Big Government

The Basket Case for Smaller Government

Has the possibility of a Trump presidency caused progressives to reflect on the wisdom of an all-powerful State?

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We are now well into the season of knee-jerk partisan cheerleading, and knee-jerk partisan cheerleading has an inverse relationship to introspection. So the many liberals who now insist Hillary Clinton's comments about the "basket of deplorables" supporting Donald Trump was on the money probably won't stop to consider the implications for their own agenda.

They might have reason to later, though.

On Friday Clinton said roughly half of Trump's supporters are "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic?—?you name it." Right now Trump has about 43 percent of the electorate in his corner, which means the percentage of Americans who are, in Clinton's view, deplorable stands at a little more than one-fifth.

Trump has roundly denounced Clinton for insulting the character of the humble, honest, hard-working, God-fearing and pure-of-heart Americans who support his campaign. But Clinton's defenders point to voluminous polling data demonstrating that sizable percentages of Trump's voters think blacks are lazy, violent and less intelligent; would support banning both Muslims and LGBTQ people from the U.S.; are skeptical of diversity; wish the South had won the Civil War; believe (incorrectly) that immigrants commit more crime, and so on.

Those are alarming indicators. And they grow more alarming when you note that in recent weeks the presidential race has tightened. Clinton's lead, once in the double digits, has shrunk to about 3 percentage points. And that narrow lead does not account for the possibility of the Bradley/Wilder effect.

Both Tom Bradley (a Los Angeles mayor) and Doug Wilder (a Virginia lieutenant governor) enjoyed solid leads in the polls during their gubernatorial races. Bradley lost, and Wilder barely squeaked to victory. One explanation, based on social desirability bias, holds that some voters told pollsters they would vote for Bradley (or Wilder) because they thought supporting the black candidate would sound more acceptable than supporting his opponent.

Although there is no hard evidence to support the notion, some voters who plan to vote for Trump might be telling pollsters otherwise, simply because Trump elicits so much hostility. And if there is such a Trump effect, then Clinton's comments could make it worse. Who wants to be thought of—even by a pollster—as a deplorable racist?

It would not take much (one more health scare, for example) for Trump to pull ahead and stay there. That increases the probability of a Trump administration from non-zero to significant.

The prospect of President Trump wielding the levers of power should strike fear into even the stoutest heart. But it also should lead liberals and progressives to question their zeal for a government of unlimited power.

Once upon a time, they did. During the George W. Bush administration liberals routinely bewailed the manner in which the executive branch stomped past the boundaries imposed by the Constitution. In those days you were nothing if your Prius did not sport a sticker comparing Bush to Hitler or asking, "Is it fascism yet?"

All of those lofty concerns vanished on January 21, 2009, and it wasn't long before progressives were cheering Barack Obama's use of his pen and phone and listing ways the president could "get things done" unilaterally. The Affordable Care Act expanded government power even further, enabling Washington for the first time to require American citizens to purchase a consumer good as a condition of being alive in the U.S.

Trump would make Bush and Obama look like wallflowers. He unabashedly believes government should do things such as seize private property through eminent domain, force religious minorities to register with the state and forbid private employers to hire certain types of people (such as those without proper immigration documents).

Should Trump win, his administration would not be populated with the principled conservatives who opposed his candidacy. It would be populated with ardent Trump supporters—including some of the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic deplorables Clinton denounced on Friday. They would inherit the most powerful executive branch in U.S. history and try to make it more powerful still.

As Charles Cooke wrote a while back in National Review, this ought to prompt some reflection among liberals. Has Trump's rise, he asks, "done anything to change your mind as to the ideal strength of the State?"

To be fair, a similar question could be put to advocates of limited government. While it's pretty to think America has moved beyond its bigoted past into a post-racial Utopia, the polling data on Trump's supporters suggest otherwise. And that suggests in turn the need for at least some government intervention to protect the rights of racial, religious and other minorities.

Still, for all the harm bigotry can do in the private sector, that harm is constrained by the limited scope of private authority. Acme Widgets might decide not to hire Muslims—but Acme can't set hiring policy for its direct competitors, let alone every other actor in the marketplace.

Washington can.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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  1. I don’t want to be first

  2. “Limited government is hard.”
    – Constitutional Barbie –

    1. Can you see Russia from your balcony?

  3. That’s different!

  4. Relax, PA is going to come through for Hillary. There will be no 4th Reich. Instead we’ll get a banana republic ruled over by a corrupt oligarch mafia.

    So when Hitler used to get all hopped up on whatever and stand in the corner saying ‘Look it’s him! The man who is to come!’, was he talking about Trump or some right wing extremists now living in Berlin? Maybe Merkel has a sex change?

    I’ve almost started to actually hope for a Hillary win so that we can just finish off what legitimacy this totally out of control government has left and see what emerges from the ashes. Maybe that’s better than a slow and painful swinging pendulum type of death? Also know as ‘the purple death’.

    1. I didn’t even know a town named Relax, PA even existed.

      1. Don’t do it.

        1. Shoot it in the right direction.

        2. You go past Intercourse, take a right at Climax, go through two stoplight a and you get to Relax. If you’re sitting in Blue Ball, you missed your first turn.

