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Free Minds & Free Markets

Burn-It-All-Down Political Antinomianism Is Not Libertarian

The lawless passions fueling the rise of Trump are not likely to bring us a freer society.

TrumpAmericanspiritDreamstimeAmericanspirit/Dreamstime"With Donald Trump, you're either going to get something very good or very bad," former Democratic presidential hopeful Jim Webb said back in March. "But with Hillary Clinton were going to get more of the same thing. Do you want the same thing?" Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel had a similar thought in a Washington Post op-ed this month: Supporting Trump, is a way to say "to the incompetent elites who feel entitled to govern: 'You're fired.'" Rifle through the internet and you'll find the sentiment—even among some* frustrated Reason commenters—distilled crudely to "burn it all down."

The burn-it-all-down Trump supporter (or potential supporter, in Webb's case) is engaged in what I call political antinomianism. In Christian theology, an antinomian is a person who believes the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation. In the current electoral context, voters disgusted with how corrupted our political system has become are attracted to the lawlessness at the heart of Trump's personalized theory of governance. "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it," declared Trump at the Republican National Convention. Supporters have faith in Trump the Great Man and therefore are political antinomians.

Yet the rule of law is the bulwark of liberty, as Friedrich Hayek argued. The rule of law is embodied in the principles of generality, equality, certainty, and justice. That is, laws must apply to all, including government officials; they should be equally applied, so legal privileges are prohibited; they should be clear and consistent and not arbitrarily changed; and they should aim solely to prevent the infringement of individuals' protected domains.

Trump embodies the spirit of lawlessness. He showed how little respect he has for the First Amendment when he suggested he'd like to "open up" the libel laws to make it easier for aggrieved celebrities and politicians to sue the media. Even more egregiously, Trump threatened to use the IRS to go after Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, because he disliked what the paper had reported about him. With regard to Fourth Amendment guarantees of privacy, Trump has said that "security is going to rule" and that therefore "we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago." Trump has also said he'd be "fine" with restoring the NSA's authority to bulk-collect telecommunications data on to whom every American speaks, when, where, and for how long; back in 2013, he called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a "traitor" and hinted that he should be executed.

The Fifth Amendment provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. Yet Trump is a huge fan of using government eminent domain power to take private property and then turn it over to developers like him. He hailed the infamous Kelo decision, in which a Connecticut woman was forced out of her house so the city could turn her property over to Pfizer to build a business campus for the company. "I happen to agree with it 100%," Trump declared. "If you have a person living in an area that's not even necessarily a good area, and...government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and...create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good." Indeed, he tried to do the same thing to a woman in Atlantic City whose property he wanted for building a limousine parking lot.

And this week he bemoaned the fact that the accused New York City bomber has, like all U.S. citizens, a right to an attorney. Apparently Trump would junk the Sixth Amendment too.

Beyond the Bill of Rights, a parsing of Trump's policy proposals finds that, to the degree that anything he says can be believed, he has no intention of minimizing the role of the state in other areas either. He has promised to spend "at least double" what Clinton has proposed on infrastructure—that is, about $500 billion. Although Social Security is on a fiscally unsustainable path, Trump agrees with Clinton that benefits should not be cut. And who knows when he will revive his support for a single-payer, government-run health system?

Trump's views against legalizing marijuana have hardened somewhat over time. Although the candidate still says it's a state issue, he told the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015 that he thinks that recreational marijuana use is "bad" and suggested that "they've got a lot of problems going on right now, in Colorado. Some big problems." With regard to policing, Trump has said that he would restart the program in which the Pentagon hands out military equipment to local police departments.

On trade, Trump is a nightmare for anyone who supports free markets. A new report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics estimates that implementing his proposals—a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, scrapping NAFTA and the WTO, vetoing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement—would result in the loss of 4 million private sector jobs. Pursuing economic nationalism is an infamous recipe for economic disaster.

On military spending, Trump is all over the place, but in his latest pronouncements he says he wants to increase Pentagon spending, perhaps by as much as $500 billion over the next ten years. His solution to ISIS: "I would bomb the shit out of them!" He has further declared that he would order that suspected terrorists be waterboarded (or "worse") and that families of suspected terrorists be bombed. When told that prominent members of the military and intelligence communities declared that they would refuse to obey such illegal orders, Trump sneered, "They won't refuse. They're not going to refuse. Believe me." He added: "If I say do it, they're going to do it. That's what leadership is all about."

