Donald Trump Suggests Flag-Burners Should Lose Their Citizenship

Or maybe spend a year in jail.


Caudillo-elect Donald Trump got ahold of his phone again this morning:

In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled—rightly—that the First Amendment does not allow the government to ban desecration of the flag. It isn't unusual for politicians, especially some of the more nakedly authoritarian politicians, to call for reversing that. But I think this might be the first time one has suggested that flag-burners should lose their citizenship. Flags may be a symbol of national identity, but that's taking things kind of literally.

This doesn't tell us anything new about Trump's character or worldview. We already knew that he's a nationalist, that he's often hostile to civil liberties, that he loves the sort of purely symbolic politics that play well on talk radio, and that he's prone to floating dumb ideas on Twitter. We also know he'd rather be debating the sanctity of the flag than debating whether he should liquidate his assets, so I understand the temptation to treat this as a wag-the-dog gambit and ignore it.

But he's the president-elect now; it isn't practical to just ignore what he says. This might not tell us anything we didn't already know about where Trump is coming from, but it certainly drops a hint about where he's heading. That tweet could be a passing brain-fart; it could also be his next crusade. Be prepared.

Bonus link: The U.S. Flag Code. If you take Trump literally—usually a mistake, I know—he'd outlaw §176(k): "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

NEXT: A.M. Links: Trump Says American Flag-Burners Should Face 'Loss of Citizenship,' Obamacare Critic Tom Price Named Trump's Health Secretary

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  1. This doesn’t tell us anything new but we are going to write about it anyway.

    Journalists should have voted Trump.

    1. dude hes the president now. his stupid ass rambling is now a weathervane for future executive branch liberty-bashing, which makes it news, particularly for the handful of us who are more interested in the handful of remaining negative liberties more thanhow soon ICE can break ground on a new rape camp for mexican guardeners or counting the days until the ice caps melt and bring about eco armageddon.if you want someone to.blame for trump being in the news you should focus on the authoritarian microencephalacs who voted for him

      1. Pretty sure the average H&R commenter at this point is more into the rape camps than negative liberties.

        1. “Negative” liberty is, of course, a fashionable libtard theory promulgated by a certain British academic, and we know about him, don’t we. The simple fact of the matter is that if we want to make America great again, we need to crack down on flag-burning, and we need to do it fast. If “satire” is involved in it, we should increase the penalties. Surely no one here would dare to defend the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in our nation’s leading criminal “parody” case? See the documentation at:


      2. The ice caps aren’t going to melt because of humans.

    2. Dude, it’s a blog. And Trump won. They are supposed to focus on him now. Yeah, they way over did it during the campaign, but now that’s over.

      And flag burning bans get a terrifying amount of support. I think it’s worth mentioning (though maybe not 2 posts and a morning link).

    3. Johnny Cash –

      “I love the freedoms we got in this country. I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine.”

      Why is it so hard for some people to understand that those all go together?

  2. But he’s the president-elect now; it isn’t practical to just ignore what he says.


      1. “There will be consequences”

        Sounds like something brak’s people would say.

        Supposed we substituted flag burners with climate change deniers.
        That very thing has been happening for the past 2 years.

        I think we should execute all people who open their mouths about anything. Does that cover it?

        1. All that matters is whether or not the person I like angered the people I dislike. Everything else is worthless jibber-jabber.

          1. Nothing more accurate has ever been spoken.

          2. Yes yes. Retreat to a camp and hysterically bark at anything that rubs you the wrong way.

            We have become dogs barking through the window.

            Meanwhile squirrel head had been talking to cabinet posts potentials that include John Allison, the women that espouses school choice, and Wilbur ross for commerce secretary. Good things all. I am pleasantly surprised by him actually talking to some small government folks who might also support a little more free market capitalism.
            I also remember quite well all of the conservative psychos in the 80s trying to ban rap and ban flag burning. Let them bluster. They will do nothing about it.

            1. I am pleasantly surprised by him actually talking to some small government folks who might also support a little more free market capitalism.

              I agree with this.

              I also remember quite well all of the conservative psychos in the 80s trying to ban rap and ban flag burning. Let them bluster. They will do nothing about it.

              It wasn’t just conservatives, but I do accept your point. However, just assuming he will not be able to do any of the bluster is crazy to me – he may not try to outlaw flag burning, but he could hamper your 2A rights after the next school shooting, or any other number of things. The GOP Congress is not exactly a reliable defender of the Constitution.

              1. Agreed. Words matter and this dipshit says some crazy stuff.

                The GOP is barely better than the dems when it comes to abuse of the constitution.

                When one party controls the exec and both houses of congress, the only result has always been growth of government. Bush jr had both houses and he doubled the size of the fed government, created patriot act, prescription drug benefit, wars.
                Brak Castro went full on marx. Clinton tried to explode the government until the mid-terms.
                I am not expecting much from tripe.

                1. “Agreed. Words matter”

                  No, stupid fucking SJW, they don’t.

                  1. Why you so crazy? And I doubt you will see $500 gold any time soon.

                    1. Lost context here. He’s mocking someone else’s prediction.

        2. “There will be consequences”

          Sounds like something brak’s people would say.

          Sounds like something pretty much any president would say.

  3. When Trump won the election, some tards at Hampshire College lowered the flag to half staff. The next day, some other tards set it on fire. In response, the college president said no more flags on campus. In response to that, the good people of Amherst fucking MA got outraged about disrespecting the flag and the country. I don’t even know what to think of this reality anymore.

    1. This is the dumbest timeline.

  4. “Or perhaps a Medal of Freedom and $1,000,000! Whatever!”

  5. You know, I really think the next four years of Trump trolling the Hell out of progressives will be fun. So many tears this morning on FB from my law school friends over this retarded tweet from the President-elect, oh so many sweet proggie tears !!!!

    1. This isn’t trolling. This is just dumb.

      1. Dumb or trolling…..same result.

      2. Could it be dumb trolling?

        1. Well, it worked?

    2. He’s branching out to trolling more than just progressives. But while he may not be trolling only them, he’s as likely as not to govern as a progressive, or using the worst parts of progressivism.

      1. But, but, what about the sweet, sweet Schadenfreude? Won’t it all have been worth it?

        1. It will !

          1. No, it really won’t. I suppose if you can get some pleasure out of it, good for you. But cheering the fact that Trump has no regard for free expression and would criminalize a completely harmless act is just fucked.

            1. Look, Trump is going to say dumb shit, but what is he really going to do ? Pass a law outlawing flag burning ? That was tried and overturned. Stack the SCOTUS with enough SOCONS to pass a law then hope the court goes against precedence and allows the new law banning flag burning to stand ? Sounds like a major stretch.

              I’m not cheering Trump’s plan, but the reaction from the left who are willing to ban speech they hate but now cry when a goofy tweet is sent out that says “perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” from a guy not yet in office.

            2. “Zeb|11.29.16 @ 11:45AM|#

              No, it really won’t”

              Zeb once again making value judgements for others, tiresomely.

              1. Fuck off.

                The first value judgement is the only one allowed? Someone asked a question.

      2. What makes you say that? Just because he was a life long Democrat and his daughter is pushing universal preschool and subsidized child care?

    3. The president-elect of the United States just explicitly proposed violating his oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States.

      But because proggies rightfully think he’s wrong that makes it fucking hilarious. God, partisans are so tiresome and stupid.

        1. You gotta fight for your right to Parti?

      1. His main opponent in the race openly supported making it a crime to create and distribute political materials critical of…her. Neither of those candidates were right on First Amendment issues.

        1. And?

          Clinton being shit stopped being a defense for Trump when the election ended.

          1. …but the election’s NOT over (MI, PA, WI…)…

            …and the 2020 race is just beginning!

        2. Outlawing flag burning seems to trigger a more visceral outrage with the staff than censoring political documentaries.

          1. What makes you say that? I don’t sense much visceral outrage here.

            In any case, so what? Are you suggesting that they secretly oppose the Citizen’s United decision, despite writing many, many articles about it defending the decision as correct and good and zero against it?

            1. No, they do not oppose CU. It just seems that opposing CU is not evidence of irredeemable authoritarianism, that being against flag burning is.

        3. She lost. What does her position matter now? I don’t want to live with 4-8 years of, “But Clinton!”

        4. His main opponent sponsored a bill outlawing flag burning.
          The Flag Protection Act of 2005 was a proposed United States federal law introduced in the United States Senate at the 109th United States Congress on October 24, 2005, by Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and co-sponsored by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.). Later co-sponsors included Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Thomas Carper (D-Del.).
          It called for a punishment of no more than one year in prison and a fine of no more than $100,000; unless that flag was property of the United States Government, in which case the penalty would be a fine of not more than $250,000, not more than two years in prison, or both.

      2. ” God, partisans are so tiresome and stupid.”

        More or less so than clowns who sit in judgment on high?

