Politics

Americans Can't Stand Each Other, So Let's Stop Forcing Our Preferences on One Another

If you want to avoid conflict among hostile groups, decentralize power-preferably to individuals.

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Emilee Mcgovern/ZUMA Press/Newscom

As a display of Americans' seemingly growing intolerance for one another, last week presented something of a perfect storm. The flash career of a prominent conservative writer at The Atlantic, the seeming endorsement by several tech executives of one-party rule, and the president waging war against businesses to punish media companies that criticize him provide the latest suggestions that some Americans don't play well together and should probably withdraw to separate corners.

Kevin Williamson's mayfly tenure at The Atlantic represented a rare and aborted effort by a mainstream media organ to connect with ideas with which many of its readers are unfamiliar. Williamson is "an excellent reporter who covers parts of the country, and aspects of American life, that we don't yet cover comprehensively," editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg told staffers in an internal email.

But maybe people prefer that some things remain mysteries. At least, that seemed to be the case once the blunt and provocative Kevin Williamson was revealed to actually believe that aborting a pregnancy should be treated as homicide, and subject to the applicable penalties—potentially including capital punishment. When Goldberg discovered that Williamson's hard-core social conservative opinions "did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views," Williamson was fired.

Exposure to opposing views can be scary for some—so scary, in fact, that prominent tech gurus think perhaps we should sideline them entirely somehow.

"We can't have one step forward, one step back every time an administration changes. One side or the other has to win," Peter Leyden, CEO of Reinvent Media, insisted recently. Leyden puts forward California, where the GOP has collapsed and been swept aside by a nearly one-party state, as the ideal outcome for "the new American civil war."

Leyden doesn't fret that the disappearance of one of America's two major parties would turn democracy into a sham, because in the California primary system "the voters still got a choice between, say, a more progressive candidate and a moderate candidate…who almost all operate within a worldview that shares much common ground." The rest of the country should follow California's lead on embracing one-party rule, Leyden opined.

Evan Williams, cheif executive at Medium and the former head of Twitter, called this an "interesting take." Current Twitter chief Jack Dorsey named it a "great read." Sure—if you're into creepy bedtime stories.

While we're on creepy, let's talk about President Trump's battle against the Washington Post via Amazon. By all accounts, the nation's chief executive has declared war against the online retail giant to punish the company's CEO, Jeff Bezos, for his ownership of the Trump-critical Washington Post.

"Mr. Trump sees Mr. Bezos's hand in newspaper coverage he dislikes and is lashing out at Amazon as a proxy," according to the Wall Street Journal. Given my own family's long experience with Trump's thin skin (he threatened to destroy my father over the publication of an unauthorized biography), it's easy to imagine the guy acting on his own intolerance of criticism (as well as the example set by his White House predecessors) to attack his political opponents.

And why shouldn't we attack and try to sideline one-another at this point in our mutual loathing? Americans increasingly want very different things from their political system. "[I]n recent years, the gaps on several sets of political values in particular—including measures of attitudes about the social safety net, race and immigration—have increased dramatically," Pew Research Center reported last October. Just two weeks ago, Pew added that while Democrats and Republicans embrace their political loyalties out of support for their preferred policies, "sizable majorities in both parties cite the other party's harmful policies as a major factor."

No wonder, as a CBS News poll found in February, "the percentage of Democrats and Republicans holding negative views of the opposing party has grown in recent years." The same poll found that about half of us have a difficult time talking to people with different political views.

Americans have long been voting for different lifestyles with their feet, and those lifestyles correlate with different views of the world. A majority of Republicans (65 percent) "say they would rather live in a community where houses are larger and farther apart and where schools and shopping are not nearby," polling finds. Meanwhile, most Democrats (61 percent) "prefer smaller houses within walking distance of schools and shopping."

Which is to say, the stereotypes may be largely correct—urban liberals are facing off against rural-to-suburban conservatives. And once settled in their varying homes and kicking back to catch up on the day's events, lefties and righties strongly disagree on which news sources are worthy of their attention—or whether the media should be trusted at all.

If you increasingly disagree with your political opponents, don't like them, rarely encounter them, get your information from different sources, and can barely speak with them during scarce meetings, it really does become tempting to treat them as the "other." In the modern context, that means shaming, muzzling, punishing, and trying to side-line them completely so you can force your preferences down their throats.

But why treat every political preference as a collective endeavor that must be imposed on the unwilling? This country started as a federal system, with most decisions devolved downwards on the premise that each state should be entitled to indulge in stupid political experiments without dragging in the neighbors. Reviving federalism would continue to give dissenters to California's experiment in one-party rule borders to run across if it turns out to be something of a mistake.

We could devolve decisions down even further. If—as Nate Cohn pointed out—"liberals and conservatives have self-segregating preferences, with many explicitly preferring to live around people with similar political views, and others expressing preferences that indirectly lead them toward communities dominated by their fellow partisans," than that suggests that more local decision-making would minimize the number of unwilling conscripts into potentially contentious policies.

Relatively unburdened by impositions from our political enemies, we might feel less compelled to resist alien views with bursts of righteous and intolerant outrage. Reducing centralized power and decision-making would also have the very real benefit of stripping thin-skinned government officials of the power to punish critics and enemies.

And who knows? If power is devolved far enough—to individuals, by preference—we might even come to see our divergent views as harmless eccentricities rather than existential threats.

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268 responses to “Americans Can't Stand Each Other, So Let's Stop Forcing Our Preferences on One Another

  1. Actually things are going great. The system is holding and proving it’s resilient. The country is doing great (except of course for spending and the debt – we have to refocus on that). It runs well even without competent leadership – few countries could do that. The last few years have completely vindicated libertarianism. We really should be rejoicing but I’m seeing story after story of negativity.

    Regarding The Atlantic, I spent many hours battling trolls on the comment section and have much to say but to keep it short: they shut down the comment section and have only themselves to blame for their demise. Also the world’s focus will turn to Zionism and it’s main proponent Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor, and so he’s in a real bind. There is no good way out for him. As for silicon valley, they are idiots in politics and we don’t have to take all their governing as gospel. It’s cute, leave it at that.

    Buck up, people! You’re doing great and keep up the good work! So proud of you!!!

    1. Every day over 1 billion people quietly wake up and go to work. Research gets done,the next generations are taught, things get built and manufactured and food is grown in mass quantities. No one mentions it on a single mainstream news channel. We really are in a golden age, but good news doesn’t sell.

      1. Yep, golden age. We need to do a better job of exporting our values – freedom, tolerance, prosperity – instead of our bombs.

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    2. The Atlantic can eat shit.The Pacific is where the action is.

      1. Caribbean is warmer.

    3. Actually things are going great….

      I agree – thank you for your comment!

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  2. Sounds like 2-chilli is promoting somekind of panarchy. Nice.

    1. This title is a reasonable summary of my earliest thoughts that led me here.

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    2. You misspelled “nanarchy,” according to an idiot.

  3. ” By all accounts, the nation’s chief executive has declared war against the online retail giant to punish the company’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, for his ownership of the Trump-critical Washington Post.”

    By all stories by people claiming to be able to read Trump’s mind and tell us what he is *really* thinking but never said…

    1. What Trump is really thinking, but never said, is that He should be like Galactic Emperor Xenu, and thoroughly deserves the worship and sincere admiration of sundry and all!!!!

      1. Trump can eat my shorts.Anyone who could prefer Stormy Daniels over Melania should DIAF.

    2. I do find it tiresome that Reason feels the need to get in a jab at Trump in pretty much every article no matter how unrelated. I’ve stopped giving a damn what the man is doing because he’s an idiot on twitter and coverage of him is dishonest. Have I missed something where he is attacking Amazon and some strong rationale as to how he is doing it because of WaPo?

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    3. Re: buybuydavis,

      By all stories by people claiming to be able to read Trump’s mind […]

      Because just reading his myriad-per-hour tweets is not enough for you. His mind reminds undecipherable!

    4. stories by people claiming to be able to read Trump’s mind and tell us what he is *really* thinking but never said…

      Given that Trump is notoriously thin-skinned and hates any negative press coverage, I don’t think it’s completely unreasonable to assume that his attacks on Amazon are related to the Wa-Po’s negative coverage of him. It seems like something that would fit his personality. Otherwise we’re supposed believe that it’s just a coincidence that he’s going after a company owned by the same man who owns a newspaper that’s routinely critical of him.

