Election 2020

Can Americans Inhabit Parallel Political Universes Without Compromising Freedom?

Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.


Last week, I argued that President Donald Trump's own behavior—rather than a vast nationwide voter-fraud conspiracy—caused his election defeat. I'm used to all types of angry responses (and even had ones over the years that required police intervention), but many of the responses have left me more fearful about the nation's future than I've been in a while.

The comments' tenor were not the problem. Almost everyone who contacted me was remarkably civil, including those who believe that yours truly is a blithering idiot. Differences of opinion are what makes the world go round, but I am worried about the vast differences in the sources that people rely upon—and by the fundamental lack of trust that many people have in the nation's institutions.

The situation reminds me of one of those science-fiction shows, such as The Man in the High Castle or Counterpart, where two vastly different but similar-looking worlds coexist uncomfortably in their own realities. That's America, circa 2020.

Let's look at how debates should work. For example, I've repeatedly railed against income-tax hikes. I argue that the state should get its spending in order before taxing us again and taxes depress economic growth. In response, tax supporters argue that the rich don't pay their fair share. We then look at the numbers and argue over what they mean. We draw different conclusions but accept the premise even if we pick nits with some of the data.

Now imagine having that taxation argument with someone who claims (without a scintilla of evidence) that the Department of Finance is rigging the numbers and that none of its data can be trusted. Or with a person who believes that poor people pay the bulk of state taxes. What if upon seeing evidence to the contrary, that person accuses me of ignoring the TRUTH!!! and directs me to a brilliant but unknown economist Grandpa found on YouTube?

You can see the problem. Regarding the Trump voter-fraud conspiracy, many of us rely on the 38-plus judicial rulings that have thus far rebuked the president's arguments. We trust the nation's elections system, which—despite its obvious flaws—has been one of the world's democratic triumphs. If the president had evidence of systemic fraud, we figure most of that would emerge in the courts.

The ensuing debate would center on specific legal cases and judicial findings. What happens, though, when large numbers of people believe that the entire court system, election process, and federal government are essentially in on the scam? As a libertarian, I'm fully aware of flaws in every political and governmental system, but still believe that sufficient checks and balances exist—and that our system is fundamentally legitimate.

What happens when people believe that most journalists are establishment tools who refuse to report that the election was stolen—perhaps by Venezuelan communists who rigged the electronic-voting software? That particular allegation can be disproven with hand counts, but never mind such petty details. It only proves that I'm listening to "lamestream" media sources rather than seeking out the real truth-tellers.

Many commenters have directed me to little-known web sites with unknowable funding sources and editorial standards, to reports on strange new networks, or bizarre press conferences by people who fall somewhere between "not credible" and unhinged. What can you say when a major political movement (Trumpism) finds it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than it is to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again?

Conspiracies are like a giant hairball—you yank on one strand, but can never unravel it. On The Alex Jones Show recently, former Trump adviser Roger Stone said he has learned of "absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbor in Maine," according to Newsweek. "If this checks out, if law enforcement looked into that and it turned out to be true, it would be proof of foreign involvement in the election." That would be something.

In Stone's defense, that's no crazier than stuff the president posts on Twitter. I used to think the proliferation of sources—including access to primary source material—would save our democracy by empowering people to go around gatekeepers. The biased media system used to limit our voices, after all. In our newly democratized media world, however, Aunt Ethel's post from some errant numbskull is as credible as a well-researched report in The Wall Street Journal.

A 2018 report from Rand Corporation refers to the situation as "Truth Decay," which results in "the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and uncertainty over national policy." That's putting it mildly. If Americans cannot figure out how to agree on basic facts and restore trust in our institutions, then how long will we remain a peaceful and free society?

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Cuties

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  1. I believe the opening phrase involves “popcorn.”

    1. Oh YEAH?!? Well, refute this known FACT:

      Fluoridated water is chock-full of tiny little Hunter Biden homunculi (one each per each fluorine atom, with a tiny sub-atomic Hunter Biden working the tiny little brain-control levers, and chucking an evil laugh) as they FORCED tens of millions of (otherwise-sane and sensible) fluoridated-water-drinking voters to NOT vote for Our Savior, Donald the Trump!

      1. But flouridated water is a dangerous Communist plot – and I have proof! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J67wKhddWu4

        1. Oh yeah? Then why do those precious bodily fluids keep staining my underwear?

      2. If you poop in the toilet, then eat that poop, does the fluoride effect the taste?

        1. This calls for a formal experiment. Get back to us after you ‘re done.

          1. Why consult him? SQRLSy’s already the resident expert.

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      3. Man. You seem to be hit extra hard by your God kings son being involved with money laundering like everyone told you a month ago.

        1. Amazing how that “non-story” turns out to be a story after all.

          1. Elections are like alchemy, turning non-stories about Democrats into “What the Hell” only after the process is complete.

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          2. Hunter isn’t running for office, who gives a fuck. If Joe was involved in something illegal, by all means find out, but otherwise Hunter IS a non-story.

            1. You mean if there was a character, let’s say his name is Bobulinski, who testified before the election that a guy named Joe got a cut from each of a guy named Hunter’s influence deals, it would matter then? Good news then, because there was a Bobulinski and it does happen that Joe was skimming some of that sweet, sweet lucre.

              Happy now, ‘cause you can care once again?

            2. Oh yes I’m sure the leftist media would follow that standard if the individuals involved were Republicans.

    2. It actually need sunlight because its Communist propaganda that the Democrat Party (Party of slavery) is a political party in parallel like the GOP.

      The Democrat Party is a criminal syndicate. They are okay with graft, money laundering, election fraud, violence, theft, imprisonment, slavery, propaganda, slavery, intimidation, slavery, voter fraud, buying votes, lying, slavery….

      1. The democrat party is also a domestic terror organization. Through their youth organizations, Antifa and BLM.

    3. Need plenty of popcorn for all the strawmen.

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  2. “Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.”

    So if Trump says Congress is corrupt I should think he’s lying? Or should I believe my own eyes and ears?

    As for this election and the reporting of mass vote fraud, I’m not so stupid as to believe there was none at all. But whether it was enough to turn the election is something I’m not ready to believe.

    1. The only time American institutions are corrupt is when Republicans are in charge.

      1. Both can be true; they are not mutually exclusive. Trump certainly has a problem with exaggeration and selling things, which is part of his background. The Democrat machine in cities like Atlanta, Detroit, and Philadelphia also have a history of playing fast and loose with the electoral process.
        Looking at data like rejection of mail-in ballots for lack of signature agreement certainly brings some doubts about the process to mind. In some of these cities the rejection rate used to be between 5-10% and now is less than 1%. So, nothing to see here.
        It is almost certain that Biden will be sworn in so that he can achieve his life-long dream of walking into a room while ‘Hail to the Chief’ is played. Looking closely at the process of handing out, verifying, and counting ballots is justified for the purpose of trust in future elections.

        1. And that sort of corruption of truth and logic is the foundation of our adversarial legal system. We know both the prosecution and defense will present narratives that spin and distort information, information that has a range of quality and factual assurance.

          Its almost like humans have a natural tendency for partisan deception.

          1. The difference in the two “realities” occupied by each side: one of them is driven by all the country’s established institutions and is therefore inescapable, the other cannot avoid contact, knowledge of, it.
            One of those realities seeks more and more to eliminate the dissemination of information, the other advocates for more speech and transparency.

            It is impossible to inhabit an exclusively conservative bubble.
            It is trivially easy to dwell in a leftist bubble.

            Consequently, one of these realities is more likely to be real than the other.

            1. “It is impossible to inhabit an exclusively conservative bubble.”

              That used to be the case but not anymore. Media and its dissemination have become so decentralized that each person now has the ability to construct his/her own bubble of reality.

        2. Future elections?
          It’s game over.
          They get away with this, there’s no reason to believe anything restrains them, or that future elections won’t be fixed (again).

          1. The courts failed us. More is now required. Time to start the resistance. The democrats must be brought low.

    2. Reason won’t even acknowledge vote fraud happens at this point because it may add legitimacy to democrats being corrupt. In Michigan the SoS stepped in, a Democrat, into the court case where the judge granted an audit of dominion machines on Antiam County. They are doing everything they can to prevent an audit.

      And here we have cosplay Ls and Reason stating without hard evidence no fraud happened. They deny the hard evidence they demand is controlled by state actors refusing to release them for audit. It is insane.

      1. GOP appointed judges reviewing and rejecting the fraud cases for lack of evidence is “hard evidence” that no widespread fraud took place. Trump’s own 2016 election fraud investigation found nothing. Recent academic studies on voter fraud found it to be rare and limited in scope and scale.

        If your world view is at odds with all of this such that you can only conclude that even Trump’s three Supreme Court nominees are part of the conspiracy then I don’t know what to say that might help you. Seek out sources that don’t confirm your own biases.

        1. Tons of evidence. You just won’t hear it.

    3. Every majory American Institution is actually corrupt.

      And trump is a liar who is being dishonest again, but that just makes him just like every other politician ever in the history of the universe.

      As to the election, I’m on board with Ragnarredbeard, it’s absurd to suggest there is no fraud at all.

      On the other hand it would take a lot of fraud to change the outcome and there’s no evidence of that.

      On one hand, most of the specific allegations of systemic fraud raised by the Trump campaign are absurd.

      On the other hand, a real investigation to see if systemic fraud exists (in the presidential election) would likely take more time than is available between election day and the House counting the EC votes. After it’s over, the incentives for those in a real position to do an investigation are towards dropping it.

      I see far too many people who get upset at the idea of even looking to see if fraud happened.

      How we get around this, I have no idea.

      1. “I see far too many people who get upset at the idea of even looking to see if fraud happened.”

        The people screaming “There’s nothing to see here. Ignore the man behind the curtain!” are usually, in my experience, lying their asses off.

        1. This is a strawman.

          The proposition from the Trump supporters is that fraud was large in scope and scale sufficient to account for at least 10 million votes and thus change the outcome of the election. And because of this, they contend, we should throw out those 10 million votes and let the majority Republican legislatures appoint Trump to the presidency.

          These “far too many people” would likely be very upset if there was actual fraud because that would be a violation of our democratic system and traditions. Instead, because there is no actual evidence of such a fraud, they are upset at the idea that an unproven allegation of widespread fraud should be sufficient to negate 10 million votes and appoint rather than elect a president. Appointing a president without any solid basis to do so is also a violation of our democratic system and traditions.

          Why is it you assume they’re upset about the “the idea of even looking to see if fraud happened” and not the fact that this is, instead, a bald-faced ploy to toss out 10 million legal votes?

          There are 10 million opportunities to show fraud. Fraud on that scale and scope, with the vast number of required conspirators, is nearly impossible to hide. There should be bags of evidence if it was true. Hand counts, paper receipts, simple demographic data cross-checks, all of these should show irregularities large enough to be obvious. People are angry because after a month of claiming the evidence exists, the GOP has failed to bring it forth. Even if there are a vast conspiracy of judges, certainly OAN or Newsmax or even Reason would be willing publish it. They’re certainly willing to publish the accusations, claims, and conspiracies… why not the evidence too? Why has the GOP kept it super secret? Because it doesn’t exist. And *that’s* why “far to many people” get upset over continued calls to do more investigations; they’re tired of hearing Trump call wolf.

      2. It’s not just fraud. It’s also sloppy or nonexistent enforcement of election laws, which may or may not be deliberate. If the latter, it may have been done out of a laziness, from pressure to get things done, or with the intention of making real voter fraud more difficult to detect. To so insistently resist any investigation as to what actually happened and what would explain various irregularities is itself highly suspicious.

        1. Nothing “actually happened” other than an election in which Trump lost. The “various irregularities” you claim don’t exist, and in any event, have been investigated and litigated to death, including in the Supreme Court that Trump just stacked with friendly judges. Trump his been setting up this Big Lie since 2016, and you know that I’m sure. But the law has spoken, clearly and repeatedly. Accept it or not. Go rogue. Take up arms. Whatever.

          1. “…Trump just stacked with friendly judges…”

            Yes, a POTUS appointing justices is ‘stacking’ the court to TDS-infected shits.

    4. The article really isn’t about having different opinions…it’s about having different facts and that is problematic

  3. The Russian disinformation campaign has successfully divided the American people. Joe Biden needs to clamp down on the US internet and alternative “news” sources until this issue can be resolved. If this divide continues, war with Russia may be the only solution.

    1. No re-education camps?

      1. No time for that. Sleepy Joe will decide what is ok to be on the internet.

      2. There’s no fixing stupid but you can exploit it.

        1. Hey! Stop y’all’s fighting!

          HERE is an uplifting message that may help out!

          A Trumpsmas Message of Hope, Peace, and Joy

          In these times of divisive troubles, we all need a little unifying Lift, yes? So I present to you, a Timeless, Empowering Story of Trumpsmas Joy!

          And it came to pass, that The Lord Trump descended from the penthouse of The Trump Hotel at Mar-a-Lago. He ascended the flag-draped speaker’s podium, and had an acolyte apply some touch-up bronzer. He ascended the Mount of Olives, and of Pineapples, and of Anchovies. Then He spake unto the assembled mass of 5 million:

          “I come unto ye to bring messages of Joy and Peace! Do NOT be confused by the lamestream media, nor by the Demon-rats, who speak of many strange wonders! They speak of many YUUGE lies, and of half-truths! Some say that I am the Son of God! Some say that I am the Son of Man! Some say that I am the Great White Father! Or the Great Pumpkin! Or the Great Whitish-Orangish Pumpkin-Father! But I am none of those things! I come to be before you, as an Humble Man… You may simply call me the Chosen One! Even the lamestream media knows this! https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-49429661 The American voters, the REAL, legitimate voters… The NON-Demon-rat ones, have overwhelmingly chosen MEEE! THAT is why I am the Chosen One!”

          He paused, momentarily, there on the top of the Mount of Olives, and of Pineapples, and of Anchovies, as thunderous applause deafened everyone for miles around. He tried to wave down the crowd, for silence. But in their jubilation, the crowd spontaneously broke out into a chant! “Dominos Pizza-Pie REEEquiem, Dominos Pizza-Pie REEEquiem, Dominos Pizza-Pie REEEquiem”, they chanted, over and over, and yet over, again! Sensing their spiritual and bodily hungers, The Lord Trump discreetly ordered a single, solitary pizza and a basket full of anchovies, which arrived nearly instantly. Then The Lord Trump broke off pieces of pizza, and dished out the anchovies, which somehow managed to feed the crowd of five million!

