Election 2016

The Collectivist Election

From Mexicans to deplorables, campaign 2016 was a race to the bottom.

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When Henry Adams wrote in the early 20th century that "politics, as a practice whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds," there was ample reason to take him literally.

The world back then was on the verge of a cataclysmic war that would kill 17 million people and help incubate both communism and fascism. Adams had come of age in London as the son of the American ambassador under President Abraham Lincoln, a man who knew all too well how political disputes can turn bloody. And Adams' great-grandfather, the second president of the United States, was accused by Thomas Jefferson's supporters during the famously acrimonious 1800 election of having, among many other unpleasant things, a "hideous hermaphroditical character."

So maybe the one positive of the 2016 version of American political hatred is that it probably won't make people work double shifts down at the morgue. But everything else about this repellant contest between the two most reviled major-party nominees in modern history points to an alarming resurgence of that foul and dangerous defect of judgment known as collectivism.

When we hear the c word nowadays it's usually in the context of Stalin's agricultural five-year plans or the rah-rah slogans on 1930s posters. But there's another, more personal meaning of the term that has dwindled in usage, even while its application to major-party politics seems to ratchet up each cycle. And that is: treating the disparate individuals within any given bloc as sharing a collective set of characteristics, intentions, and pathologies. It's what Hillary Clinton meant with "basket of deplorables," it's what Donald Trump has done with "Mexican heritage" and its variants, and it's all too often the nightstick that our friends and loved ones grab for when talking about politics in a presidential year.

What makes the Democratic version of collective antipathy particularly noxious is the fact that it often comes disguised as a treacly appeal to unity. Trump "wants to divide us," Clinton lamented at the Democratic National Convention. "We have to heal the divides in our country.…And that starts with listening, listening to each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other's shoes."

Unless, of course, you have or work with large amounts of money. "Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes," Clinton thundered later in the same speech. "If companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we'll make them pay us back."

Clinton's vanquished Democratic opponent, the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, is even more tin-eared about his own hypocrisy. "This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions," Sanders said in his convention speech. "Not just bombast, not just fearmongering, not just name calling and divisiveness." But a few minutes later, Sanders engaged in some bombastic fearmongering of his own, bemoaning that "the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch brothers…spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and in the process undermine American democracy." (David Koch is a trustee of Reason Foundation, which publishes this magazine.)

Clinton's most controversial instance of Othering during this season came at a September fundraiser in New York, where she said, "to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.…Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America." While the irredeemable and un-American twists were new (as was the memorable metaphor), Clinton's behind-closed-doors sentiment only mirrored what the Democratic nominee has said routinely throughout this dreary campaign.

At an October 2015 Democratic presidential primary debate, Clinton was asked by moderator Anderson Cooper, "Which enemy are you most proud of?" Her reply, after some throat-clearing: "Probably the Republicans." Some people laughed, but it wasn't really a joke. When Vox Editor in Chief Ezra Klein asked Clinton nine months later whether she regretted the remark, she said, "Not very much," adding: "You know, they say terrible things about me, much worse than anything I've ever said about them. That just seems to be part of the political back and forth now—to appeal to your base, to appeal to the ideologues who support you. We have become so divided." Do tell.

The best that you can say about Hillary Clinton's collectivism—and the Democratic habit of mind that accepts and repeats such formulations unblinkingly—is that at least the deplorables chose their own status, whether through true bigotry or mere party membership. Donald Trump's Others, by contrast, are often born that way.

In June, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was presiding over a case involving the failed Trump University, should have been disqualified by his "Mexican heritage." "I'm building a wall," the eventual GOP nominee explained. "It's an inherent conflict of interest."

In a follow-up interview, Face the Nation's John Dickerson asked Trump to clarify what exactly the Mexican parents of an Indiana-born judge had to do with Curiel's adverse rulings in the case. "Excuse me, I want to build a wall," Trump shot back. "I mean, I don't think it's very confusing.…Has nothing to do with anything except common sense. You know, we have to stop being so politically correct in this country."

