Conservatism

JD Vance Surrenders to the Politics of Hate

"I think our people hate the right people," the Senate candidate said last week. He's in infamous company.

|

Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance was already some way along a journey when he took the stage at the first "National Conservatism Conference" in July 2019. 

In the runup to 2016, he had been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump's candidacy. "I find him reprehensible," he tweeted a month before the election. "Fellow Christians, everyone is watching us when we apologize for this man."

Within three years, his views had evolved sufficiently to put him on the program of an event widely viewed as an attempt by right-wing pundits and scholars to erect an institutional structure—or at least some intellectual scaffolding—around the Trump phenomenon. 

Earlier this year, just after announcing a run for U.S. Senate, he apologized to Ohio voters for having been "wrong about the guy." 

But only last week did the full force of Vance's spiritual reversal become apparent: "I think our people hate the right people," he told The American Conservative magazine.

"Our people" might be understood broadly as the Republican base, while those he sees as worthy of contempt might be understood broadly as leftists and members of the coastal elite. Reached for comment, his campaign press secretary affirmed that "JD Vance strongly believes that the political, financial and Big Tech elites…deserve nothing but our scorn and hatred."

By suggesting that antipathy toward the correct out-group is itself a moral imperative, Vance was engaging a powerful political current that has recently resurfaced within the conservative movement. He is not the first to be swept up in it.

In 2016 and 2017, New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari wrote a pair of long magazine articles sounding the alarm to people of faith about rising illiberalism at home and abroad. "Simply put," he said in the second piece for Commentary magazine, "in the real-world experience of the 20th century, the Church, tradition, and religious minorities fared far better under liberal-democratic regimes than they did under illiberal alternatives." 

Two years later, Ahmari had had enough of all that. In a now-infamous broadside in the Christian journal First Things, he insisted that conservatives learn to see "politics as war and enmity," that they shed their "great horror" of "the use of the public power to advance the common good," and that they be willing "to fight the culture war with the aim of defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils."

At the very core of the new illiberal conservatism is a yen for power—and an unabashed willingness to use it to destroy one's political opponents. Summing up the problem with libertarians and "establishment" conservatives in an essay last year, Hillsdale College's David Azerrad assailed "the cowardice and accommodation in the face of leftist hegemony" exhibited by the "long list of enemies to the Right." The more "manly" and "combative" conservatism that Azerrad claimed to speak for "understands not just ideas," he said, "but power."

Demands of this sort can be plausibly justified only if one's adversaries are irredeemable and one's life itself is at stake. Listen to the new conservatives' online chatter and you'll hear just such claims: that the left wishes to "subjugate" or "exterminate" them; that progressives have no qualms about using state power to accomplish their ends; that to do anything less than respond "in kind" amounts to "unilateral disarmament"; that this is a "war" in which the only choices are "suicide" or victory at any cost.

And these sentiments are not limited to anonymous accounts on the dark edges of social media. In July, former Trump official (and "Flight 93 Election" essayist) Michael Anton lambasted conservatives for not responding appropriately to the "proto-genocidal rhetoric" of the left. In February 2020, Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule stepped into hot water by tweeting that the anti-Trump attendees of a center-right conference would be "the very first group for the camps." (He meant that their opposition to Trump will not be able to save them from the "gulags" when the "extremist left" takes over, he later clarified.) As talk radio provocateur Jesse Kelly put it this spring, "The Left and the Right have existed in a System where only the Left plays offense and the Right plays defense. They've existed in this System so long, both sides think it's normal. And permanent. It's not."

A couple of things should be clear at this point. For one, this is not a left-right schism. For those I call "Will-to-Power Conservatives," the fusionist right is no less an enemy than is the progressive-identitarian left. (Now would be a good moment to acknowledge that the politics of hate are not exactly foreign to segments of the progressive movement, either. Neither side has a monopoly on illiberalism.)

Second, this divide is not primarily about technocratic policy. 

Consider that the same nationalist conference at which Vance spoke in 2019 featured a debate. On one side, representing the MAGA faction, former Mitt Romey adviser Oren Cass argued that Washington should use its powers of taxation and regulation to prop up American manufacturing against foreign competition. On the other, Richard Reinsch, an editor at the libertarian publisher Liberty Fund, made the case for free markets and against attempts by the state to choose winners and losers.

It can seem like this type of studious wrangling over the proper size and scope of government is the main rift on the right today. It's not. Cass' top-down industrial planning is about as far from my free trade libertarianism as a political agenda can be. But as a dispositional liberal, Cass recognizes, just as Reinsch and I do, that people can disagree without despising one another.

The same, I fear, cannot be said of Vance and his compatriots. And once hate becomes a virtue to be celebrated and opponents become enemies to be destroyed, before long, no response is off the table. 

Students of intellectual history may be picking up a hair-raising resonance. The new illiberal conservatives have (sometimes quite explicitly) taken a page out of the book of Carl Schmitt, an anti-modernist, pro-authoritarian German political philosopher known for insisting that the core distinction of politics "is that between friend and enemy." 

It's occasionally said that Schmitt's ideas were meant to be descriptive, not normative. Yet he plainly believed that blowing up constitutional limitations on the executive and withholding mercy from the out-group were the legitimate province of a sovereign state. Democracy, he once wrote, "necessarily involves first homogeneity and secondly—if necessary—the elimination or annihilation of heterogeneity." 

As if to prove how strong the current of hate-based politics can be, Schmitt's beliefs would lead him to a stint as the "crown jurist of the Third Reich." Though he eventually left the Nazi Party, he refused to renounce the worldview that had made him one of Hitler's most prominent apologists.

With their talk of enemies and enmity and civilizational war, it seems the new illiberal conservatives have tapped into something that isn't so new after all.

NEXT: Lawsuit Challenging Houston Asset Forfeiture Program Says Police Use Stock Language To Seize Cash Without Probable Cause

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Yep. Because Democrats and other Progressives never hate anyone.

    1. True; they evenly hate everyone.

      1. Including themselves.

        1. I would say especially themselves. Most of their hate for others is just them projecting their own self loathing at everyone else.

          1. Thats what is so funny about Lefties and the Commies at unreason.

            They think Patriotic Americans hate them. Lefties hate Patriotic Americans, so it must be reciprocal.

            Patriotic Americans hate being pushed into this Civil War 2.0 against Cultural Marxism.

            I never hated the armed robbers who I gunned down in self-defense. I dont lose any sleep over it.

            Same with the Commies in America. Its them or me.

            1. Start working from home! Great job for students, stay-at-home moms or anyone needing an extra income…You can work this job As part time or As A full time job.HBn You only need a computer and a reliable internet connection… Make $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month by following link at the bottom… You can have your first check by the end of this week…Lifetime Opportunity

              This is what I do……………… VISIT HERE

              1. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19,632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily.BVc simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

                Try now………………. VISIT HERE

              2. Start making money this time… Spend more time with your family & relatives by doing jobs that only require you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home.GEw Start bringing up to $65,000 to $70,000 a month. I’ve started this job and earn a handsome income and now I am exchanging it with you, so you can do it too.

                You can check it out here……….. VISIT HERE

              3. Google pay 390$ reliably my last paycheck was $55000 working 10 hours out of consistently on the web. My increasingly youthful kinfolk mate has been averaging 20k all through continuous months and he works around 24 hours reliably.HJn I can’t trust how direct it was once I attempted it out. This is my essential concern…:) For more info visit any tab on this site Thanks a lot …

                GOOD LUCK………….. VISIT HERE

            2. “Patriotic Americans”. You mean white nationalists? The cowards who are afraid to debate politics and go running like coward to their rifles and say they’re the “3%” that are gonna take it all back. They’re all pathetic pieces of shit and this country will never side with them when their racism and white nationalism leaks out and becomes obvious. Patriotism in the USA has nothing to do with the authoritarian tendencies of the redneck nationalists who think they have the sole claim to being “patriots”. They’re all just backward buffoons.

              1. Over/under on the new shillbot’s IQ: 89.5

                Place bets below

                1. That seems way too high. IIRC, the line where a person is considered retarded is 80, so I’m going to say it’s got to be less than that.

                  1. I think you guys are interpreting a “complete and total lack of self-awareness” as actual retardation. I can kind of see it that way too, I guess. Anyway, I’d bet on 93 or some non-retarded number that indicates “normal, soft focus”.

                1. Or KillAllRednecks, although they’re not quite shrill or genocidal enough. Either way, it probably figured out that too many people had them muted because people weren’t responding their shit enough so they created a new handle for everyone to mute.

                  1. See? And some people say the Internet isn’t fun any more.

                    1. Literally lol.

              2. In Canis Credimus

                Are you trying to say “In canibus credimus,” or is this some slogan in praise of Joe Biden?

                1. Are you trying to say “In canibus credimus,”

                  you beat me to it; third declension nouns (canis, canis) in the ablative plural indeed takes the -ibus suffix…

              3. “The cowards who are afraid to debate politics and go running like coward”

                You mean slow Joe?