          1. Hit me with those laser beams.

            1. I never know what any of you people are talking about, I swear.

          2. Grab its fucking access road.

      2. It’s right over yonder by Possumbury and Dumbfuckistanville.

    2. In all seriousness, Trump doesn’t need PA to win. He can win without it if he wins NH (which he isn’t far back in) and ME’s 2nd District (which he is doing by a big margin).

      1. Once again, FL will either save or doom the Republic. I think its the stress of being blamed for every shitty president that sets us off.

      2. Trump could swing PA. Obama’s darker skin is the only reason PA has been so blue in recent elections, primarily due to the demographics of Philadelphia and the Latino communities in Allentown, Harrisburg and other mid-sized cities.

        Poor turnout in Philadelphia (which Clinton is most assuredly succeeding at encouraging) or greater Trump outreach to the African American communities (which he is actively working on), but give some surprises in PA.
        Democrats have been screwing over blacks for a long time now. Obama was supposed to change that, but he has just screwed them over harder. With the rough economy, the Dems have lost quite a lot of the security of that voting block. It will be interesting.

        1. Democrats have been screwing over blacks for a long time now

          Yes, and even though they are starting to acknowledge that, they are still saying they will ‘reluctantly’ vote for the vile old white hag. Reluctant and non-enthusiastic votes still count.

          But we should also keep in mind how many votes Bernie got in the primaries. If Hillary would just get all of those votes, that would be all she needs. But the Hillary campaign has been completely unapologetic about it’s disdain for those voters and has in no way tried to woo them back. I think her complete sense of inevitability makes her incapable of even thinking about things like that. I’m not saying a lot of Bernie supporters are going out to vote for Trump or even Johnson or Stein. But I totally see large numbers of them staying home. That in itself gives Trump a much better chance.

        2. I played a christian rock basement in Harrisburg once. The “house band” was an acoustic comedy rock duo called anti-cool. Truth in advertising! So, kind of a dump was my impression, but some parts of Harrisburg, I assume, are kinda h.

        3. PA hasn’t gone to the GOP presidential candidate since 1988.

      3. You’re kidding, right? What does NH have, one half of an electoral vote? Keep in mind, Hillary wins CA, IL, and NY. Trump will absolutely need PA, OH, and FL.

        1. I went through this exercise earlier today. Go to the RCP create your own map page

          Turn Ohio, NC, GA, FL, IA, MO, AZ, NV red. (They’re going to be red anyway even though RCP still has them in the toss up column). Then turn NH and ME2 red. Voila! 270 electoral votes for Trump without Penna.

            1. PA has gone Democratic for the last six presidential elections, two of which were won by Bush Jr.

              It’s the state that everyone thinks is in play, but really isn’t.

  5. “The prospect of President Trump wielding the levers of power should strike fear into even the stoutest heart.”

    And fill the trousers of Reason scribes with a malodorous brown material.

    1. Stout?

      *** ducks ***

    2. If anyone think’s that the progressive/democrat establishment or their followers are capable of introspection or reason I would appreciate a citation. So far, all I see is reactionary bullshit policy that could never work in reality. Are we saying these people, and their voters, will be so ‘afraid’ of Trump they’ll turn away from

      Or are we going to tell the truth and mention that these people aren’t in favor of little things like the 1st Amendment and will just make more rules?

      Personally I gave up all hope that the Democrats would see reason about 20 years ago.

      1. not everyone who disagrees with you politically is an amoral monster. Economics, ethics, statistics in short, the skills required to make rational political decisions are complex, difficult and tend to be subjects our mediocre school system fails to teach. The point is, being wrong about something doesnt make you a bad person, and pretending as though the two are the same guarantees that you will never convince someone who is mistaken to change their mind.

        1. I’ve reread my comment to locate where I say that people who disagree with me politically are monsters, but I’m not seeing it. Perhaps you refer to the numerous and pervasive instances where the progressive left has painted anyone who disagrees with them politically as monsters? (I do note that my comment lacked a key point, I somehow must have deleted that section, where it should have said “Turn away from statist policy”.)

          The fact is you’re not going to get a statist to turn away from statist solutions, even if the current person in charge is demonstrably horrible and uses their power to unilaterally subvert constitutional principles. The left, and increasingly the right as well, will simply say it’s because of the individual and not because of the structure of the political system itself.

          That’s just how I see it.

  6. “Bush is just like Hitler!”

    “Oh, really? Then I guess I should say goodbly, since you said that in public. Enjoy camp livng!”

    (Looks at me as if I was crawling with pinhead lice)

    1. Perhaps it was the “goodbly?”

  7. OT: My professor is requiring us to see a Michael Eric Dyson speech about race at my college this upcoming Monday.

    Fuck my life.

    1. Ask him if Milo can visit. Milo is gay and if he says no, he’s a racist bigot monster.

      1. I go to DePaul. Hahahahaha. The College Republicans invited him this past Spring to speak and the leftists on campus lost their collective shit.

        1. Well, then you shouldn’t have to watch some leftist drivel film. Tell them it’s triggers you and ask for a safe space.

          1. 80% of the value of college is being exposed to things you dislike and disagree with.

            1. 80% of the value of college is being exposed to things you dislike and disagree with.