His blushing bromance with Russian authoritarian Vladimir Putin is disgusting. Putin, who clearly knows how to stroke the ego of the needy narcissist, said of Trump, "He is a very flamboyant man, very talented, no doubt about that." In response Trump gushed, "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." Putin opponents, especially journalists, have a way of ending up dead, including my former Forbes friend and colleague Paul Klebnikov. To which Trump turns all lawyerly and says that he's seen no proof that Putin has journalists killed. Shy of a videotaped confession, he never will.

Trump's appeal to authoritarians extends beyond Putin. For example, a column published in North Korea's government press endorsed Trump, asserting, "It turns out that Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate."

Some libertarian-leaning folk hold out the hope that Trump would be less likely to get our country into another war. Perhaps. But Trump is notoriously thin-skinned and lashes out at the least bit of criticism or opposition. Recall that he is the man who fumed, "What happens is they hit me and I hit them back harder and, usually in all cases, they do it first. But they hit me and I hit them back harder and they disappear. That's what we want to lead the country." And that was what he said about people who just made fun of his hair. Feeling lucky, America?

The lawless passions that are fueling the rise of Trump are not likely to bring us a freer society. If he wins, you should expect the opposite.

*When our readers were asked to come up with new campaign slogans for Trump, this sentiment showed up several times. Hopefully in jest.

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  • Citizen X||

    Now you've done it, Bailey. You've lit the Trumpkin signal.

    The Trumpkin signal looks like this:

    ╭∩╮(o ȝ o)╭∩╮

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Are they trying to kiss me while they flip me off?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's actually a mutant goldfish.

    A koi, perhaps.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Trumplings can't distinguish between love and hate, so it's probably both.

  • Agammamon||

    Something's wrong with that chick's boobs.

  • Curt||

    I think it's some kind of POV shot.

  • JWatts||

    Then what's that part in the middle .... never mind.

  • ThomasD||

    Only someone like Bailey could drone on so long about people doubting the benefits of the rule of law WITHOUT even once noting the behavior exhibited by Obama and his administration over the past seven years.

    Because there is just no correlation to be found...

  • Jay Dubya||

    so your complaint is that this article about Trump did not spend more time talking about Obama? Tu quoque much?

  • ThomasD||

    Right, because the topic Trump exists within a vacuum. Discussing his candidacy and only - his - candidacy in relation to the broader topic Bailey describes as antinomian needs nor deserves no further context.

    Never mind what sorts of thoughts or opinions might motivate the people who - you know- made him the GOP candidate.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Let's see. Summary execution of American citizens without trial. Signing "treaties" without the consent of the senate. Destruction of the coal industry by executive fiat. Prohibition of vaping and destruction of the vaping industry by executive fiat. Destruction of for profit universities by executive fiat. Dropping bombs wherever and whenever it suits the executive. The prohibition of due process in universities. Blatant theft through civil forfeiture. Fedgov dictating who gets to crap in what toilet. Word count prevents me from adding more but there's plenty. And the heir to throne explicitly promises all of this and a whole lot more. But I'm supposed to fear a clownish buffoon as a threat to the "rule of law".
    Ron, I know you're pretty busy worrying about the fact that '15 was warmer than '14 and those poor polar bears are running out of ice to sit on, so you may have missed a few current events. You live in a police state. THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW. There are no checks and balances, advise or consent. All of those rights and amendments are anachronisms. Authoritarianism is not some new threat, it's business as usual. Trump may stir up "lawless passions" but you defend a lawless status quo. I don't see a difference.

  • NoVaNick||

    Thank you Gaear! Who was the last US President who respected the "rule of law" and/or Constitution?

    The only one I can think of in my lifetime who might come close is Jimmy Carter-seriously...

  • d_remington||

    William Henry Harrison. And only incidentally.

  • NoVaNick||

    Destruction of the coal industry by executive fiat. Prohibition of vaping and destruction of the vaping industry by executive fiat

    Both of these things were actually blessed by Congress (in the case of FDA tobacco regulation) and the Supreme Court (allowing the EPA to classify CO2 as an air pollutant). So as stupid as these regulations are, it was the Congress and SC that allowed executive overreach.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    You are obviously correct but I suspect that a majority in congress find the consequences of their legislation to be regulatory overreach. The fact that congress is unable or unwilling to act as a check on radical regulators kinda makes my point.

