Politics

In 2021, Politics Needs a 'Leave Us Alone' Coalition

Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. We could use a little less of that, please.

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"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong," wrote the late journalist and professional cynic H.L. Mencken. In our modern world, the "answers" to our myriad and complex problems always seem to involve the use of government—through taxation, regulation, bureaucracy, and even military invasion.

As prevalent as that answer may be, it is usually—although not always—wrong, which is one lesson all Americans should learn from our unspeakably bad year. The pandemic has not only tragically killed more than 300,000 Americans, but has led to previously unimaginable restrictions on our freedom to live our lives as we choose.

We awake each morning pondering the terms upon which our leaders will even allow us to leave our homes. The COVID-19 restrictions keep changing and the goalposts keep moving. Perhaps we will one-day find out whether any of the governor's oftentimes illogical and arbitrary edicts are working—but for now it's on a need-to-know basis.

There's no magic solution, but that's the point. How many people think this not-particularly magical thing called "government" has calmly guided us through the coronavirus crisis? Although scholars dispute its authorship, this George Washington quotation is telling: "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence—it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

Sometimes there's no choice but to use force, which is why we have a justice system based ultimately on compulsion. Our society, however, was founded on the idea that individuals generally know what's best for themselves and they should be left alone to pursue their dreams free from unchecked dictates, albeit within a framework of checks and balances.

The founders knew the easy-button governmental solution often is worse than whatever problem it was trying to solve. With COVID-19, everyone is flying blind. We need some rules during unusual times, but when we transfer too many decisions from individuals to government, we give imperfect politicians and regulators power to make choices for us based on their limited insights and political interests.

In the past year, we've also experienced the most vicious national election in our lifetimes. Conservatives have argued that this was a "Flight 93" election (referring to the 9/11 flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field). As Vox summarizes that argument, "America has been hijacked—and electing Donald Trump is their last chance to storm the cockpit before it crashes."

Now that he's lost, it's no wonder that the craziest Trump supporters are talking openly about secession, martial law, and even civil war. If one claims that a "rigged" election loss means the destruction of everything we hold dear, one shouldn't be surprised that people become radicalized. Some elements on the left haven't been much better, as they've viewed GOP control of the federal government as tantamount to fascism.

As America's political and cultural disputes become akin to tribal warfare, it's easy to forget about the solution that was embedded in our Constitution—a document that both sides at least pretend to still care about. The founders limited the powers of the federal government, reaffirmed the pre-existing natural rights of the citizenry, and created dispersed layers of power to limit misuse of government muscle. We need to re-learn those ideals.

Long before Trump tore apart our fraying social fabric, conservative political activist Grover Norquist talked about the "Leave Us Alone Coalition." The idea is simple, compelling, and in perfect harmony with the nation's founding principles. We need not agree on religion, share the same cultural preferences, or come from the same regions, but we can unite in the belief that the government should basically just leave us the heck alone.

Norquist portrays two warring factions. The nation has a "takings coalition" that views "the proper role of government as taking things from one group and giving them to someone else." This includes the public-sector unions, "the social welfare industrial complex" and "utopians" who want to re-jigger society. Then, he notes, there is a group that does "not want the government to give them something. Or take something from others…They just want to be left alone."

Most conservatives believe themselves to be part of the latter coalition—yet that's an increasingly preposterous position. You are not motivated by a desire to have the government leave people alone if you support tariffs, stricter immigration controls, limits on tech firms, higher defense and intelligence spending, asset-forfeiture laws, a stepped-up drug war, and much of the social-conservative agenda.

Maybe the New Year might usher in a truce. If we want the government to leave us alone, then we need to be willing to leave them alone. Until Americans spend less time "owning" the other side and more time restoring some governmental boundaries, all of us will labor under a tightening yoke.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Wasteland 3

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  1. Too bad your new Dem friends believe the opposite and plan to pack the courts to make more government a “fundamental human right”, that we can’t vote against.

    Fuck off, Reason. You had your chance to say something about the left, and you chose to side with them. Fuck. Off.

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    2. I agree. The media no longer even pretends to be impartial. They were incredulous when Mr. Trump became President Trump. He was perceptive enough to know the media would campaign against him so he side stepped them and went straight to the voters on social media. He was also perceptive enough to know the election would be stolen by mail. We are led to believe his massive lead on election day of in person votes were overcome that night when incredibly over 95% of all mail in ballots were for Jimmy Carters father,Joe (The police should have killed more whites at the capitol)Biden.This country was founded on violent revolution by men who forcefully overthrew the established “legal” government. When the Pres. of the people is censored by Mark Zuckerberg what chance do we have to speak out. Their tactics will not work long term and we are passed the “can’t we all get along” phase. Continuing to crush our freedom will only fan the flames. To paraphrase a 60’s slogan,this time the revolution WILL be televised… you’ve only seen the coming attractions

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      2. Why should media companies in the United States be impartial when it comes to the further existence of the United States?

        Your grievances don’t matter. They’re shit. They’re not even based on anything real because you are literally addicted to lies.

        I think media companies gave you lunatics way, way too much deference simply because you chose to join an established political party instead of doing the proper thing and fleeing the country for a good old-fashioned mass suicide like a decent cult.

        I don’t know or care why you want to destroy the United States constitution, but I do know who’s gonna win that war, because you have an army of methed-out trailer trash and the US government has the US Armed Forces.

        1. Because the media has gone from reporting content and letting the viewer decide intent to reporting the content as a narrative of intent regardless of differing perceptions.

          If you can’t see the difference between the two then we are lost.

          1. So you’re mad about what TV channels other people choose to watch.

            What can I say, welcome to capitalism. If you can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion, why is that my problem? Why did you make it my problem?

            1. Just because something isn’t your fault doesn’t mean it isn’t your problem.

        2. The media are there to report facts, not lecture.

          You’re problem Tony, and I have read you on here for years, is you are so utterly clueless about the other side.

          You are happy to brand half the country Nazis depite the most nazi thing most have done is own a German car.
          You fail to understand the opposition so you have no clue as to whether you can beat them.
          Your ideas are so foul the Dems have to resort to cheating in elections to get them elected.
          You are the bad guys now.

          1. The bad guys are the ones who stormed the United States capitol in an attempt to overturn the election based on the lie you just perpetuated. Not a single shred of evidence and you believe it. Not a single fucking speck of evidence.

            The media is there to make money. If you want government to regulate media companies to tell them what they can’t do, fine. Democrats have governing power now so who do you think we should target first for not reporting the news in a way you approve of? I know who I want to go after.

            So you support a coup and now you want to eliminate the first amendment. Maybe “bad guys” is in the eye of the beholder, but if Congress thinks it’s the people who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to murder congressmen, you’ll understand.

            1. “Not a single shred of evidence.” No proof.

              You hear a lot of that coming from the left lately. What you don’t hear is dems expressing belief that sleepy joe really won fair and square. That’s not important.

              As usual, they’re far too busy patting themselves on the back for the cleverness of their deceptions.

    3. “In 2021, Politics Needs a ‘Leave Us Alone’ Coalition”

      Reason and other Trump hating left wing media outlets aggressively campaigned the past four years to destroy what little “Leave Us Alone” libertarian coalition existed.

