Reason Podcast

Did Donald Trump Kill the Libertarian Movement? Or Just Put It in Suspended Animation?

The challenge for libertarians is to explain that you don't get all the good stuff without having certain institutions, ideas, and temperaments in place.



"The challenge for libertarians is to explain to people that you don't get all the good stuff we like—the Netflixes, the Whole Foods, the Ubers—without having certain free-market and live-and-let-live institutions, ideas, and temperaments in place."

Today I appeared on Ricochet's podcast Michael Graham in the Morning to discuss whether Donald Trump killed libertarianism, if the president's idiotic push for killing drug dealers will work, and whether there are any principled Republicans or Democrats left. Spoiler alert: Most of my answers involve some variation on the word no.

Go here to listen via iTunes. And go here to stream on Ricochet's site. My appearance kicks in at 26:40.

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  1. I think there is a stronger case that Nick Sarwark and Johnson’s neoliberal supporters killed the ‘libertarian movement’ if such a thing existed.

    Only a hand full of libertarian commentators are actually Trump supporters (thereby proving themselves not to be actual libertarians anymore). Even Walter Block, whom you debated, only thought that Trump would be preferable to Clinton because of her obnoxious foreign policy positions. In total, he still thought Trump was bad.

    1. You an support Trump over a standard democrat (especially in today’s political world) and even appreciate some of Trump’s policies and still be a libertarian.

      But the headline is silly. Trump didn’t run as a libertarian.

      1. You can support some of Trump’s policies over Democratic policies (to be honest I don’t understand what current Democratic policy would be attractive to anyone who supports limited government), but how can anyone “support Trump” in total? The bastard is bad on trade, drugs, torture, and almost as bad as the Libertarian Party which tweets out support for gun control marches.

        Screw that

        1. One of the most evident things to me over time is that people really try to take people as all or nothing. They either like them totally, or hate them fully. If you love them, then even if they have negative qualities you will deny their existence.

        2. Who the heck supports Trump “in total”? His kids, maybe?

          I like some things about him, dislike other things about him, and generally think we could have done worse.

          We could have done better, too, but evidently there isn’t enough public support for better. If there’s one thing being in the Libertarian movement from the 70s through the 90’s taught me, it’s that, forget the Nolan chart, most people are NOT libertarians.

          And the 2016 election taught me that includes the LP’s Presidential candidates, damn it.

          1. Why forget the Nolan chart?

            Do you say that because you think the vast majority are not socially liberal and fiscally conservative? To me, that’s the beauty of the chart: it destroys the idea that one cannot be both those things. It removes the right/left divide.

            Modern leftists are desperately trying to misrepresent libertarians as being right-wing. It must be because they feel threatened by us. Don’t give them help by denying the wisdom in the Nolan chart.

            1. I think it comes down to people choosing which of those values they prefer though.

              Some prefer the social stuff. Some prefer small government.

              The problem is that a good grip of people who REALLY care about the social stuff tend to be big government people.

              The extremist then creates the party platform, and the socially liberal/fiscally conservative person has to choose between small government or tranny bathroom rights. This is how it works in the real world for now anyway.

        3. Does anybody support anybody in total?

          I’m not sure that’s even possible, because at some point you cross from support to abdication.

    2. You an support Trump over a standard democrat (especially in today’s political world) and even appreciate some of Trump’s policies and still be a libertarian.

      But the headline is silly. Trump didn’t run as a libertarian.

      1. Sorry, no you can’t. You can’t defend a sitting President and still call yourself a libertarian. That’s not how any of this works.

        1. I can. And do. Apparently, its precisely how it works.

        2. You can defend the libertarian and libertarian-ish things a sitting president does and still be a Libertarian.

          You can then criticize the bad things that sitting president does too.

        3. ” You can’t defend a sitting President and still call yourself a libertarian. ”

          You can defend him, even if you’re an anarchist, if you think he’s the better alternative.

          Not all politics is virtue signaling.

  2. I participated in the 2008 and 2012 in the Minnesota caucuses supporting Ron Paul. Half of the Ron Paul people at those events later became Trump people (even some Ancaps for some insane reason). Turns out, Ron Paul became popular because of his populist rhetoric and not his libertarianism.

    1. Or maybe, like me, they just figured Trump was the least-worst choice of the two that were realistic candidates. I can’t say I am attracted to Trump’s rhetoric.

      We did get a super-hot First Lady out of it though.

      1. Ron Paulers migrating to Trump? I think much — maybe most — of it involves alienated, marginalized, disaffected, socially inept, ineffective people looking for a way to give the finger to the mainstream.

        1. Well, I guess you can’t call them ineffective anymore if that’s the case.

          1. Boom!

        2. LOL I am sure you are some sort of millionaire blowing lines, partying with the stars, banging hotties, and programming the next Google on the side.

          Jeez the things you post man. You have got to be some troll.

    2. This was well known during the Ron Paul campaigns. It was quite clear to many of us that half the movement at the minimum were just there because they saw Ron Paul as an establishment outsider. Some because they thought he would forward a 9/11 Truth agenda. Some because they were paleocons ‘bating to a gold standard. Some were leftists who got off on the idea of bringing troops home as a way to fund massive social programs. And some who simply saw him as anti-establishment.

      1. And some who simply saw him as anti-establishment.

        This may be the biggest tie-in of all. Establishment politics and politicians are finding themselves on the ropes in all quarters. As I stated downthread, there are strange and interesting coalitions forming between traditionally left and right people, and the connection is a hatred for the establishment.

        The roots of this have been building for a long time. Hillary lost because she was the quintessential establishment candidate– and Donald Trump appealed to anti-establishment sensibilities.

        1. Well, traditional left-right politics has always been a bit of a made up distinction. But there are some things that transcend the normal issues as well.

          I’m all for having a hardcore free market economy… BUT if I have to choose between the destruction of my civilization, and messing up the economy a little bit, I’m going to try to preserve my civilization.

          A lot of people, especially autistic libertarians, REALLY don’t seem to understand that America and Europe WILL NOT continue to exist with mass migration. I think statistics on voting patterns, how these other ethnic groups think about our traditions, etc all show this plain as day… They will be gone, never to return.

          Yet just as some libertarians hold out hopes some Gay Jay of the future will magically nail 60% of the vote in a presidential election on the LP ticket, they also deny the facts as presented by reality on this.

          That is merely one example where a sober, rational person can make some concessions on things I believe in for a bigger issue.

    3. Ron Paul and Rand Paul are anti-choice. It’s hard to say you’re a libertarian while favoring government intervention in a woman’s choice to get and remain pregnant.

      So yeah, “populist” is more apt in both cases.

      1. Yeah, nothing matters except abortion on demand with no restrictions.

        Vote Demcrat then if you believe that. That’s such a maddening position. I never see so called libertarians ever saying that about guns or literally anything else.

        1. His position doesn’t represent libertarians, it represents him, and he doesn’t realize other libertarians have a different position.

          1. One thing you can learn at Reason, if you are not careful (or if you are particularly gullible), is that support of the drug war, military belligerence, government micromanagement of abortion clinics, torture, gay-bashing, border walls, contraception bans, abusive policing, and a half-dozen other right-wing strands of authoritarianism are actually libertarian positions, if only they can be properly understood.

            1. “One thing you can learn at Reason, ”

              Says The guy who has been here for all of 5 minutes because the last site he pathetically trolled for human attention that he doesn’t have appropriate social skills to get shut down.

          2. Ron Paul, not so much with Rand, basically is personally against a lot of stuff, but doesn’t believe there should be government interference in it. Abortion is a wacky thing. I mean I think almost nobody is in favor of abortions at say 8.75 months into a pregnancy… That’s just killing a baby for realz.