            3. I just want them gone. At the end of the day I don’t really care if the progs ride out of town on their horses, or are slung over the back.

        2. The people they hate most of all are those who were raised in functional, two-parent families.

          -jcr

          1. Most of the people I know who fit that description are red-diaper “progressives”.

    2. It’s just a bit ironic when Christians forget all the things that Jesus said and did.

      1. Oh? Like what things? Give me some examples?

          1. “Love” is not the same as “acceptance.”

            1. People forget the parts of the Bible where Christ also admonished sinners and commanded them to, “Go and sin no more.” He did that because he loved them.

              Nowadays, Christ would be accused of hate.

              1. Nowhere did Christ say “Go and sin no more or I initiate force upon thee”.

                1. You missed the part where he flipped over tables, and chased after some dudes with a whip.

                2. Nowhere did Christ say, “It’s totally okay for you to keep sinning. You do you, Boo.”

                3. Brandybuck’s obviously never touched a Bible. Jesus was anything other than conciliatory.
                  It was always his way or the highway. If he wasn’t God incarnate, then he was a liar and a sociopath. Looking at what he said those are the only options.

              2. Christ would be accused of …. take your pick:
                #me too (Lust)
                body shaming (Gluttony)
                pay your fair share (Greed)
                hate crimes (Wrath), Romans 12:19, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’”
                etc, etc, you get the point.

                who’s throwing the first stone.

            2. Acceptance is a prerequisite for love.

              1. No it is not.

                Respect for the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of life is the prerequisite for love.

                I do not have to accept your sinfulness in order to love you. In fact, if I truly love you, I will admonish you for your sinful acts and encourage you to stop sinning and live a better life, because living in a state of sin is corruptive to the soul and destructive to the dignity of the human person.

              2. Lol, no. That’s not love, that’s enablement. What a stupid, relativistic comment.

                1. Brandy accepted sarc’s alcoholism and thinks that’s love.

              3. Absolutely not. You can still love your child even when he’s being an absolute monster. Love isn’t conditional. Not real love.

          2. You mistake this for “let people walk all over you”

      2. It’s just a bit ironic that after two millenia of progress, the Romans would still crucify him.

      3. Well, spatio-temporal coordinates would be a pre-requisite for all that, followed by an ability to bend or break multiple natural laws. The first is iffy at very best, the second is impossible.

    3. Democrat’s hate is mostly peaceful.

      …except, well, KKK, BLM, Antifa, weather underground, CPUSA, etc.

      The Democrat Party is pro slavery, so those slaves are not going to hate themselves.

    4. But, but, but… whatabout?!?

      1. …whatabout this shitty article that is full of lies? Yeah thats bad too.

        1. “To be sure, there are other “shitty articles full of lies” on Reason.”

    5. Right; nice job pillorying the hateful deplorables; now do the progressives, BLM, antifa…or admit that you have very different standards for different groups.

      1. Reason surrendered to the left years ago

        1. And now they’re back to mean tweets, or some Republican guy from Ohio said something mean. The Democrats have POTUS, the senate and the house, every big city in the country and we’re back to mean tweets. I’m embarrassed for them. How about a story about liberals embrace Liz Cheney.

          What an embarrassing joke Reason is.

    6. “””. In February 2020, Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule stepped into hot water by tweeting that the anti-Trump attendees of a center-right conference would be “the very first group for the camps.” (He meant that their opposition to Trump will not be able to save them from the “gulags” when the “extremist left” takes over, he later clarified.) “””

      There’s no reasonable way to interpret that statement other than that he was referring to the Left’s camps. Reason reaches, yet again.

    7. Perhaps Jerry B, but consider,

      1. “Owning the libs” as a chief motivator does not have a Democratic equivalent – “owning the conservatives” is not a recognizable battle cry.
      2. There is not liberal equivalent to the 24/7 right wing talk radio which blankets the nation and where the many “hosts” regularly describe Democrats and liberals as the enemy, un-American, and the main problem in the world.
      3. The cult leader so many in the GOP lost their mind to – what other political figure has had large flags flying in their name at rural driveways 8 months after he left office? – was not known or applauded at rallies for his aspirational and uplifting statements and speeches, but for his put-downs and mockery of perceived enemies. What does that tell you about the spirit of his followers?
      It’s amusing that Vance, fresh from making a mint as a “venture capitalist” – where did he get the capital? – is now supposedly against “elites”. Really?

      1. This is so delusional, I almost feel bad for you.
        Almost.

        1. Nardz, perhaps you could counter anything I posted.

          Probably not.

          1. Not Nardz, but:

            1. Liberals don’t go around crowing about “owning the conservatives”, they just do it and move on to the next host. If they get some kind of pushback they accuse the country of being steeped in racism, sexism, anti-gay bigotry, etc. Hell, they even turn on their own if they don’t hew to the exact dogma. Reason, especially Robby, have written many articles about the left turning against itself.
            2. Conservatives have talk radio.
            Liberals have nearly the whole of the MSM, Hollywood, Academia, Social Media, Silicon Valley, the House, the Senate, and the White House.
            3. I’m sure you can still find ardent Obama supporters with flags.

            1. DesigNate

              1. You agree with my point that “owning the conservatives” is a meme and motivation that doesn’t exist. Of course we can disagree about policy and will, but when the policy becomes less important than “owning (fill in the blank)” you’ve devolved into resentment and tribalism, not politics.
              2. We won the House, Senate, and WH , even with districting. the EC and Senate tilting right. Sorry about that. Social media has fueled culture wars the right has been propagating from Tea Party politics to anti-Vax movements. Major network news is only “liberal” if you are on the right fringe, not if you’re independent or in the center. Of what’s left on your list, none tilt as left as jerks like Limbaugh, Levin, or Savage. tilt right and certainly don’t do the hateful attacks on fellow Americans, 24/7.
              3. Obama supporters with flags? No, sorry you can’t. The Trump flags in rural areas still abound. Even Reagan did not get this blind following. It might be understandable if Trump had a charisma and an aspirational message, but as I said above and which you must admit to yourself, he sold put downs, mockery, and resentment. The latter is the message.

  2. Reason accusing others of “the politics of hate” is surreal.

    1. Commies at unreason definitely didn’t “hate” the best President in US history, Donald J. Trump.

    2. One of my prog relatives always tells me I don’t have to demonize people I don’t agree with, yet demonizes anyone who dissents from her Marxist narrative.

      Progressives are the enemy because they’ve made themselves the enemy.

  3. “Demands of this sort can be plausibly justified only if one’s adversaries are irredeemable and one’s life itself is at stake.”

    Sounds like a pretty good description of Proggies to me …

    1. Ask yourself why the Commies at unreason constantly focus on this JD Vance and Trump and not Democrats about all the evil shit Democrats do.

      Commies at unreason siding with murderous slavers of the Democrat Party does not put them on the side of right, so they must destroy the resistance.

    2. The natural rights of one American are infinitely more valuable than the collective lives of every prog.

  4. Quit giving us Weimar and we’ll quit sending you Hitler, mmmkay?

    1. History doesn’t really repeat itself, but it does often rhyme. It’s like poetry.

      1. Whitmer hates dingers too?

    2. Tell you whatz give us 50 versions of New Hampshire and you can have both.

  5. We Koch / Reason libertarians know that hatred absolutely has a place in modern politics. Here is an incomplete list of the groups we despise:

    Anyone who supports any restriction on abortion access (Sorry, Ms. Slade!)
    Anyone who opposes our benefactor Charles Koch’s open borders agenda
    Any woman who doesn’t want to see penises and testicles in the women’s locker room (In Scott Shackford’s professional diagnosis, they’re suffering from TRANSGENDER BATHROOM PANIC)
    Anyone who disputes that cops (except Capitol Police) and racist murderous psychopaths
    Anyone who thinks economic policy should focus on helping non-billionaires more than billionaires

    #RightBackAtYaJD

    1. His koch fetish never wanes. One day he’s going to choke on a big Charles.

    2. Ok whether you’ve hired some writers or not, you’re putting out some good stuff here OBLT.

      1. Ze’s the best damn parody account on the internet.

        1. He’s OK, brilliant at times, but his shtick has worn thin. He’s a one trick pony. I still enjoy him, but would like some fresh material.

      2. Seriously. OBL is the master. I eagerly await his every post.

        1. Really? It’s the same damn post every day.

  6. Did Stephanie just call JD Vance a Nazi?

    1. Yeah and she would be right.

      1. Along with all the white nationalist Trumpers.

        1. Mute the troll

        2. You know. I know you’re just a troll trying to get a response.
          However, I’m still surprised that the candidate who mentions race the least, the party that has no interest in race, and the party who has continuously put blacks in the highest appointed offices (ie: Justice Thomas, General Powell, Secretary Rice, and governor-hopeful Elder) are called white supremacist despite not mentioning race AT ALL in their speeches or policies.

