Debates 2020

Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism

What we won't see at tonight's debate is far more important than what's going to be on display.


Tonight's Democratic debate will showcase attacks on South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttiegieg, who has surged in early state polls over the past month, achieving frontrunner status in Iowa and New Hampshire. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.)—whose momentum has stalled after finally explaining how she was going to pay for her Medicare for All plan—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.), tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.), billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii), and Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) will all be gunning for Mayor Pete, and it should be fun and interesting to see how the 37-year-old military vet and former McKinsey consultant holds up under it all.

The Democratic nomination is still completely up for grabs, which helps explain why near-zero-chance characters such as former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are testing the waters. Here we are, a year out from a general election against the least-popular president in recent memory, and the Dems look poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. So much so, in fact, that former Pres. Barack Obama has stepped out of an Andy Thomas painting to implore his party to nominate a centrist who might actually be able to win. (Go here for details on how to watch the debate on cable or online.)

But as someone who is socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, tonight's debate will mostly be about what's not on stage: A candidate who robustly champions what Reason celebrates as "a world of expanding choice—in lifestyles, identities, goods, work arrangements, and more," and pushes back against "busybodies, elites, and gatekeepers who insist on how other people should live their lives." My vote, along with the votes of one-third of the electorate, is up for grabs. According to The New York Times, 32 percent of Americans have said they will "definitely" vote for President Trump and 33 percent have said they will vote for whomever the Democrats nominate. But there is nobody in the Democratic field who comes close enough to libertarian preferences toward the size, scope, and spending of government to win me over at this point. Rather than promising to be the second coming of FDR, they should seriously think about what it would take to win my vote and people who think like me.

Which is not to say certain positions taking root among Democratic Party elites aren't consistent with a libertarian perspective. With the exception of Biden and possible candidate Bloomberg, all the Democrats have signed off on pot legalization and at least a few have nodded toward the decriminalization of sex work, the abolition of cash bail, criminal justice reform, ending civil asset forfeiture, and other longstanding libertarian hobby horses. When it comes to foreign policy, most are non-interventionist (Tulsi Gabbard is particularly outspoken on this issue), though Joe Biden, who still leads in the national polls, is a tried-and-true hawk, and the relative inexperience or silence of the others is worrying (the military-industrial complex routinely rolls whoever is in the White House). These are not small wins, especially since Donald Trump basically supports the same agenda. The president has already signed the most-significant federal criminal-justice-reform law in recent memory and, as a candidate, promised that he would sign legislation turning marijuana's status over to the states (something Hillary Clinton refused to do).

Unfortunately, the Democratic candidates have all pledged to spend vast amounts of new money and to institute massive new regulations or create new bureaucracies to further their vision of the good society. Warren is the exemplar on this score, extruding new policies costing trillions of dollars on an almost daily basis, as if it's a bodily function. She'll pay for her version of Medicare for All, plus free college, reparations for gay couples who couldn't take tax deductions when same-sex marriage was banned, and much more with a wealth tax and a host of other new levies that somehow never touch the sacrosanct "middle class" (now defined as anyone making less than a billion dollars a year). Never mind that her plans are likely unconstitutional and incapable of raising the trillions of dollars needed to pay for such largess. Arguably more troubling, Warren has also promised to break up companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and anyone else she thinks is too big or contravenes her personal sense of right and wrong.

In calling for huge amounts of new spending and regulation, Warren is joined even by supposedly forward-looking, business-savvy candidates such as Andrew Yang, whose 21st-century cabinet would include a Department of the Attention Economy, which would dictate policy and business strategy to social media companies. Each of the Democratic candidates also supports some version of The Green New Deal, which uses environmental end-of-days hysteria to sell every jobs, housing, and health care plan floated by progressives over the past 50 years.

Just a few decades ago, the future was supposed to be about radically decentralizing power to "end users" in distributed networks. That dream is almost completely missing from any of the Democrats' platforms. In highly attenuated form, it flickers on in Andrew Yang's unaffordable universal basic income plan, which would gift unrestricted cash grants to every American adult. It lives on, too, barely, in Cory Booker's tepid support for charter schools, but the big idea of giving individuals more freedom in how to run their lives and businesses has taken a back seat to command-and-control policies that give a bigger-and-bigger federal government more say in every decision we might make.

