Partisan Identification

Hey, Progressives and Conservatives: You're Stuck With Each Other

So long as anything resembling legitimate elections continue to be held, no political coalition will gain a permanent lock on the future.

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top image: Terray Sylvester / VWPics/Newscom; bottom image: Terray Sylvester / VWPics/Newscom

Ah, modern not-so liberal democracy, in which one taunts political enemies with vows of total destruction.

"Hey Far Right: Gonna beat you," trolled progressive Hollywood powerhouse Joss Whedon, in the lead up to Independence Day. "Not gonna start a war, not gonna shoot you, run you over, threaten your kids. Gonna beat you with passionate compassion. With journalism, activism, the Law. With v o t e s. Your rage is fear. Our rage is love. Our state is united. Happy 4th."

That's sort of the flipside of conservative pundit Dennis Prager, speaking last February: "If we don't defeat the left, America loses. I never call for unity because it's not valid."

Gonna beat you and defeat you—there's a pretty lousy pop song in there. But what those words don't offer is is a recipe for maintaining a free and functioning democratic political system. Because, in the real world, wins and defeats are temporary, and the next turnabout is only a political cycle away. That is, we're all going to be living with each other for a long time to come.

That Team Blue and Team Red fantasize about total victory over one another is no shocker in our current loathing-fueled political environment. Pace Whedon—who seems to have forgotten his insights with regard to his series Firefly: "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today"—his side's rage is not "love," it's just frigging rage, as is that of his counterparts.

"Democratic and Republican voters…despise each other, and to a degree that political scientists and pollsters say has gotten significantly worse over the last 50 years," Emily Badger and Niraj Chokshi wrote for The New York Times last summer.

Nothing has changed since then.

"Prior to the era of polarization, ingroup favoritism, that is, partisans' enthusiasm for their party or candidate, was the driving force behind political participation," write Shanto Iyengar and Masha Krupenkin of Stanford University in a recent Advances in Political Psychology article. "More recently, however, it is hostility toward the out-party that makes people more inclined to participate. The primal sense of 'us against them' makes partisans ?xate on the goal of defeating and even humiliating the opposition at all costs."

That certainly fits with the nasty public dialogue in political debates. It also explains further efforts to publicly confront political enemies ("opponents" is too soft a word to use in this environment)—to chase them from restaurants, delegitimize their media outlets, isolate their activist organizations, deny them access to banking services, etc. These aren't efforts to win policy battles—they're aimed at the total destruction of those with opposing views and affiliations.

But free societies don't make any provision for beating and defeating opponents in any kind of permanent way. Republicans fantasize about a "hundred-year majority" and Democrats stroke themselves with talk of a "permanent progressive majority," but it's all back-patting self-delusion. Opinions and affiliations come and go.

For instance, the millennials who have a soft spot for Che paraphernalia (only 36 percent have a "very unfavorable" view of communism, according to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation's Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism) are followed by Generation Z with stronger entrepreneurial spirit and less time for waving red flags (51 percent have a "very unfavorable" view of communism). Then again, given the perverse flow of history, a bizarrely high proportion of the following generation will probably think Benito Mussolini or the Ayatollah Khomeini was a swell guy.

So long as anything resembling legitimate elections continue to be held, no political coalition will gain a permanent lock on the future by gazing upon on any temporary preponderance of opinion as a crystal-ball read of political eternity. Instead, victories will come and go, and the winners and losers will have to continue to take turns transitioning from role to role.

This, I'll point out, is something libertarians learned a long time ago. With our political victories usually one-off policy triumphs unrelated to electoral gains, we've long made our peace living alongside people with whom we disagree. We may not respect their opinions—hell, we may cheerfully refuse to abide by the laws and policies they implement during their turns in power—but we still eat alongside our opponents, do business with them, and say "hello" in the street. We make peace with people who harbor very different political affiliations because we have no reasonable alternative.

It's time for Team Red and Team Blue to step up to that same level of maturity. Nothing but continuing and escalating conflict lies down the road they've chosen so far.

"If civility is out of style, where do we end up next," Steven Greenhut asked in a recent column. "I don't believe a [civil] war is by any means likely, but I'm fearful of the kind of discourse we might find acceptable by the start of the next presidential election."

If trends continue, that discourse is likely to get worse without resolving anything. Iyengar and Krupenkin point out that political conflict has a tendency to escalate because, unlike with social divides such as race or religion, there's no taboo against stepping up the hostility. But in the U.S., politics increasingly correlate with racial, religious, and lifestyle divisions, and that aggravates the friction.

"Research in comparative politics has long demonstrated that when social cleavages overlap or reinforce each other (as in the case of race and partisanship in the United States or language and region in Catalonia), the resulting convergence of multiple identities creates an especially strong sense of group identity," they write. "Under these conditions, dissatisfaction with political outcomes frequently results in mass movements to demand group autonomy, in some cases using violent forms of protest."

Joss Whedon can fantasize all he wants about how he's "gonna beat" the right. And Dennis Prager can plan to "defeat the left" to his heart's content. But in a world in which political tides ebb and flow, the fact is that they're both going to have to find a way to live with each other—and maybe even leave each other alone—unless they really look forward to a future of demands for "group autonomy" and "violent forms of protest."

And yeah, that means the rest of us are stuck with them, too.

NEXT: Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Kavanaugh Nomination [Updated with additional material]

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  1. Are you kidding?? Incivility is the shit. We have free speech – might as well use it!

    1. Use it why it lasts, that is.

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    2. Speaking of incivility… this thread is Hihnfected. If you’re reading this, consider yourself warned: extreme boldface, smirking and ass-jamming ahead.

  2. History goes one direction. More centralization. Less freedom. More control. And no it is not “both sides”. Useful idiots like you will be decrying Trump’s incivility even as the left’s dreamed-of mass-executions begin. It would be funny if it wasn’t so fucking sad.

    1. Except when it doesn’t.

      The Founding of the USA was a rare exception to your accurate trend. The 13 Colonies went from less freedom and more centralization to more freedom and less centralization as the United State of America.

      Then the USA trended toward less freedom and more centralization.

      1. Then 11 years later they veered back to more central control.

    2. China in the last few decades has seen an increase in economic freedom.

      The fall of the USSR has seen increased freedoms across their former empire.

      USA you can now buy pot in many states (I know a small freedom, unless you have been locked up for it in the past), also licensing laws have been taking it on the chin rolling back centralization and increasing freedom.

      I could go on but the point is history doesn’t follow one direction and isn’t set in stone.

      1. This is very true.

        The whole “arc of history” crap is nonsense.

        1. Even worse: It’s communist nonsense. They were the ones making the teleological interpretation fashionable in politics.

      2. Pot and all drugs were legal in the USA before 1906. Outright bans came in the 1920s. The Controlled Substances Act in 1970s.

      3. Plus homeschooling. Not to mention the internet.

    3. History goes one direction

      This was a false, simplistic assertion when Marx made it and it’s false and simplistic now.

      1. Hegelian bullshit continues. Though, I will admit to not understanding him super well, so perhaps I’m full of bullshit.

    4. Well, I guess we’d better just give up, then.

      1. The Anarchist wants to give up on the Constitutional Democratic Republic.

        Big surprise.

        1. That was a sarcastic response to a rather defeatist comment. If history is a one way ratchet towards tyranny (which I don’t believe is the case), why bother?

          1. The freedom is worth the fight?

            1. Right, but for that to be worthwhile, you must assume that it’s possible. And I think it is at least possible to avoid descent into left-wing dystopia.

