Donald Trump

No, Libertarians Have Not Thrown in With Trump

Jonathan Chait's accusations to the contrary ignore a great deal of the actual libertarian reaction to the president's policies. But some libertarians are indeed too soft on both Trump and right-wing nationalism generally.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

|||The hedgehog is often considered a symbol of libertarianism.
The porcupine is often considered a symbol of libertarianism.

In a recent New York Magazine article, prominent political commentator Jonathan Chait argues that libertarians have largely come around to supporting Trump, despite some previous doubts:

When Donald Trump first emerged as a genuine threat to seize the Republican nomination, Charles and David Koch represented the epitome of elite right-wing opposition to the populist interloper….

The latest development in the relationship between the Kochs (right-wing heirs to a business fortune) and Trump (also the right-wing heir to a business fortune) is that the former have thrown the weight of their massive organization unhesitatingly behind the latter. Largely satisfied with Trump's conservative judicial appointments, lax regulation of business, and regressive tax cutting, the Kochs are spending several hundred millions of dollars to protect the Republican majority. Whatever points of contention remain between the two have been reduced to squabbles between friends.

The Koch rapprochement mirrors a broader trend: Among the conservative intelligentsia — where resistance to Trump has always run far deeper than it has among the Republican rank and file — libertarians have displayed some of the greatest levels of friendliness to the Trump administration.

Chait reaches this conclusion only by completely ignoring several of the nation's leading libertarian organizations and intellectuals, and the positions they have taken on the administration. The only libertarian critics of Trump he mentions are those associated with the Niskanen Center, which he describes (with some justice) as having moved away from traditional libertarian positions on many economic issues, and therefore not very representative of libertarians generally.

He does not even discuss the Cato Institute—by far the best known libertarian think tank or Reason (the nation's most prominent libertarian magazine and website). Cato and Reason writers such as Alex Nowrasteh and Shikha Dalmia have been among the toughest and most prominent critics of Trump's attacks on immigration. Others at both organizations have been harshly critical of the administration on trade, government spending, civil liberties, executive power (Gene Healy, Cato's leading expert on this subject, has argued that Trump should be impeached), health care reform, and a good many other issues.

Rep. Justin Amash, probably the most libertarian member of Congress, has also been one of the most thoroughgoing GOP critics of Trump. The same goes for libertarian-leaning GOP Senator Jeff Flake. Chait cites Ron Paul and Rand Paul as examples of libertarian-leaning politicians who have "staunchly defended the president." I am, to understate the point, no great fan of Ron Paul. But Chait is simply wrong about his take on Trump. Paul has been consistently negative about the president, whose economic and foreign policies he recently denounced in the course of an interview in where he also expressed the hope that Trump will be vulnerable in the 2020 GOP primaries.

Unlike his father, Rand Paul, in my view, has indeed been overly friendly with the administration on some issues. And he has gotten - and deserves - considerable libertarian criticism for actions such as voting to confirm Jeff Sessions as attorney general. But he has also publicly attacked it on important issues like sentencing, electronic surveillance, marijuana legalization, and others. It is entirely fair to criticize Rand Paul for being too soft on Trump. But it is also important to recognize that he has been at odds with the president considerably more often than most members of Congress typically oppose an administration of their own party.

The main villains of Chait's piece (as of many other recent left-wing attacks on libertarians) are the Koch brothers - the libertarian billionaires who fund a variety of political and social causes. It is indeed true that they plan to spend a lot of money trying to maintain GOP majorities in Congress. I think they are wrong to do so. In addition to imposing tougher constraints on Trump, the return of divided government is desirable from a libertarian point of view, because divided government tends to reduce government spending relative to unified government.

It does not follow, however, that the Kochs have "thrown the weight of their massive organization unhesitatingly behind" Trump. Far from it. In addition to spending money on congressional races, the Kochs have also, in recent months, devoted extensive resources to lobbying Congress to protect DACA recipients without simultaneously reducing legal immigration (the latter, of course, a major priority of Trump's), protecting immigrants more generally, opposing Jeff Sessions' efforts to expand the War on Drugs, and promoting criminal justice reform of a sort that is largely the opposite of the administration's philosophy.

I am obviously not privy to the Kochs political calculations. But it is possible they believe that, given various tensions between the congressional GOP and Trump, supporting the former does not imply supporting the latter, and that continued GOP majorities in Congress won't do much to help Trump on those issues where he is especially odious (immigration, trade, civil liberties). It is also possible they think that - given his record unpopularity - Trump is unlikely to be reelected, and they want to maintain GOP control of Congress as a hedge against what might be a very liberal Democratic president elected in 2020. If these are indeed the Kochs' views, I have considerable reservations about them, for the reasons I noted above. But a libertarian can hold them without "unhesitatingly" supporting Trump, and indeed without necessarily supporting him much at all.

To say that Chait's indictment of libertarians is wrong, is not to say that all is well with the libertarian world. Some libertarians have indeed supported the administration far more than can be justified - in most cases not because of love of Trump, but because of fear of the left. At least for the moment, Bernie Sanders-style left-wing populism is gaining ground in the Democratic party, and it is understandable for libertarians to fear the rise of a movement that seeks to massively expand government control over the economy and society, especially one led by a man notorious for his praise of brutal communist regimes. Unfortunately, such fear leads some libertarians to take it easy on an administration they see as a valuable "enemy of my enemy." It may also account for the Kochs' overly optimistic take on the consequences of maintaining GOP control of Congress. Many libertarians (like many other people) may not realize that the administration's extensive expansion of regulation on immigration and trade increase government control over the economy and society a good deal more than its relatively limited deregulatory actions elsewhere have reduced it.

Even more troublingly, a small but vocal group of self-described libertarians have supported the administration and right-wing "blood and soil" nationalism not as a lesser evil, but as a positive good. In my view, and that of most mainstream libertarian intellectuals, such ideas are utterly inimical to the libertarian tradition, properly understood. But it cannot be denied that they have appeal for some people who think of themselves as libertarians, and that libertarians need to do more to counter their rise.

In sum, Chait is wrong to tar libertarians, as a group, for supposedly being thoroughgoing supporters of Trump. But it would also be wrong for libertarians to become complacent about either Trump, or the more general threat to liberty posed by the kind of nationalism he exemplifies.

DISCLOSURE: The Volokh Conspiracy blog is hosted by Reason, though editorially independent of it; I have written several previous articles for Reason, as well. I am a Cato Institute adjunct scholar (an unpaid external affiliation), and have written a number of papers for Cato, and spoken at many Cato events. I have, over the years, spoken (and sometimes gotten speaker fees) at a number of events sponsored by organizations partially funded by the Kochs, including most recently at a Cornell University panel on Trump's immigration policies that was partly sponsored by the Koch Foundation, where I argued that Trump's travel ban is unconstitutional. I have also spoken about these and other issues at events sponsored by conservative and liberal/progressive organizations, such as the American Constitution Society. If readers wish to discount what I say on these issues because of the above affiliations, they are free to do so. I will only say that I have not hesitated to differ with either the Kochs or other libertarians, over the years, and that I also have an extensive history of being highly critical of both Trump and the GOP generally.

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  1. Trump has flaws of course, thats a whole discussion in and of itself, but if you buy the idea that the Republic can be saved conventionally, his Administration’s actions so far, especially in the judicial arena, have been better than a hypothetical Obama 2.0 Administration. Society has and still is tipped too far to the left and balance needs to be restored even if the pushback isn’t quite in the right direction. And btw I don’t consider the Ilya strategy of saving the nation by exclusively and obsessively focusing on erasing your borders as nearly your only issue of concern in politics and life to be a feasible alternative to the above approach.

    1. You realize you just proved Chait’s point, right?

      No, I don’t think you realize that at all.

      1. The point was to disprove the point made by the leftist author of this piece.

        Chait is, and really always has been, irrelevant.

        Trump has done numerous things, in ways that maximize liberty no less, that libertarians claimed to want desperately before it was Trump doing them.

        1. You must be trolling. Fuck off.

          1. No, I think he’s just genuinely stupid.

          2. That’s not trolling, and your reaction is one of a blithering, non-thinking moron.

            1. You must be trolling, too.

              By the way, is there such a thing as a blithering, thinking moron, or a non-blithering, non-thinking moron, or a blithering, non-thinking person whose intelligence is average or above?

              1. No. Next question…

                1. Way to miss the point.

                  Are you confused by magnets?

        2. If no one is following the libertarian “leaders”…

          … are they still leaders?