      Trump was the most libertarian president since Cal Coolidge, but TDS became pandemic at Reason four years ago, and has permanently infected the brains of nearly all editors and writers.

        1. So you reply with a piece of propaganda?

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    6. Too many of Reason’s writers turn off their reasoning faculty whenever the major media tells a Big Lie. And for the last five years most of their Big Lies have been “Orange Man Bad” repeated endlessly. He should get credit, at least, for being the only uncorrupt person in Washington (as proven by the fact that his net worth decreased while in office).

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  2. Some elements on the left haven’t been much better,

    SOME?!!? SOME??!!???

    Fuck off, Reason.

    1. I scrolled through just to see who was blamed for being the problem. Democrats control news, social media, the bureaucracy, House, Senate, Presidency, and increasingly are shutting down access to essentials like web hostinh and payment processing to their opponents. Despite this, it is Trump and conservatives who are name dropped as the problem. Most conservatives would be happy to see the Republican party destroyed and replaced with something that represents them (Tea Party was an example.) I see almost nothing of consequence on which Libertarians should be aligned with Democrats. There are issues with conservatives, but they are who needs to be courted for any “leave me the fuck alone” style of politics

      1. Sometimes you have to give up something to get what you want. Liberty is something Libertarians are willing to give up to get unlimited immigration and cake.

        1. Don’t forget the pot and butt sex.

          1. Some clingers are more pathetic than others, and your whining is particularly entertaining, Ra’s al Gore.

            1. Was it your mom who made you feel this small, or your dad?

              1. His reflection.

            2. I wish I could be there when you are eventually murdered. I can only hope whoever takes you out tortures you for an extended period of time.

          2. Is the pot in a cake and the butt sex with an immigrant?

      2. I didn’t ‘court’ any political faction for its approval when I ordered this ‘IRS’ in 1999 to cease and desist its harassment and extortion of my private livelihood, and I have not sought nor received any ‘support’ from any political faction in enforcing that order unilaterally ever since. What I find absolutely discrediting about all this hollow right-ish babble about ‘freedom’ and whatnot, is how confident I am that the people behind it will dutifully bend over and ‘do their taxes’ only because they are ordered to under pain of prosecution if they don’t. If you want freedom you don’t ask for it and you don’t say ‘please.’ You claim it, live by it, and fight for it. Political factions are utterly incapable of any of the above, and suspicious of those who see to their own liberties their own selves.

      3. “Most conservatives would be happy to see the Republican party destroyed and replaced with something that represents them (Tea Party was an example.)”

        You’ve been talking to a lot of now ex-Republicans too, I see.

        The way to square the circle on Reason’s articles is that they write what their major patrons wish them to. And what those patrons want is articles advocating policies that keep their COGS as low as possible—lowest wages, zero US import tariffs—with a free market gloss. Occassionally they bitch about the cops.

        Trump stood in the way of what those patrons wanted, so we got treated to writers like Jacob Sullum making a complete clown of himself. Yay.

        In addition to that, it’s not like writing for Reason is a particularly profitable job. Or prestigious. However, it is possible to jump from there to someplace that gives more of both. Megan McArdle did it, so did David Weigel. Radley Balko, but IMHO, he deserved to. And the Left enforces cancel culture. So professional writing is done with that in mind.

        Who reads the articles anyway, anymore?

      4. Democrats control neither the presidency nor the senate. But they will, thanks largely to Trump’s indifference about 360,000 dead Americans.

        You think Trump and his diseased sycophants are smart enough to cover all their tracks before they’re dragged out one pretty door and through one with bars?

      5. Yes, but they can only do it with the power of one word – Nazis.

        Wait until govt stops people from buying food. Why? Because they are Nazis. It will silently be allowed because the accusation of being a Nazi means you can do anything to anyone.

        Reason et al, was quite happy to go along with that slander hoping they get cancelled last.

        Wait until Reason loses its funding and hosting because they write articles in favour of the Gun Ownership when Biden is working to ban guns from the hands of ‘Nazis’.

        1. If they don’t want to be mistaken for Nazis they shouldn’t get giant swastikas tattooed on their chests.

          But we can make up a new word for them if that makes you feel better. It’s not a crime to be a Nazi. It’s a crime to murder and commit treason.

  3. “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. We could use a little less of that, please.”

    Amen, Reason!

    Section 230 is that rare, precious gem where Government Almighty limits its own powers. And WHAT do we get from MANY conservaturds? Lusting after the destruction of 230! Go figure!

    1. Section 230 is that rare, precious gem where Government Almighty limits its own powers. And WHAT do we get from MANY conservaturds? Lusting after the destruction of 230! Go figure!

      They want to use government to punish platforms for not promoting their hateful agenda. And they don’t care about the other consequences of giving this power to government, so long as they can get their revenge.

      1. What’s our path if some of us just hate twitter and the others to an extent of enablers of mass echo chambers of anger and hate? I don’t care about distinguishing publisher and platform but I don’t see a lot of good coming from twitter (I won’t say none) but I do see a lot of good people become much worse from getting in that rabbit hole. I think twitter has been the worst thing for politics rather then a person. I don’t necessarily like 230 going away but I’m not sure and as always I’d be happy to hear ideas or other view points on coming back from the twitterverse.

        1. Also in the abstract I believe these things are great for individual thoughts and discussions it makes sense to have platforms to encourage idea sharing and growth. I get torn though when that idea isn’t reality and all I see is increased silos of disagreeement

        2. What’s our path if some of us just hate twitter and the others to an extent of enablers of mass echo chambers of anger and hate?

          Don’t use it.

          1. As long as someone, somewhere is saying something I don’t like, I have to use whatever means to silence them. Silencing isn’t violence.

          2. Until we restore government limits so the other side can’t vote for government force to implement hideous violations of the constitution, the spread of bad ideas is a very dangerous thing. If you know how to restore these limits so that the outcome of elections don’t have gigantic impacts on your life, property and freedom, lemme know.

            1. The outcome of elections has never had “gigantic impacts on (my) life, property, or freedom.”

              Yet.

              1. Trump’s tax cuts raised my take home pay by several thousand dollars (and I’m nowhere near the top 1%). Obama’s signature achievement of Obamacare raised my insurance premiums by a factor of 4 when I was forced to buy coverage for more than I wanted and put my cash only doctor out of business. 2 easy examples of what has already happened as a result of elections.

                1. Agreed. I benefited from tax cuts too. I wasn’t saying elections had no impacts, just that it hasn’t been gigantic.

                  Yet.

                  1. I think that two self-employed senior citizens being forced off a comfortably affordable private healthcare plan to “go naked” for three years until Medicare was finally available to them is a potentially pretty serious life impact.

        3. I’ve never twittered but I agree that there’s lot’s of nastiness on the internet in general. If we are inclined to believe certain lies, if we are inclined to self-righteously hate others for no good reasons, we can find justification for glomming onto lies and hate. This has always been true. It’s a culture thing, and individual character thing, and I can’t see how Government Almighty can “fix” problems like this, by passing “just a few more laws”, or getting the right “top men” in charge. We have to fix ourselves!