          The accusation of Trump being racist is apparently self-evident to the point of violence, yet I cannot find a single racist statement from almost any Republican candidate.

      2. Shush, tankie.

  7. The Commies at unreason hate that non-Lefties are finally fighting back against Communists in America.

    1. Bargaining with progs is pointless. Just destroy them.

  8. Nardz is JD Vance?

    1. Oh wait, probably not. The article didn’t say anything about inciting murder.

      1. Self defense is not murder.

        Lefties started Civil war 2.0 and attacked Americans. Protecting yourself from them is self-defense.

        Nice try though.

        1. Killing people for how they voted is murder, not self defense.

          1. Killing people for how they voted is murder, not self defense.

            Yeah. Ashli Babbit found out just how much you fuckers love murder.

            1. “you fuckers”?

              Who are you lumping me in with this time?

              1. People who support murdering unarmed protesters?

              2. You support them and condemn decent Americans. You’re prog adjacent at a minimum.

            2. All I’ve said about Ashli Babbitt is that if you break down doors, smash windows, and climb over barricades in a federal building, don’t be surprised if you get shot.

              You know, like if you put on a sexy dress and wander alone and drunk through a homeless encampment, don’t be surprised if you get raped.

              1. Did that last part happen to you?

                1. Nope. They couldn’t remove the chastity belt.

        2. Its okay Anarchist. Commies in America trying to violate the rights of American patriots by declaring Civil War 2.0 on them is an act of war.

          Self-defense.

          But hey, keep calling American Patriots murderers. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that strategy.

          1. And starting a civil war is bound to go well?

            1. Democrats starting a Civil War…again…you mean.

            2. It’s a mistake to take LCONS any more seriously than OBL. Dude is as likely to be an Adult Swim intern making performance art as he is to be a real person.

              1. poor unreason bots.

                1. The guy trotting out the same three stock phrases every post is clearly on solid ground accusing people of being bots. That’s just common sense.

              2. Oh, I don’t. But I do find him more amusing than OBL.

            3. And doing nothing is bound to be good, zeb?

              If you haven’t noticed, the war’s already started. It’s just that only the left is attacking while everyone else stays silent or just asking them to stop.

              There are but 2 possible situations:
              1. Live and let live
              2. Kill or be killed

              If one party rejects option 1, option 2 is de facto the case.
              The left has clearly and unequivocally rejected option 1.

              But please, try to make the case otherwise.

              1. Back when I was commuting and listening to talk radio, I remember feeling similarly. As in anyone who votes for the left must be a malicious person with bad intentions who I must consider to be my enemy. Though I never thought it was ok to kill people based upon how I believe they might have voted.

                You are really starting to worry me. I’m just waiting to read about some mass murderer getting caught for killing dozens of perceived leftists as a deluded act of self defense, and you mysteriously dropping off the comments.

                1. Fuck off, stasi bitch.

                  Here we see sarcasmic strawmanning and trying to deflect from pertinent questions.
                  Zeb, the question is for you.

                  1. I don’t know the answer and I won’t pretend I do.

                  2. What I will say is that historically revolutions and civil wars don’t tend to end well. I have little confidence that in such a situation we would end up with something less bad than what we have now.

                    1. What we have now isn’t a fucking option.
                      Or can you make a compelling case against the law of inertia?

                    2. I think a civil war or constitutional convention would be a really bad idea, because liberty-minded people are in the minority. What we have could become a lot worse.

                    3. Again, what we have now is not an option.
                      Is it stupidity or fear that causes you people to believe stasis is possible, ignoring all trends of the last decade plus?
                      The body either keeps accelerating in the same direction it’s going or an outside force acts upon it.
                      The fundamental laws of existence are fundamental because they are inescapable.

                2. There are two kinds of progtards. The first are unthinking morons like my cousin, who loves the democrats because they say they want to help people. So she feels good about supporting them. Especially Obama, who ‘makes her heart song’. She’s an unthinking idiot who is ignorant of, and uninterested in the horrific things that democrats actually do. She’s a useful idiot without any real ideology.

                  The second kind are the real enemy. Committed marxists who seek to dominate Americans and ultimately all humanity. This is the type that are responsible for all the socialist massacres throughout the 20th century, and the horrors in Venezuela currently. They are a much smaller group. They have to go if America is to survive.

                3. “I’m just waiting to read about some mass murderer getting caught for killing dozens of perceived leftists ”

                  Leftist’s wet dream. They have been predicting it since the 80s and it never seems to happen. Every time anyone does shoot anyone they scream about him being a racist white nationalist PDT supporter, then it turns out he’s a Bernie Bro or a tin-foil-hat prog. Then you don’t hear about them again.

              2. Once again you are making unfounded assumptions about what I think. I’m not here to explain my entire worldview. I will say, I think you are oversimplifying.

                1. You implied civil war will be bad, thus not a viable option, without providing any alternative. In the absence of any presented alternative, doing nothing is a reasonable assertion.
                  But feel free to explain how you think lockdowns and such will be stopped by conventional measures.

                  1. *assumption, not assertion

                  2. You implied civil war will be bad, thus not a viable option, without providing any alternative.

                    So if you want to jump off a bridge, and nobody provides an alternative, does that mean jumping off a bridge is a good idea?

                    1. In your case? How about give it a try and let us know how it goes.

                  3. When you aren’t sure you aren’t making things worse by doing something, doing nothing is often a preferable option.
                    Lockdowns and such will be stopped when people stop going along with them in large enough numbers.
                    Sarc is right, liberty minded people are a minority. We aren’t going to win shit unless we can convince more people that liberty is more important than safety and punishing your political opponents.

                    1. You might make it worse by fleeing a burning building, so just give up.
                      And some wonder why libertarianism has been absolutely useless.

                    2. I’ll just leave this here

                      https://twitter.com/Lukewearechange/status/1433452485067292672?s=19

                      WTF

                      “People in South Australia will be forced to download an app that combines facial recognition and geolocation. The state will text them at random times, and thereafter they will have 15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be.
                      [Link]

                  4. I’d rather not have to deal with that, but I’ll take it over democrat hegemony.

  9. “Now would be a good moment to acknowledge that the politics of hate are not exactly foreign to segments of the progressive movement, either.”

    Water is wet.

    1. To be sure…

  10. One wonders why Reason readers read Reason, since they seem to hate it so much. Reason hasn’t changed, but its readers have. Most Reason commenters these days seem to want to do nothing but hate the woke folk.

    1. This place went from Reason to unreason and its run by Commies.

      1. JFC. If you had anything interesting to say, it’s blown away by your insistence that a bunch of libertarian writers are communists. OK, then you’re a necrophile. Yay. Everyone is convinced because I just typed it.

        1. Either you support Trump in all things or you’re a communist. That’s it. There are no libertarians. Only Trump supporters and commies.

          1. Poor unreason. They dont understand why their Commie Propaganda is seen as American hating Commie propaganda.

          2. It’s not about liking Trump or not. That’s just your bullshit strawman. It’s about opposing democrat policies and e electron of Keile who champion them.

            You regularly attack republicans and defend democrats and their policies. This is why you’re a dirty leftist traitor.

        2. Theyre not Libertarians. None of them.

          But keep trying to convince Libertarians who still visit this glitchy website that Commie staff at unreason are Libertarians.

          Its funny.

          Its like Antifa trying to everyone they are not fascists.

          1. and Commies

          2. and little Nazis

            1. Oh! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

              1. You’re confused. You’re the one doing the oppressing.

    2. Reason has aligned more an more with progressive ideology. Yes, it has changed.

      1. More like conservatives have abandoned all of their principles and become a cult of personality that sees any deviation from their ideology as total support for their political enemies.

        So when libertarians maintain support for free trade, immigration, police reform and such, conservatives label them as progressives because they live in a binary political world.

        1. When you say things that could all but have been lifted from a blue checkmark proggie’s Twitter feed, sorry, but yes, you are a progressive. And I have seen more and more examples of this as time goes on.

          It is similar to the sudden neo-con implosion, and embracing of identity politics and other progressive hobby horses, such as shown by Bill Kristin, Jennifer Rubin, etc…

          1. When you say things that could all but have been lifted from a blue checkmark proggie’s Twitter feed, sorry, but yes, you are a progressive.

            Like what? Seriously. Libertarians support economic and personal liberty. Conservatives used to support economic liberty, and that was where libertarians and conservatives got along. Now that conservatives have abandoned all of their principles there really isn’t much overlap left.

            Progressives claim to support personal liberty, so there’s going to be some overlap between libertarians and progressives. That doesn’t make libertarians progressives anymore than support for economic liberty made libertarians conservatives.

            1. “Progressives claim to support personal liberty”???

              What the fuck are you smoking, Sarc?

              The words “Personal Liberty” have NEVER entered the Proggie Hive-Mind.

