Donald Trump

A Strong Leader

It's not what America needs, or should want.

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President-elect Donald Trump's first decisions were exciting. His new team seems to include good people like Betsy DeVos, Andy Puzder and Paul Atkins.

It's refreshing to watch Trump mock the media and political correctness. How dreary the world would be today if we faced four more years of condescension from Hillary Clinton and her apparatchiks.

But I worry.

Many of Trump's supporters like him because they say he's a leader who will "get things done."

That's not necessarily a good thing.

Recently, my Twitter feed contained Trump saying: "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!"

Yikes! Mr. President, burning a flag is free speech. And don't we have property rights? If I buy the flag, it's mine. No one has a right to tell me what I can do with it. Recently, Trump bullied and bribed executives from the Carrier air conditioner company into withdrawing plans to move a factory to Mexico.

"Like a despot drunk and delirious with power," wrote economist Don Boudreaux, Trump "bellowed that '(c)ompanies are not going to leave the U.S. anymore without consequences.'"

Those are the kind of things socialist dictators say.

Trump's no socialist. He is obviously a businessman who loves making money. But that doesn't mean he understands the conditions necessary for other people to prosper.

Trump proposes some bad socialist policies: a $10 minimum wage, restrictions on imports and travel, and tougher libel laws.

These are terrible ideas.

I think about how "strongmen" leaders have worked for other parts of the world.

Venezuela voted in a strong leader. Now the country's collapsing into economic chaos: looting, shortages of food, riots. That's what an autocrat can do.

Venezuela was once the most prosperous country in South America. Then Venezuelans elected Hugo Chavez. He promised to throw out the establishment and make Venezuela … well, better, if not "great."

American celebrities loved Chavez.

Oliver Stone made a movie praising him and then invited the tyrant to join him at the film's premiere. After Chavez's death, Stone released an even more absurd documentary called My Friend Hugo.

Stone's other friend, actor Sean Penn, called Chavez a "fascinating guy" who does "incredible things." Model Naomi Campbell called Chavez an "angel." A hack at Salon wrote about Chavez's "economic miracle."

This was ludicrous, as the chaos in Venezuela now makes clear.

But many Americans still want a leader who offers similar solutions.

Thousands backed Bernie Sanders' call for a socialist America. Celebrities led the way. Actors Will Ferrell and Mark Ruffalo, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, comedian Margaret Cho, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Jackson Browne and many others got behind Bernie's plan for "democratic socialism."

Why?!

I naively assumed that the collapse of the Soviet Union would make it obvious to everyone that socialism kills both prosperity and freedom. If that didn't, then the poverty in Cuba, Cambodia, Tanzania, Somalia, North Korea, etc. would convince them.

But no! People still think socialism will make a country more "fair" or "equal" by punishing the rich.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn praised Venezuela's strongman, saying he was "conquering poverty by emphatically rejecting the neoliberal policies of the world's financial institutions."

By "neoliberal," Corbyn didn't mean left-wing. He meant support for global trade. Donald Trump wants to rein that in, too.

In Venezuela, Chavez cut off foreign trade. When shortages occurred, his successor blamed an "economic war" waged by capists.

Trump often blames China—although economists estimate 12 million U.S. jobs depend upon our trade with China. He mocks NAFTA, our trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, but economists call that a job creator, too.

What Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don't realize is that commerce is not zero-sum—trade with China does not mean China wins and we lose. In most cases, we both win.

Wealth is created when governments get out of the way and let people trade as they please, within borders or across borders.

I don't want a "strong leader." I want a president of this constitutional republic to preside over limited government and leave us free to lead our own lives.

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. I’m not as worried about Trump forcing companies to be more “America first” in their thinking by promising the cut taxes and regulation, then I would be if he were openly calling for price supports and wage freezes (Venezuelan tactics).

    There is a lot of good that can be done for America and American workers by cutting out the ridiculously cumbersome regulation the federal government levies on our corporations that they are currently choosing to avoid through moving things out of the US and by cutting the onerous taxes levied on companies by the feds.

    And his fallout of Boeing is purely a President finally getting on board with the idea of “how the hell does some relatively simple government program always become a massively expensive boondagle costing billions of dollars” that is a question that actually needs to be adaquatly answered.

    1. price supports and wage freezes (Venezuelan tactics)

      Just an FYI if you don’t know how the Libertarian Party got started – a large part of the impetus came as a reaction against Nixon imposing wage and price controls and adopting central-planning tactics to “control” the economy. (And if you don’t know, Nixon was not the socialist president of Venezuela at the time.)

