Donald Trump

Hey, Libertarians, Maybe Republicans Just Aren't That Into You

June 12 was not a good day for free-market constitutionalism in the modern GOP.


Libertarian-leaning Republican congressman Mark Sanford got primaried in South Carolina last night by immigration hawk and late-breaking Donald Trump endorsee Katie Harrington, whose main line of attack on Sanford was that he was disloyal to Trump. But that was just one event in a day unusually swollen with reminders that the modern GOP at the national level is not welcoming to libertarian ideas.

Take two issues that we've been banging on about at Reason for years: tariffs, and Congress's paralytic fear of doing even its minimal constitutional duty. In a remarkable speech yesterday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who is retiring at the end of his term this year, combined the two issues in a damning indictment of his colleagues' cowardice. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Corker charged, blocks all amendments—including one Corker introduced last week requiring congressional approval for "national security" tariffs—because "Well gosh, we might poke the bear" (meaning the president). Watch:

Not to be overly tautological, but it's difficult for even the most libertarian-leaning legislators to get meaningful stuff done if they are prevented from legislating.

Then there was the defeat last night of liberty-movement Republican Nick Freitas in the Virginia GOP primary for U.S. Senate at the hands of Confederate monument enthusiast and recent Paul Nehlen fan Corey Stewart, who is fond of saying stuff like "I was Trump before Trump was Trump" and tweeting jibber-jabber like this:

All of the above was enough for Daniel McCarthy to write the latest version of "How Donald Trump eclipsed the 'libertarian moment.'" McCarthy's grim conclusion: "The revolution begun by Trump in 2016 is continuing at the state and congressional levels. And the Ron Paul revolution begun by Senator Paul's father now seems marginal, if not utterly defeated—a remarkable reversal of fortune from just four years ago."

Politicians respond to incentives, and right now the imperative Republican incentive is to kiss Donald Trump's ring. Less than 15 months ago, Trump was warning that "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!" Last night, as one Freedom Caucus incumbent lost to a Trump-backed challenger and a Rand Paul–backed Senate candidate lost to a #MAGA nationalist, Freedom Caucus stalwarts Reps. Mark Meadows (R–N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) went on Laura Ingraham's Fox News program not to sulk but to talk about possibly impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for his role in overseeing the Mueller investigation. They have gotten on the team.

Libertarian policy goals will still sometimes be met under Trump, some of them intentionally, some not. He will continue deregulating and appointing some good judges, may yet contribute to genuine peace on the Korean peninsula, and has proven surprisingly malleable on marijuana enforcement and prison reform. But as an organizing body, particularly anywhere near the levers of federal power, the GOP is an increasingly unreliable ally to libertarians.

Daniel McCarthy, in his essay, provides some interesting food for thought about the unsatisfying-to-many penchant among libertarians for calling balls and strikes in a more emotional age of with-us-or-against-us polarization:

The other great issue at the libertarians' disposal, smaller government, simply never mattered in the ways they thought it did. Anti-government sentiment was most powerful with Republican voters as an expression of anti-elitism and resistance to a government run by a liberal Democrat like Barack Obama. Emphasizing cutting government on principle, as libertarians did, would never be as effective as emphasizing fighting the liberals, with or without shrinking the state. Trump was not the most anti-government candidate, but he was the most anti-left. The libertarian position, by contrast with Trump, seemed like just a more thoroughgoing version of what every other supposedly conservative Republican believed about cutting government….

Urgency matters in politics, and Trump is a master of creating a sense of urgency in both his supporters and his opponents—as Michael Anton's "Flight 93" essay and the left's continual cries of "authoritarianism!" have shown. Ron Paul did create a sense of urgency in his campaigns, largely by capitalizing on powerful issues that had been ignored by the establishment in both parties, such as disastrous wars with bipartisan support and the mysteries of the Federal Reserve. The elder Paul said a further financial meltdown was imminent. But Trump outflanked the libertarian line in this respect as well. And today the most urgent question in American politics, the one that quickens pulses the most, is simply whether you are for or against Trump. Mark Sanford has said he's not really anti-Trump, but that he simply applies to Trump the standards that derive from his libertarian-ish principles. If those standards lead to a good grade for Trump, Sanford is happy to apply it. If not, then not. But his kind of abstraction and fixity, whatever its merits in other respects, cannot convey a sense of urgency. The libertarian way proves over time to be oblivious to circumstances and psychological conditions, which are in fact the essence of real politics….

Those who look to the likely rout of Republicans like Corey Stewart in November as the shock that will turn the Republican Party against Trump are profoundly misunderstanding what the GOP has been going through for a decade, which is a search—whether through libertarians or nationalists or whomever else might arise—for the perfect anti-establishment vessel.

Or as Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) put it to me last year, "How could these people let us down? How could they go from being libertarian ideologues to voting for Donald Trump? And then I realized what it was: They weren't voting for the libertarian in the race, they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race when they voted for me and Rand and Ron earlier. So Trump just won, you know, that category, but dumped the ideological baggage."

Bonus blast from the past: In March 2015, I attempted to sketch out the three strains of GOP anti-establishmentarianism.

NEXT: 'Eat Mor Krow' and Other Signs of a Dangerously Politicized America

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  1. Yeah, they never were. Oh, they pretended to be, typically around election time (what a coincidence). But their pumpkin patch is not sincerity as far as the eye can see.

    1. +1 Linus van Pelt

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    2. I don’t know where this dumb idea came from, that Republicans should somehow be our allies. I suppose it came from the Ron Paul movement. Republicans are not, and never have been, our friends. Obviously, neither have the Democrats.

      1. The impression probably stretches back to the collapse of the anti-interventionist Old Right and the beginning of National Review when Buckley tried to offer libertarians a platform (including a brief time of employing Rothbard before he denounced them as interventionists and moralists).

        Republicans and libertarians may not share much in common, but the writers that informed Buckley’s conservatism (if such a thing still exists) are shared with libertarians (plus or minus a few).

        1. Wel, back in the day of McKinley, the anti-interventionist Old Right, was most certainly not Republican. God only knows what would have happened if Leon Czolgosz hadn’t shot him. Probably TR was more of a Progressive but McKinley was pretty much the supreme imperialist, having generally acquiesced to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and ordered the suppression of the liberal or democratic forces in the Philippines.

          Mind you, this is a point I have constantly tried to make her, Progressivism was never about “multiculturalism” or any kind of tolerance of other cultures. It was about conformity to a the values of western european culture, especially to Anglo-Saxon values.

          Now, I believe strongly in those values myself, believing as I do that they are the tings that promote prosperity and happiness, but imposing them on others is something from which I sink.

      2. The idea comes from the observation that they are not all in on statism like the Democratic Party currently is.

        It’s a desperation move. Nobody likes the idea of clinging to a bloated corpse, but if the alternative is drowning…

      3. OTOH, what party did RP go back to after his ’88 run?

      4. I don’t know where this dumb idea came from, that Republicans should somehow be our allies.

        Probably that dumbass Milton Friedman?

      5. I think it’s pretty obvious…

        There is a lot of legit overlap between libertarian and conservative positions. Duh.

        Now the thing to note here is that ELECTED Republican politicians are often useless pieces of shit, however the rank and file members tend to be pretty libertarian in many of their views. They surely disagree on others, but on many things we’re in alignment. It’s always been those in office that didn’t mesh well with libertarians.

        Whatever the case in the lesser of two evils department I still think that anyone who can’t see that the Republicans are 1,000,000 times better than the Democrats from a libertarian perspective is insane. Ds of a few decades ago you could make a better argument for, but not anymore. They don’t support any of the few things that they used to be decent on, and they’ve got 100x worse on all the stuff they’ve always been bad on.

      6. I think the idea is that we’re supposed to somehow forget about that last bit, and assume Republicans are particularly not our friends. Then embrace the Democrats.

  2. The GOP-Libertarian alliance was born about 1980 and died Nov 8, 2016. No worries though, I hear that the Democrats are always looking for another identity group for their coalition and I have no doubt that people who want to be left alone and not overtaxed are more than welcome to join (chortle).

    1. I should add that there were plenty of exceptions libertarian repubs had to hold their nose over (massive deficits, spending, the drug war, other wars) while the GOP patted them on the head.

    2. If the alliance died in 2016, it’s only because they finally pulled the feeding tube after it had been in a persistent vegetative state for a decade or so.

      1. Did you just wake-up after Trump’s election? Did you miss the whole Ron Paul campaign and the election of Rand Paul, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie?

        1. Walking Ghost Phase?

        2. That wasn’t about voting for limited government. That was about voting for the crazy. Those guys have been largely marginalized by the rest of the party, and have accomplished almost nothing since taking office.

          1. I disagree with that premise. Paul and Massie (not so much Amash) have balanced out the neoconservative forces that dominated the party. They even have Lee and Sasse who align with Paul on most foreign policy matters.

            1. Which is not to say that you are entirely wrong, but I don’t think they’ve accomplished “almost nothing”. I think defeating the interventionist forces in the GOP has been largely successful.

              1. What defeats? My friend is getting deployed to Syria.

                1. It hasn’t been a route, but aside from McCain and Graham you don’t have many Republican politicians pushing the Weekly Standard’s position on Syria.

                2. So? We’re not sending tens of thousands of ground troops in. And we send troops in small numbers all around the globe in small quantities for temporary missions all the time.

                  At least Syria didn’t blow up into a major land war, like if The Hag won.

        3. Massie and Amash won’t survive this year. Rand Paul will likely resign rather than get drubbed in 2022.

          No one alive today will live to see a libertarian moment.

          The tariffs will drive up prices of goods, the Fed will respond by raising interest rates thereby inverting the yield curve. Banks stop lending long term, companies can’t get financing and start cutting employees. By November, unemployment will hit 5%, “inflation” will hit 6% or more. Bailouts will begin and piss off most of America. A stock market below 22,000 will be the final nail in the GOP coffin.

          MAGA will mean “Make America Gag Again”.

          1. ^This. My favorite is when the Trumpalos claim that their daddy is responsible for the current economic boom, as if that was how the structure of production worked.

