Donald Trump

Tomorrow Is the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime. Don't Let Trump Denialists Tell You Otherwise.

Trump is a uniquely awful president who has changed the entire political conversation and not for the better

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Trump
Shikha Dalmia

It has become fashionable for right-wing Trump apologists to mock the notion that the midterms tomorrow are the most important elections in our lifetime. The Federalist's David Harsanyi, in fact, rattled off a list of politicos who'd claimed exactly this when they were running, but nothing really changed one way or another once they were elected. Folks like him, I note in The Week this morning, argue that if you look past Trump's foul personality and examine his actual policies, he's really not that bad. He has cut taxes, deregulated the economy, and made solid judicial appointments. He may be belligerent, but he hasn't started any big new wars; he may call the media the "enemy of the people," but he hasn't jailed dissidents and dissenters; he may talk tough on immigration and border security, but so did Bill Clinton. They also think his vile blood-and-soil nationalist rhetoric has nothing to do with the recent synagogue shooting, and those who claim otherwise are simply suffering from "Trump Derangement Syndrome." As far as they're concerned, America's political system has managed to temper Trump's worst authoritarian instincts and harness his better ones. Hence, not much is at stake in this election. The republic won't collapse regardless of the outcome.

But this is Trump denialism, I note:

Trump is a uniquely horrid president who has already had a transformative effect on America's discourse, institutions, policy, and politics—and not for the better. It might sound like a cliché, but he is changing "who we are."

Trump blares racism from a bullhorn—calling Hispanic immigrants "rapists" and "criminals" and mounting a last-minute fear campaign depicting the approaching migrant caravan of helpless asylum seekers as invaders who would go on a "cop-killing spree." The Trump administration tears suckling infants from the breasts of migrant moms and puts them in detention camps thousands of miles away. Trump has threatened to scrap birthright citizenship by executive order. He has mounted an all-out administrative assault on legal immigration, pardoned Arizona's brutal sheriff Joe Arpaio, and is deploying 15,000 military troops to stop a peaceful migrant caravan.

Trump started a trade war with the Middle Kingdom by imposing hundreds of billions in tariffs, all while threatening to tear down global rules of trade that keep the worst protectionism of other countries in check. He rails against the institution of a free press and openly applauds violence against reporters and political opponents. He has stomped on other bedrock checks and balances too, including relentlessly attacking executive agencies such as the FBI because they have the temerity to investigate him—never mind that keeping a check on public corruption is one of the few vital functions they serve.

Trump's predecessors have pursued some of these wrong-headed policies. But he is a bad combination of all of them, taking things to a whole new level of grotesqueness. And just because Trump can't deliver on his ludicrous threats—such as scrapping birthright citizenship by executive order—doesn't mean they have no impact. At the very minimum, they inflame public opinion and shift the Overton window for legislative nastiness. Indeed, literally hours after Trump floated his idea on twitter, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham pledged to introduce legislation to end this "absurd policy" along the same lines as the proposed executive order.

Nor will it do to claim that Trump's incendiary rhetoric against immigrants, minorities, and others plays no role in inciting violence against them. Political leaders wield enormous powers to temper—or incite—the hot passions of their followers. If 9/11 did not result in the widespread bloodshed of Muslims in America, it was largely because George W. Bush declared that Islam was not America's enemy and visited a mosque within days of the attack. If blacks in South Africa did not go after their white rulers with pitchforks and swords when apartheid ended, it was in no small part because of Nelson Mandela's call for forgiveness and healing.

It is willful blindness to maintain that social media and other mobs aren't affected by verbal incitement. Is it such a stretch to suggest that when Trump builds an electoral strategy around depicting migrants as "invaders"—terminology borrowed from the right's fever swamp—and "cop killers," some worked up Minuteman vigilante won't feel like a hero when he takes matters into his own hands? Words are not conduct but they are meant to affect conduct (or they are meaningless and pundits should pack up and find another line of business). Our country has a bedrock—and noble—commitment to the First Amendment that gives officials legal immunity to throw verbal matches into a political tinderbox. But we should still be alarmed when they do so.

In fact, since I wrote this, an armed band of Minutemen has headed to the Southern border to stop the caravan.

Go here to read the piece.

Update: A link to the Harsanyi piece, which ran at reason.com, has been added here.

NEXT: The Most Important Election of Our Lives?: Reason Roundup

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  1. “It has become fashionable for right-wing Trump apologists to mock the notion that the midterms tomorrow are the most important elections in our lifetime.”

    You mean right-wing Trump apologists like ENB? 20 minutes ago?

    1. Seriously. Does this website even have an editor?

      Reason appears to run their website the same way the Libertarian Party chooses its candidates: if you call yourself a libertarian and repeat a few shibboleths, then they’ll let you represent libertarianism and say whatever you want. Even if you contradict long-held party positions in the process (see Weld, William).

      1. The website does not have an editor. At least Hit-n-Run does not. It’s closer to a blogging platform.

        1. It shows.

          It’s hard to take them seriously when you have two ostensibly libertarian writers contradicting each other in back to back articles.

          1. You’d take libertarians more seriously if they had central planning and control?

            1. Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

            2. I’d take them seriously if they could say anything worth taking seriously.

              Then there’s the false implications, such as referencing lower, then mentioning Bill Clinton.

        2. This website has tons of Assistant Editors though.

      2. Why is it so hard for people like you to understand that Reason writers are a bunch of individuals?

        1. Stop lying.

        2. “Reason writers” are all actually sockpuppets for a deranged hobo chained up in Matt Welch’s basement. He’s given nothing to read aside from the NYT’s opinion pages and a JournoList compliance manual.

        3. Well, then this individual has distinguished themselves from the rest as an idiot.

    2. From that well-known right-wing Trump apologist, Elizabeth Nolan Brown:

      “Hyperbole and hysteria in the midterms. If you don’t vote tomorrow, immigrants are going to rape your wives and repopulate Maine. Or maybe democracy as we know it will die and open white supremacy will reign. Take your pick and pull the lever for “R” or “D” accordingly.

      Don’t think it’s quite as dire as all that? Congratulations on maintaining a bit of perspective. You’re in increasingly rare company.