              Then you are paying 400% more for college than it’s actually worth. The Internet is a lot cheaper and presents you with every differing opinion, not just the academy-curated ones.

              1. As a thought exercise consider how little people are willing to engage with philosophies they dislike if not compelled to. As a bit of an obvious aside this is in relation to the Humanities/Liberal arts primarily.

                1. “As a thought exercise consider how little people are willing to engage with philosophies they dislike if not compelled to.”

                  Who cares??!?!?!? Seriously, I couldn’t give a flying fuck if my barista has been exposed to Kant or not. I really don’t give a shit if the HR admin assistant at my work has been instructed on critical race theory. It doesn’t matter whether or not my kid’s English teacher has learned about patriarchy.

                  College as a forced opening of minds is only important to the overprivileged and the navel gazers. Everybody else just wants marketable skills to be able to pay off their 5-6 figure debt after being subjected to the required grievance studies courses built into their degree plan.

                2. The question then is “what is the purpose of college?”

                  It is undeniable that, for a lot of people, the answer to that question is some variation of “to obtain the credential I need to pursue a career”. To people who feel this way, the studying and critiquing of the world’s philosophies is an aside or a hobby. It’s not something that’s worth $20k/year or more.

                  Moreover, even people who go to college to study a particular subject, without necessarily seeking a degree for the sole or primary purpose of resume building, are not inherently benefited by being forced to study other subjects. It is again not what they’re paying for.

                  For example, a math major may have interests in philosophy but might gain little from a course focused on “What was John Dewey thinking when he gave this speech?” (seriously, that was a class I took and eventually dropped — although it was misleadingly called “Intro to Scientific Reasoning”).

                  The academy needs to understand that while sniffing each others’ farts in the ivory tower is fun, it is not what actually serves many students’ interests, and it doesn’t really accomplish the wondrous socially beneficial effects they seem to think it does.

            2. Mechanics of Deformable Bodies?

            3. + 1 dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library.

      2. No, Milo is the wrong kind of fag and is openly hated by the rest of the alphabet soup gang. Banning him shows tolerance.

      3. Fart-huffing narcissists haven’t got the sense of humility to question their own biases. It’s what makes professors like Russ Roberts tragic, because they are people who not only cut against the grain of academic conformity but actively make a point of engaging their moral and intellectual opposition with indefatigable politeness in the face of smug condescension.

    2. When you turn in your paper on the speech, just say it consisted of the following:

      “Blah blah blah racism blah blah blah black bodies blah blah blah ignorant white people blah blah blah check your privilege. You know, just like every one of your lectures.”

  8. I’m somewhat interested in seeing what would happen to the country if it were run by a bunch of racist, xenophobic, sexist redneck scumbags.

    1. racist, xenophobic, sexist redneck scumbags

      I can deal with all of that, it’s the socialist-lite statism that bugs me.

    2. Whatever happened to “Laboratories of Democracy”?

      1. Federal subsidies to states.

        1. A rhetorical question; but you are correct.

      2. STDs of Democracy?

    3. It depends on how you feel about Alabama in 1948.

      1. They wouldn’t have come after me, so I guess I’m good there.

      2. “It depends on how you feel about Alabama in 1948.”

        Yes, but that’s the idiocy part. In her mind, Trump sees George Wallace (which is more like Alabama in 1968), but in reality Trump isn’t anywhere close to George Wallace’s attitudes or policies.

    4. Isn’t that basically the history of the US and the developed world?

      On the other hand, job security for SJW’s. Obama has been pretty much running the well dry when it comes to targets for cultural revolution.

  9. Prediction: Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” widely derided as her Dukakis moment within five years, and she serves as a punchline ever for lefty cultural critics.

    1. See also: 47%, binders full of women

      1. This was the first thing that popped into my head when I read this story. In Romney’s defense he was simply saying people who receive more from the government than they give aren’t likely to want to change that by voting Republican (implying of course that a Republican would do anything, but still).

        HRC says basically the same thing, only her implication is that not only does she not care for those people, but she actively thinks they’re disgusting human beings. When combined with her logic of ‘hate’ crimes and such, she believes these people probably belong in prison but that might be me projecting too much on a single sound byte.

        Somehow I predict she will skate from this with zero repercussions.

    2. Obama could have totally gotten away with that. He’s said way dumber stuff than that and was unfazed by it. I guess first black potus > first vagina.

        1. You didn’t build that. Punish your enemies, etc, etc.

        2. Not to mention “lipstick on a pig”, “57 states”, etc.

  10. OT:

    Who knew that Mexico is led by a bunch of racist xenophobes?

    Mexico wall to stop poor migrants from entering

    1. Only because they’re worried they won’t be able to pass them along to the US after this year.

      1. That somehow makes them less racist.

        /prog logic

      1. There’s only 11 people left in Honduras, the rest of them are already in VA and MD. What sort of wall can 11 peasants pay for? I think the money sent back home by Mexican migrant workers in the US is paying for it.

        1. That would explain the oversized post offices along the border.

  11. Would not shock me. I live in a pretty diverse “gov’t town” with people imported from all over the country. In 08 and 12 I saw far more Barack stickers and signs than I did McCain or Romney stuff. This time around there’s a fair bit of Trump gear and virtually no Hillary stuff. In fact there’s been far more Bernie stuff out and about than Hillary stuff.