          2. There is a zero percent chance that Rand loses his seat. Massie is pretty safe too. Amash’s biggest threat is the Chamber of Commerce

            1. I agree, but either way, we’ll know soon enough.

              Long before we see the end of progressive authoritarian domination of the Democratic Party.

            2. Turnout is everything and Republicans won’t show up if the economy tanks. Trump’s entire sales pitch is the Dow 30 and 3.8% unemployment. Xenophobia and protectionism aren’t enough.

              Rand Paul won’t even bother to run in 2022. What for? Like his dad, he’s a pariah in his own party even though he’s the best man in the Senate.

            3. There’s a decent chance somebody else will take exception to his gardening practices. Or get pissed off about him parking six inches too far from the curb, or putting his elbows on the table at a restaurant.

              Something utterly non-political that just happens to put him in the hospital or six feet under.

              More likely than him just deciding to retire when he’s still popular with his base.

          3. Hahahahaha you have no idea. None whatsoever. You are so completely wrong.

          4. Bob, that is some good fiction you’re writing. You have a Trumptastic day.

            1. I hope it turns out to be fiction. Nobody liked Cassandra.

              It took a very short period of time for the Smoot-Hawley tariffs to cut international trade by 70%. Unemployment soared in only a few months. Shit happens faster than people can catch up to it.

              In 2008 the economy looked a bit shaky but recoverable. McCain actually was leading Obama in the polls when all of a sudden Hank Paulson declares that the sky is falling. McCain, who loves government power, fully supported the TARP and his numbers promptly tanked. The TARP was hated by most people. Had McCain voted against them he might have won.

              Republicans were routed giving the presidency along with full control of Congress to an idiot who never wrote anything but autobiographies.

          5. Predicting the economy is about as possible as predicting the weather. I seriously doubt you are able to peer into the crystal ball any more successfully than the Nobel Prize winning economists who created Long Term Capital Management in 1994, collected the Nobel in 1998, and were completely insolvent in 2000.

  3. Matt, you and Nick, and the whole Cosmo Kids Club at reason can keep stroking it to the thought of a left-libertarian alliance: it will never happen. A right-libertarian alliance is at least in the realm of possibility, especially further down the federal power structure.

    This partnership has been dealt a blow via our rabidly populist president, but that doesn’t mean that those who are truly conservative are suddenly less likely to agree with libertarians. Plus, Trump has made a number of moves that are at least friendly towards our cause; what other president has done as much to this end in the past few decades?

    Those on the right can work with libertarians on many items; working with those statist fucks on the left is a joke, yet the wokeyarians keep pushing it. Sad.

    1. While I agree with the overall sentiment, not sure if “rabidly populist president” is a fair tag unless we agree Obama and the progressive left are ‘populist’ as well.

      1. They certainly are. No disagreement there. Both parties and pushing that way, and how.

      2. True. I don’t think rabies and populism are related at all.

      3. It’s funny how belief in government of, by, and for the People is now a slur at Reason.

        1. My god you’re a pest.

    2. Given the choice of going free market or massive tax increases on the “rich”, the left will always choose “equality”.

      Finding a leftist who won’t choose equality is as likely as seeing Bigfoot descend from a UFO riding on a winged unicorn.

      1. Given the choice between free market and anything else the left will always choice anything else.

    3. This is my take. I have voted libertarian in every election for ten years, but I am a registered Republican so I can vote in primaries. Stewart only lost by a little in Virginia, and didn’t get a majority. I’m pretty sure some Dems took advantage of the open primary to vote for him, knowing he’d be east to beat. There is still a significant portion of Republicans who are holding out for libertarian to come back. Until the libertarian party gets their shit together and the media stops being beholden to the two parties, I will continue to fight the good right trying to get Republicans to become libertarian.

      1. Matt Watters is the Libertarian candidate for Senate in Virginia. A father of 5 homeschooled kids who is religious and thinks the federal debt is the main issue, he might pick up GOP Freitas voters who don’t like Stewart. Personally I’d prefer he run left and slice off Kaine voters.

        1. Personally I’d prefer he run left and slice off Kaine voters.

          Huh? He could promise them all the free shit they ever desire and he wouldn’t slice off a single Kaine voter, not this year anyway.

      2. “Until the libertarian party gets their shit together…”

        In part, Reason & Libertarians, you can read that as “stop being all about open fucking borders” and maybe you can garner more support.

      3. I am a registered Republican so I can vote in primaries…I’m pretty sure some Dems took advantage of the open primary to vote for him, knowing he’d be east to beat.

        You do realize these two statements don’t compute. You have to register R to vote in primaries – but everyone else can register D to vote in them – and THEY win?????

    4. There are a lot of republicans, and by that I mean the electorate, not the assholes running congress, that have a lot in common with libertarians. At least outside of the extremist open borders bullshit. An awful lot of the public would like to see a reduction in government power and mission creep. Ideally back to constitutional levels.

      Some of the people who comment here sneer at anyone who is not functionally an anach-ocapitalist. Those folks will probably always be disappointed, and remain in the fringes. The rest of us that seek to restore a constitutionally limited government have some hope of making that happen.

      Nick and Matt had best get any notion of drawing support from the democrats. They are leaning more and more towards going full commie. that trend is unlikely to change anytime soon.

      1. It’ll change when they run out of other people’s $, & that’s going to happen sooner than they think. Look where the Democrats are concentrated now. They’re becoming more marginalized, & will soon be living off the $ of the other parts of the country. That won’t last long.

      2. I agree 100%. I don’t know WTF makes people think there is anything to be gained by courting the left. Legalizing weed is literally the only thing the left might be good for in the next decade. Other than that they’re AWFUL on everything. Rank and file Republicans are often basically just moderate libertarians. They are not usually anarcho-capitalists, but neither am I! But they skew along the same lines for most things, perhaps throwing in a little more being down for blowing shit up overseas or whatever.

        1. Yeah, the problem with the Republicans is that their office holders skew much more statist than the base.

          The problem with the Democrats is that their office holders also skew much more statist than the base, and the base is so freaking statist to begin with that Bernie Sanders looks like a sane choice to them.

          Then there’s that whole gun thing. It’s a bad, bad sign when somebody is determined to render you defenseless against them.

          1. Yup. I have always contended that if the Republicans ACTUALLY did the things they said they would when campaigning, and that their base wants, they would hands down win every friggin’ election. When people see their taxes cut, and basic infrastructure maintained within reason (because most people don’t want to privatize the roads 🙁 ), and wasteful spending departments being held to account, see entire useless departments cut AND THE WORLD DOESN’T END… They would be like “This is pretty friggin’ awesome!” and vote for Rs.

            But they never have. They rarely ever actually cut the size of government or spending. They rarely ever deregulate. They never do any of the awesome shit they talk about. It’s like they think people wouldn’t vote for them if they did… But the only reason anybody votes for them is on the off chance they’ll follow through on some small part of what they say. If they actually did all those things they’d perpetually kill it with everybody but welfare cases and communist ideological zealots.

            Alas, they’re too stupid. 🙁

            1. Not so stupid, alas: Welfare cases are approaching being a plurality of the voting public.

    5. left-libertarian alliance: it will never happen. A right-libertarian alliance is at least in the realm of possibility,

      Neither of those are ever possible. What IS possible are very limited coalitions of convenience on particular issues that will change from issue to issue. And those coalitions will require ‘disloyalty’ to the left/right divide in order to achieve libertarian.

      Congressional Black Caucus is the most consistently non-interventionist element in Congress. The notion that Rand Paul is gonna convince R’s on that issue is ludicrous. For R’s, the only chance is specific case-by-case skepticism.

      The problem is R’s are always R’s first and D’s are always D’s first. And if they aren’t, they aren’t in Congress for long. And R’s don’t talk with D’s and vice versa BECAUSE they are R’s and D’s.

      Course we won’t be electing an L to Congress unless the size of Congress goes up by 5x or so. So maybe the entire ‘work within Congress to do something’ strategy is impossible.

      1. What IS possible are very limited coalitions of convenience on particular issues that will change from issue to issue. And those coalitions will require ‘disloyalty’ to the left/right divide in order to achieve libertarian.

        At that point you get known as a bunch of duplicitous pricks, and then nobody wants to work with you.

        1. you get known as a bunch of duplicitous pricks, and then nobody wants to work with you.

          Duplicitous? Are you misinterpreting what I’m saying? The coalitions have to change from issue to issue. Not your opinions. Wanna actually accomplish a libertarian goal or do you just want to strike a pose?

          Left-libertarian (read D) or right-libertarian (read R) cannot possibly work because both the D’s and R’s define themselves exclusively in terms of opposition to the other not in terms of their adherence to some set of principles. Exclusively identify with one of those two (even with as tiny an act as your party registration) and you WILL be pulled into THEIR way of thinking about the other. You won’t even realize its happening (the power of cognitive dissonance).

          I suspect that effect is the REAL reason both Trump (an opportunistic R) and Sanders (an opportunistic D) got the support they did. Because a majority of the reg voters in those parties are now discontent with their own party. Rather than take the simple step of de-registering from their party to free themselves, they will latch on to a tell-it-like-it-is top-downer who promises to blow it up for them. Rationalizing his beliefs as their beliefs.

      2. I dunno man… I think Rs could in fact slowly convert to more L leaning positions on a lot of things, provided it seems to be what the voters want. They do all just want to get (re-)elected after all! Look at how much the Rs and Ds have both shifted on certain issues over a couple decades. They could shift non interventionist if it seemed like the thing to do to get in office…

    6. I wonder which part of the Republican-conservative-right-wing canon is most appealing to “libertarians” such as HGW.

      The massive military spending and belligerence?

      The race-targeting voter suppression?

      The nanny-state drug warring?

      The superstition-laced gay-bashing?

      The government micromanagement of abortion clinics?

      Faux libertarians love the Republican Party, because they are stale-thinking, character-deprived authoritarians. Genuine libertarians disdain the Republican Party.

      1. She myoure for micromanagement of every thing under the fucking sun, except when it comes to abortion mills. Then it’s an unregulated free for all.

