Third Parties

The Latest #NeverTrump Bug To Splat on the Windshield of MAGA?

Anti-Trump Republicans have yet to win an intra-party fight. And launching third parties are for marathoners, not sprinters.

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Just as May flowers follow April showers, so too do presidential campaigns fertilize the political soil for fanciful, post-election dreams of sprouting viable new third parties.

"We … declare our intent to catalyze an American renewal," wrote 150 mostly Republican ex-politicians and security-state veterans on May 13 in a breathless joint letter, "and to either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative."

This new movement, posited co-founders Evan McMullin and Miles Taylor in a follow-up essay in The Economist, seeks either to wean the GOP from its "cult of personality" around former President Donald Trump or to "unify American voters who have been rendered politically homeless into a new political tribe—a resistance movement of 'rationals' against 'radicals.'"

Well, good luck with that. Political independents are a fractious bunch. Building third parties from scratch without benefit of money or celebrity is an almost unfathomably dreary slog, and the last five-plus years of Republican politics has produced a series of humiliations for the #NeverTrump right.

If the American Renewal founders' names sound vaguely familiar, it's because they are two of the many anti-Trump bugs that have splatted on the windshield of MAGA.

McMullin, an ex-CIA officer, mounted a late-breaking independent presidential run in 2016, finishing in fifth place with 0.5% of the vote. Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, made a media stir in 2018 with an anonymous New York Times op-ed titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration." Few people could pick the two men out of a police lineup; meanwhile, Trump remains by far the most popular politician in his party.

Joining McMullin and Taylor are several other signatories who've tangled with Trump and lost: former 2016 Jeb Bush strategist Mike Murphy; short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; and "three stooges" (in Trump's derisive words) Bill Weld, Joe Walsh, and Mark Sanford, who ran against the 45th president in the 2020 GOP primaries and lost the popular vote by a combined 93 percentage points.

Reforming the Republican Party from within seems a tall order at a time when half the GOP congressional delegation voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election, and when last names such as Cheney and Romney are radioactive. So what about some new Third Way?

Here's where the odds really get long.

"At the risk of understatement," Joe Bishop-Henchman, chair of the 50-year-old Libertarian Party told me in January, "starting a new political party is very hard. It requires a lot of money, a lot of work, a lot of volunteers."

Would-be new entrants are at a massive fundraising disadvantage from the jump. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) only allows parties with "national committees" to accept individual donations as high as $35,000; the rest have to make do with checks for $5,000 apiece. In order to be recognized by the FEC as having a national committee, parties must jump through all kinds of hoops, such as holding a national convention and running a "sufficient number of party-designated federal candidates on the ballot in a sufficient number of states in different geographic areas."

Now, you may believe as I believe that such rules are unfair, but let's remember who writes them: officials elected and appointed by the two major political parties that together have combined for at least 97% of the presidential vote in 18 of the last 24 elections, including four of the last five. And as we've seen from 2021 controversies in states as varied as Georgia and New York, the partisan wrangling over re-writing election law has become an ugly exercise in brute political strength.

I, too, would love to see a Republican Party that moves on from and repudiates the worst aspects of Donald Trump. But then again, I'm not a Republican. The 74 million people who voted for the guy in 2020 are not likely to be persuaded by haughty ex-spooks and 1990s reform governors threatening to hold their breath until enough people declare Orange Man Bad.

With every week comes new developments—the debate over launching a bipartisan January 6 commission, for example—reminding us, with the ever-able assistance of the media, that many Republicans will continuously warp their principles to stay professionally viable while Trump's spell on the party still holds. It isn't pretty to watch.

But nor is looking the other way as a Democratic-run Washington zooms through record spending bills without much in the way of scrutiny. If it's true that Republicans can't quite quit Trump, it may also be true that neither can the media nor the #NeverTrump right.

As evidenced by the fundraising prowess of the Lincoln Project, the Trump-tweaking political action committee, several of whose co-founders have signed onto American Renewal, there is a market out there for selling Democrats the dream of a fractured GOP. As if on cue, the new movement has already been invited onto MSNBC and saluted by Stephen Colbert.

Turns out that's the easy part. Ask the 35 GOP House members who voted for the January 6 commission whether they think the "rationals" will soon win over the "radicals." As for a meaningful new party, even McMullin and Taylor acknowledge "it would be the Mount Everest of political challenges."

If American Renewal is going to be more than a fundraising vehicle, better start climbing now.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

NEXT: An $86 Billion Moral Hazard

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  1. All those mentioned as part of a potential new party have no following, no base. The Libertarian party has a bigger base than them and it is very small. We really need a Libertarian with real communication skills and charisma. Without those skills you can’t deliver the message to a bigger audience.

    1. We really need a Libertarian with real communication skills and charisma.

      Yes, that is a huge factor. I agree. I personally wish Tulsi Gabbard would make the jump from Team D to Team L. Many of her views and policies are compatible with libertarian principles (not all, by a long shot).

      If the Libertarian party wants to be a national player, they need to seriously ramp up their fundraising. The way Team D raised money with ActBlue was amazing. It starts there.

      The other factor I see is that the nomination process for a national candidate is a mockery. Vermin Supreme? C’mon….nobody takes you too seriously if a candidate like that is a serious contender. Professor Jorgensen was articulate and smart, but not charismatic. And she bobbled the BLM thing; that was her inexperience.

      1. If L’s want to be a national player, they will cease to exist. Big donors have no interest in principles and ‘national players’ require national donor class to step up and own their pols.

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      2. Mark Cuban called himself a libertarian for years but the crazies in the party pissed him off.

        Anyway he is famous and respected and could elevate the party.

        1. “Let’s get our own reality TV star!”

          1. Draft Mike Rowe, Penn Gillette, or Drew Carey.

            1. Mike Rowe or Drew Carey, I might agree. Penn Gillette is about as naive, unprincipled, and cowardly as libertarians come. Very overtly an “All religions are dumb except the ones pointing a gun at me.” libertarian. If you’re looking for a ‘Donald Trump of the Libertarian Party’ Gillette is not it.

              1. Which religion is not dumb?

                Superstition vs. reason is an easy call for adults.

                1. Sure, “Reverend,” because there are no reasonable religious people or superstitious irreligious people.

                2. Placating people specifically because they threaten you is a dumb superstition/religion with obvious outcomes.

                3. “Superstition vs. reason is an easy call for adults.”

                  How would you know? This facile mentality proves you aren’t an adult and have no business speaking for them.

              2. Thought he spelled it with a J, not a G? But I agree, anyway.

                You have a (psuedo) Libertarian candidate already in Rand Paul. He’s doing more good where he is, rather than indulging in some quixotic quest to further split the Republican Party. Not that voting is doing much good, these days.

                1. Lol, you can’t be serious. Whatever libertarian bits and pieces made it into Rand from his father’s upbringing were violently expelled when his crazy neighbor tackled him off the lawnmower. The remaining traces were dissolved by the sour milk he suckled on from Trump’s teat for four years.

                  1. Tell us all about marxism abd libertarianism again.

                    1. Yeah, CMW seems to be as bad a libertarian as, well, Reason itself.

                      Libertarianism is dying because its loudest proponents are whores.

              3. Yeah, Drew Carey and Rowe are infinitely preferable to Gillette.

                I actually like Gillette, but he’s one of those flakes who doesn’t realize he’s a flake; and thinks he’s beyond clever, and that his ideas are drops of amber nectar from the gods.

        2. dear g*d no. avoid at all costs.

        3. You fancy yourself as something other than a steaming pile of lefty shit also.

      3. “Not all, by a long shot.”

        That’s certainly an understatement. Tulsi is fairly sane for a Democrat, (Which isn’t saying much at this point.) and certainly easy on the eyes, but she’s hardly a libertarian.

        Sky high minimum wage, and months of paid family leave mandated. Free college and other give aways.

        Abolish nuclear power.

        Gun control.

        Take away medical patents.

        More pressure for social media censorship.

        Race reparations.

        1. Tulsi isn’t libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. She’s outspokenly anti-war and good on marijuana. She falls on the same side as libertarians on immigration, but like most Democrats it’s not a principled liberty thing, it’s about political expediency.

          Hard pass on Tulsi as the face of the LP.

          1. As I’ve noted before, while the LP has always been in favor of open borders, when I joined back in the 70’s it was clearly understood that open borders would have to come AFTER the welfare state was ended, not before. It was basically the last thing you’d do after everything else was accomplished.

            Elevating it to something you’d do up front was a consequence, I think, of the LP being overtaken by the left’s march through the institutions, and LP positions being warped to favor the left’s agenda.

            1. Except the welfare state will never totally go away and we will never have totally open borders. Both can be seriously reformed and that is where a political candidate should be.

            2. Libertarians aren’t in favor of holding an open immigration policy hostage to the collapse of the welfare state. Paleos are under the false impression that people want to come here for welfare handouts rather than economic opportunities. But even if they’re right, then why not allow immigration to force the issue of welfare reform? Maybe because the Hoppeans favor severe border restrictions apart from welfare as a means of cultural protectionism, because their desire for Euro-American cultural hegemony leads them to deny free movement and free association.

              1. “Paleos are under the false impression that people want to come here for welfare handouts rather than economic opportunities. But even if they’re right, then why not allow immigration to force the issue of welfare reform?”

                Allow MORE votes FOR welfare in to force the issue? Force it to what…UBI?

          2. I always thought Tulsi’s anti-war position was somewhat overstated. I read some of her official statements about her stance on military adventurism and it seemed like there were loopholes in it you could easily drive a tank through.
            To give a concrete example, I recall reading her say that she still wanted to wage war on any or all of the “hundreds” of terror groups in the Middle East.
            Pair that with her horrendous economic opinions and I didn’t find much to like, though her verbal beatdown of Harris was delightful.

            1. Yeah, she is not as antiwar as people make her out to be. She is kind of a weirdo with a bunch of crazy beliefs and no understanding of economics. But for a Democrat, she is as good as it gets.

        2. What a compliment = Tulsi is fairly sane for a Democrat

          I literally LOL at that one. Brightened my otherwise gloomy morning.

        3. Sky high minimum wage, and months of paid family leave mandated. Free college and other give aways.

          Abolish nuclear power.

          Gun control.

          Take away medical patents.

          More pressure for social media censorship.

          Race reparations.

          A lot of this is just the cost of doing business as a member of the Party, which is to say they’re likely negotiable positions not sincerely held. I’d be curious to know what her positions would be when targeting a different potentially viable coalition.

          1. Getting rid of pharmaceutical patents without first abolishing a slate of FDA requirements isn’t gonna fly. But Libertarians do largely favor significant patent reform and oppose IP protectionism. We aren’t Objectivists.

            1. But Libertarians do largely favor significant patent reform and oppose IP protectionism.

              Libertarians agree some sort of patent system is a good thing – why wouldn’t that also extend to IP? & isn’t any patent system protectionism?