    5. Why are you talking about “history” like a communist?

  3. J.D. Tuccille circa 1927: “Trotskyites and Stalinists will just have to learn to get along with one another”
    J.D. Tuccille circa 1917: “Tsarists and revolutionaries will just have to learn to get along with one another”
    J.D. Tuccille circa 1789: “Aristocrats and Jacobins will just have to learn to get along with one another”

    1. J.D. Tuccille circa 1939: “German Nazis and Russian Communists will just have to learn to get along with each other”

      1. You both are part of the problem if you think either Team Red or Team Blue are anywhere close to Trotskyites, Stalinists, Aristocrats, Jacobins, Nazis, Communists, or Tsarists.

        1. Team Blue is full of Socialists, Progressives, Trotskyites, Stalinists, Aristocrats, Jacobins, Nazis, Communists, and Tsarists.

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

            ? Robert A. Heinlein

            1. Very interesting, Anarchist.

              People also avoid unpopular political monikers because it hurts their cause.

              Socialists will do and say anything to avoid the truth that Nazis were/are Socialists. Being tied to murderous Socialists of the past really hurts the Socialist cause.

              Progressive became an unpopular term so they changed themselves to ‘Liberals’.

              This shit is really not fooling anyone.

              1. Grow up.

                1. Anarchists need to grow up.

                  Admit you are anarchists and own it.

                  Start your own voluntary society by buying land in South America or Africa or something. As the immigrants swarm your open border enclave, we will hear about your little Anarchy-land experience horrible horrible violence.

                  Its like some people learn from history and some people don’t. Clearly anarchists have learned from history and dont want their own area but would rather hang with us AWESOME Libertarians.

                  1. Admit you are anarchists and own it.

                    You are the only person in the entire world who thinks I’m an anarchist.

                    I don’t even know where that came from. The fact that I draw a distinction between law and legislation? The fact that I think that separating families is horrible? I don’t get it.

            2. I have long thought that the desire to control others is the most fundamental human dimension. We can then plot things like altruism, religion, group adherence, conformity, etc. on the other axis and get some revealing groupings of any society.

              1. I have long thought that the desire to control others is the most fundamental human dimension.

                The fact that libertarians lack that desire is why we will never get anywhere politically. We want to take over the world and then leave people alone. People with that attitude don’t win elections.

                1. Libertarians want to take over the USA and rule with small and limited Constitutional Democratic Republic.

                  You say non-Libertarian things. Just enough Libertopia jargon for the Lefties and Cosmos to reply and keep web traffic high. Just enough non-Libertarian stuff to see through the charade.

                  1. You say non-Libertarian things.

                    Says the authoritarian who pretends to support liberty.

                    1. These are the Libertarian things that I say: Libertarianism is not about absolute Liberty. Libertarianism is about maximum Liberty under the Constitution and Rule of Law.

                      You want absolute Liberty and Anarchy has that.

                    2. Why do you even need the term Libertarian? Because they are not conservative, and they do have a philosophical background that came out of a setting that is not strict adherence to the constitution. There is definite crossover, but very few people I’ve met would define Libertarian as being equivalent to Constitutionalist.

        2. If you don’t think they are, you’re not paying attention.

        3. The source of that demonization of the other is a lifetime of choosing ‘lesser of two evils’. Once a voter decides to do that, they have to get rid of the dissonance – and the way that’s done is to demonize the shit out of the ‘greater evil’ so that they are the worst possible evil of all possible worlds. That way, no matter how crappy and evil and shitty the person you voted for turns out; they are still better than the other guy. You never have to doubt or regret your own decisions – or even contemplate them again after the fact. You just have to keep going to hell along with the side you initially chose as the lesser evil.

    2. Well, any of those things would probably have been better than what did happen. I know you are probably suggesting that it is impossible. But as others point out, American politics is not nearly that extreme (yet, anyway). And we had all better damn well hope it doesn’t get that bad. Because if it does there is no hope for those of us who value freedom. And the way to avoid that is to keep a conversation and lively debate going, not to double down on being assholes to each other. The left is never going to get their perfect welfare state and we are never going to get libertopia. The best realistic hope is that we keep bouncing around an imperfect system that works reasonably well and doesn’t get too authoritarian.

      1. Team Blue does not want to discuss anything.

        Therein lies the problem. How does politics work in the USA when one side refuses to talk and play by the rules? They only want the game to favor them and when it doesn’t they use violence.

        Trump indisputable evidence that the Lefty plan to make socialism the future political force in the USA has failed. it is now being rolled back and the non-Lefties are fighting back.

        1. And plenty of red shirts are not open to discussion, either.

          When anyone considers their agenda a “holy cause” then consideration, compromise, and rule-following are not necessary.

          1. Team Red are sick of having everything ‘American’ pulled out from under them. Some don’t have any patience for Lefties trying to murder them and take everything that they have.

            Team Libertarian seem to be sick of murderous Lefties too but we still have some willingness to talk.

            Expect to Hihn. That motherfucker is loco.

            1. I got him to use BOLD everyone. He has been slacking lately on the bold that nobody reads.

      2. Ya, given that libertarianism will most likely always be the minority position the best way to advance the cause is to be a good neighbor to both the left and the right, offering better ways for each to fulfill their visions while moving away from authoritarianism, even if it is three steps forward, two steps back.

        That means a degree of flexibility which libertarians aren’t know for, but the choosing a side and hoping to be thrown a bone from time to time hasn’t worked particularly well.

        That means embracing government as a means to an end instead of jeering from the sidelines. That also means creating social institutions with the purpose of making government authority obsolete.

  4. Hey, Progressives and Conservatives: You’re Stuck With Each Other
    So long as anything resembling legitimate elections continue to be held, no political coalition will gain a permanent lock on the future.

    Raising Lefties up and lowering Conservatives down to make them the same at some weird level.

    Progressives and the Socialists that they are, will not be gaining political seats at the National level. Trump is the turning point for most of America that enough is enough. Socialists/Democrats/Lefties/Progressives/Liberals or whatever you want to call them are destroying America and want to destroy more. Freedom loving Americans are sick of it.

    1. Protectionist xenophobes aren’t doing freedom any favors.

      1. Says who? Every immigrant we let into the country votes far to the left of native born Americans, so sayeth every poll ever done…

      2. You anarchists can start your own voluntary place and have open borders. Good luck.

        let me know when you start it up and I will donate 5 grams of salt. That’s what you people will be using as money, right?

        1. Don’t be absurd. Anarchotopia will run on the Gold Standard.

    2. Way to illustrate the article’s point there.

      1. The article was stupid and further evidence that the Left knows how bad they are and want to reshape themselves as centrists when they are not.

        Lefties are socialists scumbags who are trying to rule you and murder dissenters.

  5. So, basically, I won’t ever vote. There’s no way I will choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

    I hope the L’s start running more candidates for lower offices. Sure, there may be no chance of winning, but it sends a message that statist vs statist is not acceptable.

    1. I wish “none of the above” could win an election. Then the seat would remain empty for the next 2/4/6 years.

      1. Combine that with automatically recording non-votes as “none of the above” and you’re onto something. After all, it’s the duty of everyone to participate in the democratic selection of new masters.

        1. I’d start voting again if voting for no one was an option.

          1. I do a write-in if no candidate on the ballot is substantially less bad than the others.

        2. You could run for office and/or vote for people that do not want to run your life.

          1. I’d rather just focus on running my own life.

          2. and/or vote for people that do not want to run your life

            These people don’t run for office.

            1. True. Maybe that should change. If Libertarians just planned on one term and just did the best they could during that one term. No reelection campaign and the next Libertarian who wins takes the political position.

              Its tough because you want to get the Libertarian word out but being in Congress for decades kind of dilutes that small and limited government message.

      2. Sarcasmic, no Anarchists are running so you dont really have a candidate to vote for.

  6. Yeah, this whole talk of wanting to “destroy the Left” or “destroy the Right”, and the associated calls for civil war/secession/violence, is mainly just an inability to seriously and correctly grapple with the arguments of the other side. It’s much easier to whip up your tribe into a frenzy by claiming “they hate you and want to destroy you” than it is to put in the effort to understand different points of view. And no it’s not just about Trump or Republicans, it’s about Democrats too. Both tribes.