              1. It’s Thursday. On Thursdays sarc starts drinking early.

            2. They can claim all they want, just like conservatives, but their actions belie the fact that they don’t give one flying fuck about personal liberty.

              And 9/10 sources for some of the writers are Salon, NYT, or Twitter.

        2. I’d say it’s some of both.

          1. I think what we’ve been seeing is a lot of people that came to libertarianism from the left in the staff and a lot of people that came to libertarianism from the right in the comments. This is naturally going to cause tension and you see it all the time on the libertarian meme subreddit (don’t go to r/libertarian, that place is fucking cancer now).

      2. Its funny when Anarchists act all Libertarian and troll for unreason Commies here too. Sarcasmic has been running that schtick for years.

        Between benders, custody battles, and homelessness.

    3. They’re Trumpers who got kicked off twitter/facebook/reddit and came here in the more open comments section. They’re still cowards spitting hate and sucking on Trump’s big toe, seeking attention and “community” where they can. Keep ridiculing them, they’ll go away (maybe?)

      1. Cope, seethe, and dilate.

        1. I think it’s funny that In Canis and Mike don’t see that they are exactly like lovecon in assuming anyone who disagrees with them is a Trumper/Commie.

    4. The commenters here are not a representative sample. The Trump mean girls who congregate here do so because the Reason comments have virtually no moderation, so they can get away with behavior they cannot get away with elsewhere.

      1. Like when you stole my handle to teach Tulpa a moral lesson?

      2. Says Mike the asshole with multiple sock accounts.

        1. He’s such a sniveling, lying piece of shit.

      3. You might as well just say “I firmly believe the internet’s one true purpose is to spread the virtues of which I approve.”

        1. I think she actually believes that.

          1. It’s implicit in the statement made. Saying it out loud would at least be honest but the… rationalization suggests that Laursen knows that honesty might get him labeled rude in polite company and asked to take his bullshit elsewhere. Whether values our opinion enough to perpetrate the deception, he hates his thinking and is lying to himself rather than putting a bullet in his brainpan, is completely oblivious to either of the previous two options (or some combination) can’t be inferred.

    5. Reason hasn’t changed, they just adopted woke ideology. You can tell they haven’t changed because the people who hated woke ideology back when it was bleeding heart liberalism and civil libertarianism hate it now that it’s woke. Why can’t the haters just stick to one brand of hate instead of changing their hate to each new brand we try to sell it under?

  11. In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
    At the mongrel dogs who teach
    Fearing not I’d become my enemy
    In the instant that I preach

  12. You can take the boy out of the hillbillies, but you can’t take the hillbilly out of the boy.

    1. Hey if Harvard Law School can’t do it, I respect him all the more.

    1. There are not enough +1’s to accomodate all the hate.

    2. Welch is totes libertarian.

      Not a leftist at all.

      Not at all.

      1. Britches and 2chilli pay homage to the small L on occasion.

        Robbie finds his acorn every once in a while, to be sure.

  13. “those he sees as worthy of contempt might be understood broadly as leftists and members of the coastal elite.”

    Slade is stealing a base here. When you read the actual article, it is clear that Vance doesn’t see this “broadly as leftists”. He sees it very clearly as the ELITES- those coming from elite schools who increasingly attempt to humiliate conservatives by making them apologize for their background and values.

    I am not excusing Vance, but all the vitriol isn’t coming from nowhere. I sat through numerous “Diversity and Inclusion” training classes at a fortune 50 company that literally required me to apologize for my background. The trainer literally told Jews on the call that they were privileged, and that whites owe it to minorities to apologize for their ancestors’ crimes (whether their ancestors actually committed crimes or not was irrelevant). People are actively posting on our slack channels that they are looking for volunteers to help “root out systems of white supremacy in the company”. Objecting to these trends is a severely career-limiting offense.

    Meanwhile, these guys see their kids going to schools where the same nonsense is being taught- where their objections are not only ignored but demonized. When they vote in new people, those people are blocked by the administrators or courts.

    Again, I am not excusing Vance, but if you want to address this issue, it is going to take more than lamenting that people on the Right have changed their tactics. We need, to borrow from the leftists, “to look at root causes”. These are Reactionaries, so it seems absolutely baffling that Ms Slade cannot spare more than a throw away line to explain what they are reacting to.

    This isn’t “Both Sides”ism (justifying one side’s behavior because the other side does it too). I am just as concerned that the Right increasingly views government force as the solution to their problems. But they aren’t going to de-escalate unilaterally.

    Reducing the scope and power of government will be a bipartisan effort, and if you just focus on the Right, it will never happen.

    1. Lefties, Elites, and Democrats are not interested in reducing the scope and power of government. Social Marxism doesnt really work without the power of the state.

      In America at least. America mostly leans conservative.

      Non-Lefties were shocked awake in the last few years with Kungflu tyranny, massive Democrat election fraud, seeing on video how their kids are being taught Marxist theory, and now vax mandate tyranny.

      Civil War 2.0 is heating up, boys and girls. Civil War 1.0 started with an election too and the shooting didnt start right away.

    2. Again, I am not excusing Vance, but if you want to address this issue, it is going to take more than lamenting that people on the Right have changed their tactics. We need, to borrow from the leftists, “to look at root causes”. These are Reactionaries, so it seems absolutely baffling that Ms Slade cannot spare more than a throw away line to explain what they are reacting to.

      That would involve some actual reflection on the state of our society in general, and apparently she couldn’t be bothered to do so. It’s just the same old, “OMG, this is so divisive! MUH normz and decency! Why can’t we just find common ground?”

      What’s the point of trying to find common ground with people who actually believe that white people are born with the original sin of their skin color? Who want to place social strictures on those who don’t subscribe to the rootless cosmopolitanism of the Open Society subversives? Who gaslight that any pushback against their agenda is “divisive” and “toxic”?

      I am just as concerned that the Right increasingly views government force as the solution to their problems. But they aren’t going to de-escalate unilaterally.

      No, they aren’t, and the reason for that is the lesson that’s been taken from the last ten years of Clownworld is that political power is all that matters. It doesn’t bode well for the future that this is the case, but if that’s the primary rule of running society now, the right would be suicidal not to adopt it themselves.

      1. Right. The right didn’t start the Cancel Culture- that was completely began by the Left (c.f. Justine Sacco). The Left began mining donation information in california and using it to get people fired because they, for example, supported prohibitions on gay marriage.

        Yet all I see are people complaining that the Right has adopted these tactics- with little acknowledgement that it was in reaction to the tactics being used on them.

        And this isn’t just about wild mobs either- it goes straight up to the government. Nobody cared (and in fact they cheered) that the Obama campaign harnessed Twitter and Facebook to organize their political efforts- accessing personal data, and amplifying demeaning (often unfair or untrue) memes about McCain and Palin. Suddenly Trump has success and Facebook is hauled in front of congress for giving a company access to data that they had HELPED Obama staffers access in the past.

        Operation Choke Point, the SPLC’s list of “Extremists”, the ADL, Obamacare and its Birth Control Mandates- all of these were used to marshal the heavy hand of the state to subjugate and deny conservatives the same voice that they see taken for granted by the Left.

        1. Yep, and this is why it’s ultimately useless to argue over policy questions such whether Big Tech should be protected by Section 230. The right sees these guys and their employees openly working in the interests of a single political party. They see urban districts that have more ballots turned in than residents. They see leftists get away with assault and property destruction multiple times, with not even a slap on the wrist.

          If they see that the left is working to tear down traditional principles of governance in the interest of increasing their own political power and enacting Gay Space Communism, “we need to figure out ways to work with these people” isn’t going to hold much sway. That’s ultimately why the neocons got kicked to the curb from the GOP.

      2. The lies lefties tell have no basis in reality, so what is there to talk about.

        I live in Georgia and there are racist old Democrats who grandfathers fought in the Civil War. We can have real conversations about what they think about things and listen to my point of views.

        Not a single old racist would ever call my family racist for having fought in the Revolutionary War and being one of the early Americans. They believe that non-Whites are not as good as Whites. Those old racists keep their racism simple.

    3. I have to agree with your last line and would like to point out that that bipartisan effort will come from the middle, the moderates. Liberals and conservatives are good for churning up ideas. Moderates, center right and center left form up those ideas into workable policies. People need to get out and vote in primaries because if they don’t the crazies on both the left and the right win and the country loses.

      1. No, moderates are going to end up like Cicero, with their hands nailed to the Senate door. The “moderates” are ultimately spineless jellyfish who get run over when it comes time to actually put some skin in the game.

        1. It’s important to note that M4E is a lefty that thinks he’s moderate.

        2. Cicero lost his life as the authoritarians took control. This is what we need to stop by compromise and middle ground. You may think that if your side wins then having an authoritarian government is acceptable. Just remember than after the winning side purges the rivals, they start the purges on their own members.

          1. Cicero lost his life as the authoritarians took control

            Cicero lost his life because he was trying to keep a corrupt institution intact by appealing to moderation.