        Fuck you hypocrite. I’ll bet you’re a cross dresser too. Carry on Klinger.

    7. Ya know, just as libertarians get sand in their vagina at the duopoly pandering to the fringe elements in their respective bases, you might want to take inventory of your own and remove the beam from your own eye.

      The fact that most libertarians are so batshit that they can’t compose a modest centrist platform to appeal to both the left and right (and while not passing any purity tests, moving closer towards liberty than away) speaks more to deficits with libertarians than anything else.

      The way forward was always with the centrist. And that nobody is courting libertarians should give you an idea of how repugnant the brand has become.

  4. Libertarian policy goals will still sometimes be met under Trump, some of them intentionally, some not. He will continue deregulating and appointing some good judges, may yet contribute to genuine peace on the Korean peninsula, and has proven surprisingly malleable on marijuana enforcement and prison reform. But as an organizing body, particularly anywhere near the levers of federal power, the GOP is an increasingly unreliable ally to libertarians.

    An ‘unreliable ally’. Let’s use this paragraph to check on the validity of the virtue signaling crammed onto it’s end.

    Libertarian policy goals will still sometimes be met under Trump, some of them intentionally

    Huh. That doesn’t sound unreliable.

    some not

    Why, Trump and the GOP will even meet Libertarian policy goals without intending to. That doesn’t sound unreliable at all..

    He will continue deregulating and appointing some good judges, may yet contribute to genuine peace on the Korean peninsula, and has proven surprisingly malleable on marijuana enforcement and prison reform.

    So this stuff will continue to happen? Without “Libertarian” support? With “Libertarian” disdain, even?

    Jesus fucking Christ–you’re saying that the GOP and Trump will do things that meet Libertarian policy goals while ‘Libertarians’ like you, Nick, and that idiot Sarwark deride them and you think they’re unreliable?

    1. You don’t actually know what ‘unreliable’ means, do you?

      1. Seems like a word that exists on a continuum, and as such, his definition of it looks perfectly valid.

      2. Oh I clearly do–and you, obviously, clearly don’t.

        When someone does things that you like and want and need done, and they do those things knowingly, unknowingly, AND when you’re spitting in their faces, they’re MORE than reliable–they’re steadfast.

        They’re the best people you know.

        1. Trump has also increased military spending, banned people from traveling here from certain countries, increased the deficit, continued to prosecute umpteen wars abroad, slapped tariffs on Americans, and continued to pursue his idiotic border wall boondoggle.

          When a politician sometimes does the right thing, but can’t be counted on to make the libertarian choice, he is an unreliable ally.

          1. Hugh, you just lit the Red Michael Hihn signal. He will be along shortly to post his list of 14 bullet points that prove Trump is our savior.

            1. Right, because anything less than a full condemnation of Trump is means that we worship Trump, right?

              Nigga, please…….

          2. I agree but the weird part is Trump’s randomness occasionally puts him on the right side. Bush and Obama always did the wrong thing. It’s like the Magic 8-Ball versus John Maynard Keynes and the Neo-cons. (Sounds like a battle of rock groups)

            1. I don’t know that it’s fair to say that either Bush or Obama were always wrong. But unlike Trump they were way beyond unreliable. They were deep into blind pig and truffle territory.

              1. While Bush and Obama didn’t always do the wrong thing, their inclinations were always wrong. To both of them, all problems will yield to money and force, mostly force. There was not a single issue facing Bush where his explicit answer was to let people alone to solve their problems themselves. Obama was, if anything, worse.

                Trump’s inclinations are equally bad but his tiny attention span combined with his intellectual vapidity sometimes results in something good.

                I’ll take door number one where I have no idea what lies beyond over door number two that has flames and smoke leaking out around the edges.

                1. Agree with all of that. Although I would opt for door #3 where they give an election and nobody shows up for it.

            2. One of the things left out of this article is how Trump, who ran an understaffed campaign with little help from the GOP apparatus, at least initially, ended up hoovering up a bunch of Beltway libertarian think tank types (albeit none from reason) into his administration (I think even the odious Jonathan Chait has covered this). Marc Calabria, CATO’s senior financial regulation policy scholar, is Pence’s chief economic advisor I believe. And Marc Short and a number of other OEO staff and political appointees are former CKI peeps or other libertarians. In petitioning to get LP candidates on the June 19 primary ballot I contacted a dozen DC registered Libertarian voters I knew and another dozen I did not, and among the latter was a new DC resident awaiting a low level political appointment.

              1. And Marc Short and a number of other OEO staff and political appointees are former CKI peeps or other libertarians.

                Marc Short, libertarian?

                That’s aggressive stupidity.

          3. See, the thing here is that open borders isn’t a libertarian position–it’s a liberaltarian position. Being against the travel ban is a liberaltarian position. The deliberate non understanding of the use of tariffs as clubs is a liberaltarian position.

            You guys problem is that you are ‘unreliable’–and calling you ‘allies’ is a stretch.

            1. “liberaltarian” is not a word.

            2. “You guys problem is that you are ‘unreliable’–and calling you ‘allies’ is a stretch.”

              Thank you! I’m happy to see that you’ve seen the light. Now please convince the other repubs here of the same thing and go bother the geniuses at RedState or InfoWars.

            3. Wanna make out in the back, Aza?

            4. Tariffs as clubs? It’s odd to use a club on yourself, since tariffs are a tax on your own people.

              Trump is saying that I will clobber Americans with taxes until you surrender, “you” being Canada, Mexico, China, etc.

              Economic masochism is not the answer.

        2. Are you really going to claim that Republicans are reliable libertarian allies?

          Republicans sometimes do some things that libertarians like. They intersect in a few areas. That’s not a reliable ally and certainly not a steadfast one.

          1. Conservatives and libertarians have had a common enemy for so long that they’ve forgotten the core principles that fundamentally divide them.

            Conservative principles are just that: conservative, not the liberalism that drives libertarians. A libertarian will celebrate the Masterpiece Cake shop verdict as a win for our freedom to associate (and while most see the proprietor as a bigot, they will note that this is completely irrelevant to the principle of free association). A conservative will celebrate the same verdict because they see a culture war victory over progressivism, and will celebrate the proprietor as a champion of traditional values.

            Look at any issue that conservatives and libertarians agree on, and you’ll find the same fundamental divide. It’s the same way with progressives and libertarians.

            1. A win for freedom of association is a culture war victory over totalitarian socialism.
              Progressivism (totalitarian socialism) is antithetical to liberty.
              The US was founded on the idea of individual liberty – a conservative in this context is one who favors individual liberty.
              Alas, Eric, I have the impression that you’re just a useful idiot.

              1. ^This is exactly the kind of dipshit that I’m tired of seeing associated as a libertarian. Back to the depths of the right wing with you please.

              2. No, his analysis is correct. It’s just that the # of issues libertarians & progressives in the USA these days agree on has dwindled to very few. In some parts of the world, on their domestic issues, progressives & libertarians still have a lot of issues to agree on, like abolishing cannibalism (sorry to caricature it, but you get the idea).

            2. “Look at any issue that conservatives and libertarians agree on, and you’ll find the same fundamental divide. It’s the same way with progressives and libertarians.”

              No, it isn’t. With conservatives, you’re free to disagree. With progressives, you’re not. It’s been said before, but bears repeating, if conservatives get their way, the worst case scenario is that life in America will be like it was in the 50’s. With the progressives, the worst case scenario is that life will be like it was in the Soviet union in the 50’s.

              Conservatives wont take everything you own and enslave you for all time if they get their way. Remember that.

              1. Conservatives have been on the defensive for so long most have forgotten the most they’d happily enslave us all if only they could seize control of the government from the left.

                1. Oh bullshit. The worst that would happen is that there would be a few more morality laws. That’s about it. They don’t want to come and take all your stuff. Plus a lot of bullshit goes away. Like gun control.

                  There is no equivalence between progressives and conservatives.

              2. Further, just ask any “progressive” here how “free to disagree” they feel. Only the most hardened lefty trolls can withstand the vitriol…while right wing trolls are mostly tolerated.

                1. Because we should care most about the FEELZ, Eric?
                  Or is operating according to your fantasy – “Conservatives have been on the defensive for so long most have forgotten the most they’d happily enslave us all” – the only acceptable position? Because you do realize that is a fantasy? Hasn’t happened. Yet, we have plenty of evidence of what totalitarian socialists, both Rs and all Ds, have already imposed. That’s actually happening.
                  Useful idiot or full progressive, either way you’re shit.

                2. Yeah, right…….

                  Better yet, g to some o,ace like Vox, or HuffPo, and disagree with them on just about any hot button issue and see how free to disagree you are there.

              3. So it looks like it’s the 1950’s no matter who wins. And I thought I was depressed before I read that.

                By the way, that’s a great line.

                1. If I had to choose, it’s “Make Room for Daddy” for me, as opposed to Stalinist Russia.

              4. A conservative will imprison you for a doobie or an abortion.

                A conservative will take your possessions through seizure and forfeiture for drug-related suspicion.

                A conservative will no longer advocate imprisoning gays, mainly because their betters beat the right-wingers into submission on that one, inclining them to conceal their true position while waiting for that tide to change. Mostly, the superstitious and bigoted right-wingers pick on the transgendered now.

                A conservative will send you to die in a pre-emptive, counterproductive invasion of the wrong country, and perhaps torture you if you’re innocent and unlucky.

                A conservative will bankrupt you to buy another unneeded bomb or bullet.

                Conservatives don’t cause more problems in society because their betters have been defeating right-wingers in the public debates. The liberal-libertarian alliance has directed the path of progress in America for more than a half-century.

                1. You are so homogeneously full of shit. Most of what you said are things that every progressive is guilty of.

                  And you’re a fucking cross dresser too. Carry on Klinger.