              Sorry – just don’t think opposing IP protectionism is a definite belief in the libertarian system or party.

      4. If the Libertarian party wants to be a national player, they need to seriously ramp up their fundraising. The way Team D raised money with ActBlue was amazing. It starts there.

        Nobody can ever match the Dems fundraising. Every dollar given to Dems is returned in multiples with taxpayer money. Libertarians have no chance to compete with that. Ever Republicans cannot since any promise by them can simply be doubled by Dems.

      5. Tulsi is not a libertarian by any stretch. She is sane and civil but she is wrong on so many issues. Tulsi has more in common with Bernie Sanders than she does libertarians. She just has more integrity than Bernie.

        1. Integrity is in very short supply these days.

        2. Yeah, people have already forgotten that she supported Bernie in 2016, and resigned her DNC post when it came out that the party had undermined his campaign for YASSS QWEEEN Hillary.

        3. Tulsi is an honorary Libertarian in my book just because she maintains a principled anti-war stance and took Kamala to the woodshed in the primaries, exposing her for the dirty cop she is.

      6. Many of her views and policies are compatible with libertarian principles (not all, by a long shot).

        Tulsi is far left, she’s just a lot better at keeping her powerlevel tamped down.

    2. Bill Weld was the Libertarian Party’s national candidate for veep in 2016.

      1. But he endorsed HRC. Odd that.

      2. That’s Bill “Libertarian for Life” Weld that GJ begged the delegates to have as his runningmate.

    3. True and the libertarian party needs to pick a REAL libertarian, not a piece of trash globalist like Weld. I once considered myself part of the libertarian party, but when they sold out and picked that a**hole , no more. I was from Taxachusetts but I escaped !!!!

    4. I can only tolerate so much reading and engagement in politics so I miss things that get said and repeat others inadvertently. What is bedeviling to resolving this problem is what I think is an unsolvable reality. As we know, populist leaders are granted power because of some unique emotional and expressive qualities that resonate among its followers. It is my opinion, wrong as it likely may be, that part of this appeal for the supporters of Trump, or ANY potential populist on the wings , is the take no prisoners approach. There is a certain existential quality that has been shaped which appeals to the vulgar and somewhat criminal side of the human mind. The lower the threshold to reach the hate and the resentment the easier the ability to mobilize and galvanize.

      It is always easy to hate, admit no wrong, marginalize and circle the wagons in a self defined and declared fight to a fantasy finish. The leader gives permission. This is self evident but when you have this combination, finding a calmer figure that appeals to reason and conciliation us well neigh impossible. Anything less than the most brutal, crude and annihilative mindset won’t suffice. How do you re-direct that mass psychosis with moderation if the supporters don’t want it? If they want the mindset, it becomes like asking an opium addict to walk away from his chemical paradise.
      Half the time the followers don’t even know or have agreement on what they want. Instead, it’s simply, ‘anywhere but here’ and if the other side is upset and deeply insulted by our guy, then he of she must be doing something right. Traditional political discourse at the current time cannot compete with this. If trump we’re gone, it would make no difference. There are plenty of others chomping at the bit to take his place and it seems the more ruthless and idiotic the better.

      Do NOT get me wrong. I see plenty of this forming up on the left but there is apparently more complexity of composition and priority keeping a unified colossal block from forming.

      How do you find alternatives to the most base, crude, potentially violent and vicious mindsets when those traits are in vogue?

  2. Trump remains by far the most popular politician in his party

    And that’s the key – It’s his party. And do you know why it’s his party now? Because he just stepped in and took it and the Republicans did nothing to stop him. Because they’re gutless and spineless eunuchs, a bunch of weaklings endlessly mewling about how powerless they are to put up any sort of defense against their opponents. They’re John Boehner and Paul Ryan, John McCain and Mitt Romney, Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. Useless as teats on a boar hog if you want somebody to fight for principles.

    1. Romney tried to warn the party with his ‘Trump is a con man and huckster” speech during the 2016 campaign but the cult had already pretty much formed by then.

      1. Yeah, Romney sounding out the alarm about corruption went on deaf ears. Go figure.

      2. And Romney kissed Trump’s ass trying for a cabinet job. So much for standards and morals.

      3. Romney tried to warn the party

        Corrupt old elitists like Romney are Buttplug’s voice of reason? Oh wow.
        The only person Romney should have been warning the party about, is Romney.

    2. It wasn’t because they were gutless. It’s because they are compromised. They’ve spent every day since November 1988 convincing us they care about nothing except war and enriching themselves. It’s tough to tout democracy and then get angry at people retaliating against corrupt bureaucracy. Trump did his job and has exposed the swamp, which is why we voted for him. Where are your heroes doing that?

      1. FACT: Swamps are useful eco-systems, therefore I prefer to call it a cesspool.

        1. Cesspools are also useful eco-systems in much the same manner, just more concentrated and deliberately maintained, so maybe you’re on to something.

    3. What do you mean “stop him”? If the base loves him — which it did, and still does — then there wasn’t much they could do.

      1. If the base loves him — which it did, and still does — then there wasn’t much they could do.

        55% of Republican primary voters picked someone other than Trump in 2016, compared to 6% in 2020 (for those states that bothered). Once he was the nominee and the alternative was Hillary, Republican voters that didn’t like him much at all still turned out, to the surprise of just about everyone. Once he won, those that held their nose to vote for him likely fell victim to various cognitive biases and conservative media messaging and convinced themselves that they had made a great choice, rather than a Lesser-of-Two-Evils choice.

        I saw this happen with my mother. She didn’t like Trump at all (she liked Marco Rubio – and he was my pick in the primary as well, though by the time Florida came around, there was little hope for him. I just thought that if Rubio won Florida, at least, that might still give someone else a chance to beat Trump by denying him Florida’s delegates.) And she was very turned off by the way he belittled his Republican opponents as well as his general complete lack of policy depth. But now, she buys into just about everything the right wing media sells.

        1. Were there things you actually liked about Rubio?

          Would you consider the possibility that Trump’s election and performance as president dispelled the notions that many 2016 Republican voters had that he was either unelectable or would completely blow up as president?

          1. [What] Were there things you actually liked about Rubio?

            He was reasonably able to speak intelligently about policy. Being fairly young, he was better able to relate to and be relatable to younger people. His background as the child of Cuban immigrants that fled communism gave him a good perspective on the value of freedom. (I mean all forms of freedom, not just economic freedom. The evils of communism were in one-party oppression of dissent from the party line and total control of information, more than its economic controls.) Despite being solidly conservative, he showed willingness to work toward compromises that would get positive things accomplished, rather than insist on “perfect” conservative outcomes that would never pass into law.

            Rubio may not have been the best possible choice, but I thought he would be good enough. I would have voted for him in the general election over Hillary or Bernie for sure, though I have been sorely disappointed in many things he’s said and done since 2016.

            If you’re interested in understanding the perspective of someone that bothers to comment on a libertarian website/publication that isn’t aligned that way, I will explain myself further.

            I am not a conservative, nor am I libertarian. I am a moderate and pragmatist on economic issues, not a free-market idealist or progressive, and certainly not socialist. I had always registered Republican, though I had voted both sides of the aisle at various points in my life. I regret some of my votes for Democrats (Bill, when I was young. I should have voted to reelect Bush and then for Dole, despite thinking him too old and worn out by then to be President.) But not all. I don’t regret any Republican that I’ve voted for in a general election, for president or otherwise. Voting for Hillary broke my streak of voting for Republicans for President that started with W.

            I avoid ideology and partisanship as much as I can, because I find that leads to cognitive biases that get in the way of understanding and thinking about politics rationally. I also do not want to ever fall into the trap of being a “fan” of a politician. A good leader can be admired and supported for what they can accomplish, but no human being can be worthy of my vote on the strength of their persona. I’ll always vote for substance over personality, but I can also vote against personality if it is abhorrent enough to impact their ability to lead effectively. You get one guess who inspired that qualification.

            Above all else, I want to support the features and institutions that make a democratic republic work, before even getting to debates about policy. Free press, Free speech, free, fair, and open elections are critical to this. But also critical are people that are willing to lose elections and still support those institutions. That so many Republicans are continuing to go on about a stolen election in which they gained House seats and maintained or gained in state governments is extremely disturbing to me.

            They are setting a dangerous precedent that means that losing an election is a call to manipulate the electoral process to prevent that from happening again, rather than to find a way to appeal to more voters. It is a call to contest the results endlessly, handing ballots to inexperienced, partisan, private companies to conduct “audits” until the results they want are “proven”, and they will contest the results with violence if necessary, because the other side is just that evil.

            A third party as better option to balance the left would be great, but it is too impractical with the way our state governments and the federal government are structured and the winners of elections determined. The need in this country for a home for conservatives and libertarians does not outweigh the dangers that the GOP currently represents to the stability of our constitutional order itself.

            I’m rooting for the GOP to implode so that it can be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up as a conservative/libertarian party that respects democracy and rationality. One that tries to appeal to voters by offering the best policies to improve their lives, rather than ethno- and economic nationalism, social conservatism more broadly, and demagoguery. A party like that might even put up candidates I could vote for again.

            But that’s like rooting for the Division I-AA Champion Appalachian State Mountaineers against the then #5 ranked Michigan Wolverines in 2007. Who knows what can happen, though, right?

            1. “I avoid ideology and partisanship as much as I can”

              Except for exclusively posting in support of leftist narratives, sure.

              Eat a bullet, coward.

            2. Direct democracy is the greatest threat to the Constitutional order, not the ham-fisted machinations of a spray-tanned incompetent and the grifters in his orbit. “Democracy” is generally regarded as sacrosanct, but as currently practiced it’s closer to dictatorship by plebiscite than a conglomeration of competing sovereign republican entities and non-governmental power centers.

              That this country is turning into Latin America is the fault of both parties. Trumpism’s merely a symptom.

              1. Trumpism’s merely a salvation.

                Fixed that for you. The man is a mouthy, narcissistic buffoon but he’s still the best president since Coolidge.

                1. Trump succeeded at galvanizing the Left, exceeding Obama’s spending levels, and turning the GOP against free trade and into a sycophantic cult of personality. Even if he were “the best president since Coolidge,” that isn’t exactly a high bar.

                  1. Are we still mad for him not destroying congress and having to deal with veto proof budgets?

                    Some of you really need to learn how the fuck government operates. We have a president, not a king. Not every problem is due to a president.

                    1. Yup. The lack of basic civics knowledge among libertarians is pretty appalling and often discredits their argument before they even finish making it.

                      It’s almost as if striving for ideologically “pure” arguments and ideas doesn’t work when you actually have to work within laws and institutions to get them implemented.

                2. Trumpism’s merely a salvation.

                  I fail to see how aping the Latin right in form and ideology gets us further from a Latin future, but you do you.