    4. Ril: In this case, isn’t Trump trolling libertarians too?

      1. Every politician trolls the libertarians.

        1. CL: “oh so many sweet proggie sad libertarian tears !!!!”

          1. There aren’t that many of us, so our tears are a limited resource. That’s why they are mined so aggressively.

          2. Libertarians don’t cry, we’re incapable of genuine human emotion you know. We have orphans to do that for us.

          3. Wait wait, idiot bailey thinks we CRY over this?

            We’re libertarians bro, this is weak sauce when it comes to shit we care about.

      2. Stop hating on those looking for a silver lining in the insanity.

        1. Ril: With due respect, sometimes the “silver lining” is calling out the insanity.

          1. The insanity is going no where. He can’t revoke citizenship, he is just trolling and sending huge chunks of red meat to his base. Trump appears to have an understanding of the new media. He can change the entire debate with one insane tweet. A recount is occurring…..change the entire discussion, now people who don’t support Trump will waste energy defending burning the flag, not the easiest political argument.

          2. No respect due here, Ron.

      3. Yes he is Ron. Given the iffy tone of Scotts article and the comments here and in the links he isnt having much success on the libertarian front. I think most are starting to catch on. Of course the left never will.

      4. Duh, he’s trolling everyone who isn’t a “Real Murican” like himself and his loyal followers.

    5. Fun? You voted for an internet troll to lead the US?!? Democracy and Freedom really is dead when the people have no respect for the Office that should lead it.

      1. Democracy and Freedom really is dead when the people have no respect for the Office that should lead it.

        Stop with the Buzzword Bingo. The American political class is wholly corrupt and degenerate; that they’re wringing their hands over Trump for saying openly the things they say to each other while pretending otherwise is an indication of how worthlessly decadent they’ve become.

      2. I voted for Trump huh ? Well, progressives are blaming my vote and money for Johnson as a vote for Trump, so yea, I guess you are correct.

      3. Democracy and Freedom really is dead when the people have no respect for the Office that should lead it.

        Motherfucker where have you been the last hundred and fifty years?

        1. I don’t even know what that word salad means. Respect? This isn’t some European elitocracy. My respect is earned, not owed.

          1. If I was being generous, I would consider it in the old distinction between authoritas, respect for a political office and its responsibilities, and gravitas, personal honour or virtue.

            But if that’s the case the office has been disrespected by its occupants since the Whiskey Rebellion.

      4. No office should be leading freedom (whatever that even means) and no one should respect politicians. Respecting politicians is what gets us into this mess in the first place. The only healthy way to view politicians is with extreme suspicion and cynicism.

  6. The most outrageous thing about his tweet isn’t the ban on flag burning; dozens of lawmakers in both parties have proposed such bans intermittently within the last 25 years, including Hillary Clinton.

    The real disturbing thing is his apparent belief that government can capriciously strip citizenship from people for the crime of disrespecting the state.

    That’s outright fascist and should be the main focus of media coverage. But no, because the media is Trump’s bitch at this point they’ll just rehash the flag burning debate where a sizable number of morons agree with Trump because they worship a piece of fabric rather than value the freedoms it represents.

    1. sizable number of morons agree with Trump because they worship a piece of fabric

      This is probably the worst part about nationalists.

      1. Is it even that great of a flag? Red, white, and blue is the color combo of about 40 countries.

        1. Trump could design us the best flag. Believe me.

          1. A flag so great you’d tire of flying it in all its greatness!

    2. Trump is just an avatar for the stupid.

    3. Hillary actually proposed the last flag burning amendment that came up in the Senate (in 2005).

      But yes. The idea that the government can take away citizenship like that is bad. Real bad.

    4. No I’d say the imprisonment part is worse. While I’m not a mind-reader myself either, I suspect you’re minimizing the meaning of flag burning in the minds of both the flag-burners and the people who want to outlaw it. There is a point where speech alone can reach the level of renunciation of citizenship, such as openly calling for the state’s destruction. If this sounds “fascist” to you, then I would suggest that the source of that fascist undercurrent is the concept of citizenship itself, not how they go about codifying the details about how to gain or renounce it.

      1. I don’t think that simply openly calling for the state’s destruction is sufficient to renounce citizenship. Tons of people do that all the time. I’m pretty sure you have to join the government or armed forces of another country or formally renounce your citizenship in front of some official.

        I do agree that the notion of citizenship itself is really the base of the problem.



      /Grand Moff Serious Pantshitter

  7. So… wow as a Eagle Scout I burned a TON of flags!! I’d have to lose my citizenship like 50 times over!!

    I’ve never seen someone talk about wanting to ban flag burning mention the fact that burning the flag is how you respectfully retire it, and propose a sane, rational method that can be consistently applied to distinguish disrespectful burning and respectful burning without the use of mind reading magicks.

    1. As an Eagle Scout, you would probably push a little old lady away from an out of control bus. Stop abusing little old ladies, you monster!

  8. Something actually objectionable that he’s said! But they can’t turn it into something on racism so this probably won’t be a big deal to the left.

  9. POTUS = President of Trolling the US.

  10. Embarrassing.

  11. And by the way. Fuck all the Trump-ets who have taken over H&R. They drove me away for a bit. But fuck that. And fuck Trump. And fuck the homosexuals who think orange juice is just for breakfast.

    1. Sooo… I was with you right up until the orange juice thing.

      1. That means I have to report you. Sorry.

      2. Right. It’s also for vodka.

        1. and Champagne and Tequila….

    2. Trump hasn’t really done anything yet, so it’s easy to support him on the basis that 1) he isn’t Hillary and 2) he drives social justice warriors crazy.

      The novelty will quickly fade once he starts actually doing things.

      1. I just will never understand the “support” part. Not ever. I’ll bash him when necessary, and applaud if he does or says something right. But support? Fuck off.

        1. Maybe “support” is too strong a word.

          I didn’t vote for him, and I can’t even say I’m glad he won.

          I am glad Hillary lost.

          Meanwhile, right now, it’s before the first game of the season–he has as good a record as any quarterback can have because he hasn’t played a game yet.

          It’s natural for people to hope the new rookie quarterback will be the solution. They scream for the rookie to play every time the veteran throws another interception.

          First time the rookie takes a sack or fumbles, all that goes away. Until then, people’s hopes are high. It’s only natural. Even I want to believe. I hope I’m completely wrong and Trump turns out to be the most libertarian President ever, and I hope Presidents turn out to be the solution to all our problems.

          I wouldn’t call that “support” exactly. It’s just that the better angels of our nature haven’t yet been dashed against the rocks of reality. When that happens, we’ll be just as cynical as you remember.

          1. I think I am somewhere close to where you are.

            I am not happy he won, but I am happy Hillary lost.

            I am cautiously hopeful that he will do a few things right, but I am expecting instead that he will fuck up more things than he tries to fix.

            1. Probably what will happen, yes.

      2. The novelty will quickly fade once he starts actually doing things.

        I applaud your optimism.

    3. And fuck the homosexuals who think orange juice is just for breakfast.

      OK, I’m down for drinking OJ at anytime of the day, but what did Jesse et. al. have to do with this?

    4. I was wondering where you had gone. I was worried Irish had finally found you.

      1. I was worried Irish had finally found you.


    5. Indeed. People are still whining about too many articles about Trump.

      Time to get out of election mode. Surely we can have at least 6 months or so before it’s full partisan retard time again?

      1. “Indeed. People are still whining about too many articles about Trump”

        Really? Where?

        All I see is you whining about their imagined whining.

        1. Read the first comment, shit head.

  12. It may become useful at some point for Trump to distract the press by tweeting obnoxious shit–but this isn’t one of those times.

    1. I applaud your pithiness.

  13. I hate flag burners so much I’ll burn the Constitution in protest.


      1. Ron, does Jesse know you’re poaching in his comments?

    1. +1 today’s internets

  14. I admit that I enjoyed some of the sweet, sweet Clinton tears. But that’s in the past. I’m up for four years of non-stop Trump bashing. Let’s roll!

    1. It’s almost as if you think all sides of this Clinton/Trump fiasco are filled with morons worthy of our scorn.

      I concur.

    2. I’m up for four years of non-stop Trump bashing. Let’s roll!

      I am too, but I worry a little bit too. Trump doesn’t seem to operate under the normal restraints that even people who seek to become President operate under, and he is now being put in charge of a country with millions of “law enforcement” officers who seem more than happy to kick in doors in the middle of the night and empty their weapons into people’s bodies.

      I’m not suffering from the hysterical doom-saying of my progressive friends, but we’ve spent decades populating our police departments with psychopaths and now will have a bombastic and unrestrained populist as President. I’m just saying that things could go very wrong very quickly…

  15. Oh this is going to be FUN.

    1. Yep. I pretty much hate the government, but with Obama it’s at least being run by someone honorable who will give you a fair shake. Now it’s just pretty much straightforward hate. Clarifying, you know.

  16. Tweeted @ the Dilbert guy asking what’s the punchline. Lots of responses from his followers, but so far nobody is making the case.