Of course, neither Donald Trump nor the Republicans offer much to libertarians, despite historical reliance on libertrarian rhetoric about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and nominal support for minimal government. In fact, under Trump, the GOP has become the party of trade barriers and immigration restriction while continuing to load up on debt and deficits. Such policies work against, if not completely negate, whatever successful deregulation and tax reform has happened. Whether he realizes it or not, the president is acting like the Hickey character in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, shredding all our illusions by forcing us to confront the vast gap between our rhetorical dreams and lived realities. Certainly, he's revealed that Republicans, who couldn't stop talking (rightly) about the negative effects of debt and executive branch overreach during Obama's tenure, to be unprincipled worshippers of power.

If The New York Times is right, Trump and whatever Democrat ends up with the brass ring next spring can bank on one-third of the electorate. What of the remaining 33 percent? Many, maybe most, will doubtless be swayed by the literal and figurative handouts each side will offer: Here's free healthcare, free college, free birth control, free whatever. Vote for me. Here's more money if you have kids or own a house. Here's a way of pissing off coastal elites, of keeping factory jobs in the country and of keeping economic refugees from "shithole countries" out. Vote for me. Politics isn't that complicated, it's a tawdry slow dance between self-enrichment and contempt for the other side.

But then there are the libertarians among us, whom many insist simply don't exist. Yet according to Cato's polling director, Emily Ekins, somewhere between 7 percent and 22 percent of American voters can legitimately be called libertarian in that they broadly support economic freedom, civil liberties, and lifestyle pluralism. Only one of the last five presidential elections was decided by more than 7 percentage points of the popular vote, suggesting that libertarians can provide the winning edge even if we only exist in numbers to the low end of Ekins' assay. In fact, in 2016, the Libertarian Party (LP) candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, pulled 3.3 percent of the popular vote, or more than the 2.1 percent margin between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Unless independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan jumps into the LP race, the party's nominee is likely to be a virtual unknown almost certainly incapable of replicating Johnson's haul of nearly 4.5 million votes. Most of those votes, like mine, are up for grabs.

It's a lark, of course, to dream that any of the candidates on tonight's stage will start talking libertarian-friendly lines about economic freedom and individualism, just as it's nuts to expect Donald Trump to reverse himself about the ease and efficacy of trade wars and tariffs. But come the general election, my vote—and that of between 7 percent and 22 percent of the electorate—will still be in play and waiting to be won by a candidate who defends or at least pays respect to economic and civil liberties, individualism and free speech, and what Reason dubs "free minds and free markets." The wooing of the libertarian vote, if it's going to happen at all on the Democratic side, starts tonight.

NEXT: Tennessee Court Refuses To Test DNA Evidence That Could Exonerate a Man the State Already Executed

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  1. “Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism”





    1. wait wait let me try. *clears throat*

      Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Puts Children Over Unions

      Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Puts Facts Over Feelings

      Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Puts Principles over Principals

      1. Wanted: an intelligent comment from pod or Jeff.

        1. See Entropy’s response

        2. You really are a nasty person, aren’t you?

          1. He’s right tho. You’re trash.

          2. Racebaiterjeff casts personal aspersions.
            Shocked, I am.

    2. Yup. Democrats hate those things so none of the Party of slavery candidates will support those concepts of more freedoms.

    3. Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism
      You mean like Trump how does?
      Yes, but no, you see Trump’s with the wrong party, and he eats steak with ketchup and orangemanbad…

      1. Open borders are non-negotiable. The rest of the BoR is fair game.

        1. Nick declares @Reason’s “core value” as Open Borders:
          In the 21st century, libertarians are going to have make common cause with the globalists of all parties, with the people whose core value is the right of individuals to move freely around the planet.

          Watching The Brink made me think that for all the other differences Reason has with the socialist magazine Jacobin, it may matter far more that we share a belief in open borders.

          1. Anyone miss when Nick went full “No True Communist”?
            “Totalitarians professing communism killed millions of people, but this analogy is flawed. Hitler was the leader of Nazism, Stalin the leader of…Stalinism, not communism.”


      Not just a unicorn, but an invisible, pink, Presidential, Democratic Unicorn.

