Conservatism

Can Conservatives Stop Their Movement's Descent Into Madness?

The political right needs more self-analysis and less whataboutism.

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One of the modern conservative movement's greatest leaders, the late William F. Buckley Jr., retold a fascinating story from the run-up to the 1964 presidential election. As he explained in The Wall Street Journal in 2008, Buckley and his allies convinced Barry Goldwater to distance himself from the John Birch Society—a conspiracy-minded group that touted his candidacy.

Buckley noted that the society's president, Robert Welch, had at the time a "near-hypnotic" influence on the Right, despite his "wild" ideas: "(Welch) said Dwight D. Eisenhower was a 'dedicated, conscious agent of the communist conspiracy,' and that the government of the United States was 'under operational control of the Communist Party.'"

Buckley realized that Welch's fixations did a disservice to the anti-communist cause. So he convinced Goldwater to reject the core fallacy—"the assumption that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence: we lost China to the communists, therefore the president of the United States and the secretary of state wished China to go to the communists."

Goldwater, of course, gained the GOP nomination and lost the general-election vote by 23 percentage points. Thanks to Buckley's efforts, however, the GOP vanquished various fringe groups. The Goldwater candidacy built the foundation for the GOP's future and set the stage for a movement that helped topple the Evil Empire. Sometimes, losing is better than winning.

In recent years, conspiracy-mongers and kooks have gained a similar foothold in the GOP. It's a huge problem on the Left, but as a non-leftist that's not my battle. My goal is to support a functioning right-of-center movement that has the credibility to thwart the utopian dreams of the progressive movement. At this time, the Right needs more self-analysis and less whataboutism.

The explanations are complex and subject to debate, but it's impossible to ignore that a portion of the Right has descended, quite frankly, into madness. I partly blame a president who has advocated "birtherism" and given a pass to supporters of QAnon, who embrace some inchoate theory involving Satan, politicians, and pedophiles.

Trump will soon exit the White House unless he chains himself to his desk. But the conservative movement will need to chart a path forward—and decide whether it is primarily about airing a list of Festivus-like grievances, or whether it is tethered to important and mostly good ideas centered on promoting markets and limited government. So far, the prognosis isn't good.

My view is that if Trump had actually won the election, he would have been able to prove systemic voter fraud in one of the 58 lawsuits that his supporters have lost. I believe in the rule of law, and the legal system has rendered its verdict. It's crazy to go deeper into this rabbit hole, yet the conservative movement has yet to find bottom.

Nothing has been as loopy as the Jericho March, where religious supporters of the president gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to hold a prayer rally to protest the election results. Prominent conservative activists spoke, along with Alex Jones, the radio broadcaster who, among other things, once claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were a hoax. Buckley must have turned over in his grave.

As penance, Christian writer Rod Dreher watched the entire march—named after the biblical story of how the Israelites marched around Jericho blowing shofars until the city's walls collapsed. (Unless the media hid it, I'm pretty sure the Capitol is still standing.) As Dreher noted, speakers insisted that the election was stolen—as "an article of faith…If you doubt, you are a traitor, a coward, in league with the Devil. I'm not exaggerating at all."

Such, er, uncritical thinking is no longer confined to the outer reaches but has entered the conservative mainstream. "I am willing to die for this fight," a "Stop the Steal" activist tweeted. Nonsense flows freely on social media, but the Arizona Republican Party actually retweeted it with the words: "He is. Are you?" (Uh, no, but thanks for asking.)

A Virginia state senator posted that "President Trump should declare martial law as recommended by General Flynn." Former Gen. Michael Flynn, who spoke at the Jericho fiasco, retweeted a post from a group calling for Trump to "temporarily suspend the Constitution" and call for a revote. Conservatives say that ideas have consequences, yet only a few have spoken out against those who peddle flagrantly authoritarian ideas.

The Cato Institute's David Boaz last year wrote about the "no enemies on the Left" approach that liberals had long taken, as they refused to drive out socialists and communists. Pointing to Buckley's legacy, Boaz called for modern conservatives to eschew a similar "no enemies on the Right" stance and stay far from "fever swamps."

That's good advice. Conservatives might not agree on policies in a post-Trump world, but they should agree that some Buckley-style limits are critical for the movement's future.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: The Truth About the Free Market Family

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  1. Can Conservatives Stop Their Movement’s Descent Into Madness?

    You know the rule about headlines in the form of a question and if you have any doubts, just look at the recent vote on the latest gob-smackingly insane veto-proof majority-passed spending bill. Not that it makes much difference, because there’s only about 3 *actual* conservatives left, we’re all socialists now. Some are more conservative than others, but they’re all big-spending, big government, whatever-it-takes-to-get-re-elected shit weasels pretending to have principles any way.

    And I don’t know what all the gibberish about Trump has to do with conservatism, are you off your meds or are you just drunk as shit?

    1. I am thinking that most of Trump’s support came from “conservatives,” but yeah, he doesn’t really fit what I consider the mold of a “conservative.”

      1. Look at Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” remark, the real one which wasn’t any different than Romney’s “writing off 47% of Americans” remark, you had dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who were going to vote for the (R) candidate no matter what, the much larger faction of “Trump may be terrible but at least he’s not Hillary” voters and some small part of the deplorables faction, but what put him over the top were the traditionally Democrat voters, the same ones who voted for Obama because they were desperate for some Hope and Change, they didn’t get it from Obama and what was Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign other than a warmed-over version of Hope and Change? Trump was just as light as Obama was on the actual specifics of his policies other than “I’m going to make great deals and you’re going to love them”. You gotta be pretty desperate for change to vote blindly for that sort of shit.

        And guess what? People are still desperate for change, there’s a real opportunity for anybody offering to make changes.

        1. “You gotta be pretty desperate for change to vote blindly for that sort of shit.”

          On that I agree with you.

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        2. You know who else promised changes?

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        3. Obama DID bring CHANGE! He changed his address to the whitest place that he could find. He is the first President to engage in white flight.

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        4. I don’t think anyone from outside the establishment will get in again, ever. It’s not good for your health to support “conservative” values.

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        5. Trump won ‘cuz he wasn’t Hillary.
          Biden won ‘cuz he wasn’t Trump.
          What a way to pick a leader.

    2. If Trumpism – populism – expects to survive, they’d damn well be better working on 2022 right fucking now. How hard can it be to find 2 people in each Congressional district, two former mayors or city councilmen or state reps, traditionally “respectable” candidates, to run on a populist platform of rooting out the Deep State and their One World Government agenda and the spending and legislation and the regulation that goes with it and replacing it with some America First and Leave Me The Hell Alone and Government Fucks Up Everything It Touches principles?

      Run one as a Republican opposed to whatever RINO the GOP puts up and one to run as a reasonable alternative to whatever Marxist the Dems put up. Otherwise, you’re going to wind up with the same damn situation we’re facing here in Georgia – hold your nose and vote for for the bog-standard Chamber of Commerce do-nothing piece of shit David Perdue or the fucking slimeball trust-fund red diaper baby America-hating John Ossoff. Either way, you’re fucked and nothing’s going to change in Washington except for the worse.

      1. By the way, you know who else ought to oppose the corrupt business-as-usual crap going on in Washington? You know who else ought to be seizing the opportunity to make some actual changes in the political landscape? You know who else should be supporting an overthrow of the existing order? You know who else should be not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? You know who else should be a little less hostile toward Trump and recognizing the idea that if Trump can get elected President, anybody can get elected President? You know who else should be cheering the idea that people are pissed off at their government because they recognize that government is the enemy and demanding a voice in self-government? You know who else should be getting ahead of this populist movement and using it to serve their own ends, which are not necessarily that different from populism? You know who else has an opportunity to appear as a third-party alternative to the usual Uniparty suspects if only they would work with what they’ve got rather than insisting on ideological purity pie-in-the-sky bullshit? You know who’s going to sit on the sidelines and bitch rather than actually getting their hands dirty and doing the hard work of actually getting elected because that’s all they’re fucking good for?

        (Hint: The answer to all those questions are the same answer.)

        1. “(Hint: The answer to all those questions are the same answer.)”

          In that case it’s Hitler.

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        2. Luckily, when it comes to political parties of any stripe, I have very low expectations. Thus, I am seldom disappointed.

        3. (Hint: The answer to all those questions are the same answer.)

          You mean you or me or any random common person, we should get off of our asses and run for office? Ourselves, instead of bitching uselessly all day?

          Easier said than done! Are you NOT filthy rich? HUGE strike against you! You (almost 100%) MUST be rich, to stand a chance!

          Are you able to LIE to the self-righteous voters? Can you tell them that it is ALWAYS the fault of SOMEONE ELSE, and NEVER their own fault? Can you find a vaguely plausible scapegoat, and blame them, instead? If your conscience won’t allow you to do this, you are NOT very electable!

          In short, you must come up with some appealing but grand lie… Such as this: We can find the right scapegoats, and then we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

          The saintly among us are actually, actively punished for telling the painful truths as above! See this:

          See the book, “BEHAVE The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst”, by Robert M. Sapolsky. Centered around pages 496-497 (in the soft-cover version 2018 at least), there’s some interesting and relevant details about human behavior. All this is from experimental “economics games” with humans (further distantly, even capuchin monkeys show some of the basics, behavior-wise, here as well). https://www.amazon.com/Behave-Biology-Humans-Best-Worst/dp/0143110918/ref=asc_df_0143110918/?tag=reasonmagazinea-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312064598816&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13654540330964297268&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9027644&hvtargid=pla-469024892366&psc=1

          1. From the same above (excellent, comprehensive, authoritative) book, there are some more counterintuitive aspects of human behavior that are also relevant. Economic-behavior science calls it “antisocial punishment”… AKA, “no good deed goes unpunished”. If you are TOO charitable, and TOO public-minded, TOO altruistic and benevolent, then others around you can and will punish you for making them look bad! See “Antisocial Punishment Across Societies”, https://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5868/1362 … Don’t you go making me look bad, by being a better person than I am! This is why Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc., got themselves killed!

            WE ARE ALL GREEDY, DEFECTIVE, SELFISH BASTARDS!!!

            Some more so and some less so. SOME of us are willing to speak these truths to others! They will NOT succeed in getting elected!!! They will more likely get themselves killed! Again, think Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. … Jesus FAILED at the ESSENTIAL job, which MUST be done, to gain political power, and that is: Telling the people the LIES that they want to hear! Especially THIS lie: YOU are perfect! Everything that goes wrong, is to be blamed on OTHER people!

            ALSO see how much hatred in spat out at the REAL libertarians, right here! No good deed goes unpunished!

            1. The below is related to the above. It is highly relevant:

              SQRSLY below:
              Certain societies have gotten themselves sucked into a spiral vortex… Income inequality skyrockets (the rich screw the poor with licensing schemes, among other things), and the poor shoot back, by putting commies in power. Then the Government Almighty power pigs (think of special stores in the USSR for Commie Party members only) abuse the poor some more! It turns out that we are all equal, but some are more equal than others! And then, the poor (who can plainly see that Government Almighty power pigs are screwing them) get even more pissed off (“social capital” deteriorates some more), and WHO do they turn to, to punish the “bad guys”? … Yup, some MORE Government Almighty power pigs (the RIGHT ones this time!) will fix it for them!