            So that Ron and Rand are both in favor of making them more limited than they are now… It’s fighting over specifics, which since nobody thinks abortion should be allowed up to the time of birth, is essentially what it has to come down to I suppose. Ron of course has lots of experience there what with all the vaginas he saw in his practice, so his positions are obviously affected by life experience most people don’t have too.

            Would they both outright ban it if they could? Maybe. But that’s not enough for me to discount what is otherwise the best politician of any consequence of the last 100 or so years!

      2. There is not a default libertarian take on abortion, since it all flows from your belief (or not) on whether its murder. You are simply trying to make it one.

        They both favored ending federal FUNDING of abortion (a very libertarian position) and at least Ron Paul wanted the legalization decision to be state by state. He’s not alone in feeling RVW overstepped constitutional limits by forcing legality everywhere. However, opposition abortion is not in and of itself un-libertarian.

        1. There is not a default libertarian take on abortion, since it all flows from your belief (or not) on whether its murder.

          That’s daft. Most anti-abortion advocates claim the woman should not be punished; and if you don’t believe the woman should be imprisoned, you don’t believe it is murder. The “murder” claims are just an attempt to dodge the point that most opposition to abortion derives from childish superstition.

          1. I’d say it’s pretty normal to not want to jail someone for something that’s legal (even if immoral). If it were illegal, most anti abortion types I think would want women jailed for getting one.

            It appears you agree there is not a default libertarian position, which was the point.

        2. Cutting government funding for abortion is as you say very Libertarian. Technically, Congress has zero authority to regulate it unless people travel across state lines which would probably be the case if the decision was on a state-by-state basis.

          I am more inclined to side with people making private choices and that include abortion. Another option would be that all fetuses need to be removed and if they survive, then give them to people that are anti-abortion. If the fetuses cannot live without the mother, then use the stem cells.

      3. It’s hard to say you’re a libertarian while favoring government intervention in a woman’s choice to get and remain pregnant.

        I’m pretty sure neither Ron nor Rand Paul favors any sort of government intervention in a woman’s choice to get pregnant. One of them was an OB/GYN. And they’re both in favor of women remaining pregnant once so, to avoid taking an innocent human life. Seems perfectly libertarian to me.

      4. If the unborn child is a human being, the one can only be a libertarian by asserting that force may not be initiated against the child.

        At what point the unborn child becomes a human being is not clear, but once the transition occurs the Non-Aggression Principles applies in full.

      5. “It’s hard to say you’re a libertarian while favoring government intervention in a woman’s choice to get and remain pregnant.”

        I’m pro choice, but this is stupid propaganda ignoring half the issues involved in abortion. There’s neither a fetus nor an abortion in the characterization. Just a choice, like choosing to sit of stand. It’s completely unserious.

      6. No, actually it’s easy. There’s been a strong strand of pro-life in the libertarian movement from the start. Just like there have always been plenty of libertarians who don’t support open borders.

        The libertarian movement has its issues it’s unified on, like property rights, and it’s issues it has always been divided on. Pisses me off that people are trying to conduct purges in a movement that’s already this small.

    4. Or maybe because those people were/are fed up with with the political elite and Ron Paul and Trump are not those types of people.

  3. Like many things, the answer is “compared to what ?”.

    I’d say libertarianism is chugging along at about the same pace as during the Obama years (maybe better ?).

    On the drug war, trade, and our national debt, hey I get it. Things don’t look so great. But again, its not like it was a bed of roses under Obama, with a DOJ run amok, the amplification of identity politics in colleges (and elsewhere), net neutrality, Obamacare, and a million other things. Reason sometimes seems to look backward with rose-colored glasses on the Obama years.

    On balance, it feels like we are doing the same or better.

    *descends into trench to ride out bombardment*

    1. I’m not a libertarian (any longer.)

      Disclaimer aside, Obama was far better for marijuana than Trump. He actively pursued sentencing changes to keep pot arrests from tanking the futures of young black men. He didn’t sic his DOJ on states who were legalizing pot either. His position on immigration was more nuanced as well with focusing ICE on preventing people from getting in, deporting new arrivals, and then only focusing on established undocumented residents if they were violent felons. He didn’t try to shrink legal immigration, either. Then there’s trade protectionism, which even Democrats stopped advocating for years ago. Obama was far, far better than Trump on trade.

      “Identity politics” is worse under a white nationalist administration than a black-led one but the Title IX stuff rubs libertarians the wrong way perhaps moreso than armed white supremacists marching in our streets.
      Net neutrality and Obamacare are both things I personally support but recognize as antithetical to libertarianism. Those are fair criticisms from that perspective.

      On the plus side for libertarians with Trump, he supports the right of people to discriminate against LGBT Americans in not just cake baking but also essential government services. This is a core libertarian principle (right to discriminate).

      1. Obama practiced his protectionism in theh form of regulation and the minimum wage instead. And bernie the daeling on the left likes his protectuoism just fine, thanks. Race relations tanked under obama , but I can see why you would be concerned thay the rape crisis narrative is being debunked.

        Then of course we have the documented abuses at the IRS and the surveilling of those pesky journalists, but hate speech isn’t free speech and those who denigrate the name of mohammed are not the future, right?

        1. Obama practiced his protectionism in theh form of regulation and the minimum wage instead.

          You could go down a laundry list like this that wouldn’t count because it’s domestic policy or foreign affairs or foreign policy and domestic affairs performed by the same White House on the same industry or even company doesn’t count as trade.

          Obama advocated for the UK staying in the EU. The EU subsequently taxed Apple for parking its cash in Ireland. But this is foreign policy, no actual trade is taking place.

          Obama propped up Solyndra and subsidized green/solar energy with taxpayer dollars. Solyndra flopped and China’s dirty solar energy industry boomed with the US government diverting the money. But that’s environmental policy, not trade.

          Obama rather freely admitted that the US’s IP rules are broken and took meager steps to fix it. It’s widely recognized that the TPP specifically benefits China over the US and even other poor countries in this regard, rather literally selling forfeiting IP to the Chinese who then own/control the business. But this is an IP issue, not a trade issue.

      2. Obama was far, far better than Trump on trade.

        8 yrs. of Obama and less than 2 yrs. of Trump and *it is known*!

      3. I am convinced you were never a libertarian.

        1. He was libertarian-curious at most.

      4. Sure, nothing screams libertarian like a legal sword of Damocles for a drug policy to be selectively enforced if you get in the sights of the wrong Top man or associate.

        Trump’s drug and immigration policies are bad but at least they’re consistent and hopefully rouse our torpid congresscritters into actually doing their job on the issues rather than grandstanding.

        Seriously, literally nothing you wrote is true outside the Thinkprogress bubble where words are violence and actions can be “nuanced” into something they are not.

      5. Obama was terrible on drugs. He could have delisted marijuana but didn’t. He had an “Ask the Whitehouse” petition site and the top 2 questions were about legalizing marijuana — he laughed them off with a chuckle, laughing in the face of his young supporters who thought he was different.

        1. Pres. Obama was a strong disappointment on drugs. He might even have been 10 percent as bad as Pres. Trump on the issue — unless you’re a right-wing authoritarian, in which case Pres. Trump is just a dreamboat.

        2. As a half negro he surely could have done better on weed if he actually gave a shit about black people. But he didn’t. I can see holding off on it until being reelected, but why didn’t he do anything in 2013-2016??? 2nd terms are all about doing crazy stuff that you really believe in.

          The few good things that could have come from his horrible presidency he didn’t do. Deescalating the drug war could have been one of his major achievements… It would have ended up being his only GOOD one too!

      6. “”Obama was far better for marijuana than Trump.””

        Is this the same president who’s Justice Department continually harassed and pursued legal medical marijuana users in California? If so, fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

  4. Did Donald Trump Kill the Libertarian Movement?

    *** scratches head ***

    Well, he may have *fucked* it.