              2. Direct democracy is the greatest threat to the Constitutional order…

                The direct democracy that exists in the United States is only in local and state votes on propositions and the like. And conservatives are happy to use those at times, such as many of the gay marriage bans that were passed through popular votes.

                As for the rest, I’m not really sure what you are trying to say.

                1. That so many Republicans are continuing to go on about a stolen election in which they gained House seats and maintained or gained in state governments is extremely disturbing to me.

                  That they do this is because the elections they won simply don’t matter like they used to. Centralization is the problem; nationalization is the problem; unadulterated majoritarianism is the problem. You want to reform democracy? You want to stop the long march of the fringes? Make it so the parties can’t write off vast swaths of the country and still maintain influence? Then give a leg up to the power centers an individual voter might actually be able to reach and influence. Gut the Presidency. Mandate ME/NE electoral college allocation. Repeal the 17A. Overturn Reynolds v. Sims.

                  1. That they do this is because the elections they won simply don’t matter like they used to.

                    State governments still matter a great deal. Especially when it comes to running elections themselves, as we are seeing with all of the laws that those Republican legislatures are passing to put more control over them into their hands instead of in the hands of local officials or elected state officials that might not toe the party line or be of a different party. I find that very worrisome, as the calls for state legislatures to overturn the certified results and hand electoral votes to Trump regardless of the vote count might not be resisted next time. What mobs might threaten to take over state capitols if they don’t?

                    And it isn’t just about worries over the right, as the point of peaceful transfers of power based on law and legitimate procedure is so that neither side will think it can try and seize control illegitimately.

                    Gut the Presidency.

                    I wouldn’t “gut” it, but presidents of both parties have been expanding executive power for decades. Conservatives on the SCOTUS have allowed this in national security areas and some others, and liberals on the Court have in regulatory agencies. But to a large extent, Congress itself is the problem there, as they find it easier to offload their jobs to the executive than to do the hard work of actually crafting good law. For decades now, Congress has had abysmal approval ratings as a whole, yet incumbents rarely get defeated. Voters just don’t hold their individual legislators accountable for how they feel about the functioning of the legislature.

                    Mandate ME/NE electoral college allocation.

                    I do favor splitting state’s electoral votes, as the plurality-take-all system in 48 states + DC means that only a dozen or so states even see significant visits from presidential candidates in the general election. Republicans in CA and NY and Democrats in red states might as well write in Cthulu for President for all that their votes mean. (Why choose the lesser evil? Vote for the greatest evil! No Lives Matter!)

                    But I would not go by congressional districts like Maine and Nebraska. That just further encourages gerrymandering. It should be a straight proportion of the statewide vote. Then we’d be more likely to see presidential candidates trying to appeal to the whole country.

                    Repeal the 17A

                    I don’t think this would do what you and other conservatives and libertarians that advocate it think that it would do. Senators being chosen by state legislatures that can themselves be gerrymandered and unrepresentative of the whole state’s population isn’t going to be a good thing. Nor would senators that would then just be chosen by the machine of the state party. Talk about “establishment” operators.

                    I think that we really do need campaign finance and lobbying reforms. The problem with senate campaigns is the influence of money from outside of the state. I get that there are legitimate 1st Amendment issues when it comes to campaign finance regulation, but I don’t agree that the current situation is preferable. The argument I’ve sometimes heard is to allow it all, but then have transparency. But then they’ll turn around and say that donor disclosure would chill the “speech” of those donors, as they’d be afraid of being “cancelled”, so dark money ends up ruling.

                    Another problem that we have is that our campaign seasons last a whole fucking year or more, and that is just ridiculous when House terms are 2 years. Even presidential terms of 4 years mean that more than 1/4 of a presidential term is taken up by an incumbent trying to keep his job or being a lame duck why others compete to be the next president. We need to drastically reduce the length of campaigns. Incumbents have the advantage of name recognition, if nothing else, so maybe challengers need the time to build that up, you might say. But that doesn’t seem to work now, for one thing, as incumbents don’t lose that often. Couple a shorter campaign season with finance reform, where a shorter campaign would require less money anyway, and that could help.

                    Overturn Reynolds v. Sims

                    This is just asking for the unequal representation in the Senate to be the norm within each state, like it often was prior to this ruling. This just looks like a belief that less populated parts of the country deserve extra weight to their votes. I can’t agree with that. Allowing state legislatures to draw districts, whether for the House or their own legislatures without having to keep them roughly equal in population is just asking for them to gerrymander districts using steroids. The party in power in each state would just further entrench their power even more than they already do.

                    You say that “unadulterated majoritarianism is the problem”, but allowing a political minority to be in power instead is certainly not the solution. The solution is two-fold: respect for individual rights, as guaranteed by the Constitution, and a structure of government that requires the majority to be a true majority that is a broad coalition, rather than just an energized minority that also happens to pull in enough of the middle that had to pick between two extremes. Any electoral reforms should aim at making that latter part of the solution a reality.

          2. Would you consider the possibility that Trump’s election and performance as president dispelled the notions that many 2016 Republican voters had that he was either unelectable or would completely blow up as president?

            Given that he did blow up as president, I’d say that many such beliefs should have been confirmed, rather than dispelled.

            As for being unelectable, well, consider the opponent. Trump and the right wing media was certainly effective at demonizing Hillary, and her cold personality didn’t help matters with voters that care about that. Add in strategic mistakes by her and her campaign, and the impossible became possible. And don’t forget the disinformation. Russia’s troll farms wouldn’t have persuaded people that were persuadable, but it probably fed energy to people that might otherwise have not voted at all. Trump did bring in some people that had given up on the system entirely. It is impossible to prove or disprove the idea that Russia’s disinformation made a difference, but it is worth considering, nonetheless.

            1. And don’t forget the disinformation. Russia’s troll farms wouldn’t have persuaded people that were persuadable

              LOLGF troll.

            2. “Russia’s troll farms”

              You do realize that this was largely a myth, and that the Russian ads that were released favored Hillary more than Trump by a margin of 2 to 1.

              1. You do realize that this was largely a myth, and that the Russian ads that were released favored Hillary more than Trump by a margin of 2 to 1.

                Should I bother looking this up? The last alternative fact you threw at me was that abortion was riskier than carrying a pregnancy to term. I stopped checking after a couple of days to see if you’d responded to the actual facts I cited that showed that to be the outrageous lie that it was.

            3. Trump gained 10 million votes even with the IC, media, and false investigations attacking him.

              And you bitch about 100k spending from a troll farm in a 2 billion dollar election.

              I mean. Wow.

              1. And you bitch about 100k spending from a troll farm in a 2 billion dollar election.

                Perhaps you have a point. The disinformation from Russia probably had a tiny impact compared to the disinformation coming from the right wing media and Trump himself.

                1. But the 1000 x disinformation from the left had no impact? Get lost.

            4. This is nearly Tony level stupid.

        2. This is the correct narrative that the media does not want anyone to believe. Nearly everyone I know across 3 states voted for Trump. None of them actually liked Trump. They were 100% voting against Hillary. Trump actually had more support in my family in ’20 than he did in ’16. Folks that voted for the GOP for the very first time. Again, none actually liked Trump but they did not like being force fed a guy with dementia and disillusioned with the turn for the hard left during the previous few years. Dems completely lost all of the union workers in my family.

        3. I was a Rand Paul supporter, and definately favored Trump as a lesser evil vote.

          I still think he was the lesser evil in 2016 and 2020. Politicians who aren’t evil are rare indeed, and almost never found at the federal level.

          1. Politicians who aren’t evil are rare indeed, and almost never found at the federal level.

            The best way to reduce the number of evil politicians is to stop voting for them. That is always the problem of the the lesser of two evils calculation. If you accept some evil from one side, because you view is that the other is worse, then you are accepting evil. Own that and don’t defend the politician later when they commit evil acts.

            The other problem with lesser evil thinking is that evil becomes relative. What makes a politician evil, anyway? I would eliminate policy choices from that consideration entirely, and focus mostly on basic ethics, honesty, and integrity. Once you’ve eliminated anyone without a minimal level of decency and basic character required to entrust them with power, then you can find the one with the policies that most closely match what you want. None are going to have perfect character, of course, but there has to be a threshold you don’t cross, and Trump had showed that had crossed it throughout his life long before he announced that he was running.

            Even the most radical Bernie policy proposals weren’t evil, they were just wrong. Unless, that is, you are really out to destroy the meaning of the word “evil” in same way that some consider anything that isn’t pure, laissez-faire, free-market capitalism as being equivalent to socialism.

            1. You admitted upthread that you voted for Hillary. Spare us.

              1. You admitted upthread that you voted for Hillary. Spare us.

                If you’re interested in understanding the perspective of someone that bothers to comment on a libertarian website/publication that isn’t aligned that way, I will explain myself further.

                I guess you aren’t interested in understanding other perspectives. You just want to know which team people are on, so you know who the enemy is.

        4. I’m not a Republican and I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. Voted L. I also didn’t like his personality much and still think he needs to mostly STFU. But I voted for him in 2020 because his policies were more libertarian than any president in my lifetime and I was born when Truman was in office. The Republican party is now the anti war, anti regulation, anti establishment party. It’s not a cult of personality. It’s real shit that that benefits real people. If it’s populism I’ll take it over the alternative. Which by the way is not libertarianism.

          1. “It’s not a cult of personality.”

            Mr. Establishment neocon, the Senate’s #1 warmonger Lindsey Graham, said the GOP cannot move forward without their disgraced, impeached one-term president. How is that not cultish?

            1. You’re not very bright.

        5. What you say is true about the mixed bag. But the block formation and mindset of a big chunk remain unified and will do so if he’s out. Marjorie Green is over the top a reckless clown. But that hardly matters. The idea of destruction and annihilation of political difference is real enough. The greater the threat to power among groups the more willing entire block is will coalesce to hang on. Existential struggles don’t care to compromise. A saying might well describe, ‘never leave behind a man woman or child that can raise a sword against you. That seems to be the greater idea since Power sharing and compromise are tantamount to mortal sins. In this, big blocks remain after you subtract the generous percentage of reasonable and thinking conservatives and moderates.

      2. Trump’s base is not all Republican and neither is Trump. The GOP could have simply refused to allow Trump to join the party and declared him ineligible to run as the Republican candidate. Barring that, Trump was only getting a plurality of the votes because that RINO Kasich refused to drop out of the race and cede the field to Cruz, they could have done whatever the DNC did to Bernie to force/bribe him to drop out. Or, push come to shove, roll out whatever dirty tricks you need to in order to make sure Trump doesn’t win.

        1. “Trump’s base is not all Republican and neither is Trump.”

          Inject that concern trolling into my veins. Give me a break.

        2. “The GOP could have simply refused to allow Trump to join the party and declared him ineligible to run as the Republican candidate.”