              The GENUINE good guys, like REAL libertarians? They, too, must be PUNISHED! How DARE they question the Gospel of Government Almighty!?!

              https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ambigamy/202002/toward-general-intuitive-psychological-theory-evil
              Toward a General, Intuitive, Psychological Theory of Evil
              The trumpbot lifestyle that makes humankind tick like a time bomb.

              Below if from link above:
              If it sounds good, it’s about me. If it sounds bad, it’s about my competitors.
              Confirmation bias is another name for the trumpbot’s algorithm: “If it confirms me I’m listening if it doesn’t affirm me I’m not listening.”

              Almost all people recognize confirmation bias in others (“I hate know-it-alls”) but many people think that because they see and hate confirmation bias in others, they must not be susceptible to it. I call this move, “exempt by contempt.”

              1. On Christmas, do you eat any special kind of poo, like reindeer poo? Or just regular old poo?

                1. Shit with cranberries in it, maybe? Because, festive.

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      2. Trumpism is not populism. Trumpism does not care about the concerns of the masses, nor about trying to help them. Trumpism is about lying and corruption in order to benefit the rich and cooperation, with some nationalism, bullying, and overall dumbass thrown in for flavor.

        1. Trumpism is also unbridled government spending. The deficit has gone from a manageable $500 billion to $3.1 trillion in FY 2019/20.

          Trumpism = the death of fiscal responsibility.

          1. Youre what, a 50 year old pedophile who still doesn’t understand how federal government works?

            1. You’re the idiot who doesn’t understand that the GOP controls the Senate and Executive office therefore can overturn any House spending request.

              1. Don’t you Anti-Trumpers ever get tired of pointing all the blame on the President for NOT vetoing bills. How about an alternative of giving at least SOME blame of the bills on their WRITERS, PITCHERS and PROMOTERS?

          2. Yep, he wrote all those bills and signed them into law all by himself.

        2. I hate the benefit of cooperation.

        3. Yeah…that’s why all the tech billionaires were falling all over themselves to help Trump win. You people are just nonsensical and delusional.

      3. You had me until you said “populist” then I paused. You got to “rooting out the Deep State” and then I couldn’t read the rest without shaking my head.

        Real republicans are conservative, free-trading, capitalists. Don’t remember scared isolationists being part of that. Of course now that tRump is the leader, I guess?

        1. Real republicans are conservative, free-trading, capitalists.

          I have yet to find one since Tom Coburn died.

          Many exist among the Never-Trumpers however if you count those.

          1. Many exist among the Never-Trumpers however if you count those.

            The same ones that supported the bank bailouts?

            1. Hey! Here it is, on a Sacred Day of Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Men and Women and Zeeple (or whatever they are properly called now) of all kinds, and y’all are FIGHTING! Lemme bring ya some Holiday Cheer, with a Timeless Story of Trumpsmas!

              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, with MUCH bigness to my humbleness… 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 bigly in Me, but bigly 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 ye 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, and 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. And in the real world, Kamala Harris promised free health care and college for illegals while still screwing combat-injured veterans, who DO NOT receive free healthcare.

                1. I wonder if Willie Brown’s wife voted for Kamala? I’m guessing no.

                  1. Hard to tell. Apparently they are swingers.

              2. That’s a lot of words when “I eat shit” would have sufficed.

              3. You were on a roll today SQRLSY.

                Good job.

                1. Thank You Echospinner!

                  A voice of sanity and kindness, in the tactless wilderness!

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    6. Misdirection from Greenhut.

      What a surprise.

    7. Conservative is code for National Socialist. Read the 1920 Positive Christian Hitler platform and the 1933 Enabling Act altruist morality speech and the truth will free you of self-deception on the obituary of conservatism as rewrapped fascism.

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  2. “movement that helped topple the Evil Empire”

    The “Evil Empire” hasn’t been toppled. It may have changed its leadership and spread its tentacles farther and deeper, but it’s doing better than ever.

    Oligarchy, using the fascism and xenophobia of the common folk to acquire and maintain power, was the foundation of the USSR, as it is today that of the governments of Putin, Xi, Trump, Kim, Erdogan, Bolsinaro, Duterte, MBS, Oran, Duda…

    It’s doing just fine, Reagan’s “Evil Empire.”

    1. Preach it, brother.

    2. The Russians are suicidal alcoholics. It’s the latitude. There really no threat to us as long as we don’t use our last name as our password.

    3. Were you going to add USA to that list?

      The problem with populism is that it is to easily influenced by junk news. End result the shit-show of a foreign policy that is tRump. Bring back the deep state, at least they knew what they were doing.

      1. Yeah withdrawing troops and brokering peace deals is a real shitshow. Gotta get back to spreading democracy. At the point of a gun.

        1. In fairness to Trump, his obvious fascism is not actually working on behalf of the United States.

          1. Fascism Tony? You need only look in a mirror. Which I’m sure you do. As you are a preening little girl.

            1. If you can’t notice a fascist when his politics are textbook right-wing religious nationalism, national mythology, and belligerent exclusion of undesirable groups, what makes you think you’d have a chance in my regime?

              1. I noticed the Left has called him a fascist for four years.

                You know who would never permit that?

                A fascist.

                …now, notice the heat you get if you do not call Jill Biden “doctor”

    4. Thump shoulda left Air Force One on the tarmac and flown SNLs Redneck Airlines, with Linseed Graham cracker as pilot.

  3. Now do the one about how Left-Liberals think Conservatives (being anyone who doesn’t agree with them 100%) are racist, misogynistic, anti-gay, gun-toting, fascists who want to do away with everyone’s freedoms.

    1. From the article: “At this time, the Right needs more self-analysis and less whataboutism.”

      The writer does not have Jerry B.’s priorities.

      1. Noting that your enemy doesn’t act in good faith is part of that process.

        1. He plainly said that the left has big time crazy problems but that he’s not of the left so they’re not his concern.

          1. Getting rid of 6 year old hormone blockers, 100 days or rioting confined by leftist government, CRT. everything is racist, etc al would go along way towards taking the right. They are reacting to 20 years of leftist open warfare on norms.

          2. Sure, until he becomes a target for them.

            1. I think perhaps the point is that the left isn’t going to listen to someone from the right. And vice versa.

              Each side needs somebody internal to that side to start pushing to clean up the crazy. So far there aren’t many takers.

              The middle has become tired of the crazy. The side that can project the least crazy is gonna win elections. That’s why this election went like it did. Biden projected normal compared to all of trump’s drama.

              And the looting and violence and batshit crazy on the left led to the Reps doing so much better in Congress than every one expected.

              And we sit here now with neither side willing to learn their lesson.

              1. The priority should be wiping out the progressives. The republic cannot survive them.

              2. You keep regurgitating this talking point as if Trump didn’t add a minimum of 15% more to his 2016 total, utterly destroying your assessment and credibility.

      2. I’m sure that you and Greenhut share the same deep, deep, abiding concern for the prospects of those not expressly on the left.

        You concerned person you.

    2. You mean they aren’t?
      Seriously, you said “conservative” and I say “tRumpian” Two different animals.
      Real conservatives wouldn’t be afraid of science and facts.

      1. I’m not particularly afraid of science, but I’m tired of scientism.

        1. I’m tired of progtards like Confused.

          1. Aren’t they pretty much all like confused?

      2. Since you aren’t capable of understanding science and facts, you should just stop saying anything.

        Seriously, you are one laughable idiot. The perfect democrat drone.

      3. Can you change your sex/gender based on feelings?

  4. The only hope for American conservatism is to return to the patriotic, responsible neoconservatism of the early 2000s. That was when brilliant thinkers like David Frum and Bill Kristol determined the direction of the Republican Party.

    Unfortunately the alt-right white nationalist faction managed to — temporarily, I hope! — push out the neocons. This, of course, resulted in the nomination of Putin’s Puppet in 2016, when Jeb Bush would have been a far better choice.

    #LibertariansForABetterGOP
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge
    #(AtLeastTheyreProImmigration)

    1. SleepyJoe will steer us out of this mess into the promised land with his powerful intellect and personal energy.

      1. pfffff, he’s a one horse pony alligator crocodile

        1. I knew I forgot something from my Christmas wish list.

    2. Putin’s puppet? Seriously? Name ONE THING Trump has gotten from or done from Putin? It’s so moronic that I am actually embarrassed for you. Hillary, on the other hand, did. Here’s a headline from that far right newspaper the New York Times in 2015:
      “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal”
      Yes, the Clintons took millions while Hillary was secretary of state so Russia could BUY PLUTONIUM.

      1. Plutonium is made from Uranium in case you are wondering. And then they make nuclear weapons with it. OK? Ever notice that the Democrats are always DOING exactly what they accuse the other side of doing?

        1. Russia does not need Plutonium, they have plenty of it already, so much that they were selling it to the US for use in MOX fuel to burn in power plants.

          1. What are you trying to do, inject facts into an argument?

            1. No, he’s injecting misleading fact less talking points. You do that too.

          2. They are making plutonium with uranium from the American mines they were cleared to purchase thanks to their hefty contributions to Clinton’s “charity.”

            1. Russia has a massive stockpile of plutonium, as does the US. They do not need to make more. They did the Uranium One deal for their power reactors, and to sell fuel to other countries. It was purely economic.

      2. What is this, “Dig up old and debunked Clinton lies” Day? The “Uranium Deal” was Russia buying a partial ownership in the company Uranium One. Many US agencies had to sign off on the deal and there was no monetary gain for the Clintons or their foundation. Also Uranium is not Plutonium.

        1. Under Obama russia got…

          Crimea, energy expansion into Europe due to Obama reducing federal fracking, foot holds into the middle easy through the Syria agreements, ability to buy Iranian oil, US technology through the skolkovo agreement that is now used in their weapons programs, reduction of US tactical nukes that set is behind a decade, decreased missile shield in eastern Europe, etc etc.

          Obama was Russia best friend.

          1. My comment was about the Uranium One lie.

              1. Debunked. The left’s favorite word. It means that Reuters or the NYT or some other completely biased “fact checker” has started a diatribe with “No, Clinton didn’t blah blah blah….” But really she did. She created a fake charity and she got almost every country on Earth to donate to it while secretary of state, and it was quid pro quo payola of the same kind Bribeden was running, and now Chelsea has the interest on $2 billion tax free dollars to live on for time ever after. Hillary and Bill “Lolita Express” Clinton are crooks who make Nixon look like a saint. Lmk when that story gets covered by Bob Woodward. I want to read the book and see the movie!!

              2. The article does not say the the Clinton Foundation did anything illegal and Clinton was only one of many to sign off on the deal. It is more likely that any Russian donations to the Foundation were for general good will with the Clintons. Also the Clinton Foundation is a legitimate charitable organization (unlike the Trump one).

                1. Your entire statement is complete bullshit. As are you. Which covers any comment you have, or will, ever make.

                  1. Because Shitsy Shitler is an Expert on EVERYTHING, and you can take the Golden Words of Shitsy Shitler, stand-alone! Who needs citations anyway?