    1. Did libertarianism at least get a $150K payout with that NDA agreement and bad case of the cooties?

  5. Oh, the liberaltarian moment is dead, Nick–you can slink back under your rock now.

    The libertarians are doing just fine. Because they don’t suffer from the crippling TDS that’s left folks like you sitting around in puddles of drool and excreta

    1. Libertarians despise Donald Trump.

      Faux libertarians like Donald Trump.

      1. Wrong. Libertarians can like some stuff about Trump and dislike some stuff about Trump.

        Faux Libertarians will continue to like Hillary.

      2. All Hail the God Emperor!

      3. Libertarians like policies that advance individual liberty.

        Regardless of who enunciates or enacts them

        Principles, not principals

      4. Or you could even largely ignore the person that Trump is and enjoy the affect he is having on all those who were salivating over the president being turned into a royal position.

        There are a lot of things that a Libertarian can feel about Trump. We’re complex that way.

  6. The purpose of libertarianism was never to seize the levers of power and inflict our ideas on the American people using the coercive power of government–and if there’s a truly libertarian argument for any season, it’s that politicians aren’t the solution to our problems.

    The libertarian dream happens because people want it to happen. We achieve the libertarian dream through the power of persuasion. That’s how we went from sodomy being a crime to gay marriage. That’s how we went from the drug war to seeing recreational marijuana legalized in state after state. That’s how we got rid of segregation.

    Jesus of Nazareth started with no mass media, 12 guys, and one of them was a traitor. He was able to spread his ideas so wide that ultimately you couldn’t be the Roman emperor unless you were a Christian. His ideas persevered for so long, Barack Obama felt it necessary to make sure everyone knew that he was a Christian rather than a Muslim.

    That’s the model we should be following. Wasn’t it Doherty who wrote that the primary job of libertarians has always been to create more libertarians? Transformation happens from the bottom up. Our job is to preach the libertarian gospel. Those of us who have given in to elitism are traitors to the cause. To whatever extent Trump has exposed such traitors in our midst, he’s doing the Lord’s work.

    1. This ^ , so, so this ^

      And following through your argument with “those of us who have given in to elitism are traitors to the cause” is just so right on the mark.

      Keep on keeping on, Ken.

    2. You forgot to mention how libertarians built the pyramids and are in the process of curing cancer.

      1. Are vanity projects for absolute despots really the standard you want to judge anything by?

      2. Did you forget that Barack Obama ran on the platform that “Marriage is between a man and a woman” in 2008?

        Libertarian candidates were openly advocating for gay marriage back when progressive candidates were too ashamed to do so.

        1. Thank you for your concern. I don’t come to your political party and knock the dicks out… oh wait, I guess I do.

    3. Well said, Ken. I fully agree.

    4. That’s how we got rid of segregation.

      Are you suuuure about that one?! I think you may want to reconsider.

      And when you say “we” in the context of “libertarians,” that pretty much puts the lie to everything else. But if you mean “we” as in humans in general, then yes, I agree.

      That’s how we went from sodomy being a crime to gay marriage.

      To pick a nit here… both of these laws are government force on the people. Criminalizing consensual sex and the existence of government marriage itself both seem to be anti-libertarian things.

      1. All of those issues came from the bottom up.

        MLK didn’t demonstrate in the streets because of the actions of politicians. It was a grass roots movement. The politicians were the last on board. George Wallace went from “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” to being a leading voice against segregation. And that’s typical. Politicians don’t lead the fight for big change. And isn’t that great news? What if the only way we could effectuate change were through fucking politicians?

        The politicians we need to effectuate the changes we want are already in congress. Once we get a critical mass of the people behind an issue, they’ll fall all over themselves to get on the Libertarian Express.

        Same things with recreational marijuana. Same things with gay marriage.

        David Bowie, Freddy Mercury, Rob Halford, and Boy George did more for gay rights than any politician ever did. If there hadn’t been the acceptance in the general public, the politicians wouldn’t have dared. First the general public changes, then the politicians fall in line.

        The reason marijuana had to be legalized through referendums, even in Democrat strongholds like California, was because the Democrats who controlled those legislatures were too chickenshit to do it themselves. That was a mass movement that inflicted the will of the people on politicians over those politicians’ objections.

        Social transformation always happens from the bottom up–use any “we” you want.

        1. Rob Halford

          Damn right, son.

    5. Ken, same sex marriage was instituted by judicial fiat. At best, it was the elite class that was persuaded and not for libertarian reasons. The people in general were not consulted.

      1. Bingo. And the “not for Libertarian reasons” is something that Nick never seems to notice.

      2. It went from a verboten topic to public acceptance over the course of about 20 years.

        That people were willing to come out of the closet to get married in the first place, that people were willing to accept them and even vote on the topic, etc was a function of public acceptance. The critical mass of public acceptance came first, then came the political mechanization–via the courts, referendums, congress, etc. Again, it’s something that happened from the bottom up.

        If the issue is more or less settled now, it isn’t because of any court case. It’s because revisiting that issue is thought to be a loser with the voters and average people. And to whatever extent gay marriage is unpopular with average people now, it isn’t because average people have become more homophobic than they were five years ago. It’s because they see gay rights activists trampling on other people’s religious rights.

        1. “The critical mass of public acceptance came first, then came the political mechanization–via the courts, referendums, congress, etc.”

          No, it did not. General public opinion was always a lagging indicator, right up to Obergefell. If was not, Obama would not have still been running as opposed in 2012. Clinton would not have giving grudging acceptance as late as 2016. When put before the people, same sex marriage was, almost without fail, rejected. Furthermore, the rationales on which Obergefell was decided had more to do with radical egalitarianism than liberty. The same egalitarian ideology that requires bakers to serve same sex wedding, mandates that transgendereds must be allowed in opposite sex facilities, and are demanding that the military lower PT standards for combat troops so that the overwhelming majority of women don’t wash out.

          Also, courts are not a political path, at least if they are not corrupted.

          1. You don’t need 50.01% of the people to effectuate the kind of change I’m talking about.

            You need a critical mass.

            “A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction.”


            Ask yourself this: could the courts, legislatures, other government officials have inflicted gay marriage on an unwilling population in 1950?

            Isn’t a significant portion of the population being willing to accept something a necessary condition in order for that change to happen?

            I’m sure you’re familiar with the Dredd Scott decision. It didn’t end anything. Why?

            Are you willing to go so far as to claim that growing acceptance of gay people between, say, 1992 and 2012 didn’t have anything to do with the powers you’re talking about being willing to stick their necks out for gay marriage?

            Bill Clinton championed a bill to make marriage between a man and a woman nationally.

            In 2008, Barack Obama ran on a platform of marriage being between a man and a woman.

            If they, along with the rest of the Democratic party, changed their minds on that topic after the election of 2012, that isn’t an indication that the general public hadn’t changed. That just shows you about when the wind changed direction–when the swing vote on that topic hit critical mass. Democratically elected politicians who win by slim margins are not an island of principle in the storm.

            They’re weather vanes–and they go any way the wind blows.

            1. I am saying that this was not a bottom up movement. You don’t go through the courts with a bottom up movement. Suggesting that it was, and that it won on liberty grounds rather than radical egalitarian grounds is revisionist history.

              1. It was a bottom up movement stretching back decades before they gay marriage happened.

                Are you really claiming that increasing public acceptance of gay people between . . . 1985, 1995, 2005, take your pick . . . and 2015 had nothing to do with the courts, the legislatures, etc. doing what they did to make gay marriage possible?

                Are there any other transformational changes that ever happened that way?

                Did the Civil Rights Act materialize out of thin air, or did it have something to do with the civil rights movement that accelerated in the 1950s?

                Did the Emancipation Proclamation materialize out of thin air, or did it have something to do with abolitionism and slavery going back to before 1850?