Gross generalizations and shorthand stereotypes often make sense—until they don't. On the playgrounds and in the popular culture of my youth, Mexicans were lazy, Poles were stupid, and "queers" were people who you'd "smear" on a football field because they were so weak. Now, Mexicans are uniquely industrious, Poles win Nobel prizes, and the buffest guy at the gym is probably gay. The same thing Donald Trump now says about the Chinese, the entire political and journalistic class was saying about the Japanese in the 1980s. Yes, facts on the ground change, but stereotypes often recede when the dominant culture recognizes them as reductionist, shameful, even ridiculous.

Reverting to that kind of collectivism, assigning negative value indiscriminately across an entire population, feels retrograde in a country so steeped in individualistic ethos. Once we start dismissing 20 percent of the population (or 47 percent, as with Mitt Romney), particularly in a discussion involving politics, we are playing with fire. Determinism, when wedded to state power, has produced some of the worst moments in American history.

Ayn Rand's writing on this is hard to top. "Like every form of determinism," Rand wrote in The Virtue of Selfishness, "racism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty. Racism negates two aspects of man's life: reason and choice, or mind and morality, replacing them with chemical predestination."

The problem isn't just racism's malign effects on the recipient. It also has rotting effects on the intellect of the originator: "Like every other form of collectivism, racism is a quest for the unearned," Rand wrote. "It is a quest for automatic knowledge—for an automatic evaluation of men's characters that bypasses the responsibility of exercising rational or moral judgment."

American political discourse in 2016 too is about bypassing the responsibility of judgment and trying to bludgeon people into line through insult comedy. Here's hoping that more and more of our fellow citizens will refuse to take the politicians' bait. And that Hillary Clinton starts reading some Ayn Rand.

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132 responses to “The Collectivist Election

  1. Unity against those who won’t unify with us.

    1. [golf clap]

      1. Treacle-down unity.

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  2. good We’ll head out through the several alternatives so you can pick the itunes free download they need to be available through Apple Music or uploaded as part of iTunes Match. nice.

  3. You know, if ever there was a libertarian window (moment), this had to be it, right?

    According to 538, Gary Johnson is polling 4.3% right now against two people who are widely hated even by many of the people who are planning to vote for them. There will never be another moment so golden for libertarians, and we’re not really even part of the conversation.

    So there never will be a libertarian moment.

    1. That’s only because we’re pretty free as is. Use your imagination if you can’t see how things could be much, much worse. Or don’t even use your imagination, just look around the world.

      And what makes you think we’re not part of the convers’n? Why do you think taxes aren’t higher? Why do you think all vitamins aren’t prescription-only drugs? Why do you think there’s no draft in the USA? Why do you think there are so many shall-issue states for handgun carry?

      1. Because 50% is about as high as they can go without open revolt? Because we continue to elect homeopathic senators? Because middle class suburbans don’t want to be distracted from their welfare?

        Sure, it can be worse… and probably will be. Civil rights are always seconded to economic freedom when the Leviathan is hungry, and it is very, very hungry.

        1. So what? It’s always hungry. It’s been hungry since there were 2 living things in proximity to each other.

          1. It’s never been $20TT hungry with another $100TT colonic cleansing on the way.

            1. Why is Trillion abbreviated “TT”? Is “T” easily confused with some other numerical word? Thousand is “K”.

              1. Probably because million is abbreviated with “MM”, billion with “BB”, etc.

                Although I prefer lower-case, myself.

                1. Hmm.
                  I’ve never seen BB or MM.

                  For example, I see “$20B budgeted for program X”
                  I never see “$20BB budgeted for program X”

                  Have I really missed this?
                  Seems unpossible with all the reading I do, but…..

      2. That’s only because we’re pretty free as is.

        Tell that to all of the people in prison for big chunks of their lives for smoking a plant and harming nobody else in the process.

        Tell that to all the businesses that will never get started because the system has made doing so too expensive. You will never see what might have been: the opportunity costs of accepting your fate and doing nothing to change it.

        Consider for a moment that money really is a representation of time for most people and that ridiculous taxation is taking a part of your life’s efforts and giving it away to someone else and that they really don’t care if they get your permission first.

        The bird with the clipped wings who never even knew that its ancestors could fly might well think it is free and happy just the way it is. The fact that whole societies of such birds arose and convince one another unendingly that this is how things have always been and should remain. Nobody flies because nobody’s parents flew and somehow that’s a good thing. A moral thing. A just thing. We give possibility of flight for the benefit of all, supposedly. You might call that freedom. I call it stupidity.