            1. Cicero stood at the pinnacle of an empire built upon conquest and slavery fighting for control of it.

              He was an authoritarian too. He and his opponents may have dressed their fight up in principle. But it was always more a matter of principals.

              Yes, the similarities are obvious.

    4. Good post, thanks.

    5. whites owe it to minorities to apologize for their ancestors’ crimes

      At that point, I’d tell the snotty little racist SJW to fuck right off with his guilt peddling, and leave the call (or room, as the case may be.) If my manager took issue with it, I’d tell him in no uncertain terms to back off or I’d litigate and publicize the matter to the company’s detriment.

      -jcr

      1. Yeah, that’s what people need to do.

  14. Good lord, I am so tired of tribal commentary. It’s so lazy, so disingenuous, and so intellectually dishonest anymore.

    Each tribe pretends like the other tribe is filled with people completely different than the people on their tribe. It’s your tribe that’s selfish, my tribe is communally caring. It’s your tribe that’s filled with idiots, my tribe is the most intelligent. It’s your tribe that has psychos and extremists, my tribe is all completely reactions and sane. It’s your tribe that is lying, cheating, and greedy, my tribe is honorable and altruistic.

    Just piles and piles of gaslighting, propagandistic garbage.

    All people crave power, are selfish, do bad things, are greedy, will exert authoritarian power when given the opportunity, and will spew ungodly amounts of hate.

    Go online to the left website comments and the right website comment and you see the exact same behavior and hate. It ain’t based on one party, it’s literally the political and topical discourse that has developed in this country.

    1. All people crave power, are selfish, do bad things, are greedy, will exert authoritarian power when given the opportunity, and will spew ungodly amounts of hate.

      Gee, it’s almost like people suck and aren’t to be trusted with massive amounts of political power. If only there were some way to design a government that’s limited, with checks and balances between three co-equal branches of government to keep any one branch from accruing too much power…

      1. Oh, wait…

      2. Yeah, we tried that once in this country, but it was almost immediately undermined by the congress with the Alien and Sedition acts. Regrettably, we failed to give the miscreants the treatment we’d given the redcoats, and they gradually gutted the constitution, leaving us with the morass we live in now.

        -jcr

        1. +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

          Its one thing to discuss or try to amendment constitution in the way you want.

          Its another thing to use constitutional protections to destroy this Constitutional Democratic Republic.

      3. Our founding documents fully acknowledge the human condition, aptly described above; which is why government was designed in such a way as to curtail the evil that comes of power.

        Our Constitution is now about 3000 pages long, and is increasingly being eviscerated.

        So what do we do? Nullification [legal “whack of mole”], Article V, ?

    2. The NPCs come in both Blue and Grey and libertarians are the Andersons in Shenandoh.

    3. Nothing lazy about whining “both sidez!” in every situation, while ignoring reality.
      Totes not lazy at all

      1. It actually is kind of astounding that libertarians continue to use the argument in blissful ignorance of the “country and western” light it could/does cast them in.

      2. I’m with this right-wing buffoon. There’s nothing worse than a both sideser. We all know whose trying to restrict abortion and immigration. It’s basically one side. Arguing that both sides do it is an act of a lazy fucking hack.

        1. Yeah, Democrats never lock kids in cages or shipping containers…

      3. Actually, you know what is lazier? Pretending that the other political team is evil and always wrong and that your team is golden and perfect.

        And that’s basically all you do.

        1. Yep, nothing evil about totalitarianism.
          Race essentialism, misanthropic environmentalism, equity at the point of a gun via confiscation, state mandated child abuse and mass medical experiments, rampant inflation, pervasive surveillance and purely political persecutions, etc – pretty much a complete rejection of the idea of inherent individual rights – following the philosophy and policies that killed hundreds of millions last century: totes not evil.

          1. Where did I say I agree with that stuff. You realize your hyperbolic, tribal, strawman argument is making my point, right?

            1. You should realize it’s absolutely idiotic to try to both sidez away the leftist threat

        2. As I see it, one side is horrible on a lot of things and the other side IS downright evil on just about everything. (Which is which will probably depend on which way you lean.)

          1. And it is this mentality for why our country is falling apart. Sorry, my Trump voting neighbor and my Biden voting neighbor who I call friends and grilled with last night are not evil or my enemy.

            My god. When did we turn into a Karen based hysterical society?!

            1. One side is correct, the other is psychotic and holds all the levers of power.

    4. Part of the issue today is that while Right could and would look out for and ostracize the crazier elements the Left did not and in fact encouraged them. This leads us to today where the craziest of the crazy are in positions if power capable of excommunication people they disagree with from society. The pushback to that is not going to be some mushy compromise but total war.

  15. The author is concerned that conservatives are not liberal.
    Too bad sweetie.

    1. Wrong, sugar tits. The question is why conservatives are simply nationalist progressives and not more libertarian.

      1. Probably because “conservative” politicians failed to live up to their promises, and folded like weak bitches every time the left said mean things about them.

        1. They all folded except for that one guy. He could never be forgiven for that.

    2. Another lecture from a woke millennial with the mind of a child.

  16. > “I think our people hate the right people”

    This is the essence of politics. We can have an American civilization or we can have primitive tribes all hating each other like they do in Europe. Oh well, the American experiment has ended.

    1. This is the essence of politics. We can have an American civilization or we can have primitive tribes all hating each other like they do in Europe. Oh well, the American experiment has ended.

      Huh, guess encouraging a common tradition of civic nationalism wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

    2. the American experiment has ended

      It was a good run for a while.

      1. Its not over until the Statue of Liberty is torn down as racist.

        1. So that’s how the planet of the apes happened.

            1. God Damn you all to Hell!!!

  17. Woke democratic-socialists to the left of me, wack-a-doodle big-government nationalists to the right of me. Here I am stuck in between wondering why the wack-a-doodles lurk here. Why isn’t Unz Review’s comment section good enough for them?

    1. What are Libertarian Nationalists who love America, chopped liver?

      1. Libertarian Nationalists are as mythical as the Left Libertarian.

      2. What are libertarian socialists who hate the government and its trillion dollar defense budgets? Chopped liver?

        1. socialists who hate the government

          Is that like Christians who hate Christ?

      3. There is a difference between a Patriot and a Nationalist.

        A Patriot loves his country like a good parent loves his or her child, praising them when they do good, and firmly but gently steering them out of harm’s way and on the right path. Also, a Patriot’s love of country, like a good parent’s love of his or her children, does not preclude seeing good in others as well.

        A Nationalist “loves” his nation like an abused, brainwashed Stepford Child “loves” an abusive, psychopathic, abusive Stepford Parent. Also, a Nationalist sees no real good in other nations except as means to the Parent Nation’s alleged good.

        Thus, Libertarians are more like Patriots, not Nationalists.

        1. Oops, I meant that for LC1787.

    2. Here I am stuck in between wondering why the wack-a-doodles lurk here.

      To be fair, it’s not just the wack-a-doodles who lurk here. There’s plenty of left wing trolls as well. I won’t name them all here because I don’t have that much time, plus I’m worried that naming might make them appear. Kind of like saying “Candyman” 5 times or some shit, but stick around long enough and you’ll see them.

      I’m just glad Reason finally added the “Mute User,” it helps to make the retardation go away.

      1. Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

      2. There are, like, two: American Socialist (whatever his exact handle is) and Tony. And they aren’t even really that lefty.

        Then there are a whole bunch of us who are pretty standard issue libertarians, but get accused of being leftist on a regular basis by right-wingers who are so far gone they cannot recognize partisan impartiality anymore.

        1. If you think American Socialist and Tony “aren’t really that left,” I completely understand why you think so many people are right-wingers.

          1. I know, right? Like, seriously, wow.

          2. Dee’s a lefty, she just lies about it.

        2. You’re not a standard issue libertarian though.

    3. For the same reason my dog licks his balls. Because they can.

      1. For the same reasons dogs will eat each others turds…

        1. Apt description of echospinner and brandybuck replying to each other’s comments

    4. Use the mute user feature, while you may see pages of grey at least you can skip their garbage readily. Or even my garbage 🙂

    5. This comment section has virtually zero moderation. You can act like a total jerk with no consequences.

      1. You keep bringing this up. Does that mean you’re considering apologizing to me for stealing my handle to teach Tulpa a moral lesson?

        1. No, it’s his way of subtle-bitching that they don’t moderate the comments more.

  18. If only the SoCon/NatCon/CrunchyCon/Alt-Right types and the Woke/CRT/Antifa/Progressive types could have their Civil War 2.0 in a Thunderdome arena.

    Libertarians could sit on the sidelines with our popcorn, pizza, and pot, make book, place wagers in BitCoin or Gold Bullion, and throw dice for their garments.

    The main bet would be over how fast Sohrab Ahmari would turn on his fellows. That man has been all over the philosophical/religious/ideological map with many of the worst, power-mongering, totalitarian viewpoints and he would shiv anybody in a minute!