      I suppose it could all be a coincidence, we’ve only got the one data point to go on. It’s too bad the ownership of the NYT doesn’t also own a tech company so that we could see if he treats them the same way. In the absence of data, whether one believes he’s trying to punish Bezos for not licking his nutsack comes down to how one feels about Trump. Those who think he’s the “best president evah!” think it’s all a coincidence, those who think he’s a thin-skinned narcissistic douche who can’t handle criticism without throwing a tantrum like a 2 year old think he’s just trying to go after Bezos.

      1. I know words are violence and all but can you point to any action trump had taken against amazon or wapo? Thankfully we have the CFRB to protect us all.

        1. Well, he’s discussing taking Pentagon contracts away from Amazon. I”m not sure the Pentagon will encourage him in that.

      2. The Washington Post never did seem favorable to Trump. Of course, it reflected the bias of its community.

  4. “But why treat every political preference as a collective endeavor that must be imposed on the unwilling? ”

    That is entailed by the preferences of people whose primary motivation is to impose their will on the unwilling.
    The Left.

    1. That’s true.

      The divergence is between those who primarily just want to be left alone to do as the individually choose and those who cannot stand anyone else being allowed to do anything except that which which they prefer.

      The latter group will never willingly accept that they shouldn’t be allowed to impose their will on others. Doing so is central to their entire worldview.

      1. The divergence is between those who primarily just want to be left alone to do as the individually choose and those who cannot stand anyone else being allowed to do anything except that which which they prefer.

        Or, as Heinlein put it: “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

        1. The problem here is that 96% of the voters align with the communo-fascist Democrat and Republican parties. Europe and Asia have it even worse.

  5. Sounds like some lefties realize that their SJW bullshit is not an American majority position and cannot win. The lefties want non-lefties to ease up on the lefty mental illness stigmas.

    1. It doesn’t have to be a majority position to win.

      A very loud minority can dominate the majority:

      http://fooledbyrandomness.com/minority.pdf

      Which is why we have to continue to defend ourselves from these very authoritarian minorities.

      1. It also proves that things go wrong when we stop regularly beating dirty hippies.

  6. One-party states, my ass! (Of course I am a good libertarian,and think we should all vote libertarian, but I can see how and why the majority thinks that this is “wasting your vote”… And I do not claim to know how we can get from here to there).

    However, if you are a self-interested voter, you would ALWAYS vote for the party that is NOT in power in your state! To wit: Does the POTUS come to California and beg and cajole, promising tons of goodies for California? Hell no! California is already assumed to be in the bag of Team Blue! Ditto Texas doesn’t get to be pandered to; It’s in the bag for Team Red! So you want to swing your state to be half-way in the middle, like West Virginia, so that the POTUS and all the other Fed sluts will come and pander to YOU!!!!

    1. And I do not claim to know how we can get from here to there
      Multi-seat districts with some manner of proportional voting.

      Single-seat districts that force everything into a binary choice are the problem.

  7. We could devolve decisions down even further, Tuccille ads.

    Sounds better than Taboola ads, at the very least.

  8. we might even come to see our divergent views as harmless eccentricities rather than existential threats.

    Come on, J.D. That’s just crazy talk!

    1. Rich is right. The Kleptocracy parties are deliverably identical on all issues save energy. The Dems lost because of their own communist infiltrators and pseudoscience Millerites-against-energy. The Democommies aren’t going to repeal 2A and God’s Own Prohibitionists aren’t going to repeal the 14th Amendment and bring back antiabortion Comstock laws. All each can do is picture the other as Armageddon, Antichrist, Hitler, Mark of the Beast and so forth, as Oceania and Eastasia/Eurasia did in George Orwell’s novel. To the extent that the Nixon Anti-Libertarian Media Bribery portion of the IRS code keeps the public from noticing the nonaggression option, THAT–not a shortage of murdering mystical bigots on magazine payrolls–is the problem. Another 2016-type increase in the LP vote will give us over 13000 votes. Maybe that will help repeal Nixon’s Anti-Libertarian law.

  9. The civil war and the civil rights act settled the fact that federalism is bad.

    Outside of a few exceptions (1/2A, for starters) you should shut up and learn to love it. QED.

  10. It’s expecting too much to hope that statists are not going to seek to impose their views on every conceivable subject on everybody else. It’s what they do; it’s all they do.

  11. One side in this values equality over liberty. A political philosophy that subordinates every other value to equality can never leave other people alone, as that will eventually create inequalities.

    1. The Wahabi Christian Aborto-Freaks that make up the GOP don’t give a damn about liberty. Where are those spending cuts anyway?

      The GOP dupes you deplorables.

      1. This country has the most extremely permissive abortion legal regime, down to the government funding of Planned Parenthood to the tune of half a billion dollars and any challenge of that gets called religious extremism. Your demonizing is tiresome.

        1. It is the left’s duty to constantly bring up Kulturkampf issues when the adults are talking about what’s actually wrong in this country. It’s all they have left.

          1. Arguably it’s all they ever had.

            1. But notice that they carefully deny that they are the aggressors.

        2. Anthony? Anthony Comstock, izzat you inside that sockpuppet?

          1. Don’t you have some infants to murder?

  12. But why treat every political preference as a collective endeavor that must be imposed on the unwilling?

    Because that is what fascists do.
    Note that in the political battle, the statists will eventually prevail. While they, being collectivists, can use force (both physical and rhetorical) to enforce conformity in their own party and then on the populace, the individualists cannot force others to be free.

  13. The problem is that a country that is so opposed to the ideas of the other half simply cannot function properly. Back several decades ago Americans disagreed about stuff of course, but they fundamentally agreed on the broad strokes that made America America. Now they do not. Half wants some open borders socialist, globalist cluster fuck… The other half still wants the America that used to exist. The gap is too large. Even if we devolve powers to the states there is still so much stuff the federal government must do realistically that it will never work.

    This is why I believe we must either break the country up into at least 2 nations… Or we’re going to have a bloody civil war at some point. The differences are just too great to overcome nowadays. The only thing that could change that is the left completely collapsing and all the current lefties turning back into semi sane Bill Clinton in the 90s style Democrats. Problem is I just don’t see that happening.

    Personally I’d say give the commies the whole west coast, maybe breaking off Everett, WA and north and going east to Spokane for the current USA to build out as a west coast port or something. Otherwise they can have Cali, Oregon and Washington. Maybe throw in Nevada or Arizona too just so they feel like they’re getting enough of a deal to leave the rest of us in peace! That way they can be happy living in Progtopia, and everybody else can get back to turning America back into America like it is supposed to be.

    1. Your fear of commies is justified. However guess what? We really all can get along. The blue wave is coming and there will be some radical marxism (I already see it on my timeline, things like ‘soak the rich’) and Reason needs to get out in front and prophylactically bash it. Just like they do with restrictionists. No we will not have a civil war as long as we can continue to battle online. If SESTA shuts us down then all bets are off.

      1. Don’t be silly! We can’t get along. The stuff that’s going on right now is EXACTLY the kind of social/cultural/political splits that have always led to civil war. I don’t see the right substantially changing, and I don’t see the left doing it either. Hence split up or there will be blood.

        1. As long as Daniel Day Lewis is leading the charge, I hope There Will Be Blood.

    2. What about the 5 boroughs?

      What about the land of Massachusetts?

      What about the Peoples Republics of Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Vermont?

      What about D.C.?

      1. What about the people who want to be free and still live there?

        1. I’d move out of Massatwoshits in a heartbeat.

          1. My point is that lots of Americans live where they do for reasons completely unrelated to politics. These fantasies about the crackup of the nation aren’t helping when there are much easier, if perhaps less immediate, ways to restore freedom to all Americans.

            1. A lot of the rich live on the east coast or California because they like the proximity to skiing.

            2. But will any of them actually happen??? And will the changes be ENOUGH to prevent a split or violence? I think not.

              There has ALWAYS been a better solution in theory. No revolution or breaking up should have ever happened in history, yet history is filled with civil wars!

              Even if we shrunk FedGov back to where it should be size wise, I don’t think it would be enough. We’d probably also need to split states because the urban/rural divide is too massive for even state governments to function anymore really. The left and right both love to shove things down their enemies throats too much. There are ways it could be dealt with, but it simply ain’t gonna happen IRL.

              Splitting the country is the most peaceful way. I don’t understand why people are sooooo against the idea. The concept of cramming a bunch of people who HATE each other into a single political entity is simply a bad idea to begin with. Why force it? Splitting is the best thing for all sides as they get more of what they want than they ever could under any other scenario.