                Did people just wake up one day and decide that recreational marijuana should be legal, or was there increasing acceptance of it in the general population for years before?

                The idea that government effectuates transformational change is unfounded. The government is always the last one on board.

                If and when we meet other libertarian goals, it won’t because brilliant politicians stick their necks out and effectuate changes that no one wants. The world just doesn’t work that way, and thank goodness it doesn’t. If politicians were the solution to our problems, we’d really be screwed.

            2. “You need a critical mass.”

              All hail the Revolutionary Vanguard!

              1. It’s not about that.

                It’s about talking to your friends and family.

                It’s about talking to your coworkers in the break room.

                That’s the way transformation happens.

                That’s why authoritarian dictators are scared to death of what people are saying about them.

                If you’re an authoritarian dictator, what people say to each other can put your head on a pike. That’s the way change happens.

                1. And that’s how it happened, alright. Talking to your friends and family.

                  The only thing you’re getting wrong, is it was happening among the friends and family of the judiciary, who were persuaded, and then set out to impose it on a nation that was trying to democratically stop them.

                  Twice the public in Caifornia, (California!) voted to ban SSM. The legislature and the courts decided that the people weren’t getting what they wanted.

                  Every movement has at least a little grass roots support, but every time this one was put to the people, the people rejected it. The only reason this cause succeeded is that the judiciary decided, screw democracy, screw public support, we’re doing this no matter what anybody thinks about it.

                  Maybe you’re happy about that, because you were already on board. But you really ought to recognize how it happened, and realize that, now that they’ve felt their power, the judiciary aren’t going to stop with SSM.

                  What will they force down the public’s throat next, and will you like that, too?

                  1. the judiciary decided, screw democracy, screw public support

                    But this is precisely what the judiciary is constitutionally bound to do if what the public wants goes against the constitution.

                    You could easily argue that there is no constitutional mandate for civil marriage, but there is no way you could ever argue from a constitutional basis that a relationship status that confers a whole raft of legal and economic benefits can only be granted to a select subset of the populace.

                    I disagree with a lot of judicially found ‘rights’, but it’s pretty hard to argue against that one unless you are arguing that no on has the right to get married.

    6. The purpose of libertarianism was never to seize the levers of power and inflict our ideas on the American people using the coercive power of government-

      That was my idea though. Get in power, enforce the Bill of Rights, sic the Justice Department on the unjust parts of the fedgov instead of the general public. Lay off a big chunk of the federal workforce, bring the troops home and start submitting reasonable (though not by any stretch libertarian) federal budgets.

      1. We’re never going to get any of that done without the support of the public. It would all quickly fall apart.

        Australia had a PM who came in on a promise to not introduce a carbon tax. One of the first things she did? She introduced a carbon tax to fight global warming. Very controversial with the left supporting it and the center-right coalition opposing. At least it was controversial until the tax was applied and everybody couldn’t believe their energy bills. Once the bills came due, throwing Gilliard out on her ass–as well as the party she represented–wasn’t controversial at all. They threw her out, they got rid of her party, and one of the first things the new party did was get rid of the carbon tax.

        What the environmentalists in the US don’t understand is that if you don’t persuade the American people to want to pay through the nose to save the polar bears, then inflicting your will on them will only make them resent you. You must persuade people to want what you want in order to effectuate lasting change. Not even the communists could inflict their will on the people forever. It’s the same with us. If you want to see a balanced budget, you have to persuade people to want it.

      2. And people don’t resent you for trying to persuade them. There are anti-immigration people in this thread who will damn Dalmia but listen to me simply because they know I’m just trying to persuade them on open borders–but Dalmia wants to strip them of their ability to influence congress on the issue of immigration. If she’d stayed up all night trying to think of a new way to make average people hate open borders, she could hardly have come up with anything better.

        P.S. Gilliard gave some umpty-ump million of the Australian taxpayer’s money to the Clinton Foundation while she was Prime Minister. Guess where she works now? I’ll give you one guess.

        1. Clinton Savings and Loan for the Corrupt Global Ruling Class
          Deposit Their money, and Withdraw it as Yours!

    7. You know, it’d be a lot easier to just kill all the leftists, and force everybody that remains to be libertarians right?

      That’s why that method has been the most used in history. It works!

      We just gotta set the NAP aside for, ehhh, I dunno… Maybe 5 years? Get the job done, then go full on Anarcho-Capitalist! LOL

  7. Trump did not kill the libertarian movement. He just managed to shake out the poseurs.

    1. Yeah, but now they all run the Libertarian Party

      1. No, they hang out at LRC.

        1. Defending the Libertarian Party under Sarwark’s leadership. Bold move, Cotton

  8. How do you kill that which has no life?

  9. I’m a Trump fan, it really because of his policy decisions. They’re actually quite revolting.

    I’m just happy for the smashed assumptions.

    We had people who really thought that politics was some system where the best and brightest rose to the top, to shepherd us to a bright and highly organized future.

    And Trump came a long and said, “Nah, you’ve just never run against a foul-mouthed hasbin reality TV personality. You can freak out, now.”

    Oh, yeah, and RUSSIA!

    Who knew it was all so fragile?

    This picture really captures it all:…..9005?amp=1

    There’s your government, bitches. Wonk away on that shit, if you can.

    1. By breaking the hold the major media has on the political discourse, Trump kicked the door open for Libertarians. Sadly, they seem to be too stupid to take the opportunity.

      1. Sadly, many LINOs were just here for the butt sex, drugs, and cosmos.

        They have no intention of furthering all the Libertarian ideals like voluntary association, rule of law, property rights, maximum freedom under our constitution,

        1. The left knocked on the libertarian movement’s door, suggested an alliance, and the libertarian movement stupidly said, “Duh, why not?”, and opened the door to the invaders.

          Now we’ve got a zombie libertarian movement that only works for the parts of libertarianism that don’t offend the left. Just another institution fallen to the march through the institutions.

          Damn, the left must be nearly finished taking over, if they’re bothering to march through the LP.

          1. Pretty much. There’s more to life than butt sex, marijuana, and Mexicans!

  10. Hey, if you like “the Netflixes, the Whole Foods, the Ubers” that just sprang up unbidden out of nowhere, just think how many much better things we could have if somebody had planned this stuff rather than just sitting around waiting for it to happen! If only the right Top Men were in charge.

  11. “Did Donald Trump Kill the Libertarian Movement? Or Just Put It in Suspended Animation?”

    What the hell does Donald Trump have to do with the Libertarian Movement? I don’t see that you can make a very good case for Obama being a better Libertarian than Trump and you sure as hell can’t make any case for Hillary being better.

    Nick, grow up man. Libertarian’s need to strap the big boy pants on and take responsibility for their own fucking choices. If you are going to blame someone (not that you should); why not blame the shitty Libertarian Presidential candidate.

    Gary Johnson’s campaign was a joke. Honestly, he got by vote, but only because the Democrats and the Republicans managed to simultaneously elect the two worst candidates of my life time.

    If Libertarian’s could manage to field a winning candidate for something more than dog catcher they might actually have an influence on policy.

    1. If Libertarian’s could manage to field a winning candidate for something more than dog catcher they might actually have an influence on policy


      You should now apologize to Dog Catchers.

      1. Translation: If only the Libertarians could manage to field a big-government statist they might actually have an influence on policy.

  12. If what you mean by libertarianism is open borders corporatism masquerading as economic freedom and various leftist cultural issues that matter to the upper class and treating gun rights, religious freedom and the regulatory state as secondary issues to be traded away for the things that really matter, maybe he did. But that begs the question of how Libertarianism became that and walked away from some many issues leaving the people who valued those issues no where to turn but Trump.