        1. There are far fewer of those oppressed people than there could be. There are far more birds w unclipped wings than clipped ones. And they vote!

          1. “It could be worse” is just about the weakest possible defense of, well, anything.

            1. It’s a sensible point for considering all sorts of decisions in life. If you’re not in control of the process or situation?& nobody ever is?then trying to fix a machine (or anything) that’s working imperfectly always runs the risk of wrecking it entirely. I can’t think of how many things I’ve avoided trying to fix for that very reason. Leaving well enough alone is a very persuasive attitude. It may not always carry the day, but it’s usually a highly ranked consider’n.

        2. What about those people whose ancestors were slaves? Or were serfs?

          People don’t revolt much against the system because considering all possible outcomes, they’d rather not risk a condition like that which has occurred so often, i.e. of slavery or serfdom.

          1. Serfing USA

    2. The US, like most Western nations, has about half a dozen different political orientations. Roughly, they are all four combinations of socially/fiscally liberal/conservative, plus left and right extremists.

      In other Western nations, these are all represented in parliament. That turns out not to be such a good thing: the parties are often highly unified and have a lot of power over how parliamentarians vote, and many decisions are made by horse trading and coalitions without any input from voters. In the US, these half dozen political orientations have to sort themselves out into two parties. That’s a good thing: our political landscape is far more diverse, parties have much less power, and voters have more power.

      So, there will never be a “libertarian moment”, just like there will never be a “Christian conservative moment” or a “progressive moment”; in the US, parties don’t represent individual viewpoints, they represent loose coalitions between different political orientations.

    3. 1876: You’re wasting your vote, Peter Cooper. The voter’s’ll NEVER get an income tax, and nobody’s gonna amend the Constitution to keep them liberal plutocrats from simply repealing it again.
      1879: You’re wasting your vote, Neil Dow. The voter’s’ll NEVER get prohibition, and nobody’s gonna amend the Constitution to keep Satan’s minions from simply repealing it again.

      2016: You’re wasting your vote. There ain’t never gonna be no third-party moment.

  4. 1. Rand’s essay about racism is off the charts perfect.

    2. The most dispiriting thing about people in general (“folks” as Obama calls them) is their ability to see the evil in certain collectivist “isms”, yet they embrace so many other collectivist “isms”.

    1. Lately, I am muchly into anti-ismizationism… So I guess that makes me an anti-ismizationist! WHO is against me? I must smite them NOW!!!

    2. Rand was probably the only one who watched Christian nationalsocialists perspicatiously enough to realize the eugenicists among them were exterminating all things and persons Jewish because they feared individualism might be an inherited trait. Now Richard Dawkins has shown that this is indeed the case, but in an allele-based meta-collectivism within each individual. Dawkins is to biology like Godel was to math and Rand was to ethics.

      1. Time out fellas.

        Has anyone seen the back of my skull?

    3. The most dispiriting thing about people in general (“folks” as Obama calls them) is their ability to see the evil in certain collectivist “isms”, yet they embrace so many other collectivist “isms”.

      I don’t buy this. I actually don’t think there is much rational thinking in modern mass communications (which means elections too). So there is little point in analyzing/decrying it on some rational basis.

      We are animals much more so than we are rational. And ever since neuroscience and psychology have figured out how our brains work, it has been very easy for those who want to manipulate the bewildered herd (to use Lippmann’s phrase) to tickle the amygdala and get people to respond with powerful instinct/emotion. A paradox really – the more science advances, the easier it becomes to make us behave like animals.

      I just find it really hard to blame the objects of the manipulation. It’s the manipulators who are the problem.

  5. So the Drudge Report this morning says:

    COLORADO: TIED
    MICHIGAN: TIED
    NEW HAMPSHIRE: TIED
    NEVADA: TIED
    PENNSYLVANIA: TIED

    I have no idea how valid any of those polls are. But a week ago, I don’t think even the biggest outlier poll would have showed that in any of those states. Hillary really is sinking like a rock. Will she sink completely by Tuesday is anyone’s guess. But I think it is safe to say that if she doesn’t, she will come awfully close.