      With one day before the 2018 midterm elections, supporters of America’s ruling parties are ratcheting up the rhetorical alarm to a farsical level.”

      1. It has been obvious for years now that Dalmia is an hysteric with no sense of perspective.

      2. To be fair, ENB and Shikha see eye-to-eye on assaulting people who speak wrong thought. Because they’re both libertarian-y af

    3. It’s not just ENB. KMW, who is the editor in chief last I checked, has mentioned she doesn’t vote and is basically an anarchist. The Jacket often says the whole idea that any particular election is considered all that important by many people is symptom of having a government that does way too much and is far too involved in everyone’s lives.

      The entire podcast last Monday was on this topic, with basically all of them agreeing this whole “most important election ever” stuff is bull. What gets me is why not invite silly Shikha on there to argue the point? Maybe they didn’t want to embarrass her? In any case, does she consider the rest of the staff and even her bosses to be “right wing Trump apologists?” If she does, why is she still writing for them?

      1. Yeah, why not? Why let her be a drive-by?

  2. You vote straight democrat every election anyway, Dipshit Scumbagetta.

  3. Hyperbole and hysteria in the midterms.

    1. Looking over the first 36 comments, I don’t anyone has bothered to even argue against the article.

      She is just a clown show. And today, a hysterical pants shitting clown show.

      What is Reason thinking, letting this clown post articles on their signature topic?

      Is it possible that Reason insiders have gone MAGA and are using Shikha to discredit Open Border Uber Alles, while not letting on to the Kochs?

      Or is Shikha herself the Trumpster?

      1. Looking over the first 36 comments, I don’t anyone has bothered to even argue against the article.

        I don’t think anyone has bothered to even read the article. I mean, it’s Shikha Dalmia.

        1. The headlines alone say it all:

          ENB at 9:30 AM: “The most important election of our lives? Hyperbole and hysteria in the midterms”

          Shikha at 10:20 AM: “Tomorrow is the most important election of our lifetimes. Don’t let Trump denialists tell you otherwise.”

          1. Incidentally, let me take this opportunity to congratulate ENB on her new membership in the Vast Right-Wing Trumpian Conspiracy.

            She gets to bring the hookers and blow to the next meeting.

            1. Can she bring Kerry Howley?

          2. Yes, this is what I was going for. This article was cued up perfectly.

        2. Right. I just skip to the comments because they are amusing. Dalmia is a one trick pony with a very lame trick.

      2. Actually, her articles are fun these days.

        Not only do I get to revel in her hysteria, she actually reports a bit on what Trump is doing.

        ” And just because Trump can’t deliver on his ludicrous threats ? such as scrapping birthright citizenship by executive order ? doesn’t mean they have no impact. At the very minimum, they inflame public opinion and shift the Overton window for legislative nastiness. ”

        Shifting the Overton Window. You betcha.

        So much winning!

        I’m looking forward to the hysteria when Trump ends birthright citizenship with an EO, and it’s upheld by our shiny new constitutionalist court.

        More winning coming!

        1. I think we installed Overton windows when we expanded our kitchen. Very easy to clean.

        2. I’m looking forward to Trump being right and ending this bulkshit practice. Then using the defense budget to build the wall.

  4. Good God. I used to mostly agree with Shikha, bar the rhetoric and single-mindedness, but this is over the top stupid.

    Trump is a symptom, not a cause.

    He mostly reflects years and years of political correctness run amok, just as Angela Merkel bred the conditions for the German right-wing resurgence.

    Feedback, baby. Backlash. Whatever you want to call it, that’s what Trump is, the symptom,not the cause. When government frustrates so many people in so many ways, they will fight back eventually.

    1. Good description; as trump as Trump may be, he is a result and not a cause.

      1. I agree with y’all, “he is a result and not a cause”.

        What gets lost in the sauce of partisanship is this: One failed Government Almighty program leads to another, to fix the ugly byproduct of the first!

        Government Almighty mandated WAY too many licenses, before we’re allowed to earn an honest living… Put too many of us into poverty. To “help” with this poverty problem that Government Almighty created, Government Almighty gave us welfare. Welfare then attracts too many illegal sub-humans, sometimes, so to fix THAT problem, Government Almighty now wants e-verify and giant border walls and giant border armies, so I suppose Government Almighty will next fire up the military draft to fix THAT problem! (Lack of a large enough wall-and-army forces).

        Those of us who like individual freedom, would like for Government Almighty to SHRINK, for once, instead of always making itself BIGGER to fix all of the problems created by Government Almighty in the first place!

        What are Team Red and Team Blue doing to educate the public about this ugly above-described loop, and what are they doing to fix it, besides yelling and screaming?

  5. This topic was already covered in the morning roundup. Stop beating this dead horse or PETA will take action

  6. Trump is “uniquely horrid”?
    You mean compared to FDR, Nixon, Bush Sr., or Obama?
    I think not. You not think.

    1. Don’t forget Johnson. Shoveling boys into the Vietnam war like coal in a furnace.

      1. Consider my list the highlights reel. We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to horrible presidents. Jefferson and Lincoln both cheerfully violated the constitution. Wilson was unspeakably bad. The list goes on and on and on.

        1. We have all of these “horrible Presidents”, yet we still live in a great country and really a better country by any measure than about 95% of the others.

          Maybe this shit doens’t matter as much as histrionics like Dalmia think it does?

          1. Well duh.
            Dalmia does not think. She emotes, she shrieks, she howls, but she doesn’t think.
            At all. Apparently ever.

        2. God Bless Calvin Coolidge!

      2. Don’t forget Kennedy sending in the CIA “advisors” to fight a secret war.

      3. Your comment is even more true because young black men were sent to Vietnam at rates that are high compared to how many black people were in the USA.

        Even more tragic was many were urban black men who had never shot a weapon in their lives. Military training stateside consisted of super quick basic skills and then shipping them off to Vietnam. Like lambs to the slaughter.

    2. Trump has ordered the assasination of an America citizen who was nowhere near a warzone and launched an illegal war agasint Libya, right?

      1. You could make the case that bombing Syria without Congressional Authority is launching an illegal war…

        1. No you couldn’t. The President has the power to use military force for limited objectives and times without Congressional authorization. That is true even under the War Powers act.

