union found out when they sucked too much blood from the host which was the Hostess Twinkie company, and the company folded.

        In contrast, public sector unions have no such inherent negative feedback control. Hence FDR was strongly opposed to them. (He didn’t realize how politically useful they could be.)

        1. When a union forces a employer to not hire someone unless they join the union I don’t find that moral. If you enact protectionist tariffs it could be sustainable. But that really isn’t sustainable per se.

    2. “Hey everyone, let’s do the exact thing that causes people to look for cheaper labour, because I’m a moron who doesn’t understand basic economics.”

      -Am Soc.

  21. I saw somebody refer to Trump as a crisis of faith for the GOP. To resolve the crisis, you have to ask yourself what are the bedrock principles of the GOP, what are the things you simply must believe in order to call yourself a Republican, what are the things you simply cannot believe and still call yourself a Republican?

    To me, Trump isn’t a crisis of faith for the GOP, he’s a resolution of the crisis. The GOP has decided their bedrock principle, the sine qua non of the Republican Party, is getting elected. The crisis didn’t start with Trump, it started at least as far back as Nixon. I saw where the resolution would wind up when the GOP nominated Bush as the successor to Reagan rather than Jack Kemp. Even if you didn’t understand that “hold your nose and vote for Bob Dole/John McCain/Mitt Romney because as liberal as he is at least he has an (R) next to his name” wasn’t a compromise of GOP principles but rather a flat-out declaration of their principles, you’re too damn stupid to live if you don’t understand that with Trump.

    Trump is in no way, shape or form betraying Republican principles – he is the living embodiment of GOP principles.

    1. Which of course makes the GOP not one whit different than the Dems at heart – what you intend to do with power is nothing, getting power is everything. You can lie to yourself all you want and claim the difference between the two is what the GOP says they want to do with the power and what the Dems say they want to do with the power, but when both are agreed that the ends justify the means and “doing whatever it takes” to get the power is perfectly acceptable then that is a distinction without a difference.

      Some of us used to think a big difference between the GOP and the Dems is that the GOP didn’t believe in “the ends justify the means”, that there were rules and a right way and a wrong way to do things and that “fairness” was a matter of following the rules and doing the right thing. The Dems were the ones claiming that “fairness” was a matter of outcomes and if you had to have different rules for different people – even if you had to change the rules after the game had been played in order to achieve the desired outcome – that was not just an acceptable thing but a downright good thing.

      But now it should be pretty clear the GOP believes the same thing the Dems believe – it doesn’t matter how you play the game, all that matters is whether you win or lose.

      1. Did it ever occur to you that it was close to the best achievable compromise? Sure, you can imagine not compromising & then winning, or winning some time soon uncompromisingly, but that’s impossible. It may well be that in some environments, which may last decades or even centuries, the best you can do is lose as slowly as possible, because the alternative is losing faster, hitting bottom, and staying on the bottom longer because you got there sooner.

  22. Jerry Sandusky now has a competent lawyer

    In a brief filed Thursday, Sandusky’s attorney, Al Lindsay, asked McKean County Senior Judge John Cleland to take the step, following up on questions of repressed memory therapy.

    Sandusky is pursuing a Post-conviction Collateral Relief Act petition, looking for a new trial following his 2012 conviction on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse charges. Following evidentiary hearings last month, Cleland said the repressed memory issues merited more attention.

    “Mr. Sandusky has provided both trial record evidence and post-trial evidence, including statements from the Office of Attorney General itself that confirm that recovered memories/repressed memories were at issue,” Lindsay wrote.

    1. He cited two accusers who claimed therapy being instrumental, including Sandusky’s adopted son Matt, who was not one of the 10 victims in the criminal case against the retired Penn State defensive coordinator but did settle claims with Penn State.

      According to the American Psychological Association, repressed or recovered memories are a question of some debate. Rarely, the organization says, a memory might be repressed, but “convincing pseudomemories” can also be created for incidents that didn’t happen.

      “The mechanism(s) by which both of these phenomena happen are not well understood and, at this point it is impossible, without other corroborative evidence, to distinguish a true memory from a false one,” the APA’s website says.

      1. Also:

        Lindsay also asked that the grand jury presentment be quashed and all charges subsequently dismissed.

        That request stems from the issue of grand jury leaks, something that has been a hot button in Pennsylvania for years, most recently leading to the August conviction and then resignation of Kathleen Kane as attorney general.

        In Sandusky’s case, the allegations of leaks include information in articles written by Sara Ganim. Ganim, now a CNN reporter, was formerly with the Centre Daily Times and then the Patriot-News, where she wrote extensively about the case.