      1. Yeah, that’s the potential downside with Trump. He’s a 21st century Nixon, and I could see him going in a very Nixonian direction on wages and prices if a similarly stagflationary recession creeps in. He does at least seem to see the problem with government regulation of day-to-day activities, so hopefully the upside there staves off such an event.

    2. I’m not as worried about Trump forcing companies to be more “America first” in their thinking by promising the cut taxes and regulation

      And if he ends up doing that, then great, but I’m not sure at this point if that’s what he really wants to do (he’s claimed to be for cutting or reforming corporate taxes and reducing regulations, but very light on specifics) or if he’s going to do things on an ad-hoc cases by case basis of doling out cronyist deals like with Carrier (which probably got its deal more because of Mike Pence than because of anything The Donald did – Pence is/ was the governor of Indiana afterall, so the state tax breaks were probably more his doing than Trump’s).

      We’ll have to wait and see what happens once he takes office. I’ll hope for the best but given his history of being the ultimate crony I’m not going to hold my breath.

      1. Yeah, I will hope, but am prepared to be massively disappointed….as is almost always the case with any politician.

      2. A tax break is not a bribe or a hand out. It’s Negan agreeing to reduce his cut from 50 percent to 40 percent.

        1. On the other hand, businesses account for taxes in exactly the same fashion as any other expense, and so 10% saved is effectively equivalent to 10% earned on a given investment.

          Moreover, an advantage over the competition (a 10% cost advantage) which is created and granted by government by means of coercive action against other competitors is, indeed, a “handout” of government-subsidized coercion against competitors.

          While it is never wrong to steal less from people, it is indeed wrong to promise to steal relatively more from another person because a first person agrees to something.

  2. If that didn’t, then the poverty in Cuba, Cambodia, Tanzania, Somalia, North Korea, etc. would convince them.

    [emphasis mine]

    But I thought Somalia was a libertarian’s dream!

    /progtard.

  3. Sometimes it’s like you don’t even read what you’re writing–just so you can get some TDS in.

    Democrats flocked to socialist strongmen, over and over. They crave that type of government.

    The other side? Republicans? Trump supporters? Trump voters?(not the same as supporters) Not so much.

    Let’s find a way to shoehorn a desire for Top Men on them–use vague phrases as if they threaten authoritarianism–‘get things done’—act as if maunderings are settled policy, Believe fake news.

    Maybe that’s it, right there. ‘Believe fake news’. Because that’s what you guys do. You accept the fake news the MSM spews out as if it’s gospel–even when it’s just shit in your faces.

    If all Trump manages to ‘get done’ is to make the endless panoply of lies you people wallow in visible then he’s worth it.

    1. Pretty much that. It is sad to see even Stossel infected with the TDS virus. And it is more than a bit ironic to see a magazine that cheered the unelected and unaccountable Supreme Court torture the constitution and tell the states they can no longer define the term marriage now worry about the dangers of a strong man. Reason loves authoritarianism just as long as it gives them their pony.

      1. Doesn’t seem to much to me. Those are legitimate criticisms even if I don’t agree with some. At least he isnt screaming about Trump wanting unleash mobs to gun down people in the streets just like Duarte or Chapman repeating Clinton talking points and some of the other hysterical bullshit.

        What is missing here is the other side of the coin…a lot of the things Trump wants to do are quite good for the country and for liberty. He is trying to reverse course from the progressive insanity in some ways and he should be lauded for that.

        Still, given his more rational tone, I am willing to hear Stossel out if for no other reason that to debate.

        1. Legitimate?

          “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag?if they do, there must be consequences?perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!”

          Yikes! Mr. President, burning a flag is free speech. And don’t we have property rights? If I buy the flag, it’s mine. No one has a right to tell me what I can do with it.

          EVERYONE has the right to tell you what you can do with it, Stossel. The same First Amendment that protects burning the flag protects peoples right to tell you what they think of what you’re doing. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?

          Stossel fell for the trolling in a way that exposed his own problems with the First.

          “Bullied” Carrier? What leftist did you dredge THAT out of?

          And I think the guy with thousands of employees knows a bit more than the newsreader about economically helping people to prosper–because he’s actually done that.

          He says ‘Trumps no socialist’–and then proceeds to lump him–and his supporters– in with socialists.

          Stossels tone is always reasonable–even with a heap of idiotic assholery like this.

          But the stink remains.

          1. gotta close those tags too……

          2. Are you entirely serious? Stossel’s rhetorical “who has a right to tell me what I can do with my property?” is not a question of speech (“tell” in the literal sense), but of authority (“tell” as in “command or order”).