          Remember Obama blew past all of the deadlines in the War Powers Act and claimed that it wasn’t a war but a “kinetic action”. Trump launching some cruise missiles at Syria over them using chemical weapons is nothing like that and should not be compared to it.

          1. The War Powers Act is quite arguably unconstitutional. If you start dropping bombs on a country halfway across the globe, you have declared war in fact. The idea that Congress can delegate that authority away without an Amendment is ludicrous.

            I’m actually quite fond of Trump. But he deserves criticism for it. That said, it really appeared like his “bombing” of Syria was a show. Didn’t he several times give advance notice of where we would be hitting, and when?

            1. The War Powers act is arguably unconsitutional as an infringement of the President’s Article 2 powers. I don’t think it is reasonable to claim the President doesn’t have the power to ever use the military in a hostile manner without the permission of Congress. The document was never intended to mean that.

              1. The US Navy was used along with its US Marines to conduct forward warfare actions without declaration of war. They were temporary and not designed to be a full Declaration of War against a state. Thomas Jefferson did NOT get a DoW but used his presidential authority as Commander in Chief.

                See Barbary Wars.

                The Constitution also allows for Congress to:
                To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

                To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
                Article I, Section 8.

                1. The US Army was used more for defensive protection of the USA and fighting AmerIndians until the military expeditions of the 20th Century.

          2. To be clear John, I think what Obama did in Lybia was worse.

            Thankfully, Trump didn’t topple Assad, the last hope for peace in that shithole.

        2. Aw, you slipped back into Cathy mode there.

          1. No, I’ve been pretty consistent in bitching about him not just completely walking away from Syria. It was something I really hoped he would do when I pulled the lever for him.

            I’m a fan of Trump. Just not that particular action.

      2. Trump has ordered the assasination of an America citizen who was nowhere near a warzone and launched an illegal war agasint Libya, right?

        A war that led to a “global refugee crisis” to boot.

    3. My money is that she would take Dubya over Trump because “orange man bad”.

  7. BORING!

  8. I think OBL ghost wrote this piece.

    1. Don’t be silly. The underlying sentiment would be the same, but Shikha is far better with words than I am.

      1. Better with words, and has successfully duped the powers that be into taking her satire seriously.

        I’m calling it first.

        Shikha is Godfrey Elfwick.

      2. dude. funny.

      3. He owns it

      4. Love it.

      5. Awesome, LOL.

      6. LOLOLOLOLOL

  9. Read this on the dumper. Lucky thing I wouldn’t wipe my ass with this screed cause I always hate getting a new phone.

    1. I was on the shitter when I read it too.

      1. Get a restroom, you two.

  10. It is the most important election ever!! until the next one. And Trump is inciting violence by saying bad things about the sacred migrants. Shika calling Trump and all of his supporters facsists bent on destroying America is just telling truth to power!!

  11. Sorry Shikha, but I do not need to go read your entire article about how horrid Trump is. There is nothing that can be said that will convince me that Trump is worse than what the alternative would have been. Every single president we have had has had their pros and cons. Yes, Trump has many cons. But I believe Hillary’s cons would have left this country in a much worse condition.

  12. Trump is far and away the greatest leader in the history of human civilization.

    1. All hail the God Emperor of the United States!

  13. Trump is a uniquely horrid president who has already had a transformative effect on America’s discourse, institutions, policy, and politics

    True, but we survived Millard Fillmore, Harding, Bush the Lesser, and the other white trash dregs of the Presidency. We can survive Trump too.

    1. I mean it is not like Trump released five known terrorists for a publicity stunt or anything.

      Come Shreek, tell us more about the genius of the Chocolate Jesus you love so much.

    2. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Trump is “uniquely” horrid – Abraham Lincoln was so divisive a figure that his election kicked off the Civil War, an event that had much more of a transformative effect on America’s discourse, institutions, policy, and politics than Trump’s election (so far). Fortunately for us, Lincoln was a progressive Democrat instead of one of those nasty racist right-wing extremist Republicans hell-bent on maintaining the status quo and Good triumphed over Evil in the event.

      1. Damn! I wish Reason would get its shit together and add an edit function – turns out according to Wikipedia that Lincoln was a Republican. Which I should have guessed, given his racist dog-whistling about “equality” when everybody knows “fairness” trumps equality. If Lincoln were alive today I’m sure he would be spewing his white male supremacy crap about “equality” as if judging people by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin (or their sex or gender or religion or choice of lifestyle) is a good thing when everybody knows that fairness dictates that we must do just the opposite. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” is just plain good old-fashioned common sense when you’re trying to achieve fairness rather than equality and how are we to know which animals are which unless we judge them solely by their identity group membership?

        1. Ooh John you gonna take that shit about Lincoln?

          1. I don’t fell like putting up the Liberty Mike signal just yet. Libertarians and Lincoln are like cats and water. Trying to convince them otherwise is a bit of a fool’s errend.

          2. Suspend habeas corpus and lock up newspaper dissidents Lincoln, you mean?

    3. Given the effect he seems to have on your blood pressure I’m not sure you’ll make it six more years.

  14. Federal spending has increased under Trump while taxes are being cut.
    Maybe he’s looking for the sweet spot on the Laffer curve, but the spending increase was ill advised.

    1. The trade deficit with China is also exploding, not shrinking.

      1. DIdn’t lefties say that trade deficits dont matter?

        1. No, everyone who understands basic economics says trade deficits don’t matter. What’s ironic is that idiots who think they do pursue tend to make them bigger.

  15. A+

    The best libertarian writer continues to demonstrate why Reason is the #1 website for serious analysis of this regime’s depravity. Nobody else so eloquently dismantles Drumpf’s toxic nationalism. In fact, this one is so good it even rivals her earlier column noting the similarities between deportation and enforcement of fugitive slave laws.

  16. Yes-it is so important that, in fact, for the first time in my life, I am seriously considering not voting. I’ve thought of handcuffing myself to a radiator if I can’t resist the urge to go vote. Sure, I could vote for the LP candidate for senate, but one thing I have learned is that nobody gives a fuck about the LP, other than the writers and commenters here. I conclude that not voting sends a stronger message.