          Section 230 is a hot button for me. I have thought it through quite a bit. Below is a summary that cuts through a LOT of the trash that you hear about it!

          A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

          In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

          Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

          1. You did a great job helping Biden usurp the presidency. I hope you reap the benefits of his dictatorship.

        4. Now do alcohol.

        5. Web 1.0 was about protocols (email, http, irc, etc)
          Web 2.0 was about platforms – all privately owned

          It is no accident that the attempt by W3C to update social media into protocols was strangled by those companies that don’t want competition and don’t want real infrastructure.

          Worse imo is the delusion that markets themselves don’t need meta-rules (v rules that are merely the property of individual participants). If there are no protocols about say driving on the left v driving on the right, then there can be no such thing as a ‘highway’ merely different monopolies over different plots of land.

          1. “…Worse imo is the delusion that markets themselves don’t need meta-rules (v rules that are merely the property of individual participants). If there are no protocols about say driving on the left v driving on the right, then there can be no such thing as a ‘highway’ merely different monopolies over different plots of land.”

            You should spend the next year studying the phrase “non-sequitur”; it’ll take an addled brain like yours at least that long.

          2. Web 2.0 without a doubt ruined the internet.

            Social media amplified the terribleness inherent in the human species.

            1. “Amplified” is perhaps precisely the proper term. The mob has always sought tribal identity in the lowest common denominator, whether it be Maury, Jerry, gangsta rap, Kardashians, or Socialism.

      2. Your problem is you define a hateful agenda as one not supporting Democrats. For this you look like a douchebag as you exile 70 million people for no reason.

    2. SQRLY One, I wish it was that simple. Since the constitution’s limits on government power are now completely nonexistent, other means must be taken to retain liberty as much as possible. If google, facebook, twitter and the other big tech communist mouth piece/censorship platforms ceased to exist, elections and culture would amount to much more libertarian outcomes.
      Same reason open borders is a bad idea in practice even if pure libertarian in theory. If only we didn’t have a gigantic welfare state for millions of low skill, low income Mexicans to abuse. If only we didn’t have super expensive all you can eat taxpayer funded K-12 (and increasingly upper and pre-K education, all of which I consider to be welfare for parents BTW) for Mexicans who breed like rabbits to abuse.
      Until you can restore constitutional limits on what horrors the most miseducated, naive and busy-bodyish half of the populace can get the government to unleash, other means should be on the table. Until you can eliminate or even reduce the welfare state, other means should be on the table. I’d love it if this more principled approach would mean there weren’t massive negative consequences of section 230 impunity or if open borders wasn’t a massive drain on America’s resources. Unfortunately, this isn’t reality.
      Same reason I don’t agree with, but don’t particularly judge those who stormed the capitol the other day. Democractic, legislative and libertarian solutions to keep us free and prosperous aren’t a realistic option anymore.
      We’re basically arguing going down in flames with principle in our pocket or taking solutions that admittedly are dirty from a libertarian point of view but have the potential to actually improve the situation. Same as “wasting” a vote on libertarian candidate in a swing state as opposed to voting for the less of 2 evils (where the reality is 1 evil is much worse than the other).

      1. So is the idea that the threat of incessant legal challenges to their private business decisions will destroy Google and Twitter, but Parler will be immune to such lawsuits? Or nobody will think to sue them because all they do is publish truth and beauty and definitely not neo-Nazi propaganda and child porn?

        “other means”

        If you have to be a violent fascist using government as a means to an end, then you’re ipso facto your own enemy. You’re what libertarianism is supposed to want rid from the earth.

        Why bother with “other means” if all you’re doing is creating a world you supposedly despise?

        The problem with this country is not that right-wing horseshit gets censored too much. Quite the fucking opposite. Good for you for endorsing the attempted overthrow of the US Government. I bet you’ll still be thinking this is an internet jack off session as you’re dragged from your crack pipe and into wherever the United States takes people who commit treason against it.

        1. Tony, you fucken moron. There’s a huge difference between parler vs google, twitter, facebook, etc… Parler doesn’t arbitrarily decide what can and can’t be on their platform, whether hideous or righteous content, left or right leaning. The others do, so they are not simply information sharing platforms, they are publishers and should not get impunity from liability and libel as such.
          Well, let’s see, we just had an election ripe with fraud to a level the US has never seen. We also have an incoming party controlling the presidency, house and senate that completely doesn’t recognize the 10th amendment limits to the federal government’s power. Both election fraud and violations of the limits of federal government power should preferably be dealt with and stopped via the court system but at this point the courts and justice department are a politicized rubber stamping mechanism.
          I know you’re getting hard just at the thought of turning the USA into a corrupt, totalitarian, broke, poor, weak, unproductive, communist bannana republic shithole akin to the USSR (and congradulations after 2020, we’re halfway there). The sane half of America doesn’t and actually respects the ultimate rule of law (the constitution) which is being sidestepped at every turn now while the courts, justice dept, etc… do nothing. The conservative half has played by the rules for a century while your half has skirted the law inch by inch while completely ignoring morality. How’s that working out for us?

          1. So you think a publisher is a someone who publishes whatever any rando demands they publish? Is that what you think?

            You’re seriously whining because private companies won’t help you spread your lies for free. Do you even know what you believe? Do you ever stop whining long enough to think about it?

            Of course your side are the ones who attacked the people who write the fucking laws. Nice. You know why I’m not that worried? Because you’re so fucking dumb you couldn’t take over a KFC.

            1. Tony, no, you moron. Someone who publishes anything their users post IS not a publisher, they are a communications tool. Those who only publish user’s content they like and censor the user’s content they don’t like are publishers just like magazines or cable news networks and should be treated as such, including liability and libel for user content on their servers. At that point the company and not it’s users decide what content does or doesn’t get published on it’s own servers, so they aren’t a communication tool.
              I’m not saying get rid of section 230. I’m saying revoke it’s protections for platforms that selectively filter content.
              Would you be ok with your phone provider refusing to connect a call for you if they don’t like the content of the conversation? Of course not, because they provide a communication tool, that’s it. If google, facebook and the other tech giants are supposedly just communication tools, why are you ok with them doing exactly that? ANSWER: you are an unprincipled, immoral, hypocritical leftist who is ok with any disgrace as long as it helps your side.
              So, all of the sudden you’re for the autonomy of private companies huh? So I supposed you’re on board with bakers refusing to cater for gay weddings? And against the minimum wage? And against OSHA since the employee can simply refuse to take the job if they aren’t satisfied with the company’s safety precautions?
              Yes, Tony, I’m a moron. That’s why I’ve made 6 figure salaries since my mid twenties despite having no connections or college degree. That’s why I’m an accomplished pilot and flight instructor, I’m just that dumb.

    3. Indeed.

    4. What isn’t libertarian about holding private companies hostage until they publish your manifesto against their will?

      1. Wow, Tony, never painted you as someone who opposed government interference in private companies. I’m patiently waiting for your arguments against minimum wage, interference in hiring practices, dictating how companies are run in terms of gender ratio of board members, health and safety etc.

        Oh wait, your a hypocritical twat who only loves daddy govt when it suits.