      The entirety of Congress, save Paul, Lee, Amash, and Massie would hate the person more than they hate Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang *combined* and they’d never get anything done but the LP would be able to check the ‘President’ checkbox off its bucket list.

    5. Mary wants a unicorn…

      Learn how to turn OFF the caps-lock on your keyboard, Mary, and readers MIGHT take you more seriously!


      Do YOU like reading this kind of mindless crap? If not, spare us please!

      1. Because everyone takes you seriously. Eye-roll.

      2. Noone likes reading YOUR mindless crap.

        Go DIAF.

        1. Go GFYITBWAV, that’s OK by me!

          In the meantime…

          Do you recall the awesome enchanter named “Tim”, in “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail”? The one who could “summon fire without flint or tinder”? Well, you remind me of Tim… You are an enchanter who can summon persuasion without facts or logic!

          So I discussed your awesome talents with some dear personal friends on the Reason staff… Accordingly…

          Reason staff has asked me to convey the following message to you:

          Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

          Obviously, you are a silver-tongued orator, and you also know how to translate your spectacular talents to the written word! We at Reason have need for writers like you, who have near-magical persuasive powers, without having to write at great, tedious length, or resorting to boring facts and citations.

          At Reason, we pay above-market-band salaries to permanent staff, or above-market-band per-word-based fees to freelancers, at your choice. To both permanent staff, and to free-lancers, we provide excellent health, dental, and vision benefits. We also provide FREE unlimited access to nubile young groupies, although we do firmly stipulate that persuasion, not coercion, MUST be applied when taking advantage of said nubile young groupies.

          Please send your resume, and another sample of your writings, along with your salary or fee demands, to .

          Thank You! -Reason Staff

          1. Hihn-

            So glad you can be persuaded without my having to resort to facts or logic. But, then again, I guess we really should not be surprised about that.
            Anyways, thanks for the endorsement.

            Your Friend Always,

            PS- Go DIAF

          2. God you suck. Spamming away with Copypasta, the same three fucking posts, over and over and over. Get a fucking life.

    6. Ugh….You literally had EXACTLY the same reaction I did.

    7. I’m still looking for a Republican candidate who defends those things.

      1. I’m still looking for a Republican candidate who defends those things.

        I do not think that you and I are alone in this regard, CE.

    8. I share your laughter at the sheer absurdity of the idea.

    9. Jacket: Slow? I’m looking for a new host already.

    10. I wouldn’t call funding Emperor Xi’s slave state “non-interventionism” or “capitalism”.


  2. There’s a debate tonight?

    1. That depends. Do you consider a gathering of 10 candidates who all agree with each other a debate?

      1. They disagree on one key point: Which one of them gets to be president

        1. they all know it’s none of them.

          1. Sadly I don’t think they know that.

            1. Which immediately calls into question their analytical skills.

      2. They all agree that Trump will be reelected and they are posturing for 2024.

        1. No, because you never know. What if Trump drops dead?

      3. Do you consider a gathering of 10 candidates who all agree with each other a debate?

        Do you consider that a sane question?
        Is Hannity intelligent, or as crazy as Bernie?
        How does Tucker Carlson NOT equal in value to Elizabeth Warren?
        Judge Jeanine equal value with Kamala Harris?

        What if your string breaks, the one your puppetmaster dances you on?
        This comment will earn you how many cookies, from Alex Jones?

    2. stage show of people jealous they don’t look like Tulsi

      1. Would in a minute.

      2. stage show of people jealous they don’t look like Tulsi

        Surely, Dillinger, you are not implying that the male candidates desire to look like Representative Gabbard.

        On a serious note, however, I will point to Nick’s comment “What we won’t see at tonight’s debate is far more important than what’s going to be on display.”

        You and others may have noticed that the picture of the Democratic candidates below Nick’s speculative comment did not include Representative Gabbard (as of 9:00 EST).

    3. No, the next episode of Survivor: DNC.

      1. Be interesting if they were asked about Trump’s approach to China, and the bill that at least some of them supported via it passing with unanimous consent.
        That bill is an interesting move.
        Pretty much destroys any hope of a trade deal in the near and possibly long term.
        For what?
        What’s the point? What does Congress envision accomplishing with it?