                2. Kirkland: A conservative will imprison you for a doobie


                  Liberal Democrat NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Continues the Marijuana Arrests He Called ‘Unjust and Wrong’

                  Low-level marijuana possession arrests have disastrous consequences for individuals and their families. These arrests limit one’s ability to qualify for student financial aid and undermine one’s ability to find stable housing and good jobs. What’s more, recent studies demonstrate clear racial bias in arrests for low?level possession?despite roughly equal usage rates. This policy is unjust and wrong.

                  Yet that unjust policy continues under De Blasio, and its burdens continue to fall overwhelmingly on blacks and Latinos, who accounted for 86 percent of arrestees in the first eight months of this year.

                  1. KevinP reminds me of a late-first-year law student. He has learned rudimentary argument and his eager to deploy his emerging skill but is unsuccessful — if not counterproductive — because he lacks any sense of persuasiveness or judgment.

            3. “A libertarian will celebrate the Masterpiece Cake shop verdict as a win for our freedom to associate”

              The inevitable conclusion being that Reason isn’t particularly libertarian anymore.

          2. So, how do you think Republicans view libertarians, if not as “unreliable allies”? Does it not occur to you that that one works both ways?

      3. Azathoth is just a seething mass of chaos. It does not care for the meaning of words.

        1. Can I just respond to this?

          It does not care for the meaning of words.

          I say all the words in all the times in all the orders that can be. It’s your pathetic ears and tiny minds that try to differentiate the glorious cacophony that is the real.


          1. Now I am wet, you Heraclitean hussy.

      4. I thought it meant “dedicated, public servant.” No?

    2. Yeah, pretty much this. Unreliable allies are better than people who want to slit your throat in the night.

      This is just an attempt to make the libertarian party look like it isn’t a total fucking joke, which I can appreciate but the fact remains the party is a complete fucking joke. Maybe do something about that, instead of bitching about ‘unreliable allies’?

      1. ^ This.

        Its like what rel choice do we have ? Nutjob Ds or an L party that features a guy wearing a diaper on stage at its convention ?

        Also, I’ll post this link the Republican Liberty Caucus Liberty Index.

        Its from 2015, so I imagine the R scores have taken a dive, but cripes, its clear they are on balance preferable to Ds. Shame about Sanford though. Personal scandal doesn’t help.…..bery-index

        1. I imagine the R scores have taken a dive, but cripes, its clear they are on balance preferable to Ds.

          Were you seriously expecting the REPUBLICAN Liberty Caucus to actually rank anything that wouldn’t paint all D’s as enemy?

          What is ludicrous to me is that even in 2015, that index apparently thinks 80%+ of the House R’s were ‘libertarian’ in the Nolan sense. That’s just barking-mad nonsense that sets no bar at all for it deems ‘libertarian’. Like maybe the RLC itself has just turned into identity politics bait to keep libertarians in the R tent.

          I can see a ton of truly libertarian stuff that could be accomplished with different coalitions of actual R’s and actual D’s. Course it can’t happen BECAUSE R’s and D’s can’t do that.

          1. The key with the GOP is to break up the power held by people like Mitch McConnell. This is done through grassroots movements to get rid of people they did with Eric Cantor, and pushing out people like Jeff Flake. Focus on conservative leaning candidates that believe in fiscal conservatism, and federalism. A strong enough coalition of with those type of people will be able to push a positive agenda.

            Nothing like that will EVER happen with a libertarian alliance with democrats.

            1. There is no grassroots mechanism anymore that can mold an image/direction separate from some top-down candidate. The establishment was pissed that it was Trump who filled that vacuum – but don’t believe for a second that either the D’s or R’s are anything but top-down run.

              I agree that grassroots bottom-up is the right approach to change things. That mechanism is like Field of Dreams. Build it and good candidates will come. But you gotta build it in a place that doesn’t have it (like every third party). Cuz trying to take over what someone else built and then pretend its yours just ain’t gonna happen.

              1. Yes, it has to be forced in them. The upper echelons of the GOP are the enemy. That’s why it will have t be grassroots. That”s how Cantor was disposed of. Otherwise we have pricks like McCain Dan McpConnekl clinging to power until the bitter end.

          2. Were you seriously expecting the REPUBLICAN Liberty Caucus to actually rank anything that wouldn’t paint all D’s as enemy?

            Yes, because unlike LP, they haven’t (yet) fallen into the team-thinking trap. They’re the RLC because they’re libertarian. They’re not the RLC because they set out to paint Republicans as better for libertarians. They discovered that fact, they didn’t “invent” it. Same as Don Ernsberger discovered 20+ yrs. ago. If Don Ernsberger, co-founder of SIL, finds that, against his expectations, Republicans turn out to be much better for liberty than Democrats, & both on avg. & with very few exceptions, believe it! He managed to get his findings published in LP News, of all places, because LP hadn’t yet sunk deeply into “team”.

            1. They’re the RLC because they’re libertarian.

              Individuals may start that way. But in every organization (LP too), cognitive dissonance takes hold. The org requires that one believe X in order to have any credibility within the org. A litmus test or a blood ritual or Ben Franklin effect or somesuch. So one rationalizes that belief as ‘libertarian’. And then another. And another. And soon enough they are more an ‘organization flunkie’ than they are the libertarian they once were.

              The difference is if the org is much bigger than the individual, then its the individual who will change more than and adapt to the org.

              1. That’ll happen to RLC eventually, but it hasn’t yet.

          3. The bar was deliberately set near the median, which makes sense as to how most things in life should be rated. Every vote they selected had a libertarian & an authoritarian side. Binary choices as they came up. 80% means 80% of their votes on that side.

            1. That chart showed 80% of the R’s in Congress are Nolan libertarians and 20% are conservatives

              That’s just rabid partisan barking.

          4. Well, if you think the ranking is dishonest, what specifics do you have ? Note that it just ranks what was voted on, and so a lot of stuff that L’s want (legalize all drugs !) probably wasn’t voted on. Maybe that would shift the rankings…or maybe not.

            My main take away is I hear over and over again from Reasonmag that R=D, and that always felt intuitively wrong. Particularly with article after article featuring Amash, Paul, etc and only the very rare D doing something remotely positive. The scoring seems to confirm Reasonmag is full of shit.

            1. and only the very rare D doing something that the writers at Reason desperately tried to twist into something remotely positive.


              1. Ha ! Thank you.

            2. article after article featuring Amash, Paul, etc and only the very rare D

              Given that you have actually identified only two names – and there are no more than maybe a dozen names who are ever written about and always the same names, I think I’m safe in saying that that IS the limit. And the commenters too also mention the same dozen max names.

              Which is a long effing way from 80% of the R critters.

              1. True only a few get love from Reason. I think Massie has been mentioned too.

                That doesn’t mean they are the limit. Indeed, thats what the scoring system is for. There are a bunch that score well, and since they are grading them on the same basis as Amash (100% score !) it seems like many are L-curious at least, even if they’d never think of themselves or call themselves that.

                As I note, the R scores likely took a dump since 2015, and I’d be interested in an update. When I look at the Ds though, its hard to see that they’ve improved. Plus, now they have dreams of free college for all and potentially even slavery reparations…they appear to be going the other way.

      2. But GOP voting against “libertarian leaning” candidates who are, well, unreliable is bad.

        We must never forget this.

        Welch, your party had its greatest chance to gain some notice in 2016. And you nominated a shitty candidate and the worst VP candidate this side of Henry Wallace.

        Perhaps your backing the wrong horse.

        Go ahead and vote Democrat. You want to.

        1. ^ This. Don’t get me wrong I think Gary Johnson is a great guy but not only is he a fuckup politically but Weld? Are you fucking serious?

          Perhaps the best part? Now Weld thinks he’s a libertarian. Yeah, I’m sure that’ll do zero damage to an already critically damaged brand.

          1. Weld is either a complete jerk or a political infiltrator hell bent on wrecking any opposition to the Bureaucratic State.

            While “Freedom to be an Asshole” is certainly within the realm of human liberty, it shouldn’t be the primary association with liberty.

            1. Weld is doing whatever it takes to keep the money flowing.

          2. The anti-tribe sure got tribal in 2016. Huh.

          3. Heard this meme over and over, but I’d be shocked if Johnson and Weld’s missteps cost them more than 100,000 votes. On the other hand, I’d bet their credentials got them more than 2,000,000 votes.
            Not that it mattered one way or another to an LP label that has been dismissed as ineffective and futile even if they nominated Christ himself.

            1. Their credentials certainly got them more free media coverage than the average Libertarian presidential ticket, which is really what the party needs at this point.

              1. The prospect that they might cost Trump a few votes in states that were close got them the free media coverage. Absent that, they’d have been unpeople.

            2. “…even if they nominated Christ himself.”

              We can only hope that a dead man in the Oval Office won’t be as bad as a live Porn Star!

              1. Jesus isn’t dead, just regenerated a few times.

            3. Johnson and Weld’s actions cost them the election. Cost us the election.

              I’m getting really sick of a Libertarian Party whose operating procedure is to aim for losing a bit less drastically.

    3. Are you kidding here?

      The only people getting libertarian policies enacted ARE Republicans. Every time Reason has tried to tout some Democrat policy as being libertarian it has resulted in a net loss of liberty for the general population.

      Maybe the title of this piece should read–

      Hey, Libertarians, the Libertarian Establishment Has Abandoned You

      1. ^ Truth ^

      2. Should have added that if there was any more blatant example of this than the Johnstoner/TunaMeld ticket that got crammed down our throats, I’d like to know.

      3. The Libertarian Establishment hasn’t been very libertarian in quite some time. The Koch groups are more libertarian-leaning than anything. The criticisms leveled against them by the Mises people is all too true.

      4. I’ll say it again: the R voting base (That is, not the elected reps) can be coopted by libertarianism. No chance of that whatsoever with the progs/D’s.
        The L party is a complete joke.
        2 options: either coopt the Rs through primaries and organization, or virtue signalling to gain prog approval like Hugh and Chipper do.
        The former option has a chance to succeed, but hey at least the latter option gives you a chance to keep bitching and gain cool points with totalitarian socialists.

        1. The Republican base is animated by bigotry, backwardness, and superstition. Who would want to commandeer those goobers?