          I didn’t even vote for Trump. But setting aside the mountain of anti-Trump puff pieces by the hysterical press and focussing only on what he’s actually done since he took office, he’s on track to be a pretty good president. That’s right – not mediocre – actually good. I have little issue with most of what he’s done (thought I don’t think he should compromise on the criminal alien issue – just deport them all). I DO wish he’d execute his agenda more quickly. His biggest flaw so far is that he wastes too much time engaging morons on the left. He should just shut up and DO what he set out to do. Let the libtards scream, and cry and wet their pants. Just DO!

          1. Why do so many authoritarian wingnuts masquerade as libertarians?

            Are they dumb enough to believe they are fooling anyone with their unconvincing drag?

      2. Too much of this is brain dead binary thinking.

        while libertarains are not homogenous and many hold different views on issues like immigration and abortion, it is still possible for all of us – whether conservative, libertarian of some sort of on the left to oppose Trump where approriate and support him where appropriate.

        It is possible to support Trump’s deregulation and oppose his positions on Trade and immigration.

        It would also be nice if on areas where we once shared common ground the left had not completely flipped.

        In what world is the left a proponent of the FBI, Mass surveilance, and restarting the cold war ?
        The right might not be sincere in its flipp flopps on those issues – but libertarians can still attempt to work with the right and make as much progress as is possible. The same would be possible with the left – except that the left is a carciture of itself. Todays left is against anything Trump is for – whatever it s.

    2. Trump is a mixed bag at this point, but, is in a tough position & has to walk a tight rope, for the Deep State has been around a long time & is very powerful!…..But, remember the most crucial thing is he is NOT a NWO Globalist Elite & that is why BOTH SIDES hate him in DC & why most of BOTH SIDES did not want him to win!

      I love Ron Paul, but, if he ever got elected prez & tired to do what he said he would, he would’ve been murdered within the first year of his presidency….Trump, with all his flaws, is the perfect man for the job at this time!

      1. I do not think that Trump is even slightly libertarian.
        And Somin is correct that there is much to criticise.
        At the same time it is likely that Trump will accomplish more that Libertarians favor that Rand Paul could possibly have done.

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  2. Koch brothers support NPR and David Koch is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage.

    Some “right wing”.

    Grateful for their money but they are a mixed bag for the movement. For guys like Chait, they are just the Goldstein Brothers.

    1. That’s pretty much it: When you’re going to stage two minute hates, you need an Emanuel Goldstein. It doesn’t really matter who Goldstein is, you just need one.

      And the Kochs, for whatever reason, are the Emanuel Goldstein the left settled on.

      1. How often in your lifetime do you suppose the names “Soros” and “Alinsky” have oozed off your tongue and fingertips?

        1. How often in your lifetime have you stood up for slavers, fucko?

          1. ‘Fucko.’

            1. Maybe he has sexlexia.

        2. I don’t know about Soros, but I can practically guarantee that any experienced member of the left (i.e., somebody who has outgrown “jazzy hands”) knows who Alinsky was and most likely has at least read Rules for Radicals (it’s not exactly heavy going).

          I have a well-founded contempt for the left but I know better than to underestimate either their fervor or their baseline “education”.

          1. You prefer half-educated, superstitious, bigoted, economically irrelevant, backward, disaffected, belligerently ignorant, right-wing authoritarians — the depleted human residue that inhabits our can’t-keep-up backwaters, populates our backwater religious schools, and has been on the wrong end of bright flight for generations?

            Why?

    2. At least one of the Koch brothers claims libertarian positions that rile right-wingers, but the Kochs routinely fund authoritarian, bigoted, backward conservatives.

      1. Glad to see someone has made a careful study of the Koch Brothers’ ledgers.

    3. The Koch brother support NPR, so that somehow invalidates the fact that they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Republican candidates?

      You might want to think that one through.

      1. Perhaps the Koch brothers are tired of Progressivism, which the form of Marxism that arose in the USA in the late 1800s and has led to numerous atrocities committed by the Democratic Party while the Republican Party was formed to oppose Progressivism and Direct Democracy.

        1. Congratulations: you win the award for posting the most bone-stupid, ahistorical comment of the day!

          I’d love to hear your opinions on climate change, evolution, fluoridation in water, and consensual sex. I’m sure they’re every bit as enlightened!

          1. We get it, you disagree. It doesn’t mean his comment is stupid; it just means you don’t have the mental competency to challenge it.

            Flame’s comments are spot on, so either disprove them, or deal with the fact that you can’t.

            1. We don’t disagree. It’s objectively wrong that ” Progressivism is the form of Marxism that arose in the USA in the late 1800s.” It’s wrong and stupid to say that it “led to numerous atrocities committed by the Democratic Party.”

              It’s wrong and stupid to say the “Republican Party was formed to oppose Progressivism and Direct Democracy.” In fact, the early GOP was somewhat liberal: it was opposed to slavery and trusts. Since the Republican Party was formed in 1854, decades before Progressivism arose, it was obviously not “formed to oppose Progressivism.”

              In short, Flame CCT has no fucking idea what he’s talking about.

              1. In your world Cultural Marxism isn’t a thing I take it DT.

                1. Jesse – might you explain what Cultural Marxism is?

                  1. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo.

                    They are all out there…

                    1. So you’re too lazy to make an actual point?

                      Got it.

                    2. I’ve heard the term used only be those on the right using it to refer to inchoate villains oppressing them.

                      I suspect it has a more interesting history than that.

              2. If I’m not mistaken “progressivism” in terms of government policy at least had its origins with Teddy Roosevelt’s trust busting and came to fruition with Woodrow Wilson. So if not late 1800s it was certainly early 20th Century. Surely the author has a more substantive point to make somewhere in this article. I couldn’t find it

      2. Just commenting that few “right wingers” support National Pinko Radio.

        The Koch main political interests are economic. Which party ought they to support to advance what they want?

        1. People whose main political interests are economic generally do not qualify as libertarians, although some of them claim to be libertarians because they are ashamed to be known as conservatives.

        2. “Pinko?” Did you just take a time machine from 1958?

          Jesus, dude — grow up.

          1. Pinko. As in commie. As in traitor to all that is American. As in one of the two most evil philosophies to ever happen in the history of the world, the other being militant Islam.

            1. Militant Islam is worse than National Socialism?

              Why am I not surprised you think that?

              By the way, if you want to see a perfect example of a “traitor to all that is American,” you might want to look at the current occupant of the White House, who attacks the first amendment, the judiciary, and law enforcement so that he can cover up his criminal collusion with a hostile foreign government.

              But I’m sure you’re absolutely fine with that, right?

              1. National Socialism is part of communism. But I didn’t expect you to see that.

                The current occupant of the white house is just defending himself, unlike the milquetoast Republicans who, in the past, let the media set the tone. The media are actually the traitors here, for choosing the left and trying to help them unseat a sitting president. For the second time.

                And there is not one single shred of evidence, whatsoever, of any collusion by Trump or his campaign, with any foreign government whatsoever. Now are the Dems guilty of that? Let’s see – they conspired with an investigative firm to make up stories about a presidential candidate, used that “evidence” to obtain a FISA warrant, all to plant untrue stories about the currant occupant of the white house.

                So try looking in the mirror. It’s YOUR side who’s traitorous, not Trump.

                1. I didn’t “see” that National Socialism is “part of communism” because I’m not a fucking idiot.

                  There are 12 year olds who realize that’s untrue.

                  By the way, you just proved Somin true.

                  Thanks for revealing your utter ignorance about the Russia investigation, too.

                2. And there is not one single shred of evidence, whatsoever, of any collusion by Trump or his campaign, with any foreign government whatsoever.

                  Which law school is responsible for that level of legal analysis? Liberty? Ave Maria?
                  Ouachita Baptist? Lesser Jesusland?

                  Carry on, clingers.

          2. “Did you just take a time machine from 1958?”

            You have never heard of that nickname for NPR?

            Maybe you ought to find your sense of humor dude.

            1. You don’t seem to understand how humor works. Most people don’t think that outdated references are funny.

              Do I really need to explain that?

              1. I bet you died laughing at Obama’s 1980s called joke. A tired meme for an even more tired callback.

                1. Was that supposed to make sense?

                  1. JessAz is referring to Obama’s dismissive comment to Romney at the foreign policy debate when Romney said we had to deal with Russia as an expansionist foreign regime (words to that effect). Obama grinned condescendingly and said “Governor, the 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back.” It told you everything you needed to know about Romney (at least as a candidate) that he had no comeback .

          3. Fuck off, slaver.

          4. Reminds me of telling a friend, “I didn’t know Dashiel Hammett was a Pink[erton].”

            My friend answered, “Pink? He was a red!”

