Thomas Massie

Thomas Massie's Unified Theory of Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Donald Trump

"They weren't voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race."


How does a voter go from supporting a relatively libertarian Republican to enthusiastically backing Donald Trump? Thomas Massie, a Kentucky congressman widely seen as one of the House's more libertarian members, offers a theory to the Washington Examiner:

Firesign Theatre

"I went to Iowa twice and came back with [Ron Paul]. I was with him at every event for the last three days in Iowa," Massie said. "From what I observed, not just in Iowa but also in Kentucky, up close with individuals, was that the people that voted for me in Kentucky, and the people who had voted for [Ron] Paul in Iowa several years before, were now voting for Trump. In fact, the people that voted for Rand in a primary in Kentucky were preferring Trump."

"All this time," Massie explained, "I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren't voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along."

I should note that Massie himself wound up endorsing Trump over Clinton, though not exactly enthusiastically. "I think you're more likely to get change," he said last August. "I don't know if it's gonna be a good change, but you gotta break eggs to make an omelette." I suppose that's not so far from saying Trump was the craziest son of a bitch in the race.

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  1. I thought that was jill stein

    1. He said “…craziest son of a bitch n the race.” I don’t think Stein’s a tranny. NTTAWWT

      1. Well she was crazy but that son of a bitch part does explain why hillary lost

  2. “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

  3. I am not sure “crazy” is right denominator, but rather, the candidate that would most likely send tbe political and pundit classes into fits of pearl clutching.

    Rand Paul is a ratger normal pol by that standard. However, there is some evidence I have that the electorate is sceptical of libertarian policies, especislly on immigration and foreign policy.

    1. It’s incredibly disappointing when you realize that the Pauls’ brief popularity was primarily from a hatred of the establishment rather than an embrace of any particular policy. But the silver lining is that we get to watch the establishment become completely unhinged as they try to cope with a president who despises them all and got elected on that exact platform

      And it’s a bit shocking to see that Massie has reached the conclusion that voters wanted the “craziest” guy. It’s pretty clear they just wanted to burn the establishment to the ground

    2. Paul and Trump are both against the establishment and much of what it does. Paul thinks he can fix it from within. While I’m a big Rand Paul fan, I don’t agree.

      Trump is willing to get in their faces and tear the establishment down with brute force.

  4. “I am not sure “crazy” is right denominator, but rather, the candidate that would most likely send tbe political and pundit classes into fits of pearl clutching.”

    This. I’ve been saying this a lot, and I hope I’m not boring y’all, but what won Trump the Presidency was being branded as an outsider. I think Sanders (who was also branded as an Outsider) would have done better against Trump than Shrillary did (assuming that the Usual Suspects in the Media had gotten behind him in a way that didn’t compromise the Outsider branding).

    And, mind, it isn’t the REALITY of being an Outsider that matters. Neither Sanders nor Trump is really outside of the political establishment. They aren’t in the rather narrow band of people one expects Presidential Candidates to be picked from, but they are both well spelled in in the inner currents of the Political Class (both sides).

    But the nomination of either was going to give the Usual Suspects the yips. And the yips were certainly had. The Democrat establishment got so scared they pretty brazenly jiggered the nomination process to keep Sanders out … for all the good it did them. I’m convinced that at least half the ‘Trump had the Russians hack the election’ narrative is a desperate effort to keep the Democrat rank and file from realizing that Trump didn’t steal the election, but Shrillary sure stole the nomination.

    Will they succeed in distracting their rank and file? I guess we’ll see, in about four years.

    1. I think the DNC definitely titled the playing field in Hillary’s favor for sure, but I think she would have beaten Sanders regardless. I just don’t think his appeal was broad enough. He consistently did poorly among minority voters, Southern whites, as well as older white voters in a lot of states.

      There was clearly a lot of anti-establishment sentiment on both sides in this election, but I think the fact that Obama was the incumbent president tempered it on the left. You saw this dynamic where Hillary would fall back on defending Obama’s legacy when Bernie’s criticism of the status quo got too harsh, and he’d often have to walk a fine line in his responses to that.

    2. Hillary definitely did not play fair with Bernie, but to say she wouldn’t have won anyway is a stretch in my opinion. She destroyed him by such a wide margin that leaked debate questions probably didn’t make much difference. Media coverage didn’t matter much either because Bernie’s support flatlined for quite a while once he became a known quantity. The majority of Democratic voters really did want Hillary. The real story is that the DNC wanted to discredit and minimize the anti-establishment voice within the party. Perez beating Ellison is evidence that they’ll continue their business as usual

      1. The funny thing is that Perez and Ellison have really similar views on issues. I recall Perez’s name being thrown out a lot during the VP speculation as someone who could appeal to disaffected progressives. While there tend to be some ideological differences between the two camps, in many cases it seems more about who’s inside and outside “the circle” regardless of views.

  5. “They were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”

    Says more about Massie than any of Trump’s supporters. Looks to me like he’s getting an elitist perspective–he better check himself quick.

    To whatever extent people supported Trump for being a “crazy son of a bitch”, it was to reject political correctness and the elitism that has come to represent.