    I still find it morbidly fascinating that so many people can think that Trump is some literal new Hitler, or that Bernie Sanders or Hillary or Obama are some literal new Stalin or Mao. It’s absurd. But the same people will shout “my guy isn’t Hitler, but your guy is totally Hitler!” and vice-versa without any sense of irony.

    1. “is mainly just an inability to seriously and correctly grapple with the arguments of the other side.”

      It doesn’t help that both sides have been rather short on rational arguments for the last 50-40 years.

    2. an inability to seriously and correctly grapple with the arguments of the other side. It’s much easier to whip up your tribe into a frenzy by claiming “they hate you and want to destroy you” than it is to put in the effort to understand different points of view.

      You’re joking, right? You’re the guy who keeps telling people that the only reason they oppose fully open borders is because they hate brown people. Not asking people questions, telling them what they think.

      Holy crap, dude. Get a mirror.

      1. the only reason they oppose fully open borders is because they hate brown people

        Umm, no, I haven’t said that.

        But I know that the perpetually offended on the right would like that to be the case, so that they can continue to be perpetually offended.

        1. Umm, no, I haven’t said that.

          Umm, yes, you have.

    3. To paraphrase Barbie, “Thinking is hard!”

    4. I definitely know Trump is no Hitler… And Hillary is no Stalin or Mao… Bernie is a touch closer, but not nearly violent enough… But here’s the thing: The stuff they DO want is horrible enough!

      I DO NOT WANT THE USA TO TURN INTO GERMANY/FRANCE/UK/ETC. I don’t want to see this nation RUINED and turned into a garbage ass country like all the rest with hate speech laws, heavily restricted firearms ownership, double the size of government etc.

      I don’t think Hillary would have opened up any Gulags by now if she had won, but what she would be trying to do is horrible enough to hate that ugly wench, and all her followers A LOT.

      They want to destroy everything that made America great and unique in world history… That is their goal #1, make us like every other shithole country where the government can do whatever they “feel” is best. I don’t want to see that happen. Sooo fuck those people. But yeah, if those people won today, and got their way, perhaps in another 10-20 years, after we have no speech, no guns, etc it IS possible that a true Stalin wannabe might come along. So best to avoid going down that road at all IMO.

      1. Vek said is so well

      2. Hillary is a clinical psychopath. She is also a political mafioso that uses progressive politics and a socialist agenda to enrich herself and her cronies. If she thought conservative politics would successfully lead to a Hillary presidency, she would switch without a second thought.

        Psychopaths have no principles.

    5. Secession is the most peaceful solution. Why keep enemies in the same tent?

  7. no political coalition will gain a permanent lock on the future.

    The socialist coalition might though if they succeed with their plan to import enough socialists, especially of the south of the Rio Grande variety.

    Socialists by definition are anti-American. They despise the mainstream American population, which overwhelmingly rejects the philosophy of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky. Therefore, their long-term strategy for some time now has been to replace the existing American population with a foreign-born population more amenable to socialism.

    Look at what they succeeded in doing to California in the space of just one to two generations. If you don’t think they could easily do the same thing to much of the rest of the country given a chance, you’re kidding yourself.

    1. Socialists by definition are anti-American.

      Socialists ARE Americans. I strongly abhor this tendency to redefine citizenship in ideological terms. I disagree with socialism, and I don’t advocate for it, but I don’t advocate stripping anyone of their citizenship, even metaphorically, based on these views.

      If we’re going to go down the road of defining who is the “real American” with ideological tests, where do we draw the line? How about the person who favors private ownership of guns but thinks there should be a licensing requirement like with cars? Is that person “anti-American” because he doesn’t support fully the Second Amendment? How about the person who thinks drugs should be illegal because they harm children? Is that person “anti-American” because he doesn’t support a libertarian’s conception of personal freedom or autonomy?

      1. Your argument might be valid if those people weren’t openly ignoring the Constitution. Are there socialists and communists in the USA who argue that they need to amend the Constitution to meet their ends? Maybe. 99.999% of them openly ignore and encourage everyone else to ignore the constitution. Those people, aren’t Americans.

        1. According to your definition, there are maybe 60 Americans, and none of them live anywhere near Washington DC.

          1. Now you’re just being ridiculous. How can someone claim to be something when they wipe their ass with the document that defines that something?

            Government enforced socialism ? American
            Government enforced communism ? American

            Importing vast quantities of people from other countries to pad your unconstitutional voting base’s agenda ? American

            1. Okay so let’s consider a thought experiment: Suppose the socialists successfully passed a constitutional amendment that nationalized all private property.

              Would they be “American” in your view?

              1. Technically, yes. Would it happen? Not a snowballs chance in hell.

              2. That’s an interesting argument to have. So, we open the borders and fucktons of people flood in from socialist and communist countries, they or their children vote in the same shitty policies, legally, a new constitutional amendment, would this still be the US? Would that be, American?

                Russian’s created the ‘USSR.’ Albanians attempted to create their own country on foreign soil using votes.

                1. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?
                  I think that the big reason (to the extent that that actually happens) is that conservatives pretty much let the left have them. Immigrants from unpleasant countries are the perfect audience for the message of freedom and personal responsibility. Sell them on the American dream before the leftists can sell them the ideas of dependence and identity politics.

                  1. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

                    Because they hate freedom, duh.

                  2. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

                    They dont value freedom like Americans. Some grow to like freedom but never really love freedom.

                    Its like Boomers liking the good old days of bombing in the name of Communism but don’t love American Socialism.

                    1. Freedom isn’t free.

                  3. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

                    They never used to in the old days, but for many years now jerks like you have been telling the world that America sucks, that everything bad in the world is America’s fault, and that the rest of the world are America’s victims.

                    People have been hearing this bullshit for so long that they believe it now, so they think that we’re the ones who need to change and adapt to them, not the other way around. Which of course is exactly what you guys want, because it helps to “fundamentally transform” America.

                    1. You have no idea what I want or what I think of America, dumbass.

                  4. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

                    At best, maybe 10% of immigrants come to the US for ideological reasons. The rest come because they want to escape some “shit hole”. Unfortunately, they tend to bring attitudes that in some way contributed to shit-holeness back at home.

                  5. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

                    I can’t explain it either, but “Californication” happens. See also: Massholes in NH.

                    1. I can’t explain it either, but “Californication” happens. See also: Massholes in NH.

                      See also: New York City metastasizing into upstate.

            2. The constitution doesn’t define the country, it defines the government. They are not the same thing. Any American who is not part of the government is free to ignore or despise the constitution or any law.

              1. Exactly, Zeb.

              2. “The constitution doesn’t define the country, it defines the government.”

                Where have you been the last 153 years?

                1. Haha. Well, that’s the idea, anyway.

                  1. 1. It’s a fuzzy line chemjeff, but there is a line somewhere. People who are against all of the major ideas the country was founded on may be American citizens, but they aren’t Americans. You have to be generally down with free speech, limited government, 2A, etc to at least a FAIR degree. I personally would think someone was daft, but not NOT an American if they wanted to license all gun owners, provided they were on board with most other things.

                    To make an extreme, if there was somebody who was an exact ideological clone of Lenin, do YOU think they’re a proper American??? If the you’re going to roll with the “America was founded on an idea” foundational myth (not the America was founded as a white Anglo-Saxon country, which is equally valid) then if you don’t adhere to MOST of the ideas you can’t really be an American right?

                    2. In practical terms I don’t know what’s wrong with these people… All they really want to do is turn the US into a hell hole like the UK… Why not just move to the UK? If there was a country that said “Fuck it! We’re going America 1776 style and going full tilt freedom!” There’s a 99% chance I would move there. They already HAVE that option, so why do they have to ruin this country? Dicks.