          I’m not seeing the mechanism for doing that, and the political consequences of trying it would have been apocalyptic.

          As for the dirty tricks, they DID try that. Didn’t quite work.

          1. Republicans started the “Trump is a Nazi” meme in 2015.

    4. It’s his party because the GOP has been running a bait and switch operation on its voters for decades, and they’re sick of it. Trump looked like somebody who might actually deliver, and to a large extent, he did try to deliver, with scarce help from supposed allies in Congress.

      The Republicans talking about a third party are the exact wrong people to counter THAT problem.

      1. Trump’s appeal remains that he’s an establishment outsider that isn’t beholden to anyone. What other major GOP player can really say that? Until that person materializes, it’s going to be tough for the GOP to remake itself outside of his image.

        I’m probably reaching, and it’s because I’m likely not as versed as I should be in the realm of GOP stalwarts, but ultimately I think it’s a younger personality of a Dan Crenshaw type that will take the reins. But I thought that of Rubio once, so blah.

        1. I think you touched on something pretty important = Trump’s appeal remains that he’s an establishment outsider that isn’t beholden to anyone. What other major GOP player can really say that?

          That was definitely part of the appeal. The man could not be bought. He had FU amounts of money. Unlike the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who was bought….by Ukrainians, Chinese and other assorted characters.

          1. He had FU amounts of money.

            How do we know? He never released enough detailed records for anyone to know how much money he had, where all of his money was, and what conflicts of interest he might have. Who does he owe money to? How much, and how does he plan on paying them back?

            1. Per John Goodman, Fuck You money is 5 million dollars. Figure 7-8 mil with inflation. Trump definitely has that. Moreover, his Fuck You money was made entirely outside of politics, leaving him largely beholden to no one.

              1. Moreover, his Fuck You money was made entirely outside of politics, leaving him largely beholden to no one.

                Uh, since when is real estate development entirely outside of politics, and how does owing who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars to foreign banks with highly questionable ethics going to leave someone beholden to no one? My whole point is that we don’t actually know Trump’s net worth. And to have truly had “Fuck You” money and convinced us that he wasn’t beholden to anyone, he could have divested himself from his company, cashing out and putting whatever was left in a blind trust. But his international company, with real estate all over the world, his two oldest sons (supposedly) running things for him (and he wouldn’t talk to them about business, of course not!), would always represent a conflict of interest in so many ways it was going to be a big issue no matter what he did.

                Besides, having “Fuck You” money at several million dollars supposes someone living not too outrageously. Trump probably blew through that much or more each year on just random shit like his plane before becoming president.

                1. To be clear, I was talking about how real estate developers often get to know local politicians in order to better grease the wheels for their projects. But Trump also wasn’t “entirely” outside of politics prior to the summer of 2015, even aside from that. There was, of course, his forays into birtherism. Then he had long commented on politics, and seemed to consider running for the Reform Party nomination in 2000.

        2. Trump’s appeal remains that he’s an establishment outsider that isn’t beholden to anyone.

          If I believed in a god, I’d pray to be saved from people that want an “outsider” that isn’t with the “establishment” to be President, but don’t seem to care if that person has shown even basic competence with politics or much of anything else prior to that. Trump’s business record was so questionable that it was insane to me to think that he could walk into the Oval Office and be successful. I mean, after all of bankruptcies and other failed ventures, only Deutche Bank, with its many, documented instances of illegal activity, was still lending to him. Of course, never releasing the detailed tax records that every major party presidential candidate since Nixon had, we still don’t know how much of his claimed net worth is real.

          It was jaw-dropping when I saw a segment once profiling some Trump supporters. One guy, a contractor that built his own business in a small town, actually said that he liked Trump because he was “self-made”. I just couldn’t even fathom that. Following in his multi-millionaire father’s business, with all of those connections, and “only” a $1 million dollar loan (so much deceit in that claim) is not “self-made” by anyone’s definition.

          1. Fred and Donald’s business were totally different animals. Jumping from the outer boroughs into the shark tank of Manhattan high-rises, especially in that era, took some serious skill regardless of how well-staked he might have been (and he wasn’t that well-staked relative to his peers).

            The problem is that he wasn’t a serious businessman for ~20 years. He was a game-show host and branding magnate, famous for being famous.

            1. He was a game-show host and branding magnate, famous for being famous.

              I still laugh about the fact that Mac Miller named a rap song after him. Before he started picking fights with Obama, the guy was an established member of the glitterati elite–having Bill and Hillary at his wedding, both he AND his properties doing cameos in Hollywood shows and movies all the way up to “Wolf of Wall Street,” getting name-dropped in numerous rap songs as someone to aspire to be, and going on countless talk shows to pimp his business advice and brand.

              It’s still mind-boggling to me that he threw it all that guaranteed money away to make a serious run for President and win.

            2. Fred and Donald’s business were totally different animals. Jumping from the outer boroughs into the shark tank of Manhattan high-rises, especially in that era, took some serious skill regardless of how well-staked he might have been (and he wasn’t that well-staked relative to his peers).

              From what I’ve been able to tell, his first big deal in Manhattan, the Grand Hyatt hotel, built in 1978, was largely underwritten and guaranteed by his father. The $1 million loan was just a small part of his father’s help with that deal, essentially making Donald the front man to his father’s silent partner.

              Trump’s image was always his selling point. He works to project an image of larger-than-life success so that people will buy into his deals on that basis. What has he ever built that made other people money? His business failures in Atlantic City, for instance, cost all kinds of people tons of money, though he just barely managed to wriggle out without being personally on the hook and having to declare personal bankruptcy. Despite the many years of not paying federal taxes because of losses from that era, no doubt he cost other people even more money than he lost.

        3. Very much this too. And we’ll be lucky if that person doesn’t turn out to be much more authoritarian than Trump, or more so than the average Republican.

        4. Rubio stepped on his own dick by joining the gang of 8. He was absolutely oblivious to what the Republican base wanted.

      2. Trump was a gamble that paid off. He had the gall to say inflammatory things that were decisive and not wushu washy political speech and he couldn’t do much worse than the GOP had already been doing on talking out of both sides of their mouths. Trump’s unknowns were his strength in 2016. He turned those into knowns and gained the trust of his voters.

        1. Trump was a wrecking ball. Whatever his faults, he wasn’t the same old shit that we knew didn’t work.

          1. And speaking of the same old shit, now you’ve got Biden and Pelosi and Schumer. How’s that shit taste?

            1. Well Jerryskids, tbh it tastes like….shit.

          2. >>Trump was a wrecking ball

            it was beautiful and entirely too short-lived.

            1. ^This comments in essence captures the Trump moment. It’s the bully stomping on another kid’s sand castle because he can’t build anything better.

              1. That would be you and the test of the rest of the left out to destroy everything built by western society.

          3. I still maintain that if Jeb hadn’t thrown his hat in the ring, Trump was about 50/50 on actually running. The GOP establishment fucked up BIG TIME by allowing Jeb to think that he was a serious candidate in 2016. There wasn’t anyone other than the party’s big-money donors who thought Jeb could win; the base certainly didn’t want him after his brother bailed out the banks for TARP, and already instinctively knew that he would fold like a cheap suit at the first sign of Democratic pushback if he did manage to get lucky and beat Hillary.

            It’s not a coincidence AT ALL that Trump announced his candidacy the day after Jeb. He knew the primary was going to be a referendum on the neocons and the Bush Republicans, and rode that discontent all the way to the nomination.

          4. It was worse.

        2. “Wushu washy???” Oh great, more racist China bashing!

          1. You do realize that on the keyboard used by the vast, vast majority of english speakers, u is right next to y and i right?

    5. It’s not often I agree with you but you’re spot on here.

    6. Sooo much this.

      And who are we to complain about someone who, while stroking his own ego, did us such a great favor? He was better for liberty than any president in a very long time. He wasn’t as libertarian as Goldwater, but the latter could only get the nomination and wasn’t electable. Trump showed it could be done.

      1. “Trump showed it could be done.”

        And I believe that scared the crap out of a lot of people in mainstream politics and media [not that there is any difference]; thus we were subjected to years of Congress pursing Russian collusion and any other opportunity to impeach him and render him ineligible for future office.

        I am honestly still surprised he wasn’t assassinated.

        1. And it was only that sabotage that I think kept more like him from coming out in the ensuing years. After the 2016 election and the first weeks of his term, my hope had been that this was only the beginning. I wasn’t pinning my hopes on Trump alone, but that, having shown it was possible for leadership that the grass roots really liked to win and not immediately go back on what he’d said while campaigning, more Trump types would emerge. I hadn’t anticipated how virulent the resistance against him would be, and I’m afraid that has discouraged others like him from coming to the fore.

      2. Goldwater maybe should have waited and run in 68. After the disaster of LBJ he may have had a shot.

    7. But what can they do when their constituents are all cultists?

    8. You have it backward.

      All Trump did was see that the majority of Republicans were disgusted with the direction the party had taken, and that none of the other potential candidates were likely to fill their need for change. He saw a market that nobody else was serving (though a couple were at least moving in the right direction).

      There are some good Republicans (and a larger number of Republicans who are somewhat good), but without voter support, they would have been long gone, replaced by the same Party machine that now is threatening to take their jumpropes and go home.

  3. Really, first priority should be reforming our democracy. It has a systemic bias against third parties, which, according to Critical Theory, makes all third parties marginalized groups. So, we’re victims, and democrats owe it to us to transform this country into a multi-party system. QED.

    1. Really, first priority should be reforming our democracy.

      I’d be all for that. Though it isn’t about making minor parties viable, it is about making true majority support more likely. Right now, it is the most partisan, activist base of each party that ends up deciding the choice of all voters in November. So, when you really think about it, the winner of each election is really representing mostly those strident true believers, not the broad coalition that actually would be a majority of the population. Some legislative districts have an actual majority that is solidly conservative or solidly liberal, but you probably wouldn’t get to 50 out of 538 electoral votes with states where 50%+ of eligible voters would identify as solid liberal or solid conservative. You’d have to expand it to those that lean liberal or conservative to get 200 electoral votes that way. To get all the way to 270 takes including states where neither side can get a majority without including moderates and independents.

      Yet, we have one party that basically requires a presidential candidate that appeals strongly to solid conservatives, and the other requires a presidential candidate that solid liberals will at least turn out in large numbers for, hoping to push them to their side once in office.

      Our first-past-the-post voting encourages candidates that really represent the base of their respective parties but then try and bring in the middle. Or, Republicans have also found that they can not worry so much about the middle and just energize their base to turn out in larger numbers than the other side. (Or just gerrymander districts and manipulate voting procedures to gain an advantage for their voters.)

