Donald Trump

How Star Trek Explains Donald Trump

Kirk, Spock, and Khan have much to teach us about contemporary politics.

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YouTube Screenshot via WatchMojo.com MEGA/Newscom

Sociopaths have haunted fiction since fiction began, and no wonder. Sociopathy is civilization's greatest challenge. Richard III and Iago; Raskolnikov, Kurtz, Willie Stark, and Humbert Humbert; J.R. Ewing, Frank Underwood, and even HAL 9000. How do we understand the narcissist, the demagogue, the liar, the manipulator, the person without scruples or conscience? The creative imagination can probe dark places that psychology and medicine can't reach. So I am not being cute when I say that Star Trek is a source of insight into the universe of President Donald Trump.

Actually, Star Trek—the original television series, at least—is a source of insight into many things. The show, which aired for three seasons, from 1966 to 1969, was ahead of its time and breathtakingly ambitious. Amid the wasteland of 1960s television, it explored genetic engineering, automated warfare, the divided soul, the qualities of leadership, and much more.

Its leading obsession, however, was sociopathy, which in Star Trek's world—as in our own—is an ever-present danger. Why is the sociopath so charismatic? Why are good people vulnerable to his machinations? Why do sociopathic leaders rise to power throughout history, despite the toll they inflict? How can their excesses and influence be contained?

In the second-season episode "Amok Time" (1967), the show delivers a warning. Reason and dispassion are weak reeds, and they are weakest among those who presume them to be strong. Spock, the ultra-rational Vulcan, turns out to harbor deep tribal impulses, which break through all the more violently for having been suppressed. He proves capable of the ultimate sociopathic act, murdering his commander and best friend.

During the 1990s, the era of the "end of history," we thought we had mastered our tribal impulses and set off on a new course of liberal enlightenment. With the Cold War over, ventures like the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement beckoned toward a globalized, post-tribal future. Star Trek knew better.

What constrains, or unleashes, the human tendency toward primitive unreason? In "Mirror, Mirror" (1967), we see that individual sociopathy is not merely an individual characteristic. Because of a transporter malfunction, Captain Kirk (along with some shipmates) finds himself in a parallel universe where social norms and incentives are skewed toward exploitation, domination, and brutality. The crew of the starship Enterprise, though biologically unaltered, are transformed by their environment into thugs and assassins—the same sort of effect that, for example, Saddam Hussein had on Iraq, and that President Trump and his ilk, if they were to become too powerful, might have here.

As America's founders understood (but as today's Americans too often forget), we all harbor an inner sociopath. If a sociopathic leader gets control of our institutions and incentives, he can twist the settings towards lying, cheating, and bullying. He can bring crowds of decent people to their feet with praise for violence against reporters and chants of "Lock her up!" He can make decent politicians look away from violations of decency that they would not have previously tolerated. The mirror universe is not so far away.

In "Mirror, Mirror," the normal Kirk, realizing he has entered a barbaric parallel world, is able to impersonate a barbarian long enough to save himself and his shipmates. In our own universe, meanwhile, Kirk's corrupt counterpart cannot fake values like empathy, trust, and fair play, and quickly finds himself locked in the brig. The sociopath may be charismatic, wily, and manipulative, but he lacks the moral depth and imagination to fool people who do not wish to be fooled.

Consider, in that connection, President Trump, who can read empathetic words from a teleprompter but invariably, and usually immediately, undermines them with sneers and rants. Typical was a rally in October, just after the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh. "After pleading for peace and harmony," reported The Washington Post, "Trump seemingly couldn't resist reverting to his favorite political insults." Indeed, the president himself acknowledged: "We can't resist. Can we resist?" For Trump, demagoguery and lying are not strategic choices. Like Mirror Kirk trying to bribe his way out of the Enterprise brig, he cannot function any other way.

If Trump, like Kirk's doppelganger, is transparent, why is he also so seductive? "Space Seed" (1967) dissects sociopathic charisma. The Enterprise encounters Khan, whose intellect and strength are genetically enhanced, but whose ego and ambition are comparably swollen. Determined to dominate, he has personal magnetism, impregnable confidence, and a sure instinct for the weaknesses of others. Plying them cannily, he persuades crew members to help him take over the Enterprise. Even Kirk, his rival, is drawn to Khan until it is almost too late. As magisterially portrayed by actor Ricardo Montalbán, Khan also seduces the viewer. He embodies a warning: Do not assume you can resist. Despite our better judgment, the sociopath's exorbitant promises and commanding confidence beckon us to follow.

Sociopathic charisma is magnetic. It is dangerous. It is also sometimes necessary, as we learn from "The Enemy Within" (1966). Kirk is again the victim of a transporter malfunction, but this time he is split into two versions of himself, one an empathetic, conscientious Jekyll, the other a libidinous, reckless Hyde. Yet the gentle, well-behaved Kirk proves too indecisive to command in a crisis. Only if he is reunited with his sociopathic side can he lead.

Many of society's disruptors and builders, from Alexander the Great to Lyndon Johnson, have had dark, antisocial sides. The challenge for any society is to reap the fruits of sociopathic ruthlessness while constraining the excesses. That is the challenge Trump poses to America's institutions. If they can meet it, future historians may see Trump as a figure like Andrew Jackson: in some respects appalling, but ultimately, despite himself, a vector of necessary change.

If we can contain him. Can we? Or will the forces that Trump exemplifies and unleashes overwhelm all constraints? "Day of the Dove" (1968) suggests a way to think about the challenge. An alien parasite that feeds on the energy of hostility smuggles itself aboard the Enterprise, where it contrives to trap earthlings and Klingons in escalating conflict and mutual destruction. Only after the alien's influence is discovered do the two hostile groups manage to de-escalate, and even then, only barely. Starved of energy, the alien is driven from the ship. But, we realize, the parasite is not dead; it is merely off in search of new conflicts to inflame.

Modern social psychology has much to say that validates the premise of "Day of the Dove." Outrage and conflict are powerful tribal unifiers. Vilifying an out-group is a sure way to tap atavistic tribal energies. As every demagogue understands, give people an enemy and they are yours. Thus, in Trump's telling, Mexicans are rapists and murderers; media are enemies of the American people; foreigners are out to get us.

Still, de-escalation is possible. As the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has said, human tribalism may be pre-wired, but it is not hard-wired. With effort, it can be overcome. We know this because for most of two centuries Americans have made their diverse, conflict-ridden society work, partly by finding paths to de-escalation.

Trump, Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, and "Lock her up!" are feeding the tribal parasite and receiving its energy. Star Trek warns us that this parasite is difficult to defeat; that our sociopathic tendencies are profound and universal; and that we can never conquer them, even if doing so were desirable. Containing them is the best that we can hope for. In the age of Trump, that is our most pressing enterprise.

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265 responses to “How Star Trek Explains Donald Trump

  1. Still, de-escalation is possible. As the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has said, human tribalism may be pre-wired, but it is not hard-wired. With effort, it can be overcome. We know this because for most of two centuries Americans have made their diverse, conflict-ridden society work, partly by finding paths to de-escalation.

    Cute story, bro.

    That Civil War thing was de-escalated well.

    And that you do not recognize the increase in the tensions over the last 50 years (where EVERY Republican is an idiot AND a Nazi, without fail) does not speak well of your conclusions in that tedious, boring piece. Honestly, this was just fucking terrible.