                    1. 3. Immigrants vote stupidly because they don’t know any better, and their cultures growing up abroad set the “bar” a lot lower than we consider acceptable for a lot of subjects. If the Feds take 20% of your income, but in your home country it was 40%, you’re going to be happy with 20%, right?

                      Americans are the most conservative/libertarian people on earth by the polls, so even right leaning people from say Europe or Asia are center-left compared to Americans on a lot of subjects. Many long time Hispanic residents in Texas and California were quite conservative, I would know I’m from Cali, and my family is part Mexican… But the new ones flooding in by the millions are fucked for probably a couple generations at least. They may convert in time, but that’s a reason to not let in too many at any one moment IMO. The trick is that native born people need to be encouraging the newbs to drift OUR direction, not having so many coming in they pull the country THEIR direction.

                    2. The trick is that native born people need to be encouraging the newbs to drift OUR direction, not having so many coming in they pull the country THEIR direction.

                      Yes indeed, but it won’t happen because it is precisely the opposite of what the socialist coalition wants to do.

                      They WANT America to devolve into a one party socialist feudalistic hellhole just like every place you see to the south. With them being the one party in charge, naturally.

                    3. If there was a country that said “Fuck it! We’re going America 1776 style and going full tilt freedom!” There’s a 99% chance I would move there.

                      *fistbump*

                      I’ve said before, that if Texas ever left the union, I’d move there. And I’m from New Mexico. We hate Texans. 😉

            3. Why would people coming from shitty countries want to turn the US into a shitty country like the ones they came from?

              We no longer do enough to make sure that being an American is what they want–and we no longer do enough to help them become Americans.

              Worse, we have an entire group of people who seem to want to do nothing but make sure they don’t ever really assimilate*.

              1. con’t

                The constitution doesn’t define the country, it defines the government. They are not the same thing. Any American who is not part of the government is free to ignore or despise the constitution or any law.

                The Constitution defines the country–and limits what government can do. You have it exactly backwards.

                *Assimilation is very important in the US. To be really American, people NEED to assimilate. But it doesn’t mean what the most common definitions would have one believe. To assimilate into the US, one must adapt one’s culture into the framework put forth in the Constitution. This means that the freedoms guaranteed therein must take precedence over past traditions and folkways. This means that you don’t get to kill the Catholics next door–or the Tutsis down the street. You can argue, you can demean each other–but you HAVE to accept that they have the same First Amendment that you do. And so on.

                Being able to make that adaptation is the thing that makes you American. Not flags or apple pie or white people stuff. It’s being able to take what you love about the place you left and adapt it to work according to the rules of the place you want to be.

                1. Azathoth!! gets it.

                2. Zeb is an uneducated dunce. Article IV of the Constitution clearly defines the country as being made up all of the states that apply for membership, ratifies and vows to adhere to said Constitution, and are admitted. It uses the word “union” instead of “country”, but every educated person knows full well that “union” in the Constitution is synonymous with “country”.

                  It also clearly specifies that the country may grow via the admission of new states, but that both the admission of new states and the division of existing states into smaller ones must be consented to by Congress as well as the legislatures of the applying parties.

                  And of course, the constitution is completely silent on the issue of secession from the union. I have always personally felt that this was a major oversight on the part of the Founders to not speak at all about the legality and means of secession, or the lack of legality thereof.

                  1. No, the country is the geographical area and the people who live there. The states, the union, the government are hopefully and ideally something that makes the country function well and be peaceful and prosperous. But they are not the country. Unless by “country” you mean the political entity that governs the country. In which case we need a different word for what I am calling “the country”.

        2. Cy gets it. I’ve been saying this for decades. Socialists/progressives/fascists/communists are an existential threat to the republic.

      2. I don’t advocate stripping anyone of their citizenship, even metaphorically, based on these views.

        What a fucking ridiculous straw man, even by your standards. Stripping people of their citizenship because of what they think is unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral, and nobody is advocating that.

        But that doesn’t mean that I have to go along with your “fundamental transformation of America” either. Unlike you, I think that America is already the greatest country that ever existed in the history of civilization, and doesn’t need to be “fundamentally transformed” into the kind of one party socialist feudalist state that you and your ilk love so much.

        1. What a fucking ridiculous straw man

          The irony…

        2. even metaphorically

      3. And, once again for those who wish to impose ideological tests on what constitutes being an “American” or not:

        If we’re going to go down the road of defining who is the “real American” with ideological tests, where do we draw the line?

        1. As I said above, it is fuzzy… But somebody with IDENTICAL views to Lenin, or Hitler surely does not qualify. Do they??? Bill Clinton in the 90s, sure he’s American. A dumb big government American, but American. Bernie… Closer to the edge for sure. Mao? Definitely over the line.

          So somewhere between Bernie and Mao for sure. Is that good enough?

        2. No commies. Or juggalos.

      4. Socialists ARE Americans. I strongly abhor this tendency to redefine citizenship in ideological terms.

        Well, no. Not really.

        You see, that’s part of the whole American Experiment.

        This is not a land based nation, or a blood based nation. It has no intrinsic codes and traditions that date back to pre-history.

        The United States of America is an experiment in trying to make a nation out of people who accept the founding ideology.

        Ideology is all it is. Everything else is contingent upon that initial ‘let’s all agree with this’ moment.

        And socialism, in any form, was not part of that moment.

        So no, socialists are socialists. They reject the idea that is America. See?

      5. ideological tests are not proper for government – precisely because ideological tests are important for private individuals on private forums like this. Socialism is anti american, and anti-life period. That doesn’t mean i don’t respect their legitimate rights like they won’t with me. how do you strip someone of their citizenship – metaphorically?

    2. “Look at what they succeeded in doing to California in the space of just one to two generations. If you don’t think they could easily do the same thing to much of the rest of the country given a chance, you’re kidding yourself.”

      and Oregon and Washington and soon to be Texas.

      1. The Lefties have large numbers in Commifornia. They would have to migrate to other states to make an impact. Once they leave California, that state can go back to being a conservative state with 55 Electoral votes.

      2. What’s fucked about being a native Californian, is that we get blamed for being horrible… A little known secret is that it WAS NOT native born Californians that turned California to shit.

        It was actually all the asshole urbanists that moved there from the east coast that ruined California, THEN after turning it to shit they and/or their children are now leaving to ruin other places. Old school native Californians very much had the frontiersman freedom thing in them. We just go flooded out by people from the east coast 🙁

        We moved to Washington almost 20 years ago. This state was still pretty centrist back then, and a nice place to live. Now it’s gone to hell… I really want to move to Texas, but the problem is the Texas everybody has in their heads is only going to survive for another decade at best, then it’s going to turn because of demographics and internal migration, and the whole country will probably be fucked electoral college wise… So Idaho it is. It will likely be the last place in the whole damn country to go full prog derp, so if Idaho falls everything will be fucked.

        1. A lot of native born Californians fucked that state up too. They seemed to be born from Lefties who moved from other places. Now, as you say, their children are moving to other states and fucking those places up.

          Luckily, there are not enough of them to make much difference. That is why they want illegals to tip the scale of demographics before the scale tipped back.

          1. That’s an accurate way of putting it. A lot of the idiots are technically native born now, but their parents were from New York or Boston or wherever.

            Before the huge rush of people in the 60s and 70s especially, California was a lot like all the southwest states. Pretty conservative, cowboy, pretty pro freedom, individualist… Frontiersman-y like I said. Then came the flood, then their kids, and it went to hell.

            I grew up there when it was in transition still. In my moms home town in the mountains guys still drove around in pickup trucks that had GUN RACKS in them in the 90s. Apparently my home town, 35-40ish minutes north of San Francisco, was like that up through the 70s/80s when my dad grew up there. Now the culture is swung so far I can’t even imagine such a thing having happened.