          1. I commandeer goobers every time I open a box of those delicious chocolate covered delights.

      5. The only people getting libertarian policies enacted ARE Republicans. Every time Reason has tried to tout some Democrat policy as being libertarian it has resulted in a net loss of liberty for the general population.

        Libertarians aren’t exactly astute about predicting the downstream effects of their policy positions. In an ideal world, you do your thing and i do mine, and both of us mind our own business.

        In the world we actually live in, the smart money says if you legalize it today, you’ll be subsidizing it tomorrow. And you can consider yourself lucky if isn’t made mandatory.

        1. The smart money says that only of things Democrats approve of. You’ll notice you’re not subsidizing concealed carry, neither is it mandatory.

    4. That quote from me is taken out of context.

  5. I think you missed the premise of Daniel McCarthy’s article.

    He said at the beginning: “But in the 2016 debates it was Trump who objected the most loudly, if not the most consistently, to the foreign policy of the Bush years, even taking Jeb Bush to task for his brother’s wars. Trump took command of the issue that had made the libertarians an insurgent force …”

    If anything he faults Rand Paul and other libertarian leaning Republicans with viewing their non-interventionism as a liability rather than their strength.

    So the brand of libertarianism which promotes NATO (like you) and advocates for bases in Afghanistan (like Gary Johnson did in 2012) is pretty much garbage that appeals to no one. That’s pretty much the takeaway.

    1. As an aside, Montenegro, as of today, settled its dispute with Greece and is likely to be allowed into NATO.

      Make believe Libertarian Moment?

      1. Montenegro


      2. Errrr….Macedonia, actually.

        1. Near to the east
          In a part of ancient Greece
          In an ancient land called Macedooooooonia

          1. Heh. Maiden reference.


        2. God dang it. Stupid eastern Europe.

        3. Yeah, Montenegro having a naming dispute with Greece makes no sense. Confused the damn countries. To be fair, they are both worthless allies

          1. Oh I don’t know, they’re going to come in handy as buffer states to Sultan Erdogan shortly.

      3. Macedonia not Montenegro.

        1. Northern Macedonia!

        2. Also, from what I see, there’s no deal. Dude won’t sign it or something.

  6. So, instead of trying to hold Republicans accountable when they promise to be more libertarian we should instead do what, since notably the only other major party is the Democrats who are actively hostile to most every libertarian position and the Libertarian party has about as much chance of winning anything as a one legged dog in a horse race.

    I guess Reason is making the case for simply not voting if you’re a libertarian, which to be fair is about right but not really useful in any way.

    1. Well, Nick sure heard a lot of libertarian ideas during the DNC convention.

      1. I wonder how many of the staff here voted for The Hag.

  7. Republicans seem terrified of libertarians, because most people on the right agree with what libertarians are saying. It threatens GOP control if libertarian senators start getting elected.

    The left condemns libertarians outright, and people on the left seem to buy the line they’re selling; libertarians are just R-thugs in different clothes. Not all of them, but enough that I’ve seen more hysterical freak-outs about libertarians from the left than the right, including my lefty friends.

    As long as the Republicans are worried about us, it is a sign that we still have market share among their constituents, if nothing else. And more reason to press our advantage there. The left doesn’t want us, and frankly, I don’t want them, or to be co-opted by them, which is the most any libertarian could hope for in dealing with them.

    1. Republicans are terrified of libertarians, which is why they work so hard to discredit us. But at least a small minority of the GOP in Congress are very libertarian.

      Seems to me, the biggest reason for this, is libertarian leaning politicians are the ones that have pointed out the GOP doesn’t support what they claim to support when running for office. Secondly, they’d have to show real support for free markets, but that goes counter to their ability to raise money from crony businessmen which they believe they need to get the establishment to back them in the primaries. That’s why they lie, that’s why the Tea Party arose, and that’s why Trump won. Voters have been wising up to lying politicians, especially when Obama and Clinton are good examples of politicians getting their way by lying, with only voters holding them accountable because few politicians want to hold politicians accountable, regardless of party. Those politicians like Trump, find themselves fighting for their political survival against the establishment.

      Some might think it strange, Reason would fight Trump so much, given who Trump’s enemies are (almost all those in government).

    2. Truth, Stack.
      Amazing more here can’t see this

    3. Ok, so I have accepted (to my dismay) that most libertarians are somewhere on the right. I am one of the lesser left libertarians, so I am mostly just disappointed in fellow libertarians for falling for Republican bull shit. And I am NOT an open-borders supporter, but I do support FAIRER immigration policies for talented Latin Americans who want to come live here and contribute to our society. Because I DO believe in the power of free markets. I lean left, however, because I ALSO believe that the EXCESSES of capitalism must be occasionally constrained. I will admit that it’s hard to know for sure how that will always work since economics is a lot of guess work and is a “social” science and government action can have unintended consequences. So changes to the existing order must be given the utmost consideration.

      1. With those ideas and ideals in mind, I think the biggest issue facing the United States today is: the Prison-Military-Industrial Complex. I DO applaud any conservative, no matter how odious I think their other positions, who remain steadfast in their support for criminal and civil defense. Who care about criminal justice reform. I do ultimately believe that laws MATTER…if they don’t, nothing does because they SHOULD be written to best protect the most people possible. (So I understand the perceived hypocrisy if I support “amnesty.” Well I would NOT support a blanket amnesty for workers who are here undocumented. People who are not working, or at the very least didn’t have a family who could reasonably support them could leave, and criminals can fuck right off. And I say this as the son of a Mexican immigrant…NOT that identity should matter, but I DO have intimate knowledge of the situation.)

      2. Anyway, back to the PMIC I mentioned earlier…I think that Obama and Eric Holder actually WERE trying to be proactive in addressing drug offenders who had been imprisoned for excessively long sentences during the 1990’s, in the height of the “War on Drugs.” (I remember watching the show cops and just hating it. The funny thing is I don’t think drugs are good. But it seemed to me that a lot these people needed help, not to be treated (and become) criminals. I’m not naive to think that everybody accused of criminal acts hasn’t committed a crime and shouldn’t be charged, but I think society really overreacted very harshly and and swelled the ranks of our prison system. If someone was involved in gang activity and committed crimes, I don’t really feel any sympathy. If they were arrested and sent to long periods of time for simply selling or possessing drugs, that seems really wrong to me.

        Anyway, just another person’s perspective. I think, no I KNOW, there IS common ground between the left and libertarians but ONLY IF both are willing to meet in the middle a bit.


        (P.S. I don’t think the “mind control” and “cultural Marixism” really exists on the left as many of you fear, but who knows…perhaps I am blind to MY biases.)

    4. “and people on the left seem to buy the line they’re selling; libertarians are just R-thugs in different clothes.”

      The Democrats are not really into acknowledging distinctions among their enemies. (Which is to say, everybody who isn’t to the left of them.) You’re either with them, or you’re a Nazi, no halfway about it.

  8. Mark Sanford literally ran out on his job and family a few years ago. It’s nice that you agreed with him on some stuff, but hardly the guy to hang big hopes on. He is one of about 3 dozen Freedom Caucus members currently – so, as usual. this story is nothing except hyperbole.

    1. He was also busted violating the order against from his wife.

      He had tons of issues.

    2. Apparently if you are going to grab the pussy you ought not to apologize.

      1. As long as you flick the clit right, you got no worries.

  9. Libertarians lost a tremendous amount of credibility with the rest of the GOP when they killed a bill to cut $1.022 trillion in spending on entitlement programs–for supposedly libertarian reasons.

    To whatever extent the opposition of Peter Suderman and others at Reason contributed to that bill’s defeat, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    The GOP hasn’t made a serious attempt to cut spending since, and why should they? Why should the rest of the GOP stick their necks out and cut spending when the small government, libertarian types oppose bills to slash the size and scope of government–for reasons that don’t seem to have anything to do with fiscal conservatism?

    1. Typically Libertarian I am afraid…reject the do-able “good” for the impossible “perfect”. Then adopt a smug attitude about it.

      1. They oppose a bill that cuts $1.022 trillion because of things it didn’t do, the rest of the GOP throws their hands up, and then they point the finger at the rest of the GOP for not being fiscally conservative . . .

        In addition to what you wrote, it’s also childish.

        Some people make for excellent opposition. Rand Paul is like that. Couldn’t reasonably expect for better when he’s in opposition. Throwing cold water on everybody. Hurray!

        Leadership on spending issues requires something different. It requires grown up decision making. If we’re not willing or ready to act like grown ups, we shoudn’t be surprised if the rest of the GOP treats us like children.

        1. Yup. I’ll cop to being too much of a Rand Paul fan before you brought this up on a different thread.

          Whats truly interesting about the bill was that, net net, the budget impact was only 300 billion of savings or so (due to reduced taxes) thru 2026. However, it addressed one of the big three entitlements, Medicaid, which after about 2025 or so begins to really take off.

          It attempted to touch one of the untouchables, and my guess is that the savings over the long haul would be huge. I am not optimistic we’ll ever get that chance again.

      2. It’s selective purity. They are very willing to engage in any social incrementalism. And their fiscal restraint goes out the window when it conflicts with any social issue (see CBO estimate of DACA costing $26BB).

    2. Welchie Boy and the rest of the liartarians at Reason LOVE Medicaid. They want to see it further expanded, not cut!

    3. The fiscal conservatives in Congress are limited in what they can do.

      Consider if they block a bill because it spends too much. What would the rest of Congress do? I’d bet the RINOs would make a deal with the Democrats, to spend even more to get the votes they need to pass the spending bill. E.G., you’ll hear Democrats say something like, I’m holding my nose to vote for this bill because of the increase in military spending, but I’m voting for it because it increases Planned Parenthood funding. And the reverse from the GOP RINOs. Or more likely, they won’t say anything about what they don’t like in the bill.

      But this bill does more than cut some spending, it “Added $182 billion in new funding for states to help with premiums and $45 billion in new spending on substance abuse treatment and recovery.”

      H.R. 1628 passed the House and but failed in the Senate. See and And given Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and Mike Lee all voted against it, I’d say there were good reasons to reject it.