    1. It’s as if Nick doesn’t read his own publication.

      1. Nick can Read!!!!!!

  13. Did Donald Trump Kill the Libertarian Movement? Or Just Put It in Suspended Animation?

    Wouldn’t that be convenient…

    No, he didn’t kill the libertarian moment, the libertarian moment may actually be strengthened under Donald Trump for reasons too long to post in one comment. But I’ll try a quick summary. There’s been a recent “alliance” if you will between somewhat conservative people and various brands of leftists. In the last year, I’ve personally witnessed more common ground between people with… my sensibilities and people who call themselves leftists and even Marxists.

    I think Brendan O’Neill put it best in a recent interview on the Rubin Report… increasingly, it’s not about Democrats vs. Republicans, it’s about people who respect freedom, individual liberty, the power of the individual to make his own decisions, and the elite technocrats who don’t trust individuals, are suspicious of freedoms and basic liberties, and want to build a therapeutic “scaffolding” around public life.

    1. I haven’t met any leftists who have anything more than a superficial and highly situational respect for freedom, liberty, etc etc. particularly on economic matters. Perhaps you hang out with a better class of lefties than I know.

  14. “The challenge for libertarians is to explain to people that you don’t get all the good stuff we like?the Netflixes, the Whole Foods, the Ubers?without having certain free-market and live-and-let-live institutions, ideas, and temperaments in place.”

    Not quite. The challenge is to argue that “certain free-market and live-and-let-live institutions” are what created Netflix and Whole Foods while also arguing that we don’t have a free-market or live-and-let-live institutions.

      1. Sorry, wasn’t meant to be a response to your comment.

    1. Maybe the fact that Nick thinks “Whole Foods, Netflix, and Uber” are the “good stuff” of capitalism is part of his problem. Does it ever occur to Nick that most people don’t shop at Whole Foods and don’t give a fuck about Uber? Capitalism and freedom gave us the automobile, great roads, commercial air service, electricity, cheap food, affordable houses in nice neighborhoods, the ability to make a living while still having time off, science, health care, and a standard of living that far exceeds any other civilization in history. And all Nick can talk about is fucking Uber. Libertarianism became this private movement for hipsters who like pot and Mexicans but don’t like taxes. Why Libertarians win elections, the mystery continues.

      1. Why can’t Libertarians win elections…

        1. They win small, local ones all the time. They can’t compete at a national level unless they’re also populists. So it’s basically a good thing that those sort don’t get elected. Now if we can keep populist Dems and GOP from getting elected we’d all be better off.

      2. John, I think it’s because Whole Foods, Netflix, & Uber are recent, while cars, roads, planes, electricity, etc. are much less recent, hence less relevant.

    2. Good point.

      How did we get a Netflix? By using government planning and funding to create ARPANET as a defense project and then allowing that to morph into the internet and be made available to the public. But at its core, it’s US government designed and paid for. That’s not libertarianism in action. Or Uber, with its cars that drive on roads which are government property and maintained by taxes and created through central government planning–not libertarian either. Whole Foods uses the same transportation system that Uber uses and benefits from a variety of government regulations on food quality and safety that keep cheaper competitors out.

      In a libertarian world, Netflix would have had to build or lease its infrastructure from private parties. Uber would have to make deals to drive on other people’s roads. Whole Foods would compete with farmers who could grow their crops in human manure for half the price.

      All of these are examples of businesses built on tax dollars and government infrastructure and regulation.

      1. Uber only arose because of government granted monopolies on taxi services. Take that away and there would have been no Uber. There just would have been various private taxi services.

        1. That’s all Uber is, a private taxi service. The media continues to refer to Uber as a ‘tech company’ with a groundbreaking idea. All they did was two things: create a more efficient way to hail a taxi, and decentralize the service.

          1. And it still loses tons of money.

            1. Probably because they’re spending it all on robot cars that run over drunk pedestrians.

              1. Not the car’s fault !

        2. I can still see Uber existing, as it’s really an efficient infrastructure for finding workers with clients. But it definitely would have been less impactful.

        3. I agree that Uber is a response to taxi monopolies. I disagree that it wouldn’t exist without taxi monopolies because other mobile app sharing services have popped up absent similar monopolies to urge them on, like EAT24, Doordash, etc.

      2. But at its core, it’s US government designed and paid for.

        Point of order, government doesn’t pay for anything.

        1. Pedantry is an art. 🙂

          1. Speaking of pedantry, the current internet would be unrecognizable to government employees when it was ARPANET or whatever.

            We have cell phones now because the government wanted to expand wireless communications via radio….

            The government gets credit for a tiny portion of what the internet is, the majority is private enterprise or psuedo-private enterprise.

      3. ARPANET was not US gov’t designed. It also could not scale to deliver Netflix. So many things had to happen to enable that that it’s truly an I, Pencil example:

        Cheap, high speed optical interconnects
        Incredibly cheap data storage
        And so on.

        1. Yeah, ARPANET = text email at dialup speeds, no attachments, no video. It’s not the Internet.

          1. As someone who was on the internet before it went public, there were attachments and video, just not like what we see today. The internet of 1990 wasn’t a model T but it also wan’t a Tesla. It did have HTTP (invented at CERN, btw, a government project too) and animated GIF and many of the things we take for granted today, just clunkier.

            Like tax-funded roadways, the internet has been a great boon for businesses to build upon. We shouldn’t forget, though, that it’s built via government. For a lefty like me, that’s no big deal. For a libertarian, that might be one of those inconvenient truths.

            1. ZOMG! You were on the internetz?!! See your mistake is that you confuse ARPANET with NSFNET. You confuse HTTP with something relevant. Consider it’s predecessors like Gopher/WAIS and the fact that HTML is really nothing more than SGML repackaged, which in turn came from IBM.

              For a lefty like you, history is an inconvenient truth.

        2. Of course it was. Tax money (hey Diane Reynolds (Paul.)!) was funneled through government agencies to DARPA which designed and built the infrastructure of the internet. That some of that money was in the form of government grants to universities and other research firms to design the components doesn’t change this one bit.

          You’ll want to subtract government grants out of all of those things first. Some of that may have been private, some government partnership, but the core of the service is rooted in government.

          1. Again, you confuse funding with design. What does Wiki say?

            Meanwhile, since the early 1960s, Paul Baran at the RAND Corporation had been researching systems that could survive nuclear war and developed the idea of distributed adaptive message block switching.[10] Donald Davies at the United Kingdom’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) independently invented the same concept in 1965.[11][12] His work, presented by a colleague, initially caught the attention of ARPANET developers at a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in October 1967.[13] He gave the first public demonstration, having coined the term packet switching, on 5 August 1968 and incorporated it into the NPL network in England.[14] Larry Roberts at ARPA applied Davies’ concepts of packet switching for the ARPANET.[15] The NPL network followed by the ARPANET were the first two networks in the world to use packet switching,[16][17] and were themselves connected together in 1973.[18][19]

            So what was that you were saying about APARNET inventing the whole interwebz all by itself? ANd I haven’t even gotten started on all of the backbone stuff that actually enabled the network in the first place, but your experience goes all the way back to 1990 so who am I to dispute someone from

  15. Libertarians have spent the last 20 years courting leftists for support. They embraced every leftist social cause that came along. They joined with leftists at every opportunity. Meanwhile, they entirely walked away from religious freedom, completely rejected any concept of national sovereignty viewing immigration as a culture war issue. Their Presidential candidate said forcing people to participate in gay weddings was totally fine. The VP candidate pretty much rejected gun rights. The VP at Cato wrote a long piece explaining how embarrassing the 2nd Amendment was and how gun rights are an issue to be traded for things that matter.

    The great Libraltarian experiment was a nice idea but it failed. Leftists hate Libertarians and always will. And Libertarians don’t offer them anything. If I think gay marriage and transgender rights and totally open borders are the most important issues, I can just vote Democrat and get all that along with all the leftist economics I crave. What is the point of being a Libertarian if you are a leftist? Nothing.