            That’s how fast it changed. And now I’ve seen it happen all over again in Washington state. It sucks. Thank god liberals aren’t breeding anywhere close to enough to replace themselves! I guess we have that to look forward to anyway…

      3. WA is getting pretty horrible. Our democrat governors get worse every time we get a new one. We even have a Marxist AG in Bob Ferguson.

        1. Yup. It makes me sad that I can’t stay in this state long term… It’s going to be California before too long. Which sucks, because western Washington is a great place to live. If the state was still middle of the road I’d just get out of the Seattle area and stay here, but I just know I won’t be able to take the direction things are going here for long. I’d give it 5-10 years tops before it becomes unbearable to be in this state if you dislike leftist tyranny.

    3. Therefore, their long-term strategy for some time now has been to replace the existing American population with a foreign-born population more amenable to socialism.

      Do you want to know the real reason why Hispanics tend not to vote for Republicans? Because no matter what they do, you all will never view them as being “American enough” as yourselves.

      1. “Do you want to know the real reason why Hispanics tend not to vote for Republicans? Because no matter what they do, you all will never view them as being “American enough” as yourselves.”

        Fuck off with your racist bullshit. I know a lot of conservative “Hispanics” and you know what? They don’t identify as Hispanics. They identify as Americans. It’s not a coincidence that people who want special treatment identify as a minority.

        1. Like every left wing asshole, chemjeff specializes in blaming America for everything on earth, and in engaging in this specialized form of political blackmail (“give us everything we demand or we won’t support you”).

          1. you’re part of the problem, mikey

        2. As I say above, why aren’t conservatives reaching out more to hispanic immigrants and first generation people and encouraging them to be “Americans”, get away from stupid identity politics and value what has made the country so successful? They should be a great constituency; they are largely socially conservative, family oriented, hard working.

          1. “why aren’t conservatives reaching out more to hispanic immigrants and first generation people and encouraging them to be “Americans”, get away from stupid identity politics and value what has made the country so successful?”

            I think they are. As I also pointed out above, those “hispanics” drop the identity politics and no longer fall into the pie charts. At the end of the day, the conservatives can make all of the great arguments in the world about freedom and lose. The other guy is standing there with hand outs, victimhood, “free” college and control of almost every University in the US.

      2. My family is part Hispanic… And conservative, or libertarian leaning. But ya know what? We’ve been in the USA for a long time. If you look back historically immigrants have ALWAYS been more left leaning than native born.

        FDR only got elected because of the recent immigrant vote. It takes time to convert people. Hence you don’t want too many people moving in with their shitty foreign expectations on government at one time. It gets you shit like The New Deal. If we’d taken in fewer immigrants back then, we never would have got saddled with FDR, who is really the one who started the USA out down the road to becoming the shit show it is now.

        I think Hispanics CAN be converted, but they have to have been here for more than 5 minutes for that to happen. All other immigrant groups vote left too, including legal immigrants from Asia, Europe, etc and it’s not like the right is going out of their way to shit talk German engineers that move here or anything! We’re just more limited government minded than any other country on earth, so it makes sense EVERYBODY will be to the left of us if we’re not requiring an ideological test to become a citizen.

        1. FDR only got elected because of the recent immigrant vote.

          You have got to be kidding me. The 1932 election was a landslide for Roosevelt. He won all but 6 states. It was not even close. It wasn’t the dirty immigrants that got Roosevelt elected, it was a large majority of all Americans. EVEN IF you assume that, absent immigrants, the 5 biggest industrial states that voted for him would have swung the other way – New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York (!) – Roosevelt STILL would have won.

          1. Ugh chemjeff. First, I am going off of an article I read some years ago on the subject.

            America had just started coming down from having the highest percentage of foreign born people in our history. This means we still were at the peak of 1st generation native born, which most people will concede have usually not fully assimilated.

            Electoral college is a fickle thing. You DO know how it works right? In theory somebody could win 100% of the electoral college with 50 more votes nationally nowadays… One can even win LOSING the popular vote. So that doesn’t really mean shit…

            It is an accepted fact that FDR dominated the FOREIGN BORN and THEIR CHILDREN (what I actually said was “recent immigrants”) vote. It was credited with helping him by even his own party at the time, just like Dems talk up the Hispanic vote now.

            Looking at the numbers on Wikipedia if recent immigrants voted 60-70%+ left like they often do now, the math actually works out almost perfectly for swinging the election in his favor with just their votes… Which is what the article I read had said.

            This is no different than saying something like “Bush Jr. would have won the popular vote easily, and had an electoral landslide, against Gore if the recent immigrant population had been half as large.” That’s factually correct, because recent immigrants STILL vote left of long time established Americans.

          2. So in short, it very easily could have swung the election since you only need to win by a single vote per state to get all the electors. It may have been a close election without immigrant votes, instead of a landslide for FDR, but according to the thing I read before he would have lost.

            The article I read had had real research based off exit polling, etc, and was not some crazy conspiracy theory site. I doubt I could even find it again, but you can google FDR 1932 immigrant vote and you will see the Dems themselves admitted it helped push them over the edge.

            Now realistically could FDR have changed a few bits about his campaigning and still won, and proceeded to do the exact same thing? Sure. But that’s not what happened, and there are 1,000 other variables if we’re talking alternate timeline shit! But supposedly, according to the numbers, FDR would have lost if there were only long time American voting in 1932.

            You may well be able to say the exact same thing about Obama or maybe even Bill Clinton. I don’t know on their numbers. But 14% JUST BEING FOREIGN BORN plus their kids, when they vote 70% left, swings things a hell of a lot.

      3. I like patriotic Americans who value and respect the constitution and the republic. I served in Desert Storm with many of these people, all from diverse backgrounds, including many Latinos and blacks, some of whom enlisted in part to gain full citizenship.

        Their skin color amd background made very little difference to me. All that mattered was that they were solid American soldiers who had my back when it was important.

        A soft headed fool like Jeff cannot possibly understand that.

  8. So long as anything resembling legitimate elections continue to be held

    Well, that’s the problem – one side thinks we’re already dealing with an illegitimate President thanks to a stolen election and therefore “by any means necessary” is completely justified. They’re ignorant of the adage about when you fight a monster, be careful lest you become one. There’s no way in hell you can look at Antifa, for example, and imagine that these people seriously believe they’re the Good Guys, but they do, because they seriously believe the enemy they’re fighting is worse than they are. (And I’ve actually seen somebody making the argument that they didn’t start the #Resistance, the racist, obstructionist GOP and their irrational hatred and terrible mistreatment of Obama was the original Resistance so now they’re just giving back to the GOP what the GOP gave them. WTF?)

    1. Both sides think elections are illegitimate when they lose.

      And that is the inevitable long-term outcome when voters themselves rationalize voting for lesser of two evils. Because the mere act of doing that means we go along with one sides demonizing of the other. And it only takes a couple of times doing that before the other side actually becomes the worst possible evil – and when they win it is obviously an illegitimate election engineered by evil party insiders manipulating the stupid other voters.

      1. I still cannot recall a time when the right didn’t accept the results of an election. Bush vs Gore maybe? Where they did a recount and decided he won? But that’s not the same as an uncontested election being called illegitimate, which is something the left seems to be doing more and more.

  9. Joss Whedon understands entertainment far better than many of us, and what his statement says to me is that he understands the whole role of political parties in our well heeled society.

    Our government and the parties that compose it are the version of pro-wrestling all classes can get behind. This is team spirit taken to the next degree. We all know in our hearts that both parties are essentially identical. Sure, this year the goofy looking guy is making threats, but next year he’ll be proposing peace and love to all. The players don’t matter, it’s who you are affiliated with.

    Go team!

  10. —It’s time for Team Red and Team Blue to step up to that same level of maturity —

    That’s like asking the red brigades (Marxians) and the brown shirts (Trumpistas) to act with civility when dealing with each other, but in reality you want them to fight and club and throw rocks at each other so normal people (non-Marxians and non-Trumpistas) can see them at all their real splendor. Put light on truth so to speak.