            3. I agree they aren’t helping, but I also believe that there should be a legal and well-defined process for secession such that if some state does decide that enough-is-enough, they have a defined path to do so and don’t feel the need to start firing canons.

              Or to put it another way… we don’t have processes for divorce because we want marriages to fail and dissolve. We have processes for divorce so that when marriages fail, they can dissolve peacefully rather then requiring a murder.

              1. Totally. The civil war really set a bad precedent IMO. Secession should not be a big, horrible, bloody affair. When you look at some of the modern instances of peaceful secession they have all turned out pretty awesome. Czechoslovakia is a great example. They’re both happier and better off after splitting, far less fighting going on because they can both just take their own path.

                We COULD have a peaceful split that would make both sides happier… But will we? I can only hope.

      2. Well, I mean you COULD have the Progtopia have land on both coasts… But the real goal is just to give people 2 options. You can then choose to move to the one you prefer. How many people from NYC would book it to Commiefornia if it became the capital of The People’s Republic Of America?

        Lots.

        And I imagine the last conservatives still putting up with living in California would book it out of there quick if it was free to go hard left as its own nation too. So self sorting would take care of most of it. But technically it could have 2 areas that weren’t next to each other, or the northeast could even be a 3rd country.

        Whatever the case, we aren’t going to make it as a single nation. A nation needs to have ideas underpinning it, and there just aren’t enough people who believe in the same notion of what America is to hold it together anymore. So either bloodshed or a MASSIVE political realignment needs to happen.

        1. Don’t complain about the blink link. This is funny.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesusland_map

          1. The capital of Jesusland is Freehold, Iowa, where Herbert Clark Hoover learned to maim rabbits.

          2. Yup, I remember that guy! It’s more or less true though. And REALLY it’s not even anywhere close to those whole states being blue either. It’s just city states on the coasts mostly! I’m from California. I can tell you with 100% certainty that my moms home town in the mountains didn’t vote for Clinton!

        2. I would rather see every fucking progtard face down in a landfill before I would give them one square inch of American soil.

          1. Me too in a lot of ways… And basically, in my opinion, those are the options. I’d LOVE to move back to my home town in California after we cleared out the vermin! But we’d probably have death tolls that topped WWI at least, if not close to WWII numbers… So giving up some land is probably the easier, kinder, and more realistic option.

            1. No. It’s not.

              The only realistic option is that landfill. As fucked as that sounds. It’s that landfill and then constant mockery and demonization of anyone and everyone who was ever stupid enough to think that ideas like Marxism could actually work. It HAS to be treated like Nazism.

              Give them anything and they try to take more. We’ve been giving them shit to shut up since they first appeared. Look how great that’s worked out.

              1. But giving them land is different than giving them laws in your own land, which is what we’ve been doing. I agree that we can’t give ground in OUR country via laws.

                The fact that Denmark loves being a socialist hell hole hasn’t “hurt” the USA in any way. Having Canada be more socialist than us hasn’t hurt us either. If we have a political split whatever dumb shit California does will not necessarily hurt us. The USA was ALWAYS more free than Europe, and we did just fine. We’d do just fine again if we returned to being more free.

    3. Nazis in the South and Midwest and Commies in the West and Northeast?

      What about us old fashioned Jefferson Democrats who want religion out of a small government?

      1. I suspect your religion is large government. Expansive, intrusive, and overbearingly large government. It’s the only way your vision could possibly be realized; by sheer force.

        1. And you would be dead wrong.

          I am an Ayn Rand fan. Atheist and capitalist to the core. And I hate conservatives like she did.

          All wingnuts want to call me something I am not because my positions on politics are superior to theirs. And I have Islam more than I do Xtianity.

            1. So you’re a free market capitalist, and just want any and every one to get out of your way in order to make an honest buck, or two?

            2. How do you tell them apart? Izzit the headgear?

          1. You want governmental control of most things. Stop lying.

            – A Christian Fundamentalist An-Cap

          2. Defender of Obamacare, the CFPB, higher corporate taxes, the Obama stimulus? Yeah you’re a real small government enthusiast.

      2. Show us on the doll where the conservative tried to pray your gay away.

        1. Classical liberalism is far superior to conservatism.

          Read Hayek. Who wrote a nice essay on how dull minded conservatives are.

          1. That’s great.

            So, what exactly is the conservative right doing to you again?

            Do you work for Hobby Lobby?

            1. Bankrupting the country for starters.

              1. Oh, I see: deficits are bad today.

                Sounds horrible.

                1. Pay your fucking bills.

                  Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit. It was $470 billion in 2016. Now it is back over a trillion thanks to the GOP.

                  Dems are bad, the GOP is worse.

                  1. Isn’t this the part where some self-satisfied pseudo-intellectual progressive comes in and says, “You know, really, the federal budget isn’t like a household budget, you right-wing austerity hicks. We can’t run out of money, blah blah blah…”

                  2. If the defivit went down during Obama’s term, it was because of gridlock, noot any polivy the Democrats were pursuing.

                    The horrific budget we got wad because of the GOP’s desire to govern over put forth good policy. They did that by giving away the farm to the Democrats and their own squishes.

                    1. That’s just not true. It was because of policies passed by Congress, including tax hikes.

                    2. Is that why our credit rating got downgraded in 2011?

                    3. The budget was in its best shape after years of GOP ‘obstruction’; the two years the Dems has Congress didn’t make a dent.

                    4. Also, that huge deficit in year one was TARP. And a lot of stuff related to that.

                      Here’s the yearly deficit since 2000

                      2000 -236.24
                      2001 -128.23
                      2002 157.75
                      2003 377.59
                      2004 412.73
                      2005 318.35
                      2006 248.18
                      2007 160.71
                      2008 458.55
                      2009 1412.69
                      2010 1294.37
                      2011 1299.59
                      2012 1086.95
                      2013 679.54
                      2014 484.60
                      2015 438.49
                      2016 584.65

                      I believe the shifting surplus from Clinton was largely cuts to military spending, which was then reversed in the beginning of the the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Then the big jump was for Tarp. And so we’ve seen a lot of increasing bullshit and war spending, as well as a bad economy in the latter part of the last decade.

                    5. Tarp was a gimmick to cover up the losses from the George Wehrmacht Bush prohibitionist asset forfeiture crash by exporting prohibitionist asset forfeiture policies and shorting whoever imported them. The faith-based Crash was Bushie’s baby.

                  3. “Pay your fucking bills.”
                    I agree-did you ever pay your bet?

              2. No conservative has been in charge of anything in this country in decades.

                1. That’s basically a fact. We’ve had RINOs at best running things, which is why things are such a mess. If a rank and file true conservative Republican found themselves as a state governor all of a sudden we’d actually see real shrinking of government and taxes.

                  1. Oh, fuck off with the “no true Scotsman” bullshit. You two scumbags both vote Republican (and you know it), and firmly believe you are somehow cut from different cloth from all the other scumbags who vote Democrat.

                    Fuck all y’all.

                    1. Well, I basically never vote Democrat, except when I have chosen the less crazy between two here in Seattle, because Republicans LITERALLY don’t even run here anymore. So yeah, I vote Republican sometimes. But I also vote for basically every candidate that has an L next to their name. I even voted for Gay Jay!

                      If you can’t tell there is a HUGE difference between what rank and file Republicans want, and what the party leadership has delivered, you’re a moron. Rank and file folks would ACTUALLY cut the budget for lots of things. Leadership NEVER does it when they have the chance. They DO largely believe in dumb wars and other stupid things, but they’re also really different on many issues.

          2. You do know that Hayek’s “conservatives” were European type conservatism, which is entirely different animal than American type conservatives?

            American consrrvatives seek to consreve the Founder’s classical liberalism of the Enlightenment and oppose the Romantic liberalism of the Progressives.

            1. Oh FFS, American conservatives are Bible-beating jackasses.

              1. Bible-beating jackasses are American conservatives, but not all American conservatives are Bible-beating jackasses.

                Frank Zappa was a conservative. Hated both the left and right. Particularly the Bible-beating jackasses. He really hated those.

            2. Europeans call conservatives by their proper name: Christian National Socialists. They refer to libertarians as Liberals

          3. In reality many “conservatives” are more classical liberal than any other game in town. They’re not perfect, but the meaning of terms has become so messed up it is ridiculous. There are no classical liberals left in the Democratic party, they’re at least a decent sized minority in the Republican party.