  • UCrawford||

    No kidding...seven years to which Hillary Clinton is happy to tie herself.

    Trump wasn't who I wanted to win the GOP nomination, but a lot of the Reason staff have been utterly delusional convincing themselves that he's somehow worse than a candidate who has never at any point been anything other than hostile to libertarian ideals and the rule of law.

  • Lee Genes||

    oooooooooo....big words

    Help us HM! You're our only hope!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm just wondering why Bailey went through all this trouble when Thomas Knapp nailed it (almost exactly) 7 years ago.

  • The Fusionist||

    "he suggested he'd like to "open up" the libel laws to make it easier for aggrieved celebrities and politicians to sue the media."

    If that means changing the Supreme Court's approach so that there's a single standard of defamation - whether you're a "public figure" like Angelina Jolie or an obscure person like Joe Sixpack - and in exchange we get loser pays so that if the plaintiff loses (s)he'll have to pay the defendant's legal expenses - under a deal like that I'd think the rule of law might actually be the gainer.

  • The Fusionist||

    Under such a system, to give just one example, it would be easier for responsible media outlets to get liability insurance because they'll get back what they had to spend on defending their customer.

  • The Fusionist||

    And just to make things more fun, suing over what the plaintiff knows to be a true report should result in a criminal referral for the plaintiff.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Emotionally, I agree with the sentiment.

    On principle, it violates my read of "Congress shall make no law" in the 1st amendment.

  • The Fusionist||

    But so would any defamation law.

    At least any defamation law passed by Congress.

  • UnCivilServant||

    We're back in the weeds of to what extent civil redress of actual damages impedes freedom of speech. I remember several heated debates on this very issue.

    The debate on the ability to recover actual damages versus nonimpedence of expression is intelectually interesting, and a ways from where we are now.

    I'm okay with a civil option where the party alleging harm has a means of redress. I'm not okay with criminalizing speech.

    To clarify on the issue of fraud being obviously criminal. Fraud is not exclusively an expressive act. It's a multi-pronged offense where the deception is a means to facilitate theft, thus fraud being criminalized would not be because it is deceptive, but because it is thieving.

    I'm carrying on too much of the discussion with my mental hypothetical responses. I'll just let the other commenters actually respond.

  • DenverJ||

    Get back to work. What do you think the taxpayers are paying you for?

  • UnCivilServant||

    What do you think the taxpayers are paying you for?

    That depends on who you ask. The processes in place actually prevent me from getting my work done because the approvals need to cycle through the bureaucracy before I can act upon what needs to be done.

  • Agammamon||

    So . . . compiling? "I'm waiting for my code to compile and that's why you find me sitting this chair, holding a picture frame and a cardboard tube while being pushed down the hallway towards Fred who's code is also compiling".

  • R C Dean||

    My summary:

    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of speech.

  • Agammamon||

    And its not like Clinton doesn't want to overturn Citizen's United - opening up for aggrieved politicians to sue the media.

  • Illocust||

    Shhhhh, we aren't supposed to mention how literally every complaint about Trump could be applied to Hillary except for PC.

  • Calidissident||

    What version of Reason do you read where Hillary Clinton is above criticism from the writers or the commenters? And the opposite thing can be said as well - a lot of the criticisms of Clinton (liar, corrupt, untrustworthy, supports big government) can also be levied at Trump.

  • Jgalt1975||

    And precisely how many lawsuits were filed by politicians against media outlets before Citizens United?

  • Agammamon||

    Quite a few - which is how Citizens United ended up at the Supreme Court.

  • Whahappan?||

    Citizen's United involved the FEC preventing them (CU) from disseminating their film, not a lawsuit from a politician.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I was thinking about reading the article. but scrolling up from the comments section revealed its verbosity.

    TL;DR version: TL;DR

  • GILMORE™||

    Wanting to "burn-it-all-down" is not libertarianism.

    no. but constantly playing footsie with and making excuses for a leftist-establishment *isn't either*, Reason. (hint hint)

    I think the argument from the 'burn it all down types' (i'm not one, exactly, but sympathetic) is that change will only come when you admit the system is broken; and breaking the system further may be the only way to end institutional inertia.

    I think its informative that this is exactly how the Left seems to have finally decided to approach the issue of forcing "Nationalized Healthcare" to the table.