        In both the evidentiary hearings and the new brief, Lindsay raised the issue of grand jury information possibly being leaked to Ganim, as well as the original grand jury presentment being “improperly leaked and placed online.” He pointed to additional victims coming forward after the presentment was made public.

        “The leak to Ms. Ganim and others unconstitutionally violated Mr. Sandusky’s due process right …,” Lindsay wrote. “Since the allegations relating to Victims 3-10 should never have been presented to a jury, Mr. Sandusky is also entitled to a new trial on the charges relating to (the other two), as it is impossible to delineate how the prejudicial impact of the improperly admitted evidence bled through and bolstered the case as to those accusers. Indeed, the prosecution itself argued that Mr. Sandusky’s course of conduct demonstrated his guilt.”

        1. I reserve judgment but wouldn’t it be a pisser if he turned out to be innocent? I seriously doubt he is but that would be something.

          1. That would be a pisser.

            I followed the case as closely as I could. Full disclosure: I don’t like football. I didn’t know who Sandusky was until I saw the news report that he had been arrested for child molestation. When I showed up at Penn State, I knew who Paterno was but didn’t know what he looked like.

            Lots of the coverage of the Sandusky case was crap. Pennlive and the CDT has decent coverage. From that, I could see problems with the state’s case. Both the judge and jury figured that out as well. The judge dismissed some charges and the jury acquitted Sandusky of a few charges. However, despite the problems with the state’s case, I think Sandusky actually did commit a few of the crimes he was convicted of.

            1. I think he is a sick fuck. Some of the witnesses may be lying but not all of them. Too many people over too many years for it to all BS.

              1. Exactly. Like Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton: one may quibble about some of the cases, but not all of them.

    2. Some Ped State, Nambla Lions fans will point to this as justification for unapologetically celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of Joe Pedterno joining the school.

  23. I’d love to hear HIllary’s repressed memories.

    1. Paging Sugarfree.

  24. Trump’s supporters came from the same place as Reagan Democrats.

    “Reagan Democrats” no longer saw the Democratic party as champions of their working class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos, and other groups.

    That’s also where Trump supporters came from. Trump’s supporters weren’t guided by some higher strain of paleoconservative ideology.

    Some people find it hard to believe that when the white, blue collar, middle class is demonized by progressives and others for being racist because they’re white, homophobic because they’re Christian, stupid because they’re blue collar (see any thread on global warming), etc, that it doesn’t actually endear them to the hearts of the white, blue collar, middle class.

    1. The Reagan Democrats are rapidly dying off. The blue-collar white demographic is demonized by progressives because they are rapidly diminishing in electoral importance, and make a good punching bag for rallying racial minorities and faux-intellectual cultural elites to the cause.

      Though many of Trump’s voters from the primaries were Democrats, crossing over in open primaries to vote for the only GOP candidate who Hillary could beat. So I guess he has that in his “favor”.

      1. “The Reagan Democrats are rapidly dying off. The blue-collar white demographic is demonized by progressives because they are rapidly diminishing in electoral importance, and make a good punching bag for rallying racial minorities and faux-intellectual cultural elites to the cause.

        I wasn’t speaking of Reagan Democrats as a if they were a specific group of individuals from a specific period of time.

        I was speaking of Reagan Democrats as a demographic–and even if the label has changed to match a current candidate that demographic and the forces that galvanize them are still in play today.

        It should be noted that the Democratic Party drifted too far to the left and became the party of “the very poor, feminists, the unemployed, African Americans, Latinos” under the Carter Administration, too. The white, blue collar, middle class was still important back then–the Democrats lost sight of their white, blue collar core constituency anyway. In other words, just because they’re doing something doesn’t mean it’s smart.

        1. The Democrats do many things that are not smart, but beating up on blue collar white males is not one of them.

          1. “The Democrats do many things that are not smart, but beating up on blue collar white males is not one of them.”

            In what way?

            Do you realize that the Republican Party has never been more powerful than it is today?

            The Democrats have embedded themselves more deeply in their blue states, but the Republicans have never controlled so many governor’s mansions, so many legislatures with both houses, etc.

            The Republican tent has grown so large that it’s tearing the place apart, and that growth is coming at the expense of the Democrat’s historical core constituency–white, blue collar, middle class.

            Why can demonizing the white, blue collar, middle class be smart?

            Like I said, meanwhile the white middle class is becoming more inclusive all the time. Third generation Latinos aren’t especially different from the fifth generation children of Irish immigrants.

            Meanwhile, Asian immigrants are flooding in, and they aren’t necessarily easily manipulated by citing the sins of our English forefathers in terms of slavery or Jim Crow. The distinction between the rest of the white middle class and the Asian middle class isn’t likely to last very long either.