          With their hunger now sated, The Lord Trump was finally able to calm the masses, and silence their cheering, so that He could, once again, be heard. The Lord Trump spake once again, saying unto them, “Behold, now begins a time of troubles! The Dark Lord has bin bidin’ his time, which has now come! I will be swallowed up by the Penthouse of The Trump Hotel at Mar-a-Lago, for 4 years of dark nights and troubled days, and I know, you will miss Me terribly! But then the Boulder of Voter Fraud will mysteriously be shoved aside, and I will emerge once more! Trust in Me, just in Me!!!”

          The Lord Trump waited for a long time, for the applause to die down, and then continued, “While I am gone, the Faithful shall honor Me on the last Thursday of each November, giving Thanks that I have shown Good Americans The Truth and The Way. You shall slay the Great Pumpkin, and eat of the Pumpkin Pie, saying, ‘This is the Body of The Lord Trump. Eat it with Joy and Gladness’. Then you shall drink of the cranberry juice, saying. ‘This is the Blood of The Lord Trump. Drink it with Anticipation of the Defeat of the Forces of Evil, of the Demon-rats’. This, do in honor of MEEE!”

          The applause was overwhelming and unstoppable, so The Lord Trump escaped in His Helicopter, to the Penthouse of The Trump Hotel at Mar-a-Lago, leaving the crowd to festering in the gathering stormy weather. There were no busses provided for the crowds, but that was OK by them, for they were full of Great Trumpsmas Joy!

          1. Hey SQRLsy, yo

            Eat me.


            1. You’re delicious!

          2. I don’t like flagging non-spam even if it’s Sqrlsy, but I think I’m going to have to start doing it with his longer copy-pasta just to keep the thread readable.

            1. You know what else helps keep the thread readable? Not having several people heap abuse on him every time he posts. Just ignore it, you have clearly failed to dissuade him from posting.

              1. My purpose is not to clean up threads or dissuade him from posting, it’s to study and learn about his behavior. I’m working on my thesis for my PhD.

                1. Fair enough. There is some fascinating anthropology here.

                2. Should capture him and put him in a cage.

              2. “You know what else helps keep the thread readable”

                You refraining from bitching like its your job?

                “Not having several people ”

                Ah ok never mind too late.

              3. My efforts to convince him that suicide is the answer have failed.

          3. What about my chicken tenders and Mountain Dew: Code Red?

            1. In any kind of emergency (or low budget), chicken tenders and Mountain Dew may ALSO serve (in a “Big Tent” kind of way) as flesh and blood of The Lord Trump! In an EXTREME emergency, even Cheez Whiz and Mogen David (AKA “Mad Dog”) fortified wine will be acceptable! “Consumed with reverence” is all that matters critically!

          4. Could you provide the alcohol/narcotics combo you ingested prior to writing? I’ve got some time on Sunday, and wouldn’t mind getting incoherent for a bit.

            1. That them thar Cheez Whiz and Mogen David (AKA “Mad Dog”) fortified wine fer us High-Falutin’ Cultured folks, is whut I say!

              Wine, women, and song? If’n ye can afford it! Sex, drugs, and rock & roll, if’n ye are a filthy hippy! If’n ye are cultured like MEEE? Beer, the old lady, and TV!

            2. He drinks rotten cat piss for that.

          5. You forgot the prophecy:

            For unto us a Man-Child’s born,
            unto us a Don is given, unto us a Don is given
            and the government, the government will forever smolder
            And his name shall be call-ed
            Blunder-full! Con some more! Oh Mighty Don!
            The Everlasting Grifter, the Prince of Pence!

      3. I don’t like the sound of boncentration bamps…

    2. looks like you got your sock accounts mixed up again

    3. Does Russia own CNN now?

  4. Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.

    That no doubt is true, that some Trump supporters believe that, but that sets up a false dichotomy when that’s all your looking at. Many of us pay no attention to what Trump says because he talks so much shit all the goddamn time, but we still believe that the whole goddamn system is corrupt as shit and the Democrats – with the connivance of the media and the Deep State – stole the election.

    When academia is preaching absolute horseshit (Project 1619, Critical Race Theory, et al), when the media is preaching selective “truth” (Russian Collusion, Hunter Biden’s laptop, et al), when the political class live under a different set of rules than we peasants do (take your pick of scandals), when the government operates under the FYTW principle (Edward Snowden, everything the CIA has ever done, et al) while exceeding all bounds of the Constitution (do I really need to cite examples?) and when it’s obvious this shit just cannot go on if for no other reason that this country is bankrupt, do you really have any reason at all to trust “our sacred institutions”?

    Isn’t that the essence of libertarianism? That things are so irredeemably fucked up that we need some drastic changes to things? Fiddling around at the edges ain’t gonna get it.

    1. Isn’t that the essence of libertarianism? That things are so irredeemably fucked up that we need some drastic changes to things? Fiddling around at the edges ain’t gonna get it.

      Fiddling around the edges is all that you get. In that respect, the Libertarians have been absolutely no different than the major parties. Same turd sandwich, different choice of sides.


    2. “. . . but we still believe that the whole goddamn system is corrupt as shit and the Democrats – with the connivance of the media and the Deep State – stole the election.”

      Here’s something that can help you: https://www.amazon.com/tin-foil-hat/s?k=tin+foil+hat&tag=reasonmagazinea-20

      1. Nice try, asshole, tin foil hats actually amplify the mind control waves, you need a Faraday cage hat – which is why I wear a coil of chicken wire on my head.

        1. Apedad is one of the wapo libs that followed volokh here. Only slightly better than Kirkland.

        2. And a grounding wire

      2. Pretty sure apedad, and Greenhut, don’t seem to understand that a distrust of government and bureaucracy is what libertarianism is all about.

        Maybe they’d feel more at home on Huffpo?

        1. Good news there! No paid content from HuffPo while they make the transition to Buzzfeed. Hang out with the mentally stunted for free! — HuffPost Suspends Paid Membership During Move To BuzzFeed

        2. Recommending that people only read material that agrees with their own preferences? Confirmation bias is part of the problem.

          Coming to Reason to read articles that challenge liberals and going to HuffPo for right-wing conservatives seems like a good idea.

          Libertarians would trade corporations for government because corporations are more democratic? more trustworthy? Above politics? I’m waiting to hear a defense of Google’s apparent monopoly and why they should keep it here. Twitter too. Shouldn’t libertarians celebrate these corporations and their success as vindication for their ideas? (Or will I find more discussion about “censorship” and how Twitter and Google should be broken up here on Reason?)

    3. Go Jerryskids go! Knowing that Jerryskids is one of the too-few around here that think that this desired “drastic change” would mostly involve Government Almighty getting SMALLER! Let’s get small!

      But what do we hear from the hordes of NON-libertarian, authoritarian hordes of “marching moron” commenters here, though? Make Government Almighty BIGGER, so long as Government Almighty grinds on MY favorite axes!

      ‘1) Tear down Section 230… One of the VERY few places where Government Almighty got it RIGHT and LIMITED its own powers!

      ‘2) Tax the shit out of all the consumers who support “Chinese slave labor”! All un-Americans? They are ALL “slave laborers”, so we will HELP THEM OUT by not buying from them! Thank You Government Almighty!

      ‘3) Government Almighty ALSO needs to protect us all from buying goods or services from illegal sub-humans! Illegal sub-humans are HURTING me by being willing to work harder than I work, for lower wages!

      ‘4) And of course, Government Almighty protects me from un-authorized cheap plastic flute-blowing! All Hail Government Almighty!!!

      1. I think there is more in your water than a little flouride.

        1. He drinks from the toilet, after blasting out the angry remains of last nights Whopper.

          1. “He drinks from the toilet…”

            In his defense he was using a straw while he was trying to suck off, I mean, slurp up the Tidy Bowl Man who kept adding to the voices in his head.

    4. And with what evidence do you have that the Dems stole the election?

      You’re making the author’s point- your whole worldview has no basis in facts so…

      1. Trump lost. What other evidence do you need?

          1. So broken.

      2. Poor unreason.

        12th Amendment here we come.

        1. Twelfth A-mend-ment here we come!
          Right back where we start-ed from!
          At-lan-ta lib-rils ru-ined my state
          Their come-up-pance oh it’s gon-na be great!

          1. Very clever!

      3. I think his argument is “stealing elections is the kind of thing that everybody knows Democrats do”.

        1. It’s just like everybody knows that all Republicans are racists.

          1. Aren’t they?

            1. Ironically acknowledging reality would make the opposite true. But projection is a big seller among-st Democrats.

        2. I’m Boss Tweed and I approve this message.

        3. The difference is that Dems steal elections wholesale, while Reps are still working at voter fraud retail.

      4. There are numerous red flags Team Blue is bent on ignoring. The same Team Blue that spent four years insisting that Russian collusion was real but failed to provide a shred of evidence. When there are multiple irregularities, it’s usually a good idea to see if there is something to that smoke. Maybe there isn’t, but pretending it’s not there is no answer.

        1. There are absolutely things that states could do to improve their election systems, and doing so would be a positive, adult response.

          Make voting machine software open source, states that don’t use paper should, etc.

          1. check voter ID and match signatures

            1. Sure, sounds good. They already do the latter.

              1. “Sure, sounds good. They already do the latter.”

                Actually, no, in PA the Secretary of State voided that requirement for mail-in ballots just before November. Where there is no other mechanism for proof of voter legality. An 66% of Biden’s votes in PA were via mail-in….when the proof of legality was unilaterally voided by the ardent Dem SOS.

                And people wonder why the average trump voter is deeply suspicious.

                1. Just read about it. It was the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that made the ruling, not the Secretary of State, and they did so because (get this) they were adhering to the election law set by the legislature.

                  Anyway, they should require signature checking. Or something even stronger.

                  1. “Just read about it”

                    And now you will pontificate as though you didn’t “just read about it”

                    “It was the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that made the ruling, not the Secretary of State”

                    Ah you’re lying again, it was the SOS whowaas then supported by the court decision.

                    Which changes exactly norhing about anything of course, it’s just minutiae for you to crow about as a justification to ignore what you don’t like.

                  2. Because, get this, they were claiming they were adhering to the election law set by the legislature, even though everybody had previously thought it actually DID require signature checking, which is why signatures were checked in previous elections.

                    The law said that your proof of identity should be checked against records, and your signature was your proof of identity on the ballots, which in previous elections had been checked against the same records used to check the signatures of in person voters.

                    Nobody had previously thought the law meant anything other than signature checking.

          2. This what I hope comes out of this mess. I have no reason to believe the election results would change. Election fraud and general irresponsibility needs to be addressed before the election. (I think the vast majority of poll workers are honest, but it only take a few in the right places at the right time to change an election.) Judges are loathe to throw out ballots once they’re been counted with a very good reason. A legitimate and trustworthy election process is essential to a functioning democracy. It’s painful to see so many people wanting to pretend everything is fine just because they happened to win this time.

        2. Manafort was on Putin’s payroll while he was running Trump’s campaign. You know I could go but what’s the point. You guys are permanently incapable of absorbing and making sense of facts. It’s very much like religious belief. Balls to walls crazy, easily demonstrably crazy and yet people believe it with every once of their being. There’s nothing new here. It’s the same human stupidity latching on to a new crazy.

          1. And yet, Manafort’s case had nothing at all to do with Putin. Why do you suppose that is? Could it possibly be that “on Putin’s payroll” is a bit overheated? By that logic, John Podesta was on the payroll as was Hillary given ‘donations’ made to the Clinton Foundation.

      5. They stole the election of 1960, Republican deserve compensation.

        Yes, Trump lost. but the democrats don’t respect any law or standard in their quest for power, so why should the Right? It’s civil war without bullets at this point, but the bullets are coming. Better to partition the country.

    5. A conspiracist mindset is certainly COMMON among libertarians. It is also a feature of schizophrenics.

      The schizophrenic influencing machine is a machine of mystical nature. The patients are able to give only vague hints of its construction. It consists of boxes, cranks, levers, wheels, buttons, wires, batteries, and the like. Patients endeavor to discover the construction of the apparatus by means of their technical knowledge, and it appears that with the progressive popularization of the sciences, all the forces known to technology are utilized to explain the functioning of the apparatus. All the discoveries of mankind, however, are regarded as inadequate to explain the marvelous powers of this machine, by which the patients feel themselves persecuted.

      And has become increasingly common – ever since we actually did harness science to the service of manipulating the individual en masse. Conspiracy theories are imo the easy way out for those who want to reject that particular manipulation but don’t really understand the mechanisms of it and in fact don’t really oppose sociopathic manipulation on general principle.

      1. a conspiracist mindset is also helpful in analyzing history

        1. Not really imo. And libertarians and classical liberals should understand that better than most. Especially those who want to understand history. Spontaneous order, however explained or understood in the specific situation, should be in the DNA of libertarians even if it’s not even true in that situation. Dating right back to the 1700’s Scottish Enlightenment

          Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design. Adam Ferguson – History of Civil Society 1767. He’s not some obscure guy. He’s the guy who wrote the ‘History’ article of the 2nd edition of Encyclopedia Brittanica expanding it from 1 paragraph (pre Gibbon/Ferguson) to 40 pages.

          Conspiracists otoh force design into everything. They aren’t even good skeptics about a mainstream establishment narrative (eg the traditional ‘court history’ of bards and myth) because they are only interested in their own narrative rather than in facts that don’t fit a narrative.

          And this stuff is really pervasive in the Ron Paul crowd. Pulled from him personally because of his Bircher and neoconfederate paleo tendencies. Which is why he attracted every nutjob in the world in 2008.

          1. “imo”

            your “o” has shown to be worthless

    6. “Isn’t that the essence of libertarianism?”

      No, it is not. Economically, the essence of libertarianism is that central authority cannot possibly gather and analyze information and make good decisions anywhere nearly as individual actors with information with knowledge of their specialized situation. Ethically, the essence of libertarianism is that most people are good, and requires an environment of trust, civility, and a comprehensible, equitable framework of laws to provide scaffolding for freedom, including rule of law rather than rule of man.