    1. Don’t you worry, The Trump Whisperer will write four-thousand words on the subject.

    2. Honestly, this just proves that Trump is trying to speak the language of the people, but every once in a while he gets the translation wrong. He doesn’t believe that tweet. But, he doesn’t really believe anything he’s said. He’s just throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks. And with his sycophants, mostly everything has stuck.

      1. It’s an authoritarian statement from an authoritarian who will soon have an incredible amount of unchecked power. Trying to explain away the meaning, – whether it is something like your statement, or “trolling,” or “the lulz,” or whatever else is part of the problem.

        1. I’m not defending him. I am disgusted by him. I do think he has authoritarian tendencies, but that’s because he’s got no clue about political philosophy, liberty, morals, character, etc. All he knows is how to sell and win. He’s a bullshit artist first and foremost. One with horrible totalitarian reflexes, but that’s in part due to “giving the people what they want.”

          Don’t mistake my analysis for endorsement. I just think he’s saying shit he thinks people want to hear.

          1. I did not say you were defending him. I think attempting to explain what he really means by statements like this is partially how he became president. Everyone projects, takes sides, and we are left with him. However, since this shit actually matters now it is all worrisome.

            1. Fair enough.

      2. “He doesn’t believe that tweet.”

        Are you willing to bet your liberty on that?

        1. What difference does it make? The courts will just slap him in the balls. This shit is never going to fly and he knows it.

          He is trying to get the left to howl so he can point out that it was Hillary’s position too.

          1. This is also a possibility. It’s obnoxious, petty, and particularly unnecessary at this point… but possible.

            1. “obnoxious, petty, and particularly unnecessary”

              The credo of the elected official?

          2. The courts will just slap him in the balls. This shit is never going to fly and he knows it.

            Will you feel the same way after he Tweets about somehow reducing your 2A rights after the next school shooting?

            1. I can see it now, upcoming DJT tweet @POTUS:

              “No reason to have those assault weapons. Sad!”

              I wonder then if people like Suthenboy will be saying “oh, it’s just trolling, relax!!!”

              1. Just another bit of 3D chess. He’s just so goddamned smarter than most of us.

            2. “I love Muslims. They Make America Great Again. We need more!”

              Now that would be a fun tweet to see.

          3. “He is trying to get the left to howl so he can point out that it was Hillary’s position too.”

            Or, it’s what he actually believes and he will push Congress to act on it.

            Again, how much are you willing to bet that you are right and I am wrong?

          4. The courts will stop him? The courts have upheld all kinds of unconstitutional nonsense in the past, and some of those decisions remain in effect to this day. There is no guarantee.

        2. Oh hell no. Again, it’s just my guess about what’s going through his head. If he were smarter, even if he really wanted to do this he never would have said it due to the backlash. But that’s not his MO. What Trump does is say crazy shit, 90% of which people either lap up like dogs or excuse. Why should this stupid statement be any different?

          There’s a possibility Trump really wants to do what he tweeted, but more importantly to him, he thinks he’s saying something people want to hear.

          1. He tweets something dumb, and his supporters set about retconning it into something brilliant and obvious. Frankly, I’m willing to give him a pass. It’s a stupid medium for communicating policy, he’s not versed in political vernacular, and in any event (being generous here) he engages in a lot of deliberate verbal misdirection. Fine. But the Dilbert people tweeting at me now are for the most part cringeworthy in how they’re running interference for what is at best an inartful, unconsidered statement.

            1. Those people think he’s some kind of genius. I just think he’s a very good carnival barker.

              1. They think he’s a genius at being a carnival barker.

                1. He is barking at a carnival genius!

    3. The strongest case so far is that Hillary cosponsored a flag-protection act in 2005. Because… Hillary is a yuuuge player on the political scene now that she’s been defeated? And Trump’s gambit to sell himself to a mostly skeptical public is to issue fascistic statements about a Constitutional issue long ago put to bed? I’m expected to buy that?

        1. I mean, most people are going to take the tweet literally, aren’t going to bother digging for details, are going to conclude that this dummy really does believe in jailing people or revoking their citizenship over a expressive act. And his haymaker later today is going to be… what? Having a surrogate phone in to MSNBC saying, Well, Hillary wanted to do this, too. And then what? Drop the mic?

      1. ‘fascistic’

        You misspelled ‘fantastic’.

        1. I feel like I’m being gaslighted (gaslit?) here. I guess I’ll wait till later in the day when he drops the hammer and his brilliant ploy pays dividends… somehow. Or gets lost in the cycle like everything else he says.

          1. By fantastic I meant:

            fan?tas?tic (fan?tastik)
            1. – imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.

            “novels are capable of mixing fantastic and realistic elements”

            synonyms: fanciful, extravagant, extraordinary, irrational, wild, absurd, far-fetched, nonsensical, incredible, unbelievable, unthinkable, implausible, improbable, unlikely, doubtful, dubious

            1. It’s terrific and scares me terribly.

              1. Heh.

                [Update. A reader sent this comment about “terrific” on Jan. 15, 2014: “Oftentimes older Irishmen would use this word only in describing a tragedy such as a ‘terrific storm.’ My Polish uncle used to relate a humorous anecdote of trying to compliment his Irish immigrant future mother-in-law by telling her ‘the meal was terrific.’ As you might imagine, confusion, hurt feelings, explanations, and apologies ensued.”]

  17. It is going to be a long four years.

  18. Jesse is starting to catch on. This isnt real pants shitting. More like sharting.

  19. The impression is getting pretty strong that this Trump fellow is not a libertarian.

    1. Well, he’s certainly more of a libertarian than that awful old Gary Johnson.


      1. Please don’t feed the troll. This website is for libertarian Trump apologists not mendacious bores. You belong over at http://www.mises.org.

    2. It’s better this way. At least we didn’t elect someone who deleted her recipe to Chelsea on a private email server, which only goes to show that that K street hoar will do anything to solicit a donation from a Saudi national Al Queda member.

  20. Yeah Trump sucks, but what about Castro? He sucks worse– arguably.

    1. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. That’s another reason people here seem to “support” Trump, though.

        The progressive concern trolls are a real factor in that.

        Oh, and did Trump winning finally shatter Tony forever? Haven’t seen him for a long time.

        1. He was around a few days after the election, but quieted down pretty quickly.

        2. “Progressive concern trolls”

          I don’t know what that is. I just think Trump sucks. What do you think, Ken? It’s kind of hard to tell these days.

          1. Blah, blah, blah . . . . Woof! Woof!

  21. Welp, Trump’s rambling Twitter feed might single-handedly keep the company afloat.

    “What? I can’t say stupid shit in 140 characters or less anymore because the company’s going bankrupt? BAILOUT NOW.”

    1. *applause, occasional huzzahs*

  22. I think most of you all don’t know what Trump is doing. He is playing politics as war, and he is using the Democratic playbook to a T. All he has done this entire election process is flip the script to the Republican side.

    I mean sit back and think about it for a minute. I’m not too worried about what he says at this time because the entire point of everything he has done that gets a rise out of people is to use their playbook to rile up HIS base like they do theirs.

    Problem is, he can’t stop doing it because the MSM is going after him so hard. He will not stop doing it until the MSM stops going after him so hard.

    The bigger story is still the fucking vitriol that is coming out from the left against this man and his supporters. Don’t expect Trump to change until they do.

    1. I don’t get it.

      If you’re being accused of being an anti-free-speech POS, and you think that’s an unfair characterisation of your position, how does pushing a flag-burning ban convince anyone that you’re not?

      Unless the point of the exercise is to take the most popular form of speech restriction to give yourself political cover: “I oppose the 1st amendment, unlike those flag-burning pinkos!”.

  23. It’s dangerous to think that this is Trump just trolling people. The last time this issue was seriously discussed in Congress, a constitutional amendment came just 1 vote short of earning the 2/3rds majority needed to send to the states for ratification. So banning flag burning has more support than we here think it might. Trump needs to be taken seriously on this and resisted firmly, and not just laughed at as the idle trollings of an adult adolescent man-child.

    1. As long as we have our second amendment rights my first amendment rights are safe. Go change your pants.

      1. Even the unarmed have rights too, you know.

        1. I’ll bet a lot of those Brazilian travelers were disarmed this morning.

      2. Sarc or no. What happens when the SWAT team shows up at your house?

      3. Are you saying you’re willing to killing anyone that comes after you if laws are changed? That’s a bit loony, no?

        1. “…laws are changed…” = trampling inalienable rights.

          Yes. No.

          1. Well hey, if you’re willing to start the armed rebellion then good on you. Maybe you can make a new, better Constitution once you’ve toppled the current government.

    2. First, this was an issue well before trump entered the pres race, long ago. The cretins in House and Senate that voted for that amendment did so without any trumpian troll-tweet. Dems and repubes, both.

      Second, that effort came just one vote short in the Senate, because it was generally understood that it would fail. It was designed as a safe, meaningless, empty gesture. That’s what cynicism is and that’s what sociopaths do.