        Probably good Reason is completely ignoring the story.
        Don’t think they have the brainpower on staff to write anything worthy

      2. Can we dump them all on a deserted island in the middle of the south Pacific? Can we?

        1. Yes, the one called ‘Antarctica’.

  3. So you are saying you want someone who isn’t a Democrat? This headline might as well say “Wanted, fascist candidate who believes in freedom and rejects fascism”. Rejecting capitalism, championing Wilsonian internationalism and interventions, and rejecting individual rights is who the Democrats are.

    1. Arguably, it could be saying “Wanted: a saner Democratic Party.”

      1. Scoop Jackson?
        Hubert Hump?
        Daniel P Moynihan?

          1. Nick doesn’t know that they’re dead.

    2. AOC wants to stop private equity now, because sometimes people who invest their own money take bad risks and go bankrupt, costing people their jobs in failing retailers.

  4. Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism

    Hell, I’d settle for a Libertarian presidential candidate who defends them.

    1. You mean you are not happy with Bake that Cake Johnson?

      1. I was mostly happy with Johnson.

        1. We should all be happy with our Johnsons, even if no one else is…

          1. I pulled hard for Johnson and got nothing for it.

            1. That happens sometimes. You may be pulling to often.

              1. Either that or he’s been pulling too hard and he broke his Johnson.

          2. Tell it to Bruce Jenner.

        2. Obviously not enough people bend over backwards for Johnsons.

          1. Seems like bending over forwards might be more productive.

              1. Be careful, Government Almighty will BUST ye for posting stuff-and-stuff like that! Sex slaves and stuff!!! ‘Cause ya know, EVERYONE who has sex is being TRAFFICKED against their will!!! The very continued existence of the human race is based on SEX SLAVERY!!! (The patriarchy told me so).

  5. Yeah, and I want Cote De Pablo to be my live in maid.

    1. May the odds be ever in your favor – – – – – – – –

    2. You and Tony D.

    3. she could chisel you new granite countertops with that chin

    4. My wife and I also want a unicorn, but can’t seem to find any that aren’t bots.

      1. Goddammit Reason I clicked to reply to the next comment. Ruined my fucking sexual infuendo.v

    5. I’ll vote for Tulsi Gabbard if she agrees to be nude from now until election day.

  6. Wanted: a unicorn.


      1. Touché.

        1. +1

          1. Some reassembly required.

    2. Wanted: a unicorn.

      Again, not just a unicorn because a horse with a horn on it’s head could conceivably be delivered. They want a humble, noble, king of a unicorn selected from a large field of horses, asses, and horses asses selectively bred not to have horns.

    3. My wife and I also want a unicorn but can’t find any that aren’t bots.

  7. So far there’s no one in the Democrat field I could vote for. And certainly not in the Republican field. So once again it will be the Libertarians, insofar as they don’t pull a Trump and nominate a wackjob like McAfee or Kokesh.

    1. What’s John McAfee, chopped meth?

      1. As South Dakota.

      2. Ask South Dakota.

          1. meth stutter.

      3. The question is where is John McAfee?

        Last I heard Iceland.

    2. nominate a wackjob like McAfee or Kokesh
      Or Amash… shudder…

  8. Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism

    I just want to get back to that brief moment when even I believed there might be a Libertarian Moment just around the corner.

    1. Libertarian moment – an brief period of time when you’re dragged into a back alley and mugged by a socialist and a conservative.

      1. Arm that libertarian and it will be a debate.

        1. Violent Libertarian Robs Pacifist Socialist at Gunpoint in Alley Occupied by Republican Vagrant

          /This is CNN

    2. Instead we got mugged by the bastard love child of Che Guevara and Juan Peron.

    3. Even the libertarians aren’t libertarian anymore.

      1. The ones outside of d.c. and n.y still are. Need reason to get the fuck out of cultural socialism.

        1. Yes, they are slowly absorbing the values of the coastal elites they formerly rejected. It’s a sad but telling example of the herd mentality of humans. And I fear for our future if this staff of educated, articulate former libertarians can be so rapidly and easily corrupted.

    4. Real libertarians knew better than to believe it.

    5. The libertaian moment begins the day after Trump is re-elected.

    6. I can’t understand why libertarians threw the trump moment away by trying to appeal to the left hellbent on getting that female president.