    Not sure what kind of predictor that is it’s certainly interesting…

    1. The only Hillary yard signs I see are accompanied by “For Prison”. There’s very little excitement for Clinton in the ‘burbs, even traditionally Democratic ones. She’ll still win NJ, though.

      All the leading indicators are for Trump, IMO, especially since Hilary seems to chronically underperform her polls.

      1. I think her stumble will be nothing more than Trump’s dead cat bounce in the polls.
        Hillary still wins in an Electoral College landslide

    2. Said it many times here before, but it still remains true. I still see Obama 08 and 12 stickers on cars, a lot of them. But I have yet to see even one Hillary sticker, in deep blue MD. How weird is that?

      1. Yep, but those voters will still all vote for Hillary. But the lack of enthusiasm and not attracting new voters is definitely taking the wind of her campaign’s sails.

  12. But it also should lead liberals and progressives to question their zeal for a government of unlimited power.

    Should, but won’t. The problem, as ever, will be that the wrong people have that unlimited power.

    1. True. These, after all, are people who argue that the USSR would have been great had the right people been in charge.

      1. Many of them backed a presidential contender who still believes that the USSR WAS great.

        1. Until, you know, it was ruined by the inevitable collapse of socialism capitalism.

          *sigh* At least they still have Cuba… for now.

          1. They still have Venezuela, but they’re pretty mute about that right now, for some reason. And they’ve tried to claim Scandinavian countries, but I believe they have been told by the Scandinavian countries in so many words, to shut up and piss off.

  13. “The prospect of President Trump wielding the levers of power should strike fear into even the stoutest heart. But it also should lead liberals and progressives to question their zeal for a government of unlimited power.”

    ? I support downsizing the military, getting rid of nuclear weapons, ending the war on drugs, legal abortion-on-demand, gay marriage. Is this about how liberals think Social Security and Medicare is a good idea and that poor people should not just die quickly upon a cancer diagnosis?

    1. Beggaring the young to pay for the care of their much better off elders counts as compassion in your world? Or death panels when the elderly outlive their “reasonable” cost of care? Establishing soul-sucking, initiative-enervating wealth-transfer bureaucracies to deal with rare outliers?

    2. Cake 2016

      h/t Swissy

    3. “I support downsizing the military, getting rid of nuclear weapons, ending the war on drugs, legal abortion-on-demand, gay marriage.”

      One of those is not like the others, but lefty ignoramuses will never figure it out.

    4. Let’s imagine, if you will, a theoretical country where the healthcare is completely provided by your government. Now, purely hypothetically let’s imagine this country hits a spending crisis and has to trim its budget. To do so, it retroactively decides that if you made bad decisions in your past (smoking, becoming obese, etc), it will no longer fund any operations for you. Now in a free market, individuals can plan (or choose not to) for a sudden illness because they know they’re on the hook for it when it happens. In this purely hypothetical country, people have been raised with the expectation that their health is covered, and have no such contingency plan. They’re now kicked to the curb because of something they had no cause to believe would cause them issues.

      How is that compassionate, again?

      1. In this purely hypothetical country, people have been raised with the expectation that their health is covered, and have no such contingency plan. They’re now kicked to the curb because of something they had no cause to believe would cause them issues.

        If they didn’t want to be denied coverage like a thug, they should have anticipated that decades of demonizing smoking would have eventually resulted in this outcome like a thug. /HM

    5. “getting rid of nuclear weapons,”

      Ah yes, a return to the good old days when we had world spanning wars.

      1. Nuclear weapons put millions of soldiers out of work. Horrible for the economy, just ask Keynes.

  14. Well, I suspect Barton can wipe out his panties. Hillary is going to win.

    I just wonder, has anyone bothered to ask what happens next?

    1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

    2. We’ll probably have the same steady clip of private sector job growth, declining deficits, rising stock markets, and decrease in U.S. troop strength in the ME that we had over the last 8 years. It’s going to be horrible– just like the NASDAQ from 2009-2016.

      1. Because, as all right thinking people know, the stock market is the end all be all of how well the economy is doing.

      2. That has got to be one of the dumbest analyses I’ve seen. Ever.

        The U.S. has had the longest stretch of less than 3% GDP growth on record. US federal debt outstanding is at $19.5 trillion. That compares to $10.6 trillion when Mr. Obama took office. And you’re going to try to argue that our policy in the Mideast is a success?

        Really, when you’re that stupid, just keep your mouth shut. You aren’t adding anything to the conversation.

        1. It’s part of the Leftie meme. Granted, when a Leftie takes charge and the economy doesn’t tank, that’s above average.

        2. Really, when you’re that stupid, just keep your mouth shut. You aren’t adding anything to the conversation.

          This should be the stock reply to everything AmSoc says, both here and in meatspace.

          1. I’m not sure that ‘American Socialist’ and ‘AmSoc’ are even the same person. I suspect the former is someone lampooning the latter, but I’ll admit it’s very difficult to say that for sure.

      3. Declining deficits? Haha, you’re precious. The CBO has concluded budgets are expected to rise consistently for the next decade, and Hillary’s giveaways will exacerbate.