            Stossel wasn’t talking about any verbal castigating on Trump’s part, but rather responding to the suggestion that it would be proper to forcibly subject people to “loss of citizenship or a year in jail” for exercise of their 1A rights.

            Of course, I really don’t see how that could have gone over your head, so I’m forced to conclude that you’re merely a mendacious shitheel.

      1. 6/10 subtle

    2. They crave that type of government.

      Socialism’s got what progs crave. It’s got free stuff. And electrolytes.

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    1. Buddy, I hate to tell you, but you’re gonna be car poor.

  5. America needs a good spanking.

    1. enema. America needs a good enema. FIFY

      1. So, learn to swim?

        (Some say the end is near.
        Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon.

        I certainly hope we will.
        I sure could use a vacation from this….)

        1. I wanna see the ground give way

          I wanna watch it all go down

      2. Always with the scat play with you.

  6. Come on John….this decent into Reason’s TDS fever is sad.

    A strong leader fits perfectly well into the US governmental system as well as the position of the US in the global environment. The country and the world has historically done well under a strong leader and less well under a weak one.

    Obama has been a historically weak leader. Has this been good or bad for the US and world? Difficult to argue that it has been good. We’ve seen global conflicts, increased militarism, massive refugee crisis, China posturing, Russia posturing, etc, etc, etc,. Carter was another notably weak leader. Were those good years?

    And….in all of the US history…..has a strong leader ever been a serious problem??? Our constitution was specifically established to inhibit the actions of a strong man or pseudo monarch.

    1. Fuck that. I don’t want a leader at all, strong or weak. It’s terrible that people want a leader. The president shouldn’t be a leader, but more a sort of head administrator. Unless there’s an actual war on (like the kind where US territory is actually threatened).

      It’s not TDS if you’ve never wanted to be lead or ruled by any politician.

      1. leader vs head administrator.

        Kinda silly to be whining about the difference in word choice.

    2. Our constitution was specifically established to inhibit the actions of a strong man or pseudo monarch.

      The constitution that has been slow-shredded over the past hundred years? That constitution right?

    3. Those sound like other people’s problems.

      The US economy has recovered under Obama (maybe despite his attempts to throttle it.)

    4. And….in all of the US history…..has a strong leader ever been a serious problem???

      Abraham Lincoln? (Ducks.)

      1. Abe didn’t. (Duck)

  7. I really like some of Trump’s Cabinet picks. Scott Pruitt for EPA will be awesome – he is already at war with the EPA and has been fighting their overreach for years. Strong leadership is needed to roll back regulations and crack down on out of control bureaucrats.

    Same goes for Mattis at Defense. Costs are out of control – but are vigorously defended by the civilian bureaucracy and the General Staff. It will take a strong leader to change that culture.

    1. If Bolton ends up in State, I’m gonna throw a grown man hissy fit.

      1. You and me both. The noms have been a mixed bag – good on regs, bad on drugs (and probably other lifestyle issues), potentially good on FP, but Bolton would completely change that assessment. He’s a mad dog and shouldn’t be anywhere near the decision making process.

        1. I agree – which is probably why State is taking so long for Trump to decide. He needs somebody who is strong enough to clean house in the Department, but smart and sane when it comes to policy.

          Hard to think who that person is. Jim Webb?

          1. Wow. I was thinking of this two days ago and arrived at Jim Webb as well.

  8. What criticisms of Trump, by Reason or the commentariat, would not also have been criticisms if advocated or done by Hillary? As far as I can tell, libertarians criticize almost everything done by Washington no matter which party is pushing the idea.

    1. I prefer Trump to Hillary, but the appropriate place for libertarians to be is always in opposition to the emperor.

      1. and this is why they will never get a libertarian president since libertarians by their own nature feed on their own as much as anybody else. why would a non-libertarian vote for a libertarian when even libertarians don’t like their own choice. that said that last libertarian who ran for president was not very libertarian.

    2. creech,

      Sometimes the mask slips, and sometimes – such as when Reason articles critical of Republican candidates, presidents, or president-elects are published – the mask is thrown aside.

      But that’s just like my opinion, man.

    3. Yep the only Trump Derangement Syndrome here is the people refusing to see anything negative he ever does because he’s not Hillary.

    4. Honestly, I kinda hoped all of these Trump-bots would disappear after the election.

        1. Honestly, given that the election is over and they’re still here, I’m probably going to give up on the commentariat once and for all. I was sure they would slither off once they got their way…

          1. I used to comment here a lot back in the Oughts, in the days of Thoreau and the delightful Urkobold. I disagreed with about half of the comments and posts — I hold a lot of conventional SJW sympathies, even though I don’t agree with every policy position — but all the comment threads were engaging and thought-provoking, and when I questioned something the answers were respectful and informative. I drifted away during the ’08 election because every single thread devolved into an ALL CAPS shouting match about the appropriate level of support to give Ron Paul. I registered and came back with the hopes that things would have returned to the level of the anti-Bush years in response to Trump, but that doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Oh, well.