    1. Trump, Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, and “Lock her up!” are feeding the tribal parasite and receiving its energy.

      Yup. They are the problem. ALL their fault. Obviously.

      1. Such a stupid statement. From a think-tank no less.

      2. They tried to blame it all on the Ferengis.

      3. No, Trump just happens to be the latest and most virulent tribal parasite feeder, and he is the one we have to focus on.

      4. No, Trump just happens to be the latest and most virulent tribal parasite feeder, and he is the one we have to focus on.

        1. And if Trump’s “lock her up” hadn’t succeeded, we’d have a different latest and most virulent tribal parasite feeder, and she would be the one we have to focus on.

          Libertarianism can be viewed as a mechanism whereby the sociopaths focus on each other and consequently leave the rest of us alone. It’s good when it works

      5. No they’re the symptoms of deplorables who can’t think for themselves. Low information and Low education in critical thinking are kindling the nutters who can’t think outside of what Drumpf, Alex Jones, Mark Whatshisname feed them on the radio and internet. They’re just fucking useful idiots who don’t think for themselves.

    2. We know this because for most of two centuries Americans have made their diverse, conflict-ridden society work, partly by finding paths to de-escalation.

      That is the dumbest statement I have read in a long time. It is not just the civil war. There is also the Indians. That didn’t exactly deescalate until all the Indians were dead, turned into white people, or living on reservations somewhere.

      Our conflicts generally don’t just go away. One side wins and sticks it to the other until that side quits. And even then, the differences remain and just resurface in a different forum about a different issue.

      How do people this stupid get hired to write for a living?

      1. Can’t blame him too much. Whenever I point out that the only way to save the country is to reduce the progressive population, I am ignored, or attacked.

        1. I don’t understand why people don’t support Common Sense Proggy Control.

      2. Name one civilization from the past that wouldn’t do the same. The people with the bigger guns always won and got to reshape society to what they saw it should be. It’s sad, but it is also a constant in human history.

    3. Damikesc, you are not being fair. How else is a Reason writer supposed to virtue signal to his progtarded brethren that he’s ‘got his mind right’, then by writing pablum about the republicans, or Trump, being a big meanie?

      1. They don’t give those jobs at the Atlantic and Washington Post to people who refuse to repeat the talking points.

        1. Oh, I’m sure they don’t. Instead 20 or so of their pals might show up, wearing masks, on your doorstep, ready to break down the door.

          1. Deescalate all over your front door.

            1. And it’s a pain to try to clean up.

            2. After watching that sho,e ting with Mrs. Carlson a few weeks back, I’ve decided the best way to de escalate a situation like that is to squeeze Petey the Pistol until he makes all the bad peoples go away.

      2. I wish there was a ‘thumbs up’ button. You and a number of other people have explained just how stupid “Reason” has become. (And I use to LOVE the magazine) But I believe an earwig is eating it’s way through their collective brain (and has been since 2015).

        1. fgsil, agreed on both points.

          1. fgsil, I agree also. I used to love the magazine and was a big “L” Libertarian.

            Now Reason is “Shitma”, and Libertarian is Bill Weld.

            My head hurts.

    4. Perhaps because it slaughtered you sacred cows?

    5. “He can make decent politicians look away from violations of decency that they would not have previously tolerated.”

      Was this sometime after politicans would have duels with one another or after Rep. Sumner beat Sen. Brooks with a cane nearly to death on the Senate floor?

  2. Which political group is the Tribbles in this analogy?

    1. Followers of Islam. Victory through the wombs of our women.

    2. Invades every place and breeds incessantly unless you starve it. I’m not touching this one with a ten foot pole.

    3. Lefty post-grad feminist chicks? You might think some of them are cute and cuddly, but in the end they are parasitic infestation

  3. During the 1990s, the era of the “end of history,” we thought we had mastered our tribal impulses

    As Douglas Murray says, “You don’t get to take time off from history.”

    1. The one true guarantee of history, there will always be more of it.

      Repent! The world is never coming to an end!

  4. With effort, it can be overcome. We know this because for most of two centuries Americans have made their diverse, conflict-ridden society work, partly by finding paths to de-escalation.

    The binary view of “tribalism bad/internationalism good” is complicated when you look the history of the 20th century.

    1. They always blame World War I on the evils of nationalism and tribalism. Like most things they say, that is a complete lie. World War I was the result of internationalism. Thanks to internationalism, a dispute in the backwaters of Europe turned into a world wide confilgration. Everyone went to war because they felt doing so was necessary to save face and credibility in the international community. That is not tribalism.

      Hell, the only reason Germany and England stopped being allies is because the Germans convinced themselves that having an international empire was necessary to be a major power and to have an economy. Again, that is not tribalism. That is internationalism.

      1. They always blame World War I on the evils of nationalism and tribalism. Like most things they say, that is a complete lie. World War I was the result of internationalism.

        This is a much overlooked nugget of history. The first thing that happened AFTER WWI was for pretty much every ethnic group to have their own little Arab Spring and demand independence and throw out far-away monarchs. Hell, even Wilson publicly announced that “Ethnic minorities” have a right to self determination.

        I find it ridiculous when people suggest #Brexit will increase the likelihood of conflict when in my opinion it will reduce it. WWI was the result of “empire building” and the forced merging of disparate groups under non-representative rule *cough EU *cough*. The second WWI was over, the Slovaks, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs all started demanding independence.

        1. And the Slovaks and others demanding indpendence only became a world wide confict because of the internatonal alliance system. There was no reason for France and Germany to go to war because Austria finally had an excuse to pound Serbia. They only did end up at war because the system of international alliances made every regional conflict a global one.

        2. So much this.

          Also.

          Germany (who nevertheless were the aggressors) and Italy were a symptom of the wider issue of internationalism (which undermanned and arguably killed off classical liberalism). They wanted their ‘place in the sun’ among the British and French which sparked a crazy aggressive colonial race. Eventually things became untenable.

          The First World War had been brewing since the late 19th century at the very least.

          1. Rufus,

            Germany went crazy and attacked France and Russia because they had convinced themselves that because they didn’t have an overseas empire they were destined to become a second rate power and be dominated by France and Russia. This despite having the biggest economy and best army in Europe.

            They didn’t go to war because of nationalism. They went to war because they thought being an international power was necessary for their existence. That is not nationalism. That is internationalism.

            1. Plus it didn’t help that Wilhelm II had some serious psychological issues, likely republican nfocred by royal inbreeding.

            2. This sounds like the US South declaring war because they saw the Senatorial math leading to their eventual economic ruin.

            3. Man a morning with both WW1 and tobacco pieces! My lucky day!

              I wonder when people first started with this preposterous business about “nationalism” being responsible for ww1. It’s one of those many, many things where you think, “Well, if people can be sold this they can be sold anything; certainly explains the generally surreal quality of where we see ourselves headed

              I don’t think I know of a single form of currently demonized “nationalism” that is the slightest bit expansionist. The “nationalists” seem to be the most zealously dedicated students out there today of the folly of empire. There might be many things to say against an excess of autarky and solipsism, but a return to global warfare sure as fuck ain’t one of them.

              Of course the rhetorical opposition of “nationalism” with “liberalism” is one of the most historically perverse things being sold to the public today. It’s no coincidence they arose together as concepts. All government is extremely, extremely dangerous; nationalism is basically just the effort to find “natural” units of government in order to minimize the danger of oppression. At least, it’s a rather successful tradition toward that project.