      1. Yeah man go man go!

        “…and requires an environment of trust, civility, and a comprehensible, equitable framework of laws to provide scaffolding for freedom, including rule of law rather than rule of man.”

        With emphasis on… “…an environment of trust, civility…”

        Shorter phrase: “Social capital”, where we can generally trust strangers (until they prove that they cannot be trusted). Corruption and paranoia (and blaming others for all that goes wrong) tears down “social capital”! Donald Trump is a CLASSIC example of a person who rides on the tips of the waves of “social capital”, and shits all over “social capital” while doing so! ALL of society is ROTTEN to the core, says The Donald, except for those who support HIM!

        1. yo.

          eat me.

      2. And yet you preferred the party hell bent on centralizing at the federal level and ar some point globally further removing power from the people. So go fuck yourself.

        1. Not following. The one Libertarian in Congress is the first ever, and he doesn’t exactly wield vast power.

          1. Did you not KNOW that ALL who do not adore the Great Whitish-Orangish Pumpkin-Father are Marxists and Demon-rats? WHAT, pray tell, is this “Libertarian” thing, of which you speak?

            1. You do realize, don’t you, that millions of people voted for Trump only grudgingly, because as bad as he is, the other team’s candidate was believed to be markedly WORSE?

              Millions of people pulled the lever for the guy but are not syncophants.

              1. Well yeah, I do have to try and recall that! Thanks for the voice of moderation! We need more of that around here from time to time!

                1. Eat me, and eat me now.

              2. Absolutely. I have friends, neighbors, and family like that.

                And then there are fanatical Trump loyalists like JesseAz, lc1789, Nardz, Sevo, … most bizarre Trump fan is Mother’s Lament, who is a Republican hyper partisan even though he lives in Canada.

                1. Millions of Canadians are, even in Quebec:

                  Trump is the only major Western leader standing against the Davos crowd and the warpigs.

                2. Oops, I almost forgot…
                  Go fuck yourself White Knight.

                3. Fuck Canadians who interfere in our politics!

                  1. They don’t. It’s just weird, and kinda sad, for someone like Mother’s Lament to be so deeply invested in the politics of a country he doesn’t even live in.

                    1. You harping on it is pretty weird, like you think you have a gotcha but it just makes you look like a bigot.

                    2. Momma likes to fuck moose, and she thinks that everyone else in Canuckistanistanistanistanistan should fuck moose, as well. And now she wants to EXPORT her moose-fucking attitudes to the USA?!?! And us calling her on this, is BIGOTED?!?!

                      You (Flair) are bigoted against bigots, who have perfectly good reasons to be bigoted, in this case! Don’t be so judgmental against those who are judgmental! Also don’t be judgmental, either, against those who are just plain mental, ass well as judgmental, ass in this case of our resident moose-fucker here!

                    3. How does moose shit taste compared to human shit?

              3. Everyone who voted or even considered voting for Donald Trump is by definition a racist, fascist, misogynist, and all those other factually accurate epithets I can’t think of right now. actually, this includes everyone who even doubted voting for Biden was a good and noble thing.

              4. Millions of republicans also voted for Biden (and republicans down-ballot) because Trump is a moron.

      3. “No, it is not. ”

        Your definition ain’t much better, TWK.

        I am not a libertarian because “central authority cannot possibly gather and analyze information and make good decisions anywhere nearly as individual actors”. I mean, I agree with the premise. But that isn’t the ESSENCE of libertarianism.

        I am libertarian because it is WRONG for a central authority to dictate the solely private transactions between individuals. That, in general, this is more efficient is just a bonus- but not a requisite requirement of liberty. Indeed, the whole reason people regularly call for socialism is that they completely DISAGREE with you that individuals “make good decisions”. They think it is objectively bad that people throw away food in Chicago while kids in India starve.

        Likewise, there is no ethical presumption to Libertarianism that “people are good”. The ethical presumption is that it is wrong to infringe upon their liberty. Whether they are good or bad doesn’t matter.

        1. “Indeed, the whole reason people regularly call for socialism is that they completely DISAGREE with you that individuals “make good decisions”.

          The post-apocalyptic elders tell us: ‘When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong, every single time.’

          So we have to control them and never ever give them the freedom to choose.

        2. Such an over broad definition. Let’s just stick with the correct actions of government when discussing libertarianism.

        3. Yes, well said.

      4. I would argue that the essence of libertarianism is believing that individual liberty is the highest moral good.

        Some libertarians believe that individual liberty always outweighs all other moral considerations. I’d put the ancaps in this camp. It is a fairly radical viewpoint, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.

        Some libertarians believe that individual liberty outweighs all other individual moral considerations, but that sometimes the sum total of other considerations can outweigh individual liberty. I’d put the classical liberals in this camp. It is a more compromising and pragmatic viewpoint, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a derogatory way either.

        And of course there is everything in between.

    7.  “Many of us pay no attention to what Trump says because he talks so much shit all the goddamn time, but we still believe that the whole goddamn system is corrupt as shit and the Democrats – with the connivance of the media and the Deep State – stole the election.”

      Well said, but I would argue that the things Trump says aren’t nearly as bad as what many Dems say or do on an almost daily basis. Like the woman in Michigan threatening people on video. Or Pelosi waiting to pass Covid relief until Biden was elected. Or everything CNN staff said in those calls. Or everything AOC says. Trump GAINED votes because of them.

      1. Only one of the people mentioned in your comment has the pulpit of being POTUS.

        1. So?
          “B-b-b-but mean tweets”

        2. Good point. He’s the supreme leader, we should really only focus on his power. Everyone else doesn’t really have any power over us.

    8. do you really have any reason at all to trust “our sacred institutions”?

      But you don’t have to trust them.

      Specific claims of fraud and irregularities have been made. You can scrutinize those claims and see if they still hold up. Or you can refer them to the Department of Justice under the current Trump-appointed AG, and they can investigate them (as they have been instructed to do).

      1. You are still here lying about shit? Many analysis, which you openly proved you didnt understand, show a deviation against historical norms on elections. Especially with the extreme outliers of votes batches many standard deviations from norm (both this election and past ones). You didn’t even understand the analysis involved treating each batch as an independent trial. You made an excuse that the gop didn’t vote by mail despite then having 30% of the mail in ballots of each state.

        You also ask for evidence that can only be gained through lawsuits as the election officials are not releasing material nor participating in any meaningful audits. Youre full of shit.

        1. Please point to one comment I have made in which I lied.

          Regarding the one analysis that you keep claiming I didn’t understand, instead of falsely accusing me of lying, can you please respond to the actual points that I made? I make specific, testable, factual claims that you either can or cannot refute with data, and I also made some reasoned arguments that you are free to counter in a civil and respectful manner (you are free to counter them in an uncivil and disrespectful manner, too, but I’d greatly appreciate the former). I copy a response that I have already copied at least once before below.

          I did no such thing. I pointed out, correctly, that the two different analyses are working with the same data set, which is data scraped from the NYT website, which was provided by Edison Research, and was formatted for use in graphical display on the NYT website. I correctly pointed out that the data set reports updated total votes and updated fractional total share of those votes for Biden and Trump. I correctly pointed out that both analyses you refer to derived the actual number of votes for Biden and Trump by multiplying the total number of votes by the fractional vote share. I correctly pointed out that the fractional vote share is only reported to three significant digits, and that the derived votes for Biden and Trump are therefore inherently imprecise, and therefore not well suited to precision data analysis. I invited anyone who doesn’t believe these statements to download the data and reproduce both analyses for themselves, as I did.

          I then pointed out that even accepting the second analysis you refer to, their Figure 10 makes it seem like the outlier points they identify are not actually outliers when looked at in terms of the whole country. I speculated that they are detecting two well known and unsurprising facts: that urban centers have large populations, and that urban centers skew more heavily towards Democrats. When combined, this makes urban centers stand out for having a large absolute margin for Joe Biden their x-axes)and for having a large ratio of Biden votes to Trump votes (their y-axes), especially when considering updates that primarily reported the results of mail-in ballots (which the supposedly outlying updates mostly did), since they are known to have skewed even more heavily towards Democrats. Since most states have a small number of large urban centers (in some cases, only one), these updates look extreme in the context of any individual state. But when shown for the country of a whole, which has more of a smooth continuum of small to large population centers, the results look less like outliers and more like points within that continuum. This is how I interpret their Figure 10.

          I admit that the last paragraph is speculation on my part, though I think it is reasonable, and I welcome a rebuttal of the argument I presented.

          As I have said repeatedly, I welcome audits and investigations. But it is simply not true that the evidence I ask for can only be gained through lawsuits. Claims have been made about publicly available data sets. I and others have shown most of those to be just plain wrong. And I have argued that the others have reasonable explanations that do not invoke fraud.

          Furthermore, the DoJ specifically instructed its investigators to investigate claims of fraud. So in those instances where you think the data point to something suspicious, or other instances of irregularities, there is a fairly powerful, well-funded US federal agency run by a Trump ally that people can (and have) reported to.
          Why have they failed to find evidence up to this point?

          And a small number of lawsuits have been successful. A GA judge ordered the impoundment of some of the Dominion voting machines in certain counties for inspection. I haven’t heard the results of that, but I am sure we will if anything fishy comes up.

          And there have been recounts that would have detected some — not all, but some — of the claimed irregularities if they existed. True, they were not doing a signature audit, but things like double scanning ballots (as was claimed at the State Farm arena by some outlets) would be detected. And yet those recounts did not find those types of irregularities.

          People have been scrutinizing this election — internet sleuths, conservative media outlets, data analysts, PhD statisticians, lawyers working for Trump, state courts, federal courts, Republican-appointed judges, state AGs, the US Department of Justice, and now the US Supreme Court (with three Trump-appointed justices). At what point is it enough for a reasonable person to conclude that Joe Biden lawfully won?

          1. At what point is it enough for a reasonable person to conclude that Joe Biden lawfully won?

            Trumpistas aren’t reasonable people.

            1. Yeah, they’re really just cult members.

        2. “Especially with the extreme outliers of votes batches many standard deviations from norm…”

          Where have you done the groundwork of showing that voting data is the type of data that should conform to a normal distribution? Voting is not coin flips or set of peoples’ height measurements.

          It seems likely that voting data can and does follow non-normal distributions, and can have a fat tail, or be susceptible to black swan events.

          1. JesseAz never answers this. I’ve asked him more than once.

        3. You forget that election officials in Republican states like Georgia and Arizona report to Republican secretaries of state, Republican governors, and that those individuals have direct access to all the evidence required. You don’t even need discovery at a trial to get that data because Republicans already have direct, legal access to more than enough to alter the course of the election. You have GOP election officials that would quickly blow the whistle if they had anything remotely odd-looking to report.

          But despite an overwhelming desire to find evidence and an overwhelming lack of it, you’re stuck having to assume a grand conspiracy that includes even GOP appointees, officials, and judges in order to explain it. Or, you could go with the simplest explanation for which this is ample actual evidence: Trump lost the election.

      2. Specific claims of fraud and irregularities have been made. You can scrutinize those claims and see if they still hold up. Or you can refer them to the Department of Justice under the current Trump-appointed AG, and they can investigate them (as they have been instructed to do).

        Or you can simply look at the improbabilities that happened in this election, all of which landed in Biden’s favor and realize that something stinks even if you don’t know specifically where the smell is coming from. As I’ve said before, if Joe Biden walks into a store and buys ten scratchers and all ten of them turn out to be $10,000 winners, there’s no proof there was any funny business going on but you can bet your ass that the lottery commission is going to be investigating this pretty damn closely before they go handing over his winnings.

        Personally, I think Joe’s win had a lot to do with this mail-in balloting shit where there’s no proof of who the voter is or how they came about being a voter. I’d suggest checking all these first-time voters that suddenly came out of the woodwork. Was there by any chance somebody “helping” them with their voting? Any chance the rules were very recently changed allowing questionable ballots to be “cured” rather than simply shit-canned? Any chance a lot of them have addresses like hotels or the state mental institution or prison or nursing homes that specialize in Alzheimer’s care?

        We need photo ID’s and in-person voting and paper ballots. And you’re racist for suggesting that black people are too goddamn stupid to figure out how to get an ID and vote in person.

        1. Or you can simply look at the improbabilities that happened in this election

          But which improbabilities? Because I’ve looked into a lot of these, and found that most of the claimed improbable things don’t stand up to scrutiny.

          the lottery commission is going to be investigating this pretty damn closely before they go handing over his winnings

          See above. People have been investigating.

          I’d suggest checking all these first-time voters that suddenly came out of the woodwork

          I don’t object to that.

          Was there by any chance somebody “helping” them with their voting?

          Assuming it is actual helping, and not fraud, I have no problem with that. If volunteers want to help people vote, even if those volunteers are partisan, so be it, as long as partisans from all sides have the same legal opportunity to do so. If they are engaging in voter intimidation of some sort, then that is wrong and it should be punished to the full extent of the law.

          Any chance the rules were very recently changed allowing questionable ballots to be “cured” rather than simply shit-canned?

          Yes, at least in PA, but it applied statewide, and Republican counties and election officials chose not to take advantage of the rule change and allow voters in their areas to correct their ballots. And the rule change has been litigated at the state and federal level.

          Any chance a lot of them have addresses like hotels or the state mental institution or prison or nursing homes that specialize in Alzheimer’s care?

          I welcome checking that, so I don’t think we disagree here.

          We need photo ID’s and in-person voting and paper ballots.

          I’m fairly agnostic on voter ID — I certainly don’t oppose it. Luckily, only eight states have fully electronic voting with no paper ballot trail. FWIW, seven out of eight voted for Trump.


          And you’re racist for suggesting that black people are too goddamn stupid to figure out how to get an ID and vote in person.

          I’ve never suggested that.

          1. “Assuming it is actual helping, and not fraud”

            Most of the “helping” being referred to was picking up the unused ballot, filling it in and mailing them off en masse.

            If it was just someone bussing grandma to the polls it would be different.

            1. I agree that would be bad.

            2. But I would like to know what makes you think this happened?

              I’m not necessarily asking for a smoking gun, or hard and fast evidence.

              I’m just asking for whatever information makes you suspicious that people were filling out unused ballots and mailing them off en masse.