      3. I wouldn’t say Nazis so much… More like plain old boring conservatives. I’m not a fan of a lot of conservative ideas, but I’d sure as hell rather live in a nation dominated by them than leftists.

    4. I agree; if government were forced to devolve [because it sure as hell will not do so willingly] and we bolstered State authority that may be exactly what would happen; if strictly adhered to the Constitution is there to provide for a common defense and regulate interstate commerce and such. But I do not think we should write off Eastern CA, WA, and OR, nor upstate NY; I doubt a plurality of their non coastal residents want to be part of such a progressive totalitarian dystopia.

      1. Or, here’s a thought while we’re being fanciful, we could stick to the Constitution and let everyone in all 50 states reap the benefits.

      2. Here’s the problem:

        It doesn’t matter what you want! I’d like to work things out, but it ain’t gonna happen. I’d like to still be able to live in the Bay Area where I grew up, but I just can’t live in that place. It simply has to be written off. It can NEVER be saved. It really is like a cancer. The question is do we want to let the cancer destroy the entire country? If we let them go their own way we might be able to save America. If we don’t do it peacefully I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a civil war.

        If by some chance we avoid a civil war, the only possibility I see is turning into a socialist technocracy. One need look no further than the demographics of the country, and the voting patterns to see that America is going to go hard left in the near future, never to return, if we keep those states in the union.

        I don’t like it, but I’m just calling it like I see it.

    5. If Democrats are going Communist why do all of our top capitalists vote for them? Buffett, Gates, Google guys, Soros, Apple guys, probably Bezos, many others.

      what else do they all have in common?

      They are atheists/secularists (like me) and hate the budding Christo-Fascism of the GOP.

      1. It’s good PR, and one vote doesn’t matter.

      2. Good question. But I thought all capitalists had the GOP in their pocket? Looks to me like the Dems have most of the billionaires (the Kochs excepted) on their side.

        1. The Kochs and Trump inherited their money (or at least a business that could not fail in the go-go last 50 years).

          Those liberals had to create their fortunes, The economy functions better with a Dem POTUS also. Which could be a result of gridlock (my theory and preferred government).

          1. Those liberals had to create their fortunes

            Those liberals usually came from privileged upper middle class backgrounds.

            1. Well, yes but so did the Kochs and Trump.

              1. So what? The point is that the distinction PB is trying to draw is invalid.

                In fact, if there is something to be observed, it is that many politicians who became wealthy through politics are Democrats. Now that’s corruption in politics. Foremost, you have, of course, the Clintons.

      3. Have you ever heard of the concept of rent seeking?

        1. Yes. A bogus concept used to discredit wealthy liberals. If you think those guys got super wealthy by “rent seeking” you are a partisan fool.

          Because only Trump/Kochs get wealthy honestly! (sarcasm note for you because you might need it)

          1. Really? Last I checked Buffet’s wealth increased considerably after the financial downturn. I’m sure that the government brokering buyouts of deteriorating enterprises during the financial downturn had nothing to do with that and is most assuredly not ‘rent seeking’.

          2. Yes. [Rent seeking is a] bogus concept used to discredit wealthy liberals.

            Rent-seeking is a long established economic concept. Your comment is a stupid as claiming the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist.

            If you think those guys got super wealthy by “rent seeking” you are a partisan fool.

            People like Gates and Schmidt come from upper middle class families, some of the primary beneficiaries of rent seeking. So, yeah, they “got super wealthy by rent seeking”, no in the sense that their companies got big that way, but that their background is rooted in it.

            Of course Soros just collaborated with the Nazis; I suppose economists have no technical term for being an evil prick.

            1. Soros got super rich manipulating currency.

              1. That too. He got started by selling the property of Jewish victims of the Nazis during Nazi occupation.

          3. Haha rent seeking is a bogus concept? You’re too cute.

      4. To say that “Democrats are Communists” is loopy and reactionary, but reasonable people appear to be increasingly speaking out against the decidedly Orwellian newspeak that progressive” causes have been churning out as of late, reminiscent of the hard right reactionism being found across Europe right now. It’s essentially authoritarianism with the added smiley face tacked on to appear as a social good.

        1. To say that “Democrats are Communists” is loopy

          It’s simply false. Democrats are proto-fascists, not proto-communists.

          and reactionary

          “Reactionary” is a Marxist term for people who oppose communism. I hope we are all “reactionaries”.

          1. Democrats run the gamut, like Republicans. This is simply observable.

            “Reactionary” is a Marxist term for people who oppose communism. I hope we are all “reactionaries”.

            Indeed, it historically describes far right authoritarians, but modern usage refers to groups within most ideologies.

            Simply put, labelling anything left of Clinton as “Communist” is just as wacky as Progressives who consider anything to the right of Bush as “Fascist.”

            Relying on the shock level of a word usually results in gross misapplication.

            1. ^^This

            2. Except both communists and fascists are on the left. It’s the greatest success of the progressives that they’ve made fascism an insult of the right.

              1. ^ This.

                The greatest lie we have been sold is that Hitler and Stalin define the political extremes.
                This is bullshit. Communism AND Fascism are born from the same ideology of resentment that personifies Marxism.
                It’s like Catholics and Protestants, Sunni and Shea. They believe 95% of the same shit but will fight to the death over the last 5.

                The true political extremes are Totalitarian control on the left and Individual Freedom on the right.
                Where are the communists and fascists on this scale?

                Right next to each other down at the “kill everyone who doesn’t agree with me” end.
                Fuck all those cunts.

            3. Just for fun, go to the CPUSA website and look at their platform and see how it differs from the DNC platform. Very little space between the two.

            4. Simply put, labelling anything left of Clinton as “Communist” is just as wacky

              As I was saying: Democrats are not communists at all, they are proto-fascists.

              Progressives who consider anything to the right of Bush as “Fascist.”

              That’s because they confuse authoritarianism with fascism. There are people to the right of Bush who are authoritarians. But fascism is a label that describes Democratic policies and ideology, not Republicans.

              Democrats run the gamut

              You can see that gamut by looking at Congressional votes and the platforms they run on, and over the last decade, Democrats are properly described as proto-fascists, because they are close to the policies that fascists championed before they came into power in the 1930’s.

        2. Compare their platforms. Milton Friedman pointed out in Free to Choose that the entire 1928 socialist platform is now law. The difference is in how religious each type of looter pretends to be. Hitler preached Christianity, painted churches, madonnas and cadavers-on-a-cross. Commies in Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia chiselled the crosses off of stonework.

          1. Compare their platforms. Milton Friedman pointed out in Free to Choose that the entire 1928 socialist platform is now law.

            The 1928 Socialist Party Platform in the US is very similar to the 1920 National Socialist (fascist) program in Germany.

            Hitler preached Christianity, painted churches, madonnas and cadavers-on-a-cross.

            Fascists pretended to be Christians because they had discovered that the militant atheism of communists was politically unpopular; other than that, religion is not a significant distinction between fasicsm and communism.

      5. They’re not going full on communist… More like technocratic socialist/fascist.

        That’s a lot more accurate description of the types of programs/policies those guys all want.

      6. If Democrats are going Communist

        They are not “going communist”, they are going fascist.

        why do all of our top capitalists vote for them? Buffett, Gates, Google guys, Soros, Apple guys, probably Bezos, many others.

        Those aren’t “capitalists” (in the sense of people in favor of free markets), they are corporatists (they own and run big corporations). Capitalists hate fascists and fascists hate capitalism, but corporatists love fascists and fascists love corporatists because they serve each other’s needs and interests.

        1. You’ll have to mention all the coal company, oil and gas companies etc. sucking up to Pruitt. They are corporatists too, just GOP-aligned corporatists.

          1. Because the EPA gives them money? Yeah, right. Relaxing regulations is generally considered the libertarian direction. Corporatists want to control that output, not free it.

            1. Well, they can theoretically be in favor of things that are beneficial sometimes too, even if they’re more market oriented.

          2. You’ll have to mention all the coal company, oil and gas companies etc. sucking up to Pruitt. They are corporatists too, just GOP-aligned corporatists.

            Indeed, there are many corporatists who vote for Republicans too. So you agree then: PB is wrong and US billionaires vote for particular parties for reasons other than that party’s commitment to capitalism and free markets.

            I would point out that there are several fossil fuel billionaires (e.g., Jeffrey Hildebrand, George Kaiser) who vote for Democrats. And the Koch Brothers that Democrats love to hate dislike both parties and actually lean libertarian.