              1. “Austria is wrong because it is a prison of peoples.”

                –Late 19th-early 20th century saying in the Hapsburg realms. And of course it led to the greatest loss of life in human history. Thank God we have no such thing today!

                1. The prison of peoples led to the swine flu?

  5. Trump is just a politician whose policies Rauch doesn’t like and has the termity to not care what people like Rauch think. He is not Hitler. He is no more of a sociopath than any other President. He is just an ordinary President. If you think Trump is some kidn of extraordinary President, that is because you are an idiot with delusions of granduer and seek to build yourself up by building up your enemies.

    This article says nothing useful or interesting about Trump. But man does it say a lot about the nuerosis, self absorbtion and general stupidity of Rauch and by extension the entire media class in this country.

    1. One President decided to up-end immigration law unilaterally and simply provide legal protections for illegals.

      That President wasn’t Trump.

      1. There was another President who released five prisoners for GUITMO in direct violation of a federal law that required he inform Congress and did so to get a deserter back from the Taliban. Then there was that other guy who sent guns to Mexican drug gangs in hopes that when they were used to commit crimes it could be blamed on American gun laws. And what about that guy who sent a billion dollars in cash to Iran?

        But that President pretended people like Rauch matter. Trump doesn’t. And that is something Rauch and his ilk will never forgive.

        1. There was another President who shipped billions of dollars in cash on a pallet to an embargoed country in the dead of the night but said it had nothing at all to do with the release of prisoners/hostages the same day.

          There was also a Secretary of State and former President who took in hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian businessmen via a “charitable foundation”. The Secretary, of course, approved a huge business deal that greatly benefited the Russian businessmen and government but said of course that all the “donations” and “honorariums for speeches” had absolutely nothing to do with approving the deal.

    2. “that is because you are an idiot with delusions of granduer and seek to build yourself up by building up your enemies.”
      Look in the mirror, look closely.

    3. He’s not an ordinary American president. His lies are vastly more numerous and even more bald-faced. The former has been well-documented. The latter is apparent. Explanation: he doesn’t feel the need to hide his lies. That’s something new.

      His public treatment of those around him is disrespectful to a degree we have not seen an in American president. It’s apparent. Just read the statements and tweets. His subordinates; his colleagues; his enemies. Explanation: he doesn’t feel the need to be civil.

      These are new. That he doesn’t seem to recognize or care that his behavior is bestial is a sociopathic hallmark. Obviously, I think the guy’s a near-complete dickhead. Most politicians are, you know, fairly incomplete dickheads. He’s different.

      1. You’re off your rocker.
        He’s actually not a very ordinary president in the idea that he is not truthful.
        0blama lied with virtually every statement, or speech, he made. As with all the left, they truly don’t feel the need to hide their lies, because the other branch of the leftists, the media, never call them on the lies.
        And 0blama’s lies had massive impact on the nation. Do you remember “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”? That was used to usher in a takeover of the nation’s medical insurance system and was known, by those proposing it, to be completely false.
        The rest of your complaint is about “civility”, IOW being willing to say what one truly means, without concern as to who it affects. That’s actually refreshing, because, “being civil” is frequently telling a lie.

        1. “0blama lied with virtually every statement, or speech, he made”

          Literally one of the stupidest, most unprovable, and evidence-free statements I’ve seen on this sorry thread!

          1. and completely accurate

            I especially got a kick out of Obama saying the United States is “smug”. Does that man own a mirror?

      2. These are new. That he doesn’t seem to…

        The thing that gets me is that he doesn’t even pretend to wear a powdered wig. How dare he act in keeping with modern times!

      3. I disagree. A real sociopath, while committing hidden atrocities, would be seeking to lull and gull others into thinking he was a marvelous human being until he could stab them in the back. Trump on the other hand, is purposely outrageous, offering the impression that what you think about him isn’t all that important to him. Very non-sociopath.

        1. Hmmm, does this description remind anyone of William Jefferson Clinton?

          “A real sociopath, while committing hidden atrocities, would be seeking to lull and gull others into thinking he was a marvelous human being until he could stab them in the back.”

          Able to fake emotion, emulate empathy … like the video clip walking and laughing until he sees the camera, and immediately looks grief stricken complete with a tear in his eye.

    4. Applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause, applause,

    5. No kidding. A bit over 25 years ago, the federal government literally burned people alive after holding them prisoner for weeks. And Rauch thinks *Trump* is a sociopath? He’d have to take night courses to be as much of a sociopath as some Presidents in living memory.

    6. x 1 Trillion. This literally can not be emphasized enough

  6. NERD ALERT!

    Seriously, is there libertarian trope stronger than the use of sci-fi analogies?

      1. Rush references.

        1. Red Barchetta!

        2. It’s really just a question of your honesty . . . yeah, your honesty.

    1. Dungeons and dragons?

      1. I think D&D has become sort of a nastalgia act. Real nerds play online games.

        1. I like nastalgia. A cross between nostalgia and nasty? Like it a lot.

          1. >>>nastalgia.

            listening to Oingo Boingo

        2. Nah. Table top RPGs are going strong. Nothing beats that human interaction.

  7. Given what Hillary did to Libya, “lock her up” is a perfectly valid response.

    Also, in twenty years, no one will remember Frank Underwood. He’s far from one of television’s most compelling sociopaths. He’s a cartoon character.

    1. I don’t know who Frank Underwood is now.

      1. He’s a character played by Robin Wright.

        1. I thought Robin Wright was a girl.

          1. What you think is irrelevant; all that matters is what she thinks/he thinks/they thinks – – – –

        2. Played by Kevin Spacey. Wright played the creepy psyhco wife.

          1. psycho

          2. That’s the joke.

          3. That’s the joke.

        3. That last season of House of Cards was by far the worst season of television ever shat out by a room of retarded baboon writers. What a shit show that was.

          1. +1

          2. Never saw it (HoC), but that’s the sobriquet I use for the last season of Lost.

      2. I don’t know who Frank Underwood is now.

        The poor man’s Francis Urquhart..

        1. LOL-the Brit version was better, but the last season of that show was garbage as well.

  8. I recall that there are also episodes about the dangers of unchecked power and the way it can corrupt people and lead to abuse.

    But I don’t suppose we want to talk about that at a libertarian blog.

  9. Trump is a cross between Kirk (ladies’ man, clever, ballsy) and Bones (hothead).

    Obama liked to compare himself to Spock, but he’s Spock with half the smarts and twice the ego.

    1. Obama was Spock’s doofus brother that never left Vulcan.

      And Trump is Al Cervick. Washington is Bushwood Country club.

      1. Spot on.

      2. I’ve been saying for years now, that the 2016 eel toon was the snobs versus the slobs. And Hillary is most certainly Judge Smails. But without Ted Knight’s good looks

      3. “Hey Whitey, where’s your [MAGA] hat?”

        “This is my friend Mr. Wang . . . no offense!”

        1. Al Cervick was a real estate investor, liked golf, was into global investment, like young hot women. The only thing different about Trump is that Trump is a teetotaller.

          1. No disagreement from me. You absolutely nailed it. Now I need to go watch that movie again tonight. God I miss Rodney Dangerfield.