      “Senate Republican aides believe that as many as a dozen self-proclaimed amendment supporters privately opposed the flag burning amendment and were only supporting it for political gain.” And ditto that for the 14 dems that voted yea.


  24. I love the way Trump can send proggies and Cosmos into a pants shitting frenzy with a one or two sentence tweet.

    1. The problem is, however, is what happens when Trump’s fanbase of support expects him to actually act on these promises of his? Banning flag burning is actually quite popular. If Trump pushed the issue, he could likely at least make Congress vote on it. Do we really want that to happen?

      1. ^This. I’ve always been more concerned about his supporters than Trump himself.

      2. Please highlight in the comment where he promised to do anything about it.

        1. As always, he’s just throwing it out there.

    2. 1) Man says something obviously totalitarian.
      2) People react poorly to said totalitarian statement.
      3) Said people must be pants shitters.

      I fail to see how you get to step 3.

      1. He couldn’t see Step 2 because Trump’s dick was in the way.

      2. Pedant:

        Authoritarian more than totalitarian.

    3. I wonder how you (and everyone else here defending Trump and downplaying this, and everything else he says or does) would have reacted to anyone who said on this site, at any point in the last 8 years, that Obama was great because he pissed off conservatives. I’m really interested to know how that would have gone.

  25. “But he’s the president-elect now; it isn’t practical to just ignore what he says.”

    No, it isn’t practical to just react to what he says. When will you people learn. He was memed into high office and now betrolls the narrow world. Like a colossus. The whole earth, perpetually steeped in trolling, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be trolled without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of memes, until trolling is extinct, until the meme of memes itself.

  26. that he’s prone to floating dumb ideas on Twitter

    I suspect he also is prone to using a hammer to drive nails, automobiles to travel from place to place, and employing a little-known cleansing paste with a highly-specialized device known as a ‘toothbrush’ to clean his teeth.

    Still too early to tell whether he’ll float thinly-veiled threats about red lines to third world dictators on Twitter or via more conventional channels.

    1. I think he is prone to trolling his opponents and stirring up his supporters more than anything. You would think his opponents would stop falling for it, but they can’t seem to help themselves.

      1. What if he’s not trolling, John? What if he is serious?

        At what point will you say “he’s gone too far this time, he’s a dangerous man proposing dangerous ideas”?

        1. What if he is? It won’t get passed by Congress and the courts would kill it even if it did. The chances of this ever happened are zero.

          1. So he should propose that “assault” weapon ban, too. No down side!

            1. Saying he should, isn’t the same thing as saying I am concerned if he tried. If we had courts that I could be relied upon to properly enforce the 2nd Amendment, I really wouldn’t care if he tried to do that. Since unlike flag burning, we don’t have courts that will enforce the 2nd Amendment, I would be concerned about that.

          2. “What if he is? It won’t get passed by Congress and the courts would kill it even if it did.”

            Are you so sure about this?

            The last time Congress seriously debated the issue, a constitutional amendment banning flag burning came within only 1 vote short of being sent to the states for ratification. That is not just a fringe idea. As has been noted, Republicans like the idea of banning flag burning because they’re all patriotic ‘n’ shit, and Democrats like the idea of banning “hate speech” generally.

            Please recall that when SCOTUS struck down the anti-flag-burning laws in 1989, 48 out of 50 states had them on the books. So it is a broadly popular idea.

            And Trump will have a certain say on the composition of the next SCOTUS, as you might have heard.

            So I don’t think it is automatically a slam dunk that banning flag burning could never ever ever happen in this country. It is NOT a fringe idea. It is a mainstream idea and those of us who value free speech in totality are the ones on the “fringes”, sadly.

            But EVEN IF the practical chances of banning flag burning were slim, why even support or defend a POTUS who proposes such a terrible idea? Because it makes liberals (and libertarians) cry? For juvenile reasons? It is insane and stupid.

            1. I am very sure. Even if you are not, can we at least wait until he actually has someone introduce such a thing in Congress before going nuts? Maybe Trump is serious here and will do that. I cna’t read his mind and I have never met him. But, given his history, isn’t it also possible in fact likely that he is just trolling his opponents here? Trump puts this out and nothing will come of it except it causing his opponents to spend and entire news cycle talking about how great and necessary flag burning is, which was of course the whole point of him doing this. That is what I think is happening here. Maybe I am wrong. If he is serious and Congress passes it, please feel free to gloat and call me out for being so wrong.

              1. Sure, Trump might only be trolling and he could actually be a stalwart defender of free speech even when it comes to flag burning.

                But, I’m not interested in giving him the benefit of the doubt. He doesn’t deserve it.

                1. Sure he could. But he seems to be more interested in winning than losing for his principles, whatever those are.

  27. That is nice. I wish him luck with that. That being said, if Citizens United had gone the other way like every good Democratic insists it should, I see no reason why a ban on flag burning would also be Constitutional. The standard is that to restrict a fundamental right like free speech, the measure must be narrowly tailored to meet a compelling governmental interest. If it is okay for the government to bad movies critical of political candidates and to make giving up your free speech rights a necessary price for forming an association of other citizens to achieve the compelling government interest of “fair and clean elections”, whatever those are, then I don’t see how it is not okay for the government to ban flag burning to achieve the compelling government interest of peace and order.

    Had the liberal justices gotten their way on CU, the case would have stood for more than just restricting political speech. It would have set the precedent that virtually any restriction on the means of speech was permissible and it would have also forever lowered the standard of what is considered “narrowly tailored” and “compelling government interest” for all fundamental rights protected under the BOR.

    So basically, anyone who doesn’t support the Citizens United decision who now wants to complain about this, can go get bent.

    1. Well, it is possible for both sides to be wrong.

      But I still think people aren’t understanding the reason that Trump does this and the reason he has to continue doing this. Republicans have gotten slaughtered in national elections because they played politics while the Democrats were waging war. Sure, the truth can win in smaller scale elections where you can target audiences, but it does not work on a national scale when one side thinks the truth is an obstacle to be overcome as the Democrats do.

      I’m more interested in what Trump actually does than what he says at this point. He does what he does because it is the only way to fight back against the massive propaganda machine that is the DNC and their cronies in media and Hollywood.

      1. Both sides are wrong on this. I am not saying we should ban flag burning. I am just pointing out that if the Democrats had their way, we likely could and that puts their bitching about this into some perspective.

        You are right about Trump. Nothing is going to come of this. Congress ins’t passing a flag burning ban and the courts would strike it down even if it did. And Trump knows that. All he is doing here is giving the Democrats the opportunity to tell the country how much they love flag burning. I don’t think that is going to turn out like they hope it will. You would think at some point they would learn to not take the bait, but they really do seem untrainable.

      2. “… the truth is an obstacle to be overcome as the Democrats do.”

        ^This x 1000.

        I can never forget the Podesta email where it was said (paraphrased) ‘We have to sell climate change to the wider public and we cant let the data stand in our way’.

        A naked admission that it is a scam.

    2. Ah. John’s still here. Hello, John!

      1. Occasionally I have to work for a living.

    3. Liberals are always surprised and horrified when people turn around and use the weapons they built against them.

      Progressives don’t care. They think rights are a product of our imagination, and they’re mostly okay with the government ignoring them. They just think progressives should be the ones in charge to do the ignoring.

      1. Progressives don’t believe in rights. They only profess to do so when it is a useful weapon against their enemies.

    4. C’mon John. Someone pointed out just yesterday that double standards are twice as good as single ones. Some is good so more is better, right?

      She is gone now so I will spare everyone a list of the evidences that Hillary aspires to be an unbridled totalitarian and how zip-lipped many Trump bashers were about that.

      1. And Suthenboy goes full “Clinton wouldda been worse!” That’s nice, Suthenboy.

        1. Nice and accurate.

        2. Look, I didn’t take off their mask. They took it off themselves because they were emboldened by being certain of victory. Now they want to slap it back on with some school paste and scotch tape and we are supposed to pretend we don’t know who they are? Fuck that. People should be reminded at every opportunity.

      2. ……………. I can’t speak for anyone else, but the choices were, and still are dismaying, exactly because they’re both extremely awful. There’s no need anymore to keep sucking Trump’s wang. Hillary ain’t gonna be president. Time now to do what libertarians do and bitch about how awful the new Top Man is.

      3. Look, Trump won. You can’t threaten us anymore with the “but Hillary would be worse” scaremongering. Hillary isn’t a factor anymore. There is an approximately 0.00001% chance that she will be president. The discussion is squarely about Trump, and Trump’s ideas, judged on their own merits, regardless of what Hillary would or would not have done. So if you have to resort to bringing out Hillary in order to defend Trump, it means that you are going to defend Trump no matter what.

        1. Maybe Trump is the worst ever. Maybe he is Hilter. Time will tell. But you going to have to come up with more than “but he says he wants to ban flag burning on Twitter” to convince me of that.