      7. They vote democrat because they can get their crony deals out of them, thus fixing the system to guarantee positive outcomes. At the expense of the rest of us.

      8. what else do they all have in common?

        That there’s not a genuine “top capitalist” among them? That every last goddamn one of them is, like you, a worthless crony capitalist cunt who despises actual free markets?

    6. Translation: The Republican sockpuppet is saying the Nixon subsidies have successfully paid media whores to avoid mentioning the party whose Overpopulation plank was the draft document on which the Roe v. Wade decision was based. But since mystical coercive bigotry is nevertheless going the way of foot-binding and alcohol prohibition, the Invisible Empire should retreat into a smaller area it can defend from individual rights and inconvenient facts.

    7. The problem with something like this is that California, Oregon, and Washington are red states, with a few blue pinpricks. The people who own the land of those states aren’t part of the squirming mass of leeches that inhabit the pinpricks.

      The tiny blue areas are not able to sustain the populations they have without massive red areas feeding them and providing water to them.

      They are not rational.

  14. I agree with Tuccille, though I don’t think the kind of place he envisions is going to materialize unless we one day get to live on one of Patri Friedman’s little floaters.

    1. Waco proved we no longer can build comunes on land without being burned to death by Janet Rebo’s ghost.

      1. Waco proved that sending goons to enforce laws infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms results in a bloodbath. No clearer demonstration of how Republican-Prohibition caving to Democrat-CPUSA Kristallnacht laws is anti-life could be produced in a laboratory.

  15. Stossel and 2Chili really remain the last decent reads on this site, ever since the Judge became persona non grata.

  16. Last night ENB was a guest on Laura Ingraham’s show.

    ENB acquitted herself well.

    Ms. Ingraham, not so much. She interrupted ENB several times, shouting over ENB and generally conducting herself like an over the hill David Hogg.

    1. Thanks for that info.

      I am a fan of ENB and as for Ms Ichabod Crane not so much.

      I will find a vid of that.

    2. I’d like to see that video. By all accounts, Ingraham is essentially Fox’s New Bill O’Reilly.

  17. The whole purpose of progressives is to use the coercive power of government to force individuals to make sacrifices for their idea of the greater good. To ask them to stop trying to force their preferences on other people is to ask them to stop being progressives.

    1. The best course to me seems to be to chip away at the coercive power of government. It’s not easy but it’s the only one that stands a chance.

    2. It is the error that the writers here seem to make consistently. That the Left’s insistance on force of government to implement their agenda is a corner they have been rhetorically backed into, rather than a direct consequence of their fundamental principles.

      1. Translation: Christian National Socialist initiation of force goood, Atheistic Communist initiation of force baaad!

        1. Nazis were not “Christian”! Knock it off!

          http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity

          Highlight:

          “No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed… True Christianity is represented by the party, and the German people are now called by the party and especially the Fuehrer to a real Christianity… the Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation”.

          ??Hans Kerrl, Nazi Minister for Church Affairs, 1937

          1. The Nazi platform preaches Christianity, as did Hitler’s Enabling Act speech.

            1. “The Nazi platform preaches Christianity”

              You didn’t read the article, did you? Then admitted to trying to co-opt it! Did you even read the quote?

              Do liberals claim to be doing [whatever] “for the children”? Do you blame the children for it?

  18. Americans Can’t Stand Each Other, So Let’s Stop Forcing Our Preferences on One Another

    But then what’s the point of having this huge, all powerful leviathan of a government if we can’t all try to use it as a weapon to force our preferences on others against their will and criminalize our political opponents? /sarc

  19. The rest of the country should follow California’s lead on embracing one-party rule, Leyden opined.

    Strangely, he doesn’t have as high an opinion on the virtual one-party rule the GOP has in Texas.

    1. There is a difference. Texas at least still has some Democrats, can’t get away with outright lunacy. But California actually has a state law now, the top two law, that virtually guarantees that two Democrats will be facing each other in November.

      Not only has this but a huge dent in the GOPs prospects, it’s destroyed third parties entirely. You will never again see a Libertarian or Green on your ballot.

    2. Texas has democrats in the big cities that’s about all.

  20. BECAUSE FUCK JEFF SESSIONS!

  21. Leyden doesn’t fret that the disappearance of one of America’s two major parties would turn democracy into a sham, because in the California primary system “the voters still got a choice between, say, a more progressive candidate and a moderate candidate?who almost all operate within a worldview that shares much common ground.” The rest of the country should follow California’s lead on embracing one-party rule, Leyden opined.

    The only reason California gets away with this crap is because people can escape to the rest of the country. Try to foist this onto the red states and the results won’t be pretty. Cis-gendered heterosexual white males and their wives are quite tolerant and polite, up to the point where they see their families and futures threatened.

    1. California gets away with the crap because the entire state is run by two cities. We were fine until Los Angeles decided to through it’s lot in with San Francisco. Look at a state map and you’ll see that the entire state is bright rid, except for a blotch of blue around SF and LA.

      California gets away with it because of all the cushy tech jobs that only exist in the urban centers. A decent tech crash and it will all crumble. Hell, merely workers figuring out that they can telecommute from Idaho will cause it to collapse. The monoculture can’t survive when the network effect finally moves into the network.

      1. California gets away with it because of all the cushy tech jobs that only exist in the urban centers.

        San Francisco is not Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley isn’t an “urban center”, it’s ultra-expensive suburbia.

        Hell, merely workers figuring out that they can telecommute from Idaho will cause it to collapse.

        Except they can’t, because the “tech jobs” that really matter, the ones that have power and influence and make the big bucks, depend on personal relationships and political savvy, not coding, and they require personal presence. They require personal presence not just because it allows people to manipulate each other better, but also because it leaves no electronic traces.

        And that’s why men like Leyden are so desperate to defend the California model: they are an associated part of the progressive party apparatus in California. In his case, he’s a freelance political propagandist who happens to say the things the powers that be like to hear. He knows full well that in an actually competitive, skill-based economy, he’d be living in near poverty.

        1. It’s much like the tax NYC gets to impose on the rest of the country. The problem with the valley is that nothing they do there is unique. It can be done almost anywhere. When was the last fab built in CA? TSLA has conned lots of ppl but that NUMI plant is still a joke compared to a real auto plant at the majors.

        2. Yes, I’m a tech worker. You need some face-to-face to make it fly. Tech projects are too big and complex to never have face-to-face. You do get a lot of grunt software work outsourced to India, but the main design teams are doing a lot of face-to-face.

  22. Meanwhile, most Democrats (61 percent) “prefer smaller houses within walking distance of schools and shopping.”

    I’m sure you’re going to find a lot of that among top Democratic political leaders and donors.

  23. I hate Trump. I despise Trump. But I here and now predict that Trump is only the beginning. Trump isn’t a one off event, Trump is the start of a major backlash against the progressive groupthink that has infected modern western culture. I have no idea where it will end. I think it will all end badly,. But the Trump is the first rider of the apocalypse. He is Nero tweeting while Rome burns.

    And it’s all the proggie’s fault. Trump is merely the backlash.

    1. I hate Trump. I despise Trump.

      Why? Because he has bad hair and talks badly? His policies seem little different from those of Clinton and prior Democrats.

      1. “”His policies seem little different from those of Clinton and prior Democrats.””

        Trump is basically 1988 Dick Gephardt (D-MO), taken out of a freezer and microwaved

      2. His policies seem little different from those of Clinton and prior Democrats.

        Seems like a damn fine reason to dislike him.

    2. I pretty much agree, although I hate Trump less than you do!

      The left is literally trying to completely destroy every trace of western culture, while denigrating the people itself (white folks), and Trump is the backlash. I don’t want to see western civilization die, and I don’t want to see white people be denied having ANY homelands to call their own. A gooooood grip of others feel the same way. So it’s either secession or civil war IMO.

  24. Oh dear, “California Begins Progressive Era: 2005-2020”; that’s pretty menacing? The last progressive era gave us world wars, genocides, eugenics, segregation, failure of the black family, and staggering deficits.

    And the idea that this “clear alternative to Trump and the Republicans is thriving in California and ready to go national” comes from a wealthy, privileged guy who likes nothing more than for the gravy train that made him ultra-wealthy to continue. Leyden is the typical authoritarian party functionary: getting and powerful on spreading party propaganda. Beyond that, he has no skills.