              1. Your reason for being, as you yourself state, is to cherry pick data and analyze it in a way that you hope will convince people this was a free and fair election.
                Eat a bullet, goebbels.

    9. Mean tweets are worse than all the things you stated.

      1. Characterizing Trump’s behavior as nothing more than “mean tweets” is being disingenuous, and overlooking a lot more reprehensible actions.

        1. Like spying on his political opponent with fraudulent FISA warrants? Like weaponizing the IRS to audit political opponents and prevent the organization of opposition groups? Like putting people in jail for possession of marijuana while smoking up listening to Tupac? Like defending segregation on the Senate floor by saying ‘you don’t want those kinds of people going to school with your daughters?’

          1. I’m going to lay some wisdom on you that a lot of people pick up by kindergartner: two wrongs don’t make a right.

            1. We have a two party systems, you have pick the lesser of two wrongs. Trump is clearly the lesser of two wrongs from a libertarian perspective. There is zero overlap of libertarianism and the Biden-Harris platform.

              1. No, I do not. I don’t have to “pick” either major American political party. I don’t have to live in America for that matter. I don’t have to obey any law with which I disagree, understanding there may be consequences for such actions. Because your imagination limits you to two options does not limit me in the slightest.

                1. What is it like in the fantasy land in which you live? Is the weather nice? Are there unicorns?

                  1. While I understand you may not own a globe (or have used Google Maps) but “not America” is bigger than the U.S. And there are many places in “not America” with agreeable climates, paved roads, running water, etc. While not widely known by Americans there are things in other countries that are actually better than their American counterparts… something only known to those people who travel farther than kitchen to keyboard.

                2. If you keep letting Democrats win you’re going to have to do all those things and a whole lot more.

              2. “We have a two party systems, you have pick the lesser of two wrongs.”

                I do not accept that premise. I believe it is sheep-like to accept the two-party system, and that the two-party system is destroying this country.

                1. What is it like in the fantasy land in which you live? Is the weather nice? Are there unicorns?

                2. Quit pretending you’re not the DNC politruk for the comments section.
                  You’re not fooling anyone, DOL.

              3. Zero overlap? Are you sure about that?

                1. Legalization of Marijuana
                2. LGB civil rights and freedoms (but obviously not “hate crimes” laws.)
                3. That healthcare should be largely handled by private insurance (Biden believes this, Harris does not.)

                Libertarians tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Obama’s administration was more fiscally responsible than Trump’s or Bush’s based on their impacts on the Federal deficit. Biden is likely to be similar if for no other reason than he’s selecting a lot of Obama’s former appointees for his own cabinet. Certainly there’s overlap there? On paper, anyway, libertarians should be uniquely qualified to find overlap with both liberals and conservatives on a number of issues. In reality, libertarians in Congress and here on Reason tend to be just another flavor of right-wing conservative.

            2. Except the left hasn’t advanced emotionally beyond that.

              1. And, so, you will stoop to their level rather than holding yourself to a higher standard?

                1. Why should I let some false narrative about a “higher standard” undermine my survival instinct?

                  1. Because the two-party system offers no scenario that works out well in the end. So the best path to survival is rejection of the system.

                    1. No, the best path to survival is adapting to the conditions at hand.

            3. “I’m going to lay some wisdom on you that a lot of people pick up by kindergartner: two wrongs don’t make a right.”

              And I’ll point out that, as a TDS-infected lying shit, you’ve yet to specify those ‘reprehensible actions’ you so often lie about.
              Fuck off and die.

              1. Good, good! Let the anger flow! You will soon be a Trith Lord!

                1. Did you retire?

                2. “Fuck off and die”

                  Sage advice from Sevo, White Knight. You should look into it.

                  Your party is pretty big on the old Aktion T4 measures, so it might not even hurt.

        2. ” a lot more reprehensible actions.”

          Such as?

          1. Causing WK’s TDS, mostly.

          2. You know what he is referring to you just refuse to acknowledge them for partisan purposes.

            typical liberal response with out addressing the question

          3. Vera Coking, pussy grabbing and multiple accusations of sexual assault, record numbers of drone strikes, abandoning the Kurds, sucking up to Turkey and the Saudis, trying to shut down companies because of personal grudges, promotion of xenophobia and racism, separating children from their parents (sometimes permanently), Lafayette Square, trying to throw democracy under the bus because he is a sore loser, his current execution spree.

            1. you have issues with reality and fact

            2. Man that’s some weak fucking tea.

    10. Yeah, what’s the premise here? Libertarians should defend political institutions? I thought the whole point was that the political system is fucked.

    11. This idea Greenhut’s pushing that the two are mutually exclusive is one of the spiciest takes I’ve seen yet.

      Yeah, Trump’s a blowhard. We’ve known that for 40 fucking years.

      We’ve also known that the media, government bureaucracies, Congress, and the oligarchs that influence them are corrupt, and Trump acting like an ass or claiming that they are corrupt doesn’t make them any less so. Hell, that’s one of the core tenets of libertarianism, that government institutions shouldn’t get too big precisely BECAUSE they become more susceptible to influence-peddling and corruption. Other than communist China or India, just due to the sheer scale of population, what government is bigger than the United States?

      As Jerryskids points out, the rot is so fucking inherent and blatant now that it shouldn’t take a real estate hustler to expose that, nor for us to reject that assertion out of hand.

      1. exactly just because a blowhard points out a problem doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t exist and to sweep it under the rug as nothing to see here only creates more distrust.

      2. The question is: Does the collapse of a flawed democratic nation into tribalism lead to a society of greater freedoms or fewer? Reason has written about seemingly contrary problem of government becoming more authoritarian in low trust societies. The rule of law in America does not protect individual rights as well as one might prefer, but what happens when there is no rule of law?

        1. The question is: Does the collapse of a flawed democratic nation into tribalism lead to a society of greater freedoms or fewer?…The rule of law in America does not protect individual rights as well as one might prefer, but what happens when there is no rule of law?

          Ask the Catonians.

    12. It’s easy to paint the idea that most or all of our major institutions are corrupt in the same way as a wild conspiracy theory if you’re working from the idea that these institutions have generally been working as they were intended to, impartially and for the benefit of all. If you see this corruption as part of a long process of ideological capture and rot that has been going on for fifty years or more, it doesn’t seem so wild. It’s obvious that corporations, the media, government bureaucrats, top-ranking Democrats–most of the professional/managerial class–has embraced globalist utopianism, critical race theory, diversity/equity/inclusion initiatives, the idea that truth is “moral clarity” and the construction of master narratives that undermine any commonplace of our society, the fantasy that gender is infinite and innate and sex is socially constructed, and other strongly related ideas. Deceptive and coercive language and tactics have become the norm in corporate, political, and news messaging. Some would say it’s always been like this, but the deception and coercion have not until the last several years been so tightly organized around a single line of conceptual attack, and the target of this hostility until lately has not been ordinary people, who are now demonized for owning and operating businesses, owning property, expecting to pass on wealth to their children, expecting the law to apply to everyone, and in many cases simply existing. I don’t particularly want to look at my society and see a leering death cult in charge, but that is what it looks like to me.

      1. This shit has long ideological roots, but it didn’t really start accelerating until two notable events happened over the last 20 years. The first was the Iraq invasion, which galvanized a lot of late-stage Gen-Xers and early Millennials who had recently been indoctrinated in the increasingly radical PC culture at college by New Left Boomer professors–I remember specifically, for example, having to read essays on “whiteness” studies in grad school at the turn of the century that were the ideological fruits of Peggy McIntosh’s poisonous essay on white privilege.

        The second was Occupy, which started off as an ordinary protest against the bailouts of the big banks and corporations, but was quickly infiltrated and taken over by activists steeped in identity politics. What should have been a class-based protest turned into one based on the intersectionality of the McIntosh school that had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with personal identity. That takeover ended up becoming the de facto ideology of every left-leaning activist, mainstream and alternative media figure, and upper-middle class neo-yuppie over the last ten years. The current culture war can be directly traced to it, and it’s likely going to turn into a hot war in some places because these assholes simply cannot leave people alone.

        1. You mean what happened was Twitter homogenized all the leftist claptrap into one gooey mess. anyone diverging from the new catechism was canceled or squashed or reeducated, only let back in if they apologized profusely and promised to tow the lion from here until forever.

          I suspect a lot of the Masters of the Universe don’t believe half what they agree to, they just pay it lip service to keep their woke workers happy and stave off boycotts.

          1. “You mean what happened was Twitter homogenized all the leftist claptrap into one gooey mess”

            Twitter is Trump’s main means of communication. He posts at least ten tweets a day.

            1. Twitter is Trump’s main means of communication. He posts at least ten tweets a day.

              There’s already been plenty of studies showing the political bent of Twitter’s user base is dominated by a small percentage of left-leaning accounts. Trump’s tweeting habits don’t change that.

              1. So? A private website’s user base has a political bias. Anybody done a study of Parler’s users?

                1. Is Parler the platform that has driven hundreds of mainstream news pieces in the past several years? Do mainstream journalists routinely concoct breaking news stories out of nothing but what their colleagues have said on Parler?

                  1. Because Twitter has been around longer and has more influence than Parler the government should control Twitter. Got it.

                2. Thanks for conceding the point.

          2. You mean what happened was Twitter homogenized all the leftist claptrap into one gooey mess.

            That was a side effect of the second event. While Twitter’s been a left-wing echo chamber in most respects for a while, it didn’t get to the point that it is currently until after Trump won the election, and their staff started nuking alt-right accounts that had been influential in persuading people to vote for Trump, while shadowbanning others and signal-boosting specific accounts and trending hashtags to create the appearance of a left-liberal political consensus. The people doing this were influenced by the second event; Gamergate was a particularly notable result from it as well.

      2. Well said Ignore.

        Partition the country.

    13. Notice that we Libertarians mostly shifted our votes to Biden this election cycle (look at Jo Jorgenson’s numbers vs Gary Johnson’s in 2016). But we voted for gridlock by picking GOP candidates downballot. So, it was a coalition that took down Trump.

      It really doesn’t matter what you “believe.” Facts are stubborn things. And if you think the Dems are competent enough to carry out a nationwide conspiracy (all while mysteriously losing votes in Congress), well, that’s amusing.

      1. But we voted for gridlock by picking GOP candidates downballot.

        Clever strategy, considering the Republicans don’t control the House and might lose control of the Senate due to the runoffs in Georgia.

        Oh well, you tried.

        1. For the Democrats, the slimming down of their House majority is actually a huge problem. When that happens to any part in control of a chamber, even the GOP in the Senate, the their ideological fringe is more important to pass votes giving them more power. The last thing the Senate Majority Leader or Speaker of the House want is to have fringe members of their party get more power. Do you think Pelosi wants to have to deal with an empowered AOC because her vote is suddenly critical?

          Seriously… do you think your opinions through at all?

    14. Culling the democrat population would be an excellent start.

      1. Oh hey… mass murder… what a great way to preserve democracy.

  5. Well, let’s see: for four years, we had non-stop claims regarding Russian collusion. Adam Schiff repeatedly talked of having clear and irrefutable evidence of it, but in reality, had nothing. His entire House Intel Committee had nothing, as the transcripts of its hearings reveal.

    More recently, we were told by every media outlet NOT called the New York Post that there was “nothing to see here” involving Hunter Biden, and Joe by extension, and China. Then just this week, turns out a US Atty’s office is, in fact, investigating Joe’s cokehead spawn.

    The election multiple red flags which, while not indicative of wrongdoing are usually a marker of taking a closer look at something, and the response is “Trump is lying” or subverting democracy or some such. We’re not supposed to notice that the response if often fueled by people who themselves refused to accept an election that had none of those red flags?

    I guess having Trump makes it convenient to block any and all competing reality. It really is possible that Trump said something that is not true AND the things I cited are also not true.

    1. For four years we had claims of Russian interference which were proven. Collusion was not proven. However, Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump either. (Barr, Trump’s appointee, did.) We did have evidence of abuse of power with the Ukraine–actual audio evidence that was released. Trump was working hard to discredit his political opponents using the power of his office to try and extort false evidence from a dependent foreign power. The current investigation into Biden’s son may be real or may be an offshoot from Trump’s earlier attempts. The courts will sort it out.

      Do you really think, btw, that Trump and his kids haven’t done enough coke among the lot of them? Trump certainly has issues with his nose an awful lot. But anyway, this is a libertarian blog, right? and personal drug use is ideologically acceptable to libertarians so why the drug shaming?

      The Biden “laptop” is still a nothin-burger. Even conservatives saw it as an obvious plant of evidence–a stale attempt at a “Hillary Email!” redo that fell flat. And as for China, Trump pays more taxes in China than the US. China has granted Trump’s children favors while he was in office. If it was “just business” for Trump, why not so for Biden’s son?

      A collection of “red flags” are indeed a good reason to take a look at something. And then people did take a look. Republican people. Trump voters. People in charge with access to all the data and the desire to see Trump win took a look. Recounted votes multiple times. Examined voting machines. Cross-referenced voting records and death records and every other available record. And after over 50 (five zero) lawsuits where evidence or standing were lacking in all cases, people started saying “enough already.”

      Show me the evidence that Democrats did not politically accept Trump’s win against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Start by showing how Clinton did not concede and then how she launched scores of lawsuits to prove that Trump cheated. Show how she tried to get Democratic state legislatures in the states Trump won to throw out the popular vote and appoint electors for Clinton. Start there.

      Trump has a well-document problem with facts he doesn’t like. His twitter account is a continuous stream of misinformation. It isn’t just “possible” that Trump said something that was untrue; it is documented. The volume of untruth from that man is so massive, it’s been used to base academic research on how misinformation spreads via the internet and social media. He’s inadvertently created a massive, trackable source of data on how lies travel and mutate.

  6. “Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.”

    To be fair, I’ve thought for most of my life that every major American institution was not potentially corrupt, but instead actually corrupt. Why should the fact that Trump agrees cause me to change my mind?

    Do you want to make the case that they’re not corrupt? That I’d like to see.

    1. Seriously.

      We know that the CIA and the FBI and the DOJ all colluded with the Clinton campaign to create the Russia investigation. We know this not from anything Trump or his supporters had to say on the matter. We know this from what members of the Obama administration had to say on the matter, in their own handwriting.

      I was always rolling my eyes at “taxation is theft” libertarians. The notion that the FBI could be subverted was silly. These folks take their oath very seriously.