    1. “That’s like asking the red brigades (Marxians) and the brown shirts (Trumpistas)…”
      At one time, you made reasonable arguments. Seek help.

    2. Well, I’ll only say this… If there are red brigades in the streets, somebody has got to stomp them into the dirt… Because if you don’t, you get the USSR. Hitler may have been a bad deal overall, but Franco and Mussolini were a LOT less awful than Hitler, and a hell of a lot better than Stalin or Mao… Just sayin’.

      Not to mention the fact that the people out there getting fucked with by Antifa are mostly just run of the mill conservatives, who are probably more socially tolerant than Bill Clinton was when he was elected president! So it’s really the Red Brigade fighting center-right people who aren’t down with turning the USA into a socialist country… Not such a horrible lot IMO.

      1. “somebody has got to stomp them into the dirt”
        No. What has got to happen is if they block traffic or commit crimes, the police are to arrest them. That’s it.

        “Hitler may have been a bad deal overall.”
        That’s a worrying understatement.

        1. Well, if the police did their jobs that would be what happened!

          In a lot of these major cities the police are intentionally NOT doing their jobs though. Portland has been HORRIBLE with several recent issues there. I live in Seattle, and one thing I will give the assholes around here is that the cops are VERY skilled in dealing with protests/riots. They have handled stuff well and kept order. They haven’t arrested as many people as probably should be, but they do have their leanings around here still…

          Anyway, the kind of protestors that are really just vandals/rioters DO need to be arrested. But if that isn’t happening, and they’re physically attacking you as they keep doing at legal protests… Should you not defend yourself? Of course you should. I LOVE watching Antifa guys get beat down in videos. They deserve it. The right has almost never started it, so why feel bad?

          As for Hitler, yeah, he was a dick. Funny thing is, his evil ass may have saved the world from even more evil. The communists would have likely taken over Germany, Spain, and France had the events Hitler set into motion not happened… Can you imagine Stalin allied with Germany and France taken over by commies? That could have been worse than Hitler was… Thankfully we’ll never know.

      2. If Antifa thugs start receiving regular beat downs they will think twice about their antics.

  11. Democratic and Republican voters…despise each other

    I’m not sure how true this really is, or whether it’s really gotten much worse recently.

    But it’s very clear that the press is working overtime to sensationalize whatever instances they can find, and to create the narrative that everyone hates each other.

    1. It is a lot less true than it appears. Social media and the major media made divisions seem deeper than they are.

    2. I despise socialists that are Democrats. They are trying to take everything that I have, control me, and murder me when I dissent to their control.

      Maybe I’m wrong and that is what love is made of.

    3. I’m not sure how true this really is, or whether it’s really gotten much worse recently.

      My guess is that it has gotten much worse because we are resegregating where we live – by political affiliation.

      Only way to really tell would be to compare election results at the county level (a reasonable proxy for non-gerrymandered neighbors) – say for 1968, 1988, 2000, 2008, 2016 (elections with no incumbent). And see whether the number of ‘close’ counties has dropped over time.

      1. I know I’m segregating myself! Washington state used to be a nice centrist place… I was pretty okay with the way things ran. It was fucked, but that’s government for ya. However it was way LESS fucked than lefty controlled states.

        Now it’s turned into a leftist controlled state, and I can see the writing on the wall going forward. So I’m likely off to Idaho!

        The messed up thing is that if just a couple hundred thousand extra conservatives moved here, because it has such a low population, we could swing it right back. It’s just been all the growth in Seattle that borked it at the state level in the last few years finally. It’s too bad too, I really like western Washington.

  12. Reason in 1849

    Hey Wigs and Democrats; You are stuck with each other

    Nothing about the future is certain except that it will be different from the past.

  13. Anyone who thinks of a permanent victory is engaged in hyperbole or wishful thinking. It is a neverending struggle. That being said, holding off the authoritarian structures is important, because once they are in place, they are damned difficult to get rid of. Like it or not, due to their utopianist delusions of an infinitely malleable humanity, the Left is most likely to put forward that one more busybody law, one stifling regulation, one omnipotent agency will solve our problems and usher in the golden age.

    That must be opposed, continuously.

    1. Sadly, you are dead on Mickey. Socialism will never die. It is just a modern reformulation of tribalism. Think about what tribalism is. It is a system where all of the benefits of your labor go to the tribe and in return, the tribe provides for all of your needs. That is socialism in a nutshell. People are naturally tribal. And in dangerous enough situations, tribalism is the only way to survive. For example, there is no more tribal or socialist culture than an Army. This is because it has to be. Individualism and freedom outside a set framework will get everyone killed in that situation.

      1. All you can do is keep socialism sidelined and teach kids about how horrible Socialism has been throughout history.

        1. Yep. And since socialism, in some sense, reflects a necessary core of family and tribal behavior, people have to learn and make the effort to keep socialism out of broader social relations.

          1. Its easy. Socialism is the worst of human nature.

            Some of us dont even have that. I never want to enslave anyone, ever.

            1. Socialism is the worst of human nature.

              Socialism is the road to hell paved with good intentions.

              1. How are they good intentions when you want to use a gun to force someone into a ditch to die?

                Socialists twist good things like helping people into what they think are good things like taking everything and giving to lazy people.

            2. No it is not. It just does not scale up past the number of people you can know very well at one time. Like a circle of family and friends. Trying to make it work on a society where most people are strangers to each other is where it goes wrong.

              1. No, it fails when it becomes compulsory, backed by deadly force.

  14. “Gonna beat you and defeat you?there’s a pretty lousy pop song in there. But what those words don’t offer is is a recipe for maintaining a free and functioning democratic political system. Because, in the real world, wins and defeats are temporary, and the next turnabout is only a political cycle away. That is, we’re all going to be living with each other for a long time to come.”

    What you’re missing is that this is not the view of the left. They envision a point at which they take power, and then make sure that nobody can take it back from them.

    In the words of Turkey’s new dictator for life, “Democracy is like a train. You get off when you reach your destination.” That’s how the left views the matter.

    Should they get power, they’ll attempt to pull it off. It’s a serious mistake to not take them seriously when they talk about packing the court, repealing the 1st amendment, and so forth.

    1. Yeah yeah. Keep beating that tribalism drum. It’s easier than thinking.

      “I don’t want to think critically about the ideas of the other side, I will just label them with the big bogeyman label of THE LEFT and call them Hitler”

      1. “Yeah yeah. Keep beating that tribalism drum. It’s easier than thinking.”

        Jeff, I’ve read all kinds about of books written by various leftists on socialist theory, Marxism, etc.. I also read up on the policy positions of leftists att various levels of government. Based on your comments, clearly to a far, far greater degree than you can claim.

        The reason I despise them so much isn’t from tribalism, it’s from reading their villainous plans in their own words. The same reason I call you a dummy. I actually pay attention to the nonsense you write.

    2. It’s a serious mistake to not take them seriously when they talk about packing the court, repealing the 1st amendment, and so forth.

      Here’s the problem: YOU’RE not talking them seriously when they talk about packing the court, repealing the 1st amendment, etc. You caricature and hyperbolize the argument into hysterics about how they are indistinguishable from Stalinist dictators.

      If you are against court-packing, maybe you should start by actually arguing against the merits of court-packing. Instead all you seem to be arguing is “I don’t like court-packing because Democrats are proposing it”. Which is not principled and is part of the problem that divides us.

      1. When it comes specifically to court-packing, I don’t have any particular reason to favor 9 SCOTUS judges instead of 11 or 7 or 13 or whatever. In the past, the size of the court fluctuated quite a bit. It’s only been set at 9 for about a century. It’s probably better mathematically that the court be composed of an odd number of judges but that’s about all.