  25. alt-text:

    Too late, baby. Through the goal posts and all over those glasses.

  26. “But why treat every political preference as a collective endeavor that must be imposed on the unwilling?”

    It’s right fucking in front of you, yet you want to pretend that there is an alternative approach?

    Did it every occur to you that the fundamental difference already is between those who want everything viewed as a collective endeavor, and those who already choose otherwise?

    Everything else – all the minutia you cite – is window dressing. The issues du jour are nothing more than the weapons at hand. When those are exhausted they’ll move on to others. Consider how ‘women’s rights’ has come full circle on women’s sexuality, and the ‘liberating’ left have become the judgmental purifying puritans.

    The sooner you get that through your skull the sooner you’ll recognize what is really at stake. And the sooner you’ll realize that your ‘better way’ is exactly what your opponents seek to destroy.

    1. Easier to vote Libertarian and watch the looters stab and trip each other in the race to become libertarian-impersonators.

  27. Imposing your radical laissez-faire ideology on everyone is every bit an imposition as anything else. More so, what with it being radical and unwanted.

    1. Imposing your radical laissez-faire ideology on everyone

      I didn’t know you could impose leaving people alone on people. You learn something new every day.

      More so, what with it being radical and unwanted.

      Then hire someone to oppress you. Leave the rest of us out of it!

      1. Is it that you know deep down what horseshit libertarianism is that you can’t just defend its policy tenets on their merits and you have to engage in this ridiculous charade that it’s some kind of extra special set of policies that are immune from criticism or complaint because “it’s just leaving people alone!” Who doesn’t like freedom? Derp!

        Because do you not propose to eliminate all old-person safety net programs and such? Your policy platform is not some kind of default. It’s a radical proposal that people have a right to reject.

        1. >Is it that you know deep down what horseshit libertarianism is that you can’t just defend its policy tenets on their merits and you have to engage in this ridiculous charade that it’s some kind of extra special set of policies that are immune from criticism or complaint because “it’s just leaving people alone!” Who doesn’t like freedom? Derp!
          Or you can stop throwing around easily manufactured strawmen and attacking them by saying that’s all libertarianism or classical liberalism is.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

          >Because do you not propose to eliminate all old-person safety net programs and such?Your policy platform is not some kind of default. It’s a radical proposal that people have a right to reject.
          Then why didn’t such a program exist for the first 200 years of the US, when it had the greatest economic growth? Similar questions can be asked about gun control or pretty much any part of your brainless neo-progressive agenda, which dabbled into such things like eugenics, scientific racism and economic protectionism.

          1. The greatest increase in prosperity the world has ever known was when we had 90% tax rates and a government spending boom unlike the world had never seen.

            That was until the newest greatest increase in prosperity ever happening in China right now. You know, that libertarian paradise, China.

            1. when we had 90% tax rates and a government spending boom

              The rate no-one paid? And was that the “boom” before the end of the war or the lack of spending after it?

              After all, killing people and breaking things is so good for the economy, now isn’t it? Nothing says “wealth” like a bombed out home and factory. Now we’ll have to make new ones. We’ll be rich!

            2. Tony, do you understand that a large part of the post war industrial boom was that we were one of the few countries with Moscow manufacturing capacity left intact? Probably not.

            3. Hey, Tony, during those happy days of prosperity, every American paid at least double the income tax rates we have now. Especially at the lower end (20% vs 10%, and starting at lower income thresholds). And very little government spending went to social welfare.

              So, almost everybody actually paid taxes, and nobody was on the dole? Sounds acceptable to me.

            4. The greatest increase in prosperity the world has ever known was when we had 90% tax rates and a government spending boom unlike the world had never seen.

              We had a 90% marginal tax rates on incomes of several million dollars a year, something with essentially no impact on society as a whole.

              That was until the newest greatest increase in prosperity ever happening in China right now. You know, that libertarian paradise, China.

              Income, property, and capital gains taxes in China are generally lower than in the US. And China’s tax revenue as percentage of GDP is substantially lower than that of the US. So, yeah, we should lower our tax rates and regulations to the level of China.

            5. The greatest increase in prosperity the world has ever known was when we had 90% tax rates and a government spending boom unlike the world had never seen

              The greatest increase in prosperity the world has ever known was when over half of all federal spending was on defense, there was no Medicare, Medicaid, or affirmative action programs, fewer people in college, far fewer minorities, no EPA, and the rest of the industrialized world was still recovering from the fallout of two world wars in thirty years.

              I’m willing to go back to Eisenhower-era tax rates if you’re willing to go back to Eisenhower-era budgets and the social/cultural consensus that existed back then.

        2. But i want it! Save yourself some words and just go with that from now on.

        3. You didn’t bring up any policy tenets, you just claimed we “impose” freedom. I responded to what you said, not what you didn’t.

          Because do you not propose to eliminate all old-person safety net programs and such

          I propose to cease theft/assault/murder as an institution, aka government.

          It’s a radical proposal that people have a right to reject.

          You have the right to believe whatever you want. You have no right to initiate force (aka: make a government).

          1. And you have no right to impose anarchy on everyone, no matter how much you like the idea. WTF?

            1. And you have no right to impose anarchy on everyone, no matter how much you like the idea. WTF?

              You can’t “impose” failing to initiate force. I don’t assault/murder/steal from you. You think this is an “imposition”?

              If you want to be oppressed, then hire someone to oppress you. Leave those who don’t wish to be oppressed out of it!

              You have no right to initiate force, even if the majority agrees. Majority doesn’t make right (and you know that).

        4. Just the coercive ones. The Tony puppet is for everything that requires men with guns to enFORCE.

        5. Because do you not propose to eliminate all old-person safety net programs and such? Your policy platform is not some kind of default.

          No, we propose to fund them with voluntary contributions, as opposed to money extracted at gunpoint, which is what you propose.

          It’s a radical proposal that people have a right to reject.

          Well, you can argue that you have the legal right to reject it in the US when you go to the voting booth, just like Stalin had the legal right to kill 100 million people. The question is whether you ought to have that legal right; that is, whether you have the moral right to impose your will that way.

    2. >Imposing your radical laissez-faire ideology on everyone is every bit an imposition as anything else.
      >Imposing leaving people alone and not imposing anything on them at all
      Great logic there, mate.

      > More so, what with it being radical and unwanted.
      It’s what the fucking US was founded on: people being left alone by the gov’t and others when they aren’t intervening in the rights of others. Tony, go be a retard somewhere else please.

      1. It’s what the fucking US was founded on: people being left alone by the gov’t and others when they aren’t intervening in the rights of others.

        Well, some people. Except when they were called on to vote, join a militia, or join a jury. And those were the guys who had rights!

        1. You do realize you can choose not to vote, right? Voting isn’t mandatory.

    3. “Imposing your radical laissez-faire ideology on everyone is every bit an imposition as anything else”

      So, not forcing stuff on people counts as forcing stuff on people.

      What color is the sky in your alternate Universe?

      1. Same color as it is in the one where Congress passing and repealing a bunch of laws requiring an entirely new lifestyle for hundreds of millions of people might be construed as something of an imposition.

        1. I have no sympathy for those whose lifestyle can only be sustained through murder/assault/theft.

          1. That’s literally everyone by your stupid definition of those things, including you.

            1. No, take away the theft/murder/assault and LOTS of people are just fine.

              Remember, private security (still) works. So does private transportation.

              http://www.me.me/i/proof-that-deer-ha…..t-13721902

              1. The disconnect for you is that government is simply at the highest levels of self-organizing that people do. You really think you can have a functioning society of humans without any coercion? Or a community of 10 humans?

                1. The disconnect for you is that government is simply at the highest levels of self-organizing that people do.

                  No, the market is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYO3tOqDISE

                  You really think you can have a functioning society of humans without any coercion?

                  Not without coercion. Without initiations of force. You may act in self-defense, or in the cause of justice (if you’ve proven that someone has already initiated force upon you).

                  1. And who gets to decide that? How are they paid? How are they kept impartial?

                    1. And who gets to decide that?

                      Individuals.

                      How are they paid?

                      Individuals.

                      How are they kept impartial?

                      Individuals.

                      Now, to turn the questions to your “god” (government):

                      And who gets to decide that? Whomever has the guns.

                      How are they paid? Theft, at threat of death.

                      How are they kept impartial? Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahaha… (etc).

            2. That’s literally everyone by your stupid definition of those things, including you.

              No, I’m among the 20% of Americans who actually pay more in taxes than we receive in benefits from the government.