    1. They’re the anti-tribe tribe, john. Socially liberal, fiscally convenient, and willing to go to the mat for their principles, or at least until a pragmatic compromise shows itself.

      1. You and I don’t always get along Skippy, but Socially liberal, fiscally convenient is an awesome line. I am so stealing that. Let it never be said I don’t give credit where credit is due. Damn, that is a brilliant turn of phrase.

        1. Don’t take it personally. I hate you all.

          1. Hating someone is a compliment. Most people are not worth hating.

            1. Now I hate you more.

              1. The feeling is mutual.

                1. Just fuck already.

                  1. Hate fucks are the best fucks but best enjoyed with a little bit of delayed gratification.

        2. Yeah, I like the Socially liberal concept of injecting procaine into a non-consenting being, crushing its skull, slicing off its limbs, then sucking through a tube and tossing it in a bag. And if that is not enough, one can wait longer and when the non-consenting being decides to appear before its master, you can harvest its parts for profit.

          1. Rather than force a sentient being (aka: woman) to maintain a pregnancy against her will, even for her rapist’s child, while paying for her own medical care in the process. When you choose to use government force to make the woman bear children against her will in favor of a zygote that doesn’t even have consciousness nor the ability to survive on its own, your ideology is irrational.

            But wait, that wasn’t enough, so you gave birth to a strawman to top it all off with some bizarre organ-harvesting conspiracy theory. (If you can tie that to a pizza shop, I bet InfoWars will bleat about it and Fox News will support it. You could get rich!)

            1. I guess we found the one type of immigrant the left is literally willing to kill.

          2. I like the Socially liberal concept of a woman making her own healthcare decisions and you staying the fuck out of it.

            1. I like the libertarian concept of a woman making her own decisions and being responsible for the consequences of her actions.

              And no, that doesn’t include killing people who have inconvenienced her because of those decisions and actions.

    2. Leftists generally support a strong central government. Full Stop. At our fundamental core, we are not compatible with the broader libertarian ideology. That will never change. But we’re honest about it, unlike the Rightists, who preach small government but actually grow it faster these days than us Leftists. Which, I admit, is quite a feat.

      Leftists love religious freedom. Many of us are members of a religious faith. But “religious freedom” has been rebranded as a right to discriminate based on faith, which Leftists don’t support. (But, libertarians do, so there’s another alignment with the Rightists.)

      “Rejected any concept of national sovereignty” is just right-wing propaganda. Obama deported and prevented entry to more illegal immigrants than any prior president while Mexican immigration reversed under his presidency.

      “Forcing people to participate in gay weddings” is more right-wing propaganda. A libertarian would dislike the fact that the government was involved in marriage at all.

      “rejected gun rights” is also more right-wing propaganda. When you have to pretend that universal background checks mean taking away everyone’s guns, you’ve already lost.

      There are a number of things leftists and libertarians can partner on. That’s what makes it possible for lots of people with different ideologies to live together–collaboration on where we agree, compromise where we can, and then agree to disagree on the rest. The right has forgotten that lesson.

      1. Leftists love religious freedom. Many of us are members of a religious faith. But “religious freedom” has been rebranded as a right to discriminate based on faith, which Leftists don’t support. (But, libertarians do, so there’s another alignment with the Rightists.)

        That is one hell of a piece of newspeak. You believe in religious freedom so long as people don’t believe things you find objectionable. Let me give you a hint, if your idea of freedom doesn’t include the freedom to do live in ways you don’t like, then it isn’t freedom. You are just fucking lying to yourself and rationalizing your own bigotry and rejection of freedom. That garbage may be convincing to yourself, but it isn’t convincing to anyone else.

        rejected gun rights” is also more right-wing propaganda. When you have to pretend that universal background checks mean taking away everyone’s guns, you’ve already lost.

        It means making it a felony to get your grandfather’s shotgun without registering it and doing a background check. What part of he word “universal” do you not understand? If you don’t understand how that is both a utterly ineffective way to control gun crime and also a trojan horse to enact gun confiscation, then you are a fucking moron who doesn’t know anything about the subject of gun control or more likely you are just a dishonest twat pretending to support something you really don’t.

        1. You believe in religious freedom so long as people don’t believe things you find objectionable.

          So you’re a mind reader now? You know what I find objectionable (besides arguing in bath faith…)?

          I notice that you shift from what people believe to the way they live as well. So to be frank, I know people believe some weird, crazy, and evil stuff. I don’t care. Believe what you want. That’s religious freedom and I’m 100% behind it. But the way a person lives is different. (and really, if you were arguing in good faith, I wouldn’t need to even say this.) A person can believe that human sacrifice is the correct way to appease their gods but if they live that way, and kill someone, yeah, I have an issue. When someone’s actions (the way they live) interfere with another’s civil rights, I have a problem. So how someone lives their faith matters more to me than what they believe. Violating other people’s civil rights isn’t part of “freedom” in the sense you mean it, right?

          I’ve yet to hear anyone describe how universal background checks are a “trojan horse to enact gun confiscation” that stands up to any sort of rational test. I assume people believe this crap because it’s some sort of religious/conspiracy thing. If you can explain how universal background check is intended as a trojan horse without referencing conspiracy theories or the usual “libtard” distractions, I’m all ears.

          1. The right to believe something means the right to live that way. If “freedom” only means that you can think whatever you want as long as you don’t say it or live it, then you are not free. People in North Korea can think whatever they want. But they are not free. If I object to a gay wedding, I should not have to sell my wares to it. It is that simple. The whole point of beliefs, whatever they are, is to discriminate. That is what a belief is; saying one thing is better than others.

            If you make all gun transfers subject to background checks, then every gun must be registered with the government. Doing the background check makes that so. IT also means every person who has a gun must register it if they want to sell it or give it away. If you knew anything about guns and didn’t pride yourself on ignorance, you would know that most people who actually own guns don’t buy them at gun shops. Guns are passed through families and among friends. Universal background checks would make all of that criminal and most gun owners criminals with it. And making gun ownership criminal is the entire point. So, stop lying or go and learn something. You seem pretty untrainable and I really don’t have the patience to try and make you any smarter.

            1. So people who do believe in human sacrifice religiously should be able to practice it?

              1. If the sacrifice consents.

                1. Imagine a breach of contract suit with a consenting human sacrifice who is angry that they missed his heart. Or his survivors and heirs, who are angry that they killed him badly.

                2. Not much of a sacrifice if it consents.

                  1. Sacrifices, yet another thing Tony doesn’t understand.

              2. I believe Planned Parenthood is legal, yes.

            2. The right to believe something means the right to live that way.

              This is anti-social to its core. It is an insane belief. It eliminates the concept of “crime” because if you believe it then you have the *right* to live that way. (are you even reading what you’re writing?)

              re:guns. You skip over something essential in your attempt at describing the trojan horse. It’s like the Underpants Gnomes… you’ve got Step 1 and Step 3 down pat but cannot figure out what Step 2 is that leads you there. So, the government knows the name of every person who has a gun. Check. I like that. This is good in my opinion (and since I believe that, I have a right to live that way, yes?!) Guns are passed by families and friends. I know about that, too. Think it’s great. Check.

              Universal background checks would make all of that criminal and most gun owners criminals with it. And making gun ownership criminal is the entire point.

              [sound of record scratching here…] Say whaaat?! How do you get from Step 1 to Step 3 here? Where is the connection between a friend giving you a weapon to becoming a criminal? If I get a gun from a relative and I register it and get my background check I’m good, right? But you’ve taken a leap from that to prison, which makes no sense. And then, you call me an idiot and say I’m “untrainable” so you don’t have to back up your crazy assertions with at least an average attempt at logic.