    1. Libertarians could sit on the sidelines with our popcorn, pizza, and pot, make book, place wagers in BitCoin or Gold Bullion, and throw dice for their garments.

      Is this why libertarians end up just going along with whatever the status quo happens to be at the time?

      1. Plus, unless Libertarians are willing to run for office and take jobs in government, Democrats and Republicans will.

        We know how Democrats taking most of the federal jobs is going.

        1. This is what’s called playing stupid games and winning stupid prizes.

          At this point in time, I’m think8ng maybe the best tuing libertarians can do is hunker down, don’t get any splatter on them from the mess that’s coming, then come back to clean up and rebuild from the mess that everyone else has made.

      2. No, they do it for the same reasons everyone else does.

      3. Don’t know where you get that. Non-participation in a losing game is not the same as going along with it.

    2. Libertarians could sit on the sidelines with our popcorn, pizza, and pot, make book, place wagers in BitCoin or Gold Bullion, and throw dice for their garments.

      Nah, Libertarian would just go make their own Thunderdome (with black jack, and hookers!) and battle it out between our own various factions (paleolibertarians, cosmotarians, classical liberals, minarchists, an-caps, etc.).

      1. “Everyone enters! Everyone leaves!” (Maybe with more if you’re breeding.)

          1. Well, some might leave mad at each other, but it’d be the most civilized Thunderdome Auntie Entity and MasterBlaster ever saw.

    3. > Libertarians could sit on the sidelines with our popcorn, pizza, and pot, make book, place wagers in BitCoin or Gold Bullion, and throw dice for their garments.

      Yes, all six of them. So glorious.

      1. Up the chances of winning the games of chance. 😉

  19. the thing is Trump did open the eyes of a lot a people to how our government is literally working against our on best interest. this is Trumps best asset, for telling the people like it really is, the swamp declared itself and waged war against Trump for no other reason than him being Trump. Our hate for those on the left is well founded and its not because the right is hatefull but it is a reaction to the declared hatred from the left. they don’t mince words they hate anyone who is different

    1. The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.

      P. J. O’Rourke

    2. All Trump did was embolden the MAGAs at heart to feel politically more powerful and realize that there were more backward, authoritarian rightists than they all though. Now he has a solid 20-25% openly showing their racism and fascistic tendencies openly and tattoos of it on their foreheads for everyone to see.

      1. “Fascistic”

        1. Every accusation by a leftist is a confession.

      2. “Fascistic”

        That word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  20. Reason and Stephanie Slade claim:
    “JD Vance Surrenders to the Politics of Hate”

    Correction:
    Reason and Stephanie Slade Surrender to the Politics of Hate

  21. Hate politics is how power is achieved. There must be an evil shadowy force to be defeated. We must eliminate them and take our rightful role in society.

    Concepts like tolerance, pluralism, individualism, even democracy itself are weak and effeminate. The strong rule the earth. The sheepdogs must protect the sheep from the wolves lurking in the forest.

    1. One thing I’ve noticed about those Authoritarian Right-Wingers who divide us into “sheepdogs,” sheep,” and “wolves”: They never think of any of us as Man, the Rational Animal. Very telling indeed.

  22. >>hate

    dude, no. go away if you bring hate.

  23. Vance will self destruct and be soon forgotten.

    1. hotel room … dead girl … live boy

      1. I don’t know about that, but he’s devolving into a smacked ass.

  24. Regurgitated TDS. Notice they fear going after behavior demonstrated by the left, because of who they are and also who funds them. This is also degenerate behavior and shows a lack of principles.

  25. Two years later, Ahmari had had enough of all that.

    At some point, how can one blame him?

    Not that many years ago, this very magazine was heralding “The Libertarian Moment”. And unlike some, I really do believe such a moment had arrived. But, for anyone genuinely intellectually honest, it was obvious that that libertarian moment was a moment on the right, amongst conservatives. Rather than embracing the possibility that that moment brought, rather than bringing conservatives those few extra steps to recognize the value of libertarian principles, the libertarian movement made every possible effort to disassociate themselves from these potential new allies.

    The libertarian movement decided it was more important to embrace a “thick libertarianism” that wholly supported progressive values, and spit in the face of traditional values, even insisting that “cosmopolitanism is the essence of libertarianism”. When government interventions into private life ran counter to conservative values, the libertarian movement decided that, while it was wrong in principle, to be sure, such infringements weren’t a cause of dramatic concern. Of course, when the right deviated even an inch from libertarian principle, it was a clear sign of their innate authoritarianism, racism and bullying. And when the right actually fought to push positions consistent with libertarianism, such as the repeal of Obamacare, the libertarian movement was quick enough to write it off as “a stunt” because they weren’t proposing alternative government programs in its stead.

    And once BadOrangeMan was on the scene, the libertarian movement rushed to see how many of its ostensible principle it could dispense with in the name of getting rid of him. All of a sudden, the libertarian movement was declaring the national security state to be noble public servants whose integrity was beyond question. The presumption of innocence was a relic to be ignored in the impeachment process or Senate confirmation hearings. Due process and fair trials suddenly became optional.

    In that environment, who the hell can blame conservatives for deciding that libertarianism might be just another scam? Who the hell can blame them for seeing that the vision of liberty the libertarian movement was offering up was liberty for those who held them and their values in contempt and only for those who held them and their values in contempt? Who the hell can blame them for deciding that, if that was liberty, maybe liberty wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

    Libertarianism as a political philosophy is still the best way to organize politics. But, make no mistake, libertarianism as a political movement proved itself a feckless failure and deserves the dismissal that the right is now giving it.

    1. Libertarians support both economic liberty and personal liberty.

      Pre-Trump conservatives supported economic liberty, and that’s where we got along. Post-Trump conservatives abhor economic liberty, so there’s no longer any overlap there.
      Conservatives have always opposed personal liberty, so at this point they’re more totalitarians than conservative now since they oppose both personal and economic liberty.

      Progressives support personal liberty, though they’re more about positive rights than negative rights. Libertarians support progressives when it comes to negative rights, but that doesn’t mean we’re progressives.

      Libertarians haven’t changed. Conservatives have. They’re turning into totalitarian populists.

      And it ain’t pretty.

      1. Thank you for your string of vague, unsupported platitudes (a number of which are outright false) that addressed none of the points that I raised. I’d expect nothing less from you.

      2. Alright.

        Here’s the deal–conservatives, and the right, support economic liberty. But we don’t have that. We have the result of decades of meddling with the economy by the left. We have de facto fascistic government control if numerous major corporations that are still privately held.

        We can not win this war by trying to start by standing next to the finish line. We HAVE to get out in the field.

        And that means using law to fight law.

        So the right supports laws that limit the ways in which private business can collude with government to restrict the rights of the people.

        This is NOT a good thing, but you can’t leap to ‘no law’ when laws are being used against people with the intent of keeping them from ever getting to ‘no law’.

        What passes for Reason style ‘libertarians’ are little better than progressives and out and out marxists. Like the establishment GOP, they cave to leftist demands, promote leftist ideas, and are acting as reluctant leftists.

        Progressives and leftists have never supported personal liberty–they support social liberty which bows to every demand of ‘the greater good’.

        And Libertarians have gone along.

        1. “And Libertarians have gone along.”

          For one thing you capitalized Libertarian. That’s a proper noun that refers to a political party. Lower-case l libertarians are not a political party. I’m a libertarian. I’m not a Libertarian.

          Conservative appear to have a mindset that reflexively sees anything their political opponents support as bad, and labels anyone who agrees with their opponents as being in full support of those opponents.

          Libertarians (that was capitalized because it’s at the beginning of a sentence, not to be confused with the political party) agree with the enemies of conservatives on a few points. That doesn’t make us progressives.

          Progressives feel that libertarians are conservatives because, well, because we disagree with them on economic stuff. Though the difference between progressives and conservatives on economics is becoming smaller and smaller.

          It’s kind of humorous. Progressives call me a conservative because I value property rights and economic liberty, and conservatives call me a progressive because I support free trade and immigration.

          Can’t win.

      3. Both sides! Country *and* Western!

        1. theme from Rawhide on two …

      4. Libertarians support both economic liberty and personal liberty.

        So any alliance with Democrats or progressives is impossible.

        Post-Trump conservatives abhor economic liberty, so there’s no longer any overlap there.

        No they don’t. What did happen was conservatives had a Road to Damascus moment and realized that corporations were not independent actors only interested in their bottom line, that the modern crop of very powerful media companies (aka Tech and Social Media corporations) could, through the vast margins of their profits, exact a social agenda that was outside the simple process of adhering to bottom line concerns while remaining mostly socially neutral. As a result, we all witnessed (and continue to witness) a bizarre melding of public and private interests– in particular where these corporations are run by people who have expressly stated that their goal is to create a new social order for good, profits be damned.