            1. He truly was a national treasure.

    2. Wasn’t the dirty secret that Spock was, quite possibly, the worst possible choice for leadership one could have made?

  10. The point: Star Trek was/is fiction. It is not a life guide.

    The comments:
    “Amok Time” – Spock was not involved in murder. He was participating in a combat where there was an equal outcome that Spock would die.
    “Mirror, mirror” – If a sociopathic leader gets control of our institutions and incentives, he can twist the settings towards lying, cheating, and bullying. Sounds more like Emperor Hussein than Trump. (You can keep your doctor, IRS, buy insurance or go to jail)
    “Space seed” – Convinced of his superiority, Kahn is determined to dominate everyone else by any means. Sounds like today’s progressive socialists to me.
    “Day of the dove” – There is TDS, every media outlet other than Breitbart, tribal chants of racism, sexism, and every other -ism in the world from the ‘anybody but Trump’ side. So who goes first? I nominate you.

    1. People like Rauch never seem to have any examples of how exactly Trump is determined to dominate everyone and enforce his tyranical will. Trump is determined to keep his promises to his supporters. Isn’t that how politicians are supposed to be?

      I honestly don’t understand how people like Rauch convince themselves of this shit. I totally understand why someone would disagree with Trump and not like his policies. Reasonable minds can differ on things like immigration and trade and taxes. They are complex and hard issues. If there were obvious answers, they wouldn’t be so contensious. But how someone convinces themselves that Trump is some evil tyrant bent on becoming a dictator is beyond me. I am left to wonder just what the hell is wrong with these people.

      1. Trump is determined to keep his promises to his supporters. Isn’t that how politicians are supposed to be?

        But, Trump’s supporters are icky! They probably shop at Wal*Mart and watch drink Budweiser unironically. So, keeping promises to those deplorables does mean you’re imposing your will on The Enlightened. And literally Hitler.

        I think you’ve said as much yourself. Hating Donald Trump is a great way to signal virtue in some quarters. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with facts or reason.

        1. What offends Rauch the most is the idea that Trump’s supporters should have a say in their government and that a politician should geniunely try and further their interests. That is at the heart of all of this nonsense.

    2. Are you categorically stating that fiction is not relevant to reality?
      If we were a nation of novel readers rather than TV and movie junkies, ours would be a profoundly different culture and society.

  11. Trump is more like William Shatner than anything from the Star Trek universe.

  12. So it’s come to this for Reason?

    Using StarTrek as an analogy for Trump? It’s cute and all that but come on.

    This passes for reason and scholarship? Really?

    Also. Let’s play ‘what show explained Obama?’

    1. Obama is proving himself to be quite the sociopath is he not? By keeping himself in the news and babbling about Trump and offering exactly sweet fuck all, he’s showing a lack of decorum if you ask me.

      1. Obama is famous for referencing himself in his speeches to an absurd degree even for a politician. Isn’t making every subject about you and referencing yourself in literally every third sentence as sign of narcissism and consistent with being a sociopath?

        I am not saying Obama is a sociopath. I have no idea what is in his heart. But, he exhibits a hell of a lot more traits of being one than Trump ever has.

        1. Obama is certainly a narcissist. Had hundreds of pieces of colonial era artwork removed and stored in the White House. Then had his staff replace the, with blown up photos of himself. Playing golf, basketball, etc.. further he had his staff rearrange these photos thought the White House, cycling in new photos as they became available.

          If any man jerks off to pictures of himself, its Obama.

          1. To continue and summarize this thread. It is all Obama’s fault. Let’s all scapegoat the black guy.

            1. It has nothing to do with Obama’s race. And, I’d like to point out that he is, like Spock, a half-breed!

            2. I’ll make a point to only scapegoat his white half. That better?

            3. Let me say, it is not all Obama’s fault. That does not excuse his behavior, nor does it explain how it all has to be Trump’s fault.

              Obama is a at minimum a narcissist, as Las of the Shitlords says. He is now claiming credit for everything good that has taken place during the Trump administration. Of course, for 8 years everything bad was Bush’s fault, now everything bad is Trump’s fault, and everything good, since Obama was born apparently, is due to Obama.

          2. Pointing out that Obama is a narcissist in the comments of a piece on Donald Trump is kind of like talking about what a brutal killer Ed Gein was in response to an article on Andrei Chikatilo: technically correct, but an impressive display of self-delusion nonetheless.

          3. HE GAVE. THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND. AN IPOD. OF HIS OWN SPEECHES.

      2. “Obama is proving himself to be quite the sociopath is he not? By keeping himself in the news”

        The dude took a two-year-long vacation.

      3. Obama is Hamlet. He loves himself but proved himself totally incapable of doing anything.

    2. Father knows best

    3. The Rifleman

      1. Johnny Staccato

  13. kinda lose me w/the sociopath comparison in the first sentence.

    1. Rauch has never met Trump. But he is sure that Trump is a sociopath. Nothing says reason and rational discourse like immediately attributing bad motives to someone with whom you disagree.

      I think it is at least possible that Rauch sees Trump as a sociopath because he projects onto Trump the things about himself that he doesn’t like.

      1. “Rauch has never met Trump. But he is sure that Trump is a sociopath. Nothing says reason and rational discourse like immediately attributing bad motives to someone with whom you disagree.
        I think it is at least possible that Rauch sees Trump as a sociopath because he projects onto Trump the things about himself that he doesn’t like.”

        Irony alert

      2. Read his tweets, hear him speak, look at his personal history: he is a sociopath.

        1. It is obvious only to those who lack a strong interest in having it not be true.

          The fan club likes to talk about “Trump Derangement Syndrome” as causing Trump critics to lose all their senses, as if there weren’t a similar, if opposite-polarity, effect working in themselves. They imagine him to be all the things they wish a President could be… honest and true and standing up to the forces of evil that plagued “that other guy” and his administration.

          It’s not unlike the effect among Democrats, circa 2007-2009.

          1. No, it’s absurd to think of Trump as a sociopath because he doesn’t actually act like a sociopath.
            Ignorant people like to throw that word (and “psychopath”) around a lot, but never seem to realize it has an actual definition, and that very few people qualify for those mental illnesses.

            Trump probably is narcissistic. He is certainly a braggart. He says rude things. He’s also obeyed every ruling against him, even the stupid ones about his Twitter account. He has operated inside the law better than the last two presidents… but still people act as if he is literally Hitler, and the Reichstag Fire is coming any… day… now… they’re sure of it…

            1. I do t think Trump is a sociopath, he certainly is full of himself though.

              1. I think that you would have to be full of yourself to want to be President. Look at Trump as an example, the job is a pay cut. He gets harrassed daily, hourly for stuff that is his fault, and stuff that isn’t. He is being investigated for stuff that would have never come up if he was a private citizen. And in general, this applies to most presidental candidates.

                They all have to have a planet sized ego to want to job and a true belief that they are needed to want it. It certainly does not seem like fun.

  14. The crew of the starship Enterprise, though biologically unaltered, are transformed by their environment into thugs and assassins?the same sort of effect that, for example, Saddam Hussein had on Iraq, and that President Trump and his ilk, if they were to become too powerful, might have here.

    Excellent point. Even if Mueller somehow fails to produce ironclad evidence of Russian collusion, we still need to remove Orange Hitler from office because of the corrosive effect he’s having on this country. Otherwise American society will decay into something even worse than Saddam’s Iraq.

    1. Exactly, OBL. While Mueller helped steer the U.S. towards the Iraq War, his decorum and sense of duty make him the perfect representative for the Resistance, which absolutely deserves the support of libertarians. To quote Al Sharpton: “Resist we much.”