          5. If he’s using colloquialisms from 1958, I suspect he grew up a long time ago.

      3. Well, from a progressive point of view, NPR is Nice, Polite, Republicans.

      4. Invalidates?

        Invalidates.

        No enemies to the left, eh comrade?

    4. The Koch’s are libertarian. Not conservative.

      The fundimental problem with NPR is that it is somewhat subsidized by government.
      Otherwise who cares ?

      There is a very libertarian argument that you may deprive another human being the use of your body even if the consequence of that is its death.

      Why would you think that an ideology that is opposed to government interference in the private lives of individuals with respect to things like drugs and prostitution, would oppose two men or two women entering into the same contract that a man and a women do ?

  3. It is also possible that they think that – given his record unpopularity – Trump is unlikely to be reelected, and they want to maintain GOP control of Congress as a hedge against what might be a very liberal Democratic president elected in 2020. If these are indeed the Kochs’ views, I have considerable reservations about them, for the reasons I noted above

    Eh ? The reasons you noted above were that “the return of divided government is desirable from a libertarian point of view, because divided government tends to reduce government spending relative to unified government.”

    So precisely the same reason that you criticise the Kochs for wanting to achieve in 2020 !

    In fact. of course, we do have divided government right now, because the GOP doesn’t have 60 votes in the Senate, and has demonstrated zero interest in getting rid of the filibuster for legislative purposes. So we already know the risk of getting a “unified” GOP government – but short of a filibuster proof majority in the Senate – in terms of legislation and budgets. It’s zero. And in terms of judges, it’s positively a good thing.

    1. Now the Dems face a challenging Senate map in 2018 (because they did so well in 2012) so it’s more likely that they lose seats than gain them. Still quite possible that they’ll do well enough to get a majority for 2019, but the par score is probably more like a loss of 1 or 2 net. Which would leave a GOP majority for confirming judges till Jan 2021, which presumably you approve of.

      But the GOP faces a very challenging Senate map in 2020. Assuming a Dem Presidential win, but not a landslide, a reasonable guess would be that the GOP would lose at least 3 net seats (Colorado, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina, offset by Alabama) and they might well lose more. So unless the GOP wins 3 net seats in 2018, the odds are that a Dem President would have a Senate majority in 2020.

      So perhaps the Kochs are betting that :

      (a) it’s quite safe to let the GOP have “unified” government, so long as they don’t get 60 Senators, because in reality that’s actually divided government,

      (b) and it’s positively a good thing that the GOP keep a Senate majority for confirming judges, but

      (c) given united government in 2020, the Dems will take about forty seconds to get rid of the filibuster on legislation.

      1. I’d say that’s a given, since they were saying as much back in October of 2016, when they thought they’d be in that position after the election.

      2. I’d say that’s a given, since they were saying as much back in October of 2016, when they thought they’d be in that position after the election.

    2. Democrat legislative majorities, on the other hand, usually operate with less finesse than a Sherman tank.

    3. Compare the states with divided gov’t vs. those solidly GOP, & I think solid GOP does pretty well re spending.

  4. Seriously, Jonathan Chait was a charter member of the Journolists.

    1. Well, that’s a devastating straw man.

      1. Not sure you know what a strawman argument is… it’s an ad hominem, but not a strawman.

      2. Fuck off, slaver.

  5. Libertarians have not thrown in with Trump, nor should they. What many have done is support him in his policy positions when he is right, and for the most part oppose him when he’s wrong. That’s the more realistic and mature position, and probably the most effective strategy too.

    The left has decided that they’re not going to give him any support for anything they are not already 100% on board. And they are perfectly willing to tell outright lies about Trump, his legislation and their tactics. Like for instance claiming most middle class taxpayers won’t get a tax cut by citing the rates in a decade when they expire, or claiming Trump was responsible for the shutdown.

    If libertarians and independents support him when he is right, like most of his judicial appointments, his deregulatory efforts, cutting back on the bureaucracy, then he is more likely to continue along those lines.

    Trump’s narcissistic personality, inattention to detail, need for adulation means he can be had, I hope the Koch’s and other pragmatic libertarian conservatives take him.

    1. ‘Trump is a bad man, sometimes, though I can’t name any policies I disagree with him on. Let me tell you about how bad ze libs are.’

      How nonpartisan!

      1. You are such an intellectually dishonest hack.

        1. …and you can’t say why.

          Probably should have thought before posting that one.

          1. Kazinski didn’t say that Trump is a “bad man”. So before you knee-jerk your coffee table til it tips over, try thinking about that for a minute.

            1. Oh, you’re right. He only referred to “Trump’s narcissistic personality, inattention to detail, need for adulation.”

              That’s totally different!

              1. Flawed? Yes. Bad? No.

                Easily the best president we’ve had since Reagan.

                1. Game, set, match.

                  Walk away, son.

                2. Haha, do you think you’re helping?

        2. As DiTurno noted, just yelling ‘YOU LIE’ and then quitting the field is not a sign your target has a problem.

          1. You didn’t even offer a cogent argument to respond to. You are a dishonest intellectual person. Even in your response you show this behavior.

            1. If you have an issue with my characterization of K’s defense of Trump boiling down to ‘But Liberals!’ maybe you should post about it.

              This might be harder given the other poster who is raging anyone might think Trump is bad because he acts like a child. (i.e. narcissism, no attention to detail, need for adulation.)

              1. I have an issue not just with your characterization, but your entire persona. You are an intellectually dishonest hack virtually incapable of accurately characterizing the posts of people who disagree with you. And the cherry on top is all of your sanctimonious whining about other posters.

                Plus you mischaracterized Kazinski’s post. Anyone with the reading comprehension above the level of a second grader would understand that Trump has policies Kazinski doesn’t agree with. Unless, of course, they are an intellectually dishonest hack like yourself.

                1. I engage people who believe my characterizations are incorrect.
                  You, on the other hand, seem to just want to call me names. That’s a dumb crusade on the Internet – maybe discuss with me where you think I’m being unfair.

                  For instance, it’d be great if Kazinski mentioned even one policy Trump had he disagreed with. He noted no shortage of policies he liked…

                  1. You rarely engage with people. Instead you engage with false characterizations of what they say. Then whine about how mean conservatives are and lecture others about proper posting etiquette.

                    And you are doing it again. How many policies did Kazinski mention? Three. Yet you pretend he gave some exhaustive list. The only people who consider three to be “no shortage” are intellectually dishonest hacks. Especially when one of the three is qualified by most, which means that there are some of Trump’s judicial nominees that he does not approve of.

                    1. So my style doesn’t work for you. People specifying why my interpretation of what they say is wrong often clarifies their position, at least to me.

                      One thing I try to do is keep my comments specifically related to a specific post, or at least within a thread. Helps to keep it from getting personal, which is no fun for anyone. And fun is, in the final analysis, why we are posting here.

                      Your issue with my concerns about Kazinski doesn’t seem to relate to what I am saying, so allow me to clarify once again:
                      K starts out by saying the moral attitude is to endorse Trump when does good things and push back when he does bad things. Fair enough so far…
                      He then lists some things he likes about Trump, says liberals have all gone crazy, and then says he doesn’t like some of Trump’s personality. That is the notable asymmetry in his analysis that belies his initial paragraph.

                      You argue that I’m tilting at trifles. I’m open for him to come in and correct the record. But that is what I saw, and that is what I pushed back on, and I see thusfar nothing to make me take back my criticism.

                    2. “So my style doesn’t work for you. People specifying why my interpretation of what they say is wrong often clarifies their position, at least to me.”

                      I don’t think your reading comprehension could possibly be bad enough for you to believe the tripe you post. If it is, and you are just stupid, then I apologize for calling you an intellectually dishonest hack. But I have at least enough respect to think that your reading comprehension is better than that.

                      “One thing I try to do is keep my comments specifically related to a specific post.”

                      No, you make up garbage that people don’t say and respond to that. If you would actually respond to what people say, you wouldn’t be an intellectually dishonest hack. But you are.

                      “Your issue with my concerns about Kazinski doesn’t seem to relate to what I am saying”

                      No, your concerns about Kazinski don’t relate to what he said. That’s my issue with you.

                      “That is the notable asymmetry in his analysis that belies his initial paragraph.”

                      There is no asymmetry at all, notable or otherwise. Unless you are an intellectually dishonest hack.

                      “He then lists some things he likes about Trump”

                      At least you’ve gone from “no shortage” to “some.” Of course, that you don’t admit it is just another sign that you are an intellectually dishonest hack.