      Then I saw the head of the FBI and the Obama White House collude to frame some mid-level advisor who was about to become a member of the incoming administration for a crime. I watched them leak lies to the press, and then I watched them go on TV and lie about it, over and over again.

      Not one of them ever came forward to clear the guy. They just kept doubling down, telling ever larger lies.

      Then their notes came out in the discovery that was finally released in the Flynn case.

      And I watched the press pretend like it never happened. Every single one of them should be up on charges for their actions in just this one case. They explicitly set out to frame someone for a crime – and did it for political reasons.

      Trump had absolutely nothing to do with disseminating this information. It came in court filings in the Flynn case. I doubt Trump even bothered to hear the details…. in fact, Trump was sold a bill of goods by Comey and Brennan’s leaks to the press and fired the guy summarily because he thought he’d been lied to.

      The fact that our high-horse riding and enlightened press seems to think this is all business as usual and the proper functioning of government is shocking.

      And that incident is just a tiny aside in the massive corruption of our institutions that you’d so cavalierly poo-poo.

      1. some of the liars turned their lying into paid talking head jobs, too, never fearing that they might be called to account at some point.

      2. It started with

        “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

        “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

        “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.

        “But that is not what we are deciding now.

        1. At that exact moment, he was already working on the Clinton plan to tie Trump to Russia.

      3. The fact that our high-horse riding and enlightened press seems to think this is all business as usual and the proper functioning of government is shocking.

        That’s just a pose, part of the act. They know damn well what all was going on because these people all fucking know each other.

        That’s not an exaggeration. Look at the overlap between lobbyists, media figures, and politicians and their staff. These people go to the same cocktail parties. They use their connections to get inside information. They work with each other on political campaigns. They get hired for staff positions and migrate back and forth between the media, the halls of Congress, and the think tanks like a flock of geese between nesting areas. They get married and have families together.

        Of course the press knew what was going on. They’ve known for years, because their own relatives, friends, and acquaintances knew all about it. That was the whole fucking reason they blacked out the investigation on Hunter and all the shady shit that was on his laptop–because they knew it would damage Biden’s candidacy the same way that reporting on Hillary setting up an unauthorized email server and putting classified information on it outside of siprnet and JWICS ended up damaging hers. These people absolutely did not want it being known that the Bidens are fully in bed with the Chinese government and getting paid off by CCP apparatchiks. They wanted Biden to win the election and acted his personal, in-kind PR firm.

        At this point, if someone saw a CNN or other MSM van and decided to firebomb it, I can’t say I’d be all that sorry about it happening. It’s not like destruction of press shops is unknown in this country’s history, after all.

      4. with everything the FBI/CIA/DOJ have done to Trump and his staff makes you wonder what country they are working for

        1. That nobody sought to make a name for themselves by reporting on what is Watergate times a thousand is stunning. Solomon was the only guy reporting it, and they sidelined him pretty hard.

      5. “Trump had absolutely nothing to do with disseminating this information. It came in court filings in the Flynn case.”

        And who’s owed a big thank you for that?

        Sydney Powell

    2. Trump broke the Reason staff so bad a group of supposed libertarians are now screaming we need to trust the government, at least for the next four years.

      1. Add in the cosplay libertarians like sarc and chipper.

      2. It will be interesting to see how much disappointment sleepy Joe brings.

        1. Does anyone expect anything from Biden? He ran on a platform of “I’m not talking to the press or the public, because that would distract from talking about how bad Trump is”.

          Do we really expect anything from him other than “not rocking the establishment boat”? More money for more projects and more pet causes. More legislation to protect more industries in the name of protecting “consumers”. More government redistribution plans so they can buy more votes so they can shift more money to favored industries….

          The only real question is, where will they find the next war?

          1. I don’t expect Biden to last beyond about August. President Harris is the one I’m scared of, especially if Georgia Senate votes leave the House and Senate in Democrat hands. At which point, the only hope is that at least a few Democrats in Congress have the balls to go against the progressives and their repugnant policies.

            1. At which point, the only hope is that at least a few Democrats in Congress have the balls to go against the progressives and their repugnant policies.

              Don’t bet on it. When Pelosi called in AOC to read her the riot act a few months ago, it wasn’t due to her and the Squad advocating for radical left policies, it was because AOC was demogauging against members of her own party and threatening to kick them out of their seats. It’s not a coincidence that AOC’s chief of staff was fired shortly after that meeting under the pretense of an investigation for campaign finance violations.

              The Democrats are very disciplined when it comes to closing ranks, which is why they have to tard-wrangle AOC and her buddies from time to time. But that doesn’t mean they don’t ultimately support the policies they’re pushing.

      3. Why do you Trump cult members waste your time here? Trump lost the election. There have even been two Supreme Court cases dismissed now. That’s it. Find another cause in life, or die for your Dear Leader if you want. Do whatever. But Trump is a losing loser who lost to Sleepy Joe, even though we all knew that Hunter had legal problems. Just wait until the NY County DA gets a hold of Javanka!

  7. I think the main problem is that the “mainstream media” has become so consistently and overtly pro-Democrat in its reporting, that a lot of people feel like those sources can’t be trusted.

    I really can’t think of any general news source where 70% or more of the population would trust the “facts” it presents. That’s a big change from 50 years ago.

    1. That and the MSM actually lies, which is why they cant be trusted.

      The MSM prints and says things that are not supported by fact and later shown to be false. Or they lie through omission.

      You dont have to be in some political faction to see that Commie technique.

      1. Yeah, and I’m sure Newsmax or whatever propaganda outlet you get your bullshit from is just straight up 100% true huh?

        Face it- it’s not “pro-democrat”- it’s just reality. Heaven forbid some people on the right are so far off the fucking deep end they find basic fact reporting offensive.

        1. They are pro-Democrat, only the Democrats say otherwise. You are the type of person who claims their opinions are facts and therefore other opinions are misinformation, in other words an authoritarian leftist.

        2. That’s just mentally ill. Where were you for the last 12 years? Do you really buy in to the Jon Stewart “reality has a liberal bias” nonsense?

          We left bias behind more than a decade ago.

          Did you miss the coverage of the Covington kids? You think that was “fact based”?

          Or the coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings? That counts as “facts” in your world?

          Or the coverage of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia? That comes under the heading of “fact based” to you?

          You have to be seriously deranged to actually believe any of that spin.

          1. Since we are on the topic of “willful ignorance”, I’ll relate my first personal encounter with the topic.

            It was the early days of Bill Clinton. I had already seen the coverage of the draft story – with the exact same news anchor telling me completely contradictory versions of events week after week, and pretending that their story had never changed. But I didn’t see that cynically yet.

            Then I watched CSPAN. They used to have these briefings with representatives from the DNC. They’d use these particular phrases. “Risky scheme”. “Dark motives”. They were very peculiar turns of phrase used to describe Republican legislative plans. The next day I’d watch the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. And he’d use the exact same phrase. Not in a quote, but as his own words. And so would Peter Jennings. And every other anchor. Every time.

            And then I watched the coverage of the budget debate with the Gingrich congress. And Peter Jennings told me that the Clinton Administration intended to shut down the government and blame the republicans. This was the White House plan. They would shut down the government. They would then blame the republicans.

            Two weeks later when it happened…. Peter Jennings told me that the Republicans shut down the government. Not “the white house shut down the government and is blaming republicans”. He told me that “The republicans have shut down the government”. So did every other anchor.

            This was beyond cynicism. These guys personally told me what the plan was. Then two weeks later they pretended like they didn’t know that the White House shut the government down on purpose in order to blame the republicans. This was not news. This was not “bias” in reporting.

            They were lying. They knew they were lying… and I knew they knew they were lying because they told me what they were going to do ahead of time.

            This is the “reality” that you claim to be witnessing.

            You are married to propaganda, not news.

            (none of which should be taken as a defense of any opposition propaganda as an arbiter of truth either)

            1. Readers will observe that relying on the truthful intentions of force-initiating looters is a fool’s errand.

          2. Don’t expect any kind of substantive response from bullshitdinners. There’s no argument he’s ever made that didn’t come directly from some Media Matters email blaster.

        3. Poor unreason bots defending MSM and its own brand of LINO propaganda.

          Less and less Americans are paying attention to Commie propaganda.

          Your Commie propaganda outlets might get a spike in viewership during the 12th amendment vote.

        4. since he never claimed Newsmax is “100% true,” why the straw man? No one finds basic reporting offensive; what they find offensive is the lack of it.

          How is it that only the New York Post was curious enough to look into the Hunter Biden business? Why is that all of those outlets so committed to ‘basic reporting’ called the Post’s story everything from Russian propaganda to tinfoil conspiracy theory? And what of Big Tech’s role in suppressing this story, which turns out to be a story after all?

          1. Justthenews.com gets attacked here even though every story has a tab linking the primary material they are reporting on. It is fucking hilarious. Meanwhile the MSM citations are links to previous stories or other “reporters” that agree with their narrative. The videos of MSM across America with the exact same scripts on local news stations is extremely telling. The just exposed CNN calls just reinforced the facts they are biased. Reason is down the same rabbit hole at this point. They fucking convinced Shekhar she was fired for being anti trump for fucks sake.

            1. I particularly like when they use each other’s tweets, as if those somehow matter.

              1. But Twitter helps retards work as reporters. Equality!

            2. +2 Unnamed Sources

        5. Youre quite the useful idiot.

        6. “…Face it- it’s not “pro-democrat”- it’s just reality…”

          Tell us about the ‘Russki collusion’, you lying piece of lefty shit.

    2. Correct and thank you. There are no “mainstream media” sources that even pretend to objectivity, all are partisan. One big issue with Reason’s writers like Greenhut is they refuse to acknowledge this fact or it’s consequences, I suspect because they see Reason as just a temporary stop on their way to one of these media institutions, e.g. The Orange County Register.

      To Greenhut this conspiracy idiocy just arose out of thin air, conjured by Trump.

      1. Greenhut’s been at the Orange County Register for a long time. Reason is just some spare change to him. He’s actually one of the few sane writers left in California, so cut him some slack. He just caught a little TDS lately.

      2. Reason is msm.
        They take the same orders.

    3. No kidding. Next year Reason is going to have to get used to the MSM actually being the state run media they aspire to being. The media and the power of government working together.

      And I’m guessing they won’t connect any of the problems that causes to their “Orange man bad!” stance of the year before.

      1. This crazy last 4 years has really laid that bare.

        Under Bush we had a lot of handwringing by the press over their credulous coverage of Bush war claims and jingoistic coverage of the war effort.

        They were definitely not in Bush’s corner, but they didn’t rock the establishment boat. They fawned over Obama, regardless of his efforts to step outside of constitutional constraints and expand wars. But Obama was radical in an establishment way.

        Trump is a radical in a “not establishment” way. Whether you believe it is due to his incompetence or his brilliant 4D chess, it exposes the establishment in a way that nothing else has. We have watched NBC news and the NYT and Washington post openly collude with the CIA to put out disinformation about our own government. Not “ooh, I suspect these people of doing this”. They literally did it and got caught red handed in their own handwriting.

        We always knew that defense contractors had people in their back pocket, and that people rotated from government to wall street and back to government. But it goes beyond just a few people washing each other’s backs. They are really all acting in close concert, and willing to say and even believe anything.

        Remember the movie “Tucker” about the guy who started his own car company, only to be crushed by the big 3 using the government to go after him?

        At the time it seemed a little bit plausible, and maybe a little bit overstated.

        Well, the scales have been removed. If you can’t see just how dug in “the establishment” is after the mess that was the Trump administration, you need to seek help for your cognitive bias.

    4. The media wishes they were attacking fascism, but lack the depth of perception to sense that both the fascist and communist versions of altruism–all versions–require the initiation of force that strikes at the root of all freedom. By pushing Martin Luther–Francis Galton –Teedy Rosenfeld–Adolf Hitler racial altruism all they accomplish is to popularize the Karl Marx–Edward Bellamy–Jack London–William Dean Howells version of the exact same coercive thing.

    5. The media needs to go. As do a lot of other democrats. This is now the only way out. Or get used to democrat slavery. I consider my own freedom far more valuable than the lives of every democrat drawing breath.

  8. Some simpleminded political writers think that Trump is driving the narrative.

    1. Just because Trump is crazy and thinks the Deep State is out to get him doesn’t mean the Deep State isn’t out to get him.

  9. “To debate is to search for truth.”

    That’s the issue- people aren’t debating in search of truth. They are debating to confirm their own worldview, no matter how wrong or devoid of facts.

    You can’t compromise with that. You can’t debate with that. You can’t find common ground with that. That’s just lunacy.

      1. poor unreason apologists.

        Constitution strikes again!

      2. Such wisdom.

      3. You two just described yourselves. Lol.

    1. Speak for yourself raspberry.

      I’m a centrist objective guy who is not enthralled with either party, who has always detested Trump, and for me the media has destroyed its credibility over the last few years. It’s gone. I see a story from the NYT or WaPo I ignore it because I don’t have the time to try and figure out if it’s actually true or if it’s anti-Trump bilge.

      And I’m not alone. There’s a reason why the public thinks the media is the least trustworthy entity related to Covid news. Worse than Trump somehow.

      1. The answer to democrats is landfills.

  10. Democrats want nothing close to freedom. They openly promote authoritarianism. And it is growing in their desires. From green new deal to critical race theory and censorship of ideas. Democrats are openly calling for arrests based on thought and setting up re-education camps. They are closer to the red guard than they are to any libertarian thought.

    Knowing this, having two different regions of parallel thought will induce more freedoms as not everyone will be under the desires of the left.

    By the way, I love how principled reason is still ignoring shit like the Abraham accords.

    1. Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt

      This is an absolute fact that every major institution is corruptible. What the fuck reason? Centers of powers will always draw bad interests. This isn’t even debatable. What the fuck happened to this rag.

      1. Trump represents a huge setback for Communism in America.

        Democrats launched Operation Last Ditch Communist Takeover and it is failing.

        Once the Commies that work at unreason outed themselves, they cant go back to being LINOs. They need Biden to win so they can Pen and Phone internment camps for dissenters.

        1. Then new generations can be indoctrinated that unreason are staffed by Libertarians. Reason and Free Markets.

          See how that works? Commies cant fool adults alive now so they need to get rid of those adults and work to fool the kids becoming adults.