      1. While Mueller helped steer the U.S. towards the Iraq War

        I forgive him for that, just like I forgive then-Senator Hillary Clinton for her “Yes” vote on the Iraq resolution. It wasn’t their fault George W. Bush deceived them.

        1. I don’t think either was deceived so much as getting on a train that was leaving the station with or without them.

    2. “Excellent point. Even if Mueller somehow fails to produce ironclad evidence of Russian collusion, we still need to remove Orange Hitler from office because of the corrosive effect he’s having on this country.”

      At this point, I’m fairly well convinced that the Russians concluded that they were better off getting him elected without his help. In other words, T would have happily colluded with R, but R had higher standards and didn’t want to collude with T.
      That’s what I’m expecting the Mueller report to say, when it’s finished.

      And the Twit-in-Chief can be removed from office in 2020. Let Trump have his extra scoop of ice cream and Twitter account, and let the machinery of government continue to function. It worked with a hands-off chief executive (Eisenhower) and even with a brain-damaged one (Wilson). The system is designed to prevent a tyrant from acting tyrant-y, thank the Founders. The Republic will survive.

      1. We can have the same kind of government that was in place when Eisenhower and Wilson were in charge?
        I have to believe that those times didn’t have the weaponized, leftist bureaucracy that Slick Willy and 0blama created.
        Those two were the big swamp creators.

        1. There’s just the SLIGHTEST possibility that your partisanship is impairing your judgment.

          1. But yours is fine?

            Tell me, do you keep your non-partisan judgement where you keep your expertise in Russian strategic politics?

            1. Yes he does. It is a safe place, dark, damp, and well protected since he sits on it.

        2. Wilson?

          Woodrow Wilson?

          the racist, authoritarian, secret police creating Wilson?

          Orange Hitler is a piker compared to Wilson.

      2. It worked with a hands-off chief executive (Eisenhower)

        The conventional wisdom that emerged about Eisenhower as a laissez-faire President is flat-out wrong, and he was happy to make it appear that way. There’s a reason he consistently kicked everyone’s ass at poker, and why Nixon called him far more complex and devious than anyone realized.

        1. This is a good point. Eisenhower, like Reagan, was just a great manager who did not micro-manage. It gives the appearance of hands-off, but actually demonstrates the ability to delegate and manage only the big picture.

          Carter was (and is) a nice guy, but is the embodiment perfect example of the opposite. He was a horrible manager who had difficulty delegating. His administration was a mess because no one could accomplish anything in an environment where Jimmy had to be in the middle of everything.

          Bill Clinton had his flaws (oh my God did he!) but was a good manager from all indications. Most of the problems he had were tied in one way or the other to Hillary.

          None of this has anything to do with the policies of any of them, just how they ran things.

  15. “…The creative imagination can probe dark places that psychology and medicine can’t reach. So I am not being cute when I say that Star Trek is a source of insight into the universe of President Donald Trump…”

    You are not alone, and help is available:
    “Treating the Six Known Symptoms of ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ ”
    https://drrichswier.com/2017/01/29/
    treating-the-six-symptoms-of-trump
    -derangement-syndrome/

    1. The only thing that would have made this article more comically stupid is if it had been about Harry Potter.

      1. Fuck! Why did you have to put that idea into their heads? One Harry Potter article, coming up. Three guesses as to who Trump will be in that one…

        1. The are literally the only books that the millenials at Reason have ever read cover to cover. Come on, what choice do they have?

          1. “The are literally the only books that the millenials at Reason have ever read cover to cover. Come on, what choice do they have?”

            “A Series of Unfortunate Events” comes readily to mind.

        2. They always think he’s Voldemort, which is silly because it’s quite obvious that the most obvious parallel is Cormac – rich daddy, braggart, tries to grope Hermione at the dinner for important kids…

          Voldemort was the greatest wizard of his age – evil and corrupt, but smart, competent, powerful, and he came from humble beginnings.

          1. What amazes me about Harry Potter is that in one of the movies, the half blood Prince I think, Delorus Umbrage takes over Hogwarts and it is a perfect analogy to the SJWs running colleges. She destroys all of the academic standards and replaces it with rote memorization of politics, making the students defenseless, bans all student organizations, and destroys all free expression. How the hell did these kids grow up reading that book and then go to college only to become real life Delorus Umbridge’s?

            1. “Delorus Umbrage takes over Hogwarts and it is a perfect analogy to the SJWs running colleges.”

              If you read the books instead, you’ll find that Ms. Umbridge’s running of Hogwarts was just a small part of the Death Eaters’ intrusion into magical society… they took over the whole government, and began a systematic purge of anyone who disagreed with their philosophy of personal loyalty to the leader over all other loyalties. In short, it’s what a fascist takeover would look like.

              1. Yes. And SJWs are fascists. you are not saying anything anyone on here doesn’t already know.

              2. Which sounds a lot like the SJW in reality. They aren’t sticking to academy, after all…

        3. “Three guesses as to who Trump will be in that one…”

          Scabbers, pretty obviously. Perhaps the Defense against the Dark Arts professor from the first book… he seems the type to claim “no collusion!” over and over.

          Not He Who Must Not Be Named. That guy was smart, and capable.

      2. Now that they’ve gotten started, it’s inevitable.

        After Potter, it will be Star Wars.

    2. This “article” is so bad. It starts off with some major unexamined assumptions about Trump being a sociopath, completely unsupported.

      Then it lists examples (some of which are questionable) of sociopathic behavior.

      Then it says, “Even though Trump hasn’t done any of the things these characters have, we can see how dangerous he is because these things are bad.”

      The complete absence of any sort of logical progression is astounding. I read this all the way to the end because I assumed it had to be satire. I don’t even know what type of illogical fallacy this is-irrelevant appeal?

      1. I assume whoever was on the Editor desk when this came thru is thoroughly embarrassed? I hope

  16. That Reason decided to publish this is the final straw for me. Good luck, Commentariat, I depart to search for actual libertarian thought. I’m embarrassed I ever donated to these fucktards. Between this and using a doctored image of the people rushing the border – along with an explanation by ENB that goes well beyond being merely disingenuous – this place has become Vox and Salon.

    Best of luck, but this place is irredeemably broken, and it’s giving libertarianism a bad name.

    1. “Best of luck, but this place is irredeemably broken, and it’s giving libertarianism a bad name.”

      That’s the new purpose of Reason. Discredit libertarianism while the writers build their portfolios for their applications to Vox and Salon.

  17. So many words to say “I don’t understand Star Trek or know what the word ‘sociopath’ means.”

    Here–from the very beginning–Spock’s compulsion was biological not tribal. When you start off that wrong, it’s only going to get worse, as you proved.

    1. Rauch doesn’t understand that it is biological because he doesn’t understand what tribal means. To Rauch “tribal” means anyone he doesn’t like standing up for their own interests.

      1. Everyone knows there are no biological differences between Vulcans and Humans, any perceived differences are only social constructs. Smash the Patriarchy!

    2. Well. he wants to conflate tribal with instinctual. I suppose the origins of tribal feeling are informed by human instincts, but a lot of “tribal” values are informed by progressive identity politics ideology. Progressives are just horrified that some whites and men think that if identity politics are encouraged in other demographics then it should not be beyond the pale for them too.

      1. “a lot of “tribal” values are informed by progressive identity politics ideology.”