                2. The Clinton Foundation is a total joke. They do nothing but pay for Hillary to think of ways to get herself more power. Show me the list of the money they have given away. It’s ZERO dollars btw.

                  1. That the foundation effectively ceased to function once she lost to Trump tells everyone all they need to know.

                    1. Exactly. Not secretary of state, not President, no more foreign “charity.” She’s a crook. And they call the Trump’s grifters.

                3. “It is more likely”

                  That doesn’t sound factual.

                  “Also the Clinton Foundation is a legitimate charitable organization (unlike the Trump one).”

                  “Powerful people who got the FBI to lie to attack a rival weren’t investigated for wrongdoing” is truly a shocker.

      3. It is not what Trump has gotten from Putin, it is what Putin has gotten from Trump, and that is Trump letting Putin get away with everything he wants, including assassinating his own people, backtracking on human rights, increasing corruption, and worst of all being aggressive to other countries. Trump is dumb enough to let Putin do all that for free.

        1. Dude, just stop. Obama and Biden ran the most objectively pro-Russia foreign policy since FDR allied with the Soviets to fight World War 2.

          Pulling missile defenses out of eastern Europe, pushing through a nuclear arms deal that slashed America’s nuclear deterrent while permitting the Russians to expand theirs, pushing energy policies that helped prop up the natural gas exports that Russia’s economy relies on and a Middle East policy that strengthened Russian clients in Iran and Syria, ignoring Russian expansion into Georgia and the Crimea.

          And all the while making promises to Russia to be even more ‘flexible’ after he won reelection and mocking his opponents for claiming Russia was a threat to American interests.

          I’m sure Putin is ecstatic that the Obama foreign policy apparatus will be back at work under Biden.

          1. Pure garbage. Obama greatly increased missile defense:

            https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Phasedadaptiveapproach

              1. Yes. Obama replace Bush/Reagan era missile defense systems with a four-phase stronger, faster, land and sea based system.

                1. Nope. Now go back to your child rape videos, or better yet, commit suicide in a fit of holiday depression. Since this time of year should emphasize how unloved you are.

            1. By your own article, Obama pulled planned missile defenses from Poland and the Czech Republic and replaced them with promises of ship-based defenses.

              If the Poles and the Czechs liked their plan, they could keep their plan!

        2. Molly, thinking that Trump has let Putin get away with everything he wants is zealot thinking.

          You know how the author referenced craziness on the left? That’s you.

          1. Progtards are incapable of self awareness. This is why they have to go.

        3. “worst of all being aggressive to other countries.”

          …um, that occurred under Obama, hon.

  5. Looks to me that the dems have the biggest problem seeing the socialist let is trying to take over the party. The fringe right have no real power . Look at California and other areas and the ‘squad’ in congress. Theses people can make policy.

    1. The “socialist left” led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren got roundly defeated by the centrist Joe Biden.

      I know it is fashionable among wingnuts to label Biden a “tool of the far left who will do his bidding” but the election is over and you can quit lying/campaigning. Biden has ignored the far left in all his major cabinet selections.

      1. SleepyJoe will guide us into the promised land with his powerful mind and quick wit.

      2. From the comments on this post, the other posts on this blog, posts on other blogs, commentary from Fox, OAN, and Newsmax, the actions or inactions of the rest of the Rs, and the number of people who believe Trump lies, the answer to your question is: NO.

        1. From your own mind you are ignorant of everything so seek to quickly dismiss any actual facts.

          1. lol… Exactly — I just saw two articles on Reason back-to-back. One that Biden is actually a Constitutional Conservative and on the exact same day introducing elements of the New Green Deal. The ignorance and denial-ism is extensive…

            1. It’s the beauty of controlling the media, the universities, Hollywood, and Wall Street: You can say anything and no one “fact checks” you. Just ask Xi Jinping: Never fact checked, always correct.

      3. Except Biden has embraced the Green Raw Deal, student loan forgiveness, and blue state pension bailouts. Maybe he’s not on board with Universal Basic Wealth Transfer yet, but judging from his campaign he may not stay lucid and in charge for another 4 months, let alone 4 years. And nobody trusts Harris.

        1. Biden rejected AOC’s Green New Deal outright.

          Joe Biden rejects Green New Deal and other progressive policies in debate, irking activists

          https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/09/30/joe-biden-rejects-green-new-deal-and-other-progressive-policies-in-debate-irking-activists/

          He doesn’t need to do anything to finish killing coal off. Good riddance coal – the market and industry hates you and your dirty fucking lobbyists.

          1. But he’s also gonna kill off natural gas, which has been the driver for us lowering emissions to the extent that we have.

            To replace it with unreliable sources.

          2. Green new deal is on bidens fucking website you ignorant pedo fuck.

            https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

            1. Beat me to it.

            2. Many/most of Biden’s cabinet nominees are climate change alarmists, whose policy goals are to destroy the US economy by sharply reduce carbon emissions in the US (by banning coal, oil and natural gas) while allowing China’s emissions, economy and military to greatly expand (per the Paris Climate accord).

              If electric cars/trucks are to succeed, we’ll need even more coal, oil and natural gas to generate the electricity to recharge the batteries.

              Until/unless nuclear power is expanded, natural gas is the most environmentally friendly source of energy for the next 50 years.

              Windmills and solar panels don’t make cars go very far.

              1. I wonder how much energy can be extracted from stoking commercial furnaces with corpses of progressives?

      4. “…I know it is fashionable among wingnuts to label Biden a “tool of the far left who will do his bidding”…”

        You misspelled “truthful”, turd.
        Fuck off and die.

        1. He also wrote ‘wingnuts’ when he meant to say ‘anyone with a brain’.

      5. Centrist Joe Biden that wants to kill charter schools, has the GND on his website, wants to remake police departments, grant 20 million new amnesty…

        God damn you leftists are fucking retarded.

    2. Exactly. The fringe right are low income Americans who drive 18 wheelers for a living. The fringe left have hundreds of billions in the bank and don’t understand that Utopia always requires locking the borders and killing off any people with opposing viewpoints. See Soros, Clinton, Gates, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, et al. They want to “make things fair” just like the Soviets did….and they only killed 100 million on the way to fairness and universal poverty. China, well they don’t waste everyone’s time talking about what’s fair, do they? They just win.

      1. People are getting paid 90K a year to drive 18 wheelers now, it’s not a low income job.

        Thanks for confirming the liberal elitist stereotype though, looking down on the sans dents deplorables.

        1. I actually prefer deplorables to elite liberals all day, every day. One works. The other tells everyone what they are allowed to do, think, say, and feel. 90k a year is low income to these elite liberals, but it’s enough income to keep them from being in the liberal elite fave group: poor victims who need their “help.”

        2. Google hyperinflation. The USA is in serious trouble with the new “stimulus commie-money” status quo. The feds seem to think that people are in love with “money” instead of what “money” buys so soon we’ll all learn “money” itself is about as sentimental as that stinky toilet paper stuck in our butt-crack.

  6. Here’s to hoping President Trump gives us martial law for Christmas!

    1. It’s not much, but a far will idle more personal freedom than democrat lockdowns and a Biden administration.

      Seriously.

  7. The greatest joke of this article (and there are many) is the use of the word “whataboutism” to deflect the obvious: The Left is actually insane. The Left nominated and fake elected a man who is SENILE. 50 years from now, historians will be talking about Joe Biden being so senile he did not recognize his own granddaughter. They will not be taking about fringe groups that exist largely in the mind of the Left. The Proud Boys. PUHLEEZE. Have you seen Jack Dorsey? He’s a Left Winger who would make any Proud Boy look normal and he’s got $8 billion to back up his inane ideas.
    Lastly, just as not one living human remembers that “potato” was spelled incorrectly on the card that Dan Quayle was handed, Obama did much to create the birtherism problems his very own self. From the LA Times in April of 2011:
    “Obama, joined by his wife, discussed the issue at Winfrey’s Chicago studios hours after he took to the White House briefing room to chide the “sideshows and carnival barkers” propagating conspiracies about his roots.

    Winfrey asked Obama why he waited so long to release the full documentation.

    “When it first came up, were you thinking, I hope I was born here?” Winfrey asked, according to a transcript provided by her production company.” end quote

    HELLLOOOOOOO. Biden lost the election by a landslide, and even Dr. Jill knows that despite her math deficiencies.

    1. We will take “senile Biden” over “congenital liar and QAnon supporter” Trump any day.

      1. QAnon. Hahahahahahah. You mean a Facebook group with a combined net worth of $50,000 who have done nothing but blab? Now do BLM/Antifa and tell me about this summer…don’t leave out the tens of billions in burning, looting, murder, and destruction.

        1. Half of Trump supporters believe in QAnon conspiracy theory’s baseless claims, poll finds

          There are about 40 million of you dumbass CT Bircher types.

          https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/22/qanon-poll-finds-half-trump-supporters-believe-baseless-claims/3725567001/

          Read the Reason article. This is the main rift The Conn Man has exposed.

          1. Oooh. 12% of the country, assuming your number isn’t exaggerated, which it probably is. I’m terrified.

            1. Didn’t I know the link. Which baseless claims were they even claiming? Usually it is just if you dont agree with the liberal narrative.

          2. You’re extrapolating to all Trump supporters from a sample of less than 1600 people? And, I notice you didn’t point out that more liberals had heard of QAnon than conservatives, 48% of conservatives said they had heard of QAnon, 37% believed it, or parts are true. Your ‘half of Trump supporters’ claim is bullshit, if you read past the lede. It’s strange how progressives either are terrible with numbers, or lie, or both.

            1. It’s both: They lie, and they lie with statistics. And then there’s Dr. Jill’s dissertation: terrible with numbers and also writes like an 8th grader.

          3. Gallup Polls discovered that about 8% of American adults who were familiar with the JBS had a favorable opinion of the Birch Society. That is millions of people but not “40 million”.

            At its peak, the JBS had about 75,000 members and probably about 3-5 million sympathizers.

            Today, conspiratorial arguments are more prevalent (and more believed) probably because there are so many unique avenues by which people can come into contact with conspiratorial thinking and arguments.

            Significantly, virtually the entire conservative movement denounced and rejected the Birch Society as a right-wing extremist movement and that includes former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI under his direction falsified every major predicate of JBS ideology.

      2. “We will take “senile Biden”…”

        Is that you and the shit you’re eating, turd?

    2. Yeah, he lost me at “whataboutism”. That’s a cry the left uses to object to any of their own complaints being put in context. Just another tool in their toolbox of ways to win arguments by silencing their opponents instead of having better arguments.

      “Your shit stinks!”
      “So what? Yours does, too.”
      “Whataboutism! We were talking about YOUR shit, don’t try bringing up mine!”

  8. Some uncomfortable but unavoidable truths:

    1. At least a third of Americans are intellectually or emotionally retarded, and pretty much incapable of logic or reasoning. Another third has good days and bad days.

    2. People and groups seek power mostly so they can attain power. After that, goals and methods might vary, but its all about power.

