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Free Minds & Free Markets

The Democracy Theorist in the Age of Trump

Saving liberal democracy one platitude at a time

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger & How to Save It, by Yascha Mounk, Harvard University Press, 393 pages, $29.95

Harvard University PressHarvard University PressThere is a time in the lives of academics, the fortunate ones at least, when the topic of their research aligns with events taking place on the mean streets beyond the ivory tower. Such has been the lucky lot of democracy theorists in the age of Donald Trump. A small industry of democracy-is-doomed prophets is now proliferating on the nation's bookshelves, from David Runciman's How Democracy Ends (Basic Books) to Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt's How Democracies Die (Crown). Now joining this morose mix is Yascha Mounk, a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School and a senior fellow at the think tank New America, whose apocalyptic stew is titled The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger & How to Save It.

Underscoring the millenarian mood of the moment, Mounk tells us that there are ordinary times and extraordinary times. In the former, "partisans on both sides of the political battle agree on the rules of the game" and on the legitimacy of the electoral process—the political version of allowing the other kids at the playground to have a go at the swings when it's their turn.

But we don't live in ordinary times, Mounk warns. Americans' faith in the fairness and perpetuity of taking turns is fast eroding. Bullies have appeared on the global playground: Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans are elbowing out anyone still putting their stock in rules and fairness. Their arrival shows that the basic contours of "politics and society are being renegotiated." There is name-calling and vilification and a fear that the bullies, once they get on the swings, may never leave. If the erosion of democratic norms that Trump has begotten continues, then the "virus of authoritarianism could ravage the body politic without meeting much resistance."

Despair not, for Mounk intends to tell us "what we can do to rescue what is truly valuable in our imperiled social and political order." A new and recalibrated flavor of liberal democracy is needed, he says—one erected on "inclusive patriotism."

This big idea turns out to be a lot less useful than promised. For all his passionate arguments that we live in an extraordinary time, Mounk fails to offer an extraordinary solution.

Getting to that part of the book requires a lot of wading first. There is, for example, the business of definitions, which come after some chatty opening salvos featuring far-right rallies in Germany. Democracy, Mounk says, is a set of binding electoral institutions that translate popular opinion into public policy. Liberal institutions "effectively protect the rule of law and guarantee individual rights such as the freedom of speech, worship and press to all citizens." Put them together and you get liberal democracy, but liberalism is distinct and can exist in political systems other than democracies, and vice versa. The health of each can make their sum a healthier whole.

Armed with these definitions, we are ready for the book's meaty bits. Except that we never really get them. The center of The People vs. Democracy, chunky as it is around the middle, offers up bland and processed meat; it never delivers the satiation we were promised.

The first part of the book presents in great grinding detail the bad ways to mix democracy and liberalism—when more of one means less of the other, compromising the potential of the whole to deliver stability. In Hungary, for instance, Viktor Orbán's party won power democratically and proceeded to undermine liberal institutions; he has now explicitly vowed that democracy should be more hierarchical than liberal. On the other side, the European Union pretends to be deeply invested in democracy but regularly looks for ways around votes that undermine its agenda of economic liberalization.

Part two enumerates the changing ground conditions that Mounk says have made a rebalancing of liberal democracy urgent and crucial. One is social media, a "world shattering force" that has uncorked huge changes and heralded a communications revolution. Another is economic stagnation in Western democracies, which has shattered the promise of perpetual and ever-increasing prosperity. Finally, a fear of the arrival of foreign "others" has goaded previously tolerant people into nationalist anxiety.

It is a tiring slog through Mounk's elucidations, which are, as readers of the end-of-democracy subgenre will recognize, not particularly novel. All of these ideas have fallen from the mouths of primped television analysts tasked with considering the truths and falsehoods of Trump's latest tweet.

What is repetitious and unoriginal tends to be unproblematic, something we can all hem and haw around at dinner parties. Perhaps worried about boring his readers, Mounk tries to spark excitement with his big solution: "a new language of inclusive patriotism." This too would be tolerable, except his patriotism turns out to be less inclusive than promised.

Mounk's "new language," he tells us, cannot "be blind to persisting injustices…nor can it privilege the nation to such an extent that it either oppresses minorities within the country or goes to war with other countries." Instead, "it must build on the tradition of multi-ethnic democracy to show that the ties that bind go well beyond ethnicity and religion." To make this all happen, "countries must facilitate a sense of community among all citizens and ease fears of future migration."

If you're wondering what actual program all this building and facilitating adds up to, the answer is: not much. Mounk prefers platitudes to action items. And he does not address philosophical liberalism's most vexing problem: the right of nation-states to accord different rights to individuals based on birth or geography.

Liberals differ on whether the individual's right to free movement can be made secondary to the interests of a particular state, but Mounk sidesteps the issue entirely. He does not describe the basis on which rights should be allotted, the conditions on which migrants could be admitted, and what immutable characteristics could lead to exclusion. Instead there is this: "we should acknowledge that it does not violate the principles of liberal democracy for nations to improve their ability to track and control who gets access to their territory," and "it is perfectly conformable with principles of liberal democracy for nation-states to honor popular preferences by lowering the overall number of immigrants."