              1. That’s something you can’t possibly quantify. You got the moon landing same as the rest of us.

              2. Income tax alone nicked me for 13 grand last year and I got nothing for it.

        2. So some people no longer being allowed to force stuff on other people counts as forcing stuff on those who had previously been forcing stuff on others.

          You are still using logic from an alternate Universe.

    4. I’ve noticed that you and Buttplug never get into a fight, or have I missed something? It only seems natural given your opposition to laissez-faire and his claim to be an adherent of Ayn Rand.

      1. We have differences but are civil. I’m civil to people who peg me correctly and don’t call me a proggie Nazi or whatever these people’s atrophied brains come up with on a given day.

        1. …..”peg me correctly”
          “Palin’s Buttplug”

          :o)

          1. Whatever, you cum swilling cunt.

        2. I feel no need t be civil to a dishonest shitweasel who has all kinds of plans on how to force me to live my life in the name of ‘the grewater good’. If anything, I demonstrate my civility by staying my hand and not slaughtering you for your impertinence.

          Feel free to thank me for my continued benevolence.

          1. Translation: I’d call Tony out, but he might beat the snot out of me, so I’ll whine to the government to coerce him. (See how identical fascisti and socialists really are?)

            1. Hank, I would be more than happy to call just about anyone out if they represent sent an existential threat to me. I would also much prefer the government just stay out f the way while such people are dealt with.

              And if you have any illusions about someone beating the snot out of me, well, we could always make arrangements for you to take your shot. But I would advise against it.

        3. And you calm everyone right of Lenin a cousin fucker and imagine yourself to be a civil, thoughtful person.

    5. Except it isn’t. You can still have socialism in New York. If you impose socialism on all of us, we won’t be allowed to have economic freedom anywhere.

    6. It isn’t imposed, Tony.

      The people’s chains are removed. They can do what they want. They can behave as if nothings happened and obey the dictates of the people who were their masters. Or not. They can trade with whoever they want. They can set up new, voluntary agreements

      Or not.

      But the masters, and their rules, are no longer going to be imposed upon you.

      You’re free.

  28. Humans have always craved power and sought to destroy their enemies. That’s why we have formed tribes, religions, nations, and political parties. Its wishful thinking to believe that anyone in power will leave those who don’t agree with them alone to do their own thing, and will never allow a political party who supports this to grow into anything that resembles a threat to their power.

    1. Humans have always craved power and sought to destroy their enemies.

      Humans have always defended themselves and sought to provide for their loved ones..

      FTFY.

      The problem here is that the first one is the idea that’s taught. It gets people to distrust human nature, to see it as venal and base–as something to be overcome and abandoned for something better.

      It is an axiom of all totalitarian ideologies, from monotheistic religion, to all leftist philosophy that this is true.

      That’s why we have formed tribes, religions, nations, and political parties.

      Humans form tribes, religions, nations, and political parties to enhance their ability to defend themselves and provide for their loved ones.

      But it’s taught that they do it to amass power. It is taught so much and so fervently that often, even the most liberty minded accept it as a basic truth–when it is one of the most needed lies of the left.

  29. Agreed with more federalism. but what happens when one side wants to take away the constitutional rights of the other side. For example outlaw hate speech (ie any speech they don’t like) or take away the right to bear arms etc.

    what then?

    1. Progress to the next level: wrong think

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  31. Tucille’s tunnel vision is what Orwell described. Europeans who imagine socialism and fascism to be opposites promptly support one or the other. Americans who clearly see that communo-fascist socialism is practically identical and ALWAYS demands the initiation of deadly force, are quickly learning to vote Libertarian. Republican denial of individual rights for women is as old as the economy-destroying Comstock Laws ku-klux christianity struggles to revive. Canada cured its conservatives of this cruel fascination with coercion shortly after the LP Overpopulation plank became the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. A different Reason writer could cover how that was accomplished.

  32. “When Goldberg discovered that Williamson’s hard-core social conservative opinions “did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views,” Williamson was fired.”

    That’s the charitable interpretation. The realistic description of what happened, is that they induced him to leave his prior job already knowing what his opinions were, and then once he’d burned his bridge behind him, fired him.

    That they deliberately burned him, IOW.

  33. I’d tend to agree. I would prefer not to live anyplace that is going to execute a woman for inducing an abortion of a < 12 week pregnancy. I would like to have the people who think like that live very far away.

  34. We’ve known decentralization is an answer that wont necessarily not work for a few hundred years now. Some ideologues still insist on resisting it on ideological grounds, but I’m not sure one article in a magazine they don’t read will change any minds.

  35. How about beginning promoting an ethic which prefers building on similarities rather than differences? And, along the way, lose the idea that “different” must be worse?

    1. Actually, that’s exactly what is getting us in trouble. At some point congress realized that by just taking money from the taxpayer, both parties could both get what they wanted.

      I believe we need a truly oppositional party system where a lack of agreement means it’s a bad idea for a goodly chunk of the country and therefore the government shouldn’t be involved.

      1. Politically, yes, you’re right. I’m thinking more about people just going about their daily lives.

        1. I think Tucille gets at that with the final paragraph:

          And who knows? If power is devolved far enough?to individuals, by preference?we might even come to see our divergent views as harmless eccentricities rather than existential threats.

          Which I think is a valid consideration. That as more and more power is invested in politics, then political differences begin to have increasing and meaningful impact upon peoples lives. Which leads to more tension.

    2. Coercive is worse, voluntary is better. The LP platform starts out by making that distinction clear, we vote for candidates who support it, and the looters gouge each others’ eyes out and change their planks in a struggle over our election-swinging spoiler votes. Simple, huh?

  36. I kind of think it’s nice that that woman lets you know what her expectations are when she starts applying the hand.

  37. The deep divisions which highlight Americans divergent views are as much a product of the mainstream media, who shows a remarkable unwillingness to present a fair, balanced summation of the differing points of view concerning just about every subject, If the MSM could be described as a tool, it would best be identified as a wedge.

    1. The Nixon Anti-Libertarian law pays the media to ignore the non-aggression party. Surprise… you get what you are forced at gunpoint to pay for!

  38. >some Americans don’t play well together and should probably withdraw to separate corners

    This is called secession! It’s our only reasonable hope for liberty in the near term (within a human generation). Fed.gov is most definitely weakening and only a financial collapse away from not surviving a dedicated secessionist movement of the people who actually make a difference in the world. They are, historically, NEVER “the majority” too. A collapse is mathematically assured by the design of our monetary system, which relies on the exponential creation of money/debt.

    >If power is devolved far enough?to individuals, by preference?we might even come to see our divergent views as harmless eccentricities rather than existential threats

    This is called anarchy (voluntary rules but no rulers)! As with the eventual success of abolitionism, peoples’ minds need to change (their philosophy) so significantly that anarchy cannot possibly be embraced except in the course of a successful multi-generational campaign against the mythical merits the state.

    >the disappearance of one of America’s two major parties would turn democracy into a sham.

    This is called the status quo! Democracy has always been a sham. History proves that a democracy can and will bring tyranny just as surely as a dictatorial despot or a king. Actually, given the best interests of many monarchs in history and their actions, democracy is worse than a monarchy. Certainly a modern and technological democracy is worse.

  39. Eventually the left will regain power and when they do it will be absolute. Will the Never Trumpers suddenly switch sides and work for the Statists?

    1. Agreed-it could be as soon as 2020. If they win back enough state governments to redistribute in their favor and consolidate power, they’ll will lock it in, telling us that we need a strong central government to protect us from climate change, inequality, etc. Wouldn’t be surprised if they use the military to occupy uncooperative red states.

      1. If they do try to go full on we will have a civil war. I’ve said it for a long time, but I think mass gun confiscations would be the 1 thing that would 100% guarantee a civil war. Since the Dems have gone full prog derp on that subject now that could be what kicks it off.

        Thankfully most of the military is conservative, so I imagine the majority of the military would side with patriots. The “good guys” will probably win if the leftists are dumb enough to try, so I’m all in favor of it.

      2. The military will be on our side in the next war.

      3. No. There’s a second amendment solution to progressive fascists.

    2. Switch?

  40. When Dems win elections they say elections have consequences. when they lose, cities burn.

    1. You could substitute Dems with the GOP and that would still be true.

      1. No, you couldn’t. There is no equivalence. When have republicans ever rioted in the streets and burned their cities?

        Hell, they even make sure to clean up the litter after an outdoor rally.