  10. Libertarian-leaning Republican congressman Mark Sanford got primaried in South Carolina last night by immigration hawk and late-breaking Donald Trump endorsee Katie Harrington, whose main line of attack on Sanford was that he was disloyal to Trump. But that was just one event in a day unusually swollen with reminders that the modern GOP at the national level is not welcoming to libertarian ideas.


    His behavior when he was governor and that he wasn’t all that beloved in his very safe district couldn’t be the problem.

    It had to be Trump.

    Maybe Republicans should ignore Reason. Like most of its readers do.

  11. One reading of this article is that the GOP is a bunch of dicks. Another reading is that Welch and Massie are crazy jealous because they got jilted by a bunch of dicks for something crazier and hotter.

    Can’t wait for Reason to buy a Subaru Outback and move in with a bull dyke and force a baker to bake them a cake out of spite!

    1. It’s pretty clear that Amash is the favorite of the Koch affiliated libertarian groups (who shun Rand Paul because of stupid animosity rather than anything substantive). While Paul and Massie are preferred by the Mises people and are more centered around a non-interventionist foreign policy (of which the Koch groups are unbelievably more hawkish on foreign policy).

      It also appears that Amash is very unwilling to cut spending for liberal causes like Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, while Paul and Massie are more than willing to cut spending for anything.

      1. Amash is the most libertarian of the bunch. It is known.

        1. I completely disagree with that, but it’s not like I don’t like Amash so it doesn’t really matter to me

        2. He may have the best guns.

    2. Massie voted for Trump. Odd that Matt didn’t mention that.

  12. Intentional or not, Trump’s administration has been the most libertarian administration in a generation.

    And by the way Nick Freitas lost to Corey Stewart 43% – 45%. Not a huge difference. Corey Stewart will align with libertarian ideals maybe 30% of the time. Democrat Tim Kaine will align with libertarian ideals maybe 5% of the time. Obviously, Reason will support Tim Kaine.

    1. Spot on.

    2. Well, because he’s pro open borders. Which is the ONLY “Libertarian” stance Reason gives a shit about.

      1. Those 20 million new citizens are all going to be libertarian voters – this is known.

        1. Correct.

          Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion

          Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

          1. “Demographic statistics so racist”

    3. Why would I vote for Kaine or Stewart when there is an actual Libertarian running for senate in Virginia?

      Is Waters perfect? No-but if I must vote, it will be for him, or otherwise stay home.

      Stewart is a complete POS. The worst part is, he will help drag down the ticket for the dems and could flip most of the congress seats for them. At least we don’t have state elections this year too.

      1. I stay registered Republican to try to get libertarianish ones in office. I have voted libertarian in every general election with a libertarian candidate for ten years.

      2. Corey Stewart is one of the few Republicans and conservatives willing to be honest with respect to affinity for racists.

    4. It all comes down to whether or not you think that Nazis and white supremacists are a serious threat to the country, and their symbolic of a current systemic racism taking over the country. I do not think they are. I think racist language is not holding anybody back from anything, and almost all explicitly racist laws are gone. I don’t consider these “white supremacists” to be any more dangerous or bigoted than the anti-white progressives or any other ethnic pride groups. I don’t give a shit about symbolism and history.

      1. Especially considering that Obama hung out with the likes of Rev. Wright and Farrakhan:

        The Photo That Never Saw The Light of Day: Obama With [racist and anti-semite Louis] Farrakhan in 2005

        A journalist announced last week that he will publish a photograph of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that he took in 2005 at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting, but did not make public because he believed it would have “made a difference” to Obama’s political future.

        The photographer, Askia Muhammad, told the Trice Edney News Wire that he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy.”

      2. It all comes down to whether or not you think that Nazis and white supremacists are a serious threat to the country, and their symbolic of a current systemic racism taking over the country

        I do.

        It’s why I consistently vote against them. Leftist is the most terrible ideology plaguing us and they are one of it’s most horrific iterations.

        They have implemented a culture of segregation so blas? and inoffensive that it is spread by it’s victims. They have instituted a system that pre-judges everyone based on leftist criteria–even one’s access to justice is limited by immutable characteristics and how many ‘right people’ one knows and ‘rightthink’ one can parrot.

        There is no such thing as individualist collectivism and thus there can be no racism that is based in the right. ANY racist beliefs are a symptom of creeping leftism.

    5. Coming soon from Reason……..

      “The Libertarian Case for Tim Kaine”

  13. I’d ask in what way is Bob Corker libertarian-leaning?

    This site seems to conflate “anti-Trump” for “libertarian-leaning”.

    I give them a year before we see “libertarian-leaning Bernie Sanders criticized Trump…” stories here.

    1. For that matter, how do they get Sanford as “libertarian-leaning”? I just saw him plotted on a diamond chart, & he’s not even to the libertarian side of center, but slightly on the border between “centrist” & “conservative”, sl closer to “populist” than “libertarian”.

      1. I loved him as governor, mind you, but I was fairly sure he was a very socially conservative guy.

        1. But did he crusade for a legislative agenda forcing that social conservatism in his state?

          1. He did not need to.

            I’ll note that he didn’t remove the Confederate flag and it wasn’t exactly popular when he was there.

            1. I wouldn’t remove it either. Mainly because it pisses off the progs.

  14. Republicans have never been into libertarians. They whisper sweet talk about cutting spending and rolling back the welfare/warfare state during campaigns, but when they get into office it’s just increased military spending and mandatory minimums.

    The Tea Party insurgency wasn’t about voting for limited government principles, it was about voting for the crazy, which levelled up in 2016 and will reach its apex in 2024 with the Cosby/Weinstein ticket.

  15. Seems Welch is conflating Trump and the Republican establishment. Trump didn’t attack Rand Paul at the start in the debates because he disagreed with Paul; he did it because he recognized Paul was his biggest competitor. Yet Trump has quietly met with Paul many times since being elected.

    From my perspective, Trump is working at the margins and doing what he can to make America more free, recognizing he’s limited by the vast majority of politicians in Congress (all the Democrats and the RINOs that control the GOP) who are against him. I’m having a hard time thinking of anything Trump has pushed for, that’s anti-libertarian (a travel ban from certain countries that don’t know who the Muslim jihadists in their country are, isn’t anti-libertarian IMHO). And I can think of many things that are pro-freedom he supports: lower taxes, less regulation, federalism on pot (Obama did nothing good here), free trade (in spite of his campaign rhetoric), and lots fewer federal employees.

    As for Massie and Welch complaining about Republicans voting for Trump, consider the alternatives. Hillary is far worse, and while I voted for Johnson, he had no reasonable chance.

    1. As for Massie and Welch complaining about Republicans voting for Trump, consider the alternatives. Hillary is far worse, and while I voted for Johnson, he had no reasonable chance.

      Massie wasn’t complaining about Republicans voting for Trump–HE voted for Trump. Welch just tried, in the interview, and in this piece, to mangle that point of view out of what Massie actually said.

      1. Amash is firmly in the Koch TDS 4 Life camp. Foreign policy is not as important to them and Amash refuses to cut spending for liberal interest groups. Paul and Massie are more in the Mises camp, because foreign policy is their central message.

        The three of them are not interchangeable.

        1. Dude, at least be honest. This is not about foreign policy. You know it and I know it.

          1. It should be.

            I’m not trying to knock Amash. I like him. I’m saying they’re not interchangeable

            1. I agree. Killing people in the name of national security or whatever is certainly worse than some tax issue. However, let’s not pretend thag is why the Mises crowd supported Trump or why they prefer Massie to Amash. It’s about insularity.

              1. “It’s about insularity”

                Could you expand on that point. I’d grant that the Mises people probably have more cultural affinity with a Massie and a Paul (obviously). Is that what you mean?

                Also, I think it’s fair to say that the Koch’s dislike for Paul has a lot more to do with historical grievances with his father and his association with their intellectual adversary than anything policy related. They are very critical of Trump, though, most of them did not support him. They just really didn’t care for Johnson, which I don’t blame them for.

  16. Dude? Mark Sanford?

    1. More like, “dude, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake?”.

      Sanford was good

      1. Nobody who runs off to Argentina for side-piece while sitting as governor is “good”.

        Corker is the biggest fucknut this side of Jeff Flake, but I get so tired of bitching about them I figured I’d let it pass.

        1. Sanford’s case was tragic because the woman wasn’t a “side-piece”. He had fallen in love with a woman who wasn’t his wife. They later became engaged but eventually separated without getting married.

          That doesn’t make the lies and deceit better, but it’s not the same thing as getting blow jobs from some stupid star-struck girl or drugging women or letting a woman drown.

          Was he less principled in politics because of his infidelity? He’s better than the TrumpBot that replaced him.

  17. Guess it’s time to hitch our wagon to the Communist Party.

    1. Coming soon from Reason……..

      “The Libertarian Case for a Totalitarian Marxist Regime”

      Maybe Chapman and Shikha can co-author that one.

      1. Podcast along with Tom Friedman.

  18. “Mark Sanford got primaried in South Carolina last night by immigration hawk and late-breaking Donald Trump endorsee Katie Harrington”

    Hey, Matt Welch, maybe libertarians just aren’t that into your TDS or the nonsense open borders immigration policies Reason pushes.

    Your first hint could have been the mass exodus from these comment boards and the pathetic returns on your last couple of pledge drives, dipshit.

  19. Well, Matt, it looks like you struck a nerve with your Republican readers. This really ought to be the only evidence you need about how much they like libertarians.

    1. “C’mon, baby, you know i only hurt you ’cause i love you too much.”

    2. Well, Sparky, looks like that remedial reading class didn’t work. Try again.

      1. Oh look, Captain Peckerwood had something to say.

        1. “Oh look, Captain Peckerwood had something to say.”
          I hope you didn’t pay for the class.
          Actually, I hope you did; a fool and his money and all that, dimwit.

          1. Fuck off, slaver.

            1. Sparks, you’re slavier than Sevo.

        2. Last I heard Sevo was still Lieutenant Peckerwood. Congratulations on the promotion!

    3. It’s weird how Republicans hate libertarians but they keep commenting here anyway. Like they need to show off how happy they are with their new boyfriend or something.