In other words, while the book calls for "inclusive patriotism," it is scant on details of who exactly should be included. If their number is to be lowered, by how much? Would the illegally admitted be allowed to join their ranks? Is there a substantive distinction between Mounk's concept and simply privileging the native born and adding a smattering of lucky others to the mix? The book offers no answers.

Mounk's rhetoric is much kinder than the race-baiting bluster of the Trump era, but it remains at its heart a justification for exclusion. Rights, opportunities, and belonging will still rest on the random luck of being born to certain parents or geographies. Whether or not that's patriotic, it certainly isn't very inclusive.

Photo Credit: Joanna Andreasson. Source image: Sudowoodo/iStock

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  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    We now live in the "fourth wave": first was agriculture, then industry, then information. Now, it's social networking. Never before have so many people been able to share memes so rapidly, with so many. With great power comes great responsibility! The social networks can call the people to the latest Trump protest, or memify Russian troll posts that compromise our democracy. Just imagine that a piece of fake news, real fake, got on the social networks, and everyone believed it? Who would stop it? What it led to race riots, lynchjngs, WWIII? Our Democrat itself, along with entire society, could collapse from this new paradigm! Holy fucking Jesus I AM SCARED OUT OF MY ASS AND MT DIARREAH WILL NOT STOP! GOD DAMNIT WHY YOU BRAKE MY WORLD GO BACK TO 1859 WHILE WE STILLL CAN!!!1!1!1!1!!1!11

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    GR8 B8 M8 STR8 2 WTRG8 NO W8 2 D8 I R8 8/10.

  • Curly4||

    Yet this rapid communication that we have now allows to hear, see, read something and share it without ever think about other than a superficial once over. Never think deeper to see what will be the outcome of that sharing.
    It is getting to a point that a sane person does not want to go online because of all the crap that is there. Never go there without good boots.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    That's funny that Mounk thinks each side is afraid the other side, once it has its turn on the swings, won't ever give up their position again and just ignore future elections, Mugabe-style. Meanwhile, libertarians wonder how it is that everyone gets to vote for either a Blood or a Crip, and that's it. The Bloods and Crips may indeed hate each other, but your playground is controlled by a street gang either way.

  • TeamsterX||

    Irony is one side is too tired from working, providing for the family and wants people to live their own lives without judgement....other side soends time manufacturing vagina hats, denying the first amendment rights to campus speech and wearing masks claiming to be anti-fascists as they break out the baseball bats...basic fact is, anyone Right of Jay Z has 99 problems and protesting ain't one.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yes—the people who have it the easiest do most of the bitching.

  • BigT||

    "And he does not address philosophical liberalism's most vexing problem: the right of nation-states to accord different rights to individuals based on birth or geography"

    This sentence is rubbish on so many levels. I can't even.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans are elbowing out anyone still putting their stock in rules and fairness.

    Uh-huh.

    If the erosion of democratic norms that Trump has begotten continues...

    Is there a delicate way to phrase that confirmation bias might be... no, probably not.

    ...

    So, how 'bout them Bears?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans + Putin

    Birds of a feather....

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Okay.

  • Rock Lobster||

    So. Not a bears fan, then?

  • TeamsterX||

    Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans + Putin

    Oh My!

    Fear not buttplug then sun will come out tomorrow...unlike your buttplug (if you enjoy it, keep it)

  • Cy||

    WTF right? These people are that out of touch that Trump is in the same league as Erdogan? Talk about Ivory Towers!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    6 Strongmen Trump Has Praised — And The Conflicts It Presents

    https://goo.gl/NLFxZN

    Add Duterte to the list.

  • Cy||

    You can praise Jesus Christ, that doesn't make you a god!

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    That's what you think, comrade.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jesus did Sscrifice one of his twelve regenerations for our sins.

  • Agammamon||

    Completely different from the Clinton's praising of Saudi Arabia - and the money the missus has been getting from them?

  • Mark22||

    Completely different! Clinton is an intelligent woman whose motivation was to bring light to the world! She can do no wrong in that quest!

    /sarc

  • TeamsterX||

    Remember all the women Clinton tapped, were trailer trash and could be found by dragging a $5 dollar bill through the park - James Carville...

    Trump at least pulled what a President should and paid them for their services ...even now Stormy Daniels admits she is trying to capitalize.

  • ||

    Yeh. Well, they think he's literally Hitler so Erdogan is no biggie.

    Mix it all in.

    Hey, Tamerlane too! Why not!?

    It's okay for Obama and Trudeau though to heap praise or befriend tin pot dictators though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I say let the Lefties focus on stupid shit like this.

    They have not learned anything from election 2016, so they will lose more and more seats on Congress in 2018, 2020, 2022....

    Hopefully enough decent politicians will run, in order to rollback as much socialism as we can. Canada, not sure how y'all can stop off the Socialism train.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I don't know that republicans will gain seats in the house in November, it it would be hard not to pick up a few senate seats, considering that 25 of them are democrat incumbents this time.

    And given how broke the DNC is 3 months before the election, i see no 'blue wave' coming.

  • MJBinAL||

    So Trump is a problem, but Obama "I have a pen and a phone" who legislated via executive order wasn't?

    I am puzzled as to what it is... other than bluster ... that Trump actually DOES as vs says, that is such an issue.