            1. Do you realize that the Republican Party has never been more powerful than it is today?

              No, I don’t. Because it’s not. Controlling Congress just means you can obstruct a couple of things the White House wants to do. It gives you no independent power. We’re almost certainly going to have a Dem Senate come out of this election, and a far-left SCOTUS justice installed in early January, meaning the Dems will control SCOTUS too.

              We’ve seen how little governors and state legislatures matter when doing anything that the feds don’t like.

              1. Are you kidding? Look at both medical & non-medical mj?state policies that not long ago most people assumed the feds would simply squash. It was thought that if the states actually licensed dealers (as opposed to merely stopping enforcement or repealing state laws), it would be trivial for the feds to simply padlock them all, because no work to find them. But that’s not what happened, even though there was no change in the federal law & the court decisions were on the feds’ side!

                GOP control of the states is quite significant, & look at the trend of Congressional make-up over the past few decades. Not only that, but even in many of the Dem-majority states, that majority is concentrated in a few metropolitan areas.

                1. That’s because MMJ is a popular issue with the electorate and is pushed mostly by Dems.

                  Look at how the feds reacted to Voter ID laws, state assistance with border enforcement, state laws against gay marriage and protecting religious freedom, state laws enforcing gendered bathrooms. And tell me it matters a lick that the GOP controls a few extra state legislatures.

              2. “We’ve seen how little governors and state legislatures matter when doing anything that the feds don’t like.”

                So control of both houses in Congress doesn’t mean the Republicans are strong, and controlling both houses of so many legislatures that they almost have enough states to all a convention to propose Constitutional amendments without any Democrat support doesn’t mean they’re powerful either?

                Tulpa is a willful ignoramus.

        2. “In other words, just because they’re doing something doesn’t mean it’s smart.”

          It doesn’t even mean they’re doing it on purpose. It may be that they just can’t help themselves.

      2. It’s a classic problem of identity politics–even as identities multiply. If you’re a party for environmentalists, illegal aliens, welfare queens, LGBTQI, Muslim refugees, feminists, etc., then why should anyone who isn’t an environmentalist, an illegal alien, a welfare queen, LGBTQI, a Muslim refugee, or a feminist support you? What if you’re a patriotic, tax paying, construction worker in a swing state like Ohio or Florida?

        Meanwhile, the white, blue collar, middle class is getting more and more Latino all the time.

        1. What if you’re a patriotic, tax paying, construction worker in a swing state like Ohio or Florida?

          Then you’re part of a shrinking demographic. The Dems don’t need 100% of the votes. And Ohio and Florida are not the swing states this time around…. formerly solid red states like Georgia, Arizona, and Missouri are the battlegrounds. Thanks to Trump.

          Meanwhile, the white, blue collar, middle class is getting more and more Latino all the time.

          And Latinos hate Trump, which kind of goes against your claim that these voters are Trump voters.

          1. That shrinking demographic idea is bogus. Like I keep saying, the white, middle class, keeps getting more Latino.

            You understand that Latino isn’t a race, right?

            Mexican isn’t a race either.

            77% of the U.S. population is white, and that includes white Latinos.

            And even if the white population were shrinking, how small would it have to shrink before it stopped mattering what whites in swing states think?

            1. Not a race, but a distinct ethnicity. Most Hispanics do not consider themselves white, regardless of how the outdated government forms allocate their checkboxes.

              This is especially funny since back during the Zimmerman-Martin controversy, supporters of Zimmerman claimed it wasn’t a white vs. black issue because Zimmerman was Hispanic. The media was roundly criticized for referring to Zimmerman as “White Hispanic”, a term that seemed odd to all involved. Now that it serves the Trumpists’ purposes to pretent Hispanics are white, we’ve come full circle.

              1. Jorge Zimmerman

              2. Among Hispanics there’s a lot of consciousness of their being either white or black.

            2. And even if the white population were shrinking, how small would it have to shrink before it stopped mattering what whites in swing states think?

              Today’s swing states are all former red states…. meaning they really aren’t important, especially in the presidential election.

              1. No, you stupid fuck, you’re wrong.

                And you’re Tulpa.

              2. “Today’s swing states are all former red states.”

                They’re also former blue states.

                States swinging back and forth between blue and red.

                That’s what makes them swing states.

          2. “And Latinos hate Trump, which kind of goes against your claim that these voters are Trump voters.”

            Blacks hate Trump.

            Some 95% of blacks poll against Trump.

            According to Pew, Latinos break for Hillary by a healthy margin

            They don’t hate him.


            1. When you’re talking about the white, blue collar, middle class in states like California, Arizona, and Texas, you’re talking about a whole lot of Latinos.