    They knew that 6 decades of nibbling away at the edges, socializing slices of the industry and creating giant institutional regulatory structures was actually working against them; so instead of admitting that all their past ideas had failed, they decided to go bigger, and create a plan which would break things even faster. Its a ridiculous gamble and one which may cost millions of people enormous hardship, as well as major political fallout - but the long-game may possibly be working... as it seems unlikely that the GOP will risk their own political clout taking responsibility for the 'cleanup'. The likelihood is that we'll see Government Healthcare in my lifetime.

    IOW = "Breaking Shit" works, as far as i can tell.

  • MikeT1986||

    "The likelihood is that we'll see Government Healthcare in my lifetime."

    Medicaid or Medicare?

  • UnCivilServant||

    The VA.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Medicare for Everyone", as they call it. A NHS for the US.

    you know what i mean. A 'Government Option' which morphs into the Only Option.

  • Agammamon||

    Except Trump supporters are not in the 'burn it all down' class. They're not. They're not electing the guy because they think he'll destroy everything. They're electing him because he'll 'Make America Great Again'.

    If there's anything they think he'll burn down is the PC SJW Progressive cruft that's built up over government. He won't of course, because he's as firmly a system man as Clinton is.

    And I don't see how 'burn it all down' couldn't be a libertarian stance either. We have no particular love for 'the way we've always done it'. Libertarians are (small-c)conservatives only in that we understand that the way things are done are done that way for a reason and we're extremely reluctant to sweep that away in favor of a 'Top Man's' vision of how things *should* (but never do) work.

    If we're going to say that we shouldn't 'burn it all down' - well, I would consider that a very anti-freedom stance. For libertarians burning it all down is always on the table. For anybody who values their freedom, burning it all down rather than suffering oppression should always be an option. If it was places like Venezuala, Cuba, North Korea wouldn't exist.

    'Trump embodies the spirit of lawlessness' as does Clinton. As does Obama, as did Bush, Clinton, Bush. Name a politician or senior government official that doesn't think that what's best for them is what's best for the country, laws be damned.

  • Agammamon||

    Look guys - Trump's a dumpster-fire, I agree. But no matter how hard you try, no matter what you dredge up from his past, you can not find anything he's done or any position he's held that Clinton has done something worse or hasn't held a worse position. Nothing he *might* do is any worse than what Clinton *has already done and will continue to do if elected*.

    It is literally a choice between a giant douche or a turd-sandwich - if you're of the 'don't waste your vote' group.

  • GILMORE™||

    no matter how hard you try, no matter what you dredge up from his past, you can not find anything he's done or any position he's held that Clinton has done something worse or hasn't held a worse position

    I think especially on the "major stuff that presidents can really have an individual effect on" ... that's even more true.

    1) Foreign policy and
    2) supreme court picks

    Clinton isn't just *incompetent* with FP, and carrying some major grudges that she wants payback on... she's never seen an intervention she wasn't gung-ho for, nor a scumbag allied country she wasn't willing to throw weight around for. She's the biggest cheerleader for post-Cold War US meddling abroad we've ever seen.

    Trump blusters about bombing enemies into goo, but has otherwise suggested he's closer to libertarians on FP than anyone in decades. Which is why the neocon establishment despises him. The counter argument of course is his promise to spend and spend and spend on the military ... but congress holds the purse. On stuff that presidents can do *alone* - he's still marginally better.

    I don't think its even necessary to make the point about SCOTUS appointments.

    everything else is gravy.

  • The Fusionist||

    Yeah, I don't think the people who are literally burning stuff in Charlotte are Trump supporters.

  • Calidissident||

    "They're not electing the guy because they think he'll destroy everything."

    I think you're taking the statement too literally. It's not saying that his supporters want him to destroy everything, but to destroy the current established way of doing things. It's true that this is not automatically unlibertarian, but it also isn't inherently libertarian - many libertarians supportive of Trump seem to assume this must be the case because the establishment is bad. But there are plenty of historical examples of anti-establishment movements being as bad or worse (in some cases far worse) than the establishment that preceded them.

  • Agammamon||

    I think history would show that damn near all anti-establishment movements ended up worse than what they replaced.

  • Johnny B||

    You mean like the American Revolution?

  • Fk Censorship||

    Or Eastern Europe, 1989?

  • wareagle||

    one question worth considering, perhaps the obvious question, is: what would be so bad about destroying the current way of doing things, or at least working hard to change it? I don't see many champions of the status quo, and while there are many reasons for opposing Trump, no one is more emblematic of the status quo and all that is wrong with it than Herself. Jim Webb's assessment was dead-on accurate.