    1. I can’t think of a better way for Trump to win (should he prevail) then with this come-from-behind surge. Of course, the outcry will be: ‘it was stolen because, Comey.’
      Possible reply: ‘So I guess the private server did matter after all. The people have spoken.’
      [this comment is not an endorsement of Mr Trump, it’s looking on the bright side of life]

      1. Cheer up Brian!

        1. Always look on the bright side of the death of America

      2. If Trump wins, “Comey stole the election” will be the lie that Progs and the media tell themselves to avoid facing the truth about what a horrible candidate Hillary was. The ideology is never wrong and never unpopular. It only fails because wreckers and saboteurs prevent it from succeeding or deceive the public into a false political consciousness. This is what the left always and forever tells itself.

        1. If Hillary loses, how long until Comey resigns mysteriously has a heart attack while jogging/gets into a one-person car accident/commits suicide by shooting himself in the back 5 times? Can they reuse the Vince Foster suicide note?

          1. If she loses, she’ll get over it. Al Gore did. She’ll just find some other way to fuck us over using the power of her untold millions.

            1. No, it’s different. In that scenario, Hillary had a chance to be the FIRST woman president ever.

              1. The first woman President of the United States must be either lesbian or a minority. Diversity demands it!

                1. Jimmy Carter was the first woman President. Bill Clinton was the first black President.

            2. If she loses she’s headed to prison, only a matter of time, even if Obama pardons her, which I’m betting he won’t.

              1. Prison is for non-violent offenders.

            3. Al Gore got over it by going full left and becoming the prophet of global warming. Hillary will have a much tougher time. Remember, the leftwing of the party hate her guts. They only support her because they think she can win. If she doesn’t win, the knives will come out. Hillary will be forever remembered as the candidate who let Trump into the White House and ruined Obama’s legacy.

              Neither her nor Bill will recover from her losing.

              1. I wish you were right, but I don’t believe in karma.

                1. If the mystic were right, Al Gore would be the candidate who alienated enough Dems to let George Waffen Bush into the White House… twice…

              2. “Hillary will have a much tougher time.”

                Hillary will soon be cross-eyed and drooling in a wheelchair, so “getting over it” is not a big issue in her future.

              3. The Profit from Global Warming. That’s his title.

        2. If Trump wins (still unlikely, IMO), the list will include:

          1. Comey

          2. Wiener

          3. Johnson

          4. Media

          5. Stein

          And in this case their loss really won’t be about the failures of their ideology and policies, it’ll be entirely because of the candidate they decided to run.

          Obama would be approaching Reagan-like landslide numbers if he were running against Trump and a comfortable victory would be assured for a generic Democrat.

          1. Good assessment.

            1. No it isn’t. Putin isn’t on the list and total non-factor Gary Johnson is.

              1. You’re right. Assange isn’t on list either. But otherwise yes.

                1. He forgot Racist Trump Voters (or just Trump voters, sorry about the tautology)

              2. ?

                The list was about whom Dems would blame in fact, not necessarily with justification.

        3. If Trump wins, “Comey stole the election” will be the lie that Progs and the media tell themselves to avoid facing the truth about what a horrible candidate Hillary was.

          Yeah, but who cares? Both Republicans and Democrats suffer from serious delusions about their own abilities and what the country wants anyway. Furthermore, from a libertarian point of view, I think any misconceptions that cause Congress to sabotage the president’s legislative agenda and cause gridlock are good misconceptions. And that’s true regardless of whether Clinton or Trump wins.

      3. When chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble; give a whistle…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

    2. I’m hoping Kim.com and the 4chan group release that sex tape today. No election has deserved more monkey wrenches than this one.

      1. In that same vein, there was supposedly a tape of Trump saying the N-word that was supposed to have been released. I can’t believe it’s not out already if it exists.

        CONSPIRACY TIME: The Democrats dohave it and release it on Monday. Tuesday, the usual 100% precincts work as designed and the media spin is “African-Americans were so disgusted by that video that they voted with unanimity in cities such as Philadelphia and Chicago.”