    5. Yup. And even supposing that they did take it easy on Obama for whatever reason, isn’t the appropriate thing now not to repeat the same mistake, but to really hold the new guy’s feet to the fire?

      1. Why is it always, ‘okay, you might’ve taken it a bit easy on the Democrat–but that was wrong, so now we should be really hard on the Republican.’

        and never

        ‘okay, you might’ve taken it a bit easy on the Republican –but that was wrong, so now we should be really hard on the Democrat .’

        Why is that?

        1. Because you’re a Republican TEAM cheerleader, and you see any criticism of your team as “being really hard”, and all criticism of the other team as woefully inadequate pandering (“taking it easy”).

          You’ll note the perfect correlation between obvious partisan TEAM affiliation and belief that Reason is unfair to one side.

    6. If Clinton had won, the news media would be praising her choices for their qualifications and reasonableness, meaning their resume box-checking and their philosophic agreement with establishment liberals, and their high probability of continuing the status quo in DC.

      1. But Reason wouldn’t be.

    7. What criticisms of Trump, by Reason or the commentariat

      The “DURR HURR TRUMP LOGO IS A PENIS” article should been treated as a joke and not a meaningful commentary on how the candidate is unfit to run. Also Soave’s “Pussygate is about Trump admitting to crimes” article was just factually incorrect. An article about how those comments are reflective of poor character, sure, but it was not admission and Reason running that just shows poor editorial control.

      These were not valid criticism, they were hack jobs. Arguments against Trump’s stance on trade or immigration have actual merit.

  9. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag?if they do, there must be consequences?perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!”

    I just posted the following in another thread:

    “If it is important to comprehend a president’s mind and intentions, it will be pointless if the media does nothing more the next four years than consider its job done if it microscopically fact-checks and flyspecks everything Donald Trump tweets.”

    “Donald Trump treats the truth as only one of several props he’s willing to use to achieve an effect. Truth sits on his workbench alongside hyperbole, sentimentality, bluster and just kidding. Use as needed.”

    Daniel Henninger, WSJ

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/tr…..1481154430

    Don’t be distracted by Donald Trump’s tweets, Mr. Stossel. They’re intended to distract you.

    What Trump tweets is by far the least important thing he does, and if you (and the rest of the media) can be so easily distracted by them, then that by itself is a far more dangerous development than anything Donald Trump tweets.

    1. Reporters have spent the last six years treating their Twitter feeds as their primary source for the bulk of their stories. Just look at ESPN – you probably wouldn’t even notice if they fired all their writers and turned the front page into an aggregate feed of the sports world’s Twitter accounts. The platform has allowed journalist to indulge their laziest, worst impulses for a fairly long time and I think it’s fun to watch them be so effortlessly manipulated because they refuse to change those practices.

      1. Trump must be laughing his ass off–except maybe it’s Bannon or somebody writing his tweets.

  10. Herp derp TDS doodley-doo.

  11. John Stossel writes a perfectly reasonable and accurate assessment of the obsession with “leaders” in America. Dipshits everywhere invoke “TDS” as if that’s a relevant answer to the critique (or to anything, really).

    It’s incredible how easy it seems to be for Trump fans to throw all criticism into the bin of “TDS”… much like how Obama nuts threw every criticism into the “racism” bin. Pot, kettle and all that.

    1. I tend to agree. I also disagree with those who defend Trump by saying Hillary would have been as bad or worse. While that is true, whether I ingest cyanide or ricin won’t make a huge amount of difference to the end result (death).

      1. I just don’t get the “TDS” bullshit here. Stossel’s critique was much more about what Americans seem to want (a authoritarian strong man) than it was about Trump himself. Trump may in fact be a nothing-burger when it comes to authoritarians (even compared to Bush or Obama), but jesus fuck if these people don’t want him to punish and punish good!

        1. It seems like there is a sizable contingent of commenters here who think that libertarians are a subset of conservatives – hence, the moronic “cuckservative” label.

          It’d be nice if they got in a fight to the death with Tony and amsoc. Taking out a few of them would be helpful in making the comment section better.

          1. Do you remember the Urkobold? Some of the commenters here back in the day created this character that would respond to dumb trollish comments like it was a real, actual German-mythology troll. I quit commenting when they stopped doing that.