    2. Libertarians have little to no reason to like Pres. Trump’s judicial nominations.

      1. Heh! Coming from a red-diaper lefty like yourself, I’ll consider that tidbit with all of the attention it deserves.

      2. You might have some credibility in such matter had you ever demonstrated respect or concern for individual liberty.

        Collectivists telling libertarians what they should think going over like chocolate in the Scotch.

    3. “Libertarians have not thrown in with Trump, nor should they. Now, let me show you how they have thrown in with Trump, and should continue to. Similarly, allow me to make up some bullhit about the evil liberals.”

      1. You know all about making up bullshit, slaver.

        1. You seem smart.

  6. Wow. Clearest statement so far that Ilya has lost his mind about Trump. – As other commenters have pointed out, Trump is a mixed bag, but lots of the things he has done are things that any rational libertarian would be happy about. To support him is to oppose the federal government increasing its stranglehold on our liberty, in a thousand different venues. Ilya apparently doesn’t care about that. Title IX, anyone?

    1. Trump is an ardent drug warrior, an anti-abortion crusader, an extreme xenophobe on immigration, a huge fan of abusive policing and militarized police, a transgender-basher, an ardent appeaser (or worse) of bigots, and an authoritarian on issues ranging from Guantanamo and military spending to kneeling at football games and trade protectionism. To support him is to reveal onself to be a faux libertarian, at best, and a lousy person.

      1. “To support him is to reveal onself to be a faux libertarian, at best, and a lousy person.”

        You give Trump too much credit, I was a lousy person a long time before Trump came a long. As far as I can tell it started when I voted for Reagan, and continued straight thru the Bushes to Trump.

        As the AceofSpades said, conservatives try to argue politics based on how effective policies are to obtaining desired goals, while progressives have view ones political positions as conferring social status.

        http://ace.mu.nu/archives/373421.php

        If I worried about being labled as a lousy person or a deplorable based on what I thought i would have toed the line a long time ago, but I enjoy deciding what I believe on my own without a manual.

        1. There are conservative policies? Really?

          When might we see them?

          1. When you pull your head out of your ass.

      2. Wow, padre. This is first time I agree with anything you write.

        I do like Trump’s moves on deregulation and appointing Neal Godsuch. That’s about it. Even the tax cuts are hobbled because of a lack of spending to go with them.

        Plus, he is continuing all the domestic surveillance and all the warring that caused me to despise Obama. As much as Obama fans tend to hate Trump with a passion, the two narcissists have st least a few things in common in those areas.

        And who the hell appoints someone like Sessions to anything? I wouldn’t appoint that guy to clean my toilet. He’d probably plant some drugs in there and then call a SWAT team.

        1. And who the hell appoints someone like Sessions to anything?

          Someone who prefers backwardness and intolerance, can’t get many people to accept positions, and rewards personal loyalty above every other criterion.

          1. You mean as Obama was with Holder and Lynch?

        2. I concur, Inigo. I seldom concur with Rev., but he’s mostly right with his complaints about Trump.

          Sessions is a nightmare for civil liberties.

          Gorsuch is a good appointment *so far.* Some of the folks on VC are optimistically skeptical of how “originalist” he really is when it comes to issues that trigger his morality.

          I’m happy with the things Trump does right, even they’re 2 steps forward & 1 back. One step is better than no steps. I’ll also bitch relentlessly when he screws up, not that it really matters.

          Am I glad he beat Hiliary? Oh heck yes. Am I glad he’s president? Oh heck no. These positions are not mutually exclusive, and this is the point of the article.

          Conservatives have usurped the land of libertarians; the Tea Party was disappointing. It lost all credibility in a few months.. Libertarianism is a hard sell because of peoples’ misconceptions when in fact our platform is intrinsically agreeable to most people.

          I don’t understand where all these folks are coming from who desperately want to defend Trump (the man) and not his ideals. The most important thing about this party is the discussion and diversity of thought. Come here to share ideas and not ad hominems. There are a gajillion other places on the internet to sing Kumbaya and talk about how much you like Trump. Here, we prefer to talk about how Trump’s actions adhere to our (individual!) values & the constitution.

      3. “an anti-abortion crusader”

        If you were a libertarian you might know that this is not a settled issue in the movement.

        1. You would also know that there are divisions within the Trump family on these issues, and that Trump himself trumpeted the opposite opinions in his liberal Democrat days. Trump has never been anything less than opportunistic.

      4. Hey Arty, every single word in that statement was wrong, with the exception of “the”.

    2. Ilya would probably support Sauron if he had the most open (US) border policy.

      1. Probably as Ilya has become a one-trick open-borders pony. Sauron did push for an open border policy so he could complete his invasion and take complete control.

        1. Somin writes about a lot of stuff. It’s more telling how many commenters essentialize his immigration position.

          1. Open borders and ignorance.

            All of his topics basically boil down to those two things.

            1. And his May Day is for deaths by Communism (and Democrats a bit).
              And this post.
              And Kelo
              And Star Trek/Wars being libertarian.

              It’s that you guys have immigration on the brain.

              1. This post is all about Chait being political ignorant.

                “May Day is for deaths by Communism”

                also ignorance

                “Kelo”

                also ignorance

    3. To support him is to oppose the federal government increasing its stranglehold on our liberty, in a thousand different venues.

      lolwut?

  7. I’m not much for ideaological purity tests but it’s hard to take Ilya seriously as a libertarian if he’s going to label a picture of a porcupine as a hedgehog.

    1. Leftists generally don’t know that the libertarian animal mascot is the porcupine.

      Even when it’s presented to them.

      1. Yes, in general, “Leftists” do not know the “libertarian animal mascot” is a porcupine. Another stunning fact is that even less of them care.

  8. This libertarian purity is not getting elected president. Let’s at least be happy for reduced regulation, taxes. Judicial nominees that will defend the constitution. We can take issues with the rest of his agenda but his is the best we as libertarians could do at this time. Better win some more house and senate seats in the meantime.

    1. I’m a pragmatist myself. But a libertarian ranting against principle and idealism in favor of results? That’s some funny stuff right there.

      1. Did you miss the very recent Johnson experiment? That’s what that was. And it turned out so well

      1. yes Martinned, really. Stop being that “math is hard” Barbie

      2. Wait, I didn’t actually examine your links. You couldn’t even point to an increase! You used to be better at this.

  9. Chiat lost me right in the very first sentence saying libertarians are right wing.

    The chump needs to Google “the Nolan Chart” FFS. We are neither right nor left. Anyone that labels libertarians right wing is either a liar or an idiot parroting some leftist talking point.

    Chiat should have stuck to advertising, where he at least has some success.

    1. Chait is a typical Progressive:. They enforce the “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us” often with violence if one does not capitulate.

        1. And here Martinned links to progressives assaulting Trump supporters. Oops.

    2. Read this thread.

      Many who call themselves libertarian have picked a side. Maybe they’re all bad libertarians, but there are a bunch of them.

    3. You do understand that the Nolan chart does not remove libertarianism from the right side of the political spectrum merely by saying so?

      What puts ‘libertarianism’ on the right is it’s commitment to individual liberty. Liberty can only be individual, there is no ‘group liberty’–acting in concert is surrendering liberty.

      THAT is why libertarians are right wing.

      1. Libertarians are not right-wingers.

        Many faux libertarians — the kind of self-described libertarians who are or support drug warriors, torture, anti-abortion crusaders, military belligerence, abusive policing, voter suppression, bigoted immigration policies, gay-bashers, endless detention without trial, limitless special privilege for religion, massive military spending, protectionism, Donald Trump, and Republicans — are right-wingers.

        1. How would you know what a libertarian is?

      2. “What puts ‘libertarianism’ on the right is it’s commitment to individual liberty”

        A commitment to individual liberty is NOT a part of the right. How many times do Republicans and conservatives have to prove this point to you in order for you to get it? Jeff Sessions would like to have a word with you.

    4. Libertarians are leftists who like either guns or low taxes or both.

      1. Libertarians are leftists who somehow always vote for Republicans.

        C’est une mystere, vraiment.

        1. Yes, they like guns and/or low taxes best. By far.

          One votes based on ones primary interests, not the aggregate.

      2. Don’t forget drugs and gay sex! we like those too

  10. I’ve found that if you agree with a committed Liberal on 90% of policy issues and disagree with them on 10%, you’re a Right-wing, racist, gun-nut, Nazi.

    1. No, you haven’t found that at all. You simply made that up, especially since you probably agree with approximately 0% of liberal positions.

      1. You know all about making shit up, slaver.

        1. Dude, do you have a diagnosis?

          I’m serious.