      Enough libertarian leaning Rs would have voted libertarian if the nominee hadn’t been such a dunce on free association because orangeman is crude.

      But Johnson just kept them at home or voting for egg mcmuffin.

  9. You do realize it’s the Democratic party debate, not Libertarian? It’s the party of socialism. So the first two won’t happen. And the second really only depends on whatever the communist party wants.

  10. “”Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism””

    Sure Nick, however, that dem wouldn’t win the primary. That’s just not the kind of person they are interested in.

    1. Prediction:
      The Jacket will “reluctantly” endorse whatever Donk wins the nomination because, well you know … ORANGEMANBAD

      1. “Reluctantly”

        Progress uber alles

        1. Demokratische Partei über alles,
          Über alles in der Welt,
          Wenn es stets zu Gier und Hass
          Brüderlich zusammenhält.
          Von Boston bis an die Georgetown,
          Von Portland bis an den Potrero Hill,
          Demokratische Partei über alles,
          Über alles in der Welt!

    2. they will defend some aspects of individualism (as long as they get to approve them up front), the look and feel of capitalism (as long as they get to regulate it heavily) and the idea of non-interventionism (but only when a Republican is waging a war).

      1. they will defend some aspects of individualism (as long as they get to approve them up front), the look and feel of capitalism (as long as they get to regulate it heavily) and the idea of non-interventionism (but only when a Republican is waging a war that they themselves supported a year earlier but has since become unpopular).

        Just for completeness.

  11. The homoerotic subtext in the phrasing found in the first paragraph of this article is underwhelming. Do better, Gillespie.

    And who the hell is going to vote for a candidate who tells them they’re on their own? Who won’t explain how it’s all the fault of this minority group? Who doesn’t identify a national problem and a vague solution to that problem? I mean, why even have a powerful federal government then?

    1. People shouldn’t be on their own. They should have a social safety net.

      In small government world, that safety net should be their extended family.

      Lots of lies out there about how government can take care of you. If you want to cave in that thinking, you need an alternative and it IS family. Strong familial networks and communities create natural social safety nets without government intervention.

  12. By the way, this is the tweet of the year:

    The big takeaway from Impeachment Theater is that American voters have influence over a much smaller portion of the federal government than they believed. Washington is a feudal bureaucratic empire with a small suggestion box.

    1. And the suggestion box is sitting on a paper shredder.

      1. And the guy that empties the paper shredder is a union employee.

        1. Plus the shredder is made in China

      2. the suggestion box is an online petition site started by Obama. who openly laughed at the top 2 suggestions about legalizing marijuana, even though a majority of his voters supported the idea.

    2. And there’s cameras all around the suggestion box.

    3. Damn, that is COLD

    4. “Thank you for your suggestion. We’ll take it under advisement.”

      *crumples suggestion and drops it*

    5. All the more reason to starve The Beast.

    6. But, they’re too stupid to see that.

    7. #DrainTheDeepState

  13. i don’t understand the title there hasn’t been a (D) like that in our lives. there may be a problem with the “goal” segment of your plan.

  14. “A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism”

    Really? Have you read any of the democratic party platforms in the last 5 elections?
    Why would it have to be a dem? Within the constraints of the do-nothing house, you have asked for Trump.

  15. Nick wishing for a Democrat he can openly support.

    1. He already did that in 2016.

      1. Trump. The description in the headline is Trump.

        1. While Trump is better than the D’s on those three issues I wouldn’t hold him up as a paragon of any of them.

  16. “Reparations” for gay couples who could not file as married before Obergefell. How are they going to determine that? Married status could be a tax break or a tax penalty depending on how income is structured. Are they going to assume it was a tax break for people with little proof that they even had a relationship then? This sounds like farce.

    1. Gays don’t get married, so it’s like arguing about angels on the head of a pin.

      1. The problem is the faulty assumption that filing taxes married always or even usually results in a tax break.

      2. “Gays don’t get married”
        And even when they do, they’re still out cruising every night anyway. Pretend marriages all round.

        1. Usually for the young flesh. Anyone remember underage Ian Gallagher’s story arc on ‘Shameless’ where he was dancing in basically a loincloth in a gay Chicago club? No one really thought that was unusual or even companied.