    Yep, I understand that the folks who lost the election disagree on policy. But he isn't arresting people and making them political prisoners, or expousing racist policies, or legislating from the White House, or abusing existing laws by redefining what they supposedly mean so as to expand the regulatory state. All of which Obama did repeatedly and pervasively.

    I evaluate this article and the book to mean ... "Panic Now! Democracy is at risk because progressives are not in power!"

  • Iheartskeet||

    HOD, heh, my reaction exactly.

  • TLBD||

    It is like if you just say it enough, it will be true.

    Meanwhile, reality is bitch slapping these people in the face, and they still don't get it.

  • Shirley Knott||

    None of the problems that have his knickers in a twist are new, let alone unprecedented.
    Where are the historical comparisons?
    Where is the reasoned analysis (or, indeed any analysis) of how varied responses to such circumstances play out?
    Oh, right, history began in the 21st century. We're special and thus live in special times. Or vice versa.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not new at all. The current GOP is just another iteration of the Know Nothing Party.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Look at Mr One-Eyed here, seeing every problem through one side only. No depth perception either.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Bullshit.

    We are nearing a crisis because we have two shitty partisan parties. The GOP is evil and Democrats are completely inept.

    Like always I support gridlock over either party.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yes, you are fair and non-partisan, that is why you singled out the GOP in your answer to a post which was non-partisan.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    That is because with the exception of Tony NEARLY everyone else here votes for or supports Trump and the GOP controls government today.

    Libertarians need to quit letting the GOP finger-fuck them. If you get Weld then support Weld and lay off the evil party.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    True. The Democratic Party is the party of evil.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|7.29.18 @ 10:25AM|#
    "Libertarians need to quit letting the GOP finger-fuck them."

    You seem thrilled to get the real think from the D's, you slimy pile of shit.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Libertarians reject Democrats and Republicans in roughly equal measure.

    Faux libertarians snuggle right-wing authoritarians.

  • MJBinAL||

    Interesting comment from a full-on Socialist.

  • Cy||

    How easily you forget the Dem's Super Majority. The scales are relatively balanced right now. Trump is fairly centrist in historical terms and the house and senate aren't too heavily weighted. Believe me when I say, those protesting are just doing it because they're a bunch of fucking cry babies who aren't getting exactly what they want when they want it. They don't want turns on the playground, they want the whole playground now and for ever and they wnat anyone who opposes them to shut up and do as their told.

    Seriously, the right was pretty tame while Obama and the Dem held house and senate shit on the Constitution, now they're reaping what they sowed in a really mild manner. Keep pushing assholes and see what happens.

  • ||

    Liberals/progressives, by my estimate, have held power in North America at least 65%-70% of the time in the 20th/21st century. From the municipal level all the way up to the Federal level not to mention their influence in media and academia.

    They ARE the establishment.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yep. It also doesn't help the democrats that many of them are campaigning on 'Trump Sucks', plus cries of racism, and shrill bullshit about trannys using any restroom they want.

    Outside of nut job proggy activists, no one gives a shit about any of that, or finds it mildly distasteful. People vote with their wallets. And things are largely better right now.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Keep pushing assholes and see what happens.

    Do you intend to dial your ineffectual whimpering up to 11?

  • MJBinAL||

    No Rev, we expect that things are headed in a bad way. We expect the current polarization to continue along with the mob violence that BLM and AnitFa are initiating. It is likely to lead to a civil war that no sane person wants.

    Keep pushing dumb ass, and see what happens. Eventually, the push BACK is going be an escalation.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    IOW, you admit you are partisan and justify because everyone else is too.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||



    IOW, you admit you are partisan and justify because everyone else is too.

    is in response to

    That is because with the exception of Tony NEARLY everyone else here votes for or supports Trump and the GOP controls government today.

    Libertarians need to quit letting the GOP finger-fuck them. If you get Weld then support Weld and lay off the evil party.
  • Mark22||

    That is because with the exception of Tony NEARLY everyone else here votes for or supports Trump and the GOP controls government today.

    I doubt people here votes for Trump. I certainly didn't.

    But behavior from Democrats and progressives after the election certainly made me think that hell will freeze over before I vote for those authoritarian bigots again.

  • MasterThief||

    I generally vote R but the last election was one of the better opportunities to vote L. Johnson and Weld just weren't good enough and the other races and ballot issues gave no useful choices so I abstained from voting.

  • MasterThief||

    I generally vote R but the last election was one of the better opportunities to vote L. Johnson and Weld just weren't good enough and the other races and ballot issues gave no useful choices so I abstained from voting.

  • Bill||

    I'm pretty sure that less than half the people that normally post here
    (or simply view the articles) actually support Trump. Some may feel
    the Gorsuch nomination was sheer luck but support Trump in that
    nomination. Recently, if he is really telling the EU that both sides
    should get rid of all tariffs and barriers, I may change my mind and
    think he is good in this area as well although to date, I have had
    the exact opposite opinion.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes. Most of us here are supporting him for the things that are actually good. He is far from pe feet, but so far he has been better than almost anyone else we could have gotten.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Buttplugger only wants gridlock to deny Trump's chance to rollback the Nanny-State.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    We are nearing a crisis because we have two shitty partisan parties. The GOP is evil and Democrats are completely inept.