  • Agammamon||

    Don't ask me man. I'm all for removing a lot of this shit that's been piled on top of us rather than hoping it'll be piled in a more comfortable manner.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    The rule of law is embodied in the principles of generality, equality, certainty, and justice.

    I hate to say this, but if these are the standards by which we're to judge the rule of law, Trump is arguably more in tune with the concept than Clinton (although certainly not Gary Johnson).

  • MikeT1986||

    I'm just going to sit here with a bowl of pop corn and watch the Trumpitarians accuse everyone of being a Cosmo and argue for Trump's secret Libertarian credentials.

  • grrizzly||

    I gather this is not the libertarian case for Trump that we've been waiting for.

  • PurityDiluting||

    a political
    antinomianism
    barely fits haiku

  • SugarFree||

    dry your weeping eyes
    poor antinomianist
    have faith in Daddy

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • SugarFree||

    Fist me Daddy
    I'm so squishy
    Give me the cummies

    4
    4
    5

    Not a haiku.

  • SugarFree||

    Fist harder, Daddy
    I am so squishy for you
    Give me the cummies

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I thought what made it a haiku was Asians.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I don't know what it is about the cadence of the Haiku, but hearing them just irritates the fuck out of me. Perhaps it's the forcing of english into a poetic form designed for a dramatically different language.

  • SugarFree||

    Heroic couplet or gtfo?

  • Agammamon||

    There once was a man from Nantucket
    Whose government job . . . ah fuck it.

  • Citizen X||

    UnCivilServant
    Doesn't like anything fun
    Get off his lawn now

  • UnCivilServant||

    I don't have a lawn.

  • Citizen X||

    UCS's lawn
    Is a metaphoric place;
    Still, young folks, begone!

  • Citizen X||

    Troll takes dump in street;
    "You don't have to watch, you know!"
    It screams while jackin'

  • Cute Little Bunny Rabbit||

    Damn asshole walrus.
    Mother fucker stole my shit!!!
    Can you believe it?!??!

  • Cute Little Bunny Rabbit||

    UnCivilServant:
    Doesn't own a lawnmower;
    Really hates haikus

  • Agammamon||

    If you mention haiku in your haiku its automatically disqualified. Unless its a haiku about haiku.

  • Cute Little Bunny Rabbit||

    This is a haiku.
    A haiku about haikus;
    And only haikus.

  • waffles||

    Trump is bad. How bad? Really bad. So how do we stop him?

    Will Trump or Hillary be harder to stop from further eroding our freedoms?

    I think both will be opposed by congress at least as much as Obama.

  • ||

    Every politician is a threat to liberty, some more than others. Voting for the one you perceive to be the least threat is sound reasoning.

    Every one of your complaints are true Ron. The horrible situation we face is that Hillary is worse by several orders of magnitude on every level.

  • Agammamon||

    He will do no such thing. The President doesn't control the purse.

    Clinton is far more likely to blow out the budget through 'contingency funding' of innumerable 'interventions' that she is so fond of.

  • Marty Comanche||

    The president does control the purse these days. If Congress doesn't give him exactly what he wants, THEY'RE NOT DOING THEIR JOBS! The government shuts down, and Congress is blamed. Or maybe it's just Republicans who are blamed. It's hard to tell.

  • ThomasD||

    That script only applies when there is a D in the Oval Office. When Congress uses to power of the purse to restrain an R it is proof positive of the benefits of checks and balances.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Does Reason publish a "Handy Guide to Downlow Libertarians and Conservatives"?

    Asking for a friend.

    Well, jesse. I'm asking for jesse.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not if you're going to be a humorless cunt about it, child.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I can, but you don't deserve it.

  • ||

    I don't think jessie is on the downlow.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed. The indefatigable jesse is an open bearhawk. But he also takes pleasure in turning the DL to open.

    If not, then he must slay them.

  • Agammamon||

    Does Reason publish a "Handy Guide to Downballot Libertarians and Conservatives"?

    For some fucking reason - NO.

    Which would actually be rational and useful for one of the leading voices in mainstream libertarianism to produce instead of yet another article in the 'Clinton's bad, Trump's worse' competition.

  • Agammamon||

    You hear me Bailey - that one's free.