    1. Not voting sends no message. The people who win elections could not care less if they win them with one vote or a million votes. Don’t kid yourself into thinking otherwise.

      1. The people who win elections could not care less if they win them with one vote or a million votes.
        Exactly, and my vote is extremely unlikely to affect the outcome either way, especially in the deep blue district where I live.

        1. And I don’t blame you for not voting. But don’t pretend that not doing so sends any kind of message. It doesn’t. It just means you have time to do other things.

          1. Well, that’s a big part of it-have to work and take the kids to a program on the other side of town because my wife is working too. If I find time at the end of the day, maybe I will vote, but not if the wait is longer than 2 mins-kinda like buying a powerball ticket, but with voting, I know the odds of anyone I would vote for winning are zero.

            1. If you have a wife and two kids it is both personally and socially irresponsible to vote.

              What are the odds that your vote will determine the outcome of a Congressional election? So vanishingly small that they can safely be considered infinitesimal. But the selection of the candidate isn’t the only criterion to consider when determining the usefulness of voting. Even in extremely unlikely case that your vote decided the outcome of an election, what are the odds that your representative’s vote would determine the outcome of significant legislation? Then, what are the odds that the significant legislation (determined by a single vote) would materially affect the actual conduct of government? Multiply these three vanishingly small probabilities and it should be clear that the benefit of your voting is precisely zero. Compare that to the family and social cost if you were to die in a car wreck on the way to the polls.

          2. But suppose everybody felt as NoVaNick did and nobody voted? Wouldn’t that be sending a much clearer message than 48% of the electorate voting one way and 52% voting the other? Which politician winning with 52% of the vote has ever considered the clear message being sent by the 48% of the electorate who voted against him? Remember that if you vote for the losing candidate your vote has been wasted. And if you vote for the winning candidate and he wins by more than one vote, you wasted your vote there, too. You’re wasting your vote just as much by voting as by not voting – except for the smug satisfaction you might get from your virtue-signaling that you’re a good little sheep who likes the freedom to pick his own mutton vendor.

            1. It wouldn’t be sending a message that anyone in power would care about. Someone will vote, even if it is only the candidate’s families. And that is enough for them at least to claim legitimacy.

              1. Someone will vote, even if it is only the candidate’s families. And that is enough for them at least to claim legitimacy.

                Eh, well maybe there is a case for monarchy

      2. They could send out shaming letters to non-voters like the Dems did in 2012 (I’m told), though I’m not sure Reason commenters are the type of sheep who would vote for a party which sends them insulting and creepy mail.

        1. Similar shenanigans in NY in 2014

          “Such attempts to shame people to vote ? what politicos call “social pressure” or peer pressure ? has become more common place and was used by the Obama campaign in 2012, sources said.”

          1. Seriously, do the Dems really think they can get votes *for themselves* by treating their own voters like this? What kind of dysfunctional relationship does this presuppose?

            1. Research shows that those shaming letters are among the most effective methods for getting people to vote, and that it is also a Pyrrhic victory because it really pisses them off to get such a letter from Big Brother. In other words, it only works once, so save that only for the most important election evah

    1. Iit was garbage, as usual.

    2. Excellent column!

      A self-declared veteran of the Vietnam Conflict with at least 4 presidents to hold accountable for that mess and contempt for Trump’s presidential fitness is what excites you? Sad.

    3. Now I’m not going to vote for Trump! …because I can’t, cause I’m Canadian.

  17. Whatever Shikha says or does or thinks, the opposite is 99.999% the truth and reality.

    1. Whatever the drunken Injun farmer from Georgia who wishes he was the MAGA bomber says or thinks, the opposite is advisable.

      1. Anarchist like Sarcasmic hate Libertarianism, so of course you want to do the opposite.

        NPC Sarcasmic trying to own the “opposite” advice and falls flat…again.

        Get Sarcasmic to explain why he hates the US Constitution. The literal authoritative state document that allows him to blabber on about how great Anarchism is and blah blah blah.

        1. The literal authoritative state document that allows him to blabber on about how great Anarchism is and blah blah blah.

          Of course the constitution lover doesn’t understand the constitution or its relationship to an individuals rights.

          1. Yeah, without the Constitution to PROTECT his right to speech and blabber on, there would almost guaranteed to be an authoritarian government that stifles speech.

            See the EU…..

      2. Whatever the tight cheeked soyboy from the valley who wishes he was the James Hodgkinson says or thinks, the opposite is advisable.

    2. Sarah Palin’s Buttplug|11.5.18 @ 11:12AM|#

      Will you go away forever if the Dems take the House?

      reply to this report spam
      Sarah Palin’s Buttplug|11.5.18 @ 11:12AM|#

      Question for LovesTrumpsTinyMushroomDick1789.

      1. But what if he lies about paying off like you do?

      2. Poor SPB….

    3. Look at Buttplugger double down on trying to bait this new commenter that never comments on Reason.

  18. This will be the first year since the early 90’s when I ‘came of age’ where I will not vote. It doesn’t mater. I don’t care. Unless libertarians take over and leave us all alone, it really doesn’t matter. To me.

    1. This is some of the funniest virtue signaling I’ve seen this week.

    2. You broke out into Queen right at the end there, so things are looking up at least.

    3. Any way the wind blows

    4. Beelzebub has a devil put aside for sarcasmic.

    5. but will you do the Fandango?

      1. Amd will he break free? Maybe go sail away on Kashoggi’s ship?

    6. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

  19. I’m starting to wonder if the people who run Reason are actually anti-immigrant, and are publishing this clown to discredit pro-immigration arguments.

    1. Given the evidence, that is not an unreasonable guess.

    2. It certainly looks that way. I can’t think of a better way of alienating the vast majority of American voters than having Shikha constantly lecture them on how racist they are for simply wanting a secure border.

      Even Gillespie seems to dimly grasp that strategy is a loser in the long run.

      1. I am not anti-immigrant in the least (my dad immigrated from Greece), but one thing is clear: No border. No nation. This will get me branded a racist nowadays, but its a fact.

      2. how racist they are for simply wanting a secure border.

        This is a bullshit strawman every time the nativist crowd trots it out. No one here argues that simply wanting a secure border makes one a racist. What makes one a bigot in this context is WHY one argues in favor of a secure border.