      2. DiTurno, it’s a proven fact that progressives are evil slavers. Don’t defend their kind.

  11. You cannot support the mass migration of illiterate third world immigrants and claim to be a libertarian, as the presence of those people and their progeny will inevitably lead to a statist future for America.

    1. Totally right! Remember when all those poor, illiterate immigrants from places like Ireland and Italy and Germany were coming here, and they pushed us into an oppressive, statist regime? Remember when we became a worker’s paradise? There’s no way a bunch of smelly, illiterate, *brown^ people could be similarly inspired to assimilate and become American, right? (in case you aren’t picking it up, I’m trying to illustrate that your argument is both ignorant of history and pretty racist)

      1. First, Ireland, Italy and Germany were nowhere near as poor as many third world countries are today. Second, Irish immigrants to the U.S. DID in fact lead to the creation of the corrupt Democrat Party political machines. Third, immigrants from Europe had an average IQ of 100. The Mayans and Aztecs who are immigrating from Latin America have an average IQ of about 85-90 (nearly a full standard deviation below the mean). They don’t have the ability to assimilate the way European immigrants did.

        1. First, Ireland, Italy and Germany were nowhere near as poor as many third world countries are today.

          They were actually a lot poorer.

          1. What could be coloring his ideas of poverty?

            1. “Crayons” is my guess.

              1. I don’t care who you are. That’s funny right there

        2. They don’t have the ability to assimilate the way European immigrants did.

          Actually they are assimilating quicker.

          The simple fact is that you are a racist and bigot. Using the exact same “reasoning” (such as it is) that your ancestors used against my ancestors.

          1. No, they are not. Even by the 5th generation, they are far behind in income, educational achievement, and health outcomes.

            My ancestors came in the 1890s, so I doubt they had anything to do with yours.

            1. You know you just argued that you yourself should not be in the US, right?

              “Reason” is perhaps the most ironic name possible for this website.

              1. No. i didn’t .

          2. Ambitious elements in the younger generations are assimilating to a greater or lesser degree. They not only work but learned to speak English (sounds silly, I know but not if you live near the border). The older members of the Hispanic community if not born here tend not to assimilate so well. This is why to this day English-speaking Hispanic children are in fact compelled to be bilingual. That alone bespeaks a lack of desire or intention to assimilate.

      2. Nice try, but that is not a comparison, so either you’re a dishonest hack, or achingly stupid.

        We didn’t have a welfare state back when those immigrants came from other places. They were expected to take care of themselves. Now, immigrants get welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, free schooling, and other things that people WHO ALREADY LIVE HERE are expected to pay higher taxes to pay for.

        1. Just use the N word. It’s a lot easier.

          You know that immigration actually improves the economy, right? You know that immigrants are restricted from getting most forms of federal assistance for several years, right?

          No, you don’t know that, because you’re a wholly uninformed racist.

          1. What an unmitigated, outright coward you are.

            1. Thank you for that non-response.

              Do you feel better now?

          2. Yes, “immigration” might. But conflating the immigration of educated Chinese and Indians with uneducated Hispanics and Somalians is dishonest. Further, they are restricted from getting direct federal assistance. But their “citizen” children get benefits immediately, and the parents can them get them as heads of household. Also, many things they obviously are eligible for right away, like using public schools and emergency rooms.

          3. Yes, “immigration” might. But conflating the immigration of educated Chinese and Indians with uneducated Hispanics and Somalians is dishonest. Further, they are restricted from getting direct federal assistance. But their “citizen” children get benefits immediately, and the parents can them get them as heads of household. Also, many things they obviously are eligible for right away, like using public schools and emergency rooms.

          4. Yes, “immigration” might. But conflating the immigration of educated Chinese and Indians with uneducated Hispanics and Somalians is dishonest. Further, they are restricted from getting direct federal assistance. But their “citizen” children get benefits immediately, and the parents can them get them as heads of household. Also, many things they obviously are eligible for right away, like using public schools and emergency rooms.

          5. The person that calls someone else racist when nothing even remotely racist is present is the real racist. So fuck off, racist slaver.

          6. I question that, but I can say with certainty that this is not the case in California where Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal, can get state benefits including state economic relief and medical care at the drop of a hat.

            1. Even better, California is going to register everyone who gets a driver’s license to vote. Can’t possibly see a problem there, in a state where what, 15%+ of drivers aren’t eligible

      3. “Remember when all those poor, illiterate immigrants from places like Ireland and Italy and Germany were coming here…”

        Remember? No. Am aware of? Yes.

        What I am also aware of is that the vast majority of that occurred before we had any significant Federal ‘social safety net’ and WAAAAY before we had Federal ‘welfare’ programs.

        Get rid of those and then we can talk about the good old days.

        1. And we also didn’t have a liberal culture that demanded that we allow them to conduct business in their own languages. Or a culture that demanded we give them preferences in job hiring and college admissions. Or a culture that made excuses for their disproportionate criminality. And we had no Civil Rights Act, so employers who didn’t want to deal with the Irish, who were disproportionately disorderly at the time, didn’t have to.

          It’s not a reasonable comparison.

    2. “You cannot claim to be an adherent of a belief system that is defined by opposition to the initiation of force unless you support the initiation of force to stop people from crossing an imaginary line.”

      Got it.

  12. The nice thing about being Libertarian is that you can always be opposed to everyone else and never actually be in power and have to deal with compromising.

    Trump is a populist and has many flaws; but he’s gotten things done Libertarians should be fans of that no other (R) or (D) president would have come close to sniffing.

    1. Trump is a populist and has many flaws; but he’s gotten things done Libertarians should be fans of that no other (R) or (D) president would have come close to sniffing.

      Like what?

      The things Trump has gotten done that libertarians (or conservatives, for that matter) would be happy with are things that every Republican would’ve done. The things that he has done that libertarians are unhappy with are mostly unique to him.

    2. Actually curious: what has Trump gotten done?

  13. I feel like it’s important to note that, while most “libertarian-leaning” elected officials are currently Republican, real libertarians pull ideals more or less equally from the right and left… even before his mistakes with the facts, he’s simply wrong in the idea that being a libertarian represents, in any way, a wing of the conservative right.

  14. I’m as hardcore libertarian as they come, and I do believe in no borders, I honestly hope we have no borders at some point, but that is probably 100 years away from now.

    I don’t see how in the current climate you can have open borders so that an unlimited, unaccounted, unverified illegal immigrants can come. On top of this the USA doesn’t even have voter ID laws, meaning anyone can vote. You can keep coming back with a different name and vote hundreds of times if no one remembers you!

    So you can have illegal immigrants vote en mass for democrats in order to have unlimited illegal immigration.

    1. Yeah, but that doesn’t happen. At all.

      On the other hand, we have plenty of Republicans who want to stop citizens from voting.

      1. “Citizens” who we did not want here in the first place.

        1. Oh, look: a so-called “libertarian” who’s actually a blood-and-soil racist.

          Seriously, just have the balls to use the n-word.

          1. God, what a chickenshit coward you are. No, we don’t want people coming here who are going to be a drain on social services and government. It doesn’t matter what color those people are.

            The fact that you just KNOW we mean people of color just proves your own racism.

            1. He’s right in that people of color are disproportionately more likely to be a drain, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want non-white productive people or that we want white drains.

            2. Hey, Cletus? You don’t seem to know what the word “coward” means. Perhaps you’d like to look that up.

              After that, you might want to read what I actually wrote, since your fact-free shriek is completely unrelated.

              And seriously, man up and admit you’re a racist.

              1. Fuck off, racist slaver.

            3. Ow, how does it feel to be contradicted in your anti-strawman rage by the strawman himself?

      2. How so? Because supporting Voter ID?

    2. On top of this the USA doesn’t even have voter ID laws, meaning anyone can vote.

      You really have no idea how elections are run do you?

      1. Because no one could ever claim to be someone else and go vote.

        Oh look, the New York City Department of Investigations tried just that, and succeeded 61 of 63 times.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-john-fund

        But keep on lying to yourself claiming there’s no voter fraud.

        1. ‘claiming to be someone else and go vote’ is not actually what that article is talking about though.

          1. A conservative who can’t read?

            No way!

    3. Odds this man has at least one lock on his front door?

  15. Even more troublingly, a small but vocal group of self-described libertarians have supported the administration and right-wing “blood and soil” nationalism not as a lesser evil, but as a positive good. In my view, and that of most mainstream libertarian intellectuals, such ideas are utterly inimical to the libertarian tradition, properly understood. But it cannot be denied that they have appeal for some people who think of themselves as libertarians, and that libertarians need to do more to counter their rise.