    3. Given 1 and 2, even half-clever individuals have figured out how to manipulate people through emotion and rhetoric.

    4. In a democracy the trend will always incline towards exaggerated opposition groups, and more extreme but simplistic philosophies, as each side attempts to inspire their minions, including the dimwits.

    1. In a democracy the trend will always incline towards exaggerated opposition groups

      If true then Bernie Sanders would have been nominated to run against Trump. Americans will not elect a “far left” candidate.

      Our leftward drift has been bipartisan since LBJ and the Great Society. Reagan signed EMTALA, raised taxes multiple times and greatly embraced the EITC (which is the biggest wealth transfer program for non-seniors). Bush gave us Medicare expansion. Trump doubled spending and quadrupled the deficit.

      You can blame the GOP for the vast majority of the expansion of government since 1970.

      1. except the Dems depend on turning out low information voters. Biden was getting thrashed in the early primaries where the voters pay attention. He won on Super Tuesday because of name recognition — hey, that was Obama’s VP!

        1. Wrong. Biden was sharing the centrist vote with Klobuchar, Buttegieg, and others who opposed Bernie Sanders. When they all dropped out Biden won by default.

          1. You keep misusing the word centrist.

      2. …And you can blame the DNC for far, far, far MORE! Picking on “better” doesn’t cause “bad” to just instantly disappear.

    2. So kind of like “all Republicans are Nazis, therefore we have the moral duty to bomb buildings, loot stores, and legalize voter fraud”?

    3. Argument from pathetically implausible mystical prophesy, typical of folks who can’t tell which horse will win the next race.

  9. At one time libertarians fought for truth justice and the American way. Then they latched into the progressive ideology that anything goes and let’s all be post humans. So we get massive inflows of illegal aliens and lots of poverty drugs unwed mothers and the typical degenerate behavior. But yeah it’s all republicans and trumps fault. Maybe if reason Koch wasn’t so corporatized and rigid they could see the truth.

    1. Yes, Libertarians are generally against government interference in lives, so they are for immigration, against the war on drugs, say the government has zero interest in who gets marries or has kids, and does not want to regulate private behavior that does not hurt others.

      1. No. You and reason are for government interference in both extra legal liabilities and soft corporatism. Reason rarely discusses the latter anymore. More is done to defend corporate abuse than anything these days, ignoring the massive cooperation between government and corporations. Only at budget time do they even mention it.

        Find the articles discussing large corporations working with Biden and democrats. I’ll wait.

      2. Trumpians are convinced that libertarians are now hardcore leftists because we didn’t back Trump (which by default means we supported Biden even if we didn’t). You can tell them what you believe but they will always correct you and tell you what you really believe, so they can then trounce arguments you never made and claim victory.

    2. at one time America welcomed immigrants, and Americans believed in freedom.

      1. They do. Over 1 million a year legally. Do you have an actual argument?

        1. Wow. A fact in these comment section that is pretty much smack accurate. I am actually surprised.

    3. Superman was a libertarian?

      Libertarianism is liberal in the sense of classical and economic liberalism which has nothing to do with what we call liberal today.

      My take anyway.

  10. Anyway a Merry Christmas you filthy animals wallowing in your pig sty.

    1. C’mon in, the mud’s fine!

  11. it’s impossible to ignore that a portion of the Right has descended, quite frankly, into madness.

    Madness. Insanity. The right has been deluded by misinformation for over 50 years.

    Mix religious quackery/Creationism with 24/7 AM redneck radio preaching divisiveness, an 18th Century interpretation of the Constitution akin to alchemy, aversion to science and modern finance, a hatred of free trade deals and international peace treaties, and a dose of 9/11 authoritarianism and you get the modern GOP.

    1. SleepyJoe will tell us what to think.

      1. Better not disagree with Sleepy Joe, you’ll get deplatformed.

    2. “an 18th Century interpretation of the Constitution akin to alchemy”

      Alchemy. That’s an excellent way to put it.

      I’ve often tried to find the perfect description for people who have totally absurd ideas about the Constitution — for example, that it guarantees gun rights but NOT abortion rights. And I’ve never settled on a term I was truly happy with. But from now on I’ll call them ALCHEMISTS.

      Used in a sentence: Biden will expand the Supreme Court by four justices to balance out the three ALCHEMISTS Drumpf appointed.

      #LibertariansAgainstAlchemy

      1. you know who else was an alchemist?

      2. When you form an entire legal interpretation of the Constitution on outlawing privacy rights you are bound to get some nonsense alchemy like “Originalism”.

        Glad to see you are coming around to modernity.

        Hehe.

        1. Precisely.

          We in the reality-based community know that the most scientific way to interpret the Constitution is to search for penumbras formed by emanations. It’s really the only rigorous, logical, fact-based approach.

          #LivingConstitution

          1. Unlike the plain English words written down without any ambiguity whatsoever “Thou shalt be permitted to own an unlimited supply of firearms that won’t exist in technology for 200 years.”

            —Exact wording of the constitution as reiterated by Heller

            1. So, internet news has no protections? They couldn’t foresee THAT either.

              Not sure why people so convinced of their brilliance have such a difficult time with “shall not be infringed”. Not exactly hard to decipher.

              1. I’m not the one claiming to be an originalist or that I read the minds of dead founders or whatever. I believe the constitution has to be reinterpreted with SOME MEASURE of practical considerations due to changing circumstances. Jefferson would not disagree.

                It’s the lying I object to. The incessant, shameless lying. The 2nd amendment doesn’t have anything to say about modern weapons. You just are saying it does so you can take your psychotic policy preferences out of public debate.

      3. 100% OBL. Your logic, as always, is unassailable.

  12. “I am willing to die for this fight,” a “Stop the Steal” activist tweeted.

    Check back and see if he still thinks that after the dying starts.

    Note: I happen to think violent revolution / civil war 2.0 is inevitable, eventually, not necessarily in the near term. But I don’t think it would necessarily be a good thing.

    1. It will all be on Twitter and Facebook. Not a shot fired.

  13. Do you want to earn cash online from your living room, easily work with a laptop for a few hours a day, earn 550-650 euros a day and get paid every week by deciding on your working hours? it is all true and completely changed my life. Then try this. Read More.

  14. The OP wrote: So he convinced Goldwater to reject the core fallacy—”the assumption that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence: we lost China to the communists, therefore the president of the United States and the secretary of state wished China to go to the communists. (end quote)

    Fine and dandy, we should not be certain about anything without solid proof, but one would be a fool not to consider that what actually happened is what was intended to occur despite words to the contrary by the main actors. Take the election for instance. The Dems on the PA supreme court weakened restrictions on absentee ballots. Did they intend for voter fraud to occur in support of their candidate? I can’t say for certain, but if I had to bet I would go with Yes.

    Regarding whataboutism, despite the big L libertarians fantasies, we have a two party system and very often we voters have to choose the lesser evil. Right now the Dems are far and away the more evil party. I thought they had hit their high water mark with the PPACA mandate (every Dem supporting and 4 SCOTUS justices opining that the commerce clause empowers Congress to regulate our economic decisions). But the Russian Collusion scam, impeachment debacle attacking Trump for shining a light on Biden’s selling of the VP Office, and election fiasco demonstrate they are just getting started on the crazy.

    That said, I do hope the saner voices in the GOP talk Trump off the ledge of trying to steal back the election via the House or Representatives.

  15. Can Conservatives Stop Their Movement’s Descent Into Madness?

    No.

    Can ConservativesLiberals Stop Their Movement’s Descent Into Madness?

    No.

    Can ConservativesLibertarians Stop Their Movement’s Descent Into Madness?

    No. And no bloody help from Reason, either.

    Don’t get fooled again. Merry F—ing Christmas.

  16. “the assumption that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence: we lost China to the communists, therefore the president of the United States and the secretary of state wished China to go to the communists.”

    Yeah, it’s kinda cooky and crazy for people to think that way, right?

    Now do democrats, the media, and Trump/Putin.

    1. Just like anyone doubting the existence of the Deep State might have had to question those doubts when they saw the response of intelligence agencies to a President they couldn’t control, spying on him, fabricating dossiers, floating stories of Russian bounties and collusion and election interference, cheered on by a Democrat cabal looking for any way to overturn the 2016 election for four long years.

      1. They’ll be yelling “WHATABOUTISM” at you soon.

  17. Great “passover” article. Anything to stop the predatory rape-and-loot Antifa kooks from fire-bombing Reason headquarters.

    1. Stop that whataboutism!

    2. Passover isn’t for another 3 months yet.

  18. Greenhut makes many good points -especially that conservatism would do better to promote “important and mostly good ideas centered on promoting markets and limited government.”

    I believe libertarians have many good ideas to offer to the conservative movement, but libertarians also have to set aside their own utopian dreams such as open borders and abolishment of tariffs. Economic nationalism ought to be front and center for the good it does for american citizens and as opposition to the left’s globalist mindset.

    1. Abolishing tariffs is just advocating another tax cut for Americans, and accepting economic reality that we are all better off via comparative advantage.

      1. “Comparative advantage” applies between countries with free markets. Neither the US, nor China, nor India, nor Europe have free markets.

        And in the presence of a welfare state and various government-run industries, abolishing tariffs doesn’t just lower costs for some goods, it also imposes costs on society, costs that are born by tax payers.

        1. Those differences are what gives other countries a comparative advantage.

          1. I’m sorry, I should have been more clear. Yes, you can choose to call the difference between a communist authoritarian system that enslaves its people and a draconian regulatory and welfare system that artificially increases labor costs a kind of “comparative advantage” if you like. What fails in that situation is the argument that unilaterally dropping trade barriers in that situation benefits the citizens of both countries.

            1. What fails in that situation is the argument that unilaterally dropping trade barriers in that situation benefits the citizens of both countries.

              Well Americans certainly don’t benefit from goods being made artificially expensive, and I doubt people in the targeted countries benefit from selling less stuff.

              What I see is people in both countries being made poorer.

              1. What I see is people in both countries being made poorer.

                Well, yes, you do. That’s because you commit a common economic fallacy of concentrated benefits/diffuse costs.

                1. Well then, I guess you should tear down the statue of Adam Smith and erect one of yourself, since you’re obviously wiser than any reputable economist on the planet.

                  1. Not at all. Smith strongly argued for free markets and against the kind of massively interventionist state that we have, because that’s what makes people poor.

                    So, if you want to follow Smith, first reduce the size of government to what it was in Smith’s times (a few percent of GDP), eliminate almost all regulations, and then you can get rid of tariffs. I’m completely on board with that. (In addition, Smith actually explicitly approved of retaliatory tariffs.)

                    What you want is to keep the social welfare state and regulatory regimes and then drop all tariffs, and that is madness.

                    Mainstream economists recognize that that is madness; the entire EU is run on the idea of having a free trade zone among social welfare states while imposing necessary trade barriers to the outside to make those social welfare states feasible.

                    1. You obviously value fairness over freedom. I don’t.

                    2. No, Tony, I merely corrected Sarcasmic on Adam Smith. Nowhere did I talk about fairness.

        2. This country has well educated people with access to lots of capital that other countries don’t have. Does that mean they should punish consumers who want to buy stuff from us?