  12. “Many of Trump’s supporters like him because they say he’s a leader who will get things done.”

    “That’s not necessarily a good thing”

    It’s almost universally a bad thing.

    1. Not according to many commenters up-thread (I almost called them libertarians, but I seriously doubt it).

      1. There’s a term that used to get a lot of play for the TDS crowd: Hit’n’Runpublicans.

        1. GODDAMN LIBERALTARIANS CUCKS DON’T EVEN KNOW THE GOP OWNS THIER VOTES TRUMP 4 LIVE!

        2. I think that “TDS” label applies to them just as much as it does to the idiots freaking out because Trump means an end to all that is good in the world.

          1. And I agree.

    2. “Many of Trump’s supporters like him because they say he’s a leader who will get things done.”

      “That’s not necessarily a good thing”

      It’s almost universally a bad thing

      It is?

      Hmmm…..

      “Many of Paul’s supporters like him because they say he’s a leader who will get things done.”

      “That’s not necessarily a good thing”

      or even–

      “Many of Johnson’s supporters like him because they say he’s a leader who will get things done.”

      “That’s not necessarily a good thing”

      or let’s throw it all in–

      “Many of your ideal libertarian candidate‘s supporters like him because they say he’s a leader who will get things done.”

      “That’s not necessarily a good thing”

      Somehow, if those were the scenarios extant, I don’t think you follow up with–

      It’s almost universally a bad thing.

      Can you see why this leaves the arena of rational discourse and moves into the stained padded cells of TDS?

      1. You’re fundamentally missing the point. “Getting things done” is the problem. The President is not able to unilaterally dissolve functions of government, but he is able to not have an agenda, to not push for yet more government action to address his pet peeves.

        By definition, “the ideal libertarian candidate” would get nothing done, and a government run by “ideal libertarian candidates” would do remarkably little compared to today’s behemoth.

        I reject the implicit contention that strong leadership or decisive action are needed to reform government. The absence of action is precisely the absence of government. We can all govern less simply by doing less. Government is perpetuated by action, not by inaction.

    3. If what he gets done is cutting taxes and eliminating stupid regulations and negotiating better trade deals, it’s good.
      If what he gets done is cutting off immigration and starting trade wars and beefing up the police state with a pro-government Supreme Court, it’s bad.

  13. I think you have to take it as a fact of the human condition that people do have a preference for strongman leaders. Might be good, might be bad, but it’s tough to fight it. There is some good to it – you don’t really want a spineless weasel negotiating with foreign governments or getting pummelled by the entrenched bureaucracy.

    The question would be how can we use this impulse to advance a more libertarian agenda?

    1. Strongman dictators for libertarianism!

    2. The strong leadership has to be focused inward towards the bureaucrats and regulators. Long-term, they are the enemy who kill liberties with thousands of cuts. Pruitt and Mattis seem ready to fight their own organizations.

      1. Yes, stellar appts both. And then there is Sessions. It’s a mixed bag.

        I look back 8 years and remember the 100% record of Obumbles appts being pinko shitbags. We survived that, we can prosper under this.

        Maybe focusing on MJ legalization in every state would be a good way to finally kill this repugnant WOD. The Feds would have to cave. Trump says he wants to stop the flow of drugs into the States? The only way that is going to happen is legalization and he has admitted that in the past. There is hope here.

  14. I’d hate to think all my efforts were wasted over the years, not because you’re all ideological libertarians who couldn’t find a fact that contradicts your stupid worldview if it suckled itself on your face, but because you’re all run-of-the-mill Limbaugh-listening Trump-supporting cousin fuckers. TDS? Like half of you have used that acronym here. A man who has done more to literally act like a socialist dictator before taking office than Obama ever did the entire time you guys accused him of such. What a bunch of fucking authoritarian morons. Where are the libertarians? Are they gonna pick a bone with me instead of John and the other mouth-breathing idiots with a boner for Trump? I betcha they are!

    1. ^ See morons who said Stossel had TDSl. This. This right here is actual TDS. When you use it against Stossel, it loses all meaning, when it should really apply to fuckjobs like Tony.

      1. Only a total fucking moron could think Donald Trump is fit to serve as president. That he’s acted in a 100% totally nonlibertarian way to date is also another fact.

        1. You’re all run-of-the-mill Limbaugh listening Trump-supporting cousin fuckers.

          I’m part of “you” in this quote. I have no respect for Trump or any of his fans, yet you lump people like me and others in. This makes you look like a clown. But you know that already.

          That he’s acted in a 100% totally nonlibertarian way to date is also another fact.