        If you want a secure border because you believe “the law’s the law” and it should be enforced without mercy – fine, I disagree with that, but it is a completely nonracist argument.

        If you want a secure border because you fear the brown people are going to invade and rape your women, repopulate Maine, steal your jobs, do nothing but leech off welfare, and are generally inferior people compared to good white ‘real Muricans’, then yes you might just be a bigot.

        See the difference?

        Of course the nativist crowd KNOWS this difference and flip-flops between these two arguments in order to try to have their cake and eat it too.

        Nativist: “I don’t want those people here, they are invaders transforming America into a shithole!”
        Non-nativist: That sounds vaguely bigoted, how do you know what type of people they truly are…
        Nativist: “Shut up! All I want is a secure border! Stop calling me a racist for wanting a secure border!”

        1. It is pure motte-and-bailey argumentation. The motte is “we want secure borders because we believe in the rule of law”. The bailey is “we want secure borders because we want to keep those inferior people out of our country”. The one that more closely aligns with your typical nativist belief is the bailey. But they argue the motte instead, and then pretend that they aren’t really arguing the bailey so that they can scream “stop calling me a racist for arguing the motte and not the bailey!”

            1. Perhaps if so many nativists hadn’t spent years and years dehumanizing and collectivizing immigrants (and NOT JUST the illegal ones) as invaders who have bad intentions for America, then I might be inclined to agree that the discussion really is just about enforcing the law. But it’s not, and that’s been made abundantly clear. Look at the Republican primary. All (except perhaps Jeb) had identical positions on immigration. But Trump was the one for whom it became the signature issue, because he was not only in favor of the wall, but willing to bash immigrants as rapists and murderers as well, while the others weren’t.

              1. Perhaps if so many nativists hadn’t spent years and years dehumanizing and collectivizing immigrants (and NOT JUST the illegal ones) as invaders who have bad intentions for America

                Yeah because there is nothing collectivist at all about pretending they are all valadictorians who just want to run delicious food trucks and telling all of the people who are harmed by immigration and immigrants to shut the fuck up and stop being so racist. Nope. Not at all. Nothing says truth and reason like telling everyone not to believe their lying eyes.

                1. Yeah because there is nothing collectivist at all about pretending they are all valadictorians who just want to run delicious food trucks and telling all of the people who are harmed by immigration and immigrants to shut the fuck up and stop being so racist.

                  Yet another strawman. Who argues this? This is just your caricature of the arguments that you think are made against your position.

                  Immigrants and non-immigrants are all just people. And like all people, some are good and some are bad. Some are valedictorians, and some are murderers.

                  And if you do happen to be harmed by an immigrant, and your knee-jerk response is “those darn immigrants as a group are harmful to America”, then that might just be a wee bit collectivist.

                  1. Yet another strawman. Who argues this?

                    Reason. You.

                    Immigrants and non-immigrants are all just people. And like all people, some are good and some are bad. Some are valedictorians, and some are murderers.

                    And the benefits of bringing in illegals is that they will do the murders that citizens won’t?

                    And if you do happen to be harmed by an immigrant, and your knee-jerk response is “those darn immigrants as a group are harmful to America”, then that might just be a wee bit collectivist.

                    If a criminal breaks a glass in my house and I cut my foot on it, being pissed that somebody who should not have been there did something they should not have done sounds totes irrational. Really, it does. Should just say “Well, a friend I invited may have done the same thing”

                    1. Reason. You.

                      That is a lie as far as I am concerned. I have never argued that all immigrants are valedictorians or awesome people. The nativist crowd, on the other hand, sees nothing but negatives when it comes to immigration. I’m willing to see that immigrants are people, and like all people, some are good and some are bad. Nativists tend to see only the bad.

                      Are you willing to admit that there are BOTH benefits AND costs to immigration? Can we have a discussion where both are discussed at least on a fair footing?

                      If a criminal breaks a glass in my house and I cut my foot on it, being pissed that somebody who should not have been there did something they should not have done sounds totes irrational.

                      If a criminal breaks into your house who happens to be a black guy, is it rational to blame all black people for crime? Or to think that crime is inherent to being black?

                    2. That is a lie as far as I am concerned. I have never argued that all immigrants are valedictorians or awesome people.

                      No, you just claim that anyone who points out otherwise is a racist and a collectivist, which is effectively doing the same thing. Sure some of them might not be good people, but according to you that doesn’t matter, so they might as well all be good people for all you care.

                    3. The nativist crowd, on the other hand, sees nothing but negatives when it comes to immigration.

                      Many of us see exceptionally dishonest arguments. Identity theft is going to skew the “illegals do not use many resources” arguments to hell and back, Allowing the market to be manipulated to suppress wages isn’t a positive. The market will benefit employers in times of a slow labor market…but in a tight labor market, the market will benefit workers. Doing everything humanly possible to avoid a tight market is just showing that the attachment to a free market is exceptionally fleeting.

                      If a criminal breaks into your house who happens to be a black guy

                      I’ll note I didn’t name a race nor even assume a race.

                  2. Yet another strawman. Who argues this? This is just your caricature of the arguments that you think are made against your position.

                    You do. Your response anytime someone points out the harm caused by immigration and immigrants is to call the person a racist and accuse them of collectivism just like you do here. This allows you to avoid having to make an actual argument for the benefits of mass immigration beyond that it allows hateful half wits like yourself feel smug. Everytime you dismiss the harms caused by immigration as racist, like you just did above, you are making this argument. You are just too stupid to understand that is what you are doing and too dishonest to admit it if you did.

                    Immigrants and non-immigrants are all just people. And like all people, some are good and some are bad. Some are valedictorians, and some are murderers.

                    Yes but an immigrant wouldn’t murder anyone here if he wasn’t let in in the first place. So the price of immigration is the people that the immigrants you let in will harm. You are too stupid to understand that and way too dishonest to ever admit it if you ever do.

                    1. You do. Your response anytime someone points out the harm caused by immigration and immigrants is to call the person a racist and accuse them of collectivism just like you do here.