    It may be worse even than that, brah. It might be a bunch of people with the best of intentions - and some assholes, because humans - building a road that leads straight to hell.

    There's a biblical phrase that comes to mind. Something along the lines of 'every man did what was right in his own eyes'. Mild-sounding, right? Haha. It's a mindset which ends with depressing reliability in the definitions of "biblical" that don't involve getting laid.

    It's amazing what trouble folks can get up to, while never for a moment imagining that they're doing anything wrong.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6). Probably the saddest line in the Old Testament as it speaks to the complete loss of social order and consciousness and the elevation of self-interest over the common good. Not very much different from what we have today.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "The GOP is evil and Democrats are completely inept."

    Your party that is not evil but merely inept wants to do things like send people to prison for using plastic straws. That's several orders of magnitude worse than inept.

    Just yesterday or the day before you defended the Obama admin for scapegoating a guy and putting him in jail to cover their mistakes regarding Libya. And when it was proven that you were wrong you scurried off to post your bullshit on some different subject without a simple "yeah I guess I was wrong".

    There are several of us on here that think that both major parties are statist thugs, but you ain't one of the group. Your claims that you're some kind of "pox on both their houses" type are blatant lies, exposed by the nature of your posts.

  • MJBinAL||

    ^hear hear^

  • Rock Lobster||

    Close, but your analysis is flawed.

    Historically, the Democrats cover both "evil" and "inept." Then the GOP, expertly feigning opposition, swoops in to provide the "gridlock" to ensure that the evil and inept policies instituted by the Democrats are cemented permanently in place forever and ever.

    So I guess that makes you a Republican.

    You're welcome.

  • TLBD||

    This is very close to the truth.

    Trump and the remnants of the Tea Party came along and blew that up, and they're trying their damnedest to permanently shift that paradigm.

    Yet, Reason and many "libertarians" are status quo.

    Who are really the conservatives in this story?

  • Rock Lobster||

    Good question. Honestly, my main objective was to poke Buttplug with a stick, and I guess I accidentally made a serious point.

    In my opinion, many "libertarians" especially those that tend more toward the libertine, don't understand that personal responsibility and individual liberty are two sides of the same coin (not that this applies to Buttplug, who is a full-blown progressive). I think this may be the reason that many who identify as "left-libertarian," which I view as rather oxymoronic, find themselves defending the political status quo of omnipresent, intrusive, micromanaging government. Many writers at Reason fit this description.

  • MasterThief||

    I pretty much agree with this. I came to libertarianism because I was far right on economic issues and moderate right on social issues. I saw the left pushing society far in the direction of authoritarian collectivism. My conservative upbringing taught me that society works when individuals take responsibility for themselves. My experience in the world showed me that when people are free to do as they wish so long as they respect others' rights to do the same that productivity increases and people are happier. I think the problems with left-libertarianism begin with a lack of shared priorities. Often left-libertarians are ok with increased collectivism thereby putting them at odds with the primary concept. Further, I find that they place far too much emphasis upon social issues. We can agree that it is shitty to dislike people for certain factors of their birth, behaviours, and beliefs but a free society should allow those things. The left-libertarians want to stop people from noticing patterns of behaviour from different demographics that upset the balance of liberty and responsibility in society.

  • TeamsterX||

    but you are happily doing squats with your buttplug?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Some GOP Congress Reps are fighting for more farm worker visas and to open that program to year round workers. There's an anti-immigrant caucus in the Republican Party, but it's not the entire party. Meanwhile, the Democrat's staunchly oppose immigration to most nations. They want one way immigration. Their current foreign policy resembles Wilson's.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties need serf labor and serfs to vote for them. That's their motivation.

  • Cy||

    They wanted to keep their plantations. So, they just made them bigger.

  • TLBD||

    You can't be the party of the poor and downtrodden without keeping people poor and downtrodden.

    Incentives matter.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Reminds me of an old joke:

    "Mr. Reagan, what do think of the War on Poverty?"

    "I think we should give the sanctions more time to work."

  • MJBinAL||

    "Lefties"

    ie. Democrats and Establishment Republicans

    ie. Socialists and Fascists

  • Mark22||

    Some GOP Congress Reps are fighting for more farm worker visas and to open that program to year round workers.

    Handing out visas to unqualified, low-income workers like candy because big agribusinesses want it... sounds pretty anti-immigrant to me.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You must be right. After all, you used a multi-syllabic word like "iteration"

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Seems to me the fate of every government, democracy or dictatorship, is to keep expanding. That is what bureaucracies do, but in the voluntary world, whether global business or church day-care, the real world includes competition, profit, and other constraints. Not government bureaucracies.

    Eventually governments expand to the point where the only constraint left is failure, from invasion, revolution, or decrepitude. The case of decrepitude means replacement without (much) violence. I suppose the Roman Republic replacement by the Roman Empire was a form of that; it got too big and unwieldy. The Roman Empire itself could be said to have gone through a series of internal replacements each time the Emperor was violently replaced, though in all those Roman cases, the core institutions remained, but so did the core institutions during the American Revolution or even the Nazi rise and fall.
    .
    Anyways, eventually this American government will hit peak bureaucracy, and something will replace it. Heck, you could say the Progressive movement was a replacement of sorts, or FDR's New Deal.