    2. There should be four parties in this country.

      Socially liberal, economically liberal
      Socially liberal, economically conservative
      Socially conservative, economically liberal
      Socially conservative, economically conservative

      Parties could be more flexible as to who to align with.
      Of course the first group would go on calling the other three Nazis,

      1. My limit the parties to the corners of that two dimensional spectrum? No room at all for a party that was in the middle of even one axis? And why should social policies even be given equal weight with economic issues? And where is foreign policy in this system?

        1. That was supposed to be “Why”, not “My”, in case it wasn’t clear.

      2. There is definitely a third axis based on war-antiwar. Also, your labels are confusing, because “economically liberal” could be interpreted as either pro-free market or anti-free market, depending on the definition of “liberal.”

    3. I don’t think you can reform something that’s fundamentally broken to begin with.

  4. Trump is a personality, the people mentioned with their Third Way are simply not personalities.

    Some people voted for Trump the person, but most voted for Trump because they were railing against elitist ruling class and felt that Trump was the best method to stick it to the elitist ruling class.

    In my opinion Trump will not run again for president, although he will continue hold on to the option as a threat to the anti-Trump religion. Instead he will apply pressure to reshape the Republican party.

    There is a real opportunity for the Libertarian party, considering that the Democratic party is spinning off into a dystopian authoritarian nightmare and Republicans in disarray.

    Libertarians need to begin an all out campaign immediately. Do not wait another minute, the time is NOW. There needs to be more communication and every local and state race needs to have a Libertarian candidate on the ballot.

    1. “There is a real opportunity for the Libertarian party”
      Not to worry. The LP is putting out feelers now for used up Republican governors opposed to any sort of religious feeling. Finger on the pulse is why the LP is where they are.

      1. Freedom, not feeling…

    2. The LP appears to be just as corrupt as the Rs and Ds.

    3. There is a real opportunity for the Libertarian party

      No, there isn’t. The LP has never won a Congressional or Senate seat or a governor’s race, and they currently have one representative in a state legislature.

      After almost 50 years, it’s time to admit the LP isn’t a political party but a corpse.

      1. Which is odd, since they mock and ridicule anyone attempting to make common cause with them except…marxists…?

        1. Why would Libertarians waste energy attacking Marxists? Communism isn’t a force in American politics and doesn’t threaten the LP. I agree the party should concentrate more on presenting viable paths forward rather than trying to shame Democrats and Republicans, which is why I hold people like Larry Sharpe in such high regard.

          1. I genuinely can’t tell if this is trolling or sarcasm.

            1. It’s ridiculous stupidity

          2. Sharpe has to impress a lot more than 1.6% of the voters in New York for anyone but you to hold him in high regard.

      2. And a laughably undemocratic FPTP voting system along with severe ballot access suppression, by both parties but especially by Republicans as it relates to the LP, are principally responsible for those results.

        1. ….yet Republicans have done little to keep the LP off the ballot.

          I mean, they SHOULD fuck them over six ways from Sunday, but they have not Maybe in 2024.

  5. Only hope for a third party is among the under-30’s. Who are willing to say fuck you and your agenda to all those in or on the periphery of power. That takes a bunch of energy – and electoral wins where the under-30’s are beneficiaries of that energy.

    But as long as they get coopted into the whole mass media top-down big-donor model, then they will be diverted into pecking levers for food swiping right for likes.

  6. The IT firm handling the sham “audit” in Maricopa County quit.

    The Board:

    “You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call ‘kinematic artifacts’ while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.”

    Trumpism in a nutshell – lies and con men a TV preacher would be embarrassed to follow.

    1. Actually, it was just one of several companies, and they had the least election recount experience. So the recount continues, despite the politics of this company’s board.

      But I’m not interested in hearing your standard dishonest response to this, so I’m muting you…forever. Goodbye, Buttplug.

      1. In this Arizona news outlet’s article, they quote CyberNinjas as having said that Wake TSI would be “leading all ballot hand-counting processes.” The company StratTech Solutions took over yesterday, apparently, and it isn’t clear that they have any experience with election audits either.

        The audit was originally supposed to end on May 14, since that stadium was going to be used for high school graduation ceremonies. It had to pause for that prior obligation, and it will likely continue for several more weeks. It is a fiasco of incompetence, and all kinds of Arizona Republicans are publicly expressing their embarrassment over it.

  7. But they’ll get invited to all the cool cocktail parties now, and be heroes on Twitter. What could be more important than that?

  8. Since the very beginning in 2016 the never-Trumpers seemed to be typified by two groups : 1) The antediluvian Republican establishment from before the Tea Party (like Romney) and 2) The neoconservative warmongers (like McCain). Yes, it’s possible to be in both groups.

    The problem with being a neoconservative supporter of forever wars, at this point, isn’t that Trump turned the GOP voters against forever wars. It’s that GOP voters are now no longer supportive of forever wars.

    This trend against forever wars started before Trump and became apparent during the Obama administration, especially as a reaction to Obama’s behavior after Benghazi and Obama’s silly “red-line” attempt to go to war over Assad’s use of WMD in Syria.

    You’d need a major event to turn that around, like 9/11 or the sinking of the Lusitania. The issue isn’t that the GOP leadership isn’t neocon anymore. It’s that the grass roots are no longer neocon anymore.

    1. The issue isn’t that the GOP leadership isn’t neocon anymore. It’s that the grass roots are no longer neocon anymore.

      ^^^^ This.

      Times change, and people change too. POTUS Trump was a response to a sclerotic political system. A giant middle finger to establishment politicians of every political stripe.

      1. Times change, and people change too. POTUS Trump was a response to a sclerotic political system. A giant middle finger to establishment politicians of every political stripe.

        Yes but Trump’s message was always less about foreign intervention and more about the political elite class isn’t listening to you, the everyday worker class in flyover country. Trump was mainly someone who could show that he related to the plight of the American worker, with the promise to protect your job from labor competition domestically (immigration) and foreign competition (mainly fighting China as the job-stealing bogeyman).

        Don’t get me wrong, Trump’s biggest strength in my opinion has been his foreign policy w.r.t. actual wars. But that’s not anywhere near the top of any list of the average Trump voter as to why they voted for him in 2016. Although it may be (at least should be) his most endearing policy position to libertarian-leaning Republicans on this forum.

        1. Totally agree = Trump’s message was always less about foreign intervention and more about the political elite class isn’t listening to you, the everyday worker class in flyover country.

        2. So trumps draw was that establishment Republicans weren’t listening to their base. Like Ken said the base changed., but the neocons wanted forever war.

          1. Yes. And it seems glaringly obvious today, in hindsight, doesn’t it? = Trumps draw was that establishment Republicans weren’t listening to their base.

          2. The base never wanted forever war. They weren’t anti-war, but they expected that, if we went to war, we’d actually go to the trouble of winning.

            1. Agreed. I’m now “If it’s not worth sending a million troops to fight, it’s not worth sending 1”

        3. Good comment, Leo. I agree with those sentiments.

    2. It’s that GOP voters are now no longer supportive of forever wars.

      I’m not sure that was what elevated Trump to success. The one thing that got the most backlash from his own party was in trying to end the forever wars. Liz Cheney is a neo-Con, but even her ouster wasn’t related to her neo-Con ways. It was a political loyalty thing, relative to her stance on impeachment. You could argue that the two are related (she probably dislikes Trump because he’s more anti-war than neo-Cons would like), but ultimately it was the impeachment vote that did her in.

      Voters tend to say they want to end forever wars in polls, but when the rubber hits the road everyone gets skittish. The old tropes stoking irrational fears of terrorist attacks increasing because we’re no longer fighting in Somewhereistan trigger the voters similar to NIMBY for environmentalists. Everyone loves the moral high ground until they perceive an impact to their way of life.

      1. There isn’t any one thing that elevated Trump. It’s a collection of things, some stronger than others. But it’s the collection of them (and their cohesiveness) that gained him popularity. It wasn’t like Obama telling NOW “abortion abortion abortion!” While telling the Evangelical conference “we will tackle abortion at its root, helping women so they don’t feel they need it.”

        Tickle those ears, but NOW and Evangelicals are not cohesive playmates.

        Blue collar, low wage workers and anti-war guys can find a more cohesive unity together.

      2. “I’m not sure that was what elevated Trump to success. The one thing that got the most backlash from his own party was in trying to end the forever wars.”

        Don’t conflate the party leadership with the voters.

        The backlash over his opposition to forever wars was from the Republican leadership.

        The support over his opposition to forever wars from the voters.

        1. Trump had no ‘opposition to foreign wars’. What he supported was PLUNDER from foreign wars. If we’re gonna go into Iraq, let’s take their oil. A very 19th century nationalist view. But not even remotely ‘noninterventionist’.

          What that is ‘opposed’ to is the globalist new world order notions that justify war. Where we created all sorts of high-minded excuses for permawar without any seemingly clear obvious benefit to ourselves personally.

          1. “Trump had no ‘opposition to foreign wars’. What he supported was PLUNDER from foreign wars.”

            You have to ignore him negotiating a full withdrawal agreement from Afghanistan with the Taliban, refusing to invade Syria to save the Kurds, and threatening to withdraw U.S. troops from deadbeat NATO countries to believe that, and I’m not willfully stupid.

            1. I don’t have to ignore anything.

              There IS no plunder in Afghanistan.

              We didn’t withdraw from Syria. We just moved shit around.

              Trying to negotiate plunder from NATO is about plunder. The Euros fund the part of US military spending that actually defends Europe. What they don’t fund is the globalist American empire shit that uses fraudulent accounting to pay the bills. Which is admittedly hypocritical by them (they do advocate it and benefit from it) – but that is about non-intervention by THEM not non-intervention by us.

              1. “The Euros fund the part of US military spending that actually defends Europe. What they don’t fund is the globalist American empire . . .

                You seem to be unaware of the facts.

                NATO members are required to spend a certain percentage of their GDP on their own defense.

                The only countries in NATO that were doing that were Greece (because they’re always worried about Turkey) the UK (because they’re reliable allies), and Estonia and Poland (because they’re scared of Russian aggression and genuinely depend on their good standing in NATO as a means of defense).

                https://time.com/4680885/nato-defense-spending-budget-trump/

                Again, the treaty requires countries like France and Germany to spend money–on their own defense–and they refuse to do that because the United States is there to defend them.

                What you said only makes sense if you have no idea what you’re talking about. Trump threatening to withdraw American troops from NATO countries because they aren’t paying for their own defense in their own countries is the Trump administration undermining American empire–because the Europeans refuse to pay for their own defense in their own countries.

                You’re ignorant of the facts, so you make shit up to serve your delusions. How embarrassing for you!

                1. NATO members are required to spend a certain percentage of their GDP on their own defense.

                  No they are not. That is a PLEDGE. If you are actually interested in what that 2% really means by all means enjoy this 20 min video talk.