          1. Note to foreign readers: The delusion that fascist prohibitionist eugenics have anything to do with free markets is how altruist self-deception fuels nationalsocialist efforts to inexorably increase coercion. These States are falling into the trap that engulfed Germany by 1933–the trap Ayn Rand warned us against.

      2. And the saying goes “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

        Well, power has been growing more and more concentrated in Washington. So much power that all of the wealthiest counties in America are Washington suburbs. More wealth than Silicon Valley. More wealth than Wall Street. All of that wealth is concentrated in Washington DC, trying to use the power accumulated there to obtain or protect more wealth.

        The only possible fix is to reduce that power.

        Something that the Republican and Democrat parties and their supporters in media and tech will never let happen.

        1. I remember seeing a few years ago that it was something like 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S. that were in the D.C. suburbs, did a newer study place all 10 there?

  11. This is coming from a person who didn’t and has never supported Trump. I however am not a “Never Trumper”. Trump was never my cup of tea, but he is really not any worse than past Presidents including Obama, Bush and Clinton.

    Republicans may be deluding themselves, however not any more than Democrats are deluding themselves. As recently as last year, there were still Hillary Clinton signs in my Blue state in my Blue City and Blue congressional district.

    I firmly believe that there was voter fraud this year as there is every election cycle. I don’t know if there was any more than most years or if there was enough to actually change the projected results.

    I believe that Trump should have the right to challenge the results, but once the Electoral College votes then he should accept the results. This does not mean that lawsuits and investigations regarding voter fraud should stop at that point.

    This year has seen a vast increase of vote by mail with poorly defined rules and inconsistencies that need to be hammered our before the next election. Regardless of who is sworn in a President these questions need to be answered and the risk mitigated.

    Pretending that voter fraud does not exist is the problem. Determining if there was enough change the results of the election is debatable.

    For me I’m glad that Trump appears to have lost and deeply saddened that it appears that Biden has won. Once again the two worthless parties have presented repulsive candidates. This will continue until enough people vote for any third party candidate to open to open up the door to multiple parties and end the duopoly sham.

    1. This is coming from a person who didn’t and has never supported Trump. I however am not a “Never Trumper”.

      Well, according to the loudest voices here you’re either with Trump or you’re a leftist. That is their world. If you’re not wearing a MAGA hat then you’re waving around the Communist Manifesto. That’s what they really think.

      1. So true. They’re all crazy!

      2. Cross post. I just made the very same point below.

      3. More strawman arguments from sarc. You openly cheered on this site that trump lost and biden won sweetie.

        1. Yet you still cannot produce a single comment proving that I did so. Know why? Because it doesn’t exist.

          But keep on being a liar if it makes you feel good.

          1. You think because you hide behind obtuse sarcasm that you’re not saying what you’re saying.

          2. You’re a Biden supporting piece of shit. You deserve to be up against a wall just like the rest of the democrats.

        2. And it’s not a strawman. It’s self evident right here on the comments. Someone says something unfavorable about Trump and then you and the rest of the Trumpistas descend on the person calling them a commie leftist who sucks Biden’s dick.

          1. Um, because they are?

            Nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade, Marxist.

      4. All nationalsocialists–indeed all altruists see exactly that. They inhabit the flat-earth equivalent of a Venn diagram occupied entirely by altruists, deviators among whom are excoriated as “not really” altruists, as commies and fascists do to this day. Nearly every country in the world has, since the Nixon Anti-Libertarian Law of 1971, poured itself into that political mold. Progress only occurs when one gang or another is defeated for failure to copy libertarian planks into its platform. Procuring a Reichstag Enabling Act from the Supreme Court is a “solution” already tried, and that failed spectacularly by May of 1945.

      5. “Well, according to the loudest voices here you’re either with Trump or you’re a leftist.”

        According to lying shits like you, that’s the case.

        1. He’s not lying, he’s correct. His problem is that he thinks that’s a bad thing.

          Nothing wrong with calling out traitors and scum.

          1. Or disposing of them, like rotten garbage.

    2. Whether there was any fraud or not, an honest audit would invalidate the elections in Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and maybe Michigan.

      That’s why we are not going to see an honest audit.

      Arizona just had a judge order an audit of a random sample of ballots. The expert for the democrats found 11% were invalid signature matches. (the Republican found a couple of percent less mismatches) That is far beyond the margin of victory… and Arizona has a lot more experience with mail in ballots than any of these other states. Yet none of these states had a significant number of mail in ballots disqualified.

      So even if there is not even a hint of impropriety, a proper audit of the signatures is nearly guaranteed to invalidate more ballots than the margin in these elections.

      Yet none of them have been audited as of yet.

      The clock is probably going to run out. Then we’ll really have a mess on our hands when they are finally checked. Actually, either way it is a real mess.

      1. The Voter Integrity Project did sample audits of mail in ballots based on who voted. They found appallingly high numbers of people showing as having voted who stated they never did. They find people sent a ballot who never requested one. They found entire nursing homes having requested, received, and returned ballots in the same day with the residents not knowing.

      2. So, you contend that audits would invalidate only elections where the Democratic candidate won? And the invalid signature matches are predominately Democrats? Signature matching is a lousy and unscientific validation technique. There is some research showing that many rejected voter signatures are likely to be valid. I’m in full agreement that the voting process should use something more reliable than signature matching, a process about as scientific as handwriting analysis, lie detector tests, and bite marks.

        1. Hi strawman. Where did he say to only look at democratic wins?

          1. When did you mention auditing Republican wins? Never? So by never mentioning it you tacitly support only looking at Democrat wins.

          2. You would be well served by reading more carefully. There’s nothing in my post that says one should “only look at democratic wins.” What I actually wrote was, “you contend that audits would invalidate only elections where the Democratic candidate won.” The list of states provided: “Wisconsin, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and maybe Michigan.” The entire–such as it is–is that an “honest audit” would invalidate those states and that is why one won’t occur… pretty much ignoring the massive investigations by numerous entities into the conduct of the election.

            1. “What I actually wrote was, “you contend ”

              And has been explained, you are wrong.

        2. This is what motivated reasoning looks like.

          I’m pointing out that the signature match was never properly done. Like it or not, it is the only control on mail in ballots at all. There are no witness requirements. No notaries. Just a signature.

          Your supposition that it is inaccurate makes my point. My point isn’t “therefore democrats cheated”. My point is that the standard is “if enough ballots are called into question that it overcomes the margin of victory, the election must be thrown out”. This is the long-established legal standard.

          And it is a standard that would inevitably be met by a proper signature match. Because those are the numbers. You win by .5% and more than 5% of the votes are invalidated due to signature match issues, that’s an easy call.

          And even if there was not one single democrat who acted nefariously, there will still be more than 5% of mail in ballots invalidated in a challenged audit. There always are.

          Why do you think this was not done? Even the establishment republicans don’t want any part of this mess. They all know what the results will show.

          1. To be clear, you have to show that there were enough non-matching ballots that it would change the election. This is hard to do because many of the thrown out ballots may have Trump votes.

            1. That is not the case. You don’t presume “80% of these are for Biden” and therefore require 120% of the difference.

              You assume every ballot is for the other guy. That’s the court established standard. It throws the election in doubt. That’s all you have to do. You don’t have to prove that you actually won, or should have won. Just that there are enough invalid ballots to make a difference.

              I’m pretty sure that ain’t happening though. I’m quite confident that an honest audit would invalidate more than the margin. Just that it won’t happen before the electors are certified. When the R governor of Georgia and his R secretary of state promised to do a recount, audit and recanvass, and then failed to do an audit or a recanvass, the intent of the establishment was clear. They will not be calling a national election into question. Not for Trump anyway.

              1. Because they get away with this, they get away with anything from now on.
                This is the point of transition, phase shift, from corrupt republic to totalitarian dictatorship.

      3. Cyto, do you have a source for this? The only news I can find disputes what you say.

        There they specifically say that the expert found 6 “inconclusive” signatures, but not ones that could be confirmed as invalid. They were inconclusive because they didn’t have enough signatures on file to compare against.

        1. That doesn’t sound like the same thing… the judge in the case i am talking about ordered a random sample to be checked – I believe it was 200. A republican and a democrat expert each examined them. The R came up with 9% invalid, the D came up with 11%.

          Strange that this suit finds “inconclusive” because they don’t have enough signatures on file. They are supposed to have already checked them all…. odd that they don’t have a signature to check against….

          1. Strangely, I’m also having trouble finding coverage. The “random samle” articles i’m finding are about workers scanning in ballots and having some of them getting messed up in the scanning – which is an entirely different topic (and not likely to affect the election).

            It sure seems like the courts are spending a lot of time on things that are utterly irrelevant. I wonder why?

            The “Kraken” voting machine thing was extremely unlikely to ever be true – forgetting the source, just look at the mechanism. If it is a scantron state, the ballots can be hand counted. You’d get caught 100%. That never was going to be true.

            But it is impossible for the signatures to come back 99.95% matched. That’s just not how contested ballots work. When they contest them, lots get thrown out for innocuous things. Lawyers being lawyers and all.

            But for some reason, we are studiously avoiding looking in the one place that is guaranteed to cause trouble.

            And coverage in the media seems to be entirely of the “Trump lies by repeating debunked lies” and not any actual coverage. Even the coverage of the court cases is flawed, saying “trump loses case” when he’s not even a party to the case, repeatedly. And they rarely seem to get the issues correct either.

            At any rate, my early prediction was that they’d run out the clock and then we’d have a mess after the election. It looks like that is happening. So I guess it will all be about the success of the coverup. So far, so good on that point. I can’t even find the article about the case I was just reading about 3 days ago.

    3. Same-same sure.

      Im sure you will say you support a final resolution when millions of mail-in ballots are tossed and Trump won the legal vote count. or Trump wins the 12th Amendment Congressional vote.

      If you dont think is the best President in 100+ years, you might want to review what part Presidents have done and compare that to what Trump has done AND NOT DONE.

    4. Of course there is election fraud. All credible research into election fraud shows that it happens. It’s just rare and limited in scope. We know it happened in at least one county in Florida this year perpetrated by Republicans no less. We know it happened in 2016, also perpetrated by Republicans. We know that in both cases it didn’t impact the presidential election and that the people involved were discovered and charged.

      Just don’t confuse people saying that the fraud Trump is claiming didn’t happen with people generally saying election fraud never happens. Election fraud happens. Trump’s fraud claims are, however, without evidence.

  12. A civil society is impossible with civil discourse and good faith disagreements. I think there are Republicans and Democrats who hold their ideas in good faith.

    Arguing with people who immediately assume an opposing position means their opponent is a leftist, Nazi, is like playing chess with someone who eats the pieces. It’s also pointless to debate with people who don’t occupy the same reality (which I think is Greenhut’s point). The problem isn’t the “mainstream media” whatever that means. The problem is that every fanatic has his or her own propaganda mills feeding them a steady stream of bad information.

    There’s little left of civil debate or discourse. It’s normally loud voices decrying the “other” or talking heads shouting past one another. Regretably, Americans have no self awareness of how tribal and generally out-of-control the country looks. The current U.S. just isn’t bad for Americans; it’s bad for the world.

    1. You just applauded sarcasmic who spent a year here calling anyone and everyone a trumpista when they disagreed with him. You guys aren’t honest people.

      1. I called you guys Trumpistas because you have the same nationalistic cult of personality as followers of leftist dictators.

        1. What’s that “cult of personality”? A Constitutional Government instead of a communistic one? Give me break…

      2. “You guys aren’t honest people.”

        Says the hyper-partisan guy who’s mission it is to police this commentariat attacking any and all posts critical of Trump.

        1. He doesn’t attack posts. That would require facts and stuff. No, he attacks people.

          1. …and yet somehow every “attack” there is substance to be found instead of just childish mocking, naming and bullying.

            This really come’s out in lefty-rag comments. Democrats are identity [WE] gangster minded people with little concern about addressing ANY substance at all.

        2. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

          Criticism of Trump is a tell tale sign one has drunk leftist koolaid, and therefor should not be trusted or listened to.

          If you can’t see what the left represents and that any and all means are justified in stopping it, you either can’t see very much at all, or are part of the problem.

          Right-wing policy and personalities = freedom. The rest = slavery.

          Fact, not opinion.

          1. If this is sarcasm then we’ll done. If not then I’d like to tell you about a sure-thing investment opportunity.

            1. There’s good and there’s evil. There’s right and there’s wrong. True, we live in a complicated world, but it’s not nearly as complicated as the academics in the humanities would have us believe.

              And the simple truth is that we can’t afford to whine about certain niceties when there’s a horde of barbarians coming to enslave us all. That’s not hyperbole, my friend, that’s a fucking provable fact.

              That there’s so much opposition to acknowledging that simple reality even among libertarians is why I turned against the liberty movement in the first place. Liberty is worthless when all it gets you is Red Guards and a reeducation camp.

              1. True. And many here are finally waking up to the fact that it will be necessary to thin the democrat herd if America is to survive.

      3. Thank you for providing an compact example of why intelligent discourse is impossible with some (including you). I agreed with a point “sarcasmic” made. I am able to separate ideas from people You, apparently, are not.

        For the record, there are a number of Trump policies with which I agree. Over the course of the Biden presidency, it’s at least possible I’ll agree with a few of his policies. Discourse is about discussing ideas. The person who has the idea really isn’t relevant to the merit or flaws of the idea itself. If you’re steeped in the intellectual tradition of talk radio, this probably doesn’t make sense.

        1. Well you just got yourself on his list. Be ready to have him and the rest of the conservative cancel culture try to shut you down on these here comments.

          1. As noted, I’m not a fan of playing chess with an opponent who eats the pieces.

            1. You don’t seem like a fan of honest discourse either.

    2. Part of the problem is the mainstream media that is completely and partially on-board with only one political party and warps their coverage and facts to support their political allies. Anonymous third hand telling of conversations are truth if they go one way while on the record first hand affidavits with supporting documentation are conspiracy theories if they go the other.

      Greenhut has tossed his hat in with the DNC and their marxist allies looking to destroy freedom and liberty if it gives them options they don’t like. Fuck those evil cunts.