  • Don't look at me.||

    If we only had the right people in charge......

  • perlchpr||

    I don't think that's what he's saying at all.

    I take his message as more of "it doesn't matter who is in charge".

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Yes. Sorry for the lack of clarity. It's depressing, of course, but also reassuring in that the US has at least managed to hold off the worst excesses of socialism. Lenin the theorist begat Stalin the pragmatist begat Khrushchev the reformer begat faceless bureaucrats begat the Great Splotched Hope begat revolution.

    Chinese emperors begat corruption begat new dynasties time after time, then Chiang and Mao acted out their roles as feuding warlords who begat Deng the reformer who begat faceless bureaucrats who seem well on the way to a new dynasty.

    Round and round it goes.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Spot on. Good post.

  • TeamsterX||

    I think previously it did not matter...both parties were about Globilization and keeping their perspective bases happy.

    Then the GOP elected a JFK Democrat (Trump)..this has caused fits with the "Professional" Conservatives and with the Democrats, who honestly would spit in JFK's face at this point.

    Remember, these same Professional Conservatives attacked Reagan like he was the devil.

  • TeamsterX||

    I think previously it did not matter...both parties were about Globilization and keeping their perspective bases happy.

    Then the GOP elected a JFK Democrat (Trump)..this has caused fits with the "Professional" Conservatives and with the Democrats, who honestly would spit in JFK's face at this point.

    Remember, these same Professional Conservatives attacked Reagan like he was the devil.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I have a theory that the Peter principle can be more accurately, and more broadly, stated as 'static systems continue to the point of catastrophic failure'.

    On the bright side, we live in a time when the elite minds in charge make baffled statements that no one could have possibly anticipated bad results, contradicted by a written record on the internets of all the randos who did indeed predict crappy results. So, we've got that going for us.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I have a theory that the Peter principle can be more accurately, and more broadly, stated as 'static systems continue to the point of catastrophic failure'.

    That's an excellent insight - thank you!

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes, that IS and excellent insight! Well done!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The progressive movement was a reactionary movement inspired by theories about progressive evolution. It imploded, because progressives, and their allies in spin-off movements such as communism, ran out of people to kill and loot.

    Americans are starting to learn the wisdom of going with the flow and building something useful. New Jersey has a "blue acres" program to buy flood prone real estate so homeowners can move to higher ground instead of depending on leaders to stop the oceans from rising. New York City rents are going down thanks to a long construction boom.

    Most people don't bother with political theories. They do what the neighbors do and they remember what works to make their lives better. I'm starting to think that most books are a lagging indicator of cultural change. Most authors write based on the values and habits they have learned from relatives and neighbors when they were young.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    New Jersey has a "blue acres" program to buy flood prone real estate so homeowners can move to higher ground instead of depending on leaders to stop the oceans from rising.

    A government solution to mimic what markets would have done anyway in the absence of the government-caused problem in the first place.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Heck, you could say the Progrssive movement was a replacement of sorts, or[sic, presumably 'for'] FDR's New Deal.


    You could, but you would be wrong. Progressivism took on something like its current form in the late 19th century. The 'New Deal' was more a matter of institutionalizing it rather than being set up to be replaced by it.
    The difference between 'progressives' and 'liberals' came down to the role of the state in furthering the progress of society. Progressivism began as a thoroughly Enlightenment phenomenon, just as classical liberalism did. The dynamic tension over means, the arguments over the roles of power, are still playing out.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    [sic] my ass, I meant "or" because I was mentioning two different evolutions of ever-more statist paradise. It's all a loose sloppy definition anyway, so trying to be precise is a waste of time.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    No, it's not. At least 100 PhD candidates just found thesis material on what is, it must be admitted, an otherwise pretty dry board. So you have at least contributed to the growth and maintenance of a self-serving academic culture.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Progressivism became the term after marxism was getting blasted by critics.

    Then they became liberals after socialism became unpopular with all the murders.

  • Vernon Depner||

    from invasion, revolution, or decrepitude.

    Or natural disaster. Historians have tended to underrate the role of natural catastrophes in toppling regimes, though that is changing as science gets better at reconstructing the geological and biological past.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Despair not, for Mounk intends to tell us "what we can do to rescue what is truly valuable in our imperiled social and political order."

    Our order is imperiled because the Republican Party is no longer the home of serious, respectable conservatives like David Frum and Jennifer Rubin. Instead, it has been taken over by white nationalists who receive their orders directly from Putin. As a result, the United States is being transformed into a combination of Nazi Germany and The Handmaid's Tale.

    I don't need a 400 page book to know what should be done. It's obvious "what we can do to rescue what is truly valuable" — VOTE DEMOCRAT. That's the most important thing. Other useful tactics of #TheResistance include demonstrating while wearing a red robe, demonstrating while wearing a pink hat, and calling your Senators to tell them to #StopKavanaugh.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There is truth in parody.

    I have been told all my fucking life that the GOP really is for SMALL GOVERNMENT!! REALLY IT WILL BE DIFFERENT NEXT TIME!!