        It’s only THEY who engages in “Us vs. Them” thinking! WE would never…

        1. Progressives have not been encouraging identity politics based on ethnic and racial solidarity for the “oppressed” demographics for decades as a positive thing?

          Have written preferential race and sex based set asides as a laudable project?

          The point is less that one side has done it. It is that when you promote identity politics as a positive thing, then you don’t get to complain when groups you do not favor decide they want to play that game.

          1. The stupidity comes in when you decide that anyone who thinks it’s dumb to divide the population into US and THEM, is one of THEM.

            Seductive, though, isn’t it?

            1. I am saying that touting a corrosive idea as a good thing is contributing to the corrosion of the body politic.

              1. “I am saying that touting a corrosive idea as a good thing is contributing to the corrosion of the body politic.”

                Well, I guess you’re one of THOSE PEOPLE, then.

            2. “The stupidity comes in when you decide that anyone who thinks it’s dumb to divide the population into US and THEM, is one of THEM.”

              Progressives have largely decided this already. Through their collectivism, their extremism, and their violence.

    3. “Biology is a social construct of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy used to oppress marginalized peoples”

  18. Why, again, shouldn’t someone who broke the law be punished for it? Why is there one set of rules for clinton and another for regular workers who have broken laws and are prosecuted?

    Not to mention, she is a bolshevik and enemy of liberty whose proposals to restrict the rights and property of the people merit her punishment.

    1. You don’t understand. Rauch doesn’t believe that people like Hillary should be held accountable under the law in the same way ordinary people are. She is special. And anyone who says she should be held accountable is just trying to destroy the rule of law in this country and create a tyranny.

      No shit. This is what Rauch actually thinks. I can’t explain it either.

      1. “Rauch doesn’t believe that people like Hillary should be held accountable under the law in the same way ordinary people are.”

        Nor do Trump fans. They prefer the “decide on the punishment first, figure out the charges later” approach for Hillary.

        1. Many people have gone to prison for mishandling classified information in ways that were much less grave than what Hillary did. The only way you can say she shouldn’t have also gone to prison is to say that she is by virtue of her position and importance above the law in ways those other people were not. And this is what Rauch believes and he further thinks that anyone who thinks otherwise is trying to destroy the rule of law. To him and to nitwits like him, double standards are vital to the rule of law.

          1. As you keep misidentifying me, I question your relationship to objectivity.
            I just don’t think you know what you’re talking about.

            1. That doesn’t mean he’s not right.

              1. If his not knowing what he’s talking about happens to align with your own irrationality, I can see why you’d think that.

        2. “Nor do Trump fans. They prefer the “decide on the punishment first, figure out the charges later” approach for Hillary.”

          Poor loser Hihn. Poor, poor infantile loser Hihn.

          1. So… you dislike that guy a lot, and that proves… whatever you want it to?

        3. Nor do Trump fans. They prefer the “decide on the punishment first, figure out the charges later” approach for Hillary.
          That’s just breaking from reality.
          What she should have been charged with laid itself out throughout the entire period before any chants of “lock her up” were heard.
          It was only a ridiculous claim that “she didn’t mean it” that stopped the charges being leveled, as they would have for anyone else.
          Yet every move she made, she knew, full well, what she was doing.

          1. “That’s just breaking from reality.”

            It is? I must have slept through the trial.

            “that stopped the charges being leveled, as they would have for anyone else.”

            What are the usual charges other people have faced for not disclosing classified material?

            1. What are the usual charges other people have faced for not disclosing classified material?

              You mean knowingly transmitting classified material outside siprnet? Loss of clearance, loss of employment, fines, and jail time, among others.

              Not to mention she never actually received a waiver to set up that server in her house in the first place.

        4. “Nor do Trump fans. They prefer the “decide on the punishment first, figure out the charges later” approach for Hillary.”

          You’re inventing that in your head. The rest of us already know what she’s guilty of. We just want her charged, tried, and convicted. Then suitably punished.

          It’s nit complicated.

    2. If it is shown that Trump broke the law, then would you hold him accountable too?

    3. “Why, again, shouldn’t someone who broke the law be punished for it?”

      Progressivism 101: Rules are for the ruled, not their rulers.

      1. Wasn’t it Mr. Trump who claimed that when you’re famous, they let you do it?

        1. You’re taking that out of context. That was not at all what he meant on that tape.

  19. !5 mentions of Trump and zero mentions of Hillary or Bill Clinton, Obama as sociopaths. Why?

    1. Why, indeed.

  20. “How Star Trek Explains Donald Trump”

    Pre-headbump Klingon?

    Agent from Gary 7’s planet, here on a mission to keep us from spreading out into space?

    Escapee from the mirror, mirror universe?

    Alien sociologist who misunderstood the value of fascism?

    The god Apollo? (That would explain the ego)

    We can rule out genetically-engineered superhuman. He’s no Khan Noonien Singh.

    1. citations:
      “The Trouble with Tribbles”, “Errand of Mercy”

      “Assignment: Earth”

      “Mirror, mirror”

      “Patterns of Force”

      “Whom Gods Destroy”

      1. Correction: “Whom Gods Destroy” should have been cited as “Who Mourns for Adonais”

        1. Yes, that’s obviously true. D’oh!

          1. How about this, then. The obvious episode reference for Trump’s relationship to American politics is contained in “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”.

            1. We get it. You don’t like Trump and do t really. Want to hold Team Blue accountable for anything.

              Typical progressive.

      2. citations:
        “The Trouble with Tribbles”,…

        What? No mention of the fact that he is clearly wearing a Tribble hide as a toupee?

    2. Shut up Hihn, you moron. No one cares what you think about anything. I should have known it was you. You crazy bastard.

      1. You seem to be ranting at the walls, again. Ask the nice intern to have the doctor check your medications.

        1. John isn’t the problem. Now apologize to him.

          1. Not until they get his meds right. No point until then.

            1. Fuck off Hihn.

              1. Oh, dear. It’s contagious!

                1. Fuck off, Hihn.

                  1. The sockpuppets are in full chorus!

  21. Trump’s hair is a tribble?

    Now it all makes sense.

    1. In the original series, there was a parasite that looked like a flying glob of pizza crust that attached itself to the spinal columns of victims, and took control of their thought processes.

      Then, in the movies, it turned out that there was a parasite on Ceti Alpha Five that tunnelled into the ear and disabled critical thinking skills of the victims.

      Later on, in the next generation series, it turned out that the Federation and most of Starfleet Command were being controlled by a different parasite, that dug itself into the necks of victims.

      Not sure why Trump and his fans made me think of any of these. Heinlein did it better, and won a Hugo for it.

  22. While I suspect that sociopathy to some extent is a common trait in politicians, I don’t think it means what Rauch wants it to mean.

    From what I understand, many sociopaths are very good at putting up an empathetic facade, even if they don’t really understand that state of mind.

    The idea that Trump would be Saddam Hussein if given his way is such a paranoid flight of fancy that it cannot be taken seriously.

    1. “The idea that Trump would be Saddam Hussein if given his way is such a paranoid flight of fancy that it cannot be taken seriously.”

      It’s pretty obvious that he’d prefer to be in the House of Saud. Handed wealth, instead of having to steal it from the peasantry.

  23. “Your tweet is in error! You did not discovered your mistake and delete the tweet; you have made two errors. You are flawed and imperfect, and you have not corrected by resignation; you’re made three errors!”