          This I have a harder time disagreeing with, but I will. I might put the number closer to 75%, but that’s my opinion. Your problem is that you over state everything, and it makes you look like a jackass.

          1. I am taking a gamble on being right that Trump will prove to be extremely unfit for the office he was sort of elected to, that he will make Obama look like a model of laissez-faire governing by comparison, and that most of the people here will nevertheless defend his every action up to and including his reducing the earth to a cinder in space. One can only hope that you’re correct that I exaggerate things.

            1. Yeah, as everybody who’s been here for more than one President can attest, when a Republican is in power there’s nothing but praise and apologetics. Who can forget the nonstop love for Bush?

              Moron.

              1. So what’s the excuse for the Trump love going on here?

                1. So what’s the excuse for the Trump love going on here?

                  Why don’t you ask somebody who loves Trump? Saying he’s not going to become America’s Fuhrer is not “love” it’s just reality. If you want to argue with apologists, then argue with John.

            2. he will make Obama look like a model of laissez-faire governing by comparison

              Prediction: anytime Trump (or his team) rolls back any Obama-era regulation or law, Tony will be back here calling him a meddlesome dictator and will use the move towards a more laissez-faire economy, however small it is, as proof that his prediction is correct.

        2. fit to serve

          – Natural born citizen
          – At least 35 years old
          – Resident of the U.S. for the last 14 years
          – (Presumably) will be elected by a majority of electors appointed to the electoral college

          Looks fit to me.

          1. He looks like an orangutan mated with a vat of tapioca pudding to me.

      2. No, SoT, this is raging Tony leftism. real and free flowing and applicable to everyone to the right of Marx.

        When people like Stossel–calm rational people, say, in a sane tone things like this–“A man who has done more to literally act like a socialist dictator before taking office…”, THAT’S TDS.

        Because Stossel should know better.

    2. I don’t particularly care for the recent pro-Trump tilt to the commentariat myself, but oh well. We’ll all get to criticize Trump early and often during his time in the presidency I assume.

      1. It’s bound to be pro-Trump as long as he’s cleaning house after 8 years of big government excesses. If and when Trump and Republicans overreach for their own big government boondoggles – like W did – they’ll turn.

      2. Its not so much pro-Trump, IMO, as it is anti-DemOp Media, which is all too often channelled by Reason writers.

        The Stossel article isn’t particularly bad, in general. Its unfortunate that he picks a frickin’ tweet as Exhibit A, which Trump threw out, IMO, as bait to shallow, tweet-obsessed DemOp reporters. C’mon, we all know punishing people for burning a flag is well-entrenched on the list of “Things That Ain’t Gonna Happen”.

        The Carrier deal is a better thing to point to, IMO. Reason would be well served to adopt a “no-tweet” policy for its articles. It would do wonders to differentiate Reason from the tweet-obsessed DemOp herd, and significantly increase the quality of its articles as a way to fight garbage-in, garbage-out.

        Pro-Tip: Nobody outside a pretty narrow circle gives a fuck about tweets. Purge them from your toolkit, and you’ll be a better writer and analyst.

        1. Trump has decided to Tweet instead of hold press conferences. As dumb as it is, that is his method of communicating with the public. So why should be off-limits to discussion? Because they make him look like an idiot?

        2. The Carrier deal is a better thing to point to, IMO. Reason would be well served to adopt a “no-tweet” policy for its articles. It would do wonders to differentiate Reason from the tweet-obsessed DemOp herd, and significantly increase the quality of its articles as a way to fight garbage-in, garbage-out.

          I agree with all of this. The Carrier deal in particular is something Trump has actually acted on in deed rather than in word/tweet. It’s crony capitalism at its absolute finest.

        3. Too bad the recent direction of this place is all towards the tweeter and instapic generation.

        4. Reason would be well served to adopt a “no-tweet” policy for its articles.

          I think people would also do well to make a distinction between articles and blog posts. I mean, H&R is a news blog. It’s kind of going to be about what is being reported in the news, plus the occasional story that they break themselves or link to an actual article.

          That said, twitter is stupid and a “no tweet” policy might be a good thing. As could a bit more coverage of stories that get neglected my most media.

      3. I can’t speak for everybody, but my Trumpian tilt is all about Bushes being gone, Clintons being gone, torrents of delicious prog-tears as their sacred cows go behind the barn, and Ivanka on the tee-vee.

        1. I can’t speak for everybody, but my Trumpian tilt is all about Bushes being gone, Clintons being gone, torrents of delicious prog-tears as their sacred cows go behind the barn, and Ivanka on the tee-vee.