      3. It’s the thought that counts with Lieawatha…….

    2. Fuck that. How about reparations for the real victims — people who do get married?

      1. YAAASS!!

        *swings arms wildly, knocks wife off chair*

        *apologizes and does the dishes*

    3. What if I “identify” as gay for tax purposes … I can change my mind later, right?

    4. The only way we’ll ever achieve so called “equality” is when we recognize individuals as tenants of their own agency. A good first step would be to eliminate filing status on federal tax returs.

  17. You sure they’re not just gonna argue tonight about why Trump is literally Hitler Part. 6.
    Besides the Dems are done. They chose to die on this impeachment hill. I can’t wait to see another 4 years of The Trumpinator and the Democrat self purge that will follow. Maybe all those promises to move out of the country will finally come true.

    1. Looking forward to filling my pool with salty Prog tears!

      1. You can collect them in one of these.

      2. Kirkland’s are the tastiest!

    2. We only know one thing for certain about the debate:
      None of the moderators will ask a question about how the candidates plan to deal with the 23 trillion dollar national debt.

  18. Obama claimed he was a non interventionist and ended up asserting he did not even need a Congressional authorization to intervene in a foreign civil war. Looking to get fooled again Nick?

  19. When was the last Democrat, anywhere, in any capacity who supported all of these things?

    Maybe non-interventionist. But they always buckle once the deep state pushes them around. Never capitalist. Individualism? Dems have been pushing some variant of group identity politics since the early 80s.

    1. Thomas Jefferson.
      Who was also the first Democrat who supported all of these things.

  20. Wanted: libertarians who will admit that the only place libertarianism has a chance to be popular is in a White country.

    1. Of all the stupid things I’ve heard, this is the latest.

      1. go to a libertarian meetup and tell me what you see.

        1. And now this one’s the latest.

        2. individuals?

        3. Eric July thinks you should go fuck yourself bigot.

        4. BTDT!

          A bunch of weirdos with thoughts of a great revolution. ;-(

      2. To be fair… most of the Democrats pointing to democratic socialism only point to the overwhelming white ones. Go to Portland or Seattle sometime… very white. There’s a reason Democrats are trying to convince minorities to self segregate.

    2. LOL

      The more black and brown bodies immigrate to the US, the more libertarian this country will get. It’s no coincidence that Shikha Dalmia, a woman of color, is the greatest living libertarian writer.

      See, for example, Why Minorities Will Save American Constitutional Traditions in the Age of Trump.


      1. Is Shikha really a woman of colour though? I’m starting to think she might be Binion’s drag act.

      2. “Minorities think Orange Man Bad, therefore Libertopia”

        It really doesn’t work that way.

    3. libertarianism doesn’t have a chance of being popular anywhere

      1. But it did once. Circa 1776!

      2. Libertarianism is very popular in communist and socialist countries, but after those people escape they are seduced and softened by the good life and slowly evolve into communists and socialists.

    4. Albania? Belarus? Lebanon?

    5. Somalia?

    6. Yeah, go away.

    7. Hong Kong?

  21. I just came here to LOL.

  22. When they all want to take your guns, it’s not because they want to give you more freedom.

    1. Sure they do. Remember that within the Party war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

  23. Good stuff Nick, good stuff.

  24. Wanted: Libertarians who actually have principles. Stop confusing fiscally convenient with fiscally responsible.

  25. Reason owes me a new pair of pants, mine having split from a violent eruption of laughter, nay, a sustained guffaw.

  26. “Of course, neither Donald Trump nor the Republicans offer much to libertarians, despite historical reliance on libertrarian rhetoric about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and nominal support for minimal government.”

    There is a vast body of evidence showing that “immigrants” are not remotely interested in libertarian notions of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, or in “minimal government”.

    If Reason was a subversive organization dedicated to destroying liberty in the US, it would behave no differently than it currently does.

    1. The problem with the Libertarian concept of limited government is that it is focused on the Federal government.

      Have you seen what the states, the counties and the municipalities are capable of?

      This is the subject of many Reason articles. And yet, the focus remains on Uncle Sam. As though that will result in a Libertarian utopia.

    2. “If”?