              1. “Forcing people to participate in gay weddings” is more right-wing propaganda. A libertarian would dislike the fact that the government was involved in marriage at all.

                And you, the Leftist, are fine with compelling speech and action. So what exactly is your point?

                “This is anti-social to its core. It is an insane belief. It eliminates the concept of “crime” because if you believe it then you have the *right* to live that way. (are you even reading what you’re writing?)”

                And yet you think you have the right to compel a progressive tax code. Does that make you anti-social? His point was that religious freedom means just that: the ability to live your live as your conscience dictates. That’s quite libertarian up to the point that you try to inflict harm on someone else. And, no, harm does not mean that I don’t give you what you want.

      2. Forcing people to participate in gay weddings” is more right-wing propaganda. A libertarian would dislike the fact that the government was involved in marriage at all.

        More newspeak. Being told that you must serve gay weddings as a price of running a business, is forcing people to participate. It is that simple. It is clear that you really are a leftist because every position you seem to hold involves lying and pretending words mean something other than what they do.

        1. This is the best you can do? Frothing at the mouth accusations?

          Let’s unpack this, shall we?

          1) Libertarians should dislike business licenses. Aka “price of running a business.”
          2) Libertarians should dislike government regulated marriage.

          Both of these seem to me, as a former libertarian, to be solid libertarian ideals which would outweigh the whole “gay” thing. A libertarian doesn’t care if you’re gay but they do care that the government is getting into your business or your personal life.

          But you skip over these and go straight to the social conservative fixation on gays. So I’m thinking your’e not libertarian either but a social conservative.

          In any event, the whole “participation” thing has lowered the bar so low that the guy that changes the oil on the limo that drives the couple to the airport for their honeymoon is “participating in the wedding.” Sure, they’re not actually at the ceremony. Sure they’re not invited. Sure, they merely rented them a car or a tux or sold them a cake, but that’s practically right up there in “participation” as being someone sitting in a pew at the ceremony. That’s right-wing propaganda. Hyperventilation over gayness is silly and not at all libertarian. Feel free to believe what you want, of course. I’m just using my freedom of speech to tell you that you’re wrong. (another libertarian ideal.)

          1. Are you saying that gay marriage is not in the set of all marriages? You are butthurt that he doesn’t like you. Guess what? Not liking you is permitted in the libertarian philosophy.

      3. Leftists generally support a strong central government. Full Stop. At our fundamental core, we are not compatible with the broader libertarian ideology. That will never change. But we’ll lie about it–the better to infiltrate and destroy your institutions and traditions leaving you ripe for the conquest we call ‘revolution’.

        Leftists loathe religious freedom. Only the State is worthy of devotion.

        There are no things leftists and libertarians can partner on. But we will lie. That’s what makes it possible for us to insinuate ourselves into every nook and cranny we can find. We interfere with the possibility of lots of people with different ideologies living together–by pitting them against each other based on grievances we created in previous attempts at total control. Eventually we will destroy any ability to survive as a civilization.

        We destroy everything we touch.

        And then, start anew, in a new place, sowing discord and hatred.

        We cannot be reasoned with, we can only be killed.

        The right has forgotten that lesson.


    3. “”Libertarians have spent the last 20 years courting leftists for support.””

      Except those in Auburn who spent the last 20 years courting and blowing the scum on the far distant right.

    4. “The great Libraltarian experiment was a nice idea but it failed.”

      No, it wasn’t a nice idea. It was a stupid, suicidal idea. Anybody who has any historical understanding of the left at all understood that, when the left comes knocking at your door, you nail it shut and start a fire under the cauldron of oil, you don’t throw the door open and embrace them.

      The left are takeover artists. Their whole gig is identifying vulnerable institutions, getting a foot in the door, taking them over, and then using them up to advance leftist causes.

      The left doesn’t do alliances. They do takeovers.

  16. “The challenge for libertarians is to explain to people that you don’t get all the good stuff we like?the Netflixes, the Whole Foods, the Ubers?without having certain free-market and live-and-let-live institutions, ideas, and temperaments in place.”

    Maybe, but we libertarians also like Planned Parenthood, and I read on Vox they get over $500 million annually from the government. So the market can be cool and all, but public funding definitely has its place.

    1. You keep confusing left-libertarians with progressives. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between the two says more about you than about either of those groups differences from plumb line libertarianism.

      1. “Yeah, rent-seeking is bad, unless it’s funding a political lobbying group for the Democratic Party that I most definitely am not a part of”

        That’s pretty much the left-libertarian position. It’s totally different from progressivism

      2. Actually, since I am a left-libertarian and many of my friends are progressives, I’m well aware of the differences. They frequently come up in conversation. Just one example ? my progressive friends criticize extreme wealth, specifically the Koch Brothers and others whose net worths are in the tens of billions of dollars. I, in contrast, recognize no upper limit to how much any one individual “should” have. As long as the richest people in the country support open borders, they’re OK with me.

      3. That’s not confusion.

        There’s no such thing as a ‘left-libertarian’. Can’t be. The collectivism at the very core of the ‘left’ is anathema to the commitment to personal liberty that’s at the core of libertarianism.

        “Left-libertarians” ARE progressives. They’re progressives who’ve slipped in to try to destroy libertarianism.

    2. Planned Parenthood really doesn’t cost anything. They operate abortion clinics in poor urban neighborhoods so to the extent that they’re killing little colored babies that would otherwise grow up to be gangbangers, drug dealers, welfare cases and all-around burdens to society, Planned Parenthood more than pays for itself and is actually an investment in our future.

      1. PP doesn’t kill “babies.” That would be illegal. What they actually do is remove unwanted clumps of cells from people’s bodies. Very similar to what surgical cancer doctors do, if you think about it.

  17. Remind me how many subpoenas Reason had under the the libertarian moment which is now supposedly hibernating. Remind me how many they’ve gotten since it went into hibernation. My memory is a little rusty.

    1. Trump is so powerful, he causes things to happen before he takes office. He is like the Chuck Norris of evil politicians.

  18. There really is no libertarian moment ever. People just want the government not to prevent them from doing things they like, while helping them do the things they like.

    And the writers at Reason are no different. Government supported museums? Reason loves them. Government funded abortion? Ditto. Violence against speech they don’t like? Good.

    1. It is human nature to care more about people and things you like than people you don’t. It takes an exceptional amount of thoughtfulness and integrity to stand up for people and things you don’t like. Reason is no different. The staff are a bunch of urban hipsters and care most about the things that other urban hipsters care about.

      1. It wasn’t always that way. Dave Weigel stuck out like a left-wing sore thumb back during the Bush Administration; in the current crop of Reason writers he would look conservative.

  19. He’s way more libertarian than your hero Block Yomomma is, asswipe!

    1. How are things worse today for Libertarians than they were under Obama? I can’t see it. Every policy that Trump has that should be odious to Libertarians was also supported by Obama. Meanwhile, Trump is the first President to reduce the regulatory state since Reagan. Last I looked reducing the regulatory state was something Libertarians were supposed to care about in between shopping at Whole Foods and taking an Uber to the nearest delicious, immigrant run food truck.

      1. Uber go bye bye as soon as it runs out of VC cash it’s using to subsidize its rides. Why Reason doesn’t get that… Nevermind.

        1. Have any articles about that?

          1. Try this.

            1. It’s interesting. And it’s also striking how much of the issue points less to an issue with their model, but in pure regulatory and legal fees.

              Also, scuttlebutt is that Uber is basically party central with everyone fucking in the halls. So they might finally crash and burn before someone else take over.

              1. Uber has absolutely no mote except the government regulations it’s skirting. If those were to ever go away, they woild vanish overnight.

          2. It doesn’t surprise me. Yes, cab companies have monopolies, but having a monopoly doesn’t give you unlimited pricing power. So the benefits of ending monopolies are rarely as big as people imagine.