        1. I approve of or oppose government interference in private companies on a case-by-case basis, because I’m an adult who doesn’t need his political philosophies spoonfed to him in easily digestible slogans.

          Sure seems like the only hypocrites in the room are those who oppose government interference on principle except when free companies don’t publish exactly what they demand for free.

          1. So basically you don’t appreciate personal consistency, because it “handcuffs” you; but changing your principles as the whim takes you, is the best principle, allowing you never to be wrong? Sounds insane, but OK.

  4. Nice write up. Thanks to admin

  5. Then, he notes, there is a group that does “not want the government to give them something. Or take something from others…They just want to be left alone.”

    Around 5%, I’d say. Yay us.

    1. Surrounded by Karens, commies, compulsive compassionates, and self-proclaimed enlightened elitists. Good luck.

      1. Exactly.
        Karens – who want to control my actions
        Commies – who would like a share of my hard work
        Compulsive compassionates – would like me to share in their guilt
        Self Proclaimed Elitist – know what’s best for me to help those above accomplish all of the above. And then will take their cut of what’s left.

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  7. This is the answer. Too bad it’s not going to happen in a democracy.

    1. Democracy is only a method of choosing policy. It doesn’t limit the options. Democratic tyranny appears to be a favored option.

      1. “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” -Winston Churchill

        1. So, is it worse than no government?

          1. Ask someone from Somalia.

            1. Sorry, are you still pretending to be libertarian? And you feel like Somalia snark is the correct response to a suggestion of anarchy?

              1. The answer to those questions are yes, and yes.

  8. “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. We could use a little less of that, please.”

    That is not what the ’20 elections put into office.

    1. Weird how the law people writing at Reason seem to think this incoming government force will uphold the Constitution. At some point, the law people will come under ire of the Woke. The choice will given will either be purge their Reason or be banned.

  9. While I appreciate the idea of I want nothing from the government, so it should leave me alone, I would suggest a corollary. “I need to look at what I have and understand that others should have the same opportunities.”

    I benefitted from numerous things the government did and I am obligated to see that those are available to others. I benefitted from cheap college (government supported) that allowed me to get a good job, make enough money to raise a family and retire comfortably. That opportunity needs to be there for the next generation. I could use other examples but the same idea.

    Right now we have low taxes that do not reflect the services they support. Too many people like me enjoy those services but don’t want to pay the taxes necessary to support the services. We are enjoying services at the expenses of our children.

    Too many say I don’t want anything from the government without being willing to look at all they took from the government to get where they are today.

    1. Too many people like me enjoy those services but don’t want to pay the taxes necessary to support the services.

      Citizens! In all times, two political systems have been in existence, and each may be maintained by good reasons. According to one of them, Government ought to do much, but then it ought to take much. According to the other, this two-fold activity ought to be little felt. We have to choose between these two systems. But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who parade it, for the sake of the pleasure of accusing all governments of weakness, and thus exposing them to your attacks, are only flattering and deceiving you, while they are deceiving themselves.

      What we have is the third system, and it is embraced by both parties.

        1. Bastiat is quotable but pretty damn useless. An original thinker who leaves no legacy precisely because he’s obsessed with being an original thinker.

          deToqueville is not quotable but in fact is exactly the explanation for how civil society accomplishes social efforts through voluntary (or peer-pressured) civic association. Where the history is in fact more important than the historian

          1. Seen and unseen? Broken window? Sophisms?

            Bastiat is great for learning economic principles.

            1. Yes – words – in a classroom. Built not on empirical stuff (case studies) that happened but specifically on stuff that didn’t happen.

              If economics is the study of decision-making under a constraint of scarcity, then it can’t be really learned outside the empirical. If it is just philosophy, then words are all that’s needed.

              1. Built not on empirical stuff (case studies) that happened but specifically on stuff that didn’t happen.

                So you’re saying opportunity cost isn’t a thing? That dispersed costs and concentrated benefits is a fallacy?

                These are things you can’t measure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

                1. No I’m saying that the ONLY way one can actually understand opportunity cost is to see it at work in the real world.

                  1. “No I’m saying that the ONLY way one can actually understand opportunity cost is to see it at work in the real world.”

                    Which, of course, is bullshit.

              2. If economics is the study of decision-making under a constraint of scarcity, then it can’t be really learned outside the empirical.

                Economics is a way of thinking, not math. Economics In One Lesson doesn’t have any math in it, but it teaches the foundation of the dismal science.

                1. No economics is NOT a ‘way of thinking’. It can ONLY be about scarcity.

                  It is the flaw of Austrian school from the get go. The methodenstreit argument among a bunch of Germans.

                2. Oh – and I find the obsession about framing econ arguments in math terms to be as useless and idiotic (and wrong and error-prone) as the alternative of ignoring the empirical altogether.

                  1. Physics envy.

                  2. “Oh – and I find the obsession about framing econ arguments in math terms to be as useless and idiotic (and wrong and error-prone) as the alternative of ignoring the empirical altogether.”

                    More bullshit.

      1. Too many people like me enjoy those services but don’t want to pay the taxes necessary to support the services.
        Too many services are not enjoyed by people who are forced to pay the taxes necessary to support them.

      2. “I need to look at what I have and understand that others should have the same opportunities.”

        This assumes opportunity is the path to success and that everyone wants what you have. The spectacular part of life is that nothing is guaranteed and that we are not The Borg, we are individuals.

        1. Let’s put everyone on equal starting blocks on the track field… who cares if some of those people want to play ice hockey instead!

        2. Yup. I’ve known lots of poor people. “We” can “provide the same opportunities”, and feel good about ourselves while most of these individuals wallow in dependence.

          M4E and Jfree know this. Virtue signaling is just that important to them.

    2. I got not college and started my own company and was harassed endlessly by government the entire time.

      And now my taxes are more than all my other expenses put together.

      1. Many are discouraged from bothering to start a company by exactly that.

    3. A man grows up in a town where there is a protection service. The man opens a business and the firm comes along and charges him for this service. He gladly pays because he believes it a good service… and it seems to work for him. The service does, in fact, keep away bad things at times. But then a different man is born… he grows up, opens a business, and says “I don’t want that service.” The first man says, “But you MUST support it because I did!” The service happens to be the local mob.

      That is your argument. It is absurd. That someone is born into a mob-like system, and that someone benefits from it, is not justification for perpetuating it and foisting it on others in the name of “equal opportunity.”

      1. Not only that, but the first example given — funding for college — doesn’t really help society. College is just a means to help some get ahead of others, and many can’t do it even with some funding help. So the help government gives results in increasing the advantage some already have over others.

    4. You can write a check to the Gov.

    5. “That opportunity needs to be there”

      And maybe you (and certainly most progressives) eagerly confuse opportunity with outcomes.

      To focus on your example of higher ed, it was indeed cheaper to attend many state universities a few decades ago. But it was also harder to qualify academically, and most programs of study were more “practical”. Since then we pushed more students into college, raised costs (but came up with myriad other support mechanisms), and promoted non-remunerative majors. Should we be surprised that outcomes are lower than they used to be?