                  You are not going to do that because you very clearly are only interested in the domestic politics of this stuff. Which is relevant to you – and to some juvenile media/journalist source like Time. But is completely irrelevant to both the real context of the issue, opposition to it which is why it remains an unfulfilled pledge rather than a fulfilled pledge, and to any international bargaining about it. No one cares about the D’s and R’s outside the US. And if you think this has a damn thing to do with an undefined term like ‘noninterventionism’ you are deluded beyond belief.

                  1. “No they are not. That is a PLEDGE.”

                    That’s a distinction without a difference.

                    The point is that Trump was threatening to withdraw out troops from NATO–for failing to adequately spend on their own defense–which totally repudiates your statements with the facts regardless of whether that spending commitment is a “requirement” or a “pledge”.

                    1. “The point is that Trump was threatening to withdraw out troops from NATO [countries]–-for failing to adequately spend on their own defense”

                      —-Ken Shultz

                      Fixed!

                    2. The point is that Trump was threatening to withdraw out troops from NATO

                      Are you sure he wasn’t threatening to hold his breath until his face turned blue? Because it’s real fucking easy for the US to threaten to withdraw our troops and force them to pay for their own defense. Just give six months notice and withdraw. PERIOD.

                  2. “It’s real fucking easy for the US to threaten to withdraw our troops and force them to pay for their own defense. Just give six months notice and withdraw. PERIOD.”

                    Actually, our commitment to defend our NATO allies from Russia aggression would remain the same, even if we did move our troops and bases to countries like Estonia and Poland, that do meet their commitments, and maintaining our ability to defend our allies by building new bases, etc. would require more than six months.

                    You’re also discounting the fact that Trump’s insistence that our NATO allies start spending more on their own defense has apparently paid off.

                    “North Atlantic Treaty Organization members boosted expenditures last year, with 11 countries meeting a defense-spending target championed by the U.S.

                    The military budgets of NATO’s European nations and Canada increased to an estimated 1.73% of gross domestic product in 2020, up from 1.55% in 2019, the alliance said in an annual report released on Tuesday.

                    France and Norway joined the nations that meet NATO’s 2% goal, according to the report. Germany’s defense expenditure expanded to 1.56% from 1.36%. The U.S. led the group with 3.73%.”

                    —-Bloomberg, March 16, 2021

                    “NATO Members Ramp Up Defense Spending After Pressure From Trump”

                    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-16/nato-members-ramp-up-defense-spending-after-pressure-from-trump

                    In that first link I gave you from February of 2017, only five members were meeting their spending requirements, and France wasn’t among them. It’s almost as if your opinions aren’t informed by facts or the real world at all. Do you only see facts that are consistent with your preferred narrative? Because that’s a pretty good definition of “delusional”.

                    Let’s try an exercise.

                    I say Trump was wrong about immigration, trade with China, and Section 230.

                    Now you list some things Trump was right about. Go ahead. I dare you. I bet you can’t.

                    1. You’re also discounting the fact that Trump’s insistence that our NATO allies start spending more on their own defense has apparently paid off.

                      I’m not discounting anything. You are merely ignoring the fact that those targets and pledges were made in 2014. Who was Prez then? Bet you can’t utter the word because otherwise how can you give 100% credit to the object of your mindless worship?

                      Now you list some things Trump was right about. Go ahead. I dare you. I bet you can’t

                      The game with North Korea, getting the covid vaccine in place fast, maybe some of the regulation changes (though I’m not really sure about the effect there – ie was it deregulation or cronyism). Which won’t matter one fucking bit. I’m not the one who whores out principles in order to defend a government official or a political party.

                    2. “I’m not discounting anything. You are merely ignoring the fact that those targets and pledges were made in 2014”

                      The reason you think that means our NATO allies are funding the part of US military spending that actually defends Europe is because you’re stupid.

                      “The Euros fund the part of US military spending that actually defends Europe.”

                      —-JFree

                      https://reason.com/2021/05/27/the-latest-nevertrump-bug-to-splat-on-the-windshield-of-maga/#comment-8923608

                      The reason you think the “Euros fund part of US military spending” is because you’re stupid. Our NATO allies fund their own militaries by that agreement, not the United States’ military spending!

                      Your beliefs have nothing to do with facts or logic, and that is a very good definition of stupid. I suppose it requires a certain amount of ignorance and irrationality to be a progressive, and you certainly qualify. Your beliefs here, certainly, are laughably stupid. Stupid is as stupid thinks, and by that definition, you are a stupid person.

                      Your hand-waving doesn’t change that, and it doesn’t distract anyone away from seeing your stupidity either.

              2. Afghanistan has shitloads of REEs. In fact, I thought the whole occupation was about that, but on the low low.

                1. Are you referring to rare earth elements?

                  Afghanistan is definitely rife with mining resources, and the transition to peace in Afghanistan almost certainly involves the local warlords getting rich selling mined materials to China.

                  The necessary investment requires stability, but the promise of those returns might entice the warlords to embrace stability. Selling mined materials to China should be a no-brainer.

        2. I would be curious to know if there was some way to track the amount of time Trump spent on particular topics during his stump speeches at his mega rallies. I’d guess foreign policy was essentially a footnote on most speeches. Sure he talked a lot about supporting the military and other such patriotic things, but actual details of what would be his foreign policy were scant.

          Sure he was on record as being against the wars in the beginning, but it wasn’t normally a big topic at his rallies, at least based on my recollection. Don’t get me wrong, Trump’s foreign policy was great. But I doubt the notion that it motivated his voters in a meaningful way.

          1. Have you seen the never-Trumpers in the Republican party react to Trump’s foreign policy decisions?

            Did you see the universal reaction to Trump’s refusal to aid the Kurds?

            Did you see what happened to Liz Chaney?

            Can you find a neocon never-Trumper who hasn’t been marginalized at the grass roots level?

            The never-Trumpers weren’t focusing on his opposition to immigration or his opposition to trade with China. They were going after him on his reluctance to use the military and his attempts to withdraw from various parts of the world. They were going after him for using our friends in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and our enemies in Russia to go after Iran or ISIS.

            The Bush Jr. administration was a total repudiation of Reagan era tactics that won us the Cold War. Trump was a return to those policies–like Reagan withdrawing from Lebanon, Bush refusing to occupy Iraq, and Clinton refusing to invade Rwanda. The Bush Jr. era of aggression was continued by Obama and rejected by Trump.

            And the GOP’s voters did not abandon Trump over his foreign policy–just like they didn’t abandon Reagan.

            1. Don’t forget when he turned around the carrier already on its way to start a war in Venezuela.

            2. they were going after him because he was exposing them as democrats.

            3. There are just as many neo-cons that are pro-Trump. They didn’t get kicked out of the party because they fell in line with Trump. Liz Cheney’s ouster has little to do with voters repudiating her neo-conservatism. It has everything to do with her voting to impeach Trump. Similarly, Justin Amash is more anti-war than Trump and he got ousted precisely for the same reason as Cheney.

              It has nothing to do with anti-war. Nevertrumpers are ousted for being nevertrumpers. Otherwise, explain Lindsay Graham.

              1. Justify it to yourself however you want, they chose to represent the ruling establishment rather than their voters.
                Fuck Lindsay Graham, and fuck fake ass squishes.

              2. “Otherwise, explain Lindsay Graham.”

                SC has never been much for primary challengers (you think we thought Thurmond was really with it for years?) to incumbents and Harrison was a rather bad candidate.

          2. IDK about that time tracking stuff. Not sure it’s important either since there’s no IP here re foreign policy that is uniquely ‘Trumpian’. Rather, he just tapped into pre-existing concerns of a part of the American electorate that has felt marginalized for decades. And yes marginalized on ‘foreign policy’. But that does NOT mean what people here seem to be arguing.

            Long before Trump, a guy named Walter Russell Mead characterized four different strains among Americans re foreign policy that have been argued about for our entire history and have served as the foundation for how we decide these things. Those four strains are:
            Hamiltonian – basically further economic interests via govt
            Wilsonian – further political ideals incl ‘neocon’
            Jeffersonian – focus on home – this is the libertarian/noninterv
            Jacksonian – more complicated – maybe ‘honor’ is keyword.

            TWO of those strains have been ignored for awhile. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian. Both have an element of leave us alone. But it is the Jacksonian strain that sees that being ignored as an act of betrayal – by elites/DC – with a populist response needed. The Jacksonian strain is the one that Trump tapped into. If libertarians believe Trump is Jeffersonian they are just plain wrong and engaging in wishful thinking.

      3. I’m not sure that was what elevated Trump to success.

        The single issue which turned his candidacy from a vanity exercise to a president was immigration. The other Republicans signaling to Dems they were willing to abandon the rubes triggered all this.

        1. Agree, add in the promise to go after China. As I said upthread, he connected with working class voters and promised to protect them from competition through immigration and trade controls. That was what got him elected. That was what most of his voters voted for.

    3. It’s that GOP voters are now no longer supportive of forever wars.

      Nonsense. It is possible that the R commenters here aren’t 100% supportive of forever wars. They make the sounds of vague burping in that direction – until someone screechs ‘commie’, ‘Islamofascist’, ‘evil axis guy’, etc and then they are off to foreign battlefields mongering war and stroking their boners. Been like that with R’s since – well McCarthy probably. Certainly longer than my lifetime.

      And most R’s aren’t vaguely burping hypocrites like the ones here.

      1. When the Iranians seized the oil tankers of our allies as they passed through the Strait of Hormuz, Trump did nothing.

        When the Iranians attacked the oil production facilities of our allies, Trump did nothing.

        When the Iranians targeted Americans directly, Trump retaliated by taking out the Iranian general who ordered the attack, and his Republican supporters cheered.

        They were also cheering when Trump refused to be drawn into a direct conflict with the Iranians, preferring to use the NPT and sanctions to strangle Iran’s economy instead.

        Because you ignore what the Republican base was thinking and supporting doesn’t mean they weren’t thinking and supporting it. It just suggest that you don’t notice things unless they confirm your delusions.

        1. When the Iranians seized the oil tankers of our allies as they passed through the Strait of Hormuz, Trump did nothing.

          Goddamnit. you people are deliberately blind. It is the US NAVY Fifth Fleet – reporting to the US NAVY Central Command (based in Bahrain) – reporting to Central Command – that imposes full economic sanctions (technically an act of war) against Iran. And that specifically forces its way through the Straits of Hormuz every day back and forth in order to supply our base in Bahrain

          Sanctions do not impose themselves. No matter how far you stick your head up your ass in order to pretend that sanctions do enforce themselves and the US is thus completely uninvolved.

          1. How does what you wrote relate to what I wrote?

            Are you denying that the Iranians have seized the tankers of our allies?

            Are you denying that Trump refrained from retaliating against Iran for it?

            Have you lost your mind?

            1. You are a mindless cultist

              1. Your thinking appears to be free of facts and logic.

                1. haha. Ok Mr Kneejerk R B Goode

          2. JFree, I enjoyed your takedown of Ken in this thread. But do you think you will ever change Ken’s mind on anything with facts? Has Ken ever admitted he was wrong on anything? Ken is immune to facts. He is a partisan, and he is not here to learn. He is here to fight for his side.