    Then Reagan increased the size of government with the help of Democrats. Then Bush the Lesser massively expanded government with the help of a GOP House and Senate. Now the Dotard is doing the same thing.

    Republicans lie and lie about lying.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    I wasn't alive when Reagan was President, but I've been told the Republican Party has become so extreme since then, he'd be a Democrat today.

    Plus, I know Reagan was at least a patriotic American who would never sell out our country to a hostile foreign power like today's GOP has done with Russia.

    #TrumpRussia

  • MoreFreedom||

    I was alive when Reagan was president, and he was far more conservative than the GOP today, and would fit in the Freedom Caucus.

    As for OpenBoardersLiberal-tarian "... the Republican Party is no longer the home of serious, respectable conservatives like David Frum and Jennifer Rubin. Instead, it has been taken over by white nationalists..." neither Frum or Rubin are conservative, and the GOP hasn't been taken over by white nationalists. Mounk isn't conservative either, and gets most everything wrong.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    And Obamacare is great because markets!

  • Rockabilly||

    Palin's Buttplug fucked Hillary up the ass with Palin's Buttplug

  • Agammamon||

    So, why didn't you stop listening to what you're told and start thinking for yourself?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "Republicans lie and lie about lying" -- um, and Democrats don't? Obama and Hillary set some kind of record for lies and deceptions but it rarely if ever came to light because our media simply decided not to ask questions.

  • MJBinAL||

    Actually, Trump is cutting Regulations and is trying to cut Government in general. The exception is Border Control and National Defense. I might point out that almost alone among all the Federal Governments activities, those are actual responsibilities of the Federal Government.

    Reagan tried to cut some government agencies, but was overridden by Congress right off the bat and he gave up. He believed that when spending continued to increase and taxes were cut, Congress would be forced to cut spending. Obviously, he was wrong.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Makes me wonder if you are parodying Butt Plug this morning.

    #StillWithHim
    #InternsToo
    #StopResisting

  • sharmota4zeb||

    You mean the trade war was merely a plot to get Mexicans to buy more Russian wheat?

  • MJBinAL||

    Yep, that's it.

    Retard.

  • TeamsterX||

    Wow! You seriously might medal this year in the Special Olympics.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    On the other side, the European Union pretends to be deeply invested in democracy but regularly looks for ways around votes that undermine its agenda of economic liberalization.

    Economic liberalization is a funny way to describe their ever more suffocating bureaucracy. Economic homogenization might be a better term.

  • MJBinAL||

    ^THIS^

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Um, yeah ... when a Democrat wins the White House, "this is what Democracy looks like." When a Republican wins the White House, "The People vs. Democracy." Thus says the tenured professors from on high where they can see the absolute truth. :/

  • Cy||

    We should just start calling them Socialists or Communists. They're hardly "Democrats" anymore.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And the GOP is fascist. That is the crisis.

    Fascists hate:

    Democracy/One person one vote
    Immigrants
    Minorities/Jews
    Internationalism
    Liberalism
    Peace Treaties
    Modenrity
    Atheists/Science/Intellectuals

  • Cy||

    Democracy/One person one vote : They played by the rules known well in advance and won.

    Immigrants: There's nothing wrong with immigrants, the only tng anyone is discussing are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!

    Minorities/Jews: Fuck you, you racist PoS! Didn't the embassy jsut get moved to Jewish territory?

    Internationalism: Duh, they're Our elected officials, not the rest of the world's.

    Liberalism: as in communism and socialism? Uh.. yeah, this is the USA we used to beat the shit out of those people.

    Peace Treaties: We haven't expanded any military presence since Obama was in office. Hillary already was beating her war drum, try again retard.

    Modenrity: Now you're just making shit up.

    Atheists/Science/Intellectuals: Making shit up again.

  • ||

    lol.

    Even by your shrill standards.

  • Sevo||

    Turd is a world class liar and cherry picker.
    If it requires a modicum of honesty, that slimy piece of shit will be run out the door.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Democracy

    The US is a Republic, not a democracy.

    Immigrants

    They want current immigration laws enforced.

    Minorities/Jews

    Lol, wut? Citation on minorities? And JEWS? Seriously??? They are the ones that always have unimpeded support for Israel.

    Internationalism

    They correctly believe the US is a sovereign country.

    Liberalism

    They dislike modern liberals. That is because modern liberals are not liberal, which is to say that they do not believe in liberty.

    I could go on, but your shtick is tiresome. You are detached from reality because of your partisan blinders. I have my problems with Team Red, but it is Team Blue that are acting like actual fascists these days.

  • Tony||

    If the electoral college ever installed a Democrat over the popular vote there would be teabaggers marching (or electric wheelchairing) in every street.

  • ||

    Projection.

    Progressives. It's what they do best.

    'You would do the same thing!'

    Projection.

  • Tony||

    Since we're doing internet psychoanalysis, I imagine it must feel at least a tiny bit icky knowing that your Republicans are in power despite the American people not wanting them there. Or did you never give a shit about the will of the people who are subject to the government in the first place? Most libertarians don't.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Rufus is from The Peoples' Republic of California?

    Didn't know that.

  • TLBD||

    I find this like complaining that the team that got the most yards didn't win the game.