          1. I’m not saying he is Hitler or “the worst ever”. I am saying he is proposing a dangerous idea and that he should be taken at his word.

    5. How did we get to,the point that burning something = speech?

      Does my right to speak freely cover burning down the White House?

      1. You must be joking.

      2. Fucktards gon’ fucktard I guess.

      3. You get duller with each post.

      4. We are assuming that the flag is yours. Beyond that, the case that banning flag burning in public is unconstitutional is not as strong as people pretend. First, it is not a content based restriction. You can still say anything you like. You just can’t burn the flag to do it. Second, you can still burn the flag. You just can’t do it in public. So, what does the ban really restrict? It restricts one tiny method available to voice your disgust with the country.

        I understand the principles involved here. If you can ban the burning of the flag, why not the burning of the Koran? There is a real slippery slope to this. That being said, the actual restriction involved here is a hell of a lot smaller than people shitting their pants over the idea pretend it is. And every law is a step on the slippery slope.

        1. No actual law, nor any proposed amendment, makes the distinction between publicly and privately owned property, whether with regard to the flag itself or the place where it is burned.

          1. I think it would have to before it even had any hope of getting passed the courts. Beyond that, even if it did, it is still quantitatively a very small restriction in means. That doesn’t mean it is a good idea or shouldn’t be struck down. But lets not pretend this is a bigger deal than what it is.

            1. It is no more or less than support for banning flag burning. I never said it was anything else, but that is neither here nor there. It’s wrong, whether it comes from Trump’s mouth or someone else’s.

              1. Sure but there are degrees of wrong and there are some things that are more forgivable than others.

      5. It is basically setting the flag up as a national revered object. And that sounds bad but it is not that unreasonable. What if I wanted to burn a Vermeer? I make a few billion somehow and wait for one to come on the market, pay the $100 million or whatever and then I plan to burn it in a public ceremony as my statement against the inherent racism and sexism of Western Art. Should the government be able to stop me? I think maybe they should. That some things have value that can’t be owned. Strict Libertarians would disagree with me but I am not a Libertarian and a lot of other people would agree with me. If I can’t burn a Vermeer, why can I necessarily burn the flag?

        The issue isn’t as simple as people like to think it is.

        1. Do you own the Vermeer? Then you can burn it.

          1. Sure, but that is begging the question,. Should I be able to burn it. Are there some things that are so valuable or so symbolic that you can’t really own them. That is the question. You say no. And that is fine. But understand that there are good reasons to think otherwise. Something like a Vermeer has value to civilization and the entire world such that you can’t own it to such a degree that you can burn it.

            If you don’t like that idea, fine. But understand just saying “but you own it” doesn’t really refute it.

            1. That’s collectivist bullshit. I don’t care what anyone else thinks about the things that I own. I own them, and it is my natural right to do what I wish with them.

              I believe in property rights (and no, humans can’t be property). Full stop. That’s not question begging, by the way. That’s a foundational principle.

              1. John conceded that you have a sound position. I agree with you, I find none of those arguments convincing but I see how someone could be and argue them in good faith ( you are correct, it is collectivism, just not the usual mendacious kind).

              2. That’s collectivist bullshit.

                I have really bad news for you. There is such a thing as society and civilization and values beyond the individual. That of course doesn’t mean we should be sticking people in ovens for the collective good to create Utopia. But, when strict Libertarians deny that there are values and things beyond the individual they are being every bit as loopy, though less dangerous, as socialists are when they deny any individual right that trumps the common good. The truth is somewhere in between those extremes and like all truth really difficult to find most of the time.

                1. values beyond the individual

                  I’m with you up to here. There are no values “beyond” the individual. That’s not collective horseshit, it’s mystical horseshit. There are only values that are shared by multiple individuals. Those values can be assessed and judged but they are no powerful than the people who believe them.

                  1. So, there are no values beyond the individual? If say the Canadians went berserk and were prepping to invade and conquer the country, would the value of the nation and preserving it outweigh individual rights, such that we could violate individual rights if doing so were necessary to save the country?

                    I get it that you would say no and if saving the country from Hockey being the national sport and Celine Dion being played on every radio station required violating individual rights, then we just can’t do it and Celine it is. But understand how extreme of a position that is. Also, understand that it is a position that very few people could ever adopt or even want to.

                    We are arguing about fundamental assumptions. And thus there really isn’t any way we can convince the other. Just understand that not everyone shares your assumption and those who don’t are not necessarily collectivist monsters bent on creating Heaven on Earth at any price. There is a middle ground.

                    1. My values are my own. They are not beyond me, they just are. I have every right to stand up for them even if there is no transcendent mysticism behind them. And just the same, if you and I share a value, such as a desire to defend this country from invasion, it is no more and no less than two individuals with a coincidental desire. There is no “beyond”, only “exactly what is”.

                    2. Of course you do. I am not even saying you are wrong. I don’t agree with you but so what. I have been wrong before and will be wrong again. My only point is to say that not everyone who disagrees with you rejects liberty.

                    3. There is a middle ground.

                      We are already in the middle ground. Nobody is compelled to burn any flags (except while in service to the U.S., as part of the proper method of destruction for worn/damaged flags) and nobody is forbidden from burning any flags, except when doing so endangers the life, liberty, or property of others.

                    4. Kbolino,

                      We are talking about two different things. Saying that you have a right to burn the flag is not the same thing as saying there are no values beyond the individual. Even if you do think the person shouldn’t be able to burn the Vermeer, the flag ban is still unconstitutional because a flag isn’t a Vermeer and one flag does not in any way rise to the level of value that a Vermeer would.

                    5. We are talking about two different things

                      At least two…

                      Even if you do think the person shouldn’t be able to burn the Vermeer, the flag ban is still unconstitutional because a flag isn’t a Vermeer and one flag does not in any way rise to the level of value that a Vermeer would.

                      Whatever you may think of burning famous and unique pieces of art, that distinction does not exist in the Constitution anyway.

                    6. Yes it does. None of these “rights” are absolute and they were never intended to be. Given a compelling enough government interest and a narrowly tailored restriction, the government can restrict speech. If it were as simple as you say it is, we wouldn’t need courts.

                    7. What the legislatures may invent and the courts may allow != what is written in the Constitution or what was intended by the people who wrote it

                      You’ll have to point me to the Federalist paper on how antiquities and works of art trump the plain reading of First Amendment.

        2. It is that simple. You just don’t like the implications.

          You are placing the value of an inanimate object, an otherwise useless inanimate object, over human life.

          1. It is that simple. You just don’t like the implications.

            Correct. I don’t like the implications. And that is why I think it might be a bad idea. If saying you have a right to burn the flag necessarily also means saying you have a right to burn the Vermeer, that is good evidence that maybe saying you have a right to burn the flag is not correct or a good idea.

        3. “If I can’t burn a Vermeer…” But you CAN burn a Vermeer, and no one but you is arguing that you shouldn’t be able to burn your own artwork. This is the craziest “logic” I’ve every seen.

          1. “This is the craziest “logic” I’ve ever seen” is hyperbole, by the way. I DO work in a newsroom, after all.

          2. But you CAN burn a Vermeer, and no one but you is arguing that you shouldn’t be able to burn your own artwork. T

            Yes someone is. I am arguing that. My argument is that some things have such a value that they become public property and you can’t own it or at least own all the rights normally associated with owning the object that you normally do.

            1. Public > private

              Sounds very… John.

              1. Some things like a Vermeer, by their value to civilization become public. That is my point. That being said, a flag isn’t like that, at least not in my opinion. Sugar Free is right when he writes below that burning a flag is like burning a poster of Vermeer.

            2. John, if you really are arguing that please give us in detail the objective standards for determining what has such value that it becomes public property so that you cant fully own it.

          3. And, at most, burning a flag is like burning a poster of a Vermeer in that burning a flag is not the same of burning the flag–the first or original falg, which is an object we can’t even positively identify in the first place.

            1. I agree with you. And that is why I think a flag burning ban is unconstitutional. It is not burning a Vermeer. It is burning a poster of Vermeer. Banning burning the flag is akin to banning burning the bible or the Koran. And I guarantee you the people who want to ban flag burning would have a fucking cow if they tried to ban burning the Koran. Both sides are utterly unprincipled in this.

      6. C’mon VG, that is absurd.

        You don’t see how burning a flag is making a political statement? It is a symbolic act. The first amendment is there to protect speech, first and foremost political speech. Not just political speech but most especially speech other people don’t like.

        If I buy a flag and burn it, it is my personal property. The whitehouse i snot my personal property.

        This is a no-brainer. Are you trolling us? There is so much of that going around these days I have a hard time telling.

        1. He’s not trolling.

        2. yes it is a statement. But it is not the only way you can make that statement. So the ban is only restricting your method of making the statement and then only slightly. It is not telling you you can’t make the statement. To say otherwise, you have to say that there are some things that can only be said by burning the flag. That burning a flag is some unique statement different than just holding a sign or writing a book or shouting it with a bullhorn. And that seems very untrue to me.