      2. Looters are looters. Whittaker Chambers, the communist, didn’t like it either, but the christianofascists paid him to attack the non-aggression principle and smear Atlas Shrugged. Suddenly he changed brands of coercive altruism.

        1. What the fuck are you babbling about?

          1. Translation: historical facts and conservative mag reviews of Atlas Shrugged aren’t in the sockpuppet script I read.

            1. And this has nothing to do with anything anyone said.

              When Dems win elections they say elections have consequences. when they lose, cities burn.

              .And the idiotic response–

              You could substitute Dems with the GOP and that would still be true.

              To which Elias responded factually–

              No, you couldn’t. There is no equivalence. When have republicans ever rioted in the streets and burned their cities?

              Hell, they even make sure to clean up the litter after an outdoor rally..

              Nothing in there relates at all to your rambling idiocy about Chambers smearing Rand. Nothing. It’s not a lie to say that the right doesn’t react to political losses by burning down their cities. They don’t.

  41. I’d run threatening to impose my views on others just to prove a point but I’m afraid some idiot would take me seriously and actually do it. American’s have always had disparate views and politicians have always pitted us against one another for political gain. When we recognize that the guy down the street isn’t our enemy, he’s just got different views on life, but instead the government is we’ll all be a lot happier.

    1. But sometimes if the guy down the street has WRONG ENOUGH views, he is the enemy. Somebody who is in favor of establishing a communist state, including putting people in gulags, is my enemy. I have MET people like this in real life. The guvmint may be the BIG enemy, but millions of small enemies add up…

      1. Indeed. And there are millions of these Marxist trash out there. So,sting will need to be done. Sommer than later anymore. They are not going to go away on their own.

      2. Dude, didn’t you advocate killing off most Californians so you could enjoy a house on their bloodied corpses?

        I don’t think it’s just the “guy down the street” that wants gulags.

        1. I advocate the s topping with their communism. They can freely abandon their Marxist bele Fed and choose to live in peace. That would be great. But since they’re not going to ever stop, you better figure out what you’re willing to do to stop them. Or bow to the, amd live as they choose.

          And if you think that letting them take American soil to separate them from us will be the end of it, you’re a fool. They are a cancer. Cancers don’t stop until host is consumed, or the cancer is dead.

          1. I was actually responding to vek, but yeah, you’re openly calling for gulags too.

            1. no, not gulags.

              why pay to feed house and guard cancerous tumors?

        2. I didn’t advocate for that. I simply said I would like (in a more perfect world) to be able to move back to my beautiful home town in California, but it’s not possible because the place is beyond saving, sans them all dying one way or another. I didn’t say we should all go and whack them. I am in favor of cutting them loose so we can both go our separate ways. They can go full prog-derp, and the rest of the country could then return to something more resembling what the founding fathers had in mind.

          That said, if it does come to violence, the left is in for a rude awakening… Most of the left is a bunch of fat blue haired lesbian wimps, metrosexual cubicle workers, and blow it cases, whereas the right has veterans, hicks, competent people, etc. They will not win in the USA if things go to blows.

          People who believe 100% in the NAP are, frankly, morons. If they founding fathers believed in the NAP we’d still have the queen on our money… I’m not a pacifist. I believe one should usually try to avoid violence to the degree possible, but there is a time and a place. Sometimes it is unavoidable. You can only let oppression go so far before you’re morally in the right if you fight back.

          But I am pro secession because I DO NOT want to see it come to violence. But if it does, libertarians/conservatives will probably come out even better than if we just let them jet with part of the country, it’ll just be a more costly win.

  42. The biggest reason Americans can’t stand each other is because WE ARE FORCING our preferences on each other.

    1. We, paleface? I’ve voted libertarian since 1980, yellow-dog straight ticket since 1984. We’re the 1% per annum, and every spoiler vote shoots a violent law right in its little gutty-wutty.

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  44. How does Trump talking about going after Amazon get conflated with real laws being passed in almost exclusively Democratically controlled states and towns that restrict personal liberty and make demands of businesses that steal their time and money?
    I can understand that the party line at Reason demands that Trump and Republicans be attacked in equal proportion to Democrats, but when it comes down to actually doing things that reduce personal liberty, abortion limits notwithstanding, it’s almost always Democrats who pull the trigger.

  45. “Leyden puts forward California, where the GOP has collapsed and been swept aside by a nearly one-party state, as the ideal outcome for “the new American civil war.”

    Then Leyden must want to live in a third world country, which is what California is rapidly becoming under it’s one party system.

  46. In 2016, California had 3.8 million Trump voters. The 20 smallest states all have populations less then that. For that matter, the most tilted state in 2016 was Wyoming where only 22% of voters went to Clinton. Only a handful of states had the loser at less then 30%, with most being in the 30s or 40s.

    So sure. We ideologically self-segregate to a degree, but not very well. So even if we could find a way to more federalism and push things down to the states, you’d still have the same problems.

    And that’s before we even talk about the effects of globalization and the free market. They do more to mix us all up and force connections that wouldn’t otherwise be then any government policy.

    Face it, we’re stuck with each other. And even if a state secedes? It’ll still be complaining about all the cultural influence from entertainment media, news, blue jeans and pop music and so-on. We can learn to get along, but we’re past the point of learning to be separate.

    1. But we can’t learn to get along… History shows that when groups have differences of opinion as severe as we have now there are really only 2 outcomes.

      1. One side ruthlessly oppresses the other side and forces them to bend to their will.

      2. They split up, usually after a shooting war. But technically it could happen peacefully.

      There is NO middle ground between Bernie Sanders fanatics and Trump fanatics that will be acceptable to both sides. It doesn’t exist. The differences we have internally now are greater than the founding fathers had with England for fucks sake! They’re more fundamental than between the north and south in our civil war! Yet you think we’ll just patch things up? LOL Ain’t gonna work. We’re either going to get option 1 or option 2, because option 3 of magically kissing and making up isn’t possible IRL.

      A single state, other than MAYBE California or Texas, splitting off is not enough to fix the issue. It needs to be reasonable chunks of the country splitting off so they will be a strong and independent nation, not just an afterthought. If the west coast + part of the southwest was given to the progs, the rest of the country would still be doing awesome, and they’d be doing awesome until the full force of their progtardedness sinks them. It would be fair, equitable, and reasonable for both sides.

  47. Progressives have decided they are smarter, more civilized, morally superior and therefore more deserving than anyone else and are attempting to convince kids and young adults (with some success) than conformity to their ideals is more important than freedom. They have indoctrinated kids into following them by telling them all they are “special” and deserve special treatment. Think about the entire Occupy Wall Street movement. At its core, it was not about the evils of Wall Street, but rather the temper tantrum of college graduates unable to find jobs at a salary they thought they “deserved”. The idea of an entry level position was beneath them and therefore they were unemployed. It is not that Americans do not like each other, it is we have a regionalized and very vocal segment of the population who dislikes anyone who tells them to grow up, shut up or refuses to bow to their will. They have decided they are the only ones who should be allowed to talk, make decisions and run the world. They claim to be fighting fascism by being fascists.

    1. They – these poisonous progressives – are fascists and they have to be put down.

  48. “”We can’t have one step forward, one step back every time an administration changes. One side or the other has to win,” Peter Leyden, CEO of Reinvent Media, insisted recently. Leyden puts forward California, where the GOP has collapsed and been swept aside by a nearly one-party state, as the ideal outcome for “the new American civil war.”

    Leyden doesn’t fret that the disappearance of one of America’s two major parties would turn democracy into a sham, because in the California primary system “the voters still got a choice between, say, a more progressive candidate and a moderate candidate?who almost all operate within a worldview that shares much common ground.” The rest of the country should follow California’s lead on embracing one-party rule, Leyden opined.

    Evan Williams, cheif executive at Medium and the former head of Twitter, called this an “interesting take.” Current Twitter chief Jack Dorsey named it a “great read.””

    These cunts are going to get a real war. They will be hurling insults and idiotic slogans… We’ll be hurling lead. We win.

  49. Ada perbedaan. Texas setidaknya masih memiliki beberapa Demokrat, tidak bisa lolos dengan kegilaan. Namun California sebenarnya memiliki undang-undang negara bagian sekarang, dua hukum teratas, yang secara virtual menjamin bahwa dua anggota Demokrat akan berhadapan satu sama lain pada bulan November.

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