  27. So … there’s no difference between President Trump and the alternate history of President Hillary?

  28. Good troll, Nick.


  29. As a small-ell libertarian, who’s only voted for one GOP candidate ever (Scott Brown), the insanity of the Democrats these days tempts me to vote for Trump in 2020.

    1. It’s Trump or Day Zero.
      Choose wisely.

      1. Nah, day zero was “the day the oceans stopped rising”.

  30. pledged to spend vast amounts of new money and to institute massive new regulations or create new bureaucracies

    as opposed to “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”

  31. Why doesn’t Nick Gillespie ask for that on the GOP side? Are Trump’s collectivist actions (e.g., executive orders) against LGBTI people individualist? How about calling all Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals? How about using all that stirred up hatred against immigrants to support intentional separation of children from their families without any means to reunite them? What about encouraging a small army of supporters to engage in political violence? (“I’ll pay your legal fees” “Doesn’t surprise me that a reporter would be beat up in Montana” “Just shoot him! Only in the panhandle!”) How about when one of his supporters did in fact just shoot them shortly thereafter in San Antonio? Also, you’re going to talk about capitalism with the Chinese trade war and BIGGER BAILOUTS for farmers than we ever saw for GM. (Note well, GM paid it back, the bankrupt farmers won’t).

    You are so full of that I don’t believe your contentions are made in good faith. You know better. What explains this ridiculous propaganda? This fealty to a fascist who openly wishes for a third term and expresses adoration for the worst mass murderers in the world?

    1. “How about calling all Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals?”
      “What about encouraging a small army of supporters to engage in political violence?”
      “This fealty to a fascist who openly wishes for a third term and expresses adoration for the worst mass murderers in the world?”

      You really are a special kind of stupid, aren’tcha?

      1. They really need a new spiel.

    2. Thanks for your input. When OBL retires we’ll contact you.

    3. You’ve completely missed the point. Nick and the rest of Reason’s staff are looking for excuses to vote Dem. Actually, most of them will be anyway, but this type exercise is a great help in salving the conscience considering the Dem candidates are to a man, card-carrying, fully paid-up Big State advocates.

      And it’s all about immigration. Reason loathes Trump and his ilk for believing that a border should exist at all, let alone as a way to filter those seeking to cross it.

      So there’s the vote for a Dem right there. Everything else is just looking for cover.

  32. Sorry to pile on but…

    Do you want rainbow fries with that unicorn burger?

  33. Pure and simple, most American’s don’t want more freedom they want other people to pay for everything for them.

    Evidence: That the Democrat party still exists, and voters still vote for them even knowing that they want to destroy everything.

    Of course, this was always pretty predictable. It’s what happens in just about every democratic government.

    1. Trump. What Nick wants is Trump.

    2. //Pure and simple, most American’s don’t want more freedom they want other people to pay for everything for them.//

      That is the truth in a nutshell. Freedom comes with a price and the free shit crowd believes everything is priceless.

      “Why can’t I have that? I deserve better! I DO!”

      “What are you willing to do for it?”


      ::face palm::

    3. To be fair team Red mostly pays lip service to more liberty but I’ll sadly have to agree with your first point. I’m old enough that I probably won’t see the shit hit the fan, but have no doubt that at will at some point.

      1. It’s not hard to be better than the other guy when the other guy is a full blown socialist out to nationalize the country, but that assumes that one of those types actually wins the Democrat nomination. At the moment, none of them appear palatable for one reason or another.

        Sadly, I’ll take a Trump over a Warren or Yang any day of the week. Even a full blown trade war with the rest of the planet couldn’t be as destructive as open borders and nationalized welfare economies.

    4. Because they’ve been brainwashed since FDR.

      It’s just a weakness of human nature.

      Jefferson understood this and warned others: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

      Santayana reminded us: “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”

      But, no one listens.

      I blame government controlled, public education!

    5. As always in politics, ask “Compared to what?”

      Americans want more freedom and are more libertarian than the rest of the world.

      Import Not Americans
      Become Less Libertarian

  34. Sorry Libertarians non- interventionism IS NOT WORKING!
    The lack or regulations ( or enforcement of many regulations) has led to:

    Unchecked consolidations/concentration of MANY industries. Just google how fewer competing companies in so many industries has resulted in less competition leading to Inflated prices AND Fewer jobs.