      1. My mother has her first college bill framed. It was just a few hundred dollars.

        1. Mine is not framed but it was a similar amount.

          1. Meanwhile I’m still paying off student loans.

            The problem was that when anyone could get a loan and go to college, colleges naturally took advantage of this and found ways to use all this free money. Now even state colleges are prohibitively expensive without taking loans or being wealthy. Good intentions gone awry as usual.

            1. The silver lining is that nearly all colleges and universities are now dominated by “woke” assholes such as the malicious racist liars who promote Critical Race Theory. So you’re better off taking Mike Rowe’s advice and going into lines of work that don’t require college.

            2. Subsidies create distortions. Government is the biggest offender.

      2. Earth Skeptic, you have a good response. Allow me to counter. When I finished High School I went on to college and many of my class mates did not. They went into construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. None of these required more than a High School diploma for entry, maybe not even that. These fields offered the opportunity to get similar rewards that I got from college. Those opportunities do not exist today at the same scale.

        I do not, nor have I ever supported free college. What I support is post secondary education that has value. That will offer youth today the opportunity to earn a good living. That has a government component but is not solely the government’s responsibility.

        1. Yet you give tacit support and blind loyalty to a regime that wants to fully communism college. While simultaneously throwing open our border. There are currently caravans advancing towards our southern border chanting Biden’s name.

          Good job.

    6. You’re making a case against college, not the case for government. College degrees especially now are nothing more than a secret handshake that the rich can easily afford and the non rich massively go into debt for. Even for marketable technical subjects, you learn little practical skills. A good friend of mine who is an MBA and not remotely libertarian said exactly the same about business/management.
      I would know, I’m a college dropout in tech who has been making 6 figure salaries since my late 20s (and before you ask I don’t live in a high salary/high cost of living area like California or New York). I learned 90% of what I need to know to be productive on the job (especially my first month) and because my dad took me to barnes and nobles here and there to buy technical books on various subjects of programming when I was a teenager. $100k of debt for college or several $100 worth of self study books. Ask any hiring manager, they know damn well someone coming straight out of college is next to worthless.
      I do feel fortunate that when I got started in the late 90s this disgusting credentiology wasn’t as big a deal. Government subsidizing and promoting college is the reason it’s gotten so damn expensive BTW at the same time it teaches less and less of practical on the job value. Government promotion of college is also doing a disservice to those who can least afford it by forcing them to go into debt or unnecessarily keeping them out of good jobs because of lack of credentials as opposed to lack of job skills. And government regulation is the reason good paying manufacturing jobs and skilled trade jobs that don’t require degrees are increasingly rear. Government is putting obstacles for people to support themselves, not helping them!

      1. I don’t want to go too deep down the college road. I used it as an example of how the government provided opportunities for me and that it would now be unfair for me to say I don’t want anything from the government at this point.

        My point is people often don’t see the roots of their opportunity has a government component. You do IT work, likely programming and some of the most basic work in that field was done by women like Admiral Grace Hopper working for the US Navy. The government did not build people’s Iphones, but the internet has it roots in government supported work.

        1. Ok, if college is a bad example, provide another one. There has been some good coming out of military research, this is true. That’s where the computer (whose first use was computing ballistics trajectories) and ARPANET (the predecessor of the internet) came from. Although as a libertarian I am in favor of massively downsizing the military, I’m not an anarchist who wants to completely shut it down. NASA did some good too (at least in the 60s and 70s) although they are really an offshoot of the military and was really competing with the Russians for technological superiority that directly translates to a military advantage.
          The non military aspect of the government basically does nothing except taking money from one group and redistributing to another (sometimes in the form of dollars, other times in the form of healthcare, upper education, subsidies, etc…) It doesn’t actually produce anything, it simply redistributes money.

          1. I concur that a lot of government spending is redistributing funds. I however see that this redistribution occurs at many levels in the social economic strata of our society. People tend to be obsessed when the distribution is to others not at their levels. This results in saying like “cut welfare” as well as “tax the wealthy”. My problem with a “leave me alone” coalition is that they maybe are instead an “I have mine coalition” that seeks to stop others from having opportunity they themselves had.

            Much of this problem is what I see as a search for an easy way to cut government spending. Cutting government spending is hard and if you want to cut government spending you have to be willing to do the hard work necessary. To understand that we live in a complex interlocking society. That cutting some spending means looking a the thread of that spending in our society to address adverse impact of the cut.

            1. Not wanting to be taxed and regulated into oblivion is not trying to block others from succeeding. These mounds of regulations and artificial barriers to entry along with taxes and government disincentives impoverishing your customer base are what’s blocking others from succeeding. The world is that simple and the past proved it where we had much less government and things were improving quicker.
              The 1800s and early 1900s before the income tax, before the federal reserve, before any welfare state and before any appreciable level of regulation had quantum leaps in quality of life improvement and brought us electricity, light bulbs, telephones, the airplane, mass produced cars, etc… all at the same time the dollar was actually completely stable in value.
              Over the last 20 years or so when government has gotten completely out of hand, all we have to show for it is better personal electronic gadgets, 99% of which are not much more than petty conveniences and boredom killers, not anything that massively enhances quality of life. Despite the CPI lie, cost of living has easily doubled over the last 20 years.
              What the world is rapidly becoming now is the rich old vs poor young, but not because of age or even generational cultural differences. But because the old had an opportunity to make their money before the government completely screwed up the housing market, education market, healthcare market, ease of starting a business etc… It is that simple, the more the government gets involved in a sector of the economy, the more expensive and worse it gets. That’s why tech is the only thriving sector, because the government has next to no involvement in it.
              Cutting spending at this point where half the country is on one form of welfare or another and half of businesses run on top of a completely government distorted market or subsidies or with government as the customer is indeed hard, as no matter what you plan on cutting someone will scream bloody murder. We’ve indeed dug ourselves a very very deep hole of excess government to dig out of. First step is to stop, while what we’re actually doing is doubling down and then some.

              1. Lots of things here, good work. I agree there is no end in site for the expansion of government spending.

                He is my problem with the “just stop” This also applies to the idea of budget freezes. Bad programs are continued at the expense of good programs. This is my problem with quick fixes to solve government spending. I advocate rolling up the sleeves and putting the work into cutting government spending.

    7. With this election, government IS the warlord. You people have to go.l

    8. “Right now we have low taxes that do not reflect the services they support,”

      Nonsense. We have a lot of waste and bloat. You’re an enabler of that, and a useful idiot.

      1. I have lived a lifetime of politicians cutting waste and bloat and still spending goes up. Why?

        1. (Laughs at idea of spending ACTUALLY BEING CUT) oh, wow, that was awesome. However, when government talks about cutting spending, they invariably means cuts TO THE RATE OF INCREASE. Spending still increases every year. If someone were to actually propose cutting ALL government programs by an ACTUAL 10% next fiscal year (which wouldn’t even close the gap between spending and collected taxes)? Screams of “We’re all going to die!” would commence. Government’s been cutting spending your entire life? Puh -lease.

          1. First my problem with across the board cuts is that bad programs get to continue while good programs suffer.

            Second the government like everyone else is subject to inflation. Every car I have purchased has cost more that the car it replaced. Same is true with fighter jets and submarines.