        Also, why do you morons still think the D next to her name makes Hillary a non-interventionist despite everything she’s done?

        And remember, the Nasdaq did great 2000-2007. Three this thing called a bubble.

    3. Hey! We’re finally asking what happens next in *Syria*! What more do you want from us?

    4. All she has to do is stay upright and living, so I’d call it a toss up. And even then she has to power through the grim reaper to January.

  15. “But it also should lead liberals and progressives to question their zeal for a government of unlimited power.”

    You’re talking about principles. Progs do not have those. They only understand power.

    1. If even a few if them we’re bright enought to understand and learn, there is always the next generation to exploit.

  16. Has the possibility of a Trump presidency caused progressives to reflect on the wisdom of an all-powerful State?

    Only if Trump is elected. Otherwise, no.

  17. sizable percentages of Trump’s voters think blacks are lazy, violent and less intelligent

    So do sizable percentages of Hillary voters – except they couch it in terms like “affirmative action”.

    1. How else to explain their belief that it’s necessary to provide set-asides and preferable treatment by the government in hiring procedures? It’s probably not because they think blacks don’t need a hand to get on an even playing field.

    2. “Blacks are not *inherently* lazy, violent and less intelligent.. It’s just that American society has made them that way.”

    3. I enjoyed the Fivethirtyeight article today where they tried to quantify how deplorable Trump’s voters were. They gave several examples of survey questions where Democrats were 19% racist and Republicans were 21% racist and then went “yep! Those darn Republicans sure are racist!”

      1. The inevitable shark-jumping of every Internet “intellectual”: they forget that they got respect from being intellectually honest and/or challenging, and think themselves authoritative by virtue of who they are.

      2. It’s especially funny since I’d wager that a fair bit of his supporters are like my stepdad: Union worker and life long Democrat who is pissed at the party for “abandoning” him and putting up Clinton as their nominee.

        *abandoning in the sense that white, blue collar workers are no longer their preferred base.

        1. The Democrats chosen base is now elitists blue coast democrats who believe that they too, by virtue of being ‘proper thinkers’ deserve their fair share of tax payer dollars, and the gimme low information voters who only want to be thrown some table scraps for their loyalty.

          Unions no longer have the numbers to interest the Democrats. I also don’t get why people fail to understand that Democrats pro-open borders stance is only about attempting to fatten up their voter base. They sure as hell do not give a shit about poor immigrants and those immigrants are not going to live in their neighborhoods. They might come to their neighborhoods to mow the lawn, but they aren’t getting anyway near those who proclaim that they are equals.

  18. forbid private employers to hire certain types of people (such as those without proper immigration documents).

    Well, fuck me! You mean he prefers the rule of law to the rule of man? And you think that’s a bad thing?

    I guess I can’t take the rest of this seriously. Too bad, because I had really wanted to discuss the alternative…you know, the candidate that wants to eviscerate the 2A, wants to take the rights of critical filmmakers away, participated in the plot to assassinate a head of state, supported the unlimited drone bombing campaign including the assassination of American citizens that had not been charged with a crime, and supports public accommodation laws that would eliminate private property rights and free association.

    1. Well, fuck me! You mean he prefers the rule of law to the rule of man?

      How do you come to that conclusion?

      1. Um, because it’s the law that anybody employed here must provide documentation to their employer to verify their eligibility to work.

        At least, that’s what the USICS says.

        1. And the alternative to enforcing the law as written (rule of law) is arbitrary enforcement or ignoring laws that were properly enacted (rule of man). Pretty simple really.

          1. I would argue that the Constitution provides no such authority and therefore the federal law requiring such documentation is null and void. That does not mean the Fed doesn’t have the authority to regulate who can vote, citizenship, enter the country, receive federal benefits (most of which are unconstitutional), serve in the military, etc. But they cannot determine who a company can hire. According to the constitution. One could argue the states could but I think that would get challenged pretty quickly.

            1. That could apply to about a million laws. And I would tend to agree with you. But the constitution pretty plainly allows for a ban on people,from hostile nations. As for whether or not it allows for some control over who,can come in (instead of who can become a naturalized citizen), I suppose one could argue that while it may be illegal for someone here illegally to work, it shouldn’t be illegal for,someone to hire them.

              So you think the I-9 form is patently illegal. Even though it established what SSN taxes and other payments are to be collected for. And it’s also,a,felony to falsify information on one.

            2. Amazingly, it seems they get their “authority” as an implied power to provide Social Security and control “fraud”. But SS itself is not an express power, not even an implied power, and yet somehow the government gets to claim it needs the additional power to “effectively” carry out a power it doesn’t even have in the first place!

              1. We can argue the overall constitutionality of SS somewhere else and I’m sure you and I would agree. However, I’m app,using the standard that every president and legislator since its inception, as well as the courts, recognize it as constitutional and recognize the right to utilize I9’s as a means to verify legality of employment. Trump is in no way out of the mainstream in that respect.

                1. There might be a few legislators who didn’t recognize it as constitutional, but otherwise we’re in agreement.

        2. On the one hand, you’re absolutely right that it is illegal to employ someone who is not authorized to work in the United States.