          That’s a good enough reason to be pleased, I think. I’m not convinced Trump will be much better; particularly in regards to fiscal policy and civil liberties. I’ll save the bulk of my criticism for when he actually deserves it though (which I assume will be quite frequently).

        2. Those are all fine things. But none says anything positive about Trump.

          My take at this point: Trump being elected is the funniest thing that has ever happened. And maybe he’ll do some things that I would approve of. But I’m not holding my breath.

      4. “I don’t particularly care for the recent pro-Trump tilt to the commentariat myself, but oh well.”

        I’m cautiously optimistic.

        If he repeals ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank in his first 100 days in office, I could become a fan. If he deregulates like crazy by canceling all of Obama’s stupid executive orders, I could become a fan.

        The market has rallied dramatically since he was elected, mostly because of expectations for deregulation, corporate tax relief, and stimulus spending.

        Two out of three ain’t bad.

        1. The market has rallied dramatically since he was elected, mostly because of expectations for deregulation, corporate tax relief, and stimulus spending.

          Two out of three ain’t bad.

          I would agree with you generally, but I’m a stalwart “budget hawk”. I don’t see any evidence that Trump will reduce the deficit, much less the outstanding debt (he might actually be even worse than Clinton on this), which I personally view as the single biggest future antagonist to our national security.

          1. Yeah, like I said, two our of three ain’t bad–especially when the last guy was zero for three.

          2. The infrastructure and “strongest military in the world” (wouldn’t we still have that if we cut it in half?) stuff doesn’t give a lot of warm fuzzies when it comes to spending and deficit concerns.

            1. On the other hand, that buried $125 Billion in Pentagon Waste story is just the type of thing that will drive a cheapskate like Trump crazy. I’m guessing it was purposely leaked so that Mattis and Trump latch onto it and go at waste with a chainsaw.

    3. I’d hate to think all my efforts were wasted over the years

      You’ve done so much to remind us of the logical inconsistency of Progs, and what true believers act like, I think your efforts were far from wasted.

      couldn’t find a fact that contradicts your stupid worldview

      Humans are incredible beings, they can recover and even prosper under the worst of government intervention. See “Uber” and “Bitcoin”.

      but because you’re all run-of-the-mill Limbaugh-listening Trump-supporting cousin fuckers.

      How intolerant/hateful of you. Also, I was raised listening to Limbaugh and now know him to be what he is, a liar and cheerleader of Team Red. Lastly, I never supported Trump.

      A man who has done more to literally act like a socialist dictator before taking office than Obama ever did the entire time

      I don’t believe he has taken government control of any part of the economy yet, nor killed any American without trial, etc.

      What a bunch of fucking authoritarian morons.

      You literally have no self-awareness, now do you? Or do you admit your authoritarian bent and know you are therefore great at finding it in others?

      1. Tony is a statist moron who has emphatically called for the summary execution of people who disagree with him, and that’s not hyperbole. He’s wrong on damn near everything and has yet to offer a single argument in good faith without shifting the goalposts or fucking straw-men in ways that would make a Thai ladyboy blush.

        Every assertion he’s made on these boards has been soundly defeated by the commentariat, and even when people come close to agreeing with him on (i.e. Trump is Bad), he ends up being so over-the-top retarded about it that he poisons his own well – see above.

        1. “…make a Thai lady-boy blush”

          I have no idea what this reference means. Then it occurred to me, he knows a lot more about Thai lady-boys than I do.

    4. I’d hate to think all my efforts were wasted over the years,

      Oh, heavens no. You’re the man you are today because of them.

      1. It’s a sock Gil. A sock. It has been busted several times.

    5. “…you’re all run-of-the-mill Limbaugh-listening Trump-supporting cousin fuckers.”

      I know you are a sock so I am not aiming this at you, but this is exactly the sort of thing that lost the election for the pinkos and they still cant figure it out. They are in full melt down mode and doubling down on this tack. I fully encourage them to continue.

    6. Tony comes on, screams insults while throwing a temper tantrum, and then says TDS doesn’t exist. If this is what you’re like normally you require serious help.

  15. I’m just tired of all the bellyaching

  16. Stossel does not appear to know what socialism is:

    “Trump proposes some bad socialist policies: a $10 minimum wage, restrictions on imports and travel, and tougher libel laws.”

    He has that unfortunate conservative tendency to label everything he doesn’t agree with as socialism. Restrictions on imports and travel have nothing to do with socialist policies.

    1. Nobody would parse ‘Neo-Mercantilist’ though.

    2. Restrictions on imports and travel have nothing to do with socialist policies.

      They are not uniquely or specifically socialist policies, but they do commonly accompany socialist policies.