    1. Fake news!

      1. Fake fake news!

  24. (Embraces her)
    STORMY: Please don’t.
    (Pushes her away.)
    DON: Go. Or stay. But do it because it is what you wish to do. Well?
    STORMY: I’ll stay a little longer.
    DON: How many minutes do you graciously offer?
    STORMY: I only meant-
    DON: This grows tiresome. You must now ask to stay.
    STORMY: I’d like to stay. Please.
    (He takes her hand, then forces her down onto her knees.)
    DON: Open your heart. Will you open your heart?
    STORMY: Yes.
    DON: I intend to take this country. Do you agree?
    STORMY: Oh, please don’t ask me-
    DON: I need your help.
    STORMY: You won’t ban anyone?
    DON: Now you question me?
    STORMY: No.
    DON: Will you assist me?
    STORMY: Oh, please, Donald, don’t ask me-
    DON: Leave me then. Go, I say.
    STORMY: No. I promise. I’ll do anything you ask.
    DON: Here’s a bag of hush money. In case anyone asks.

    1. That was actually funny, as opposed to the TDS of the article.

  25. I was able to read as far as:

    “transformed by their environment into thugs and assassins?the same sort of effect that, for example, Saddam Hussein had on Iraq, and that President Trump and his ilk, if they were to become too powerful, might have here.”

    I get the libertarian small government angle here, why did the author stop at singling out “Trump and his ilk”?

    “Trump and his ilk”

    Is there a “Trump ilk” list of top despicable and deplorable evil people we need to be aware of and fear that they will someday achieve world domination? Better publish a link to the Trump ilk so we can run them out of restaurants and have the correct opinion of them at dinner parties.

    This should come with a warning “Absolutely not objective, approved for progressives and SJW’s, read this in the comfort of your bubble”, proof libertarians are on your side.
    A parody might be entertaining.
    Reason editorial board appears to have lost its collective marbles.

    1. Yes. But I read all of it, and continued to be disgusted. glibertarians, for their difficult navigating for me anyway, is looking better. I do miss the old crowd for sure.

  26. “One day soon man is going to be able to harness incredible energies, maybe even the atom. Energies that could ultimately hurl us to other worlds in some sort of spaceship. And the men that reach out into space will be able to find ways to feed the hungry millions of the world and to cure their diseases. They will be able to find a way to give each man hope and a common future, and those are the days worth living for. But, of course, they will only happen so long as we resist electing a con man whose secret tax returns will show he’s actually just a penny ante operator.”

    1. But Kirk decided he had to let Hitler win.

        1. Spoiler alert: They didn’t. But they keep popping up in the oddest of places, so you never know.

  27. Time, its what saves us from the sociopath. In a large industrial society it takes quite a period of time to turn a government a given direction if the populace is opposed or indifferent. A POTUS has only 8 years, max, to turn their schemes. When it might take decades to move the body politic, the President would be gone long before any effort reached fruition.

  28. “As America’s founders understood (but as today’s Americans too often forget), we all harbor an inner sociopath.”

    It’s more accurate to say we suppress it, try to pretend it doesn’t it exist, project it onto someone/anyone/everyone else. Remember the origin of the word ‘scapegoat’.

    1. Decent morals largely have to be taught, or people may develop some very questionable but workable moral systems on their own. That is not a new insight

      1. People tend to treat anyone’s morals that are different as “lacking” or “indecent”.
        A good many religious people who all considered each other quite “moral” thought chattel slavery was peachy-keen, and part of God’s plan. I consider it a great evil, but couldn’t care less if two dudes want to marry each other. Which of us has the “decent” morals?

        1. I was speaking more of the differences in the moral code between the Federation and the Terran Empire or the United States and Lenin’s communist movement.

    2. But Trump still has the best inner sociopath. His inner sociopath is the most sociopathic inner sociopath in the history of inner sociopaths. Bigly.

  29. I read this entire article, but now I’m not sure why.

  30. Wow, I thought this was a forum for libertarians. All I see in the comments are right wing Trump apologists attacking Obama and spouting misinformed claims about what he or Hillary might have done, or what nationalism means (hint: European nations in the early 20th century which held or sought colonial empires WERE practicing nationalism. Seeking to expand your nation’s economic and political power by asserting sovereignty over other lands is hyper-nationalism.) By any definition of the word, Trump is a sociopath. This was widely known well before he pursued his political career. Those who feel compelled to argue otherwise (or assert that he’s okay because other politicians are also self-oriented, etc.) might want to consider what it is about themselves that makes them reluctant to criticize this budding authoritarian. Attacking the free press, attempting to delegitimize the judiciary, proposing a state-controlled news network to “compete” with the private sector press, kowtowing to murderous monarchs, claiming authority to unilaterally change immigration statutes, etc. are all the acts of a despot. Some of you should come out of the basement and take a look around at what’s really happening in the world.

    1. I’m also surprised by the number of Trumptards here. I’m not sure why a Trump supporter would believe he has anything in common with Libertarians.

      1. Then leave and don’t come back

    2. “My TDS burns even hotter when people question my delusions”

  31. I’ve never watched ‘Star Trek,’ so this doesn’t help me.

    1. And you popped in to tell us this because…

  32. “Outrage and conflict are powerful tribal unifiers. Vilifying an out-group is a sure way to tap atavistic tribal energies. As every demagogue understands, give people an enemy and they are yours. Thus, in Trump’s telling, Mexicans are rapists and murderers; media are enemies of the American people; foreigners are out to get us.”

    And heterosexual men are all rapists, white people are all racist, business owners are greedy exploiters of the working class, the NRA supports school shootings, Republicans want people to die in the streets without health care, Paul Ryan pushes elderly women in wheelchairs off of cliffs…

    1. It’s easier to fight the “enemy” if you ascribe to them obviously wrong motives and arguments.

      Thus, pro-choice people become “pro-abortion” when the story is told by pro-lifers. Oh, and the gay rights supporters who said “who cares if Steve wants to marry Rick?”, which turned into “they won’t be happy until every church is required to perform gay weddings!!!”

      As for the NRA “supporting” school shootings, they don’t. What they do is, they ACCEPT school shootings as the price that must be paid so that they can have access to the weapon(s) they want. And that, at least, is true. Just ask “what restrictions on firearm possession would you accept as reasonable to prevent school shootings?” The responses will fall into several categories: 1) “fuck off, gun grabber. You’re just looking for an excuse to confiscate all the guns”. 2) “The restrictions suggested by (group) wouldn’t have prevented all the shootings that ever happened” and 3) “whatever restriction would just be the first step to confiscating all the guns” All 3 will selectively quote from the second amendment, as if the part quoted were the entirety of the text.

      1. “what restrictions on firearm possession would you accept as reasonable to prevent school shootings?”

        You are assuming that the underlying premise is true, that a “restriction” of some sort will “prevent school shootings” but you present no specifics. I’m not sure what to call that sort of fallacy.

        Also, when dealing with natural rights, the person proposing the restriction has the burden of proof. It is not incumbent on the rest of us to prove that:

        A) the proposed restriction is ineffective
        or
        B) it is an infringement on our rights.

        1. “when dealing with natural rights”

          There’s no such thing as a “natural right”, unless you count death.

          1. I’m sorry, my bad. Rights come from government.

            1. Oh. You’re one of those…

      2. Virtually every restriction on firearms possession that is floated to “prevent school shootings” after one has occurred, are shown to not have been able to prevent the one in question.
        Is it any wonder the motives of those making the proposals are questioned?