        In addition to that, there was the realization that China did not become a liberal, democratic state once it opened up its markets. Conservatives (and Libertarians) were wrong about this, and most of the world has realized the China is little more than an international mercantilist buccaneer. It is a quasi-fascist country that uses its “private enterprise” in total service to the state. In turn, conservatives began to adopt a more Jacksonian foreign policy based on these pragmatic ideas, suggesting tariffs as a way to start pushing back against China.

        Progressives support personal liberty

        No they don’t.

        though they’re more about positive rights than negative rights.

        They’re about privileges and benefits.

        Libertarians haven’t changed. Conservatives have. They’re turning into totalitarian populists.

        Some libertarians haven’t changed. Some have.

        Conservatives have not turned into “totalitarian populists”, they have though become more populist. Totalitarianism remains a predominant feature of the left.

        1. Well said.

          Now if only we had a publication that spoke to those concerns rather than printing leftist agitprop.

        2. There’s too much there for me to respond to it all.

          About China. If they’re an economic powerhouse because government controls the economy, then shouldn’t we want a government controlled economy to issue us into prosperity?
          Or maybe they’re an economic powerhouse despite government intervention. As in a little liberty did good, and maybe more would do better. Refusing to trade with people in China isn’t going to help them.

          As far as “totalitarianism” goes, perhaps I went to far. Ken muted me for pointing out his own words describing Republicans as “authoritarian” and saying we should vote authoritarian because it’s better than totalitarian.

          1. “There’s too much there for me to respond to it all.”

            Lol. Poor sarc.

    2. There was never a Libertarian Moment. There was however a Contrarian Moment. And all the Contrarians bailed for the Contrarian in Chief, Lord Trump.

      How contrarian? Well the same people who say vaccines won’t work, but will happily ingest horse dewormer to cure themselves of the disease they claim is no worse than the flu.

      1. will happily ingest horse dewormer to cure themselves of the disease they claim is no worse than the flu.

        Did none of you READ the fucking article that cites the Nobel prize in Medicine that was won by the doctor’s whose research showed that Ivermectin was useful for humans?

        Whatever happened to trusting the science?

        1. Brandbuck is an uninformed idiot who regurgitates talking points.

          Nobody told him that ivermectin is FDA approved for human use (brand name Stromectin.)

          1. Stromectol, not Stromectin

            Not really sure how autocorrect did that…

          2. Yes for certain parasites but not as an antiviral.

            In vitro it has shown some antiviral activity but the clinical trials have not against Covid so far as I know.

            I noticed it was in my dogs heart worm pills too.

            1. I wonder why the CDC hasn’t tried to follow up on this?:

              https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33278625/

            2. Because off label drug use never happens, right?

          3. Talking points > science

      2. Never thought of it that way, but you’re right.

    3. Very well said Bill. Sadly I don’t think any of the people that should read this and reflect on it will do so.

  26. “once hate becomes a virtue to be celebrated and opponents become enemies to be destroyed, before long, no response is off the table. ”

    Pearls. Clutched.

    Hey Stephanie, here is a quote for you:

    ” I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    Heaven’s to Betsy!!!

    Plenty of people have warned about the inevitable backlash to the left’s serial aggressions.

    That people like you have only chosen to leave the sidelines now speaks volumes about your true priorities.

  27. Is the left totalitarian?
    Is the left trending more or less totalitarian?
    Is the government trending more or less totalitarian?
    Will the left expand or reduce the power of government and infringements on liberty?
    Answer those questions then ask yourself one more:
    How will the course be halted or altered?

    1. Is the left totalitarian? -yep
      Is the left trending more or less totalitarian? -yep
      Is the government trending more or less totalitarian? -yep
      Will the left expand or reduce the power of government and infringements on liberty? -yep
      Answer those questions then ask yourself one more:
      How will the course be halted or altered?

      Not by voting for Republicans. At best that might slow it down a little, but Republicans are still quite good at growing government. They used to support economic liberty, but now they like trade wars and protectionism. And they’re unquestioning support for all things law enforcement is a bit frightening.

      Both parties suck. I used to vote for Republicans, but they’ve abandoned their principles so now I just don’t vote.

      1. At best that might slow it down a little

        Are you so stupid that you don’t understand that it’s the best we can do short of outright war?

        To slow it.

        Maybe, just maybe, we can slow it enough that the tide turns BEFORE the massive bloody conflict looming on the horizon.

        Because we sure as hell can’t avoid it by groveling before the left as you seem prepared to do.

        1. Because we sure as hell can’t avoid it by groveling before the left as you seem prepared to do.

          Groveling? Really? The only groveling I see is Republicans desperately trying to gain the good favor of their Dear Leader.

    2. No, they aren’t. At the moment they’re advocating for elections to be majority-rule instead of minority-rule. They’re the only ones advocating against tyranny right now.

      The right is advocating overturning the last election and installing the loser as president.

      1. At the moment they’re advocating for elections to be majority-rule instead of minority-rule.

        You mean the white minority? If so, when we say “white minority” does that include ‘white people’ like Charlie Sheen, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, and Vin Diesel or black, brown, and red people like Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Dolezal?

        1. I just mean the group with fewer votes.

  28. “I think our people hate the right people”

    What is so wrong with this?

    I hate pedophiles.
    I hate people who kill with abandon.
    I hate communists, socialists, progressives and all those who want to kill liberty and enslave us all to the State.

    I hate the right people. For what they DO.

    And there’s not a damned thing wrong with that.

    1. The problem is that you couple “hate the right people” with “love the wrong people”. Stop worshiping the wrong people.

      1. The problem is that you couple “hate the right people” with
        “love the wrong people”. Stop worshiping the wrong people.

        The problem, is YOU, making things up and deciding that they’re true.

        This–

        “love the wrong people”. Stop worshiping the wrong people.

        Has nothing to do with anything I said.

        I bend the knee to no one.

      2. “Slavery is OK as long as you don’t love or worship the wrong people.” – Brandybuck

      3. You know a lot of us “hate the right people” and don’t “love the wrong people”, right?

    2. Does that mean you think progressives and pedophiles ought to be treated the same by their community?

      1. Treat them like the Taliban treated Biden.

  29. At the very core of the new illiberal conservatism is a yen for power—and an unabashed willingness to use it to destroy one’s political opponents.

    This is a bit of a weird article. It reads like the backroom scribbling of someone who hasn’t been paying attention to anything, but may have woken up for 5 minutes– just long enough to catch the end of a riot on January 6, saw some fleeting images of a guy in a bear suit carrying a piece of furniture and then thought, “Oh my, something is wrong with the culture!”

    1. Studied indifference is not ignorance.

  30. Seems to me that American Christianity has become a hate-filled fascist death cult, of the sort that 20 years ago conservatives claimed Islam to be.

    1. Wherever you got your sociology degree from owes you a refund.

      1. Oh SNAP!
        (it just seemed so right!)

    2. Good lord. I hope this is a troll as opposed to a legitimate take.

      1. They’re currently spending their time trying to install a ridiculous charlatan as dictator and spreading as much disease as possible.

        1. You really don’t leave your bubble at all do you?

          1. Oh, did I miss something? Did Trumpers discover the nature of dark matter while I was suctioned to MSNBC?

            Because I think they infiltrated a school board meeting to screech about the tyranny of hygiene. That’s what I think they did.

        2. Funny, people said that about gay men and AIDS.

          You know it was ALWAYS a predominately gay male disease, right?

          Perhaps gay men should be barred from medical care if they do not practice safe sex every single time. I mean, risky behavior is risky.

          1. Not a new opinion. I just wonder why the exact same bigots and rubes don’t apply those standards to themselves. Instead, they became actual bug chasers who chase bugs in open public every day without apology.

            1. I’m not the one stating it’d be a good idea to withdraw medical treatment based on disapproval of risk factors.

        3. Most Christians are just trying to live their lives and get back to some sense of normalcy after being told they can’t congregate with their fellow believers for a year and a half.

          Fuck off, bigot.

          1. Because of the pandemic. I realize they are into magical thinking, but if there’s anyone to blame for why we’re still in a pandemic, it’s them.

        4. Can always count on Tony to add the massively intellectually dishonest perspective.

  31. I rarely use the word Hate. It is one thing to oppose evil and injustice. That is not hate. Nothing good ever comes from hate.

    On a personal level I have read countless books and articles on the Nazis and the Holocaust hoping I could come to understand it. I don’t.

    I did learn one thing from Eli Wiesel who said “The opposite of love is not hate. It is indifference.”

    1. It is one thing to oppose evil and injustice. That is not hate.

      Prove it.

      Idiots around here seem to love “both sides”, love and hate are both sides of the passionate coin. You can’t eradicate either one without destroying the whole coin. You can certainly pretend the other side doesn’t exist, but you can’t logically convince others that you didn’t paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel because you hated how ugly it was or that you didn’t set fire to the Reichstag because you love Germany.