  • Citizen X||

    "Pay attention to meee!" the troll explained.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    Nope, they are aggressive and angry and bloodthirsty.

    If only. Would probably be fewer BLM riots if that was the case.

  • Lord at War||

    Indeed. I'm kinda shocked that at least one of the "freeway blocking morons" hasn't already gotten the Instapundit treatment...

  • Illocust||

    So Trump presidency:
    1.) No more dear colleague letters to college's demanding they hold star tribunals for their male students.
    2.) Congress will hate him with the burning passion of ten thousand suns. High possibility they will suddenly remember that division of powers is actually a thing.
    3.) He actually believes in the none of our fucking business ethos about Syria. We might actually not be at war for the first time in decades.

    Hillary presidency:
    1.) The originator of Hillary Care. Yeah, Obamacare is going to get a change in make up.
    2.) Identity Politics will be responsible for her election. She remembers the people that help her. We'll see some rewards being dished out.
    3.) Actual admitted felon in office. FBI will be rewarded for burying her crimes.
    4.) Corruption, corruption, and CORRUPTION. Hope you like your wars declared based on who paid to be at her ear this week.
    5.) She gets to pick Supreme Court nominees. Say goodbye to the occasional ruling in the favor of freedom.
    6.) Dems can continue to feel safe in the imperial presidency.
    7.) New normal for reporters. Burning their reputation to the ground by out and out hysteria and bias was rewarded by their candidate getting into office. No need to soul search about the boy who cried wolf. We've entered a new age.
    8.) Money wins elections will get another case in its column. She's outspending five to one. This will come up for campaign finance reform.

  • Illocust||

    Oh hey, here is some evidence for number seven. Oh boy, we've got so much to look forward to with this tactic being validated.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/.....thing.html

  • UnCivilServant||

    A mouseover of the link to read the headline is the closest I'm going to get to reading a slate article.

  • Illocust||

    Basically, people are getting so convinced by reporters that there will literally be blood in the streets if Trump wins that they are getting anxiety disorders from it. Their therapists are convinced of the same, so its getting encouraged even further.

  • UnCivilServant||

    All the blood in the streets thusfar has been from the small group of people trying to intimidate people into staying away from Trump. If there is any, I'd wager that group will be most likely to blame.

  • Illocust||

    Yeah, I noticed that. There hasn't really been a point in bringing it up though. People are so married to the narrative that says the opposite that even on sites like this I'd get tuned out.

  • flye||

    The one unquestionable positive of a Trump victory is all the delicious tears that will be shed by all the right people.

  • ||

    That's no shit. No matter how tiny and inconsequential it is, every bit of Obumbles bumblefucks that are undone will cause shrieks to bring down the heavens. My face will hurt from smiling so much.

  • waffles||

    Stop it. You're making me deplore myself.

  • R C Dean||

    Euphemism? Check.

    Abstract? Check.

  • Ken Starr's Chamber||

    star tribunals

    NO

    Or for you young whippersnappers STILL NO

  • Illocust||

    That's what I get for going off memory. Also, second link is SF'ed

  • Ken Starr's Chamber||

    That's what I get for doing manual HTML tags. one more time

  • Ken Starr's Chamber||

    I guess just look up the movie poster for The Star Chamber (1983)

  • Illocust||

    Ah gotcha. I always thought that term came from Russia. Guess I was wrong.

  • MikeP2||

    meh. Burning it down has a strong appeal.

    When you reach the point, that rational hope is no longer feasible. When the system is so broken that a pathway forward is nonexistent. When you are standing at a precipice with a bunch of prog zombies trying to push you over the edge, really...finally...the only option is to light off the flamethrower. open the valve, squeeze the trigger, and just let it rip. ashes to ashes. there is no other way.

    this is Trump's appeal. Bush, McCain, Romney, Obama, Kerry, Clinton. are all just different zombies pushing us over the edge. Trump, at least to appearances, is not. Maybe it's more of the same...but maybe...just maybe we might get enough conflagration to pull back from the edge. the torching of the PC culture is a wonderful example. Trump did that. Even if that's the last good thing he does, it is more than any one else has done recently.