        1. “Is it any wonder the motives of those making the proposals are questioned?”

          No wonder at all. It’s simple paranoia.

          1. Once again, those proposing the restrictions have the burden of proof.

            1. That’s Hihn you’re wasting your time on.

              1. You’re delusional.

              2. Thanks for the heads up Sevo. Seems a lot of articles are stuck in Hihnception lately.

                1. Feel free to leave me out of your disagreements with him.

  33. Makes it sound like lying politicians, presidents and other government officials is something new. Rather than the time-honored tradition that it is. Dating back, at least to (dis) Honest Abe.

    1. There’s a scale. At one end, you have the people who got into politics because they thought it was a way they could actually improve things for people. At the other end, you have people who got into politics because they thought it was a way they could improve their own fortunes. Most fall into the middle somewhere. Mr. T is situated rather close to one end of that scale.

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.

        1. You’re barking at the walls again.

  34. You’re saying Trump’s a psychopath? But your only evidence for it is that he doesn’t mince words?

    Is this the smarmiest piece of TDS here that didn’t come from Dalmia?

  35. Isn’t a writer who claims to uphold reason obliged to show that Trump is a sociopath before trying to “explain” why he is? What “Star Trek” episode can we use to “explain” why the author of this article hasn’t stopped beating his wife and enjoys eating babies for breakfast?

    1. The Conscience of the King

  36. This has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    1. You skip the Dalmia articles?

      1. Doesn’t everyone?

      2. I think this may be even worse. But, yes, I skip Dalmia articles as often as possible. Sometimes the sheer idiocy does draw me in, like watching a movie on MST3K.

      3. Dalmia articles are similarly unhinged and devoid of reason, but at least don’t use Star Trek to lecture us that Trump is Hitler

      4. This is actually worse

  37. Here, I think I can come up with an argument as coherent as Rauch’s: Some pedophiles are Star Trek fans, therefore Jonathan Rauch is a pedophile.

  38. Trump is more like Trelaine, stirring the pot to keep himself amused.

  39. ” How do we understand the narcissist, the demagogue, the liar, the manipulator, the person without scruples or conscience? The creative imagination can probe dark places that psychology and medicine can’t reach. So I am not being cute when I say that Star Trek is a source of insight into the universe of President Donald Trump.”

    Today’s Two Minute Trump Hate
    “Orange Man still bad, m’kay?”

    What a sorry clown show Reason has become. But that’s okay. I get my Two Minutes Hate by coming here.

    Think win-win!

    1. “Still, de-escalation is possible. ”

      Great message for your Two Minutes Hate.

      Is it really possible you’re so deep in your TDS that you don’t see your projection?

      Or is this just performance art trolling?

      1. Wait….so Reason has abandoned libertarianism, but you haven’t? And somehow you consider your support for a despot to be compatible with the libertarian perspective? I don’t know about TDS, but you’re definitely deranged.

        1. “despot”

          I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

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  41. This article is silly.

    IIRC, when reason was critical of Obama, it was based on his actual policy decisions and actions.

    This is just the same “Orange Man Bad” stuff I can read on every other media outlet.

    And I don’t even like the guy.

  42. I always thought I was a Libertarian. Subscribed to the magazine, Reason, read the articles and followed the “thinkers”. I’m not a Libertarian in the sense that “Reason” considers itself to be. There are some serious effed up individuals writing for this magazine. The magazine doesn’t make into the house any longer. Drop it in the trash can when I get back from the mailbox. I read this article more as a “Star Trek” fan than anything else but wow!

  43. Sigh. That’s the problem. A 50 year old TV show used to explain something as complex as psychopathy and socieology. How about real science, studies, data, measurements, and reasoned analysis for a change. Fiction is made up stuff by liberal arts majors who can’t do math. It doesn’t explain anything except to the feeble minded who can’t grasp science.

    And this holyness about how we in Brookings know better than those other dirty people over there. Isn’t that how we got here, both libtards and conservatards spitting at eachother over nonsense. Spare me from humanity, they all suck.

  44. “With the Cold War over, ventures like the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement beckoned toward a globalized, post-tribal future. Star Trek knew better.”

    Sure. Let’s just overlook the detail that the entire series is premised upon a galactic Federation, our membership in which is represented by an idealized global government featuring a post-scarcity economic system (“make replicators, not latinum”). Star Trek in fact exactly did not know better.

  45. Bill Clinton = Harcourt Fenton Mudd and his wives are a stunningly accurate portrayal of Hillary

  46. “I compared Trump to a Denebian slime devil but that’s wrong. A Denebian slime devil is soft. Trump may be a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood, but he’s not ‘soft'”.

  47. He can bring crowds of decent people to their feet with praise for violence against reporters and chants of “Lock her up!”

    I stopped reading this horse shit when the author jumped on board the libtard bandwagon.
    Hitlery should be in prison for the rest of her life – if not executed. She committed thousands of violations of the Espionage Act and was whitewashed by political operatives in the FBI. So yes, try, convict, sentence and “LOCK HER UP!”
    As for the “fake news” – I’m quite frankly disgusted by today’s media. I didn’t vote for Trump because I thought he’d be a horrible president. (I’m not stupid, so I didn’t vote for Hitlery either!) Imagine my surprise that Trump has done more GOOD for America in 2 years than his four predecessors did in 28 years! If he continues, he may become the best president since Thomas Jefferson.
    I like Star Trek.
    But your analysis is… illogical.

  48. Replace “Trump” throughout the article with “Obama” and you might have a case.

  49. Project much? Thd right has finally had it with you evil, racist, lying, scumbags projecting your pathologies onto the right and Trump is the first one of the right in power that can play your game. Remember, “If they bring a knife, we bring a gun”? and plenty more and for a very long time. So long in fact that the left has instituted their own good ole boy system and has 90+% of media, academia, law, and government. In fact the modern left I worse than anything they ever railed about on their way to being the intolerant fascists they are today.

  50. Our political system was specifically designed to limit the damage that sociopaths could do. Our checks-and-balances and particularly our constitutional limits on the functions and powers of the federal government.

    But sociopaths like Woodrow Wilson and the Roosevelt cousins found this too confining for them, and as sociopaths do, they found willing henchmen to abet their megalomania and insist that it was for our betterment.

    And now we have Trump, whose style I despise, and whose policies are an incoherent mix of genuine progress, deep-state inertia, and Smoot-Hawley madness.

    But… as far as I’ve seen, has surprisingly adhered to constitutional norms, unlike some recent predecessors. Heck, he meekly accepted his own party’s brush-off of his signature “wall” through two years of spending bills.

    Yet the author uses “age of Trump” as the wave of sociopathic authoritarianism that -we all agree- we should fear.

  51. A silly article trying to pass it’s self off as clever.

    First of all as much as I love Star Trek it is fiction and there is an easier way to explain how Trump got where he is.

    The Democrats have been insulting a large percentage of the population for decades calling them Nazis, Fascists, Racists, Homophobes and even during the election cycle with “Deplorables”

    We are told that it was our White Privilege that got us in to the Middle Class not the fact we graduated from High School, got educated or learned a skill and then got a job and worked hard.

    Finally the Democrats put a Crook and a Socialist up as a possible President and the whole party has gone so far LEFT that they want to undo the Constitution and steal the wealth of the productive people to give to the unproductive.

  52. WTF is this shit? I mean, really? I am without words. This is rock bottom, Reason

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