            Third one person waste is another’s essential spending. Take the border wall as an example.

            Fourth a personal peeve of mine is politicians that spend three times the money to cut money. What does that mean? I am always irritated by the politician wanting to make social services more complex than it has to be. I am talking about requiring things in exchange for services, drug tests, work requirements, etc. In the end these often add cost to programs for little benefit. If you have made a decision to have these services, then give them to people. Yes, track down cheats, but leave the majority of people alone.

  10. While I appreciate the idea of I want nothing from the government, so it should leave me alone, I would suggest a corollary. “I need to look at what I have and understand that others should have the same opportunities.”

    That’s one way of looking at it. The other way would be to say “I need to look at what I have and realize that to the extent I got help from the government, I stole that shit from somebody else.” But I suppose it helps you sleep better at night to not only deny that you stole it, but to argue that everybody else should have the same opportunity to steal the same shit you stole.

    1. You are silly. We are humans and what distinguishes us from all other animals is that we work together to achieve things both individually and as a group. How many people are Henry David Thoreau going out to live on our own in the woods? We live in a complex society where we are depending on each other. One generation helps the next that help the next.

      Really, Did you steal from the city if it plowed your road so you could get to work?

      1. We work together to achieve things individually? I don’t know where to start with that one.

        1. Read the whole quote. We work together to built cities for a population, but also one where you as an individual can own your own home. Many animals work together for a common good (ants, bees for example). Other are individuals (bears, cats). Humans are unique in that we band together to achieve large goals that we can individually have a share of or have unique personal goals.

          1. You sound like my aunt. In 2018, a big tree got knocked over in a windstorm in one of the older subdivisions in Spokane. She insisted that no one could competently remove the tree safely without people from the city supervising. She got visibly angry when I suggested otherwise.

            Typical democrat thinking.

        2. What did you expect from that idiot?

      2. You assume society exists as an outgrowth of government. That would imply that government existed before groups of people. To argue that government is a necessity for prosperity would mean that the earliest humans evolved into systems where governments already existed sans man so that they then could develop under the beneficent hand of rulers and be able to move beyond the caves. It would be like saying to Og that he didn’t create fire… the government did! That spear that Uglug is using? Only possibly created within the “society” that government provides!

        No… all human society is is the interaction of people. There is no requirement for government for that to happen. If the government disappeared right now, nearly everything in your life could continue just as it is. Those things that the government has done… like roads… can be done (and HAVE been done throughout history) without government. There is no superpower that a human gains by getting his paycheck funded by tax dollars that allows him the ability to provide others with things that literally can not be done without him. The actual roads themselves? Built by people who possess the same physical faculties necessary to build the road regardless of how their paycheck is funded. To remove the government is ONLY to change the incentive and pay structures used to provide the same goods and service… not to remove them completely.

        As Bastiat said (paraphrasing here)… the socialists mistake is thinking that our arguing against the government doing something is the same as us arguing that the thing should not ever be done at all.

        1. If the government disappeared right now, nearly everything in your life could continue just as it is.

          Except for the gangs of thieves who would start looting because that’s easier than creating wealth. Then wealth producers would band together to fight off the gangs, but require funding to pay for it. Eventually someone would win, because when it comes to the initiation of force “There Can Be Only One.” They’ll call their looting “taxation” and there you got government again.

          Anarchy is impossible because there will always be those who prefer theft over work, and when they get organized they become government.

        2. Usually when government disappear warlords take over. People fall under strongman rule. I can show this in history. Can you show me where a government disappeared and the people just all worked together?

          1. How about the government got shrunk down to a nub and warlords didn’t take over? And things even got a whole lot better. Let’s see, the USA in 1776. Hong Kong.

            1. Government did not disappear in 1776, it changed to a more local control. Essentially we saw a democratic government break from a larger semi democratic government (a representative monarchy).

              1. I didn’t say it disappeared, I said shrunk down to a nub. The government at the founding of the US was much much much less intrusive then when the US was still under British rule. Seemed to work out pretty well.

  11. Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force. We could use a little less of that, please.

    Actually, we need a *lot* less of that, but that’s not on offer. All that’s on offer is a little more or a lot more – and you chose a lot more.

  12. Won’t happen. “Silence is violence”, remember? You can’t hide from totalitarians, you have to defeat them.

  13. “craziest Trump supporters are talking openly about secession, martial law and civil war” And Libertarians shoulf be right there along with them except for the martial law. You want a libertarian society. Were not going to get it by trying to elect the right people. Government has become to powerful and the average person doesnt have alot of personal freedom anymore. “trump tore apart the fraying social fabric” good. If its fraying it might be time to tear it apart.

  14. After the events of the last few weeks, it has been clear to me that the dream of a smaller, less expensive less intrusive Federal Government is farther away than ever. The Majority is going to vote for power hungry politicians and they are going to deliver. There is no longer any group wanting to tip the scale back in the less-authoritarian direction.

    1. Yep, we’ve done Ok for about 40 (1976-2016) years with at least one of the parties pretending to favor less government when its convenient for them. Now it’s time to line up to get ot good and hard. White cis-males like the Reverend will be first in line.

    2. Right now the Democrats are dreaming of a bigger government than the Republicans, but the Republicans are not that fare behind.

      One measures the size and scope of government by its spending. And even before the pandemic started with its endless stimulus helicopter drops, Trump has already outpaced Obama in spending by several laps. And his base cheered him on the whole way. Tax cuts yes, but spending blew up.

      I love me my tax cuts, but tax cuts without spending cuts is stupid.

      “Honey, I had to take a pay cut at work today.”
      “That’s okay dear, we can make up for it by financing a new house addition!”

      1. You are correct. I have repeatedly made the point that we are undertaxed for services provided. This results in people thinking services are less costly than they actually are to provide. Neither party will cut services until taxes are raised, people see the honest cost for services and then decide the services are not worth the cost.

        Also tax cuts are spending, pure and simple.

        1. “Also tax cuts are spending, pure and simple.”

          Adolescent thinking; bullshit.

        2. Goddamn you’re a moron. Your kind has to go.

          1. He mentioned that he was retired. Hopefully it was long ago and he won’t be around to pollute the world much longer.

            1. Expatriate their asses by the millions. They are incapable of leaving their neighbor alone.

        3. We are undertaxed for the services provided — 99% of which we don’t want and wouldn’t pay for if we had the choice.

  15. Can we get a ‘Fuck Off’ coalition?

    1. Amen. Change the party of (L) to the party of (F), and you’ll boost membership 1000% overnight.

    2. I’m with you! People stuck in the middle between Left-Wing and Right-Wing lunatics who want their way at someone else’s expense need to start raising Hell and standing against both!

      If some mob disturbs your meal by screaming in your face to raise a fist, raise a fist right into some SJWs glass jaw! And don’t forget that restaurants have all kinds of blunt-y, pointy, cutty, stab-by, 20,000 Sheffield Thermal Unit-y, burn-y, scald-y things too!

      If some Screaming Skrillex clone yells in your face to “take a knee,” take a knee and lodge it right in its tiny, retracted gonads!