    This is utter garbage. Sub-par for the stuff I’m used to reading from Volokh. No actual justification is given for why libertarians should counter their rise except to say that lots of libertarian intellectuals think they’re wrong. Which is especially stupid considering the whole ‘blood and soil’ nationalist mentality is in direct opposition to high-minded intellectuals from all over the world telling people what to do. Which is *intrinsically* anti-libertarian.

    1. You wonder why libertarians should worry about nativism?

      Hyper-nationalism has not generally been followed by great gains in liberty. Neither has attacking intellectuals.

      1. You wonder why libertarians should worry about nativism?

        No. I don’t wonder. No justification was given except “My unnamed friends says so, and they’re smart.”

        Hyper-nationalism has not generally been followed by great gains in liberty. Neither has attacking intellectuals.

        Libertarian nationalism, and let’s face it, the FF were founding a nation in defense of liberty, is not “hyper-nationalism” (nationalism+1?) and “hyper-nationalism” is nothing compared to the rise of communism or the advance of imperialism.

        And if asking intellectuals to justify their positions as they make and advance them is attacking them (while simultaneously lauding the forum in which they speak) is attacking them, then their intellectual credentials as well as their deeds and motivations should be questioned harder. Even among the origins of Western (and moreso among non-Western philosophies), abject high-mindedness in the absence of other character traits isn’t in any way desirable.

        1. I’m not sure how you would do imperialism without nationalism, but regardless I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that nationalism has gotten more people killed in the last few hundred years than imperialism and communism combined.

          1. I’m not sure how you would do imperialism without nationalism

            So, you don’t have a problem with the invading and conquering foreign nations part, just the exceedingly selective and, in the case of the US highly distributive, belief in one’s own national/ethnic superiority? Seems like a libertarian, focused on non-aggression and property rights, would be pretty key on the distinction.

            nationalism has gotten more people killed in the last few hundred years than imperialism and communism combined

            Only if you take nationalism in some abstract “people who believe in nations and borders” sense and/or slur nationalism abjectly onto people who declared themselves to be communists and socialists, but then, secular humanism is the top killer hands down. Otherwise, Stalin and Mao starved a collective ~50 million people within their own respective nations to death under the banner of Communism (by name).

          2. Helps that Communism became a pretty nationalistic movement.

            1. I’m unclear on how you square that with them trying to force it on members of other nations

      2. Hyper-nationalism has not generally been followed by great gains in liberty.

        Know what else has not generally been followed by great gains in liberty? Electing Democrats.

        1. Sick burn on Thomas Jefferson outta nowhere!

      3. Maybe hypernationalism hasn’t generally been followed by great gains in liberty, but historically ordinary nationalism has led to significant advances in liberty. Nationalism has usu. come about in opposition to imperialism, & imperialism was allied w the old feudal & guild order. The rise of nations out of empires probably more than merely coincided w, but was causally connected to, the rise of freeholding & then free enterprise, & loss of secular power by the church.

    2. That is quite the genteel defense of bigotry and backwardness.

      1. That is quite the genteel defense of bigotry and backwardness.

        I wasn’t aware that the NAP had an exception for bigotry and backwardness. If libertarians are opposed to bigotry and backwardness specifically, they should really change it to the non-bigotry, non-backwardness, and non-aggression principle. Maybe they’d attract fewer ‘blood and soil’ conservatives/libertarians if they did.

      2. You keep using that word, I don’t think you know that the word means.

    3. So you want me to explain to you why anti immigrant policies that expand government power is not libertarian and therefore anybody who supports such policies is also not libertarian? You realize that libertarianism is about liberty , including the liberty to hire Jose, including the liberty to buy from Maria and also to sell to her. If I want to sell my house or rent my apartment to Jose than I should be allowed. Jose and Maria also should have the right to buy or rent my apartment and they should be allowed to work if I hire them. That is the libertarian stance on immigration. Any body with some real understanding of free market principles would not oppose such stance.

      1. You realize that libertarianism is about liberty , including the liberty to hire Jose, including the liberty to buy from Maria and also to sell to her. If I want to sell my house or rent my apartment to Jose than I should be allowed. Jose and Maria also should have the right to buy or rent my apartment and they should be allowed to work if I hire them. That is the libertarian stance on immigration.

        But that’s not the be-all, end-all stance on it and somewhat intentionally or by design. Jose, Khalid, or Grand Dragon Johnson wants to move into your apartment and build bombs to bring about the Jihad, People’s Revolution, or Rightful ascension of the master race, they don’t get to, nor do you necessarily have the intrinsic right to transfer it to them.

        Moreover, the original author didn’t delineate anything resembling what you describe. Opposing ‘blood and soil’ nationalists because they hold some pretty anti-free trade notions is different than opposing ‘blood and soil’ nationalists because some arbitrary group of libertarian intellectuals say so or because blood and soil exists.

        1. “Jose, Khalid, or Grand Dragon Johnson wants to move into your apartment and build bombs to bring about the Jihad, People’s Revolution, or Rightful ascension of the master race, they don’t get to, nor do you necessarily have the intrinsic right to transfer it to them.”

          Who said any of those ppl were going to do that? We are not going to stop everyones liberty because less than .0001% of the population could do something stupid with that freedom. The problem with you authoritarian types is that you intentional assume the worse in ppl so that you may excuse the restrictions you seek to impose. Your’e no different than gun grabbers.

          1. Who said any of those ppl were going to do that? We are not going to stop everyones liberty because less than .0001% of the population could do something stupid with that freedom. The problem with you authoritarian types is that you intentional assume the worse in ppl so that you may excuse the restrictions you seek to impose. Your’e no different than gun grabbers.

            It was just one example among many. The odds of any given social/legal transgression are much larger than 0.001%. I don’t agree with the ‘3 felonies a day’ policy any more than you do but I’m not going to pretend that a felony isn’t a felony (at least some of them anyway) either.

            Further, you seem to have me confused with your tulpa. I didn’t vote for Trump. America has one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world and I don’t believe we should radically alter it. At the same time, we continue to erect social structures and safety nets (despite libertarians most earnest efforts) that account for given population sizes and voter acceptability both of which are unduly influenced (against libertarians best interests) by unfettered immigration.

            What’s really bizarre is that after I acknowledge your point about reasonably opposing actual anti-libertarian ideas with regard to private contracting you insist on labeling me as an authoritarian like a sophist libertarian zealot.

            1. “It was just one example among many. The odds of any given social/legal transgression are much larger than 0.001%”

              Except thats not what you were referring to. You used a bomb maker as your boogieman to argue the restriction of the freedom to sell your home to anyone. A bomb maker is less than .0001% of the population. As far as felonies go, the problem could be solved by reducing laws and turning felonies to misdemeanors. We need criminal law reforms badly here so if you have a problem with the idea that you can commit 3 felonies a day without even knowing it then you should argue for law reform not for anti immigration policies.

              1. Except thats not what you were referring to.

                Right, what I actually referred to was the fact that the author didn’t give any reason to oppose blood and soil nationalism other than the fact that other, unnamed mainstream libertarians do.

                You used a bomb maker as your boogieman to argue the restriction of the freedom to sell your home to anyone.

                I chose a bomb (and a maker of indeterminate origin and race) because we do have laws against building bombs. It’s generally regarded as a specialized profession and, more importantly from a libertarian standpoint, it’s significantly different from simply owning your own property and swinging your own fists within the bounds of that property. Even under libertarianism, you don’t (necessarily) get to grant a third party the right to blow up my property or share my telephone metadata.

                We need criminal law reforms badly here so if you have a problem with the idea that you can commit 3 felonies a day without even knowing it then you should argue for law reform not for anti immigration policies.

                I agree we need criminal law reforms here. Your “principled” adherence to un-defining ‘here’ at the most basic level of legislating makes it exceedingly difficult to approach the reform part.

                1. Why do you conflate defining here with you cant come in? A government can exist without restricting who lives in its boundaries.

                  1. Wow. What a fantastical notion. I would like the example of one government that has done so.

  16. Types of Libertarians:

    1. Actual, principled libertarians (e.g. Volokh and Balko)
    2. Republicans who use “small government” and “states’ rights” to hide their racism
    3. Republicans who use “small government” and “states’ rights” endorse plutocracy
    4. Republicans with bongs
    5. Conservatives who (correctly) are too embarrassed to identify as Republicans
    6. Emotionally stunted man-children

    1. Number 2 is the grand majority of trump supporting “libertarians”.

    2. Types of Libertarians:

      1. Actual, principled libertarians (e.g. Volokh and Balko)
      2. Republicans who use “small government” and “states’ rights” to hide their racism
      3. Republicans who use “small government” and “states’ rights” endorse plutocracy
      4. Republicans with bongs
      5. Conservatives who (correctly) are too embarrassed to identify as Republicans
      6. Emotionally stunted man-children

      Your True Scotsmen argument is both racist, anti-libertarian. Post it again, maybe that will make it more popular among any part of any electorate.