          1. But it is not the only way you can make that statement. So the ban is only restricting your method of making the statement and then only slightly.

            +1 Free Speech Zone

            1. We restrict methods of speech all of the time. What if I want to show my disdain for Trump by putting up a huge billboard with a graphic photoshop of Steve Smith anally raping Donald Trump. It would be something that is utterly pornographic and graphic. Yes, I can make that photoshop. But I can’t I put it on a billboard across from a grade school, so all of the kids see Steve Smith man raping Donald Trump? You probably would say yes. Most other people including the courts would say no. There can be reasonable restrictions on the time, place an method of speech, though not the content.

              1. We restrict methods of speech all of the time.

                Yeah we do, but you’re blurring the lines between what is culturally acceptable speech and what is legally accepted speech. I’ll push back on legal restrictions every time.

          2. It’s kulturkampf horseshit and undignified for a free people. We can stomach flag-burning temper tantrums. In fact it helps illustrate how fundamentally averse the left is to the American heritage.

            1. But what if it’s the most importantest flag ever made?! What if everyone needs that flag to be a good and healthy society???

            2. You think it is a bad idea. That is nice. I agree with you. It being a bad idea doesn’t necessarily mean it is unconstitutional. The question of it being constitutional is different from it being a bad idea.

              1. Fair point. I’m still mystified why it’s even being discussed.

          3. You’re right, burning a flag is not unique viz writing a book or using a bullhorn – i.e. they are all examples of free speech. You burned down your own argument. Also, you were clearly against an amendment upthread – why the need to defend the concept here?

            1. why the need to defend the concept here?

              Because defending Trump is more important than principles or logical consistency.

            2. I think there are two sides to the issue. I think that it is a bad idea and a stupid law. I also think it is unconstitutional. I am just saying that the other side is not unreasonable. I don’t agree with it, but the issue is more subtle than people act.

          4. See, you don’t NEED to burn a flag to make your point….

            See, you don’t NEED an AR-15 to defend your home….

            1. In principle you are right. I can’t own a bazooka or a nuclear weapon can I? So there are some forms of self defense that even the 2nd Amendment doesn’t protect, just like there are some means and methods of speech that the 1st doesn’t protect. The question is where is the line. I think it is somewhere beyond burning flags and owning AR 15s. But there is a line and if I or anyone wants to say that it is somewhere beyond those two things, we better be prepared to explain why and not just say “but its my right”.

              1. As originally written and implemented, the Second Amendment protected private ownership of all weapons, including cannons and warships, the closest contemporary equivalents of modern weapons of war.

                If it wasn’t for the private ownership of weapons of war, the U.S. would never have come into existence in the first place.

                The “interpretation” of the 2A is not the same thing as the actual text and meaning of the 2A.

                1. That is a fair point Kbolino. Understand though, the 2nd Amendment did not apply to the states when it was originally enacted. So all it said was the feds couldn’t prevent you from owning weapons of war. It was never intended to prevent the states from doing that. The whole point was to keep the federal government from disarming the states and in the process keep the states from having their own militias. That doesn’t mean it is a collective right. It is an individual right.

                  The right is based on two things, the right of individuals to be armed so that the states can keep a militia and the right of individuals to be armed for their own self defense. I don’t think the self defense right covers the bizooka. But, if a state said, every household or one household on every block should have a crew serve weapon on hand, I think that would be totally okay. When you are talking about weapons of war versus weapons of self defense, I think the states can regulate that since you own the weapons of war to support the state militia. I would love to see a state hand out M16s to any non felon who wanted one for the purpose of having a militia that can be easily recalled in times of emergency. The progs would shit their pants but it would be absolutely in keeping with the 2nd Amendment as it was written.

                  1. The only amendments in the Bill of Rights that were limited to the Federal government were the 1A and the 10A*. The rest were written so as to affect the entire country, without regard to what government might infringe them. The states agreed to this arrangement when they ratified those amendments, or applied for statehood after those amendments were ratified.

                    A state can raise a militia and can set its standards of practice. It cannot, however, infringe the right to keep and bear arms even if it levies a regular militia, except w/r/t service in that militia (i.e. you can own an M16 but you may be required to have a different weapon for drills).

                    * = The question of applicability of the 10A is technically two-sided; there are distinct questions of who is constrained (the Feds) vs. who is protected (the states and the people).

                    1. That is just completely untrue. The BOR was never intended to apply to the states when it was written. I have never read anywhere where anyone on either side of things believes they were. The Constitution was a federal document. The states that agreed to it never intended it to restrict their powers beyond the explicit power given to the federal government to enforce a Democratic form of government in the states. That is it.

                      And if you don’t believe me, go try and demand a grand jury indictment in state court or a jury trial in a civil action in some states. Not every BOR right has been applied to the states even after the 14th Amendment.

                    2. The BOR was never intended to apply to the states

                      Somebody should dig up James Madison and let him know that he didn’t intend what he said he intended.

                      That having been said, the case that none of the BoR restricted the states is laid out in Barron_v._Baltimore but it depends on the wording of a proposed article that never became law. The question of what was intended is murky at the very least.

                    3. Meant to have a link to the case: Barron v. Baltimore

                    4. I agree with Barron. It seems strange now because we live post civil war and have lost sight of how it actually worked before that. The US really was a confederation of states. The Constitution was written to limit the federal government and govern the terms of how the states interacted with each other not how they operated within their own borders and within their own citizens. The idea that it did, came after the civil war and the passing of the 13th 14th and 15th Amendments.

          5. I think you covered this earlier when you pointed out that this is a slippery slope. I would add that it is steep and slipperier than owl shit. Ban one means of expression you open the door for every other means and you can bet there are a great many people that would jump on this like a duck on a junebug. The restrictions would rapidly move from flag burning to…words.

            1. Yeah. Its a bad idea. At some point Progs are going to realize that if you can ban burning the flag, you can ban burning about anything. When they figure that out, they are suddenly going to love the idea.

      7. Thank you. I can now ignore your comments in good conscience.

  28. The other factor in maybe tentatively supporting Trump is that he has actually promised to do some things that libertarians want.

    If he gets rid of ObamaCare, deregulates like crazy by overturning a lot of Obama’s executive orders, gets rid of Dodd-Frank, etc. in his first 100 days in office–at that one point in time–he’ll arguably be the most libertarian President we’ve had since Ronald Reagan.

    Then he’ll get to work on ruining that with all the other awful shit he does. “All the awful shit they do”, isn’t that what they’re talking about when they talk about a President’s “legacy”?

    1. Still cautiously optimistic about his tenure. And it’s always comforting when the left is so discomforted.

    2. Minus his infrastructure bullshit, economically, Trump will be the best thing for this country in my adult lifetime. And with a strong economy, much of the other social shit doesn’t matter as much all of a sudden, to either side. Less extremism, in other words.

      He will need to be closely watched on civil liberties. It is just too bad we don’t have allies on the Democratic side with any fucking credibility.

      1. Minus his infrastructure bullshit, economically, Trump will be the best thing for this country in my adult lifetime.

        What the actual fuck?

        1. Both Bush and Obama were awful on economic issues.

          Just awful.

          We’re had 16 years of total incompetence on the economy.

          If Trump is just average, it’ll seem like a stellar performance by comparison.

          I remember hearing that the Iraq War would pay for itself and that the prescription drug benefit would forestall HillaryCare.

          I remember hearing the ObamaCare would make America more competitive internationally. Obama renegotiated two trade deals for the benefit of the UAW. He let the UAW negotiate our trade deals!!!

          That’s what you get when people focus on the Iraq War and Terry Schiavo instead of the economy. That’s what you get when people obsess about who’s the racist, who’s the homophobe, and who’s the misogynist–instead of the economy.

          1. And Trump (not congress) is going to fix all that, huh?

            1. See the chart I linked below.

              Trump can’t repeal ObamaCare by himself, but ObamaCare couldn’t be repealed if Hillary had won. The market was basically building the likelihood of single payer into its model.

              It’s the same thing with Dodd-Frank.

              And it isn’t just Trump–the Republicans still control both houses of Congress, and they’re probably as keen as Trump or more so to get rid of ObmaCare and Dodd-Frank.

              Meanwhile, Trump can singlehandedly revoke Obama’s myriad regulations invoked by executive order.

              Look at that chart! The market values the Russell 2000’s earnings 12% higher because Trump won rather than Hillary. And those are good reasons for the market to think so.

        2. Economically, Trump will be the best President in my adult lifetime.

          I did write that in an odd way. Perhaps you still think, “What the actual fuck?”.

          To which I say, tax cuts, deregulation. Those two things alone will make the economy take off. Shit, just deregulating would make the economy take off.

          Some are worried about his stances on trade, but if you actually listen to him, he complains about our trade deals not being free trade, but deals in which the US loses as we are basically getting tariffs put on our goods in slimy ways and ignoring it because “Freeeh Tradez!”