          1. This country has well educated people with access to lots of capital that other countries don’t have. Does that mean they should punish consumers who want to buy stuff from us?

            Countries that have free market economies and an absence of government welfare should not; they really benefit from opening their borders to trade.

            Countries that don’t have free market economies and/or massive social welfare systems are punishing their citizens through those systems; they need a commensurate level of tariffs to keep functioning at all.

            1. If some foreign country started sinking incoming ships bearing consumer goods, thus reducing supply and driving up prices, that would be an act of war. But when your own country drives up prices of imports with tariffs it’s an act of benevolence?

              From the consumer point of view there is no difference.

              1. Tariffs don’t just increase prices, they also yield revenue, so your analogy is bogus. Furthermore, the correct level of tariffs simply ensures that foreign producers have about the same level of government taxation imposed on then as domestic producers. Without tariffs, the US government treats foreign manufacturers better than domestic manufacturers by exempting them from costly regulations and taxation. It’s a corrupt, crony capitalist scheme that’s as bad as the industrialists of a century ago receiving massive direct subsidies. And people like you erroneously think it has anything to do with free trade.

      2. Everything in moderation.

        Is it good for the USA to rely on China for medical supplies? For steel? For computer chips? What is insane is the globalist claim that it doesn’t matter if we make computer chips or potato chips. We just might find out how insane that is when we need to fight against those who produce the computer chips. Praise the Lord and pass the Pringles and we all stay free?

    2. What’s the difference between Trumpian economic nationalism, as in using taxes to steer consumers towards domestic producers that can’t compete on a level playing field, and leftists using taxes to steer consumers towards “green” energy that can’t compete on a level playing field?

      Intentions?

      Both use the same tactics to protect politically favored industries. The only difference is politics. Either way consumers get screwed.

      1. What’s the difference between Trumpian economic nationalism, as in using taxes to steer consumers towards domestic producers that can’t compete on a level playing field,

        Domestic producers could compete on a level playing field. The problem is that there is no level playing field with countries like China. Chinese corporations can produce at much lower cost than US corporations because they are not subject to US regulations, taxes, and laws.

        There are two ways to level the playing field: (1) lower US regulations, taxes, and laws to those found in other countries, or (2) impose tariffs to impose roughly the same costs on foreign producers as we do on domestic producers. Of these, (1) is the libertarian policy and (2) is the progressive and conservative policy.

        A policy where we unilaterally drop tariffs while continuing to impose high costs on domestic producers and support the labor force with government handouts is suicidal. That’s what you are advocating.

        1. So as long as other governments have different policies, our government should punish consumers who want to purchase foreign goods. Got it.

          1. So as long as other governments have different policies, our government should punish consumers who want to purchase foreign goods.

            Our government is punishing consumers through massive regulations of the market for goods and labor, not through tariffs. Tariffs are simply exposing those costs directly, as opposed to paying them indirectly.

            1. Two wrongs make a right?

              1. (1) It is wrong when the government deprives me of the means for self-defense by outlawing private gun ownership. (2) It is also wrong when the government imposes high taxes on me to pay for a government-run police force. However, if the government imposes policy (1) but not policy (2), you have an even worse outcome.

                Progressive policies frequently work that way: they start off by one violation of liberty, problems ensue, and then they add another violation of liberty on top of that, and on and on. Rolling those compounded violations of liberty back is tricky; if you do it in the wrong order, society collapses. Welcome to the real world.

                When it comes to tariffs and open borders, Western nations closed borders and developed a highly regulated social welfare state. The only way to undo those two wrongs is to first undo the wrong of the highly regulated social welfare state and then to undo the wrong of closing the borders. If you first undo the wrong of closing the borders, society unravels.

    3. So libertarians “have to” give up on core libertarian principles. Then we might as well call it off and go to some obscure chapter in the history books.

      1. Open borders and tariff-free trade are policies, not principles. The core libertarian principle is that of individual liberty, self-determination, and personal responsibility. Under some conditions, these policies promote those principles, under other conditions, they don’t.

        For example, simultaneously imposing a minimum wage requirement on US citizens while not enforcing immigration law and not imposing tariffs on goods from low-wage countries is not a libertarian policy.

        1. They are both based on principles of classic economic liberalism and capitalism which can be summarized as “free movement of goods, services and people”. How they are actually put into use is policy which may not be ideal but we can do much better than this. Humans are not perfect. Neither would a libertarian state be.

          1. They are both based on principles of classic economic liberalism and capitalism which can be summarized as “free movement of goods, services and people”.

            That is the objective of economic liberalism, not a roadmap for how to get there.

            How they are actually put into use is policy which may not be ideal but we can do much better than this.

            And the way to put it into use is to first abolish the social welfare state and the regulatory state and then open borders and abolish tariffs. Reversing the two steps doesn’t work.

        2. Individual liberty and self-determination, just not for the foreigners.

          1. Correct. The individual liberty and self-determination of foreigners is none of America’s business. But war mongers and imperialists like you just don’t seem to understand that.

            1. But surely if they get here they will enjoy the range of small-government freedom-maximizing policies we have? Or do we send jackbooted government thugs to cage or expel them?

              1. Or do we send jackbooted government thugs to cage or expel them?

                Our government should never send anybody to other nations except in the case of a direct and imminent military threat; what happens in other nations is not our responsibility or concern. That’s of course a principle jack-booted thugs like you don’t grasp.

                But surely if they get here they will enjoy the range of small-government freedom-maximizing policies we have?

                The US isn’t enjoying any “small-government freedom-maximizing policies”; the US is a regulatory nightmare and a social welfare state where the government controls the majority of economic activity in the country. Again, your brand of jack-booted thugs are responsible for that.

                Hopefully, we can reverse that.

                1. Is this more of the stupid unprincipled excuse for excluding brown people “We can’t afford to pay their welfare” that has been trotted out for decades despite being a lie?

                  Since immigrants skew young, and illegals get no benefits anyway, they are net contributors to the welfare state. You want to save the welfare state, import more immigrants.

                  But you don’t want to do either because you’re not telling the truth about your motives.

                  I just don’t understand why you people have to lie so much. If you don’t like brown people intermarrying with white people, just say so. You shouldn’t be embarrassed for your beliefs. If you are, you should reexamine them.

                  1. Since immigrants skew young, and illegals get no benefits anyway,

                    Immigrants and illegals both cost government massive amounts of money, since they consume roads, government services, education, etc. You know that, Tony, yet you keep lying about it.

        3. Why? Because it’s not fair if Americans aren’t allowed to have slave labor too?

          1. You got it backwards: you want to bring the socialist model of slave labor to the US; I oppose that.

            1. You should sit down and read some more books and get back to me. Just any intro to political science should do.

              1. Being an immigrant, I experienced socialism first hand; I know how it enslaves people.

    4. I believe libertarians have many good ideas to offer to the conservative movement, but libertarians also have to set aside their own utopian dreams such as open borders and abolishment of tariffs.

      Libertarians want open borders and free trade between countries with free market and minimal government. It is impossible in principle to have open borders and free trade unless both sides of the border have free markets and minimal government.

      Opening our borders and dropping tariffs vis-a-vis China, India, or Europe isn’t a libertarian policy, it’s simple suicide.

      1. “Libertarians want open borders”

        Not all libertarians want open borders first.

        Sure, open boarders (or at least light touch immigration control) would be a nice to have but, for me at least, it’s way down on the bottom of the priority list.

        When we’ve shrunk the federal and state governments by at least 50%, maybe we can come back and talk about it.

      2. Free trade or something very close to it is possible and results in prosperity, Singapore and Hong Kong are examples.

        This country at one time had near free immigration and welcomed new immigrants. The result was a booming economy.

        While a 100% transformation may be impractical we could go a very long way towards those goals.

        1. This country at one time had near free immigration and welcomed new immigrants. The result was a booming economy.

          It is correct that we had both of those things simultaneously; but you got causation wrong. The root cause was small government; it was small government that made open borders possible and then caused the economy to boom.

          While a 100% transformation may be impractical we could go a very long way towards those goals.

          We could and we should. But the first step is to reduce the size of government, the welfare state, and regulations back to pre-WWII levels; then we can open our borders to goods and people.

          Doing it in the reverse order just doesn’t work.

    5. Protecting jobs in one industry via artificially higher prices just destroys jobs that would have been created in other industries. Almost all economists agree that free trade is the way to go. Many of the best minds are even for unilateral free trade. Mercantilism is a failed economic outlook. Laissez-faire is better.

  19. I agree with others here who suggest that “whataboutism” is nothing more than comparing the two major parties to see who’s crazier, in a political context in which the choice is between two seriously corrupt parties.

    In that context, zeroing in on one of the parties and pointing at the corruption is unhelpful – the comparison is between the types of corruption the parties have in common, and the types of corruption one party has which the other doesn’t. Then hold your nose and vote.

    Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas to all.

  20. It’s you leftie Obama-worshippers who have descended into madness, with your war on America and freedom in general.

    It was NOT conservatives who asked for this fight between those who want to preserve the country as a capitalist, free market, work-based society and those who want to fundamentally transform it into a command-and-control socialist welfare-based society where everyone depends on the government. It was YOU who foisted this on us.

  21. Merry Christmas – all 12 days of it!

    “Now that Christmas Day has passed, the presents have been opened, and the feast has been prepared (and eaten!), it’s time to take down the Christmas tree, pack up the decorations, and start dreaming about next Christmas, right?

    “No! Christmas has only just begun. And while most of us may find it hard to sustain our celebration of Christmas all the way through until the traditional end of the season on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (also known as Candlemas), we can easily celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas, which end with the Solemnity of the Epiphany, on January 6.”

    https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrate-all-twelve-days-of-christmas-3970715

  22. Buckley realized that Welch’s fixations did a disservice to the anti-communist cause. So he convinced Goldwater to reject the core fallacy—”the assumption that you can infer subjective intention from objective consequence: we lost China to the communists, therefore the president of the United States and the secretary of state wished China to go to the communists.”

    Some things never change.

    1. Like your preferred behavior of not doing anything and merely watching the ratchet slowly take away your freedoms so you can complain but not actually do anything of importance.

      1. Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing and making it worse.

  23. From the comments on this post, the other posts on this blog, posts on other blogs, commentary from Fox, OAN, and Newsmax, the actions or inactions of the rest of the Rs, and the number of people who believe Trump lies, the answer to your question is: NO.

    1. You said this retarded shit already.

      1. I know, but I did not mean to put it as a reply, and you can not delete comments.

    2. I have this VERY INSIGHTFUL take where I look down on commenters! See how awesome I am? I’m good and smart. You can all see it, can’t you?

  24. Maybe I’d be better off throwing in with the communists. They seem to be the last ones left willing to look after my interests.

    China Inc will recycle used white guys

    This is the world Enlightened™ libertarians and conservatives have built for us.

    So, after having purged everyone else, Buckley conservatives are crying about being on the business end of the purging? Yeah, go fuck yourselves, too. Merry Christmas!