    burn it down

  • Uncle Jay||

    Burn-It-All-Down Political Antinomianism Is Not Libertarian

    The wise among us would embrace Antinomianism. Faith alone will bring salvation. One only has to observe the examples of blind faith in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, Castro's Cuba, etc. Then one can see for themselves what a fortunate group of people these were while employing their faith in The State. They had no wars, there were no famines, there were no violations of human rights, no oppression of expression, etc. Indeed, all us little would be wiser if we would put faith before reason, justice and financial freedom. This way, The State, our ruling elitist masters and their cronies would enjoy a much fuller and happier lives at our expense. All they ask of us is to eliminate all vestiges of freedom so they can oppress and enslave us for their benefit, and they should enjoy all the benefits of abusive rule since the ruling elitist turds are judicious enough to employ the ol' boy network to their benefit. But be rest assured the enlightened minority ruling over us will throw us a few crumbs so we won't starve, a few pennies so at least we can't say we aren't paid, and place us so we will at least have a leaky roof over heads we can call homes. So let's all put our faith in where it should be, in our obvious betters, The State and a dismal future we all covet so much.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Didn't Bailey vote for Obama?

    I ask because Obama and his gutter rat brownshirts are the true "Burn-It-All-Down" gang. As in, they're literally trying to burn it all down in Ferguson, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Charlotte, etc. etc.

    Meanwhile, I have yet to see a single news report of a Trump supporter anywhere setting fire to anything.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Davey boy, I only wish that one of your Messiah's young street thugs would play the Knockout Game on your dumb ass the same way they did to your buddy Sadbeard.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Dark, violent soul. That's good stuff. You should use those skills in your piece of crap prog rock book.

    Which by the way, in case you've forgotten, it isn't just going to just magically finish itself. Fuckface.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    Hard to believe, but your publisher is indeed even more fucking stupid than you are.

    I've got to get in this scam somehow.

  • Reverend Lovejoy||

    Do you never tire of outing yourself as a white supremacist, DissidentReich?

  • Citizen X||

    Hey, Trisomic Downsident, i never got an answer from you yesterday: on what grounds do you believe that AM/dajjal is David Weigel?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who are you voting for in November? Obama. The Republicans must be punished and punished hard.
  • ThomasD||

    Who says irony is dead?

  • Azathoth!!||

    That has got to be one of the most embarrassing articles on the site.

    So many purported 'libertarians' slobbering over Obama......

  • Reverend Lovejoy||

    Take it back to Stormfront/Federalist, DissidentReich.

  • Citizen X||

    Guys, we broke the troll. Is it still under warranty, do you think?

  • (VERY VIP), Jr.||

    Good luck returning the thing.

  • R C Dean||

    If you stop complaining, you won't have any comments to make.

    So, yes.

  • Illocust||

    You think Trump is responsible for Islamic terrorism? Maybe you should set down what ever you are smoking and go get some fresh air.

  • Sevo||

    And I'm sure we can learn something from our German friends, since they have such a great record in governance:

    "Activists in Germany rally against Donald Trump"
    [...]
    "An activist group built a wall in Berlin featuring the face of Donald Trump, then tore it down in a rally to encourage Americans overseas to vote against the Republican presidential candidate."
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/pol.....241556.php

  • waffles||

    The "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me" vote seems like it is going to Trump. Fuck the krauts. Don't tell me who to vote for you fucking eurotrash fucks.

  • JagerIV||

    Ok, is AddictionMyth serious, or is he just really dedicated to his character? I mean, it seems rediculous, but I'm pretty sure I've seen people say this kind of stuff with deadly seriousness.

  • Aloysious||

    *tweets whistle*
    *throws a flurry of yellow flags*

    Link limit in one article exceeded. The penalty is to watch one hour of Trump speeches.

  • wef||

    Oh, how these trumpean memes have invaded the imaginations of so many Reason scribblers.

    An aside: Is it merely "burn it all down" or a good bit of "the place is destroyed and in flames anyway"? In all this psychoanalysis of trump followers, also keep in mind that there is a large bloc of supporters who are ready to cast the irony vote.

  • Agammamon||

    No one ever casts an 'irony vote' not even hipsters. Tons of people will *say* they're doing so 'ironically' but of those who actually pull the trigger (rather than pussy out in the voting booth) are just too scared to admit that its what they really wanted.

  • waffles||

    Duh.

  • Agammamon||

    I don't think you've ever seen Frankenstein.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Thanks for spoiling the twist ending, me.

  • R C Dean||

    Wanting to "burn-it-all-down" is not libertarianism.

    When "it" is a metastasizing Total State and dysfunctional above-the-law political class, it may be a necessary first step.