          1. Are you reading Trump’s mind or predicting the future? Either way, I don’t believe in witch doctors.

            1. No, since I don’t have a severe case of TDS, I actually listen to what he says in his moments of not trolling idiots like yourself.

              1. No, you seem to be projecting what you think he said onto him, not what he actually said.

              2. No, you seem to be projecting what you think he said onto him, not what he actually said.

                1. ack, the squirrelz have attacked

                  1. No, since I don’t have a severe case of TDS, I actually listen to what he says in his moments of not trolling idiots like yourself.

                    Because what politicians say always becomes reality, right? RIGHT?

                    1. Never said that, did I?

                      Listen bro, if you have to resort to being a retard, you might as well just leave.

                    2. Never said that, did I?

                      Listen bro, if you have to resort to being a retard, you might as well just leave.


                  2. Y’all provoked us! We had no choice!

            2. Here’s a chart of what the Russell 2000 has done against the DJIA since Trump was elected:


              Those expectations are real.

              Some of it is that the market thinks multinationals will have more problems competing with smaller rivals if Trump goes after free trade–but the Dow is up, too.

              Some of it is that the market thinks that smaller innovative companies will outperform vs. the Dow if Trump deregulates and gets rid of things like Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare.

              1. Stock market =/= economy.

                This is a common mistake.

                1. These expectations about the earnings growth of the Russell 2000 are most certainly about economic growth, and if the market expects the Russell 2000 to outperform because Trump won rather than Hillary, then there’s reason for us to think so, too.

                  And we’re in OTBE territory here. Was there something else that happened on November 8th that made the Russell 2000 start outperforming the Dow?

                2. Think of this way: Why wouldn’t the prospect of deregulation and repealing ObamaCare make the Russell 2000 go up?

                  I know there are progressives who argued that ObamaCare would make our economy more competitive.

                  Are you one of these people who somehow believes that regulation and ObamaCare are not adversely impacting economic growth?

                  1. No, dude, I’m suggesting that neither you nor I have any idea what is going to happen with those things. You’re making assumptions. That’s the mistake.

                    1. Is the Russell 2000 making those same assumptions? Sure, maybe. Doesn’t make them anything other than assumptions. And people acting like they can read Trump’s mind and see the future about what *will* happen and how great it’s all going to be are making fools of themselves (particularly Deven, who’s not even worth talking to at this point).

                    2. “No, dude, I’m suggesting that neither you nor I have any idea what is going to happen with those things. You’re making assumptions. That’s the mistake.”

                      There is very little uncertainty about whether ObamaCare and regulation are presently hurting economic growth, and there is very little uncertainty about whether getting rid of ObamaCare and Obama’s growth killing executive orders will help spur economic growth.

                      While it is often difficult to predict the future with accuracy, if what I said about repealing ObamaCare and getting rid of regulation is true, we have a really good idea that the impact of doing that will result in more economic growth.

                      The fact that the people who trading the Russell 2000 are taking that into consideration, too, is a very good indication that they’re on the right track. In fact, if repealing ObamaCare were no longer likely, I’m sure we’d see the Russell 2000 fall–in anticipation of less growth in the general economy.

                      Looking to markets prices for indications of future expectations is not irrational. Markets can be an are smarter than the individuals who participate in them. This is one of the main reasons why what they say should be favored over the individuals who disagree with them.

                      While it’s true that markets can be overreact at any one point in time, a trend in a highly liquid index is unlikely to sustain an emotional overreaction over a period of three weeks. And that’s what we’re looking at in the Russell 2000.

                    3. There is very little uncertainty about whether ObamaCare and regulation are presently hurting economic growth, and there is very little uncertainty about whether getting rid of ObamaCare and Obama’s growth killing executive orders will help spur economic growth.

                      There is a lot of uncertainty, especially in a prediction about the aggregate effect of the behavior of millions or billions of people.

                      What there isn’t is less uncertainty in the counter-propositions. Do not confuse “relatively more certain” with actual certainty. Economics is weak enough at descriptive analysis; it is abysmal at predictive analysis.

                      Put another way, there is no one factor that will determine economic outcomes. So you repeal the ACA, and then for totally unrelated reasons, the energy market implodes. That shoots your prediction to utter shit even though you had no way to anticipate that other event. Welcome to economics.

                      You do the right things because they are the right things, not because you sell them with promises you have no means to deliver on.

                    4. “So you repeal the ACA, and then for totally unrelated reasons, the energy market implodes. That shoots your prediction to utter shit “

                      We’re talking about a specific cause for why the Dow and the Russell 2000 separated after November 8.


                      Before November 8, the market thought Hillary would be President and would perpetuate Obama’s policies on both ObamaCare and regulation. On November 8, Trump was elected instead of Hillary.

                      You might quibble about how high the Russell will go, but the fact is that it rallied higher and separated apart from the Dow for a number of reasons. It is not unreasonable for the market to give Russell companies’ earnings a higher multiple in the future given that the market now expects ObamaCare to be repealed, Dodd-Frank to go away, and Obama’s executive orders to go away.

                    5. I’m not making any specific predictions about where exactly any index or stock is likely to be in the future, but if the markets are telling us that Trump being elected is good for economic growth because of the immediate implications of his victory, the fact that the future is uncertain is no reason to question the validity of that analysis.

                      As things change in the future, the markets will continue to reevaluate the future, as well.

                      But the question I was answering wasn’t about where exactly stock prices will be in the future; it was about why the markets are anticipating the future they’re anticipating.

                      I didn’t say stocks would be at X in the future.

                      I said the market is saying x–and here are some of the important reasons why.

                    6. the market is saying x

                      Unless x is “this stock price has gone up” or “the price for this commodity has gone down” or something like that, then “the market” is not “saying” x.

                    7. That’s nuts.

                      Stock prices go up down–for reasons.

                      Example: Do an arbitrage trade on a merger deal, and if the deal doesn’t go through, the stock prices diverge rather than converge–and that’s because the deal didn’t go through. If the stocks are already diverging rather than converging, that means the market is saying that the merger is less and less likely to actually happen.

                      If the Dow diverges from the Russell 2000, in part because they think the big multinationals in the Dow will have a harder time of it because Trump wants to renegotiate trade deals, then the market is saying something about Trump, multinationals, the significance of policy, the likelihood of policy changing, etc., etc.

                      In the short term (next two seconds), stock prices are mostly driven by the quantity supplied in the ask queue and the quantity demand in the bid queue.

                      Over longer terms, prices are mostly driven by expectations about future earnings. Those expectations can be influenced by all sorts of things–and price fluctuations are commentary on the desirability and likelihood of all sorts of things happening with those expectations.

                    8. Looking at indexes can be more indicative of broader commentary. When we’re talking about a basket of 2000 different companies, we’ve mostly eliminated the specifics of any situation or industry–or you could say they’re all being factored in as their stocks trade separately. Either way, when we talk about an entire index trading differently from an index of larger companies (where they were trading more or less in tandem before) we can draw conclusions about why that is happening.

                      Maybe not with 100% certainty, but if you want to know what kind of impact the market thinks ObamaCare is having on smaller companies like those in Russell 2000 and what will happen if we go more to single payer, you might look to see what kind of multiple the market gives those companies’ earnings once the market thinks ObamaCare is likely to be repealed instead.

          2. “Some are worried about his stances on trade, but if you actually listen to him, he complains about our trade deals not being free trade, but deals in which the US loses as we are basically getting tariffs put on our goods in slimy ways and ignoring it because “Freeeh Tradez!””

            No it’s actually worse than that. It’s true that NAFTA and TPP don’t really represent pure free trade, but Trump doesn’t want to tear up NAFTA and TPP because they don’t free up trade enough, he wants to tear them up because they “harm America”. He wants to punish American companies for offshoring and outsourcing. For example, he wants to slap tariffs on Carrier for products that they make in Mexico. That isn’t “free trade”.

            1. Trump is no longer threatening Carrier with a steep tariff; instead, he’s considering a tax cut.

              Like I said before, it is hard for some, but you really have to separate when Trump is riling up his base or trolling Progressives from when he is speaking truthfully on policy.

              Some people ask, well how the fuck can you tell? Good question. I’ve always had an eye for it, I guess it would be a talent, and the best I can tell you is listen to his tone of voice, his facial expressions, his body language.

              1. So, I should believe you, and not my lyin’ eyes? Is that it?

                1. Quick Google search http://www.politico.com/tipshe…..cut-217585

                  I’m sure you can find more. I’m not saying you have to believe me, but Google is your friend if you don’t.

                  1. And honestly, chemjeff, I didn’t even know he had “changed his mind” on that issue, I just knew it didn’t fit with what Trump actually seems to want to do, and figured I could debunk it pretty quickly.

                    1. You did not make any citations in your initial claim. I do note that he is not thinking about granting Carrier a tax cut specifically, only about broader tax reform. I’m sorry but I am not going to believe some sort of Scott Adams-esque ju-jitsu type of analysis that Trump actually means something other than what he really says.