      1. Some of you who think you’re libertarians are really just moderately less totalitarian progs. Many of us that you moderately less totalitarian progs think are republicans are really conservatarians. And happen to be far more libertarian than you progtarians

    4. If you disagree with Welch’s poorly argued premise that required him to selectively pull points from McCarthy’s article (that was more an attack on libertarians that downplay a non-interventionist foreign policy, like Reason) then you’re a Republican.

      So if you agree than you’re a Democrat? That’s how this nonsense works, right?

      1. If you piss and moan about Republicans not liking libertarians and you whine about how much more the evil lefties and proggies hate you and want you destroyed, you might be a Republican.

        1. So, you didn’t reference anything that I wrote, so I take it that you’re answering “yes”.

          1. You can take it however you want. Your response didn’t address anything in my comment so I thought we were just posting random thoughts.

            1. Also, Phish is a terrible band and I don’t care who thinks otherwise

                1. Nick Sarwark likes Phish. Screw this guy

  20. “Libertarian-leaning Republican congressman Mark Sanford got primaried in South Carolina last night by immigration hawk and late-breaking Donald Trump endorsee Katie Harrington,…”

    Even Matt agrees that, blowhard and loose cannon he is, Trump has actually managed to DO SOMETHING which libertarians ought to be pleased with. Instead we’re to be upset and a “libertarian leaning” politico got tossed.
    Please tell me what justifies the term; did he say some magic words when he ‘sat down with’ you Matt? Did he hint that the government might be a bit super-sized?
    More importantly, has he actually, you know, DONE anything, or are we hoping his ‘leaning’ might one day cause him to capsize?
    Screw “libertarian leaning”. I want “libertarian DOING”.

  21. It’s a good step to notice that Republicans were bullshitting you this whole time. It couldn’t’ have been obvious considering they always grow government more, grow the deficit and debt more, start more idiotic wars, suck cop dong every chance they get, and easy-to-miss little matters like torture and Gitmo. Oh and let’s not forget the fact that their political strategy for most of our entire lives has been to scapegoat minorities and engage in various other quasi-fascistic tactics including cheating elections every which way they can.

    The next step is realizing that these are all simply policy choices that can be reversed in the normal political universe. The “small government” dogma that libertarianism itself supplies is also a con. It’s so broadly demanding that one wonders if it’s meant to fail.

    There are two parties and two policy directions. Coalesce with those who are doing more of what you want, like the rest of us.

    1. If the choice is a generic Republican or a generic Democrat, I choose Republican hands down. That’s an easy choice. There is nothing that Democrats support that is less government. And at best, Republicans are too incompetent to impose their worst ideas. I really don’t get how anyone can argue otherwise today.

      Democrats have all become pro-war now too. Back in 2006 when they pretended to be anti-war it was the other way around.

      If the choice is Green, Libertarian, Republican, or Democrat. Green is a better choice, because at least they’re ignorant enough on foreign policy to stumble on the right position. Unless Libertarians have a good candidate, which is a rarity nowadays

    2. … sniff … so inspiring!

      1. I like tell Bernie assholes, if you want to be inspired, go to the opera.

        Which is a joke about how uncultured and unshowered they are.

        1. I tell Tony assholes to go drink their fucking Drano.

          Which is a joke about how awful Tony is, anyhow he shouldn’t exist.

  22. When you are willing to share a rhetorical foxhole with the likes of Corker it is safe to say your notion of libertarian has nothing to do with actual liberty.

    Back during the Obama administration he did a big tour of TN, doing a presentation on government spending and taxation. Noting that taxes, no matter what the nominal rates were, had never crossed fro long above about 19% of GDP. Meanwhile spending, already in excess of 21%, was projected to go much higher. So his solution was…

    Wait for it…

    Raise taxes.

  23. “”issues that we’ve been banging on about at Reason for years: tariffs,””

    I’ve been reading the magazine since ~2004 or so, and while there are pretty consistent articles pointing out the craziness of some individual tariffs…

    …. actual roundups of the sum-total of them, what their economic impact is, and how they compare to other major economies? I haven’t seen. I assume De Rugy, or someone like her, probably did something, but it would nice to see a link, if anyone has one.

    an article from 2010 points out that there are 1200 products in the US that rely on tariffs to be competitive…..ffs-2010-9

    most are ag-related, but “auto parts”, “synthetic fabrics”, “leather shoes”, “chinese tires” all have 25%+ import duties.

    Tobacco = 350%!!

    The below, where KMW complains about Bush II’s tariff on Unpatriotic French Cheese seems to be the sort of thing more-typical of reason’s coverage.…..revolution

    the only reason i point out that there’s a slight gap between the congratulatory self-back-patting, and reality, is to suggest that maybe its even possible that for all Trump’s bluster about Trade… that the US hasn’t really ever been particularly “free” in the recent past, and – despite all its populist unseemliness – hasn’t significantly changed

    if there were some clear data, it would help

    1. You mean like reason’s annual concern about entitlement spending? We now return you to your regularly scheduled Vox takes and fighter jetz.

      1. “annual concern”

        i think they’ve actually been more-consistent about moaning about “deficits” than say, freer trade.

        its just that, as i’ve mentioned before, there’s nothing essentially-libertarian about deficits, really. Budget-hawkery is more a genuinely ‘conservative’ issue, which has, at best, oblique relationship to issues of liberty.

        i’m very pro free trade, just as i am pro immigration.

        its just that i’m semi-unconvinced that arguments makes for either are ever particularly *good* arguments, even when they’re right.

        Take TPP, for example: the case made wasn’t really “free trade” – but that big, multilateral, coercive trade-packages are good,…. because they lead toward *freer* trade, not because the process was at all free and open.

        But if the only concern is ‘means to an end’ and not any particular principles, then why not point to Trump’s own trade-bluster producing freer trade with China?

        its almost as if someone just says, “this is the policy we like/posture we want to take”, and then comes up with some weak libertarian case for it after the fact.

        As Bastiat said:

        “The worst thing that can happen to a cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but rather ineptly defended”

        1. And virtually (inserted for the inevitable pedant who will find the rare exception) every time they claim that deficits can only be tackled with cuts to defense spending. Mathematically that is false. The ONLY mathematical certainty is that entitlements MUST be cut. Everything else just becomes an offset to how deeply those entitlements are cut.

          As to the rest, purity is enforced when there is potential compromise with the right, but incrementalism is the “pragmatic” norm when compromising with the left. And the reason for that breakout, aside from the coastal preferences of the writers here, is because the former is generally fiscal and the latter is generally social.

          Modern libertarianism = Socially liberal, fiscally convenient.

          1. Modern libertarianism = kinder, gentler statism.

            Sure, we’ll give you permission to smoke pot…

            1. How I Learned to Love the UBI.

  24. A successful candidate will never act against his political self interest. Acting against the country’s general best interest is irrelevant unless it coincides with the candidate’s political interest. It’s the Two Laws. If you as a constituent can somehow engineer it so that the two do coincide all the time, congratulations. You’ve won politics.

  25. The Libertarians ran a slate in 2016 with two ex-Republicans. It could happen again in 2020.

  26. Also, I think there is more grassroots support for libertarian ideas then national politics implies.

    One error on this site, is there it is almost entirely fixated on libertarianism as a national party. More work should be done to aim for the many, many more local, county, and state offices. We talk about federalism a lot, and so I think it’s both valid and consistent to view libertarianism as a grassroots movement. Our obsession with getting a President elected out of right field is hurting more than helping.

    1. The Libertarian Party is the biggest obstacle to electoral success. You’re not going to gain a lot of converts when no one knows what you actually stand for when you have a local nominee talking about lower taxes and less regulation while your national candidate is pimping mandatory vaccinations, people being forced to bake cakes, and burka bans.

      The “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” mantra needs to die a thousand deaths. No one wants a bunch of mushy moderates who are saying “hey, let’s just split the baby”.

      1. And while I think policy should be discussed, I fear that modern Libertarians (capital L) are afraid to talk philosophy. And that’s a very important aspect of the belief system. The beliefs are downstream from an underlying belief that the individual is the most important unit by which to divide humanity. Everything else falls from that.

        1. Yes. Intellectual consistency use to be a major selling point of libertarianism. Now, the Libertarian Party is slightly more inconsistent than the other two major parties. The knuckleheads never realized why Ron Paul appealed to so many people. It had less to do with his actual policy positions and more to do with the consistency in his beliefs and the underlying philosophy that dictated his positions.

          1. I have no issue with compromise, and slowly moving ourselves in a smaller government direction (as opposed to all at once). But we should do that while being honest about the underlying beliefs that lead to it.

            Individuality is a powerful thing. We’re afraid to speak it oftentimes, because we believe that’s what makes us look like kooks.

    2. Good call, BUCS.

      “One error on this site, is there it is almost entirely fixated on libertarianism as a national party.”
      Like all Progressives.

      1. It all went downhill once I scared Ed away. At least Tucille is out there, ready to kill if need be.

  27. Whether Republicans accidentally occasionally do libertarian stuff is not the real point, it seems to me. The point seems to be that currently, Republicans will only accept libertarians if libertarians adopt Trumpism. And seeing them go totally collectivist with their worship of their tribal leader gives libertarians an opening to put forth a message of individualism. All of libertarian policy goals could be framed in this way and I think it would resonate quite a bit.

    1. “The point seems to be that currently, Republicans will only accept libertarians if libertarians adopt Trumpism.”

      Somewhat true, but this could be said every time a party wins the presidency. The president become the de facto leader of the party.

      “gives libertarians an opening to put forth a message of individualism”

      Which the Libertarian Party hasn’t put forward, on the national level, ever during the entirety of the 21st Century. And they’re pissing away their opportunity now. A libertarian party could eclipse the Republican Party, if there were such a thing as a “libertarian” party.

      Either way, you made better points than Welch

  28. “”Hey, Libertarians, Maybe Republicans Just Aren’t That Into You””


    Hey, Progressives, Maybe Democrats Just Aren’t That Into You

    Also true.