              1. Who do not identify as white, other than on government forms that require them to.

            2. Trump is getting clobbered 3-1 in that poll, and in more recent polls by nearly 4-1 among Hispanics.

              1. Why are you still here Tulpa?

              2. In spite of being demonized for his immigration stance and wanting to build a wall, for every two or three Latinos who break for Hillary, one of them breaks for Trump.

                That’s substantial support for Trump within the Latino community, actually. According to that study, Trump is doing better with Latinos than Romney did. If they hate Trump, how did they feel about Romney and why?

                I have no doubt that there are plenty of Latinos who despise Trump. He has plenty of supporters, as well. His support probably comes from Latinos who are culturally indistinguishable from other Americans who have long been in the white, middle class. And there are more and more Latinos like that all the time.

                If 27%+ of American Latinos currently support Trump, and the demographic feeding into that support is growing, then we know two things:

                1) “Latinos hate Trump” is an oversimplification

                2) The idea that the white middle class is shrinking and so the Democrats demonizing them is smart doesn’t make any sense.

            3. That’s the real mystery: why blacks are so much against Trump.

              1. I think it’s mostly because he’s a Republican.

          3. “And Ohio and Florida are not the swing states this time around…. ”

            I’d advise against betting on that.

            1. Clinton is ahead in both those states now with large numbers of undecideds. People who are reluctant to say they’ll vote for either Clinton or Trump now are highly unlikely to break for Trump when forced to choose on election day. They’ll hold their nose and vote Hillary. Which means a landslide.

              1. No one is buying it Tulpa.

              2. It will be interesting to see who actually shows up to vote though.

              3. People who are reluctant to say they’ll vote for either Clinton or Trump now are highly unlikely to break for Trump when forced to choose on election day. They’ll hold their nose and vote Hillary.

                What makes you think that?

            2. He could change it to some other swing state.

              The point is that whites would still be important in swing states even if they were less important elsewhere (not that they are).

              Tulpa is often willfully stupid.

  25. And is that amazing? Just because you get hard when people demonize average Americans for being patriotic, Christian, etc., that doesn’t mean average Americans find being demonized endearing. Only elitist shitheads should have trouble understanding this.

    Progressives have started centered their entire political universe on questions like whether the white, blue collar, middle class is being sensitive enough to the plights of Muslims fleeing conflict zones or where trans teens in North Carolina go to the bathroom. First show the white, blue collar, middle class that you hate them for being white, blue collar, and middle class, then obsess on the problems of trans teens, rapey refugees, illegal aliens, and gays who need wedding cakes–and that’s how you create a world of Trump supporters.

    If you don’t understand that, and you think good public policy isn’t worth it if getting it means you have to stop demonizing the white, blue collar, middle class for being white, blue collar, middle class, heterosexual, Christian, etc., then you’re a big part of the reason why Trump voters became a powerful force in American politics. Give yourself an uppercut.

  26. This thread smells like a big steaming pile of Tulpa.

    1. amsoc showed up.

      1. No guy, we’re talking about the Seth Bullock infestation.

        1. I was being sarcastic. Like he being an alternative to Tulpa is any less fecal.

          1. Sorry, sarcasm was subtle, you’re correct of course, the bouquet is different, but the source is no better.

  27. Sounds like an interesting book.

    1. Yeah, if I weren’t about to move, and throwing away a lot of books, I might buy it.

  28. Before Herbert Hoover beefed Germany up for Hitler with the Moratorium on Brains, left wing and right wing meant arrays of soldiers. Only in 1932 was there a need for a way to say religious socialist versus lay bureaucracy socialist to cover the entire one-dimensional spectrum of looter politicians. To this day the adoption of liberal as pronounced in Mein Kampf and right wing as pronounced by Danton and Robespierre survive as monuments to evasive obscurantism.

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

    Heres what I’ve been doing,……………. http://www.CareerPlus90.Com

  30. “…entertainingly provocative if not truly inventive….” Inventive indeed. Too much white space to be filled with inventive, er, drivel.

  31. my co-worker’s ex-wife makes $72 every hour on the computer . She has been fired for eight months but last month her paycheck was $21092 just working on the computer for a few hours. pop over here^^^^^^


  32. Brandon . I can see what your saying… Victor `s rep0rt is good, last wednesday I bought a great Audi Quattro since I been making $5790 this past 5 weeks and just over ten-k this past munth . it’s by-far the most rewarding I have ever had . I actually started five months/ago and almost immediately brought home over $82, p/h .

  33. Good book review!

  34. I’m making over $9k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…. Go to tech tab for work detail..

  35. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

  36. Zaa, In general, people do a better job running their own lives than a central planner would due to the problem of information, but let’s not generalize that by saying that people always know best.

  37. my classmate’s aunt makes $74 /hr on the internet . She has been fired for eight months but last month her paycheck was $12598 just working on the internet for a few hours. find out here now


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