                      He proposed slapping tariffs on Carrier. He’s backed off on that idea. Who knows, maybe he will try to slap tariffs on them again. We have no idea what he will end up doing, but we do know that he isn’t some sort of ideological free trader, and it’s ludicrous, as you suggested initially, to think that he opposed NAFTA because it wasn’t “free” enough.

                    2. I’m not saying that he is a free trade ideologue, nor do I think he fundamentally cares if NAFTA is free enough. My point on that was simply that he realized it wasn’t free trade. The other point is that he wants a strong American economy. If he can do it by truly Free Trade, I think he will, but he is also not going to stand back and watch Americans get fucked by it.

                      I grew up in an area absolutely devastated by NAFTA. Not because people in the area couldn’t compete, but because they couldn’t compete with their industry plus subsidies provided by the Canadian government. That is the shit that Trump talks about and that is the shit that resonates.

                      As libertarians, it does us no good to stand up for Free Trade and point at NAFTA like it is some fucking golden goose. Just like it doesn’t do us any good to talk about Free Markets and point at the crony-capitalist shitshow we have going on right now as a prime example.

                    3. Look, I’m not pointing to NAFTA like it is some ideal. It isn’t. It is not free trade. I already acknowledged this. But let’s just be honest here. Trump opposes NAFTA not because it doesn’t give us enough free trade, but because, in his view, it gives us TOO MUCH free trade.

                      Personally I would like to replace NAFTA with a simple one-sentence statement of “no tariffs on anything by anyone”. Trump doesn’t. He wants to reserve the right to slap tariffs on companies that aren’t “American-enough” for his tastes.

                    4. I have begun to think it is the begining of his negotiating stance.

                      He publically threatens Carrier with punative action. His base gets riled up. Carrier is made out to be unMerican.

                      Then they both get what they want and what is best for the country.

                      Carrier lowers it”s operating costs and the jobs stay here.

                2. Read a synopsis of Trump’s book Jeff. It is illuminating.

      2. “Minus his infrastructure bullshit, economically, Trump will be the best thing for this country in my adult lifetime.”

        Talk about trolling…

        1. Considering my adult lifetime has consisted of Bush and Obama, it is not a very high bar, my friend.

          See my above reply.

          1. Sounds like you need to grow up.

    3. If he does what you describe in paragraph 2 (and does it without fucking it all up), I’ll be thrilled. However, I wouldn’t put money on it.

      1. How can anyone possibly know what he’ll do about anything? His supporters keep telling us he doesn’t mean what he says. And he doesn’t really seem to believe anything or have any principles other than pushing the Trump brand, which his supports keep saying is a good thing. Fine. But how do we or they have any fucking clue about what he’ll actually do? So we just sit mute, ignore everything he says, and complain only after he acts and it’s too late? Good plan, boys. Good plan.

        1. It’s a good thing Trump is going to be president because it’s such a bad thing… or something.

        2. “His supporters keep telling us he doesn’t mean what he says. And he doesn’t really seem to believe anything or have any principles other than pushing the Trump brand, which his supports keep saying is a good thing. Fine. But how do we or they have any fucking clue about what he’ll actually do?”

          And by this standard, how can we know when he is trolling, and when he is serious?

          Perhaps he is trolling about The Wall, and he is serious about legal gay marriage. Or maybe it’s the reverse. How can we know? The man has no principles.

          1. You know that feeling you get when a Progressive tells you something based on some social science study?

            Now reverse that to someone who actually doesn’t want to see America burned to the ground and replaced with a socialist utopia. Basically someone who will use the same tactics, but actually believes in capitalism.

            I would figure after 8 years of Obama you all would be able to better separate bullshit from truth. Personally, I don’t think it is really that hard, unless you have TDS.

            1. We need prediction markets so people who can actually predict Trump’s policy positions can make a killing from it, and the rest of us can stop guessing.

              My estimate is we’re going to get Bush III with slightly less SoCon and slightly more protectionism, but the error bars on that are hilariously large.

        3. On the other hand, it’s a mistake to think in terms of what Trump will do rather than what Trump will sign off on after Congress passes it. On the other other hand, it’s the stupid party’s Congress now.

        4. Such a big change from other presidents who totally did what we expected them to.

  29. Where is the pox on both your houses language goven that the Democrat Senate caucus voted to amend the constitution to outlaw political speech by corporate entities outside of legacy media?

    1. I think it is safe to say that most writers here at Reason aren’t in favor of overturning CU.

      But what Trump did was a step beyond anything that the Democrats proposed. Not even the Democrats proposed stripping citizenship from those who made “incorrect” political movies.

      1. No, just jail and crippling fines.

        1. Yes, that is bad enough. But stripping citizenship is even worse. Yes, Trump went worse.

          1. I disagree. It’s just a flag. Being able to burn it doesn’t get you much. Restricting political statements to left-leaning organizations like unions and newspapers while prohibiting all others has an effect that matters.

          2. Well, to be fair, losing my citizenship and moving to Costa Rica or Singapore sounds a hell of a lot better than being thrown in a rape cage.

            1. Just because you’re no longer a US citizen doesn’t suddenly make you a citizen of some place else.

      2. I did not say they were not. It is just that being anti-CU decision is bad but forgivable, being against flag desecration is unforgivable, or is it being a Republican against flag desecration that is unforgivable ?

        Either way, there is no language condemning Democrats for their anti-free speech activities, like there almost is for the GOP when the staff criticizes Democrats.

        1. You got your wish in the very next article that criticized Clinton for her support for this. Happy?

        2. Who said being anti-CU was “bad but forgivable”? It’s terrible to try to criminalize political speech, and it’s also terrible to try to criminalize flag burning. But Trump topped the Democrats’ anti-CU stance one higher by threatening people’s citizenship over free speech “antics”.

          And in case you hadn’t noticed, this is not a pro-Republican or a pro-Democrat site.

  30. Wonderful that the election hasn’t made the Trump apologists any less warm towards him. I’m interested to see how many “But Obama!” or “But Clinton” comments we get from the same people who (rightly) criticized liberals for screaming “But Bush!” for 8 years.

    1. In this very thread we’ve already had the “BUT HILLARY WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!!!” crap thrown out there. Who cares. Hillary isn’t President, Trump is (going to be).

      1. I saw those posts, which prompted mine. I’m curious to know if this is mostly just a product of Trump not being in office yet, or if these people are really going to spend the next 4-8 years downplaying everything he does in a manner that they would have crucified anyone who defended Obama in the same way.

        1. Some will. But you will spend 8 years doing the opposite. So it will all even out in the end.

    2. There hasn’t been a single “But Obama” statement on this thread. Why do you think there has been?

      While we are asking questions, how hard will you bend the truth to keep from admitting it when Trump does something right? My guess is you and various others who lost their minds over Trump are going to bend the truth a hell of a lot more trying to avoid admitting it when Trump does the right thing than his apologists ever will trying to deny he is doing the wrong thing.

      Trump is wrong here. What else do you want?

      1. There’s been a couple “But Clinton!” statements. I didn’t say there were “But Obama!” comments, that sentence was in reference to the future, and in comparison to the “But Bush!” people. Obama is the direct equivalent to Bush in this situation.

        “While we are asking questions, how hard will you bend the truth to keep from admitting it when Trump does something right? My guess is you and various others who lost their minds over Trump are going to bend the truth a hell of a lot more trying to avoid admitting it when Trump does the right thing than his apologists ever will trying to deny he is doing the wrong thing.”

        I’ll admit when Trump does something right. I didn’t lose my mind over him just because I think he’s an awful candidate and will be an awful president. Did everyone vociferously opposed to Hillary lose their mind over her?

        “Trump is wrong here. What else do you want?”

        It’d be nice if this could be said without all the downplaying about how he doesn’t really mean it, he’s just playing to his base, it’s not going to happen, at least it pisses off progressives, etc. And honestly, you were far from the first person I had in mind when writing that comment (VG is probably #1).

      2. My basic point is this – if Obama or Clinton had tweeted this, the uproar here would be far more unanimously and uniformly harsh. There wouldn’t be a division, where a significant portion of the board is downplaying it like in this thread. Anyone who tried to deflect to Bush/Trump, or who argued that it wasn’t a big deal because it won’t happen or they don’t really mean it, or who argued that at least it pissed off the right people, etc. would have gotten harshly attacked by the same people saying that stuff in this thread.

  31. So I see the other shoe has dropped.

    Reap it!

  32. “And I’m here to tell you, that if you like your American Flag, you will be able to keep your American Flag.”

  33. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) sponsored a bill to do the SAME thing in 2005.
    Yes, it is Unconstitutional but it sure is bipartisan.

    1. I thought the point of electing Toupee was to avoid Clinton’s policies…

  34. If the flag is your property . . . it should not be a crime. If Donald disagrees with this, then libertarians should have a problem with our new President.

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