    If it were a popular vote, Trump's gameplan would have been different.

    Also, you're fucking retarded.

  • Tony||

    Trump's gameplan... the one that included insulting the parents of dead soldiers and bragging about his dick size? That gameplan? Or the one where Russia implemented one of the largest and most audacious covert operations in history to help him win?

    Save the talking points. Think about how you'd feel if Hillary won this way. Capable of that?

  • soldiermedic76||

    Your proof of the Russians launching one of the largest cover operations... A dozen GRU operatives? That isn't even close to one of the largest.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Save the talking points

    Ditto.

  • TeamsterX||

    So people do not want Republican's in charge, yet they are?

  • TeamsterX||

    So people do not want Republican's in charge, yet they are?

  • TeamsterX||

    So people do not want Republican's in charge, yet they are?

  • Tony||

    Yes yes yes.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Republicans are in power despite the American people not wanting them there.

    The majority of state legislatures, governorships, both houses of Congress and the presidency disagree with you.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    OK, Tony. One more time in hopes you actually have a functioning brain cell left in your head.

    First, our Presidential elections are not and never have been decided directly by the popular vote. If you don't know that and don't understand the (yes, elitist) reasons our founders went in this direction, then back to kindergarten with you.

    And second, the popular vote is illusory and based on the deception that what the urban north wants represents the will of "the American people". Though admittedly, that deception has been pounded into us ever since the victory of Lincoln's war against Southern independence (and BTW the American people inasmuch as he was directly responsible for the war-related deaths of over 1,000,000 of us).

  • Tony||

    As I tell the idiot Bernies, explaining something isn't the same as explaining why it's good. I know what the Electoral College is. I went to kindergarten.

    In my lifetime the only purpose it's served is to elect the two worst presidents in history against the will of the people. Clearly it's very broken.

  • Rebel Scum||

    served is to elect the two worst presidents

    Opinion.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Obviously you never actually passed kindergarten though.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, go,ok at an electoral map. Most of the country is red.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    'Look'

    The democrats control very little of the country. Their trajectory isn't improving.

    Tony would love to see a few isolated population centers filled with morns like him dictating to the rest of us. It isn't going to happen.

  • MJBinAL||

    We are not a Democracy, but a Representative Republic.

    It is dishonest to make comments about the popular vote count vs the electoral college vote. All parties knew they were campaigning in an electoral college system and planned those campaigns accordingly.

    We have no idea what the election result would have been if all candidates knew they campaigning for the popular vote. For example, neither party campaigned in NY or CA because with the electoral college it was clear those states would go for Hillary. By the same token, Hillary never visited AL or SC because it would be a waste of her time. Those campaign decisions would be different in planned around a popular vote.

    So again, you comments are dishonest, as I believe you are intelligent enough to realize that it is invalid.

  • Rebel Scum||

    'You would do the same thing!'

    I mean obviously. Remember when all those right-wing bigots rioted in the streets when Barry was (twice) elected?

    Me neither.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    "Teabaggers"? Time has moved on but you certainly have not. As I have asked before, why are you even here?

  • Rebel Scum||

    If the electoral college ever installed

    Abiding by the rules established in the document that created the government does not constitute "installing".

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    If the electoral college ever installed a Democrat over the popular vote

    This is unlikely since Democrats seem to like clustering together in herds more than Republicans.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Despair not, for Mounk intends to tell us "what we can do to rescue what is truly valuable in our imperiled social and political order." A new and recalibrated flavor of liberal democracy is needed, he says—one erected on "inclusive patriotism."

    The Time of the Lefties in America has ended. The Era to reclaim America's Constitutional roots and freedoms from the Socialist plague is in motion.

  • Cy||

    There's a pipe dream. We lucked out with the Hillary election. I think we'll see another round of Trump and then it's back to a cringe worthy "Democrat" in the WH.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Maybe, but I'm not at all sure. Look at the Dems today: dumpster diving at the top for someone who can resonate like Obama did and finding nothing but shrill (Obama was cool, remember?) leftists with "ideas" that have never resonated beyond their carefully nurtured home base. I am no fan of the Republicans but I know a death rattle when I hear it, and I hear it plenty from the Dem side of the aisle.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    We really need to shut down immigration from south of the border. Importing barely literates from socialist countries coming here for freebies is just going to do unpleasant things like flip Texas blue.

    Trump better get the damn wall built.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Vladimir Putin says the adoption of Christianity more than 1,000 years ago in territory that later became Russia marked the starting point for forming the Russian nation itself.

    Putin's comments came Saturday in a ceremony marking the 1,030th anniversary of the adoption by Christianity by Prince Vladimir, the leader of Kievan Rus, a loose federation of Slavic tribes that preceded the Russian state.

    Speaking to thousands of clergy and believers at a huge statue of the prince outside the Kremlin, Putin said adopting Christianity was "the starting point for the formation and development of Russian statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity. Identity, the flowering of national culture and education."

    ABC News.

    Damn, Putin is making Republicans swoon again. He will be joining the Federalist Society as a distinguished member.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Oye, those Christian Russians became famous for forcing Jewish Russians to attend their schools once the lads finished their mandatory army service. And don't get me started on the 19th Century occupation of Poland.