  25. Does reason realize the Libertarian candidate this year stood up for Anti Racist beliefs, a form of cultural marxism? Do they realize 4 years ago they supported forcing bakers to bake a cake?

    Reason sat and defended 100 days of riots. They support soft corporatism. They ignore media being in bed with a political party. They ignore open resistance by unelected officials in an expanded federal bureaucracy. They supported the IC Russian collusion narrative. They stayed mute and defended the political hit on Flynn and others.

    Reasom has been on the side of the insane for the last 4 years. So this article doesn’t actually mean much.

    1. Well stated.

    2. The Libertarian Party presidential primaries draw two types of candidates:

      Carpetbaggers from one of the two major parties who want a shot at the brass ring and had no shot at it in their home party.

      Nutcases like Vermin Supreme.

      The problem is that people who actually believe in libertarian principles aren’t the kind of people who want the power to control other people’s lives, but the desire for power over others is exactly what motivates people to run for elective office.

      The LP needs to stop holding primaries and institute a lottery/draft system.

      1. He’s an entertaining nutcase. Or, more to the point, I think the LP will not be fielding a potus candidate with a chance any time soon. Jorgensen was a disaster on civil liberties, if her apparent support for the Black Lives Matter organization is any indicator.

        1. Jorgensen was a carpetbagger from the Democratic Party.

        2. Jo was saddled with a communist anarchist running mate and new suicide planks. NPR’s Public Brainwashing system seized on this with whoops of joy. But the Dems had already purged the Obama-Hillary-Biden insistence on caging youths over plant leaves. God’s Own Prohibitionists stood pat with their murdering First Responders™ platform and never knew what hit them. Linseed Graham Cracker promising women voters Judge Amy would soon have their daughters bleeding out in alleyways–that was the cherry on top.

    3. Rednecks with green teeth imagine government exists to shoot people over plant leaves and force women into involuntary labor as Mutterehrenkreuz medal winners in Third Reich Germany. Other than that they are indistinguishable from the other looters seeking to get us to vote for the initiation of force instead of freedom. Libertarian spoiler votes work to weaken and replace both variants of totalitarian altruism.

    4. Pretty soon they’ll explain how UBI is actually sound economic policy, and won’t expedite our impending bankruptcy, if they haven’t already, I’m too lazy to do the research.

  26. I think the real beginning of the descent was the “Tea Party Movement” which start out with good cause, but quickly morphed into something else. Getting to DC the “Tea Party” candidate seemed more interested in opposing President Obama than in reducing government spending. This then descended further with Trump and Trumpism and today you have a Republican Party that in no way looks conservative or libertarian.

    The is also a precautionary tale for the Democrats who could see the “Progressives” become their own version of the “Tea Party”.

    1. So the solution was for RINOs and liberaltarians to join the progtards in the left wing democrat party.

      That makes zero sense and in fact shows how morally bankrupt the neocon republicans were. And liberaltarians can’t figure out the script enough to get a single electoral vote.

      The result is a coalition that elected Joe Biden. Have fun with that.

      1. Your looking at the 2020 election as a choice, it was a referendum. One that Trump lost.

        1. Again, enjoy Biden. You and neocons have way more in common than you thought.

    2. The libertarian movement stupidly tried that ‘liberalitarian’ alliance with the left, and as the people who’d opposed it warned, got taken over. There no longer IS any organized libertarian movement at this point, for practical purposes.

      1. Sad but true.

    3. The Tea Party is John Birch christianofascism wearing a different mask in hopes of getting the cops to shoot people over plant leaves and cause women to bleed to death. The Libertarian Roe v Wade plank of 1972 and 1976 got fascists fired up to satirize and infiltrate the LP while communist infiltrators in anarchist masks tried to make us out as bomb throwers. Looter tactics are wearily repetitive.

  27. Trump may have driven the final nail in the coffin for conservatives. He proved that they have no principles or integrity left. Even now in his shameful exit he turns on them. Hungry for another leader Republicans will just look for another emperor-god to replace him.

    1. Beautiful concern trolling.

    2. There is always hope. This article indicates that some conservatives are looking for a way back to normalcy. With Trump gone they may get a chance.

    3. It’s probably healthy to assume that once they’ve given themselves permission to discard democracy in favor of their own authoritarian rule, they’re not likely going to suddenly start enjoying the taste of compromise and getting along.

      But the authoritarian impulse has always been there. All the way back. They have been disenfranchising people since the existence of elections on this continent. They stack the courts expecting and hoping the courts will make policy against the will of the majority of the people. They will openly tell you they think democracy is bad because the people don’t know what’s best for themselves.

      Authoritarians always exist, you just have to outvote them. It matters more than any tax policy, and I would tell the left the same thing as any principled conservative, that it’s about priorities now, not utopian dreams. The priority is to stop a Turkey or Poland or Russia or Nazi Germany from happening in the biggest nuclear power. Period.

      1. So, they will be exactly like the Democrats are now?

        I mean, it worked, right? Biden is the President, right?

        Why should they not follow a successful strategy?

        1. I’m sure i don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Paranoid ranting fever dreams downloaded into you via Glenn Beck’s anus to your mouth port? I dunno.

  28. One of the modern conservative movement’s greatest leaders, the late William F. Buckley Jr., retold a fascinating story from the run-up to the 1964 presidential election.

    Buckley was a privileged pompous ass who spent his life self-aggrandizing and self-promoting on TV. That’s the extent of his leadership. He appealed to the Romney-conservatives, people who were more concerned about being cordial at cocktail parties than to actually delivering to voters what they were elected for. Buckley did produce some quotable lines, but that’s the least we can expect from an overpaid “public intellectual”.

    I’m not surprised that Buckley appeals to the Reason crowd.

    Can Libertarians Stop Their Movement’s Descent Into Madness? Libertarians need more self-analysis and less whataboutism.

    There, FTFY. And by “Libertarian”, I don’t mean people who hold libertarian beliefs; we are mostly found outside of the LP and “libertarian” magazines.

    1. Yeah, generally, libertarian perspectives are not paraphrased directly from CNN.

  29. This column earned – STEVEN GREENHUT – a total of – 131 – social credit points.

    Congratulations to – MR. STEVEN GREENHUT – for his excellent work.

    You too can earn points by being a good global citizen. Find out how by visiting scp.usdt.gov today.

  30. No. You’re going to have to suck it up and save the country with people who aren’t like you or see America fall to Marxists. Sorry.

    I know it’s hard to rise above your personal vanity and narcissism to associate with flawed Americans, but now is the time.

    1. There is no threat that this country will “fall to Marxists.” That is a ridiculous thing to say. Are you exaggerating, or do you actually believe this is a threat in this country?

      It’s important because we almost did actually fall to bona fide fascism, and as they have a tendency to gain power by appealing to fears of phantom Marxists (literally the same playbook for almost a hundred years), you should be sure you’re not falling for it.

      1. It’s important because we almost did actually fall to bona fide fascism, and as they have a tendency to gain power by appealing to fears of phantom Marxists

        Marxists and fascists are largely indistinguishable, and people like Sanders and AOC come down more on the fascist side than the Marxist side.

        1. There are few so clearly established rivalries in politics between fascists and Marxists. It’s why the right-left spectrum exists.

          Of course a fascist would misuse labels precisely like this. They’re sneaky that way, and having no real principles beyond power, and rely on propaganda existentially. it’s the easiest thing in the world.

          1. It’s why the right-left spectrum exists.

            The left-right spectrum comes from the French revolution and refers to revolutionaries vs monarchists/conservatives.

            Of course a fascist would misuse labels precisely like this.

            It’s easy for anybody to verify that the American left in the 21st century is ideologically nearly identical to 20th century fascists simply by looking at the political programs of the Italian and German fascist parties (look up “25 Point Program”).

            Conversely, it’s easy to see that 21st century conservatives and libertarians in the US and Europe are diametrically opposed to those programs.

          2. It’s why the right-left spectrum exists.

            The left-right spectrum comes from the French revolution and refers to revolutionaries vs monarchists/conservatives.

            Of course a fascist would misuse labels precisely like this.

            It’s easy for anybody to verify that the American left in the 21st century is ideologically nearly identical to 20th century fascists simply by looking at the political programs of the Italian and German fascist parties (look up “25 Point Program”).

            Conversely, it’s easy to see that 21st century conservatives and libertarians in the US and Europe are diametrically opposed to those programs.

            (I had to repost due to the lousy Reason comment system)

            1. Easy to see if you’re a fucking moron.

              I have a blue chair. The ocean’s blue. I can swim in my chair.

              Don’t use labels if you can’t handle them. Just notice what Republicans and Trump are doing.

              Let me guess, can’t really see anything wrong, except you wish he just wouldn’t tweet so much?

              1. Strasser, one of the founders of German fascism, couldn’t have put it more clearly:

                “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

                Really, Tony, you keep denying the obvious: the American left in the 21st century is ideologically nearly identical to 20th century fascists.

                1. I find it fascinating watching the left continually march towards authoritarianism, whether it is referred to as socialism, fascism, or communism, without the slightest bit of self-awareness. People like Tony actually think government control of everything will make everything fair and perfect. It’s the conundrum of having a cushy, apathetic life, honestly.

                  I mean, he has lived in the greatest times that have ever existed in humanity brought about by freedom, democracy, capitalism, and prosperity. So he can’t truly understand that which he advocates for. Rather, he thinks it sounds great, so he comments from his Apple computer or phone, from a heated residence, with a stomach full of food complaining that everything is terrible.

    2. Again, the Nazi appeal to fake binarism offering mystical versus crowdsourced coercive altruism as “the only” possible alternatives. While Truman’s legal team tried and hanged Christian conservative nazis, others not-yet-arrested fled into the Soviet sector and joined their fellow socialists. American soldiers referred to them as red fascists, already tiresome in HUAC investigations and German-American Bund movements before the Hitler-Stalin pact. Both factions are terrified at the thought of someone, somewhere, being free from coercion.

      1. Who ordered the word salad?

        1. I’m selling Hank Phillips decoder rings on Etsy, if you are interested.

  31. Democrats and republicans have been playing this two party shell game for a long time. They see to it that any third party has no chance, no resources, no media coverage, no place at the podium.

    They have the public and commenters even here convinced that there is no other choice. Some of them are simply recruiters here to try and convince us of our foolishness and the rewards awaiting if we join up.

    They fear libertarians because we offer a principled alternative.

    Nothing really changes. They just keep moving around the deck chairs.

  32. Not too worried about the alt-right conspiracy theorists. They are a VERY VERY LONG ways away from getting D.C. and mainstream media under their belt unlike the use to be “alt-left” now just a few years later getting coined as “moderate left” who flouts straight-up treasonous propaganda, lies, conspiracy theories and legislation.

    This article is like picking bone’s over an ant-byte in the middle of a world war. Sure the Ant shouldn’t byte; but why would anyone waist time with so many other much higher issues at hand.

  33. Seriously what the actual fuck is this article?

    We literally watched the left burn shit all summer long and NOTHING like this AT ALL.

    But now the entire right is going crazy? Fuck right off.