        I don’t think it should be 1 or 3, because then you really would have a dictatorial or triumvirate system. I don’t think it should be absurdly large because then it really does just become another legislature. But I have no reason to think 9 is objectively better than 7 or 11. Do you?

        1. “Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
          Seven for the Dwarf-lords in halls of stone,
          Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
          One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
          In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
          One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
          One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
          In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

        2. So you claim Brett is wrong to claim the Progs want to pack the court but then you turn around and say how you think packing the court is a good idea.

          You really don’t understand how this works do you?

          1. I did not say “packing the court is a good idea”.

        3. It’s not that 9 is the magic number. You’re missing the point. The point is that the number is fixed. You don’t just get to add more until you have a majority once you’re in power – which is what court packing is.

          What’s special about the number 7? Nothing. So why is the World Series best of 7? What if a team kept losing, and after losing 4 games they said, “no, we’ve decided it’s best of 9,” then lost again and said, “alright, now it’s best of 11.” The arbitrariness of the number 7 doesn’t make their behavior any less absurd and unfair.

      2. Yes as opposed to all the other times the Republicans advocated packing the court and repealing the Bill of Rights and he said nothing. You really got him

    3. Exactly Brett. Notice who is replying on your comment and what they are advocating.

      Libertarianism is a way to destroy socialism too so it must be undermined from the inside out.

      Its funny when the anarchists open their mouth on here because you can see they just want everything to burn. From the ashes an anarchist-land will arise!

      1. Anarchy doesn’t have to be destructive, but “anarchist” has been appropriated by dysfunctional bolsheviks. Ideally it’s not an absolute. A little anarchy is probably a good thing.

        1. Anarchy can be a political ideology (or a number of quite varied political ideologies), or it can be a philosophical orientation towards the world. I like the idea of “rational anarchism”, where the individual is the only moral agent, no state action is justified where individual action would not be and everyone is free to judge the validity of laws and states for themselves and obey those laws or not as they see fit, accepting the consequences of their actions.
          I don’t think anarchy as envisioned by an-caps or more collectivist anarchists is an achievable state of affairs. But I think it is reality in the sense described above. The individual is free and the state is just a collection of individuals who are responsible for their own actions.

        2. Anarchy does not have to be destructive. Human nature and the desire to pack up into groups then brings new issues.

          If everyone worked hard and there were never any strong men bullies, anarchy would work fine. Like socialism, it works against human nature.

          Capitalism in a free market and a free state, rewards those who work hard and does not reward those that do not work hard.

          1. Says the guy who supports merchantilism.

            1. I support free trade. You cannot have free trade if both parties are not on board.

              Pressuring trading partners to drop trade restrictions is a way to accomplish free trade.

    4. Democracy has spoken. Settled law. Etc.

      Once the left gets their way the game is over.

  15. The ‘left’ and the ‘right’ will both give way to structures more in line with those envisioned by the American ‘founding fathers’.

    The attempt to utilize human nature rather than endlessly thwart it that is at the core of the founding philosophies will be the basis for upcoming political thought.

    People tend to forget that the American ‘left’ and ‘right’ are not the European ‘left’ and ‘right’. That they stem from different sources. That Europe is trying to reconcile the American experiment with millennia of autocracy in the home of that autocracy. It is this that is at the core of their ‘left’ and ‘right’.

    Interestingly, while the American right tends to fight the European right, the American left has been subsumed by it.

    This will, in the short term, have the appearance of the ‘right’ winning out over the ‘left’, but as it spreads to incorporate monotheistic faiths and other monomaniacal dogmas the old ‘right’ will begin to feel embattled as well and attempt to fuse with the old left in an odd form of conservatism.

    For those who’ve been wanting to ‘take back’ the term ‘liberal’, well, you’re going to get your wish because ‘liberal’ is what the first fumbling steps of this will call itself. For a bit.

  16. Pace Whedon?who seems to have forgotten his insights with regard to his series Firefly

    I wonder how much of the more libertarian-ish sensibilities from Firefly were really coming from Whedon vs how much of that was Tim Minear’s influence? Or has Whedon just become more and more progressive over the years? It’s hard to envision the current Joss Whedon writing something like this.

    1. It could be possible that because the series was so short, you’re actually thinking of what the show might have been? Who’s to say where Whedon was taking the overall arc?

  17. Whedon went full retard. Apparently nobody told him you never go full retard. It’s probably not long until he falls foul of the vanguard and can’t keep ahead of the wavefront.

  18. “”This, Tuccille point outs, is something libertarians learned a long time ago. It’s time for Team Red and Team Blue to step up to that same level of maturity.””

    WTF? Apparently Tuccille has never been to the smoke filled halls of a Liberterian Party convention to witness first hand that level of maturity. As the old saying goes, the lower the stakes the nastier the politics, and the LP demonstrates this to a tee.

    1. I don’t think the LP is really representative of libertarians.

      1. Some Libertarians, lots of anarchists, lots of Lefties, and some non-religious Republicans.

    2. I guess Tuccille did not read the article on the Libertarian convention fights last week.

      Being an oultlying third party means your dirty laundry does not get covered much, not that it does not exist.

  19. The socialists, the hate America crowd are not worth loving except that they inspire others to work to preserve the liberty we know and cherish. The sense of history gets distorted by some infantile idealism of the future. Countries of people have done horrific things to each other and to others, no question. By to deride America for past misdeeds and atrocities misses the point that we are always getting better and will always fall short of any cumbayah way of life. We all are not born equal, live equal or strive equally, but we all have the same opportunity to succeed or fail. Some deciders just can’t stomach the idea of failure which makes them failures from the getgo. So we are divided. Mass education and top down control of curriculum sucks. Parents who are lazy for the 1st 5 years of their children’s lives perpetuate ignorant, entitled morons. Seems we are stuck with that. So. . . .how do we personally make some money off of all this and survive no matter what?

  20. Its not just rage, or acting out to express rage. That is just one manifestation of a broader childish or even infantile level of thinking and discourse. For children, most values are absolute, and the easiest morality is good and evil. And, of course, assigning themselves to “good”, and anyone who disagrees as “evil”.

    Maybe (likely?) people have always been this way. But abetted by the twin scourges of modern marketing and manipulated technology, most people gave up independent adult thought and fully embraced the brand. This is Coke vs. Pepsi on the national stage. And like Coke vs. Pepsi, most advocates cannot tell the difference in blind tests, and cannot explain their choice in any rational way.

    1. Coke vs. Pepsi,

      That may have been the case in George Wallace’s day, but if you can’t distinguish the taste of what is being peddled by Fauxcahontas Warren/ Kamala Harris Democrats from Cocaine Mitch on his worst day, you don’t deserve a seat at the table

      1. My point is that for most people any political analysis and decision making is no deeper than Coke vs. Pepsi, as intended by the major parties, their consultants, branding experts, and advertisers, and other vested interests.

        But I agree that these sheeple do not deserve a seat at the adult table (or in the voting booth). THAT is the fundamental flaw of broad democracy.

        1. YUP. Universal suffrage was a HORRIBLE idea.

          Restricting it to white, male, landowners by the founders was their proxy for somebody who was likely to be somewhat educated and not a blow it case.

          Personally I think a history test, civics test, and maybe just an outright IQ test would be awesome requirements. There are smart and educated people on the left and right… At least the smart ones would probably have more nuanced and sane things to discuss, hence politicians would cater to the new more limited voting groups. Having to appeal to idiots with 85 IQs to get their vote is half the problem with where politics has gone. You can’t discuss the nuance of ANYTHING with most low IQ, uneducated morons.

  21. I think the pic for this piece says it all: conservatives can be annoyingly “patriotic” and act like post-menopausal coots; while progs go goose stepping in the streets, waving socialist banners, and demanding the abolition of individual rights and the capitalist system “or else”.

    Yeah, they are totally on par and equal threats.