            1. lol – takedown? Don’t see it.

  9. The first thing I would reform is the requirement that political coalitions have to be geographically close to each other. It might make some sense in a federalist system to have local districts in a national election, but we’re way past that point. In a global world, why is it insufficient to have millions of like-minded people with no representation just because they didn’t pick the same town to live in? Should people be required to move together for representation? How anti-democratic!

    Libertarians have about 1% of the vote but 0% representation in a legislature with hundreds of seats. That’s anti-democratic, and it would be even higher in a multi-party system since the incentives would be even higher.

    Also, removing the locality requirement on coalitions would remove gerrymandering as a concern. Democrats whine about that all the time.

    In short, I am a victim from a marginalized group, and I want my reparations, with no means-testing.

    1. It’s unclear what separating geography from political coalitions would do. It might result in better representation, or it might allow voters to coordinate to create strict majoritarianism.

      1. I think we would be a president picked by the majority, but everyone would be guaranteed to have legislative representation by merely finding enough like-minded people in the country to vote with regardless of where they lived, which would be better representation.

        1. No. It would create tyranny of the intermediaries. The purpose of geographic representation is accountability. You propose a system that is basely purely on ideological posturing and media manipulation of messages.

          My guess is – you are from a big state and don’t even comprehend anything other than wholesale mass media politics

  10. GOP voters have only themselves to blame. Next time, at the primaries, pick candidates based on their CHARACTERS! There was PLENTY of data already available to thoroughly condemn the then-aspiring Pussy Grabber in Chief!

    We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/donald-trump-scandals/474726/

    “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet”

    He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me reality schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!
    All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

    Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

    Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

    1. “Next time, at the primaries, pick candidates based on their CHARACTERS!”

      The DNC would like a word.

    2. Taking political advice from Democrats is one of the things that makes the GOP the Stupid Party.

    3. You admitted you voted for Jeb! That’s right down there with you admitting you eat shit.

      1. Wow! Cool that you recall that about me…

        What did Jeb ever do to you, though? Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!

        1. When an inquiring mind comes along . I’ll let him know.

  11. Tell us why we should care. What is it about these people other than that they want to be the ones in charge? Are any of them even nearly as good as Trump?

  12. Again, the best they can do is form a caucus within the party. But given how things have gone for Cheney, I feel they’d be primaried in the next election anyhow. Not looking good for what few principled conservatives are left.

    1. They aren’t principled.

      1. By principled, they mean support Democrat policies, which we can all agree is fairly principled for a Republican masquerading as a conservative to do.

        1. I’ve not taken any polls, and so I can only speak mostly for myself.

          Dems are too socialist for my taste, but then again, so is the GOP!

          What REALLY pisses me off, speaking of “principles”, is that the Trump wing of the GOP wants GOP to be GOD instead, to stand for Grand Old Dickstatorshit! NOT any more, power to he or she who gets the most votes, but, to he or she who whines and cries and makes up lies the most! “Massive voter fraud”, my ass! GOP doesn’t even support democracy any more; it supports “POWER for us, REGARDLESS of who or what gets killed or maimed!” Let’s get a 1-party “R” state, by hook or by crook! (Mostly by crook).

          What power-grabber-justifying lies do you want to hear today?

          https://reason.com/2021/03/23/sidney-powell-says-shes-not-guilty-of-defamation-because-no-reasonable-person-would-have-believed-her-outlandish-election-conspiracy-theory/
          Sidney Powell Says She’s Not Guilty of Defamation Because ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her ‘Outlandish’ Election Conspiracy Theory

          1. “What REALLY pisses me off…”

            Is everything. Which is why nobody takes you sqrsly…

            1. Section 230 does NOT piss me off! Because it is a STELLAR example (all too rare) of a plain and simple law, LIMITING (fairly and plainly) Government Almighty powers, and respecting freedom and property rights!

              And power-grabbing, unprincipled conservaturds HATE that law! Because they are unprincipled power pigs!

              Also I respect the hell out of what Jesus said! See http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Jesus_Validated/

              1. NOBODY takes you seriously.

              2. Section 230 does NOT piss me off! Because it is a STELLAR example (all too rare) of a plain and simple law, LIMITING (fairly and plainly) Government Almighty powers…

                Section 230 doesn’t limit government powers, it limits consumer powers. You may agree it does so correctly and that’s an arguable position, but it doesn’t now, nor was it ever intended to, restrict government powers.

  13. Reforming the Republican Party from within seems a tall order…

    It’s a much taller order when the people claiming to want to do it aren’t reformers, but a bunch of lying shills simply trying to reinstate the fake conservatism grift from the Bush years.

    The reason Republican voters aren’t electing them is that they finally realized how disastrous Bush “conservatism” was, and they don’t want it back. They want Republican politicians who actually fight against socialist abuses from the Democrats. And gradually they’re forcing out the old guard politicians who aren’t on board with it.

    1. And the old guard is kicking and screaming all the way out.

    2. They want Republican politicians who actually fight against socialist abuses from the Democrats.

      No they don’t. They want Republican politicians who go on Fox News and on Twitter ranting and raving about Democrats and ‘socialism’ and ‘critical race theory’ and ‘cancel culture’ and whatever is the topic du jour, but when it comes to voting, vote for just about every big government priority that Democrats favor. How much big spending did Trump oppose? Zero. Trump positioned himself as the biggest defender of the most socialist programs in this country, Social Security and Medicare, while at the same time saying ‘we will never be a socialist country’. Repealing ObamaCare was a total flop for which Trump and Republicans had no real plan, just “keep doing ObamaCare, but with less money”.

      Republicans want someone who is not afraid to talk mean about Democrats, but who largely agree with Democrat spending priorities.

      1. There is zero chance a leftist like you, who uses links to Salon as sourcing, knows anything the average Republican voter wants.

    3. In short, Republicans want politicians who validate themselves as legitimate members of the polity. It is about the feelz ultimately.

  14. Libertarians will never win elections because what they’re selling is not what people want to buy. The vast majority of Americans today do not want a smaller less intrusive government. They sneer at civil rights, care nothing of the national debt, and desperately want to government to tighten the thumbscrews on all the bad people they don’t like.

    Something is going to have to happen to make them care about these things.

    1. And, politics is all about the “initiation of force”.

    2. Sadly, I believe your assessment is spot on.

      The best I can hope my personal well being is to withdraw into my own little God’s Green Acre [or few] and ignore whatever I can from the [you have to live in my] Village [and follow our rules] People, and live as independently as possible.

      As for the macro political landscape, keep voting for iconoclasts, declare sanctuaries, and promote nullification.

      1. If you haven’t already, you may want to read the book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, by the late great Harry Browne.

        1. Added to my Summer reading list; thanks!

        2. I miss voting for that guy

          1. Hear hear.

        3. One of the best books I ever read. But if anyone ever took the lessons from that book fully to heart, they would never post another comment on a political forum ever again.

      2. farm in north Kansas.

    3. They sneer at civil rights, care nothing of the national debt, and desperately want to government to tighten the thumbscrews on all the bad people they don’t like.

      Whereas most libertarians seem only interested in sneering at other Americans to the point of lying about their interests. Why ever can’t we win converts and ? What could it be?

      It’s funny we whine about Trump but engage in everything we complain about him doing.

      1. Trump’s blunt and abrasive style is what people like about him, just about the only thing to like about him. It was his policies and complete lack of integrity that turned me off from him. He was the perfect politician for the modern american: Spendthrift, disdainful of constitutional order, and all too eager to wade into the culture wars. Democrats were only mad at him because he was on the other side.

        1. Trump’s blunt and abrasive style is what people like about him,

          It’s what his supporters like, but his detractors claim abrasiveness and believing obviously wrong things are a problem.

          Except when they do it.

    4. Libertarians need to start working local and build a party, something they don’t seem willing to do.

      1. Libertarians couldn’t get elected as dog catchers. And if they somehow managed we’d be up to our ears in feral dogs.

        1. They could if their selling points weren’t legalized prostitution and drugs. Trying not to look like lunatics on the national stage might help. Even communists, being the pure idealists that they are, know that they have to pretty up the camel’s backside before attempting to push it into the tent.

  15. In order to be recognized by the FEC as having a national committee, parties must jump through all kinds of hoops, such as holding a national convention and running a “sufficient number of party-designated federal candidates on the ballot in a sufficient number of states in different geographic areas.”

    Hmm. What if “churches” or “charities” were held to similar standards?

    1. It’s because political parties are not private, but quasi-government organizations highly regulated by the state. This leads to the weird winner-take-all primaries where we get only two names on the general ballot. (California’s Top Two law is not an improvement, because we still have public primaries. Get rid of that and give us actual ranked voting).

      I’ve said this for decades, but parties should be strictly private organizations who hold their own primaries, rather than having the states hold elections for them.

      Put all qualified candidates on the general election ballot, without any party labels, and let the parties advertise which ones they have endorsed.

  16. Why is yet another picture of William Weld being posted on this site? Can we not conclude that he is not by any stretch a libertarian, but a statist, authoritarian hack from Massachusetts?

    1. It’s only money, right? He’ll just order up some more as needed.

  17. https://twitter.com/EmeraldRobinson/status/1397914131991199756?s=19

    Never forget that they kept you from visiting your parents in nursing homes, kept you from visiting them in hospitals, kept you from attending the funerals of your own parents so that they could get rid of Trump.

    1. And you can add….took away your 1A rights to assembly, free exercise of religion, free speech; and your 4A and 5A rights as well. I will never forgive Phailing Phil Murphy for his utter incompetence managing the People’s Republic of NJ during the pandemic.

  18. The only thing that can end this is Trump’s (natural) death.

    1. Wrong.

      The establishment/subsidized class has declared open war on middle class and independent Americans.

      The only thing that will stop them is fighting the fuck back, no holds barred.

      1. Even open opposition won’t matter now. Someone who fights but doesn’t genuflect to Trump will still have no chance as long as he’s around.

        1. There’s no peaceful way out at this point.

      2. Trump is the Republican Party at this point. The GOP has no ideas or ideals. Trumpism isn’t a coherent political ideology. It’s a right-wing populist cult of personality.

        1. Ah, you get talking points (“cult of personality”) from the Ds. So obviously the last place Rs should look for people who understand their party and from whom they take advice.

  19. The won’t get off the ground because the Rank and File of the Republican Party has lost its mind. The average voter is not about ideas. They’ve never been about ideas. It’s why we joke about Team Red and Team Blue, because to the average voter it’s just a game. The average voter can’t enunciated their party’s position except in the broadest of terms for select litmus issues.