    1. Narcissism vs. solving problems and defending America are warring inside the Greenhut.

    2. You saw the left engage in protests against government abuse of power.

      You saw the right form a cult of government worship.

      Go figure.

      1. lmao!!! Shooting criminals who pick street-fights with law enforcement and steals their weapons while fleeing and pointing them at law enforcement is “abuse of power”…

        But monopolizing healthcare, Universal Basic Income, Turning the USA communist, Racist/Sexist entitlements (to the point of segregation) — See the WHOLE LIST of CHAZ demands.
        ….. Isn’t a “abuse of power”?????????????

        UR so Full of Sh*t I can literally see you turning brown.

        1. And you’ve clearly fallen for the same tired fascist propaganda that hasn’t changed in a hundred years.

          1. Live video = fascist propaganda… Alright then! /s

            1. If you had any remote actual appreciation for the things you claim to care about, you would have realized that BLM was the most direct protest against government abuse in generations, and joined them.

              But you let FOX News fascists convince you it was all about scary blacks looting stores. You saw protesters responding to actual police abuse happening to them and took the side of the cops.

              Do you want a gold star for your libertarianism or what?

              1. It is amazing, isn’t it.

                Peanuts claim to hate cops but like it when cops rough up innocent black people.

                1. Not being free to pull knifes, steal weapons, resist arrest and pick street-fights with law enforcement personnel = abuse of government powers. CHECK….

                  The fact you two have deluded yourselves into believing such non-sense is pretty amazing. At the least you should acknowledge such as a responsibility of the court instead of imbicilic tactics of street-fights.

                  Needless to say; This has nothing to do with the U.S. Government (Feds) business unless you’re pushing for a BoR amendment to add those street-fight *freedoms* to it.

              2. If you had any remote actual appreciation for the things you claim to care about, you would have realized that BLM was the most direct protest against government abuse in generations

                BLM was a direct protest against liberal democracy, the same way Marxists and fascists always demonstrate against liberal democracy. Supposed abuses by government are the usual justification for such protests.

              3. So what were the lockdown protests in your opinion? Curious how you frame freedom protests like BLM that demand more government regulation to lockdown protests that actually demanded less government.

      2. You saw the left engage in protests against government abuse of power.

        I haven’t seen the left engage in protests against government abuse of power in decades.

        Even the “BLM protests” call for more government power and more abuse of government power.

        1. Nope not really. Not when the government boot actually meets the neck.

          See you’re just for small government when it comes to poking around tax shelters. Roughing up thugs is what you think government should be doing, and more of it.

          1. See you’re just for small government when it comes to poking around tax shelters. Roughing up thugs is what you think government should be doing, and more of it.

            Not at all. I believe in keeping thugs out of neighborhoods and towns entirely, which largely eliminates the need for roughing them up. And when it comes to roughing up trespassers, I prefer it be done not by government but by private security, subject to private liability and insurance.

            1. When I amass my army of devoted mercenaries, I’m coming for your house first.

          2. Let’s start by eliminating that big fat paint brush you’re using. Which level of government are you trying to address?

  34. Greenhut, giving a weak nod to irrational and ongoing conspiracy theories that abound on the left is commendable. It is greatly diminished, however when you repeat one of the current and more idiotic conspiracy theories and masturbatory fantasies, that of Trump refusing to leave office.

    1. Trump is actually refusing to leave office so far, what’s the conspiracy theory?

      And what do Democrats offer than is crazier than Qanon?

      Also he told you to stop relying on whataboutism for a reason. It suggests you no longer have any actual ideas or principles except to defeat the socialist boogie monster.

      1. So he’s suppose to leave office before his term ends or what? More B.S.

      2. Trump is actually refusing to leave office so far, what’s the conspiracy theory?

        Given that Trump’s term doesn’t end for another month, why should he leave office now?

        1. Because the Christmas spirit made him realize the error of his ways?

          1. It hasn’t done that for you. You’re still the same fascist you have always been.

  35. What about if we all agreed to be a little more honest about what we’re talking about?

    There really isn’t “capitalism vs. socialism.” Not really. These are 19th century labels that have done more to create tribal divisions than elucidate any economic truths. Economics has gone on quite well describing phenomena and policy approaches without any need for strict ideological labels and dividing lines.

    Every society on earth has a mixture of private markets and public spending. Deciding the correct mix of these is what we call politics. If you absolutely need to have a good vs. evil narrative about this, then you need to go take a nap and maybe have a binky because that is not helpful and it is not mature.

    So you want more public spending on courts, less on regulations, I want a social safety net and you want the creative destruction of natural selection. Fine. It’s easier to have these discussions without the labels, because the labels mean nothing except to signify what team you’re on. The moral content thus rests in the merits of the arguments themselves. What could possibly be wrong with that? Is it the fact that your policies leave billions starving and homeless? Oopsie.

    The real political differences that drive the real divisions are pretty much about whether black people should be considered full citizens, same debate since the dawn of this civilization. And apparently we didn’t settle the matter clearly enough the first time the anti-human partisans started a war over it. Perhaps we’ll do better the next time.

    1. EXCUSE ME — We do have a U.S. Constitution that determines how much “socialism” we SHOULD have. More B.S.

      1. That would be quite an achievement considering the US constitution was written before socialism or capitalism were invented.

        1. lmao…. You can be pretty funny sometimes.

        2. What Tony calls “capitalism” is monarchic, Christian, slaveholding monopolistic colonial mercantilism which is what Adam Smith and Karl Marx both wrote about. Mercantilism without religion is communism, and with it, fascism. All three rely variants of altruistic kleptocracy primarily on the initiation of force which they systematically seek to increase. Tony and the Trumpistas are selling the same smelly fish–only with differing doses of Jesus sauce. They do it here because they sense that libertarian freedom is the enemy.

          1. I think libertarianism is and has always has been fascism repackaged.

            You guys fall all over yourselves with insipid hero myths and can’t stop talking about all the people who are incompatible with your form of society.

            1. “people who are incompatible with your form of society” = people who won’t be enslaved to provide you with your own personal safety net by gun-force.

              1. I’m referring to the fact that it’s difficult to have a libertarian society if most people keep voting for higher taxes and more public services. Right?

                1. Thus is why the USA isn’t a democracy.

    2. lmao… The last time there were “billions” starving and homeless Obama was president and there was a [D] majority in both sections of congress. YOU MUST BE TALKING ABOUT THE DNC…. Or you’re completely blinded by ignorance.

      Or the Great Depression — Take your pick both end results of DNC policy.

      1. I’m genuinely curious where you get your political education from. Give me some names. Who are your favorite political scientists or political writers?

        1. The last time there were “billions” starving and homeless Obama was president

          This might well be true. The effects of the GOP/Bushpig financial collapse of 2008 lingered into 2009-11 while Obama was POTUS.

          1. The effects of the GOP/Bushpig financial collapse of 2008 lingered into 2009-11 while Obama was POTUS.

            The financial meltdown of 2008 was the result of long-standing progressive economic policies.

            But that wasn’t even the real problem. The real problem was that Obama dragged out the recovery over his entire two terms with his incompetent and corrupt policies.

            The fact that it was the “longest economic recovery in history” wasn’t a good thing, you know.

          2. Sometimes even I’m surprised when I think about how consistently they have wrecked things. The culture war is a hell of a drug.

        2. “Who are your favorite political scientists or political writers?” — The Reality of Life. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with lefties they live in a delusional world of poetry propaganda. Ever tried to have an opinion NOT served to you by some other “nose in the books” person?

          Ever tried to live by principles of Individual Justice and Liberty instead of compulsively living by the POWER to ENSLAVE others?

            1. Who’s Karl Marx? You should be old enough to think for yourself by now.

      2. The Great Depression and the little one of 1920-23 were both the result of mystics-with-guns enforcing prohibitionism via padlockings, confiscation, libel, asset forfeiture and qualified immunity murder. Both recessions increased communist party membership. Indeed, the Panic of 1907 was almost entirely an artifact of bans on beer, cocaine, whiskey, opium and unregulated pharmacology. The 5&10 law of 02MAR1929 guaranteed the Depression and the Reagan-Bush and Waffen Bush crashes of 1987 and 2008 were prohibitionist. Republican eugenic pseudoscience wrecks the economy with predictable regularity.

    3. Every society on earth has a mixture of private markets and public spending. Deciding the correct mix of these is what we call politics.

      Yes, and when spending amounts to more than around 5% of GDP, politics becomes corrupt and authoritarian. That’s what you favor.

      1. Care to back up that assertion with political theory texts or even just pointing to something in the real world? All countries with more than 5% GDP in public sector are authoritarian?

        Why am I so certain that if we ever had the type of government you want, it would be the worse sort of mafia-run shithole?

        1. Why am I so certain that if we ever had the type of government you want, it would be the worse sort of mafia-run shithole?

          The mafia would take less of my money and provide better protection than the US government does. Even monarchies traditionally provide more liberty and lower taxes than the US government does.

          So, I’m not sure where exactly you were trying to go with this.

          1. The mafia would take less of my money and provide better protection than the US government does.

            Haha, no shit, and their neighborhoods were actually relatively safe, too.

            There’s a notable piece from “Wiseguy” involving an old lady and a robber that got left out of “Goodfellas” about that, because it’s, how shall we say, racially problematic.

    4. “So you want more public spending on courts, less on regulations,”

      No, I want less public spending across the board at all levels of government.

      We can argue over how to spend what’s left after we have an agreement for a 50% reduction in government.

      1. But why? Lots of people’s lives would be fundamentally thrown into chaos if we did that. You’d need a pretty strong justification for that radical a change, and at least some sort of plan for what comes next, since there are no real-world examples where anyone would want to live.

        I’d hate to think it was masturbatory fantasy substituting for real ideas, a common peril of ideologues right and left.

        But I must only assume you’re for large increases in the budgets for the courts considering, once you get rid of all the regulations, we’ll be left with filing suit every time our children are poisoned by a corporation cutting corners. You can’t have to both ways.

        But of course you can. I’d hate to think this was all rhetorical mumbo-jumbo in service of kleptocratic interests.

        1. You’d need a pretty strong justification for that radical a change, and at least some sort of plan for what comes next, since there are no real-world examples where anyone would want to live.

          US government spending as percentage of GDP is upwards of 40%. Ireland is 25%, Hong Kong is 18%, Taiwan is 17%, and Singapore is 14%, so there are plenty of real-world examples for cutting it in half.

    5. Communists are absolutely befuddled by the Libertarian idea of minimizing the initiation of force. Tony’s glossolalia, like Potty-mouth Jesus’ barking rants, is designed as a jamming signal to assist in the increase of violence. National Socialists killed people in Holland and France just as International Socialists murdered folks in Poland and Czechoslovakia for listening to the “wrong” radio stations. Looters know they are lying, hence the compulsion to block debate and comparisons which smack of competition.

      1. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

        If we could correct the following wrong assumptions, we’d have so precious little to talk about, because you people’s heads would be slightly dislodged from your asses:

        One, communism isn’t the same thing as authoritarianism. Be careful here, or you’ll miss the actual, textbook, authoritarians, even if they are big, fat and orange.