                      This is bullshit John. I have not dismissed the harms due to immigration. Unlike you however I can see BOTH the benefits AND the costs. When have you ever posted about the benefits to immigration in anything other than in a trivial manner (i.e. “food trucks”)? When someone minimizes the benefits and exaggerates the costs, while at the same time using dehumanizing, degrading, collectivizing language towards that group of people, what else would you call it? It certainly isn’t rational. It is definitely grounded in xenophobia. So I don’t dismiss the costs, I just don’t blow them up to eleventy like you do and the rest of your nativist compatriots do.

                    2. This is bullshit John. I have not dismissed the harms due to immigration. Unlike you however I can see BOTH the benefits AND the costs.

                      Okay, then list out all of the costs you see and explain exactly who you want to keep out and how you plan to do that.

                      And I don’t underplay the benefits of immigration at all. I am all for immigration of highly skilled people who raise the productivity in this country. I am also for allowing in refugees who face real persecution not just economic hardship. Lastly, to the extent we do allow immigration, it should be based on skill and what they bring to us.

                    3. Why don’t you list all the costs associated with stopping all of those other potential immigrants from wanting to come here.

                      And why do you continually exaggerate the costs of immigration? Why do you see the need to point out every time some illegal immigrant commits some crime? What type of conclusion do you expect reasonable people to draw from such stories? I’ll tell you what I see: an appeal to fear and xenophobia. You could point to 10 stories of crimes that Americans commit against other Americans, but tell one story about an illegal immigrant committing a crime and suddenly it’s the worst thing in the world. It’s pandering to fear, it’s blowing way out of proportion the dangers of immigration, and it is a chief reason why many DO accuse the nativists of being grounded in racism for their beliefs, that it’s nothing more than fear directed at the out-group.

                      Perhaps YOU should offer arguments against immigration that aren’t just pandering to fear.

                    4. Yes but an immigrant wouldn’t murder anyone here if he wasn’t let in in the first place.

                      You’re right! Sometimes bad people do bad things. Because we have a regime of liberty (in many ways) in this country, sometimes, people abuse their liberties to cause harm. Those people ought to be punished. However, creating a regime in which people’s liberties are restricted in the first place in order to prevent harm will quite often be a cure worse than the disease. For example, we have the liberty to own guns, and sometimes people use guns to cause harm. Which is the preferable solution: protect people’s liberties to own guns, and punish those few who use guns for evil purposes; or to infringe on everyone’s liberty to own guns in order to forestall those few people who might use guns for evil purposes? Same deal with immigration. Which is better: try to prevent every immigrant from coming into the country, with the costs to everyone’s liberty associated with those efforts, in order to prevent those few who happen to be murderers; or to have a more relaxed posture to immigration, with less loss of liberty for ALL parties concerned, both citizens and noncitizens, and when those few immigrants do cause harm, punish only the offenders?

                    5. You’re right! Sometimes bad people do bad things. Because we have a regime of liberty (in many ways) in this country, sometimes, people abuse their liberties to cause harm.

                      If you should not be here, there is no “liberty” for you to abuse in killing or harming others.

                      And cute new attempt to compare a Constitutional right (gun ownership) with something nobody views as a right in any country on right (immigration).

                    6. If you should not be here, there is no “liberty” for you to abuse in killing or harming others.

                      And this is why you’re not a libertarian. Because they’re foreigners, they don’t have liberty. Is that it?

                    7. And this is why you’re not a libertarian. Because they’re foreigners, they don’t have liberty. Is that it?

                      They’re not Americans so, no, they don’t have American liberties.

                      I am always amazed at how controversial this is.

                      Much like while I think European speech laws are patently fucking absurd, it is not a violation of MY freedoms for them to exist.

            2. At this point it’s just denial to pretend that there isn’t a significant anti-immigrant animus that exists on the right.

              1. It’s actual idiocy to constantly confuse legal and illegal immigration.

                It’s all the open borders crowd has.

                1. Oh that horse has already left the barn.
                  When the nativists can come up with arguments against illegal immigration that don’t work equally well, and sometimes better, for legal immigration, then we’ll talk about how horrible it is not to distinguish between the two.

                  1. When the nativists can come up with arguments against illegal immigration that don’t work equally well, and sometimes better, for legal immigration, then we’ll talk about how horrible it is not to distinguish between the two.

                    Forcing you to go through the system and receive zero benefits for anybody, including children, until you’re a citizen is a more than fair system.

              2. At this point it’s just denial to pretend that there isn’t a significant anti-immigrant animus that exists on the right.

                Yes Jeff, you think anyone who isn’t willing to risk their quality of life and safety for the good of immigrants is just a racist. No shit. Those bastards just won’t suffer for your principles like you demand.

          1. We get it. Your mental illness has you thinking you read minds.

          2. Plittle Lefty, you are a stupid piece of trash. As all your la,e sophist arguments have been repeatedly discredited, I refuse to waste my time with them anymore. Instead you will be berated, insulted, and disrespected as much as possible.

            And it will still be better treatment than you deserve.

            1. I wouldn’t expect anything else from you, Shithead

              1. Chemjeff, We wouldn’t expect anything else from you, Shithead

              2. Fuck off chemjeff. You’re an intellectually dishonest POS.

  20. Shikha, you’re going to have to work harder to keep pace at The Sun.

  21. “Trump is using fear to try to motivate voters!”

    “This is the most important election ever! People will die! I am super serial!”

    Same people

    1. Trump is using fear to motivate voters, because no one ever has done that.

      1. I guess Biden’s “They are gonna put you back in chains” was a reference to blacks being given chain mail armor as a thanks.

  22. “Trump denialist”?

    Is that someone who denies that Trump is the antichrist?

    1. Only if they do it three times before sunrise.

    2. They took it from “Holocaust Denier”.
      They use it into anyone they don’t like as a slur now. “Climate denier”, “science denier”, “Obamacare denier”, etc.

  23. Come on Shikha. Trump may be bad, but it could have been worse. We could have had Mitt Romney, the Biggest Liar in American History who called Obamacare “Obamacare” instead of its correct name! A man so indescribably evil that reporters could no longer pretend to be impartial and had to come out in support of Obama to protect him from Romney’s machinations! A man so horrible that his mere nomination caused Ellen DeGeneris to be terrrified to be a woman! Trump is a Gift from God compared to the Fascist Dictator Romney would have been had he not be defeated in the Most Important Election Ever, 2012 Version.