        1. I never believed there was a tape of Trump dropping an N bomb, though we still have three days to prove me wrong, because Trump has been in television for over 20 years. Hollywood doesn’t care about sex or being a louse, so the Pussy tape didn’t hurt him. It does however care about dropping N bombs and such. So, I think such a tape would have killed Trump’s career in television. Think of it this way, that tape of Mel Gibson going nuts and ripping on Jews got him run out of Hollywood for ten years. And Mel Gibson was a hell of a lot bigger deal and bigger money maker than Donald Trump ever was.

        2. I never believed there was a tape of Trump dropping an N bomb, though we still have three days to prove me wrong, because Trump has been in television for over 20 years. Hollywood doesn’t care about sex or being a louse, so the Pussy tape didn’t hurt him. It does however care about dropping N bombs and such. So, I think such a tape would have killed Trump’s career in television. Think of it this way, that tape of Mel Gibson going nuts and ripping on Jews got him run out of Hollywood for ten years. And Mel Gibson was a hell of a lot bigger deal and bigger money maker than Donald Trump ever was.

        3. here was supposedly a tape of Trump saying the N-word

          I suspect that Hillary has used the “N-word” far more often than Trump. Hillary just views minorities as convenient voting blocs she can manipulate.

    3. The same early voting that enabled trump will probably sink him in the general.

      1. The math says otherwise. At most a quarter of the votes were early. There is no reason that I can see to think that the people voting early favor either candidate in particular. A quarter is a pretty big sample and likely represents the state of the electorate as it was when it occurred.

        Lets say Hillary had a five point lead and thus has a five point lead for that quarter. A five point advantage on a quarter of the vote translates into a 1.25 point advantage in the overall vote, if you assume the other 75% is split evenly. Even if she had a 10 point lead, that is still only a 2.5 point advantage in the overall. Trump would only have to beat her by three points on election day to win.

        And that is the most optimistic. Remember, some states allow more early voting than others and the states that allow the most early voting tend to be Democratic states. So the electoral advantage that Hillary gets is less than the overall vote total advantage.

        She still may win. But it is remarkable how people seem to have an absolute religious faith that she will no matter how many polls seem to say otherwise.

        1. No it doesn’t. Early voting was happening during the time she enjoyed some of her widest leads. And team blue was winning at getting out there supporters as well. The polls haven’t flip to their inverse from 3 wks ago; they’re (almost) tied now. Still advantage hillary.

          1. The leads were never that large. Even the most pro Hillary poll never had her up by more than ten points. And most of them showed that she had a between five and seven point advantage.

            Again, lets say she had a 10 point national lead. Even if the 1/4 of the early votes are a perfect reflection of the electorate, that only translates into a 2.5% lead, which isn’t that much. Moreover, the early votes were not a perfect reflection of the electorate. The states that allow early voting are all deep blue states that she was going to win anyway. So she is getting votes that she would have gotten anyway.

            Think about how early voting could matter here. It would matter if the people who have changed their mind have already voted for Hillary. The change in the race has come among independents and Republicans who after the Comey announcement finally decided that they could stomach Trump. Those people are not in deep blue states that allow early voting in anything like the numbers they are in red or swing states. So the early voting pool is likely to contain a smaller proportion of them than the overall electorate.

            The only state that allowed massive early voting that was really in play is Colorado. I think the early voting may save Colorado for Hillary. I do, not, however see it changing the result in any other states.

          2. Another way to look at this is think about who would vote early. It would people who have made up their minds and feel certain about it. If you support a candidate but are still not 100% sold, you are unlikely to vote early. The Comey announcement and the wikileaks and all of the events over the last 10 days have clearly changed the polls against Hillary. Who changed their minds? It isn’t people who were strongly in favor of Hillary before the announcement. Even in the most pro Trump polls, Hillary’s support among partisan Democrats has remained unchanged. Her support among Independents and Republicans has dropped like a rock.

            So, the question is, how many of the group who has changed their minds about this have already voted? I think likely very few of them. The people who vote early are people who have already made up their minds and are unlikely to change it. Anyone who still is unsure or open to change their vote is likely going to wait. Sure some like that will vote early but not that many. You vote early because you are enthusiastic and want to go vote for whatever candidate you support not because you are unsure or think you probably will vote for a candidate.