      1. I see a lot of ‘Love is love.’ signs in yards. It reminds me how right G.K. Chesterton was about ‘believing in anything’. Even if you don’t believe in Christianity, obliterating it and all other religions from historical contexts of basal concepts of love is something between fundamentalist egoism and nihilism.

        1. “Man would rather will nothingness than not will.”
          -Nietzsche
          On the Genealogy of Morals

      2. It is just not my personal philosophy. Wiesel who I mentioned above certainly had reasons to hate. So many that it would have consumed him. Instead he replaced it with activism and spreading his thoughts and experiences through his writing.

        I think what he meant in that quote was that the world can indeed be an ugly horrible place and he knew it firsthand, but you don’t repair it with more hate.

        I am not such a great man but he was a big inspiration to me.

        Ok enough preaching. I am feeling kinda religious as Rosh Hashana approaches.

  32. “(Now would be a good moment to acknowledge that the politics of hate are not exactly foreign to segments of the progressive movement, either. Neither side has a monopoly on illiberalism.)”

    Holeeee shit. With “to be sure” powers like that, it’s no wonder you’re the boss, Steph.

  33. There isn’t much room for anything except hate in a field whose every point of contention rests on, “If you dare live even slightly differently than the manner in which I prescribe, then I want you dragged out of bed at gunpoint into a rape-cage at 3am by actual stormtroopers.”

    1. Don’t you think the distinction between stormtroopers and a mean tweet is relevant, to some degree?

  34. Conservatives make up hysterical lies about liberals wanting to put them in camps. Conservatives build camps to house the liberals as an act of pre-emption. Conservatives never once pick up a goddamn book.

    Oh I almost forgot, those are for burning. We wouldn’t want anyone learning about how bog-standard fascism happens.

    1. Obama built the cages. Biden’s still using them

      1. Neither of them made their entire presidential platform about putting undesirables in them, to be fair.

        1. Explains why 1/6 protesters are STILL in jail for trespass. Totally.

          1. I know, they should be in jail for terrorism.

            1. Would be impressive considering the prosecutors know they have literally no option to actually win that case.

              Literally no option to win it.

              1. It turns out our legal structure is rather soft on terrorism, unless you pass a specific law about specific types of them.

                I’m just looking at the 9/11 attackers and the 6/1 attackers, seeing a bunch of symbolic monuments in the background being assaulted, and frankly only the latter actually caused significant damage to the United States’ strength, reputation, and system of government.

          2. Out of around 400 charged 46 have pled guilty and only around the same number are in jail.

            The charges go far beyond simple trespassing. Here is a typical example:

            Entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a capitol building; engaging in physical violence in the ground or capitol building; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers;obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; obstructing or impeding official proceeding

            1. “Far” beyond?

              I’d call them a nothingburger if not for concerns about insulting nothingburgers.

        2. Biden’s, HRC’s, and Harris’ careers were built on putting undesirables in cages and, on more than one occasion, laughing and/or bragging about it.

          1. You people need to figure out what you believe. Don’t you go on about violent BLM thugs in other contexts?

            1. What the blue fuck are you on about?

    2. Conservatives never once pick up a goddamn book.

      Oh I almost forgot, those are for burning. We wouldn’t want anyone learning about how bog-standard fascism happens.

      Last time I checked, your side couldn’t even handle the content of a kid’s book without fainting.

      1. And has actively burned books within the last 5 years.

    3. “”Conservatives build camps to house the liberals as an act of pre-emption.””

      So they are solving the homeless problem?

    4. Ewww Tony must have had a bad hookup and got home early.

      I mean hookup not in the normal sense of the word, but in the rent boy violation of it.

  35. At the very core of the new illiberal conservatism is a yen for power—and an unabashed willingness to use it to destroy one’s political opponents.

    You’re projecting your own despicable attitudes and views onto others.

    1. Not only attitudes and views, but what they’re actively doing right now.

      Yet there are dumbasses here seriously arguing that they think the current situation isn’t going to get much worse.

  36. This mean spirited politics is peculiarly Republican these days:
    1. “Owning the libs” as a chief motivator does not have a Democratic equivalent – “owning the conservatives” is not a recognizable battle cry.
    2. There is not liberal equivalent to the 24/7 right wing talk radio which blankets the nation and where the many “hosts” regularly describe Democrats and liberals as the enemy, un-American, and the main problem in the world.
    3. The cult leader so many in the GOP lost their mind to – what other political figure has had large flags flying in their name at rural driveways 8 months after he left office? – was not known or applauded at rallies for his aspirational and uplifting statements and speeches, but for his put-downs and mockery of perceived enemies. What does that tell you about the spirit of his followers?
    It’s amusing that Vance, fresh from making a mint as a “venture capitalist” – where did he get the capital? – is now supposedly against “elites”. Really?

  37. This is so disappointing. Not to say I was a huge fan of JD Vance, but I thoroughly enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy (the film). This article properly sums up the strong urge on the right to treat political opponents as existential threats, warranting the same treatment the left bestows upon its perceived enemies. Rinse and repeat.

  38. I haven’t been on Reason.com in a while, but I know that it was after Nixon closed the Gold Window. However, economically, Reason still seems to be stuck in gold-based economics and pre-treaty, pre-trade agreement days (Did those days ever exist?).
    Here’s some news for the Reason editors – Today, there is no such thing as “free trade”. Due to treaties we only have “managed trade”. Governments, due to practically unlimited supplies of fiat currency, can subsidize their industries and devalue their currency until they crush foreign competition as we have seen China do to America.

  39. “that the left wishes to “subjugate” or “exterminate” them; that progressives have no qualms about using state power to accomplish their ends; that to do anything less than respond “in kind” amounts to “unilateral disarmament”; that this is a “war” in which the only choices are “suicide” or victory at any cost.”

    Yet here you are, publishing on a theoretically Libertarian platform, where everyone knows that civil rights and respect for the Constitution worsen every day for decades. Yes, there are Republicans, Independents, and all sorts of other people who have also eroded the Constitution, but if you don’t hate the people doing it, what do you stand for as an American?

    Pundits compare it to suicide and extermination because these people are destroying a system of governance and culture that produced America as we know it. There is no America 2. If we become nothing more than another nation of the world, then the American dream is dead.

    1. The left is destroying the system of government by getting elected to power by a majority of the people.

      The right is assaulting the US capitol in order to overthrow the constitutional order… for the sake of the American system.

      You people will believe literally anything as long as the right pillow salesman says it.

      1. Overplayed your hand there with the doublethink.

        I get what you’re trying to do. You want to create a contradiction where we’re forced to use illiberal means to defend liberal government. You should stop it now while you still can because you’re not going to like what happens once the die is cast.

        1. Your objection is that democratic majorities don’t want the same policies you do. Your responsibility in that situation is to act like an adult and either learn to live with it, realize where you’re wrong, or try to convince the rest of us where you’re right.

          My objection is that your policy ideas keep getting implemented despite what the people want because the system is rigged. Only one of us has cause to foment revolution.

  40. “Now would be a good time to throw a big cocktail party in New York or Washington, and invite every single conservative writer you know. #RedWedding2”
    -Park Slope Welchie Boy

    https://twitter.com/mattwelch/status/1102654202545913857?s=12

    For those few of you out there who aren’t all familiar with Game of Thrones and thus don’t get the reference, the “Red Wedding” was a surprise ambush/massacre.

  41. JD – please, please don’t go down the “hate the right people” path. Is winning that important? You’re better than that. I want you to win, but don’t feel a need to accommodate haters of any persuasion

  42. You can always count on “Reason” to be consistently afflicted with Trump derangement syndrome.

    They loose all sense of reason at the mention of his name. Not unlike the lefties.

  43. Yes, Christ said love your enemies. His wrathful words and actions against Pharisees and money-changers may be interpreted in that context. Tough love. (he used a blinding light to convert a Pharisee – Saul/Paul). Or maybe His wrath was part of His divine attributes, not to be lightly imitated by mortals.

    But he said love your enemies, not “you have no enemies, don’t be so paranoid!”

    So for one’s own spiritual health, as the saying goes, hatred for the sin should be accompanied by love of the sinner, which generally means wishing for their repentance and conversion.

    Christ ate and drank with tax collectors, which actually was as scandalous to the Jews of today as it would be in a Libertarian Party convention. When the Pharisees tried to give Him grief about it, he replied sarcastically, oh, well, I don’t need to help righteous people like *you,* just the sinners.

    St. Francis of Assisi offered hospitality to bandits, not because he thought bandits were cool, but because they were fellow humans.

    But suppose, hypothetically, that St. Francis was a cop. Then his duty of love and justice, including toward the bandits’ victims, would be to get a warrant and arrest the perps. Of course (and some cops have a problem with this) the cop version of St. Francis would have acted in a spirit of duty, not vindictiveness.

    1. scandalous to the Jews of *the* day.

      And St. Matthew was recruited from his tax-collecting booth, and quit his lame-ass people-oppressing job to follow Christ.

Please to post comments