      1. I wish the people who use the phrase “Marxist” had read at least a few pages of Marx.

        1. Only Marxists are allowed to call something Marxist. Got it.

        2. Ah ok you’re a douchebag.

        3. I wish the people who use the phrase USA had read at least a few pages of the U.S. Constitution.

      2. Whenever I see “mainstream media” I roll my eyes. FOX News is the #1 cable new channel and folks who say “mainstream media” invariably go on to say things like you’ve said. Since there can be no “mainstream” without the #1 provider at the top of the list, you’re basically saying FOX is “completely and partially [sic] on-board [sic] with only one political party…” along with MSNBC, CNN, etc. So FOX is pro-Democrat? FOX is liberal? Hannity is liberal?!

        “Mainstream Media” is such an obvious strawman here. How are we supposed to take anything that comes after seriously?

        Also.. you don’t know a think about Marxism, do you? When was the last time you saw a Marxist party dictator concede a lost election and step down like, say, Hillary Clinton did? Usually, they try to jail their opposition, bury them in legal battles, or encourage their followers to attack them like Maduro and many others have before. You know, like Trump tried to do to Biden.

    3. There is no civil discourse, good faith or value of “information” in an ideological struggle. The Left seeks to seize power and impose authoritarian government on this country – that’s it. Splitting hairs over policy minutiae, bickering about the truth of this or that current event “fact”, rationally discussing the some fleeting political stance – none of that matters in the face of what the Left wants. Look at the bolshevik seizure of power in 1917, the national socialist seizure in 1934 – this is what the American Left is after. They will say or do anything to seize power, after which their full agenda will be laid upon us. And you’re just fooling yourself if you think the stakes are less than that.

      Our choice is civil war (Russian civil war model), surrender to the enemy (bolshevik/NS model), or partition the country (India 1947 model). I’m for the latter.

  13. Republicans could have defeated Biden by voting for Jo Jorgensen. God’s Own Prohibitionists are trapped in Francis Galton eugenics theories that guided National Socialist efforts to try to cull all Jews to breed humanity for altruism. Ever since the LP plank became Roe v Wade they have added murdering doctors, political blackmail and mob violence to the economy-destroying prohibitionism that sprang from the same pseudoscience. Observe that all their shrillest spouters of glossolalia are girl-bullying mystical fanatics firmly committed to the initiation of force as a universal panacea for TR’s race suicide imaginings. With even Ireland deserting their cause, what next? Hitlerbunkers?

    1. She supported cultural marxism with her anti racist idiocy. No thanks. That is the biggest threat to liberty currently.

      Also this is still one of the dumbest fucking talking points pushed by the cosplay crew here.

      1. Yeah, jumping on that narrative was an absolute deal-killer for most “classical liberals”. There is nothing libertarian about the thought police.

      2. Anti-racism must be stopped at all costs.

        Anti-racism is a threat to liberty.

        If you are an anti-racist, you are untrustworthy and should have no part in policy making.

        Anti-racism is cancer.

        All libertarians should oppose anti-racism.

        But they won’t, cuz they’re dumb, like all classical liberalism worshippers

    2. “Republicans could have defeated Biden by voting for Jo Jorgensen.” – under the assumption the D-Party wouldn’t just STUFF the ballots to offset it on a close margin….

  14. It’s possible that I’m misunderstanding the author’s point, but there’s nothing particularly new here. The conflicts and the mistrust have existed for a long time. History didn’t start in 2016.

  15. The media hardly blinked CIA spying unlawfully, but people had a general sense that yeah, they were being spied on. Then Snowden happened, but it was too late.

    The media laughed at the idea that the Obama admin was using the IRS as a political weapon. By the time the evidence came out, nobody cared.

    At one time, people had merely a reasonable suspicion that Biden had corrupt business dealings and was lying about them. Then the laptop happened, and the media buried it. Nothing happened.

    People saw some weirdness and got a sense that maybe the COVID numbers were fudged. The media laughed at them and said “trust the experts” Now we are seeing things like the Johns Hopkins article that confirms it, and the media is burying that too. The truth won’t actually matter one way or the other, because nothing will change.

    Starting to see a pattern here? So, when a very unpopular candidate with an even more unpopular VP pick suddenly gets more support than Obama the Messiah, despite Trump doing better with minorities, despite Trump having historically high approval ratings, despite campaigning from a basement, despite despite despite, and people have little but a general sense that something isn’t right, maybe this time we don’t trust Greenhut’s Approved Sources™ to get to the bottom of things before nothing can be done about it and nobody cares.

    When this whole thing has played out in the courts, if there truly is nothing to be seen here and it turns out that our wonderful, capable, trustworthy government has done a fantastic job with the election, I’ll let it go.

    1. The fact that this election resulted in anything other then a Trump landslide is all the proof we need that this election is stolen.

      Trump is *objectively* the greatest President we’ve had in the last 100 years. He is *objectively* the greatest threat to the left in the last 100 years. It is *objective fact* that Trump won in a landslide.

      If you can’t accept these three simple self evident *facts*, you’re either a leftist traitor to America or a fucking low IQ moron. Either way, you shouldn’t be listened to. At all.

      1. Yeah, sure. That’s exactly what I said.

        1. You’re not going to convince people with long drawn out posts filled with facts and reasoning. That only works on people who already don’t have an opinion, and even then only some of the time.

          Simplify your message. America’s fate is too important to be discussed in calm intellectual tones in a coffeehouse, not when the savages are at the gates. Maybe once we’ve secured this country from the Marxist seeking to destroy it, then we can talk calmly and rationally. Until then, fuck analysis. Just hit them with simple, cold, hard truths.

  16. So fine that means you’re getting off the Trump train of criticism right. I mean you’re going to go after the Biden admin and the left with all the same veracity. You will accept no lies or mean tweets or anything resembling false behavior correct. Because the history here is replete with hate for republicans and simpering for democrats.

    1. “Because the history here is replete with hate for republicans and simpering for democrats.”
      For some reason, I get the impression you weren’t here for the eight years of Obama or the full fifty years of Reason Magazine. Picking out the odd lefty oriented reason writer and claiming reason is not really libertarian is akin to those who claim Obamacare originated as the “conservative proposal.”

      1. You fucking piece of shit.

        You goddamned Marxist traitor.

        If you’ve read Reason for that long, then you could plainly see how the logic of classical liberalism / libertarianism could lead to a suspicion of Trump and his policies, and here you are *blatantly cheering on that abomination*.

        How the fuck dare you stick up for this classical liberal jizz rag? How dare you choose your petty principles over what’s *OBJECTIVELY, FACTUALLY, AND MORALLY RIGHT?*

      2. “the eight years of Obama ”

        Was four years ago and a lot has changed here smart guy.

    2. Oh for gawds sake… Conservatives aren’t victims. Get off the damned cross.

  17. Trump is a jerk, probably legitimately lost, and has a habit of lying and exaggerating.

    However, the other side has essentially been that there is no voter fraud at all. Even video evidence of clear malfeasance is being declared to be no evidence of it all.

    Then, we have the clear problem of before the election. Negative information about Biden was actively suppressed. It has been since the Obama era. People genuinely don’t know of his history of molesting his secret servicemen and their wives. The evidence of his corruption, which is beyond any reasonable doubt at this point, was actively suppressed. The only reason that Biden’s corruption became widely known is because the Democrats thought they could hurt Trump with it.

    So we have exaggerated and slightly silly claims on one side, and the other side so fanatically devoted to their dear leader that they will lie, hide, and censor even other media. Eye rolls versus the clearly self-interested Ministry of Truth?

    And they were calling Trump fascist?

    1. So we have exaggerated and slightly silly claims on one side, and the other side so fanatically devoted to their dear leader that they will lie, hide, and censor even other media.

      You’ll have to clarify which is which.

      1. Biden is interesting because he is almost precisely everything the media has accused Trump of being.

        Trump brags about how women let him have his way with them “They let you grab them”. The media accuse him of being the “grabber”, notably omitting the first half of the famous sentence. On the other hand, Biden is so bad the secret service actively keeps women away from him and one serviceman was court martialed after pushing Biden off his wife.

        Trump is accused of being corrupt. Biden has a $5 million zero interest “forgivable” loan from the Chinese government.

        Trump is accused of being a cult of personality with people willing to follow him no matter what. Biden actually has the media censoring negative reports.

        Please forgive me if I feel that no matter Trump’s faults, the Democratic party is headed towards oblivion.

        1. Biden not being president after the media said he would should really speed up the implosion of the Democrat party.

        2. 25 women have accused Trump of sexual assault of one form or another since the 1970s. 26 if you include wife Ivana, though she later recanted. Former Miss USA and Miss Teen contestants have also stated that Trump would enter the dressing room unannounced while they were changing. Trump bragged about that on the Howard Stern show.

          The source for the $5M loan is the “Biden laptop” which as of yet isn’t considered a credible source for anything.

          Trump is being investigated for tax fraud by his own IRS as well as campaign finance fraud by his former state of New York. We know there were significant financial misdealings with the Trump Foundation and his Trump University was shut down after an investigation related to fraudulent activities. There is evidence for all of this that has far better provenance than a laptop with incriminating data that Biden’s son accidentally forgot to pick up and which just happened to show up in the tail end of an election as if by magic.

          Biden has the power to censor the media? FOX News? Wall Street Journal? NY Post? He must have something really big on Rupert Murdoch! Or maybe they’re just treating Trump in 2020 like they did Hillary in 2016 with those darned emails.

          The Democratic party has its problems, but you’ve drunk the GOP koolaid if you can overlook the recent GOP attempt to invalidate millions of votes by encouraging states to appoint electors for Trump in places like Georgia and Arizona.

  18. The phrase

    “every major American institution is potentially corrupt”

    is basically a tautology, so EVERYONE should believe it.

    Consider the alternative

    “every major American institution is corrupt”

    That may be still be true, and the belief of some Trump supporters is immaterial to the truth of falseness. It’s also hard to disprove the truth of it, since the corruption is certainly being hidden. But the absolute nature of the state is falsifiable by proving that at least one major American institution is *not* corrupt.

    “at least some major American institutions are corrupt”

    This is almost certainly true, unless we can prove that ALL major American institutions are *not* corrupt. Again, it’s hard to prove the negative, especially since corruption by its nature is hidden.

    1. How about “every American institution is at least slightly corrupt”?

      And the same for every election.

  19. The biggest bill of goods we’ve been sold is the idea that it’s the government’s job to solve all our problems and that if we just get the right Top Men in charge, the government is capable of solving all our problems. They’re claiming they can control the planet’s climate, for fuck’s sake! How goddamn insane do you have to be to believe that shit?

    As Thomas Jefferson had it, the purpose of government is to secure your rights and that’s it. The purpose of government isn’t to do “good things”, as James Madison pointed out, a government powerful enough to do “good things” for you is also powerful enough to do bad things to you and anybody even remotely familiar with human nature knows which one you’re going to get. Good people want to be left alone and to leave other people alone, bad people – however well-intentioned they may be – want to fuck with other people “for their own good”. Government is of course going to be run by bad people, they’re the only ones interested in the job.

    And yet here we are – all these institutions set up to “help” people even if they don’t want to be helped and even if a dollar’s worth of help costs three dollars and even if your “help” is in fact hurting them and even if you have to beat the shit out of them to get them to accept your help. And the majority of people are incapable of thinking outside the box, incapable of questioning things and just blithely assuming that of course this is what government’s supposed to be doing.

    1. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

      ― C. S. Lewis

  20. If the president had evidence of systemic fraud, we figure most of that would emerge in the courts.

    Who has incentive to try to cough up and deliver any evidence? The only ones with a reason to do so have shown themselves to be grossly incompetent in this arena. Everyone else just wants for various reasons for the country’s Trump days to come to an end, so we pretend this election was uniformly above board.

  21. Great article. Trump supporters need to be more like libertarians and get with the program.

      1. One glorious day, all the leftists, traitors, progressives, anti-racists, hippies, whores, anarchists, BLM activists, pedophiles, Muslims, and liberals will be placed in camp city, safely removed from decent Americans and completely unable to affect their lives for the worst.

        I hope you join them, Catsup. You have the moral standing of a child molester.

  22. “What can you say when a major political movement (Trumpism) finds it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than it is to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again?”

    You can say the same thing when other major political movements claim that every American institution derives from and continues to promote racism. Or that they economically oppress people. Or any other delusion of institutional “unfairness”.

    1. All of these claims can be tested and debated except for the “corruption” claim. Why? Because if the organization doing the investigation for corruption finds none, then clearly the investigators were “in on it.” Deep State!

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  25. > Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.

    It’s called “tribalism”. We got it from our primate past.

    As the old saying goes, “Sure he’s a crook, but he’s OUR crook!” The only difference is that we’re no longer embarrassed by the illegalities, corruptions, and perversions of our Glorious Leaders. To the Democrats, is there literally anything Biden could do that would be too far? Nope. To the Republicans, is there literally anything Trump could do that would be too far? Again, nope.

    The Chief of the Tribe can do no wrong. It says so right in the Bible somewhere, or maybe the Constitution. Let me thump thump for you.

    1. One tribe is trying to preserve civilization.

      The other is out to overthrow it.

      But “lol tribalism bad cuz tribalism makes u do mean things to the uther tribez.”

      Never mind that to keep civilization going you have to do mean things to the savages trying to sully it.

      Complaining about tribalism = proof of being a weak willed pussy.

  26. Doesn’t USPS photograph every piece of mail they process?

    Be interesting to see how many pieces moved through the mail vs how many were counted as returned absentees.

    1. The USPS does do that in many locations.

      They also use tracking numbers to catch criminals.

      Time is short, so we will get all the details of the great Democrat election fraud of 2020 where Biden lost, 1-2 years into Trump’s second term.

  27. Poor unreason. I hope you have Biden’s concession speech ready to go.

    1. Poor LC. Still thinking that you’re a libertarian.

      Why do you have such a low opinion of yourself?

      Come over here to the right auth camp, buddy. It’s better here. No handwringing about tribalism, no classical liberals to make excuse for the Marxists and pedophiles. There’s guns and trim everywhere. It’s great.

  28. i think trump is symptom, not a driving factor. his position is what makes him appear central to the problem. otherwise, a very well written piece about the insanity we all deal with. it isn’t limited to those on the right, but that is where many of the most public and dangerous departures from reality are happening right now at this moment.