  6. If hillary was an R and trump a D it would be fun to see the respective cheerleaders defending them

    1. Of course they would. I think, however, if Hillary were a Republican, she would have never been elected Senator let alone gotten the nomination. Trump being a Democrat is a much more interesting counter factual. Imagine if rather than Sanders leading the Democrat insurgency, Trump had run as a Democrat and ran on populism, protectionism and closing the borders. The media, being totally in the tank for Hillary would of course gone after him. But, Trump’s message would have resonated with a lot of Democratic voters, especially blacks.

      Whatever you think about Trump, the charge that he is racist is self evidently ridiculous. It only sticks because the media makes it stick and the charge always sticks on Republicans. It would never have stuck and the media likely would have never made it had Trump run as a Democrat. Blacks are to put it politely less than enthusiastic about Hillary. They won’t vote for Trump because he is a Republican. I think they would have had he been a Democrat.

      Thinking about this makes me wish Trump would have run as a Democrat. He would have given Hillary holy hell. Much more so than Bernie ever did. Hillary still would have won, because she apparently was able to fix the primaries, but man would that have been interesting.

      1. John, Quick question: do you just don’t know you’re full of shit or are you just incapable of not bullshitting?

        http://lawnewz.com/high-profil…..ally-yuge/

        1. Since you have a low IQ and don’t know much, people who actually do know things and think are no doubt an utter and complete mystery to you. It must be very hard going through life profoundly stupid and unable to understand reality. Really, I guess people shouldn’t be so hard on you for being a socialist. Socialism provides you a way to interpret and understand the world that your limited reasoning skills do not. Sure, socialism is completely detached from reality but being detached from reality is probably better than the frustration you must have experienced trying to understand and interpret the world as it is.

          1. John,

            The good thing for you is that all the libertarians here who were all for GayJay and NeverTrump have come around to your Team. They’ve got lots of integrity,

            1. Yes Am Soc, you are profoundly stupid and have nothing to add to the conversation. We know that. You don’t have to prove it over and over again.

              You should at least stop using words like integrity the meaning of which is beyond your limited mental faculties.

              1. “you are profoundly stupid and have nothing to add to the conversation”

                I like to think that I’m a defender of the “Everyone will be ok if Clinton becomes President and this mediocre country will still be mediocre 4 yrs from now under a Clinton presidency” line of thought.

                1. Well, on the economy, Hillary leans slightly conservative. That would be OK.

                  The problem with Hillary is that she is also a lying, vindictive, war-monger who has an anti-1A and anti-2A boner and has only been able to get elected through massive financial corruption and massive pandering to racists and bigots.

                  So, voting for Hillary, is a good chance that 4 years from now, race relations will have deteriorated further, we will have one or two more nutcases on SCOTUS, we will be involved in a couple more wars, and Hillary will have created a new Minitruth. And her generally slightly conservative economic views may go out the window when she needs to pay off her constituents.

                  The attraction of Trump is that he doesn’t know how to do anything, he doesn’t have a lot of ambition, and he doesn’t have any special interests or voting blocs to pay off.

    2. Rewind 3 months.

    3. Of course. And both could have run in other party on the same positions they hold now.

    4. If hillary was an R and trump a D it would be fun to see the respective cheerleaders defending them

      And given their political views, they might well be.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll3iyvbsRDM

  7. Unless, of course, you have or work with large amounts of money. “Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes,” Clinton thundered later in the same speech. “If companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we’ll make them pay us back.”

    Pay us back? Does she mean it was all ours to begin with? Once – just once, goddamn it – I like to see someone, anyone, ask that bitch-of-misery just how much she figures the rich’s fair share is, how it is fair, and just how she comes to her conclusions. So far I haven’t seen anyone out there with enough spine to do so. Same thing goes for Bernie and the rest of the liars, beggars, and thieves (also whore mongers) known as Democrats.

    1. There’s always someone richer than you. The human brain is not the result of intelligent design, it is the result of evolutionary processes. Many of its former features are now bugs.

      1. And there is always someone poorer and “more deserving”, too. That’s something the beggars and thieves always forget when calling for wealth re-distribution..

        1. Exactly. Diversity is a good thing to these people except when it comes to income and wealth. Then it’s rich vs poor, have vs have not, us vs them. Nuance is the enemy to demagoguery.

          1. “income diversity”

    2. She doesn’t have an answer to that because she doesn’t actually believe it. She’s pandering to her innumerate, greedy base. Same as it ever was.