      1. Was that comment supposed to make any sense whatsover? You obviously don’t understand the “no true Scotsman” reference, nothing I said was racist, and nothing was anti-libertarian.

        Did you have some kind of traumatic head injury?

        1. You obviously don’t understand the “no true Scotsman” reference

          Types of Scotsmen:
          1. Actual, principled Scotsmen.
          2. Uncle Angus who’s a Scotsmen but votes republican and hates the Irish.
          3. Uncle Alistair who’s a Scotsmen but votes republican and doesn’t believe in progressive taxation.
          4. Scottish Uncles with bongs.
          5. Uncles from Scotland too embarassed to identify as being Scottish.
          6. Non-Scottish people who are retarded enough to consider themselves Scotsmen.

          If you think the translation between ‘no true’ and ‘actual, principled’ fools people, it says a lot more about you than it does about them.

          1. You are wasting your time. I blame the border restrictions. Absent those we might have a better class of trolls telling us all about our false libertarian consciousness.

          2. Way to miss the point.

            I’d like to thank you for pointing out another type of libertarian: the intellectually challenged guy who thinks he’s a lot smarter than he really is.

            1. I’d like to thank you for pointing out another type of libertarian: the intellectually challenged guy who thinks he’s a lot smarter than he really is.

              Yeah! Intellectually challenged people should sit down and shut up and let the smart people manage their liberty for them. Libertarianism FTW.

      2. Lol trying to destroy a political ideology by claiming that no such ideology can exclude you without going against itself is a pretty clever way to weasel your self into it. But that just tells you what the true intentions are of these so called libertarians. To force libertarians to change their pro immigration stance, why? Probably sinister reasons like ensuring normal stay away from such hateful and ignorant ideology. Or maybe to increase their recruitment pool incase they actually get a chance to resurrect national socialism.

        1. I have no idea what that means. Was that just a random assortment of words?

          1. “I have no idea what that means. Was that just a random assortment of words?”

            Are you referring to my comment?

            1. He’s trying to tell you comment cuts both ways.

              Which is really ironic since you don’t recognize it, so you didn’t mean it.

    3. Types of leftists:

      1. Lying fuckwits that spew charges of racism and sexism against anyone that dares contradict them on the smallest damned thing.
      2. See 1.
      3. See 1.
      4. See 1.
      5. See 1.
      .
      .
      .

      1. Needs moar ‘slaver’

  17. “Even more troublingly, a small but vocal group of self-described libertarians have supported the administration and right-wing “blood and soil” nationalism not as a lesser evil, but as a positive good”

    Lmao those self described libertarians are in every comment section of a Dalmia article. Lol in fact theyre now in this comment section too.

    Why do you anti immigrants fucktards feel the need to call yourself libertarian? Youre not libertarians youre either Russian trolls or useful idiots for Russian trolls.

    1. “Libertarian” sounds a lot better than “cognitively impaired, racist, white nationalist.”

      1. Lol in fact theyre now in this comment section too.

        Why do you anti immigrants fucktards feel the need to call yourself libertarian?

        I must’ve missed the physical barrier or line delineating who fits under the tent and who doesn’t. Weird.

        I mean, I can look around and see territorial behavior, nativism, and effectively nationalism throughout the animal kingdom going all the way back to invertebrates but I’m sure that, once you finish sequencing the libertarian gene or isolate the compound that induces libertarianism, we’ll be able to rid the world of those long-inbred innate evils that have plagued all these species for all these long eons (with the evildoers full consent to be cured of their affliction of course).

        You had better get to work, some of us are getting restless waiting to be baptized into the one true notion of libertarianism.

        1. I replied to 2 of your post and Im still waiting for your response to those.

        2. Animals also do NOT have courts, constitutions, trade, concept of property, language etc. According to you humans should give that up because its not in nature like your backwards nationalism is.

          1. Apparently, invertebrates “effectively” have nationalism. Who knew?

            1. We should live like ants according to his argument.

              1. We should live like ants according to his argument.

                Read the first sentence. Look at the cognitive research. Understand reality. Drop the sophist idiocy. Us vs. Them is *going* to happen, always. Even if it doesn’t happen, blind groupthink isn’t an intrinsically better libertarian option. Drawing lines of ownership, sharing collectively but only within the tribe, and issuing warnings prior to aggression is well within the bounds of libertarianism.

                The idea that libertarianism hinges on or even holds firmly to the notion open borders is already taking an abstract and unpopular ideology and lashing it tightly to a fantasy. And I’m saying this as someone who’d like to see the majority of libertarianism enacted into law (or existing law extracted from around the libertarian parts, however the case may be).

                1. So your argument is “We wuz tribal and shite”

                  Unfortunately for you libertarianism is about respecting an individuals rights not about using the collectives will to impede on his rights. Tribalism fails in a free and open society and any attempts to enforce tribalism thru law should be resisted and mocked.

                  1. So your argument is “We wuz tribal and shite”

                    No. The absence of nationalism isn’t, in any real way, libertarianism or freedom unless you’ve slurred nationalism with statism and that, nationalism and statism aside, libertarianism isn’t explicitly individualist vs. collectivist. Especially not ‘principled’ libertarianism.

                    Unfortunately for you libertarianism is about respecting an individuals rights not about using the collectives will to impede on his rights.

                    Are these individual’s rights enumerated somewhere? Seems like you’d have to found or conquer something in order to enumerate these rights and, in the interest of libertarianism and limited government, draw lines about where the do and do not apply.

                    Tribalism fails in a free and open society and any attempts to enforce tribalism thru law should be resisted and mocked.

                    Tribalism fails in the face of nationalism and imperialism as well. Actual, principled, individualist libertarianism will collapse in the face of all of the above. You either have to accept a libertarian tribe, a libertarian-oriented nation, or wait and wish for some sort of magically principled libertarian world order to emerge… somehow.

                  2. So your argument is “We wuz tribal and shite”

                    Sorry, too many words in my first reply; “We wuz tribez. Alwayz be tribez. Libutarian tribez thing. No tribez never ever, not a thing, not libutarian.”

                    1. Too many words and you didnt say anything of substance or meaning. A libertarian state does not need to restrict foreigners in order for it to protect individual rights. Thats what you fail to realize.

                    2. libertarian state

                      Does this “state”, wherever it exists, have a border around it and people inside it or no?

                    3. A state a geographical area where it protect individual rights but it does not need to put border walls or keep individuals from crossing into its boundaries.

                    4. A state a geographical area where it protect individual rights but it does not need to put border walls or keep individuals from crossing into its boundaries.

                      Which doesn’t answer the question, does it have a border around it with people inside it?

                      Either it’s a collection of citizens and property owners or it isn’t. If it is, the citizens and the property are distinct from non-citizens and other sovereign property and the government is beholden to or dominating of the people of the state within the boundaries with or without fences and walls. If it’s a state that doesn’t have citizens or property it’s not much of a state real or fictional.

                      Just because you keep saying an government can protect individual rights without preventing people from crossing its borders and voiding its sovereignty doesn’t make it so. It may be possible at some point in the past or the future, but as of now, it seems like an impossible scenario for a multitude of reasons. Shit, even among actual, principled libertarians, and having nothing to do with borders there’s considerable questions about whether businesses should be forced to bake gay wedding cakes and whether trannies are entitled to the restrooms and the pronouns of their choosing.

          2. courts, constitutions, trade, concept of property

            All of these, and a whole host of human mores, laws and customs exist solely to try to allay humans instinctive territorialism.

            Humans do this because they CAN’T rid themselves of that territorialism–though various political systems and philosophies try. These usually attempt an alteration of WHAT the subjects think of ‘territory’ as…which inevitably leads to them protecting it just as fiercely as a good range with plentiful food and females.

            When people bring up uncomfortable truths–like the undeniable facts that territorialism and hierarchy and countless other behaviors found ‘problematic’ by the left predate humanity by millions of years–they do so to let leftists know that such things aren’t ‘social constructs’ to be tossed away as easily as biological sex.

        3. The idea that property rights and polity can combine to form borders is the only thing they want kept foreign.

  18. Bull cow, you are NOT a libertarian. You are a globalist and a communist. You don’t get to claim to know what libertarians are doing.