      If Q-Anon-ers enter your pizzaria screaming “Where We Go One, We Go All,” pull out a 12 Gauge sawed-off with small pellet shells and tell them they can go one way or another…one and all!

      If a flash mob appears around your vehicle demanding “tolls” or threatening to overturn your vehicle for any cause from unionism to anti-abortion to Straight Edge Veganism, don’t heed the stop lights and don’t heed the balaclava tangled in your left mirror with the Hipster freak still attached!

      If looters and murderers doxx you and follow you home, don’t greet them at the porch with guns…crouch behind the shades at the window or hide up on the rooftop (*Click! Click! Click!*) Then aim for their Molotovs and turn the projectiles into flaming skeet, preferably in their hands!

      Little things like this will make totalitarians both in and out of power very circumspect about treating individuals like resourses to be pushed around.

    3. That’s what you already have in Portland and Seattle. Go visit libertarian CHAZ/CHOP and tell us how great it is, if you survive.

    4. +1 upraised middle finger.

    5. I think those are called militias.

  16. But a government without force means Trump can’t do the thing necessary to Make America Great Again! Why do you want to emasculate Baby Trump?

    1. Because Donald Trump isn’t an ultimate solution to anything; he just sucked less than Biden, and sucked less than Hillary. Low bar, I know, and he barely got under it. But sometimes, you have to go with what you’ve got.

  17. “ For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong,”

    Well that’s just stupid.

    “For every unambiguous question there is an immediate and obvious answer that is the truth.”

    You won’t realize this until you value truth.

    Only then things you don’t understand or are in conflict about won’t seem so threatening.

    1. “…You won’t realize this until you value truth…”

      This from a fucking Nazi.

      1. That is not necessarily fair Sevo.

        There is no proof he fucks anything.

    2. You dipshits are no better than dickhead.

  18. You’re dreaming. There is no such thing. There only was for a brief time when libertarians got republicans interested in smaller government. Now that is gonna be impossible.

    Nope you blew it.

    1. I must’ve missed that time. Libertarians broke from the Republican party precisely because they could not get them interested in smaller government. Since then, I don’t remember any such time over which the tide was reversed. The only real value to this history is against ignoramuses who keep insisting that the only way to change the Republican Party is from inside it. That’s where we came into this movie.

  19. In 2021, Politics Needs a ‘Leave Us Alone’ Coalition

    Wait, I thought we were supposed to be happy because we’re ‘going back to normal’ and ‘an adult is finally in the White House’?

    1. Just don’t wear a short skirt around him

  20. The last “adult” or should I say presidential president we had was GHWB. I didn’t like him much, but at least he didn’t bullshit.

    1. Amen. GHWB was the last true adult we had as President.

      1. My most vivid memory of GHWB was when he pulled out a huge bag of cocaine at a press conference (when he joined forces with Joe Biden to further worsen the nonlibertarian War on Drugs.

        1. Shhhhh! You’re interrupting their fantasy.

    2. Yeah, he was a pretty decent guy = GHWB. Very good on foreign policy, less so on domestic policy.

    3. He lied us into a war with Iraq. I call that bullshit.

      1. The war was easy, it was the occupation and restructure that was the problem.

    4. “Read my lips…NO NEW TAXES” ring a bell?

  21. “In 2021, Politics Needs a ‘Leave Us Alone’ Coalition”

    Reason and other Trump hating left wing media outlets worked overtime during the past four years to destroy what little “Leave Us Alone” libertarian coalition that had existed.

    Reason editors and writers have also made it clear (for the past four years) that they are NOT libertarian, and will continue opposing those of us who have helped build and maintain the “Leave Us Alone” libertarian coalition.

  22. Bruh, the people you were shilling for for the last four years were telling you even then that they’re going to do exactly the opposite of leave us alone.

    1. Reason isn’t a libertarian publication, it’s an opposition publication. Shitting on whoever is currently in charge generates the most clicks, which is why you can whine about Trump for 4 years, and then immediately do a 180 and whine about the guy you actively campaigned for during that time when he finally wins.

      So I guess it’s principals, not principles. The bonus for us is that with a Democrat in charge, the shitting on him will take a much more libertarian tone than what they came up with to criticize Trump.

      1. I highly doubt they will have anything but a tiny opposition to the usurper Biden, relative to Trump.

      2. Yeah, remember when they opposed Obama for 8 years? Me either.

  23. “Ooo, freedom———ooo, liberty
    O . . . Leave me alone
    To find my own way home”

    The chorus from Liberty, a 1993 libertarian Grateful Dead song written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.

    1. A “libertarian Grateful Dead song”? I dunno. Fucking hippies. Haha.

  24. If we assume that democracy is the best way to make decisions, ie, coming to an agreement on a group decision, as opposed to using violence to get our way, then this presumes that using violence to get your way is bad.

    For that democracy to then use violence as a tool to control otherwise peaceful people, is then itself an assault on the principles of democracy.

    The only way a principled democracy can function is to use violence only as a last alternative against violent people who are aggressive first.

    I’ll point out that this theory of democracy also gives room for people to fight against democratically elected Nazis that try to kill them with their governments. I really don’t know how the “assume democracy is the highest virtue” question-begging crowd answers that incredibly obvious problem.

  25. The problem with the concept of the truce is that the “progressives” really don’t understand what the “leave me alone” types want. A coworker gave his lack of understanding away with a comment about Obamacare “Sometimes we get something we want, and sometimes they (I keep a low profile at work – he did not realize that I was part of Them) get what they want”. His exact wording made it clear that he assumed that what “they” want must be something that costs money, rather than just to be left alone (to spend their money, lives, love and times as “they” see fit).

    1. The problem with the concept of the truce is that the “progressives” really don’t understand what the “leave me alone” types want.

      It’s more than that. They are afraid that if people are left to their own devices, as being able to freely act without asking permission and obeying orders at every turn, that the result will be chaos and anarchy. You know what people will do when they are being controlled, but you don’t know what they might come up with if they’re free. To me that is exciting, but to progressives it’s terrifying.

    2. “The problem with the concept of the truce is that the “progressives” really don’t understand what the “leave me alone” types want.”

      I don’t consider myself a Progressive, Conservative, or Libertarian. But I will ask do you understand that your view of yourself and other are not in agreement. I understand the idea that you do not want help from the government. But others see people who having been helped by the government now are happy to block similar help to others.

      That we must offer opportunities to all. That opportunity is more that just saying nothing is stopping you. There was no law stopping a major league ball team from hiring a black ball player. But the opportunity for Jackie Robinson did not happen until Branch Ricky offered him a position on the Dodgers.

      Government has since the beginning of this country provided opportunities for people. It opened up the country for people with transportation, first rail, roads and then air travel. It provided electrical power that changed many people lives. The origin or drugs, medical treatments, even the internet have their origins in government sponsored work.

      It is not acceptable to say, I am happy where I am and the government can stop providing opportunities now.

      1. “…That we must offer opportunities to all…”

        Adolescent bullshit.

      2. “I don’t consider myself a Progressive, Conservative, or Libertarian.”