    3. “Paying their fair share” has nothing to do with the percentage of income paid in taxes. The rich are “unfair” when they oppose “fairness”, fairness being progressive causes. The progressive rich will have special exemptions for their industries. On the other hand, the Kochs will have special taxes as punishment for their refusal to endorse progressive ideas and candidates.

      It would be “unfair” if Tom Steyer and David Koch paid the same tax rates no matter what those rates are.

    4. “Progressives” are all about pulling numbers out of their asses without any calculation behind it. They just pick a number that feels right.

      It’s the same thing with the minimum wage debate. How did they come up with the idea that the minimum wage should be $15? If you asked them, they’d say that $20 is too high and $10 is practically a starvation wage, but $15 is exactly right.

      There was no calculation whatsoever that went into this. They just started with a random number that was higher than the current minimum, then examined how it made them feel. If they still felt wrong about it, they moved the number up and re-examined their feelings. If their feelings had improved, they moved the number up again. Did they feel still better? Did they feel worse? They just fine-tuned it until it made their emotions juuuuust right, then they put forth that number as the correct minimum wage.

  8. Show me evidence that this is a trend, let alone a surge, let alone a resurgence. I see just a few quotes & remarks that could equally have been said many times & places.

  9. I’m just glad that we will have cleaned up the entire system by getting Billy Bush fired and Antony Weiner tossed in the clink.

  10. http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..n-support/

    Claims Trum is getting about 20% of AA votes in early voting, which sounds about right to me based on anecdotal evidence.

    If true and it holds, it’s game over for the dims.

    1. Fuck Breitbart. I got an overlay that was a bitch to get rid of.

      1. “Fuck Breitbart”

        Wear a condom next time.

        1. I’ve got a plastic grocery bag.

          1. Bro, those are illegal in some states.

            1. Thats funny. Cuz it’s true.

    2. I think 20% is really optimistic but who knows. I do not think 11% is unrealistic however. In 2012 for the first time in history a higher percentage of blacks voted than the percentage of whites who voted. Blacks were 13.9% of the 2012 electorate and Obama won blacks 93 to 6. Suppose Trump gets 11%, like Bush did in 2004 and blacks return to their pre-Obama percentage of the electorate of 11% that they were in 2004. Assuming the electorate is about the same size as it was in 2012, 126 million, that means Hillary’s total number of black votes drops from the 15.2 million that Obama got in 2012 to 12.1 million this year and Trump’s total goes from the 980,000 that Romney got to 1.5 million. So that is a swing of 4.6 million votes. Obama only won by the 2012 election by about 4.9 million votes. So a change in the black vote back to what it was in 2004, takes away nearly all of the margin that Obama had in 2012.

      Maybe Hillary will get the black vote to turn out like it did in 2012, but I don’t see how. And even if she did, it is hard to see how she can get 93% of it like Obama did. A few blacks really are Republicans and many of them voted for Obama in 08 and 12 because he was black. They won’t do the same for Hillary.

      1. I was told there would be no math in this debate.

        1. No story problems. That’s all that was promised.

        2. Nerds ruin everything.

    3. Oh. Until I hovered over the link & saw it was about African-Americans, I thought it meant he was getting the drunk votes.

  11. Puh-leeze. Pointing out that the vast majority of the economic gains of recent history have gone to the rich isn’t stereotyping and is manifestly different than appealing to racism, mysogeny or homophobia for votes. Why can’t right-wingers like you Matt just simply say that concentrating wealth into the hands of Top Men is good for the rest of us instead of saying that people complaining about the conspicuous consumption of poor, poor oppressed rich people is in the same league as Trump’s racism? Lame. Sad.

    1. Puh-leeze. Pointing out that the vast majority of the economic gains of recent history have gone to the rich isn’t stereotyping

      No, it’s simply false.

      is manifestly different than appealing to racism, mysogeny or homophobia for votes

      Hillary Clinton opposed gay marriage for decades, in addition to having a long history of engaging in sexism and racism.

    2. I get to agree with a Socialist. At least a little. Truly the end times.

      The big ideological failure on the Right is to fail to question all the deviations from natural rights in our supposed Free Market system, treating the system outcome as Holy.