    You know what qualifies as “crazy” right now?

    Repealing the individual mandate and suspending immigration from countries that rife with anti-American terrorism pending a review of screening procedures.

    Better find your way back to “crazy”, Mr. Massie.

    I want to do away with the income tax, Medicaid, and Medicare, defund the NSA, and lay off everyone at the Department of Education, too–and that’s just getting started.

    1. I think you’re taking the “crazy” label a little too literally. Lighten up and stop being so sensitive. Massie included himself, as well as the Pauls (his closest allies, along with Amash, among recent members of Congress) in the category of “craziest son of a bitch.”

      1. And it took welch to point out the irony of massie’s whining. Then again he is a tesla owner.

        1. I didn’t really see it as whining, more of an epiphany that a lot of support for him and the Pauls was not driven strictly by policy or ideology.

        2. ..With a Friend of Coal license plate.

  6. Anybody who talks about making omelettes should be the first egg that gets broken.

    1. Yeah, isn’t that a Stalin quote?

      1. “I like salad” -Hitler

        1. I knew Hitler was a vegetarian who shunned a nice jewsy steak, but did nobody ever tell him leafy green vegetables are considered rabbi food?

  7. In a just world, Massie’s thoughts and theories would be front page news.

  8. I’m on record (not that anyone cares) before 11/8/16, as saying that a Trump victory would be good for two good reasons: it would shake up the Democrat party (because they lost) and the Republican party (because Trump beat all the other GOPers). If another GOP candidate had won, it would have strengthened the GOP. If Hillary had won, it would have consolidated the Democrats. With a Trump win, it would shake up (and has) both parties. My fear now is that Trump does not realize that the Republican establishment is as big a foe as the Democrats.

    1. I’m not convinced either of those things will be good. The GOP doesn’t seem to be shifting in a more libertarian direction, and the Democrats seem poised to go further left in response to Clinton’s loss, as a very popular narrative for why she lost is that she was too moderate and corporate-friendly and that resulted in progressive voters staying home.

      1. I’ll just say that the current state of the GOP is a lot more fluid than it would have been if a more conservative (not Paul and possibly not Cruz) had won. And the Dem’s moving to the left rather than the center is a shake-up.

        1. It is, I’m just saying that I don’t really view it as a positive.

    2. The Dems’ response to Trump so far is terrifying for a libertarian. They think the popular vote vindicated their approach last year

    3. I’m on record as saying – repeatedly – that a Trump win would be a disaster because it wouldn’t shake up the GOP. It’d just consolidate them behind a liberal New York Rockefeller Republican and allow them to abandon the charade they’ve been playing at for most of my lifetime that they actually give a rat’s ass about smaller, cheaper, less-intrusive government. Trump’s got big ideas about what he wants to use the power of government to accomplish, the GOP’s got big ideas too. Paul, Lee, Amash, Massie, Flake, the old TEA Party faction including Ted Cruz – they’re at the top of the GOP hit list now.

  9. Then there would be a lot more Lyndom Larouche followers

  10. So are we thinking Gary Busey or Charlie Sheen as John McAfee’s running mate in 2020? Is Charlie Manson eligible to run?

    1. How old will Belle Knox be in 2020?

    2. Sheen. Versus Henry Rollins and Shia Lebouf as the D ticket.

  11. How does a voter go from supporting a relatively libertarian Republican to enthusiastically backing Donald Trump?

    She’s anti-government?

    1. How does a voter go from supporting a relatively libertarian Republican to enthusiastically backing Donald Trump?

      She’s anti-Hillary? When it came down to Election Tuesday there were a whole lot of folks who voted for Trump only because he was the second-worst option.

  12. As someone who’s from TX-14, I can say we didn’t vote for Dr Paul because he was crazy. Myself, and everyone I know that voted for him did so because they were proud to be electing “Doctor No” the man who was willing to buck the establishment and reign in spending and unnecessary regulation.

  13. They were voting for the destruction of the ruling political class.

    They will vote for a surgeon or an engineer to do this.

    They will also vote for a wrecking ball.

  14. Maybe in a rigged system where only a Democrat or Republican they were voting for Hitler or Satan

  15. OT: The Amazon product bar that appears at the bottom of every article, which always shows products related in some way to the article, is displaying a book entitled “Ron Paul: America’s most Dangerous Nazi”, complete with a cover showing Ron photo shopped in front of a Nazi flag. Had to mention it, since it’s so weird.

  16. It’s not crazy, it’s just that too many “libertarians” have no clue about liberty. I’ve seen current Trump enthusiasts in libertarian meetups, LP central committee meetings, RLC gatherings, Ron Paul campaign leadership, etc.

    Here’s the problem: These same people are the ones who claim the U.S. was a libertarian nation back before Lincoln. Who thought we once had a golden age that we lost. That we had an actual free market gold standard before 1911. They yearn for the day when liberty was only available to the white male landowner.

    They aren’t libertarian, they are conservative in the classic sense of the word. Libertarians are classic liberals, not classic conservatives. These people want the restoration of the old institutions because they mythologize them. Some of those old institutions are good, but there are plenty of them that are down right nasty, and it’s a good thing we got rid of them.

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