        Two, nobody’s a communist. Maybe three or four professors and bloggers. It lost. Most people acknowledge that. Anyone shrieking about communism can safely be assumed to be a fascist who’s actually talking about Jews, since that’s what they do.

        1. Wow really? If you point out the obvious cultural marxism popping up in the “diversity, inclusion” mantra your anti-semitic? Great way to ensure we can debate the new “tribalism” and equality of results…except of course in professions where their “tribe” dominates….
          White supremacy: Is there any elected politician who advocates taking the Bill of Rights away from anyone whose ansestry is not European or North African or Middle Eastern?

          I have no problem with tossing the neocons into the garbage bin of their fellow troytskiite travelers but to say the left isn’t pushing a “woke” version of communism is bs…equality of results?

          1. The literal Nazis ranted against “cultural Marxism” too. It’s all the same bullshit. You should know where your bullshit comes from. It comes from the Nazis.

            Civil rights activists aren’t marxists. Almost nobody is a Marxist. You’re throwing in Marxism as a content-free scare word.

            I agree that the civil rights community can get ahead of itself sometimes. Occasionally it even invents a new standard that is so obviously dumb that we never hear about it again (“womyn”).

            If you’re expecting them to be perfect, you’re not acting in good faith. No politically passionate 18 year-old is going to destroy your way of life. You are just told that by the people who are doing that.

            1. Civil rights activists aren’t marxists. Almost nobody is a Marxist. You’re throwing in Marxism as a content-free scare word.

              Much of the 21st century “civil rights” movement is rooted in critical race theory, a branch of critical theory. Critical theory is a new form of Marxism according to the people who developed it (Marcuse, Adorno, Horkheimer, etc.).

            2. The literal Nazis ranted against “cultural Marxism” too.

              You can check Google n-grams and Google Books: the term “cultural Marxism” literally does not exist before the mid 1960’s.

  36. Both kleptocracy factions have gone apeshit. Greenhut sees the surface of a christiano-fascist army of anti-choice rednecks. But the communo-fascist shriekers of End-Times misanthropic warmunism rely on faked temperature data just as Trumpista whack jobs invent fake election returns. Package-deal agglomerations striving to increase the initiation of harmful and deadly force and keep their hand in the till and snout in the trough are having trouble competing with each other AND the Libertarian Party. No sympathy from me.

    1. Use concrete terms if you want to communicate.

  37. This whining about “whataboutism” just pisses me off. It’s “whataboutism” when you deflect from legitimate criticism. But it is not “whataboutism” when you’re calling out hypocrisy.

    1. It may be relevant to an overall argument, but it’s not an argument by itself. It can result in dumb arguments like “My guy is better because, not having any principles whatsoever, he can’t possibly be a hypocrite about any of them.”

      Notice how Democratic governors are heaped with more blame for trying imperfectly than Trump is for actively not trying at all. Hey, he wants people to die! No hypocrite here!

      I think the bigger point is that Republicanism has ceased having any coherent arguments other than directing you who to hate and scapegoat for your problems today.

  38. The current right is basically to the left of Bill Clinton in the 90s. Meanwhile the left is flirting with out and out socialism.

    The idea that the right is descending into madness because they want to restrict illegal immigration and want fair trade deals is absurd.

    1. Hello, person from the mid-1990s. This is the ghost of Christmas future here to show you what a little xenophobia in your time turns into by the time they’re electing Donald Trump as president. Yea, you heard that right, and it gets weirder.

      1. You think Trump is a xenophobe? The guy whose grandchildren speak Chinese? There’s a vast difference between open borders and xenophobia. LMK what country is safe, has open borders, great healthcare, and free education from preschool through high school so I can move there without a visa and set up shop. I’d also like passports for any kids I have while I am there. LET ME KNOW! I’ll wait.

        1. Uh. Yes, yes I do.

          His campaign was about building a literal wall against the brown people next door.

          His response to a pandemic was to blame “the Chinese.”

          He uses racist dog whistles straight from the 1980s.

          I’m sorry you buy into every last hateful scapegoating ounce of it, but that’s either xenophobia or nothing is.

          1. So any decisive action taken against Mexico is racist because they aren’t white? Hate to break it to you, but Mexican is not an ethnicity and most Mexicans would be rather upset at you for suggesting it. Many of them are descendants of Spaniards and are 100% white. That’s why so many of them identify as white when they immigrate here.

            China is completely to blame. They withheld information, thinking that Covid would simply be another SARS or MERS that wouldn’t spread the way it did. They wanted to contain it without anyone finding out, which is why we’ve been pushing for investigations into its origins and sanctions for lack of transparency. If we had known further in advance, it would have been easier to restrict travel. Unfortunately, we didn’t find out until mid-late January, at which point Covid was already in the US. Nothing could be done at that point. The strategy shifted from containment to mitigation. Ironically, Democrats strongly opposed Trump’s travel bans from China and Europe despite the fact that island nations like Japan and New Zealand are faring better for that reason exactly. They locked down early; it’s the only way. Viruses transmit because of virology, not because of politics. Covid isn’t a living being, it didn’t say “oh Trump doesn’t want national lockdowns, I’ll go spread like crazy now.”

      2. This is the ghost of Christmas future here to show you what a little xenophobia

        As an actual immigrant, the last thing I want is the kind of people I tried to get away from to migrate to the US en masse. The idea of open borders mostly seems to appeal to people like you, people who don’t know what the rest of the world is like.

        1. And you think that people from those shitty places bring its shittiness here? How is that? Does it not wash off? Don’t they come here for opportunities?

          Think about the things you say before you say them.

          1. And you think that people from those shitty places bring its shittiness here? How is that? Does it not wash off?

            No, speaking from actual experience as an immigrant, it does not “wash off”, in particular when people migrate in large numbers and can form subcultures in the US (like you want them to).

            That’s why immigration needs to be selective and limited.

  39. The Goldwater candidacy built the foundation for the GOP’s future and set the stage for a movement that helped topple the Evil Empire. Sometimes, losing is better than winning.

    Not AFAICT. I think the Goldwater for president campaign set the movement back a long way. The next Republican president was Nixon.

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  41. Poor Commies at unreason.

    They rant and rave lunatic accusations and claims, like this one claiming that Conservatives are some problem.

    Anyone to the right of Socialism is a problem to unreason staffers.

  42. Looking at the 2020 election from an ideological perspective dating back to the beginning of boomer awareness of politics is rather silly. But does illustrate a real problem. The US is almost a gerontocracy now.

    2016 and 2020 are in my opinion about the inability of both political parties to make a generational transition. Even the L’s – the party with the youngest demographics by far – doesn’t seem able to move beyond a 50 year old Nolan chart.

    Registered voters are older than ever in history. Both houses of Congress – older than ever by far. The political issues that animate younger demographics are not actually driven by younger voters but are framed by old voters who don’t actually understand the issues.

    I’m not sure this is directly about age. It may just be that the US has become a completely status quo country – where our dependence on debt has now morphed into generational ossification. the only way we can keep selling and rolling over debt is to keep selling the same perspectives on how we’re going to spend that money long past the sell-by date.

  43. Thinking that sex is a social construct and has no scientific basis is perfectly reasonable. Can we please sack all of these fake “libertarian” liberal journalists?

  44. At this point they shouldn’t take anyone’s advice.
    Doing so rendered almost all Republicans ineffective chickenshits.

  45. WFB a conservative? Wow I kind of lost there. At the heart of conservativism are free markets, sound money, limited govt and peace. The Buck supported a massive increase in the Federal Govt to fight the USSR. But did we need say a CIA? What was wrong with our military intelligence services like ONI? And overthrowing countries? That was conservative? Supporting FIAT money? Come on..old Bill should have been screaming for Nixon to go down that road which is the inception of so many of today’s problems. Conservatives get elected and…wait for it..they increase govt selling “guns’ and “butter”..and cutting taxes creating deficits (I’m all for cutting taxes but there is never cutting govt). Did Reagan pass an exec order banning public sector unions or why when Bush had the House and Senate did we not seriously downsize the govt? Simple truth is “conservatives” have been many things but beside cutting the marginal rates here and there there has been no real conservatism by the GOP. EXport bank? Still there. Agro subsidizes..still there. And perhaps the most unforgivable was an interventionism foreign policy. There are no real conservatives these days in the GOP leadership..The crazies are the ones in charge who advocate overthrowing governments, federalizing education, running deficits, and picking/chosing winners in industry (why is Freddie/Frannie allowed to exist?). Greenhut wants to do a Buckley. Ok can we stare with the neocons and keynsians?

  46. Yeah, it’s conservatives that are the big worry…

    1. Explains why Reason still hasn’t gotten around to covering the runoffs in Georgia.

      Nothing to see there.

  47. I love it when crazy ass libertarians accuse someone else of far greater craziness. Dude, did you actually listen to the libertarian candidates before they voted for the BLM mamma?

    1. I suppose, based on your comment that there is no greater craziness than “crazy ass” libertarians ?

  48. “and that the government of the United States was ‘under operational control of the Communist Party.'”

    At least pick quotes that didn’t turn out to be true as examples of craziness. We’ve now known for decades that the Communists infiltrated some of the most influential industries; government, media, and academia. Their agents pushed propaganda that has now formed the backbone of neo-Marxism, post-modernism, and critical theory that have infected mainstream society and hijacked the Democrat party. At this point, half the country is already subverted, which was the objective of the Communists. The USSR knew they couldn’t defeat us militarily or economically, so they pursued a disinformation campaign that would destroy us from within. Why do you think Russia still plays all sides in our elections? Why do you think the Chinese invest in troll farms?

  49. So how is “whataboutism” different from simply calling someone out on their hypocrisy ? Or are we just not doing that anymore ? Being a hypocrite is just okay now ?

  50. I left the GOP when its members impeached Clinton in 1998, which I thought was petty and partisan. I do remain a conservative though and vote for Republicans occasionally (Romney in 2012).
    The current party does seem to me to be a ‘cult of personality.’ I’ve tried to think of a set of issues that the GOP actually cares about and have failed.
    Opposing ‘political correctness’ or ‘identity politics’ is great, but they’re not issues that you can build a campaign on.
    Personal freedom and individual responsibility are a couple that I think would be good, but I don’t hear any Republicans espousing them.

  51. Notice in the photo that the Gadsden Snake on the Q-Anon Flag looks like it’s twisting itself in knots and/or trying to bite itself, like some demented oroboro.

    A rather fitting symbol for a bunch that basically rehashes the Eighties/Nineties Ritual Satanic Abuse Moral Panic, then adds politics. If this bunch had power, the Dominos corporate office would become victim of a Waco-style seige, complete with an underground borer to ‘liberate’ the ‘precious bodily fluids.’

    Funny how they never focus on Gummint Skoolz, The Roman Catholic Church, The Southern Baptist Convention, The Boy Scouts, Child Protectice Services, foster care, and orphanages, places that operate in broad daylight where children have suffered actual abuse for decades if not centuries.

  52. To the editors:

    How long does it take to moderate a comment. I posted one 4 days ago? Status would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

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