  29. Another Reason article singing the praises of the noble State.

    1. Another Reason article celebrating the collapse of the State’s ability to defend us from Marxism, you mean

  30. Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt

    Every institution need not be corrupt for a fraud to occur.

    Say the courts are 100% honest
    Heck lets say the people investigating fraud are 100% honest, and identifying fraud is more important to them than their partisan beliefs

    If a process lacks any real ability to really be audited for integrity how can you prove one way or another that a fraud occurred or that everything was legit?

  31. The answer is yes, we can live in parallel political universes. Stop voting on winner take all government. Let Republicans have a Republican government and Democrats a Democrat government. Geography-based governance is outdated.

    1. I do not see how what you imply, dual and politically opposed governance, coexisting in the same space. Such a state cannot avoid geography, any more than India and Pakistan can share a common ground.

  32. “If Americans cannot figure out how to agree on basic facts and restore trust in our institutions, then how long will we remain a peaceful and free society?”

    I believe that ship has sailed, blown by the winds of social media, 24/7 coverage, and “journalistic” bias that seeks to promote its own agenda and to benefit from the very conflict it has strived to inflame.

    All that remains is to work out the details, as in who gets what and lives where.

    1. The protests were 93% peaceful.

  33. >>every major American institution is potentially corrupt

    you start at the wrong base. institutions are corrupt by axiom.

    1. Yeah. That one was a head scratcher.

      Even if you don’t consider it axiomatic that institutions will be corrupted, it is certainly true that any institution is potentially corrupt and certainly corruptible.

      1. These are the people whose cocks you’ve gargling for the last year, Zeb. But they’re totes libertarians other than blindly trusting government and telling anyone who doesn’t to shut the fuck up and get killed if they get uppity.

        1. Which people? It’s not personal. I respond to what I see as ridiculous attacks. I’ve had plenty critical to say about Reason’s coverage of Trump and ‘Rona and many other things.

          1. Anyway, I’m the only true libertarian. I thought that was obvious.

            1. When the one true libertarian appears peace and prosperity will reign throughout the world. Famine, disease, war and poverty will vanish and a golden age will come upon the earth. We will have no need of governments. After 1000 years the starships will land and we will find our place in the universe.

      2. >>head scratcher

        losing my hair so much head scratching around here lately.

  34. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  35. This was The Most Secure Election in History.

  36. Here’s a small example of bias.

    Biden assembled one of the largest voter fraud teams prior to the election.

    Some Trump supporters tried to spin that statement into Biden assembling a team for the purposes of “committing voter fraud”.

    The media immediately launched into Fact Cheeeeeck Mode and debunked that ‘mischaracterization’, while ignoring the real point of the story: Th Biden campaign didn’t trust the election process at all, and so he assembled a massive team of legal experts in election fraud for the singular purpose of challenging every aspect of the election should he lose.

    But Trump is the existential threat to American Democracy.

    This is a game, and the media knows what game they’re playing. It’s a game where you pick political nuggets out of the whirling storm, scrutinizing them and ‘verifying’ their validity, while ignoring or simply dodging other massive objects flying around in the wind. Through a process of groupthink, the stories we hear and how we hear them are shaped, molded and carefully crafted.

    Parler is a “right wing” site.
    Visa and Mastercard are supporting sexual exploitation.
    FactCheck.org is a neutral, unbiased site which does original research to prove things as True or False.
    Facebook and Twitter are just trying to create a better online user experience.

    1. A media organization can investigate with the grain, or investigate against the grain. Example:

      If a favored candidate loses by a slim margin, the media will scrutinize and investigate every irregularity, ballot, voter count, unmatched signature, voter eligibility, etc.

      If an unfavored candidate loses by a slim margin, the media will scrutinize and investigate every claim of voter fraud, invalid ballot, voter count, unmatched signature, voter eligibility, etc.

      Another example: When a whistle-blower exposes an unfavored political candidate or institution, they’re beleaguered truth tellers, speaking truth to power.

      When a whistle-blower exposes a favored political candidate or institution, they’re sketchy, partisan actors, likely attempting to achieve personal gain by smearing an otherwise sound institution or politician.

      This is what I’ve seen out of the media over the last 30 years, but became jarringly apparent after 2016.

      1. This is a very important point that I don’t see mentioned much. If Trump had won, there would have been riots. And the Democrats would be challenging the results just as much as Trump has been.
        It almost would have been best if it had come down to something like FLorida in 2000. Then both sides would be desperately trying to challenge and recount and whatever else they can come up with. So the media would have to treat it as credible. Of course they would spin it in Biden’s favor (I still hear people from time to time that Bush was “selected, not elected”). But at least they couldn’t pretend that there is nothing to see here.

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  38. “Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.”

    It could be both, you know.

  39. BTW, just a question, what are the “parallel universes” we’re talking about?

    I get the impression that it’s:

    Trump voters: Paranoia, conspiracy, falsehood, lies, corruption, hate.
    Biden voters: Truth, fidelity, authenticity, veracity, honor, morality.

    1. In the parallel universe Super Man is evil and Lex Luther kills him. Also Spider-Man turns blue.

      If you cross over you change history forever and the Nazis win WW2.

      This is common knowledge.

      1. “This is common knowledge”

        Nah, some of us have sex.

        1. Last night she was Wonder Woman and I was Captain America. It was awesome.

  40. Reason is asserting:

    Trump voters: Paranoia, conspiracy, falsehood, lies, corruption, hate.
    Biden voters: Paranoia, conspiracy, falsehood, lies, corruption, hate.

    In other words the usual enlightened centrist game of pretending there’s any kind of equivalence between the left and the right.

    1. There is another axis.

      1. Not one that matters

  41. “history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again”… lol… The mainstream-media has already painted the narrative; now every follow along…

    As-if Obama never told some whoppers and was being dishonest again… NO NEVER!!! Certainly not enough to make “history”…

  42. I got news for the author: pretty much every American institution is corrupt, AND the president is a liar. Something that will not change with the new administration.

    See, you actually can have it both ways…

  43. As for can we live in parallel universes – the answer is no, because woketards behave like the fascists they claim to decry, and will destroy or attempt to destroy anyone not 100% in agreement with the mental pablum. There is no discourse, nor “live and let live” with these assholes.

    1. ^YES; Exactly – Obsessed with Gov-Gods POWER. I truly believe that was their biggest complaint about President Trump was his plan to CUT the POWER and give it back to the people.

      1. [D] Platform – The POWER to STEAL = WEALTH and prosperity.
        [R] Platform – The VALUE you offer others = WEALTH and prosperity.

        1. I don’t know – the corporate money seems to flow to and control both pretty well.

          They’re all fucking my ass raw.

  44. I used Google to search for 2 minutes for the Pennsylvania Constitution and found that it clearly prohibits absentee ballot elections. As Trump requested, those ballots should’ve been rejected and he should’ve won the state. I say that even though I’m glad that he lost the election. Democratic politics is a dirty business.

  45. The DC Swamp is CORRUPT from top to bottom including ALL politicians. No one is gonna buck the establishment since they all drink from the same trough of poisons. It is no longer a question of blindly trusting politicians and the agencies they are bribed by. They must now prove that they ARE NOT corrupt. Is this the same parallel universe like that in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s where there was nothing going on and Hitler and the gang were to be completely trusted? We have seen and heard nutcases like Schwab, Gates, Soros, Fauci, Biden, the CDC, WHO, FDA, and power hungry pharma scumbags and others and what they plan to do. I guess it’s just idle water cooler chit chat. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks about my opinions, I trust nothing, including the fake pandemic where nothing about it supports any truth or what a true pandemic looks like. Pandemics have been faked before and let’s try the bird flu for size. The “experts” said that 10’s of millions would die..the final results: 68 known fatalities from the fake bird flu. This is an exact carbon copy, only on a slightly bigger scale with fake deaths, fake tests, total media propaganda, and fake vaccines. You buy into it, it’s your loss of freedom.

  46. Every major institution is corrupt…yep..pretty much. The Fed..totally, all major government agencies..yep..congress yep with some exceptions…big tech..yep…religion..yep..academia…yep and the media..totally. Since we started the “federal” state through deficit spending the country has become run by those driven by avarice and characterized by corruption. Cultural marxism has allowed the “losers” to take over..and force their bolsheivk, degenerate morals (“cuties”) tribalism on a great Republic. Solution? Shut down the Fed, close every Federal agency/program created after 1930, allow freedom in exchange…and tie the dollar to gold….that should do it (and deport all the socialists who have infected this nation for over 100 years).

  47. Maybe it’s the bureaucracy that should be wearing the bodycams.

  48. Trump lost and nothing will change. The country is replacing one gangster regime for another. Power, money and control is what politics is all about.

    1. Generally De-Regulating and Tax-Cutting isn’t considered a gangster regime after power, money and control.

  49. “Journalists” are still trying to figure out how Hillary lost, still oblivious to the obvious. Here’s what’s galling and obvious to me, Greenhut: people don’t need some guy in Washington to tell them things that their own experience illuminates. I’ve seen way too much election fraud with my own eyes to trust what just happened. Full stop. And that’s before a no-chain-of-custody vote by mail election. When you are trying to analyze this in the future, try to remember that some of us resent the idea that we are just idiots waiting to be told what to believe. It’s a real F-U to be told that you are too stupid to form your own opinions based on your own experience. When you treat people like idiots, guess what? They turn against you.

  50. I don’t trust the government. It lies.
    I don’t trust journalists. They lie/tell convenient untruths.
    I don’t trust academia. They lie – often and eruditely.
    I don’t trust medicine.
    I don’t trust education.
    I don’t trust Wikipedia.
    They all lie.
    Just like me.

    1. “They all lie. Just like me.” — That’s just because instead of focusing on life’s *realities* many focus on factoids coming from the very untrustworthy (gangster media) they know deep-down is F.O.S.

  51. It is important to remember that most Americans self identify not as Republicans or Democrats but as Independents. In 2016 Trump captured many independents and lost them in 2020.

    That 70% of Republicans believe the election was stolen sounds bad, but that is only about 21% of the population. I suspect that a percentage of that 21% know Biden won and their response is posturing. This is certainly the case for members of Congress who understand election well enough to know Trump lost and likely why.

    What we need is for the middle to start asserting itself. Not sure how to do that, maybe to start by voting in primaries and supporting more moderate candidates. My suggestion is if you are in a district that will only go Democratic or Republican, you consider voting in the primary for the winning party and support a more moderate candidate. Wisconsin has a closed primary which means you may have to give up a chance to vote for one office to have influence in another. Might not work but worth a try.

    1. It is important to remember that America isn’t founded upon Socialism and for good reason as clearly demonstrated by the mess we have today.

      We shouldn’t be looking to find a “moderate” socialist traitor. We should be looking for politicians who actually HONOR their oath of office. The VERY JOB they’re being elected to do.

      1. I believe this country was founded by men who were willing to find compromises to create a democratic republic. To honor your oath is to serve the country not some idea or worse yet some individual.

      2. This country was founded before socialism and capitalism were invented, so clearly you are talking out your ass.

        If anything, the origins of socialism are in the very revolutions of the late 18th century this country took part in.

        1. I don’t think that capitalism or socialism were invented, I think the philosophies behind these theories were developed and documented. The truth is both capitalism and socialism have been around before history was recorded. We just did not have names for them.

          1. We had names for trade and government. The specific idea of basing an economy on private capital as we know it today is a product of the Industrial Revolution and was considered by Marx as suboptimal. Socialism is the key economic development in the continuum of liberal thought that began in this country and France when we began murdering plutocrats and monarchs.

            And I’m comfortable saying so because nobody here is against socialism on liberal grounds. They don’t believe in the liberal project in the first place. If it’s not outright rightwing authoritarianism, it’s its cuddly cousin libertarianism, which is set of slogans that translates in the real world to the plutocracy we were supposed to have guillotined to death.

            Nevertheless it’s a capitalist world and nothing is changing about that, but capitalism has always made room for government interventions large and small, cannot in fact function without them, so I wish we would spend more time debating the stuff government should and shouldn’t do in the economy and less time trying to destroy democracy so Orange Hitler can maintain his reign of terror.

  52. “Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.”

    It can be both.

    My wife and I bought our home in a MD suburb of DC 15 years ago. We still get Board of Election mail for the previous owner. She is still registered to vote here. And with no voting day ID required all we’d need to do is give name, address and birthday to cast an extra vote in her name. Don’t tell me these isn’t massive voter fraud in this country – all perpetuated by the Left to allow their government-dependent poor supporters and illegal aliens (and their enablers) to vote red. (Yes, Red – the proper color of the Left is Red.)

    1. So what do you want to do about it? If we’re doing ID requirements, can we compromise and make them free so as not to have a de facto poll tax?

      What else?

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  53. “I am worried about the vast differences in the sources that people rely upon—and by the fundamental lack of trust that many people have in the nation’s institutions.”

    Sounds like the libertarian chicken coming home to roost. Distrust in institutions? Unbridled freedom of information? Skepticism even of science when there are outcomes you don’t like?

    Well in the words of your benefactor Charles Koch, “oopsie!”

  54. I’m not saying the institutions are corrupt, but it is quite suspicious that they would create legal precedent to remove observers from the vote counting process. All of this reduction in transparency was done legally, through the courts.

    1. I don’t think there was any legal precedent to prevent observers. There was no cases in which observers were disallowed. When Trump lawyers were asked about observers they responded that there was a “non zero number of observers”. This is round about was of saying that yes observers were present.

      What there appears to be is a misunderstanding about observers are in the process. Observers are just that observers. They are non directly involved in counting ballets, that is the job of the election officials. They can question ballots but that can not be done frivolously, it must be done in a formal matter and based on defined criteria. People have a right to have their votes counted and you can not prevent that simple because you don’t like the vote.

  55. “Some Trump supporters find it easier to believe that every major American institution is potentially corrupt than to think that a president with a history of telling whoppers is being dishonest again.”

    Why can’t it be both?

  56. Did you read Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court decision on this matter? It’s a bit different from how you describe it. Go to the primary source, not some media spin doctors. It’s a short read. It allows the ability of election officials to block observers from having any meaningful access to the vote counting process, as long as they are allowed to be there. That is, they can be kept hundreds of feet away, their view can be obstructed with barriers, etc – it’s all ok.

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