      There is a little complaint about regulation, but not so much about intellectual property, corporate limited liability, and no grappling with the Lockean Proviso.

      Curious how the Libertarian Debating Society, intellectual wankers all, does so little intellectual wanking on exactly the issues that benefit the Haves over the Have Nots, despite these issues being a huge part of libertarian ideological history.

      To offer some unsolicited advice to my new socialist friend, don’t complain about the *outcome* of free markets to libertarians, complain that their markets are *not free* and violate basic libertarian principles.

  12. And that Hillary Clinton starts reading some Ayn Rand.

    She has claimed in the past that she once had an “Ayn Rand phase” when she was young.

    1. Is it that “selfish” phase?

      1. Probably. Or at least to the extent that a congenital control freak can be concerned with her own interest instead of everyone else’s.

    2. All looters–especially the illiterate ones–claim they were into Ayn and pacifiers, but quit both. It’s standard looter brainwashing. What has me offended is the Trump-as-a-porcupine cartoon on a Brazilian website:
      http://www.chargeonline.com.br/
      That’s offensive!

  13. My take: Warty is gay.

    This was worth the read.

    1. Warty is not gay. He is an omnisexual who transcends ordinary categorizations of his sexuality.

  14. Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and New Hampshire. Trump wins these, he wins?

    1. It’s more like everybody else loses.

  15. Most of that stuff is name calling, and that usually is defended here when it comes in places like college campuses.

    Possibly the most bottom-feeding event in this campaign (if true) are the recent reports that a federal law enforcement agency might be acting with political motivations. Not Comey, but a group of agents within the FBI. You would think a libertarian outlet would be much more concerned with that possibility, rather than name calling. If true, that is a chilling prospect.

    1. Shut the fuck up, Donny.
      Chilling enough?

      1. And Joe of course slithers in. I am starting to think Am Soc is a Joe sock puppet. The sad little bastard just can’t seem to help himself from infecting the site with his idiocy.

        1. Funny how one always shows up when the other does, isn’t?

    2. Fuck off. The 4th amendment is for militia movements, right-wing nutjobs, and people that like to stomp all over Native American artifacts at the public park. It’s not for HRC.

      1. HRC doesn’t need it – she know’s where all the bodies are buried. So to speak.

      2. Who exactly do you think has violated Hillary Clinton’s 4A rights?

    3. Maybe you would not have an agent revolt if Lerner had not corrupted the Justice Department to protect Clinton.

  16. Dig it man……..

    Big government is the new West Coast craze

    http://tinyurl.com/zpx6334

  17. Actually, Hillary has stated that she DID read Ayn Rand in college, but then turned away from her philosophy for some reason. I don’t know if she’s ever said why, but Rand can certainly come off sounding rather cold at times, and in fact is sometimes guilty of the very kind of “collectivism” that is complained about here, as when she dismisses Native Americans as “savages”. Sorry, I can’t give a page number citation right now, but I read both The Virtue of Selfishness and

    1. Oops, got cut off somehow. I read both The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal back in the ’70s or ’80s, and I know at least one of them contains such a reference.

    2. “Rand can certainly come off sounding rather cold at times”

      Sounds like maybe Hillary embraced Rand more than she’ll admit.

    3. That was, I believe, at West Point. She was naive about making up answers in fields she never studied. Observe that nobody comes out trying to gainsay here three main points: 1. Think and discover facts rather than believe assertions.
      2. Neither a sucker not a predator be. 3. Nobody has a right to rob or brainwash others. Nataniel Branden brought that up over 30 years ago and nobody has risen to the bait.
      Heinlein gave a talk at Annapolis in the same era, and to this day it is hailed by christianofascists as proof positive that RAH was a sacrificing altruist. Intellectuals and cannon-fodder are like oil and water.

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  23. So Trump is a collectivist racist because he said that a Mexican American judge was biased against him.

    Anyone want to claim that isn’t true? That odds are, the judge has no bias against him?

    We all know the judge is most likely biased against Trump. And not in a small way.

  24. Matt doesn’t have the stones to note that the Left has been based in identity politics forever, with the strategy since the 1960s being anti white and anti male, and codified as government mandated identity preferences *in law*.

  25. Exactly what sort of election were we supposed to expect after eight years of Obama?

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