    1. And lets not even talk about ChimpyMcHaliburton. You know, the President who invaded two countries to get Haliburton richer, helped plan 9-11 with the Mossad and blew up the levies in New Orleans because he hated black people.

      1. The Mossad should go after supermarket hummus manufacturers that shit nasty as fuck

    2. Romney was so unspeakably evil that he put women in binders. He admitted to having binders full of women who he planned to exploit in carrying out his evil vision for America. Even Hitler didn’t put women in binders, and Trump only grabbed them by the pussy.

      1. Romney also have arguably gay classmates unwanted haircuts, maybe! He’s history’s greatest monster!

        1. You’re making the event out to be far less serious than it was. Romney didn’t just cut his hair; the clippers overheated and burned the hippocampus.

          1. My sense is Romney is a total dick as a person. Nearly everyone in public life who goes out of their way to cultivate a boy scout honorable nice guy image like Romney does is actually the complete opposite.

  24. Ridiculous. Perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  25. If ENB thinks the Trump era is uniquely bad, I have to wonder how old she is. Maybe she needs to crack a few history books and get some perspective.

    1. The Trump “era” has been fairly mild overall.

      2001 – 2009 contained a series of national disasters – from 9/11 to the Financial Collapse.

      1. And both eras pale in comparison to the JFK/Johnson/Nixon/Ford era.

        1. That’s the era I grew up in, and you’re correct. And that era was a cakewalk compared to what my parents grew up in.

      2. All Bush’s fault too. Al Gore would’ve seen 9/11 coming in his dreams and stopped it.

  26. “uniquely awful” is cute.

  27. Shika D., why are you here?

    I’ve concluded that you serve as resident troll, much as the Rev and Tony, who just like to piss people off and apparently get off on being called names [and I am not at all certain these are not the same person].

    As for parody, we already have OBLT, and he is much better than you will ever be.

    1. Nah, the Rev was the troll of the Volokh Conspiracy since it was its own website, following them to the Washington Post, and only showing up on Reason after VC moved to Reason. Tony predates the VC-to-Reason move.

  28. Despite the her choice of Trump pictures, Shikha is always the biggest caricature in her articles

  29. Trump is a uniquely awful president who has changed the entire political conversation and not for the better

    I do not think “uniquely” or “awful” mean what you think they mean. And wtf is a “Trump Denialist”?

    The man is the first actual conservative president of my lifetime (early 90s child), which is a step in the right (heh…) direction from a libertarian perspective. He’s a bombastic blowhard, but get a grip.

    I still maintain his biggest transgression is that he puts ketchup on burnt steak.

    1. He is a lifelong New Yorker who stacks slices and eats them with a knife and fork. (And he takes out of towners to Familia.) Jon Stewart exposed him. History will remember it as the last great piece of political satire out of American TV.

      1. And that is entirely why the media hates him so much. Trump is just not stylish or respect their courtly rules of behavior.

  30. Trump is a uniquely horrid president

    No kidding. I remember the time he rounded up citizens and put them in internment camps…no wait, that was the Democrat FDR.

    But I remember the time he extra-judiciously killed U.S. citizens in another country…no wait, that was the Democrat Obama.

    But at least there was the time he invaded Cuba to foment regime change, then let Iranian students overrun and occupy a U.S. embassy…

    1. +1

  31. Yeah, this isn’t the most important election of our lifetimes. That will be 2020, of course!

    It will definitely be important for the popcorn value, especially if Dems retake the House.

    1. People don’t seem to fully appreciate just how big a fan there will be and just how much shit will be hitting it should Dems take even one house of Congress.

      I’m getting tired of the “Trump acts like a lunatic, nothing happens” show and looking forward to the next season, “Democrats subpoena everything.”

      1. If by some small chance the dems DON’T end up winning the House, I hope you will at least strongly consider putting yourself out of your own misery, shitbag Paul Krugman.

        1. Dude, I’ve been on him to drink Drano for at least two years now. I doubt another election will get the job done.

          Although Tony’s suicide would be pretty sweet.

          1. Major dick moves dudes. Tony’s a full-on NPC with the intelligence and self-reflection of a slug, but he’s also a fucking human. Like you two (ostensibly). Just shut up.

            1. I like Tony.
              He’s a shameless progressive.
              Chipper morning baculum should definitely kill himself, though.
              That dude is 100% worthless and witless

      2. “And like Obama, Trump stonewalls”

        You’re not very smart Tony, but even you are smart enough to see that will happen.

      3. I hope to see the democrats gain nothing tomorrow, and see their rage turn into national riots and worse. Then we can finally return to McCarthyism and crack down on them like the treasonous subversives they really are.

        1. I think they are likely going to gain a few meaningless seats in the House and lose five or even more seats in the Senate. All they had to do was sit back and not look crazy. Instead, they went full retard and tried slandering Kavanaugh as a rapist and had the migrant caravan. They just couldn’t help but remind the country how crazy and stupid they are.

          1. Will that momentum still carry though? Those are old news. Among more recent events are two terror sprees carried out by Trump’s Nazi army. This is what the whole seemingly pointless endless histrionics have been for, so the base is primed to get energized when requested.

            1. I think it will. The problem with the Trump Nazi army stuff is that the Democrats and the media are so derranged that they can never attack Trump without also attacking his supporters. So, those things always backfire on them.

      4. I’m getting tired of the “Trump acts like a lunatic, nothing happens” show and looking forward to the next season, “Democrats subpoena everything.”

        And I hope Trump treats those subpoenas as seriously as Obama did.

        I bet holding Jeff Sessions in contempt will DEVASTATE him.

      5. I hope you’re right that the Dems waste their time barking up the impeachment tree, as nothing will come if it and then we can breathe easy as their socialist agenda takes a back seat.

    2. There you go dissing popcorn again

  32. I’d say it’s the second most important. Without Trump being in place, tomorrow would just be another odorous victory for the Left. Or, maybe it’s a two-step process, with tomorrow being part two of the most important two elections in the history of the U.S. Either way, VOTE!