          On the other hand, the enforcement priorities seem to be tilted more towards rooting out “racism” in employment. You better be absolutely correct about the employee’s work status before terminating them.

          If I had any employees with green cards, I’d be kind of nervous right now.

          1. Why? There are laws on the books that I’m sure he will follow.

            1. I’m not sure who the “he” you’re referring to is, but I’m talking about life today under the Obama administration, which is not exactly known for following the letter of laws the President doesn’t like.

              1. I was referring to Trump. I was under the impression that you would be nervous if you had employees with green cards because you would expect him (Trump) to enforce immigration laws on the books, which might expose fraudulent green card carriers or force them to leave upon the expiration of their work visas.

                1. No, I’m saying I would be nervous right now because every employee I terminate to comply with immigration law is a potential fine or jail sentence for discrimination, even if I had good reason to believe their work permit had expired.

                  1. Gotcha. So you’re potentially a victim to the rule of man. Because if the laws were enforced as written, there would be no gray area for you to get caught in. It would be black and white. And we could raise hell until the laws were changed.

                    See, I’ve said this on here many times. This is why I wish all laws were strictly enforced and penalties strictly carried out. Only when that happens will bad laws get overturned. Until then, we are at the government’s whim in how and when they actually enforce laws on the books, which means we are fucked whenever they want us to be.

                    1. Part of the problem is that the law sets up a razor’s edge. Hire or continue to employ someone whose work permit has expired? Illegal. Try to avoid that trouble altogether by just not hiring people with green cards? Also illegal. I think that is a recipe for some measure of rule of man (either you prioritize immigration enforcement, and thus let some discrimination slide, or else you prioritize penalizing discrimination, and thus let some immigration violations slide).

                      But the Obama admin is not even content with that much wiggle room and has pushed the envelope further. Now you are at risk of prosecution unless you are absolutely sure that the work permit has expired and is not going to be renewed. It’s as though every law must now be accompanied by a grant of immunity for anyone making a “good faith” effort to follow it.

                    2. I think that can be overcome by punishing the person here illegally and not doing anything to an employer that acted in good faith when filling out the required I-9 forms.

                      I know that would be too fucking simple and would be in accordance with the concept of mens rea but it’s really the best I can come up with. And it’s arguably a lot better than the convoluted system of selective enforcement we have at present.

        3. I prefer Policy X.
          Policy X is consistent with the current law.
          Therefore, I am in favor of the rule of law?

          Do you not get my question?

          If it wasn’t the current law, do you think Trump wouldn’t be in favor of making it the law? Are you really saying that Trump’s position on this is motivated by his Principled Stand on the Rule of Law? Hinkle’s point is that Trump sees no problem with the government intervening in employment decisions, which is another point against him from a small government perspective. Do you disagree?

          1. If it wasn’t the current law, do you think Trump wouldn’t be in favor of making it the law?

            Probably. A majority of people in America and the rest of the world believe in having a well-documented immigration policy instead of open borders.

            Are you really saying that Trump’s position on this is motivated by his Principled Stand on the Rule of Law?

            I’m not sure. I think it’s probably more motivated by the more accepted standard the rest of the world follows IRT immigration.

            Hinkle’s point is that Trump sees no problem with the government intervening in employment decisions, which is another point against him from a small government perspective. Do you disagree?

            Frankly, it’s hard to agree or disagree as Trump has never held political office. There is no track record to determine whether or not he would legislatively follow the rule of law for ethical or political reasons. His opponent, on the other hand, has an extensive track record of deliberately not following the rule of law for political expediency, and some of those occasions have resulted in deaths. That cannot be denied.

            1. I think it’s probably more motivated by the more accepted standard the rest of the world follows IRT immigration.

              So you concede the point?

              1. Not at all. Nobody has asked him his motivation so I don’t know exactly what it it. Maybe he is an ardent believer in rules and laws, who knows? I just know that it is preferable for laws and rules to be enforced as written because it ends selective enforcement that leads to the rule of man.

                Frankly, I don’t care what his motivations are. Following the law as written is always preferable to arbitrary enforcement. And in that respect he is miles ahead of his opponent.

      2. Indeed. He is only for the rule of law relative to his leading opponent, which is to say, he agrees with the laws as written more than she does and so will be more likely to follow them, but only by coincidence. The principle of a government employee (chief of the executive branch, no less) adhering to the written law regardless of personal feelings doesn’t even enter the equation.

        1. As I said above, it’s hard to tell what his reasons are for wanting to follow the rule of law. He doesn’t have a legislative track record to rate. His opponent, on the other hand, has an extensive track record to rate. And it has performed poorly IRT the rule of law.

          1. You will see no defenses of Clinton from me. There is nothing to like, and much to dislike. As far as I am concerned, she should be well into a life sentence in supermax prison. Not running for any elected office, and certainly not for the head of a government she has demonstrated utter contempt for.

            That does not, however, make Trump immune from criticism.

            1. Agreed. It’s just that the amount of criticism for Trump is deafening relative to the amount given for a career criminal like Clinton. And those who criticize him for what he might do while ignoring her myriad crimes against humanity a d the constitution are doing America a disservice.