        You can consider yourself a rotting hunk of shit if you want, but I’ll clarify that you are a progressive. Whether you label yourself that or not.

      3. Yes, the option of the government doing much, much better with what they already take by cutting back the bloat and waste is obviously a non starter. So “we” have to give them more so that others will have the “opportunity” to become parasites.

        Good plan, Einstein.

        1. So if the government plows the snow from your road you are a parasite? If the government bails out farmers because of a tariff war with China, are those farmer parasites. We all get things from the government. I don’t think we are all parasites.

          1. I have taxes taken out of my check (without my consent, but still taken) that pay for keeping road cleared with snow, among other things. That guarantees I can’ t be your hypothetical “parasite”. Unless you’re admitting that you believe it’s NOT enough to merely OBEY Big Brother, but I must LOVE him as well?

  26. The fascists will always win in the end; you can not force people to be free.

    1. … Sure you can that’s how the whole USA was founded. It took a Revolutionary war to get there though.

    2. That’s simple all you need is a 28th amendment, “Government shall not initiate force.”

      1. … you know like Amendment X; The government shall NOT do anything more than national defense, monitor borders, regulate foreign influences, regulate the seas and have 10sq miles to themselves.

        A government that won’t even acknowledge Constitutional limits isn’t gonna give a squat about a 28th amendment.

        1. That’s what they can do my amendment tells them what they can’t do like the 1st and 2nd.

          1. Actually Amendment X is entirely a NOT-DO amendment…..
            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution” … “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

          2. You mean, like the very ones that say “Congress shall make no law,” and “shall not be infringed?” Yeah, those two are sterling examples of how tightly we can control government with fine words on a piece of paper.

      2. Good luck with that! Now suggest something in reality.

  27. Geeeeeeeezzz…. What is this “Projection” Month. Great article – B.S. narrative.

    Just gotta love how “leave people alone” is entirely and completely targeted to-for trespassers and subsidized treaties. All other right-side claims are complete B.S… The “social-conservative agenda” you pretend exists in the GOP has been gone for Decades (Heck, maybe it was just a lefty-propaganda delusion to begin with).

    “Long before Trump tore apart our fraying social fabric” …. Trump constrained the power of the government (No federal lock-down), Trump had an entire committee of De-Regulation. Yet this article’s narrative is so painted with ironic bias and projection it belongs in the propaganda trash-bin.

    Spin, spin, spin — Up is down, Left is right… etc, etc, etc….

  28. It has been clear to me that the dream of a smaller, less expensive less intrusive Federal Government is farther away than ever. The Majority is going to vote for power hungry politicians and they are going to deliver read more at

  29. The article is fine, but I have one caveat.

    Why is it only crazy Trump supporters that support secession? I was never a Trump supporter and have been pro-secession since I formed a political brain in the late Bush, early Obama years. I don’t give a damn who the president is, Texas does not need Cali or NY and likewise they don’t need each other.

    1. You’re skipping the BIG picture. The “Union” was developed with sovereign States ( Your ‘secession’ solution ). It’s entire existence was simply and specifically for a strong national defense. That’s ALL it was suppose to do!

      To pretend CA & NY liberals would leave TX alone is an assumption that has already been proven FALSE by treasonous “commie” legislation that over-turns state’s sovereignty. It was NEVER suppose to happen.

      The point is the LEFT has ALWAYS had the ability to lobby their city, county or State’s government for EXACTLY what they want — That’s isn’t what they want; they want NATIONAL control.

      That’s why everything has to be pushed into the Federal or U.N. agenda’s. They are the *power*-mad party just as Hitler and Nazi’s were; just as Stalin, etc, etc, etc… And let me clue you in; They didn’t LEAVE their neighbors ALONE EITHER…. They don’t want to leave anyone alone — they want the POWER to steal and dictate! It rings true every-time one of them say’s “I have a plan” or the all-to famous [WE] can fix this (as if they speak for everyone).

      So; If you’re going to talk of secession; make sure you still have a national union strong enough to defend itself from the nazi-left.

      1. It was also a pretty good idea to prevent trade wars between states. The real purpose for the interstate commerce clause.

  30. Until every single Antifa and Burn-Loot-Murder terrorist is in jail or dead, there can be no trusting them or their supporters, and therefore no reconciliation or peace. Every single one with no exceptions.

    1. Sorry bud, can’t deal with you who only deal in absolutes. “Every single one with no exceptions.” I guess your way or the highway right?

      1. 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.

  31. “In 2021, Politics Needs a ‘Leave Us Alone’ Coalition”

    WHY, YOU FUCKING RETARD!

    The best closest hope we had to get there was a second Trump term. Fuck you ass eating bitches.

  32. Gee, if you’re worried about overbearing government, maybe you shouldn’t have helped put one into the Oval Office.

    1. Which one? Seems that goes back further than just the last guy, and it sure as hell isn’t stopping with the new guy.

  33. Yes government is force but proper government is retaliatory force. Apply the NAP to government by prohibiting it from initiating force and that will solve everything.

  34. What recreational drug is being circulated among Reason writers?

    Seriously. Are they high?

    This useless gang of criminals aren’t even sworn in yet and LOOK at who that hoodlum Biden has put in his government and what social media is doing at the moment.

    And you think they’re going to leave people alone?

    Dude. They’re coming for people.

    There’s a war. Stop being so absurdly naive.

  35. We can start the Mind Your Own Damn Business Party.

    1. MSNBC, “The terrorist cult of authoritarian right-wing conspirators.”

      I just watched their report of the Capitol; hadn’t seen MSNBC in a while a holly crap what a lefty-sh*tstain flat-out propaganda rag that’s become. It was funny they even tried to peg the Veteran that got shot on the “terrorist mob” of Trump followers that are destroying the country and murdering everyone. National TV personnel is worse than lefties on Reasons comments; Utterly shocked the heck out of me.

      1. You actually think people breaking into the US capitol to attempt to murder the vice president and speaker is no big deal.

        Yeah lefties have the propaganda problem. You better hope all the cops are on your side. Democrats are about to be in charge of the ones at the federal level.

        That’s who deals with terrorists.

        1. Sounds like King’s Men, even Redcoats to me. I think we had a war about that. But I only read, what do I know…

  36. Reason is still pounding on Trump when they should be a lot more worried about a party that wants to “fundamentally change America, use political retaliation against those that disagree with their platform, censor those that disagree, put those that disagree in re-education camps, and remove words like mother, father, brother, sister, son and daughter from the nations language. Yes, Reason supported these people as the better alternative and a few days before their administration is more worried about Trump on his way out than Biden on his way in. Maybe Reason has already been threatened and is afraid?

  37. You have made a restatement of a famous quote by Thomas Jefferson: “He governs best who governs least.” And this is very very true!

  38. “Sometimes there’s no choice but to use force, which is why we have a justice system based ultimately on compulsion.” Wrong! Sometimes there’s no choice but to use force, which is why we have no problem with self defense.

  39. Government is not always violence and badness. It can even involve reason. If voters, citizens and politicians strive to avoid violence and evil manipulation, people and their government can do good things. Of course government alway does do some bad things, often a lot of bad things. We must help avoid that as much as possible.

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