    Less competition in prescription medications as companies conspire through cross agreements to delay competing generic drug medications to be sold.

    One-sided trade deals and gamed currency subsidies that have gutted American manufacturing and netted a loss of jobs.

    Increased levels of unhealthy pollution from more fossil fuels that requires subsidies from government leases and foreign military intervention.

    1. Seems to me that companies providing cheaper products and higher quality and better delivery options are the ones that win. Fewer jobs? I would hope so. Why employ more people than needed to make a given product?

      1. You know, things really have gotten worse. When I graduated college back in the 80’s, I bought a new Sharp color TV…25″, manual tuner. A bargain at only $300. Didn’t need to spend extra on the digital tuner because my VCR came with one!

        Fast forward to this last weekend…. A huge stack of 65″ flat panel 4K smart TVs at Walmart for under $300. How is that possible?

      2. I’m really confused.

        If we don’t have a welfare state and fewer people are employed due to fewer businesses existing and it being nigh impossible for new business to compete with big business (without intervention: see Microsoft vs google), how do you expect people to afford cheap shit?

        Realize that the reason non-working Americans have roofs over their head, are largely obese, and have smartphones is because of welfare.

        Without welfare, you need jobs to maintain that standard of living. So tell me? Where’s that libertarian position that bridges the cognitive dissonance in your head?

    2. Less competition in prescription medications as companies conspire through cross agreements to delay competing generic drug medications to be sold.

      If there’s one area in our economy that’s totally unregulated, it’s prescription medication.

      1. I actually LOL’d. If I had been drinking, I’d have done a spit take.

    3. “Just google how fewer competing companies”


    4. Tonto
      November.20.2019 at 7:46 pm
      “Sorry Libertarians non- interventionism IS NOT WORKING!
      The lack or regulations ( or enforcement of many regulations) has led to:…”

      Did you show up just to prove how econ-ignorant someone can be?

    5. Be careful what you wish for………………..

  35. A Democrat who supports individual rights, capitalism and non-interventionism? Thomas Jefferson already served his two terms. Plus he’s deceased. Plus he owned slaves, so he would be automatically disqualified now.

  36. Sounds like Nick is trying to describe some weird fusion between a 1960’s hippie and an Ayn Rand capitalist. I don’t think that type of person exists in any significant numbers today.

    In any event, don’t vote for the “lesser of two evils”, and don’t cast your vote based on opposing some scary caricature of evil. Cast your vote based on what you sincerely believe.

    1. “I don’t understand how electoral politics work.”

  37. “The libertarian vote is up for grabs”

    Really? That’s your pitch??

    Tell the truth now…. where else are you gonna go? You guys have already tied your horse to the DNC candidate’s wagon. What, you think not?

    Tell me…. who else you gonna vote for? You’ve spent the last 3+ years on the “Trump is literally Hitler” bandwagon. You gonna endorse Trump? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  38. “Wanted: A Dem Presidential Candidate Who Defends Individualism, Capitalism, Non-Interventionism”

    Well, I’d kinda like a unicorn who shits Ben Franklins, too.

    1. Gee, and my 5 y/o granddaughter only asks me to Google “Unicorns and rainbows” so she can look at the pictures.

      Of course, she told me recently that unicorns are real while ponies are not. 🙁

  39. Nick, Nick, Nick:

    It’s called pandering. And, they all do it because it works. Just like we all complain about robocalls and yet, nothing happens. The perps keep doing it because it works.

    It will stop when stupid people stop responding favorably to it. (Probably not in my lifetime.)

  40. There’s a name for a Democrat like that: conservative. How many conservative Democrats are there? Would any Democrat activist tolerate the existence of conservative Democrats for more than a few nano-seconds?

    1. 80s liberals don’t know that they’re on the Right now.
      Modern Leftism has left them and their individual rights and rule of law *far* behind.

  41. However, there were a few libertarian moments in the debate. Booker on the wealth tax. Gabbard on interventionism. Biden on the failed drug war. Even Steyer had a comment or two.

    Unfortunately those are like those bits of undigested corn kernels in your shit.

  42. Sounds extremely Libertarian to me. Perhaps one should check out

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