  22. The fact is that the USA is POTENTIALLY only one major catalyzing event from shit really going down. Things could fizzle out like the trouble of the 1960s/70s, or it could go more like the 1860s… Only time will tell.

    I still say the best way to deal with this is split the country up. We’re a HUGE country in terms of land and population. You don’t need to be a massive country to make a good life for your citizens. If we can’t convince the leftists to just move to all the other leftists countries in the world, then give them their own chunk of land. I’d say give them most of the west coast and be done with them.

    That way they get to ruin their new country without annoying the rest of the country. People would self sort to their preferred version of America by the millions, and everybody would get something a lot closer to what they want.

    It’s win win. If that doesn’t happen things will either fizzle, or we’ll have civil war. I lean towards fizzle, but that’s not a 100% thing. Personally I think the hard left will burn itself out, and we’ll shift a bit to the right in coming years. The left just got too crazy on a lot of stuff for centrists to stomach. That may end up being a couple decade cycle. We’ll see…

    1. This x1000. Been saying this for years.

      1. It is the sane, rational, peaceful solution. Czechoslovakia wasn’t working, they were at each others throats constantly… But as the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic they’re actually friendly and cooperative nations with each other. We deal with our massively more socialist friends to the north in Canada just fine, so no reason we couldn’t deal with the new Peoples Republic Of America or whatever.

    2. I think we are a grain of sand away from tipping the scale too.

      Trump was voted as the last ditch effort to stave this off. Americans have had enough of Lefty bullshit.

      He is only one guy and Congress is unwilling to roll back much government. Hopefully a Libertarian-ish presdiential candidate runs in 2024 after Trump’s two terms and continues where Trump left off.

      Trump also shows Americans that you don’t have to take Lefty bullshit anymore. Its okay to fight back and roll back socialism.

      1. Yup. If we have just ONE event that is crazy enough, it could spill out into mass scale riots, which then leads to outright revolt, and full on civil war. Imagine something like Trump being assassinated by a Bernie Bro or something. Or some ACTUAL Neo Nazi guy shooting 500 people at some lefty event. It could be a lot of things if the timing is just right.

        Trump was viewed as the last chance to save what America used to be. And I think he may be. He’s definitely not making enough headway to fix things properly all on his own, but he has stopped things from getting worse. Somebody comparably good, or even better than him, continuing where he left off would be awesome… But we’ll see.

        The best thing he has done so far is in fact showing people we don’t have to be quiet and STFU and take whatever BS the left throws at us though. That will probably be the one thing that sticks whatever happens in the future!

    3. The coasts can join Canada and the middle can become ‘Jesusland’. I don’t think you could convince Norway and Sweden to take all the east coast liberals nor would they all agree to move to California. The cities in the middle won’t like ‘Jesusland’, though and there would be an immense brain drain from anyone who could afford to leave there.

      1. The cities in the middle won’t like ‘Jesusland’, though and there would be an immense brain drain from anyone who could afford to leave there.

        If you look at history over the last couple of centuries, you’ll see that smart people move out of leftist shitholes, whether it’s the Soviet Union, Cuba, or Venezuela.

      2. That must be why there’s net migration from California to Texas (or from coastal blue states to inland red states).

      3. You’re over AND under thinking it.

        Personally, I would say we should give California, Oregon, and Washington up. It’s “more fair” so it will be taken as a more serious offer. The only caveat, is we should secure either a sliver of US soil that gives us the ability to build out a new west coast port. This could be in northern Washington, or perhaps southern Cali. We could also split Oregon/Washington east/west, because that’s where the natural political line is anyway. But give them the inland conservative parts too if we must. Shit, give ’em some of the southwest too if we need to… Do whatever we have to to get the deal done and be rid of them!

        The self sorting would be by the many millions over time, but it wouldn’t be EVERYBODY who thinks a certain way. Not everybody is a zealot, so lots of centrists might stay wherever they are. And midwest Democrats are an entirely different breed from the coastal sorts, even today, so many would probably stay. Both countries would likely end up with plenty of people from the other side still, this would just shift their political center a good amount. We’re already self sorting in this way anyway, so whatevs. This would just make national representation better for both sets of zealots.

        1. I would rather force every single progtard out of this country than give them one square inch of American soil. Which would also put a hostile Marxist state on our borders.

          Let them all go to Venezuela, or wherever.

      4. I don’t think every person with a college degree would bail the midwest, because they’re not all shit libs! But even if they did a lot of conservatives that are smart would be bailing out of LA/SF/Seattle too. It would probably all balance itself out just fine. The wealth disparity between the coasts and the rest of the country is greatly overblown too. The midwest and south actually have the highest standard of living after adjusting for cost of living in the country… So we’d be fine on that front as well.

        Give anybody who was a citizen at the time of the split 10 years to move or whatever with no denials, after that they’d have to apply by whatever rules each country wanted to have.

        Fact is both countries would be plenty large enough to do very well for themselves on the world stage. The rest of the country doesn’t NEED the west coast, and they don’t NEED us either. It’s been convenient to be this huge country, but we don’t NEED to be to do fine.

    4. Serious question: can we devise a system where people can divide into separate nations and still inhabit the same geographic area? Maybe a system where everyone has to abide a set of fundamental laws, but beyond that they are free to impose additional laws and policies that apply only to their group?

      1. Unfortunately, no.
        Progressivism is necessarily totalitarian.
        For example, environmental regs.
        Progressives want an environmental law, like only electric cars allowed. In your system (which I like in theory), non-progressives say, “cool, your rules in your area.” But progressives will not tolerate gas cars being driven anywhere, so they’ll have to reject that system.

      2. It’s one of those silly theoretical things people have thought up before. I’ve read some rants about the concept… It just can’t ever possibly work in the real world.

    5. That way they get to ruin their new country without annoying the rest of the country

      This is not how they operate. There can BE no outside to their State. If there is, people will flee to anywhere else–as they do now.

      Therefore no one must be allowed to escape.

      1. Well, that’s their problem. I’d be fine with California building a wall to keep their citizens IN after the split! Anybody who didn’t move right away deserves whatever they get!

  23. Democratic and Republican voters…despise each other,”

    let me rephrase Democrat politicians and tv personalities hate everyone who disagrees with them and often threaten to silence and even jail them, I don’t see the right doing that

  24. Not stuck if you let California secede.

  25. Hihn is trolling these comments hard. He always seems to try throwing as much obtuse wall-of-text nonsense at comments threads as possible in an effort to make them more of a chore to read through. His mission (after apple school) is to disrupt and/or prevent any discourse he doesn’t have complete control over.

    1. Yeah, he’s actually even more annoying than Tony. Tony is essentially always wrong, and oftentimes infuriating, but I can at least stand to read his comments. I see Hihn’s name and just scroll right past.

  26. “Gonna beat you and defeat you?there’s a pretty lousy pop song in there.”

    Or a pretty good hip-hop song.

    1. All you gotta do is throw a “BITCH” at the end of that, and it’s all the lyrics you need!

  27. You only need to look to California to see that progressives are both willing and capable of destroying conservatives and libertarians. How do they do it? By throwing a few million voters into poverty and government dependence. Other examples are Venezuela and Cuba.

    And, no, people are not “stuck with each other”. When leftists take over, conservatives and libertarians leave.

    1. The big problem we have now though Mark, is there is nowhere to go! I know we discussed this briefly in another thread, but there really isn’t any major country on earth that’s even close to as good as the USA is still.

      If Australia went hardcore on freedom, I’d move there ASAP. The problem Americans have is that we kind of have to fight for this place, because it’s the last bastion of anything remotely free on earth. If you’re just going to move to Europe, you might as well just stay here, because the USA won’t likely become worse than the UK or Germany any time soon…

  28. dont get me started on election/vote fraud…

    of thats right… if it exsts its only minimal… bull****

  29. Gimme a break with this nice guy libertarian from the 90s BS.

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