        2. I have never found Uber to be cheaper than cabs. I have honestly never understood why they were supposed to be some big improvement. They are also elitist as hell. Being a cab driver has always been one of the best entry level jobs available for immigrants or people who have been out of the job market for bad reasons like jail or drug abuse or whatever. You didn’t need anything but a license and the character to show up and work. To be an Uber driver you have to have a nice car. And that shuts out people who are truly at the bottom and trying to work their way up.

          1. Interesting. Every time I’ve used Uber it’s about 50% cheaper than a cab. Where do you live?

            1. I live in a large city. Uber is cheaper as long as you are using it in off hours. In peak hours the price goes up and is higher than cabs. The thing about cabs is that because they are regulated, they have to charge the same rate regardless of the time. Uber doesn’t have to do that. So it changes its fees based on demand. From an economic perspective that makes perfect sense.

              It is why urban hipsters love uber. They are usually taking cabs late and night and at off times when uber can be cheap. Uber isn’t such a great deal for people who have to take cabs at peak times for whatever reasons. In fact, it can be a bad deal for them if uber crowds out the local cab company and makes it harder to get a regular cab. Not that that is necessarily a good justification for cab monopolies. I don’t think it is. But, it further shows how Uber is something for upper class urbanites and not something that anyone else really gives a fuck about.

              1. Though in your case it’s also good for people who are willing to wait around a bit to save money as opposed to having no choice at all.

                1. Exactly. And there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it benefits people in certain circumstances and is bad for people in others. Uber is hardly some kind of miracle for city dwellers. But the reason hipsters can’t seem to understand that.

              2. The thing about cabs is that because they are regulated, they have to charge the same rate regardless of the time.

                That doesn’t follow. The regulation could be written to allow surge pricing.

  20. Does Reason support Jews moving freely into Syria? After all they support Syrian men freely moving where they wish.

  21. He grabbed it by the pussy is what he did.

    1. Did the media do a story on Obama again?

    2. Hmmmm. Not bad, Tony.

  22. I feel qualified to speak about this since I originate from a dimension where the Libertarian Moment? occurred. People in this dimension, and probably most, aren’t intrinsically supportive of Libertarian values. There’s a reason why we’re in the current situation. Thus placing that burden on one or a few men is stupid.
    (For the record, I only read the headline and not the article because I have very important matters to handle with respect to this dimension’s current me. Wish me luck for this is an important mission.)

  23. The Libertarian movement is just fine if not better than ever.

    Many of the fake LINOs outted themselves as anarchists, neo-liberals, socialists, etc.

    Even better it that the Democratic Party is falling apart so fast that Libertarians can jump right into American’s two-party system soon vs the Republicans.

    1. Nobody sucks more Republican cock here than you, except maybe John. I don’t think these people want you speaking for them.

      1. You have your mouth all over every authoritarian Democrat or Republican, so what would you know about anything Libertarian.

    2. LoveCons – you are a garden variety conservative Republcian.

      Ayn Rand (who hated conservatives like Reagan) would tell you to go fuck yourself (like I tell you to).

      I am an Ayn Rand fan who also despises conservatives.

      1. Did Rand pay her bets?

        1. Have you stopped diddling little boys?

      2. Ah: one of those Ayn Rand Libertarians that Ayn Rand would hate.

  24. Donald Trump IS the “Libertarian Moment”

    1. Giggity!

    2. Trump’s greatest value to libertarians has been his ability to cast a blinding spotlight on the absurd incompetence of the Federal Government. Even the Media are starting to warm up to this limited-government Constitution thingy.

  25. Trump, like any other Ruling Party narcissist, is entirely orthogonal to the Libertarian movement. Stupid question is stupid.


  26. I’ve voted GOP most of my life. From after Nixon (when I turned 21) till Bush Jr’s 2nd disastrous, lying term. I voted for Harry Brown, the Libertarian candidate. The reason the Libertarian Party is no longer viable is that they have abandoned intelligent candidates and are now promoting frat-boy clowns as their candidates. Seriously? Gary Johnson? I watched in amazement as he and his VP runningmate were interviewd on the tube, and neither knew what Aleppo was..or what their platform was. And I sat stunned as they punched each other in the shoulder and all but gave each other nuggies and called each other dude!. WTF?

    1. And I sat stunned as they punched each other in the shoulder and all but gave each other nuggies and called each other dude!. WTF?

      Capturing the under 18 vote.

    2. When you have no real budget and no chance of winning the election you get what you get.

      I think one thing the LP did in the election was take what they had and geared the message to millenials and younger voters in an attempt to at least get their attention. I don’t know if it did anything but some who did not know anything about libertarians might begin to see it as an alternative.

      A lot of elections are very close. If we keep putting up candidates the republodemocrats will at least need to take libertarians seriously.

      1. It’s mostly the no chance of winning thing. Back in the 90’s, when the campaign ‘reforms’ reached the point of rendering the LP non-viable, the serious people left.

        The LP of today is what the people who stayed anyway made of it.

    3. Libertarians got 4 million spoiler votes–5 million, actually, once you realize that people who steal also lie. That’s clout enough to repeal a mess of violent and superstitious laws–and change party platforms.

  27. “The challenge for libertarians is to explain that you don’t get all the good stuff without having certain institutions, ideas, and temperaments in place.”

    Indeed it fucking is!
    Reason is such a clown show!

    That’s what we’ve been saying about Open Borders for a couple of years now, while you evade the issue.

    Still waiting for an answer.

    Will we get it, now that you’re using the point yourselves?

    1. ZING!

      Don’t worry, they still won’t get it.

  28. One Fact to Keep In Mind:
    If Reason had had their way, Clinton would be President over Trump.

    The corruption of the Obama administration would never have come to light.
    The corrupt holdovers would still be running all federal intelligence and law enforcement.
    The DeepState NeoCon and Leftist Globalist alliance would be stirring up Cold War II with Russia
    Cankles would have christened 10 million illegal aliens as citizens, ensuring a Big Government Leftist electoral majority until the end of time.
    Identity politics gains even more power, as the Left continues their push to divide and conquer the country.

    Corrupt, lawless, racist big government til the end of time.

    “Libertarian Moment”


    Trump ends the Obamacare mandate.
    Performs the greatest regulatory purge in American history.
    Has a yuge tax cut.
    Replenishes the judiciary with judges who actually believe in the Constitution and the rule of law.
    Defeats ISIS. (I can’t wait for the Sheldons to shriek about how awful it is that back to the cave theocratic totalitarians were defeated.)

    All in year 1.

    Which of those two outcomes looks more libertarian to you?
    So who actually supported a more libertarian outcome, Reason or Trump supporters?

    1. Yeah, but he doesn’t want to flood the country with unlimited immigration from shithole countries!

      And he thinks it’s dumb to have one sided trade deals, so he’s willing to lay the hammer down to threaten other nations to force them to give us better deals!

      And he’s big and fat and mean and stuff!!!

      These left libertarians have become way too obsessed with virtue signalling, just like the leftists who don’t understand economics.

  29. People don’t want liberty.

    1. Sure they do, they just don’t want as much as you.

      1. I don’t believe in degrees of liberty. You either have it or you don’t.

        1. Not sure where you will find 100% Liberty.

          Even under the constitution there was not 100% Liberty. It was a great start to maximizing liberty under a limited government.

  30. By what reasoning does Reason downsize Andrew Heaton, yet keep Nick belching foul gases at all things libertarian?

  31. TL;DL, but…why would anyone think Donald Trump would, or could, kill the libertarian movement? This is something that’s been going on for 1000s of yrs., how could a single person or event affect it much in any direction?

  32. So….no “Libertarian Moment” then?

  33. Trump is not now, and never has been a libertarian. He is a populist, watching which way the wind blows.

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