    I’ve been inside the Republican Party, paying the dues, walking the precinct, being on the central committee, and being a convention delegate. I’ve been in the smoke filled rooms. I’ve run a caucus. So I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass when I say that the typical rank and file voter form either party sees elections as sporting events.

    That’s why parties take charge. People who are interested in the policies get involved with the parties, and advance in leadership. It’s not all just accidental who is running the parties. You want to make a difference in your party, then start wearing out shoe leather covering precincts.

    Trump happened because Trump was famous enough, and rich enough, to bypass the party. The GOP’s mistake was caving. Almost overnight the primary was his as party leadership caved and left the remaining primary candidates hanging in the dust. Being on the side of a winner was more important than holding on to one’s principles.

    The party itself is morally dead. It has nothing left. No principles, no ideology. Just a knee-jerk contrarianism.

    The remnant are still there. But they are left without a party. It’s the 19th century all over again, but instead of Lincoln’s party picking up the reins of the defunct Whigs, we now have the Know Nothings in charge. And that’s not just a hollow analogy. The GOP today is indeed the nativist party. Indeed, the Native American Party never went away when absorbed by the GOP. It’s was there all along, and now it’s in charge.

    1. I’ve been inside the Republican Party, paying the dues, walking the precinct, being on the central committee, and being a convention delegate. I’ve been in the smoke filled rooms. I’ve run a caucus.

      Which means that you have been part of the GOP that brought us Bush and McCain. You and your style of Republican party can go to hell.

      The party itself is morally dead. It has nothing left. No principles, no ideology.

      Well, that’s certainly an improvement over what it used to be.

      The remnant are still there.

      Yeah, and America farts in your general direction.

      1. I did not vote for Bush or McCain. Just because someone wins a party’s nomination does not mean 100% of the party members are 100% behind them. Stop it with your weird collectivism that there are no individuals in groups.

        1. This isn’t about who you voted for, it’s about your ideology and principles. You said:

          The party itself is morally dead. It has nothing left. No principles, no ideology. Just a knee-jerk contrarianism.

          Since you previously were supportive of the Republican party, you presumably used to generally endorse its moral choices, its principles, and its ideology. And what was that ideology? Plutocratic candidates, endless wars, monetary/trade/immigration policies to shovel money into the pockets of politically connected corporations, intrusions into people’s privacy, oppressive social conservatism, to name just a few. Oh, Republicans talked about liberties and personal responsibility and free markets, but their policies didn’t reflect that, and to add insult to injury, those ideas are now indelibly associated in the minds of Americans with the kind of corrupt crap that Republicans have been doing.

          As I was saying: good riddance to the old Republican party: Trump and Biden are the result of its corruption and failures. And if you bemoan the loss of that old Republican party, good riddance to you too; go sulk in a corner somewhere.

          1. The Republican party sucked before Trump.

            1. The GOP sucked before Trump, sucked during Trump, and sucks after Trump.

              1. Yes. What Trump did was distill the GOP down to its essence, laying its core bare.

              2. I agree: the GOP sucked before Trump, sucked during Trump, and sucks after Trump. So did the Democrats. The question has always been the lesser of two evils.

                And the neocons, plutocrats, and globalists leaving the GOP is definitely improving the party a little, while the Democrats embracing neo-Marxism, socialism, MMT, CRT, plutocrats, and social justice is making them a lot worse.

    2. No you get Trump when you run milquetoast McCain and Romney. You see those neocon suckups that bark and whine about the GOP couldn’t win. So they have become democrats just because they like power and want more of it.

      I’ll remind you again that leftie shits called McCain and Romney the exact same names and smeared them with similar lies as they did Trump. They will do the same to anyone who runs against them, and they will throw RINOs under the bus when practical to them.

      1. And the RINOs will thank them for the honor of having the left’s feces smeared across their foreheads and ask for more.

    3. That’s a bass ackwards way of looking at politics. People inform the parties, not the other way around. We don’t have CPUSA because a few academics decided to make it. We have CPUSA because there are actual Communists in this country who want a party.

      Democrats aren’t becoming Marxists because Hilldog and Biden and Pelosi want to. They’re becoming Marxists because we have actual Marxists in this country who vote in Marxists. That, and useful idiots who vote by skin color.

      Trump was considered a joke at first. Everyone laughed at him, Obama said he would never be President, and nobody gave him time within the RNC. He did what he needed to get into the primaries and that’s when he started asserting himself. He called out the bullshit we’ve constantly hear from the GOP for decades. Keep in mind that JEB! was the official MSM front runner in 2015.

      I gave him my support and still do because he’s the only person keeping it real at this point. Trump lives in reality while everyone else is an elitist with their heads so far up their own asses that they care more about not offending people than actually dealing with problems.

      Trump still is incredibly forward thinking and you can thank him for Americans waking up to threat that China poses. Let’s just hope we can get him in for a second term and continue getting candidates like him to rebuild our Navy before it’s too late.

      We live in Weimar America right now. America is a failed state that has lost its unity and purpose. We put citizens last. We won’t defend our values if it means taking a stand against other values. A nation with no values is a nation that will inevitably fight to define itself. Republicans and Democrats aren’t equipped to fight for values as they are creations of a time when we shared a common purpose. Now we have antagonistic factions within the United States that cannot be reconciled. Nationalists fight to preserve our prior identity while Marxists fight to create a new one. Conflict is inevitable and already unfolding.

      Libertarianism cannot address such concerns as it presupposes that a people are unified. The entire premise of freedom falls apart when extending the olive branch merely affords someone else an opportunity to stab you in the back.

    4. The party itself is morally dead. It has nothing left. No principles, no ideology.

      The party of Nixon? Say it ain’t so.

    5. Good analysis, Brandybuck. Thanks!

  20. I, too, would love to see a Republican Party that moves on from and repudiates the worst aspects of Donald Trump. But then again, I’m not a Republican.

    No. You are, in fact, just a useful idiot for progressives and socialists. But fear not, Democrats are likely going to kill the filibuster, add a state or two, change election law, and then you’ll never have to deal with those nasty Republicans again. You will be able to peddle your faux libertarianism within a single-party United States, to the extent permitted by the propaganda ministry.

  21. >>wean the GOP from its “cult of personality”

    the Oldie Hawn (R)s can all fuck off they serve nobody but themselves and their (D) masters.

  22. This faction needs to rally around a Person of Color with solid academic credentials—GOT IT! John Choon Yoo! Now for a female running mate—- my Ouija Board seems to spelling “L…I…..Z” something…

  23. Never Trump Neocons are all now loyal Democrats.

    An under-discussed but revealing phenomenon: the most bloodthirsty, militaristic and imperialistic neocons from the Bush/Cheney era are not just overwhelmingly Democrats now, but among the most devoted and loyal partisans to the party:

    1. Where did I put my shocked face? I know it’s around here somewhere…

    2. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that neocons originally came from the Democratic party.

  24. If you have to announce a movement like this, then you aren’t a movement.

    All this politicking has revealed is that there is a concentrated, dark force, a deep state, that will resist populism by any means necessary. We need to question why this force is so powerful, who it is, and how we can remove it from civil society as its objectives are clearly unlibertarian and anti-American.

    1. Dark and mysterious the ways of government are. Hrmmm

  25. The current (and illegitimate) administration quotes Mao to our armed forces, and Reason doesn’t have shit to say about it.

    1. Well Fonzie just wrote about the Libertarian case for Marxism.

    2. Biden’s election was no more or less legitimate than Trump’s or Obama’s.

  26. I don’t think trumps money had anything to do with it. It is all tied up in commercial real estate and he doesn’t spend his own money anyway.

    Trump is brilliant in self promotion. He is a salesman and already had tremendous name recognition. All he had to do was say what people wanted to hear. He is very good at picking up on what people are feeling even if they don’t say it out loud.

  27. More people hate Biden than ever hated Trump, but Reason just can’t let it go.

    1. Reason is on board with the progressive agenda, they just differ on the details a little.

      This has been abundantly clear in many of their articles. Even when Reason authors try to justify libertarian policies, they justify them with progressive and collectivist rationales like “it would be cheaper overall to do X”, “it would reduce harm to do X”, “statistically, X is preferable to Y”, “people would be better off if government did X”, etc. Not a shred of libertarian principles in any of those rationales.

  28. A party dedicated to fighting Trump is pretty darn worthless when Trump is just a private citizen. What is there to fight? His administration has been over for over 4 months. The past actions of a Florida man might make for some fun discussion and debate but is absolutely not the nation’s highest priority. Particularly as there were plenty who were happy to air their disagreements during his administration. What is there left to discuss? Everything possible has already been said in every imaginable venue as well as a good number of venues where it would have been previously unimaginable to bring up politics. Most of the people accused of being in Trump’s cult of personality have moved on, and only talk about Trump because the Trump haters can’t move on and want denouncations at every opportunity. And I suspect the American people are beyond sick and tired of hearing about him.

    They claim they stand on principle, but what principles? What actual policy positions are there where the NeverTrumpers and the MAGAers are in fundamental disagreement? Was it confronting China’s trade practices? His Supreme Court picks? His tax policy? His budget proposals? You want to move the GOP past Trump’s personality? Great. That starts by focusing not on his personality, but on the issues, where I suspect the NeverTrumpers aren’t actually that far apart.

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  30. well I voted against Trump in two generals and a primary

    still think he’s a buffoon and a shameless, petty, narcissistic self-propagandist

    but after about three years of repeatedly being forced to admint “oh wow Trump was actually right about that, who’d have thunk it” on virtually fucking everything the press claimed was a wild conspiracy theory (Russia, the FBI spying on him, Wuhan virus, “fine people,” the list goes on forever), it became difficult not to develop a grudging fondness for the campy orange carnival barker

  31. The one politician who might be able to pull off a third party would be Trump because he has a huge following and money. None of the people cited in the article have either. Sanford, as governor, disappeared to have a fling with his Argentine girlfriend. Weld is from that bastion of conservatism Massachusetts. The other uniformly garner the response, “Who?” Trump is in his late 70s so he won’t have influence much longer. Dead guys don’t draw crowds. However, if someone like DeSantis with better communication skills picks up the mantle, Trump’s policies could become the basis of a Republican Party that represents actual middle class Americans while the Dems will represent liberal oligarchs, coastal elites, and the dependent class who rely on them.

  32. Yes, that is a huge factor. I agree. I personally wish Tulsi Gabbard would make the jump from Team D to Team L. Many of her views and policies are compatible with libertarian principles (not all, by a long shot).

    If the Libertarian party wants to be a national player, they need to seriously ramp up their fundraising. The way Team D raised money with ActBlue was amazing. It starts there.

    The other factor I see is that the nomination process for a national candidate is a mockery. Vermin Supreme? C’mon….nobody takes you too seriously if a candidate like that is a serious contender. Professor Jorgensen
    https://wapexclusive.com ,was articulate and smart, but not charismatic. And she bobbled the BLM thing; that was her inexperience

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