      I will grant that the “tougher libel laws are socialist” bit is straight out of left field. Socialists love libeling their enemies.

    3. This, at least, is accuarate and defensible criticism.

    4. Restrictions on imports and travel have nothing to do with socialist policies.

      And yet hard socialist governments near universally advocate both.

      1. Except Venezuela, which found an even stupider approach, destroying domestic production of everything but oil and importing everything.

    5. The problem is with the labels alien. They are kind of irrelevant because the playbook of all flavor of authoritarians is more or less the same.

      1. Agreed. That’s the often-missed reason for the libertarian love affair with the word “statism”: it’s not because we think you value the state above all else (you may regard it as merely a means to an end), it’s because all authoritarians act in remarkably similar ways of little relevance to their stated ideals.

        1. “You” in this case being a hypothetical listener.

  17. Slightly OT, but Obama must be feeling real butthurt these days. Nobody even talks about him anymore, which must be quite painful for a narcissist like him. Everybody is talking about Trump as though he has already taken over.

    We all know that the inauguration is next month, right?

    1. Haven’t you seen any of his recent speeches? They amount to tantrums. Yeah, he is feeling real butthurt and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  18. “He is obviously a businessman who loves making money. But that doesn’t mean he understands the conditions necessary for other people to prosper.”

    True, but he doesnt need to understand it. All he needs to do is make good on his promise to gut the regulatory state (get government out of the way) and cut taxes. We will see if he does or not. We need to hold his feet to the fire on that. His EPA appt. is promising, let’s see if he can get confirmed by the Senate.

    “Trump proposes some bad socialist policies: a $10 minimum wage, restrictions on imports and travel, and tougher libel laws.

    These are terrible ideas.”

    The min. wage is unequivocally a bad idea. The restrictions on imports (why not reciprocity on a country by country basis?) and travel (not necessarily bad if that entails reforming or replacing our immigration policy with a better one) and tougher libel laws (I don’t know the details of this).

    Thank you Mr. Stossel. Finally, a sane critique of Donald Trump. This is what we need to be talking about and how we need to be talking about it.

    1. And thank you for a reasonable assessment of the article from a slightly Trump-positive perspective that doesn’t invoke “TDS” or presume hidden agendas on the part of the author.

      1. I approve of your appreciation of suthen’s critique of Stossel’s observations.

      2. There is no TDS here. This is what we need – sane dialogue we can debate over. That isnt to say there is no such thing as TDS – have you seen the demented ravings of Sullum and Chapman from the last two days? That shit is completely disconnected from reality.

        This? Not so much. Lets talk about policy and not foam at the mouth that Trump is Hitler and Duarte wearing a skull crown.

        1. Yes, TDS is a real phenomenon. But some (see above) seem to be throwing it at anyone who is critical or skeptical of Trump.

          1. Get used to it. There is going to be a lot more of that.

            I am sure people joke about me – “I heard him whisper the other day : ‘I see pinkos….they’re everywhere’.”

            1. So, it really is going to be like the “racism” slur against anyone who didn’t like Obama? Awesome.

        2. And Sullum should probably stick to covering guns and drugs and other areas where he does very well. I don’t even bother thinking about Chapman.

  19. It is not entirely pointless to contrast Trump with the Madisonian ideal of a US president. That’s what Stossel is doing here.

    However, it is important that, when doing so, the contrast is being made with an ideal rather than with a real alternative.

    The real alternative was Hillary Clinton. I can’t think of any aspect of the role of president where Trump will be worse than Hillary. I’m sure a few will surface over the next few years, but I’m hopeful that on balance Trump will be less bad than Hillary would have been.

    1. There are so many indicators that Clinton was exponentially worse that it would take me days to list them.
      The basket of deplorables remark and the ‘crush news agencies that have no right to exist’ are not the least of them. And ‘camps for adults’, Jesus.

      1. Anything real though?

        1. Stupid and lazy must be a tough way to go through life.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqSOXyUS0ds

  20. I have to agree with Stossel on this. We need a leader who has the strength to reject big government, and allow freedom. This would also mean understanding that socialism is slavery.

  21. Why don’t we make Stossel President?

  22. Re your closing expression of hope, desire, whatever it might be. Good luck obtaining your stated desires.

  23. The Presidency of Clinton and the Clinton oligarchy would have been much worse. Hopefully congress begins to reign in the excessive executive power which started in earnest under Bush, grew under Obama and which now has both Republican and Democrat alike worried.

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  26. I am very sympathetic to your viewpoint. It is very deep and meaningful. survival games

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