  33. Lest we forget, the boy who cried “Wolf!” was actually right that one time. A long enough stream of Literal Hitlers is bound to include a metaphorical Hitler sooner or later.

  34. So, Dalmia, paraphrased, is “Orange Man Bad”?

    1. Is Trump even orange anymore? I haven’t noticed.

    2. I would much rather see a Shikha-protagonist game made, than her as an NPC. What would that be like?

      1. she could be cruising the I-95 corridor fighting the Trump denialists and their evil Russian allies. Then there could be the Shika goes home to India to fight for Hindu Nationalism expansion pack.

      2. It would be an anti-GTA where you take down people in power like cops and rich people to help the oppressed like people of color and sex workers… oh, wait, it would be exactly like GTA…

  35. The US should total up the costs imposed on the US to support illegal immigration and enact a tax on the Dalmias (Tom Steyer, et al) of the world to pay that bill.

    1. Mostly Steyer, I’d recommend. Unless the Kochs throw around more cash than the love child of Murray Rothbard and Nancy MacLean would ever imagine in the throes of acute rabies hysteria, I’d imagine “financially pampered” is one characterization you could never stick her with.

  36. Tomorrow Is the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime. Don’t Let Trump Denialists Tell You Otherwise.

    Trump is a uniquely awful president who has changed the entire political conversation and not for the better

    Shikha Dalmia|

    The Most Important Election of Our Lives?:

    Elizabeth Nolan Brown|

    Don’t think it’s quite as dire as all that? Congratulations on maintaining a bit of perspective. You’re in increasingly rare company.

    CAT FIGHT!

    1. I am honestly not sure who wins that fight.

      1. Is Robby the ring girl?

        1. Yes. He will get his best fishnet hose and leotard out and even shave his legs for the occasion.

          1. Will his balls drop for the occasion?

  37. Man, now I’m going to vote just for love of Shikha’s tears

  38. I gave Shikha a blank VHS tape and said it contained a lot of Trump misdeeds and she said that she was appalled by him after watching it.

    1. This is a JaMarcus Russell joke if you haven’t heard the latest news — hahaw!

      1. Jamarcus Russell is in the news?
        Dude must be pushing 400 lbs these days

  39. He has stomped on other bedrock checks and balances too, including relentlessly attacking executive agencies such as the FBI because they have the temerity to investigate him ? never mind that keeping a check on public corruption is one of the few vital functions they serve.

    Yeah, like there’s no reason to ever criticize what the FBI does.

    They’re not investigating him, they’re just stirring up trouble.

    1. So, what exactis supposed to happen when the FBI is corrupt?

  40. ORANGE MAN VERY BAD

  41. Am I being Trolled?

    After Robby’s sudden about face on Fake Kavanaugh accusations, and now this, I feel like this has become a dedicated troll site.

    Like The Onion, but for real losers (the writers, not the commenters. Well, not me)

  42. Go home Reason, you’re drunk. The last two Presidents destroyed the 4th amendment and unleashed the NSA and CIA to spy on all of us without warrants, gave not one but two $800 billion bailouts to the bank then deliberately devalued the dollar with quantitative easing so it would be easier for the rich to pay off their debts, they involved us in two asinine wars in Iraq and Afghanistan then had the CIA arm random jihadists leading to a state of anarchy in Libya, a prolonged civil war in Libya and the rise of ISIS, then for good measure they bombed half the middle east with drone strikes purely on their own executive authority and at the end of all this incompetence hundreds of thousands of people were dead and the US had wasted trillions of dollars.

    Meanwhile I’m sitting here looking at the lowest unemployment rate since the 1960s, no wars, no bailouts, and I’m trying to figure out how anyone can be more worried about the new guy then they were the last two psychos.

    PS: This is supposed to be a Libertarian magazine, not a Democratic party outlet.

  43. So writes Reason’s in-house communist.

  44. To claim Trump’s unique is frantic, hyperbolic, and wrong. He’s the continuation of a downward trend occurring over the last 40 years. That he is less worse than his 2016 opponent may have bent the curve slightly, but the trend is still downward. Perhaps his saving grace will be to teach us a lesson. hat being not seek messiahs in our elected offcials and to return the Presidency to its original and limited purpose.

  45. I find little “Reason” in this op-ed. So much for libertarianism from this author…

  46. I’m not going to refute the arguments of this socialist but just going to add why Trump is the greatest Prez ever;
    he is doing what he promised during his campaign. That’s the real change.

  47. “Trump is a uniquely awful president who has changed the entire political conversation and not for the better”

    So, are you saying we should go back to the way it was? No thanks. I am tired of meaningless CYA and platitudes.

    Trump may be crude and I may not agree with everything he says, but he speaks his mind and makes it clear where he stands and what he intends to do and that is refreshing.

    Go back to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Shumer, etc. etc. ….no thanks, it’s time to get beyond the double talkers.

  48. Who will win… the big-government, nanny state, tax and spend, progressive, socialist, Marxist Democrats, or the big-government, nanny state, tax and spend, progressive, socialist, Marxist Republicans?
    The suspense is killing me.

  49. Oh Shikha, you’re just mad at him because of his actions to limit foreign invaders coming here by the thousands and becoming an unacceptable burden on the rest of us. So anything he does, or does not do, will upset you.

    Know that he speaks and acts for the vast majority of us. Don’t get me wrong, I come from immigrant stock (escept for the cherokee ancestor back about 1820 or so, so I guess I’m a whole lot more “native american” than Elizabeth Warren is) but rhey all came over on the Mayflower, or through Ellis Island, or other legal and accepted ways. And every one of them quickly became integrall parts of this great nation, helping to make it what it is today. NONE of them just snuck in and held to their own kind in some enclave of the culture they were fleeing.

  50. They still let you write stuff for this site?

  51. This is nonsense. There have been important elections. 1800, 1860, 1932, and 1980 come to mind, but this one meant little beforehand and means little after the fact. With one party controlling each house, not much will happen in lawmaking, just as not much happened in the last couple of years. Trump won’t be kicked out of office. Government spending will keep going up. Pelosi will be on TV more, but that is what the remote control is for.

  52. Stupid bitch.

    That is all.

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