              I’m sorry, but pants-shitting “he’s gonna do X” articles piss me off when the “he” doesn’t have a proven track record of corruption, circumvention of the constitution and flaunting of the law like his opponent has…which we rarely hear about.

              1. Reason following the mainstream media’s lead so closely has been disconcerting, to say the least (and it started before Trump). Not that they don’t exercise any discretion or editorial judgment, but they don’t seem to have the same independence of thought they had before.

                1. What’s most disconcerting is the feeling of seeing something I’ve never suspected about subjects in the past: that the bloggers are being made to follow a party line. Especially people like Jacob Sullum, who seems to have become the caricature of what he was accused of years ago in the context of being a paid shill for tobacco interests. That certainly wasn’t true, but how will I trust him again?

              2. I understand and somewhat agree, but I refuse to be pigeonholed by the majority into “but who is worse”. I call BS, Vote Gary. They, to me, present the same exact threat.

                (of course my tinfoil hat tells me Trump is working for Clinton. Seriously he just won’t go all out Trump attack on her, it is weird)

          2. it’s hard to tell what his reasons are for wanting to follow the rule of law.

            I guess you’re not even trying.

            1. Again, who cares what his,motivations are? The simple fact that his position takes us back to the rule of law instead of the arbitrary rule of man makes it preferable to me.

              I’m sorry, but I’d rather have a bad law be enforced until it is overturned. It’s preferable to a bad law being kept on the books but ignored until it is politically expedient to use it to punish one’s opponents.

  19. I had no idea Reason published humorous satirical articles. I must have missed the others.

    1. Robby pens them almost daily. Where’ve you been, under a rock?

  20. Has the possibility of a Trump presidency caused progressives to reflect on the wisdom of an all-powerful State?

    Talk, sure. Reflect? No, silly. TEAMS don’t need to learn lessons, just keep supporting the TEAM!

    1. Dem voters learn a lesson, but it’s always the same lesson. We didn’t explain our positions well enough to the plebes. It was a messaging problem. No way people don’t like our message, they just don’t understand it.

      1. 100% guarantee that will be the media talking point if Hillary loses. With a dash of racism and dumb hicks thrown in of course.

      2. On a related note, I have enjoyed the last few years of low-key Democratic panic that they are getting slaughtered in off-peak elections, which reeks of the same “we just need to work harder to get the message out that we’re good and they’re evil.”

        To me it sounds more like your core supporters don’t think regularly about politics and theirs do, which is not a point in your favor. But of course that confirms the biases I lean towards so it’s obviously spin on my part. But amusing spin.

        1. My thought exactly. Prog support is actually very low…progs are just the most vocal.

    2. TEAMS don’t need to learn lessons, just keep supporting the TEAM!

      Yep. Have a number of prog friends who were Bernie backers who now say they’ve looked into HRC’s policies and support her. Which is complete bullshit: Bernie’s main thing was an attack on money interests and crony capitalism. You’ve sold out that if you’re backing Hillary.*

      *Many Republicans have sold out their principles if they’re backing Trump.

  21. Report from SF:
    Zero Clinton bumper stickers
    Some left-over ‘feel the Bern’
    Zero Trump.

    1. It’s not like there’s any mystery as to how California will vote in November; even if CA’s Dems are less enthusiastic to vote for her, there are propositions on the ballot that should drive Democratic turnout. CA is only used as a piggy bank by both parties these days.

      The state was heavily contested by Hillary and Bernie in the primary; Hillary handily won despite the enthusiasm gap. You also hardly saw Hillary bumper stickers anywhere in the state in 2008 (Obama’s were everywhere), despite the contested primary she handily won then, too.

      Hillary’s supporters are, for whatever reason, much quieter than Bernie’s were or Trump’s are. Bernie’s support was much more obvious during the primaries; but in states such as California and New York, Hillary’s organization simply overwhelmed Bernie’s enthusiasm.

      1. “…CA’s Dems are less enthusiastic to vote for her,…”

        Over dinner or drinks, regardless of SF’s D bias, hardly anyone has a positive word to say about her. Agreed it won’t matter one bit; she’s a D and they’ll pull that lever even though it means they have to take a bath when they get home.

  22. Hinkle’s column makes it sound like Trump is gonna be a great president!

    1. Cake 2016

      1. Is it by the (rising) ocean?

  23. RCP avg: Clinton + 1.8, Johnson 9%. BTW, where the fuck is Hillary? Is she sick or something? I thought she made a remarkable recovery from that ‘pneumonia’?

    1. I blame the Mandela Effect.

  24. Oh FFS, this article has to be the most retarded POS ever posted on Reason.com. It reads like some freshman’s groveling poly sci paper.

    Is there a Chrome extension that makes it so I don’t have to see Hinkle articles?

    1. You must have some very strange standards if this post is the one you think is “most retarded POS ever posted on Reason.com”

  25. Not at all. Are you out of your mind? The progressives take this as all the more proof why the state must be even more powerful to squash these deplorable psychopaths. They are already working on showing that racism is a ‘mental illness’ and are writing up plans for a country-wide network of mental hospitals to provide early intervention and treatment. It will all be very humane, of course, using the latest advances in pharmacology and behavioral science.