    1. Right, and leftists do?

      Please, Art. You’ve read a libertarian blog for a long time, and you still wouldn’t know a libertarian if one came up and bit you square on the a$$.

      1. That may be, but I’m sure he knows that National Socialism is not a form of communism, so that puts him one up on you.

        1. Actually, National Socialism is a LEFTIST ideology, not one from the right. It shares far more in common with Communism than anything else.

          Like it or not, these lyrics are true.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GabfmvQ8s0A

          1. A YouTube video?

            Walk away, son.

            1. Yes, because it’s true. You don’t want to deal with the similarities in the ideology, so you try to deflect.

              I could list all of the similarities for you, but you’d just stamp your feet and cry.

              There is a lot on this topic out there, for instance:

              mises.org/library/why -nazism-was-socialism -and-why-socialism-totalitarian

              But you are too busy bowing down before statutes of Stalin.

      2. I am not a leftist.

      3. I Cal, there is a subtle and yet distinct difference between poster Rev Arthur L Kirkland and poster Arthur I Kirkland

  19. All protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, if Trump wasn’t coming out on top of the border/Dreamers/amnesty issue then articles like this wouldn’t be written.

    1. That’s an interesting bit of telepathy there – all those on the right who dislike Trump are really just angry because they love illegal immigration!

      1. Yep, it’s telepathy.

        You got me.

        No.Other.Possible.Way.

  20. If there was ever an election where the Libertarian Party should have eclipsed 10% of the vote, wasn’t it 2016…..when both major-party candidates had absurdly high negatives, had abrasive personalities, and with Clinton a healthy smell of corruption and with Trump a tragic aroma of being in above his head? Yet, Johnson could only squeeze out a mere 3% of the vote. Why? Because even pliable libertarians like Johnson and Weld still do not sell well to a society that is distinctly not libertarian.

    So most libertarians are equal opportunists….siding with the GOP when it comes to less business regulations and a flatter tax code…..and Democrats when it comes to being more open to pot legalization and abortion access. But the reality is that neither party is good about eliminating the welfare state, gutting the military, or revisiting the free associations limited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964…mostly because the majority of voters do not favor these things. So most pragmatic libertarians are incremental. Is it obvious that open borders is the best path to a more libertarian society? To me, with our social safety net, the answer is no, not obvious. Immigration being the litmus test here is quite questionable.

    1. Given how many out and avowed statists are all in on open borders I’d say that open borders is their preferred path to a less libertarian society.

      Either that or those statists are suffering from their own false consciousness.

      1. Number of ” out and avowed statists are all in on open borders”: zero.

        You guys live in a fantasy world.

        1. Trolling troll is trollish.

          Go away.

    2. “If there was ever an election where the Libertarian Party should have eclipsed 10% of the vote,”

      People who actually cared about preserving Liberty in the US voted Trump.

  21. Reason is a site loaded with open borders anarchists who hate the US Constitution and borders!!!!!!!!!

    1. That description certainly fits Bull Cow.

  22. Its cute that you think Reason is still libertarian.

  23. “Chait reaches this conclusion only by completely ignoring several of the nation’s leading libertarian organizations and intellectuals”

    As Reason and CATO ignores the actual libertarians, from their globalist SJW bubble.

    Reason’s own comment pages largely reject most of their own articles.

  24. “Cato and Reason writers such as Alex Nowrasteh and Shikha Dalmia have been among the toughest and most prominent critics of Trump’s attacks on immigration. ”

    70% of Reason commenters loathe Shikha and oppose every word she writes, and the rest think she’s an idiot and an embarrassment to Reason.

  25. Too much of the commentariat is out of touch with libertarian grass roots. There is a “Libertarian for Trump” FB page, the tip of a much larger disenchantment with not only much of gov’t but much of the professional “experts” who have made so little progress.

    Article 1 Section 8 of the US constitution grants jurisdiction to the states for immigration:
    “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

    I’d be OK with that, but I don’t think most people would like border checks at borders between US states. The author leaves out that little detail. Also leaves out any mention of Jus Gentium (law of all nations) or Jus Naturale (natural justice).

  26. The FB page is “Libertarians for Trump”

  27. Wow, I can’t believe a medium with “new york” in its name would misrepresent libertarianism and then shit all over it’s misrepresentation. Right when it was starting to get popular too!

  28. Wow, I can’t believe a medium with “new york” in its name would misrepresent libertarianism and then shit all over it’s misrepresentation. Right when it was getting really popular too!

  29. Despite the valid criticisms of the Republican Congress, the Kochs are right to support them. If the Democrats take the Senate we’ll never see another good, from a libertarian perspective, Supreme Court appointee confirmed. Getting another Neil Gorsuch or Clarence Thomas type on the Court would be worth all the nonsense of eight years of Republican control of the Whitehouse and Congress.

  30. I must admit that I don’t like Republicans or Donald Trump, but I truly hate liberal progressive Democrats. Both parties are enemies of the Constitution, but the Democrats offer a significantly worse agenda for those who really believe in limited government. Republicans give lip service to reducing government, but they want bigger government for the projects that blow their skirts up. Democrats and Republicans are just different branches of the Big Government Party.

    1. This is the attitude I see the most – hate and spite based cleaving to Trump.

      You can’t be morally accountable so long as you maintain your armor of contempt!

      1. Good lord this thread.

        You’re left of me, Sarcastr0. I got triggered when I first saw “castro” and missed the “sar” part. But I find your comments thought-provoking even when I disagree. I’ve been linked to a lot of compelling data for both sides of the immigration argument, but I don’t see any of that in these comments.

        All I see is blind Trump tribalism.

        Ilya’s article is dead-on. I don’t even agree with all of it, but I know why he’s arguing it. I also know why pro-borders folks are arguing the practical side due to income taxes and entitlement programs.

        It’s almost like we can talk about differences without screaming, “LEFTIST, COMMUNIST, MARXIST, TRUMPET, RACIST, BIGOT, et al.”

        Maybe.

        1. Thank you for this.

          There’s hope, if we get to the other side of this.

    2. republicans are only statists in practice. Democrats are, tip to tail, statastic! (that word I just made up just seems, like jeb!, to have more life with an exclamation point.)

  31. It’s easy to find the lastest list of big political donors in the 2016 election year. Of the top 10 highest donors it’s not until 7, 8, 9th place to find republican donors. #10 is Michael Bloomberg who gave $23.7M to democrats and 22,000 to republicans. #12 i Geo. Soros who gave all of his $22M to the dems. Koch Industries through Charles Koch and his wife gave a measly $4M all to republicans.

    Clearly the Koch Brothers are radical ultra conservatives hell bent on destroying the nation.

  32. Well, I am a tried and dyed in the wool libertarian, and generally I am appreciative of Trump’s presence as president.
    For sure I recognize he is not a libertarian, but perhaps an authoritarian with the many informal libertarian political instincts.
    And of course many that are not, but even on the ones he is not, I don’t see a lot of passion in his rhetoric in his unlibertarian stated positions, e.g. his stance on drugs seems to be more of a bludgeoning tactic than a calculated effort to enhance the drug war, unlike say Jeff Sessions who is a true drug war fundamentalist.
    Abortion and immigration, which Trump trumpets about, are not rock foundation libertarian issues.
    There are principled libertarians that oppose unbridled abortion policies, and there are many libertarians that view our borders as the doorsteps of our private property.
    His bluster about military might and funding thereon, is not particularly anti-libertarian, just makes libertarians uneasy about what it enables.
    He does take an unlibertarian position on domestic surveillance, which is peculiar considering he is a victim of it. But in that respect he freely criticizes the domestic federal law enforcement agencies. Which is good, and brings them a few notches down on the moral high ground they usually enjoy.

    1. And then there is the wholesale repeal and reform of so many unlibertarian economic law and regulations that seemed like they would be there forever, and would have been if any ‘normal’ president had taken power.
      EPA, Education, FTC, FDA, Energy, Taxes, realist Foreign Relations and funding regimes who do not even say thank you.
      In one year all these agencies and policies have been reformed, and culled of crap that any libertarian would despise.

      And one has to view him in context of what passes as a normal, staid, statist political leader.
      What we would have instead of Trump would be some amalgam of Obama and Bush, plodding along without reform, not challenging any entrenched political systems and apparatchiks, and the slowly encroaching economic decline via government of a thousand cuts.
      It was a political miracle that he was elected at all, but the aggregate people were so fed up with politics as usual, they tossed caution to the winds, just to get something completely different, to get some change they knew would not be coming from a ‘normal’ national leader.

      So, in sum so far, on the average I cautiously very pleased with what Trump

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