    1. Bull.

      Progressives and Ds (and establishment Rs to an extent) have the exact same goals: totalitarian socialism.
      The D “resistance” to progressives is merely: a) personal interest as the “old guard” and b) progressives are too open about the goal of totalitarian socialism and the politicians know it’s rightly seen as obviously anti-American (founded on individualism)

      1. “”The D “resistance” to progressives is merely…””

        Yes, they do want the old guard. Not progressives. That is one of the reasons the dems are not that into the progressives.

        Nothing says we are not that into you like cheating a progressive out of a fair primary and DNC campaign money.

        I call Bullshit on your Bullshit.

        1. I call bullshit on you calling bullshit on my original call of bullshit.

          The Ds aren’t into the American people.
          They know progressives will fall in line.
          It’s just that D leadership is so incompetent right now that they’re having a tough time keeping the sheep from (rhetorically) running ahead of the shepherds.
          They screwed with Bernie, who was never going to win, because they “owed” Clinton – not because they were against his ideas.
          The Ds aren’t into a flock that doesn’t know it’s place, but ultimately they know the flock will obey. They just haven’t figured out how to keep them quiet for the time being.
          Doesn’t mean they’re really not into them. Progressives is too broad a label for what you’re talking about. They just want the brown shirts to take orders better. Just look at what happened with Antifa

          1. “”They just haven’t figured out how to keep them quiet for the time being.””

            And they are not going to.

        2. Nothing says we are not that into you like cheating a progressive out of a fair primary and DNC campaign money.

          What the hell are you talking about? Hillary got tons of DNC campaign money. She WON the primary.

          Oh, wait–you’re not talking about the progressives that lead and own the DNC, you’re talking about the communist that claims to be a socialist, that runs as an independent(against Democrats in Vt, BTW) that wanted people he’d never contributed to in his entire political life to shower him with cash as he pretended to be a Democrat.



      2. No, most Democrats are just interested in getting their back scratched, & are willing to scratch each other’s. It’s a coalition of rent seekers. They have no ideology.

  29. Since when does Matt Welch speak for libertarians?

    1. Libertarians, never. Liartarians, quite a while now.

      1. Progressitarians

  30. the imperative Republican incentive is to kiss Donald Trump’s ring

    All I can see is R’s kissing his ass so my question is – why did the Donald get an ass ring? That’s just Ewww.

  31. That might indicate that actual libertarians, rather than people who abstractly claim to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative, just are not that large a voting block to be worth pandering to.

  32. Cut the size of your beast by 99%.

  33. As someone who actually talks regularly to many Trump fans who are critical of libertarians, it is rather obvious that for most of them the main, if not only, issue, is open borders and unlimited immigration.

    The do not want new people imported to the US because the ruling class wants new voters who vote differently.

    They do not want new dependents who will require them to be taxed further to pay for more public schools and emergency rooms.

    Some of them also do not want new low wage workers.

    But the inability of libertarian “thought leaders” to even recognize the first two concerns means you can’t speak to many voters.

    Not English speaking ones anyway.

    1. So, your point is that these people who believe in more open immigration should not believe that in order to get more power?

      1. I find that when people say, “So,…” these days….

        …often what comes after it is a complete misreading/re-statement of what people actually said.

        Not pointing the finger at you in particular, BUCS; just saying, “putting words in other people’s mouths” tends to be unnecessary if you quote what was unclear, and ask for greater clarity.

        I don’t want to speak for Bruce, but pretty sure this:

        “the inability of libertarian “thought leaders” to even recognize the first two concerns means you can’t speak to many voters.”

        …was clear enough.

        its not that libertarians necessarily need to reverse beliefs and start spouting nativist drivel; its just not a hill you want to plant your flag on and declare inviolable territory, where any position other than your own is “racist” or not worth discussing.

        I’m pro-immigration. When i argue the case, however, my point is more (w/o getting into details) “tall fence, wide gate” rather than “open borders”…. something I recall welch himself mentioning in a 5th Column podcast that he didn’t believe was even a feasible, practical possibility. Its not a policy view, its a philosophical one.

        I am interested in variety of possible immigration reforms. Some of which may reduce immigration, some of which may increase it, but none of which have either as intent. The intent is simply more-transparent, simpler system w/ greater incentives to do things legally, & doesn’t reward people for cheating.

    2. Another infiltrator who hasn’t read the LP platform…

  34. The next time sombeody tries to sell me on one of these GOP “libertarians” with the old bullshit, “dont let perfect be the enemy of good”. I will simply reply, “dont let compromise be the enemy of principle”.

    1. “” I will simply reply, “dont let compromise be the enemy of principle”.”‘

      I like that, but I think it fails in the sense that they don’t care about principles.

    2. You’re certainly not going to advance any libertarian issues by pretending that the only vehicle for doing so is the LP

      its fine if you just want libertarianism to be some rigid form of personal philosophy which has no influence in the real world.

      its less-fine if you actually intend to try and persuade people to compromise in a more-libertarian direction. Demands for purity effectively means there’s no such thing as an electable libertarian politician.

    3. “Muh principles!”

      Grown ups realize that the whole point of democratic politics is compromise between people with different values, as the alternative to shooting at each other. It’s not debate league.

    4. Let ’em eat spoiler votes and DIE! Looter losses are our gain.

  35. OK, Trump is bad, but let’s not forget Lincoln! While no one today (especially libertarians) is sorry that slavery is gone, what we got in exchange is a vastly more powerful central government. Lincoln instituted the first federal tax on individual citizens. He buried the idea that states had a right to secede. He buried the tenth amendment. Until that time, the Democratic party was decentralized, and not inclined to coalesce power in a central authority. It was the Whigs who did that, and the Republican party evolved from the Whigs.

    I really don’t know where people got the idea that the Republican party was ever the party of less government. It was never like that. Not that I have nice things to say about the Democratic party….

  36. So if I’m reading the article correctly, or at least interpreting Massie’s analysis correctly, our job if we want to win is to be the craziest son of a bitch in the race?

    I can do that.

  37. I never thought much of Breitbart but he expressed a truth more succinctly than anyone before him.

    “Politics is downstream from culture”

    No libertarian culture means no libertarian moment. The culture is deeply authoritarian with most people looking for someone on a white horse to save them. Victims compete for the status of “most victimized”.

    More people know that Ariana Grande licked a doughnut than know that Jonas Salk licked polio. People wept hysterically when Princess Diana died. Virtually no one shed a tear for Norman Borlaug whose robust wheat and agricultural techniques kept a billion people from starving to death. It’s not the fame of Ariana or Diana that’s the problem. It’s the virtual anonymity of Salk and Borlaug.

    A culture that ignores its benefactors and concentrates on victim competitions is not a fertile soil for liberty.

  38. “Hey, Libertarians, Maybe Republicans Just Aren’t That Into You”

    It’s not Libertarians they’re not into
    It’s Globalists

    You just keep on mistaking Reason’s Globalist Corporatist Agenda for Libertarianism.
    The tradition of Liberty includes self government. Government of, by, and for the people. Nationalist populism.

    Anti-democratic, Corporatist Globalists to the Left
    Self-government, Nationalist Populists to the Right

    1. The tradition of Liberty includes self government. Government of, by, and for the people. Nationalist populism.

      Individual liberty is incompatible with mob rule.

      1. Individual liberty is incompatible with mob rule.

        Correct. Leftist majoritarianism–what you espouse–is mob rule.

    2. This is largely true. It’s all the trendy Cosmotarian types that conservatives are not down with, and vice versa. I HATE these globalist Cosmotarian types myself, and I’m a pretty damn decent libertarian. But they are literally trying to force issues that will completely destroy our civilization… And I think they’re so dumb they don’t even realize it somehow.

      Ugh. What idiots.

  39. When so many libertarians opted to support Republicans rather than criticizing both parties they set the stage for this kind of thing. The right has never ever cared about freedom and neither have neo-Confederates or corporations.

    1. WRONG.

      R politicians that are in office rarely care about freedom… The rank and file members very much do. This is the tragedy of it all. The Rs could be a pretty decent party with a few warts if they did what their voters actually wanted.

  40. Perhaps it’s because Main Street Republicans get the feeling that most Libertarians are really strange.

  41. is the “libertarian” label more important than actual results? Is opposition to Trump the new, low bar among the tiny band of self-identified “libertarians”?

    Does the non-initiation of force principle require more force-initiation, net? Because that is what will happen if the US opens the flood gates to allow unlimited numbers of third-worlders, who will become voters.

  42. The conflation of non-interventionism with non-initiation of force, and the general “rebellious” angst of self-identified “libertarians”, contribute in large part to the disillusion of many real libertarians from their supposed spokespersons. Which explains the phenomenon of the FB page “Libertarians for Trump”.

  43. Libertarians. I can’t figure out if you folks have any regard for the 7th Amendment.
    Have any of the writers at Reason written anything on the subject? Do they have any regard for the 7th?

    1. Uh, why? Did you lose $30 without a jury.
      Are we missing something here, or are you a troll?

  44. All I’m hoping for is that a shit ton of RINOs get taken out. They’re the real problem. There aren’t enough libertarian leaning Rs to matter really. I would hate to see Paul, Amash, types etc get chucked out for MAGA people… But MAGA people would be a VAST improvement over John McCain types. They’ve always been the real reason Rs don’t ever get anything too terribly conservative done when they theoretically hold the power.

  45. Hey, Libertarians, Maybe Republicans Reason writers Just Aren’t That Into You


  46. OF COURSE God’s Own Prohibitionists want their guys on the gubmint payroll. They offered to keep electricity safe and legal and the Dems threatened to regulate, tax and smother electrical power plants into a coma. Reading the platforms provides more info than sifting babble and gibberish.

  47. There was some crossover between us Libertarians and Conservatives via the ideas of free markets, free trade, and fiscal discipline. However those days are gone. The low information Trumpkins that have taken over the Republican party now control it and there is no hint of fiscal conservatism; now it’s all about Trump cult-of-personality and their sheepish ways.

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