    1. Progressives are actively pursuing greater government control of the media and internet to suppress candidates like Trump in the future. It’s happening as we speak and restrictions on outlets like Drudge are in the works.

  26. You have a Congress that is, at best, busy focusing its investigative resources on transgressions that can be used in campaign mailers. Meanwhile, there is a bipartisan consensus to delegate more war and “national security” powers to the presidency without meaningful congressional oversight; judicial oversight is also practically nonexistent except in the most egregious abuses because the executive picks the judges. There are a few gadflies in each party who complain to whomever they can about the expanding powers of the executive but they’re mostly considered “unserious” by the leaderships and by the press.

    A wannabe autocrat in the Oval Office would have a crazy amount of resources at his/her disposal to become an actual autocrat. Past presidents have already been largely unafraid to use executive agencies for nakedly political purposes and expand their “national security” powers with zero statutory or constitutional basis to do so.

    Seriously, how far of a jump is it from using the FBI and NSA to investigate domestic political opponents and using drones to kill Americans overseas without any kind of due process to simply cancelling or invalidating an election over trumped-up “national security” concerns?

  27. “Once upon a time, they did. During the George W. Bush administration liberals routinely bewailed the manner in which the executive branch stomped past the boundaries imposed by the Constitution. In those days you were nothing if your Prius did not sport a sticker comparing Bush to Hitler or asking, “Is it fascism yet?”

    Not really. Liberals merely engaged in partisan whining about the Bush administration.

    FDR blew past Constitutional boundaries on a far larger, more significant and transformative scale than anything Bush ever did (and tried to pack the Supreme Court in the process). Liberals approved of all of that and still do. The Constitution means nothing to them and never has.

  28. Reason has become a joke. This article is yet another prime example.

    The first “deplorables” justification link, is an opinion piece in the WaPo by Dana Milbank. It is based on 2012 polling….of course…..and only one recent poll as follows:

    “In June, the Pew Research Center found that 79 percent of Clinton voters believe the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities is an important issue, while only 42 percent of Trump supporters feel that way.”

    Ignoring that we don’t know what the actual question was, this says nothing about “racism”. Crunching numbers, if one factored in relative minority support, it’s likely the white support polling is almost identical between both candidates if we make the logical assumption that people of color tend to think treatment of them is important.

    but, yet, the Reason author states “…sizable percentages of Trump’s voters think blacks are lazy” with this as a citation.

    WTF Reason…..”free minds” my ass. Do the authors think the readers are now so dumb as to be on par with Vox and Slate, willing to swallow any crap that supports the echo chamber?

    1. Look, actual reporting is hard and besides there’s only so many times you can be called “racist” before you just have to cave in to the accusations, right?

    2. “… willing to swallow any crap that supports the echo chamber?”
      I appreciate the support

  29. Trump’s voters think blacks are lazy, violent and less intelligent; would support banning both Muslims and LGBTQ people from the U.S.; are skeptical of diversity; wish the South had won the Civil War; believe (incorrectly) that immigrants commit more crime, and so on.

    LOL at the lone “incorrectly”

    1. Did Dana write this?

    2. Hadn’t picked up on the sentence. I am sure this will be posted in a NYT editorial about the racist libertarians if Johnson gathers any support.

    3. Hadn’t picked up on the sentence. I am sure this will be posted in a NYT editorial about the racist libertarians if Johnson gathers any support.

  30. “They would inherit the most powerful executive branch in U.S. history and try to make it more powerful still.”

    It’s not as powerful as you’ve been led to believe. A part time militia of goat herders without a navy or airforce could set Americans straight in this score.

  31. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. And again. And again.

    In practice, Trump is likely to be MORE libertarian than Gary Johnson. Johnson has already demonstrated that he will cave in to the Democrats on every issue, while Trump has demonstrated the willingness to defy the Democrats.

    1. Repeating a thing doesn’t make it true.

  32. Of course not, it’ll just increase their disdain for free and fair elections and the rule of law.

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  34. “He unabashedly believes government should forbid … private employers to hire certain types of people (such as those without proper immigration documents.” I don’t think that is insane at all. I am all for open immigration and giving people work documents, but if we do that, we do need to indeed crack down on the remaining illegals who do not have documents. Otherwise the system will not work because there is no incentive to be here legally.

  35. Given that the cost of regulations is in the $billions, middle class subsidies or easy credit fund health, housing and welfare … we are screwed. A few more inconveniences isn’t the point … the Leviathan state is massive. We need radical amputation of our government’s arms and legs.

  36. believe (incorrectly) that immigrants commit more crime, and so on.

    There is nothing “incorrect” about it. Illegal immigrants are disproportionately represented among the criminal population.

    Analyses like this:

    The council also reported 2010 Census data that shows incarceration rates of young, less educated Mexican, Salvadoran and Guatemalan men ? which comprise the bulk of the unauthorized population ? are “significantly lower” than incarceration rates of native-born young men without a high-school diploma.

    are meaningless attempts at minimizing this difference. If you are a “native-born young man without a high-school diploma”, you are from a very different population than if you are a Mexican migrant without a high-school diploma. Furthermore, no matter what the relative rates are, we should simply not be increasing the population of people without high-school diplomas, no matter whether their crime rate is higher or lower than that of comparable Americans.

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