  • ant1sthenes||

    They want government small enough to fit in an urn on a mantlepiece.

    Yet the rule of law is the bulwark of liberty, as Friedrich Hayek argued.

    The rule of law? Even atheists believe in myths, I guess.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Speaking of burning shit down, here's my take: The Oval Office is the Ring. Trump is Gollum, Hillary is Sauron. Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are Sam and Frodo at the end of the journey.

  • JWatts||

    So, the Libertarian's are trying to throw the Oval Office into the Lake of Fire, but Trump wants it so he can sit on a rock by himself talking to it and calling it my precious while Hillary wants it so she can bring ultimate evil over the land for all eternity.

    Hmmm.. ok, I can see that.

  • Jima||

    All this burn it down stuff is bullshit for most people. Trump is objectively less evil than Hillary. It's a simple logic decision. I don't like Trump, but I don't like Clinton waaaaaaaay more(a massive understatement of my true loathing of Clinton), and Trump occasionally expresses views I can agree with, like support for the second amendment, and nominating more conservative Supremes. That's enough for me. Would I prefer Gary Johnson? Yes I would, but I don't see him having a decent shot at a win, and Clinton is too big of a fuck up to ignore. That's how I see it. Florida is a toss up state, I think I just decided I have to vote for Trump. Huh....

  • Dana||

    Well said. We don't really know what we get with Trump...but we absolutely know what we get with Clinton, and none of it is good. I was an Austin Petersen guy but the libertarians went with face recognition...and Bill Weld. And in this time of fear as a campaign strategy, on both sides, Johnson comes off as "not serious enough'. He was tricked by plagiarist/fictionalist Mike Barnicle who brought up Aleppo out of nowhere instead of using the more common "Syria" in his question and the left ran with it. While Johnson has all the correct stands for the SJWs, his fiscal policies scare the bejesus out of the left. Supreme Court choices make me much less afraid of Trump than Comrade Clinton (Soros).

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "Trump embodies a spirit of lawlessness" had me lol given the context of this election.

    Also, wanting to burn it all down does not mean you have "faith in Trump The Great Man". Taken with the first sentence in my post, it means that burning it all down as a worst case scenario is preferable to the prospect of the certain doom of a hillary supreme Court, doj, and pay for play foreign policy.

    In the real world where these are the 2 options, the pussy, pant shitting move is to prefer the surety of what a hillary presidency will bring.

  • Earl of Buccleugh||

    Bring on the human wrecking ball (as long as ammunition is still affordable).

  • ||

    If I had a bitcoin for every time someone said that's "not libertarian" I'd have a lot of bitcoin.

  • Tyler.C||

    But bitcoin is not libertarian

  • Atillahn||

    I wish you had photo comments. There are so many for this whiney post. Revolution for the hell of it...

  • Tony||

    I haven't been around much lately. Can someone just sum up for me? Is the consensus that Trump is y'alls candidate because mumble mumble, or are you mostly taking the useless coward's way out and going for the guy who can't possibly win or find Syria on a map?

  • Reverend Lovejoy||

    It's about this time when it's appropriate to remind you, Tony, to go fuck yourself.

  • Earl of Buccleugh||

    Who-T-F is arguing this is a "free society" movement? This is a F*CK the ruling class establishment action. (Too bad the Bern is so unAmerican, or he could have helped.)

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    Yet the rule of law is the bulwark of liberty, as Friedrich Hayek argued. The rule of law is embodied in the principles of generality, equality, certainty, and justice. That is, laws must apply to all, including government officials; they should be equally applied, so legal privileges are prohibited; they should be clear and consistent and not arbitrarily changed; and they should aim solely to prevent the infringement of individuals' protected domains.

    Agreed. Let's say you're going to vote, but you're not going to vote for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or some write-in protest for Bernie Sanders or Kermit the Frog. Explain to me why, with the above quote in mind, Trump is a worse choice than Clinton.

  • RedClayBlues||

    "Trump embodies the spirit of lawlessness. He showed how little respect he has for the First Amendment when he suggested he'd like to "open up" the libel laws to make it easier for aggrieved celebrities and politicians to sue the media". And you are against this. Really! Why, if he is slandered or libeled,should a public figure have lesser rights to legal redress than an everyday citizen.

  • lucius.junius.brutus||

    Among those items of Rule of Law are the duly passed emigration and border control laws. They, too, must be enforced, and those that broke them punished and deported.

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