  • Sevo||

    "Damn, Putin is making Republicans swoon again."

    Turd says, swooning.
    Those voices in your head are as imbecilic as Tony, turd.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Wouldn't it be fun to meet Tony and PB at a Reason convention? Bet they would both be polite as punch in person. Progtards ultimately have no courage.

  • soldiermedic76||

    What exactly is wrong, historically speaking, about that statement? The adoption of an unified religion helps create a unified culture which creates a more homogeneous country. Any anthropologist will tell you that. The adoption of Christianity helped form the basis for much of what we could consider modern Europe.

  • Qsl||

    What exactly is wrong, historically speaking, about that statement?

    Well, typically that "unified religion" comes with a body count. You might have heard about the shitshow that is the Middle East? No? It's a few sects of the same religion jockeying for state sponsorship. I believe the term is holy war. It is far easier to have a homogeneous country after you've killed off everyone who doesn't think like you.

    Even in let's say in the US, the idea of Christians presenting some type of united front is a pretty recent development. Except the Quakers have more points of commonality with the Church of Satan than they do with the snakehandlers. And let's not forget all the fretting over the Church of Rome. Aren't they all Christians?

    The common mistake is for any sect of a religion to think everyone else in the big tent only has some minor differences. Until there is no longer a common enemy to unite against. If the Russian Orthodox Church were to become the state religion in the west, you'd find even Baptist finding common cause with Pastafarians in opposing that.

    The adoption of Christianity helped form the basis for much of what we could consider modern Europe.

    What you meant to say was Christianity's adoption of Greek philosophy kept them from being a historical footnote in the basis of modern Europe.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Wow, completely missed the point didn't you Bucky?
    In you rush to condemn Christianity you completely missed the fact that I was referring to the fact that Putin's statement was historically correct
    But instead you , chose to debate the values of religion as opposed to the fact that religious unity helps unify a culture making a nation state possible. It really has nothing to do with Christianity. But in your rush to show your bias, you made a pseudo-intellectual argument that rather then disproven my point; exposed your own ignorance. Good job there Bucky.

  • Tony||

    Religion certainly is a great unifier, for whatever that's worth to a libertarian.

  • soldiermedic76||

    But that wasn't the point moron. The point was Putting was right, conversion to Christianity can be seen as the start of modern Russia. But your hatred of religion is noted. Why would a libertarian have a problem with religion? Really?

  • soldiermedic76||

    Fucking autocorrect. Putin not putting.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I am a witnessing Christian and would love to take ownership of everything wonderful that has ever happened in history, but I must ask: why does everyone forget the role of Swedish Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries, opening trade routes into what is now Russia and founding the city we now know as Kiev?

  • soldiermedic76||

    The Vikings did create a culture and it was instrumental but I argue centralized religion helped further that culture.

  • soldiermedic76||

    The Vikings also had a very organized religion.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony's obsession with being fucked by other men and boys outweighs all other considerations in his mind. It usually does by people who base most of their sense of identity on who they fuck or the color of their skin. Another great evil visited upon so many by the progressives.

  • MJBinAL||

    Sooo, are you saying that Tony is NOT a fucker, but rather a fuckee? Hmmm, so is Tony a girl? or a male homosexual? or? Never mind, it doesn't really matter. I was trying to get my head around it.

    I would really be more interested in why Tony is always so ANGRY and irrational.

  • Qsl||

    Putin's statement is historically correct if you completely ignore the atheist Communist days or the fact Christians barely make up a majority there now. Apparently you can also get unity through the barrel of a gun.

    But I wasn't discussing Putin's statements. I was discussing yours.

    And you will have to explain how pointing out the hostilities in the Middle East is condemning Christianity, or pointing out how much Christianity has splintered makes religion a unifying force. Do tell.

    Because absolutely nothing you have stated addresses my claims.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Since I was never defending Christianity or criticizing it, you point is completely fucking stupid.

  • soldiermedic76||

    It has no bearing on my statement. But it was a great way to I jext your own bias.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    His anti Christian bigotry is almost palpable.

  • soldiermedic76||

    I also never argued religion continues to be a unifying force. Rather I stated religion can help unify different people into a singular culture. Religious differences make it extremely difficult to form a cohesive, homogeneous culture, ergo without a common religion (note it doesn't have to be unified but rather common) helps to make a culture more homogeneous. Your examples doesn't disproven this idea. Point too e homogeneous culture anywhere in the world that doesn't have a common religion?

  • soldiermedic76||

    As for bringing in atheist communist. Russia and Russian culture was already a thing before the revolution. So that does nothing to disproven the thesis.

  • Jerryskids||

    Setting aside the fact that there's a long line of political theorists who equated democracy with mob rule - i.e. not a Good Thing - there's this:

    Americans' faith in the fairness and perpetuity of taking turns is fast eroding. Bullies have appeared on the global playground: Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans are elbowing out anyone still putting their stock in rules and fairness.

    AYFKM? Trump's not the one raging about how unfair it is for the other side to get a turn on the swings! It's the fucking anti-Trumpers who have no "faith in the fairness and perpetuity of taking turns". Remember after Obama was elected how many people looked at the numbers and declared that white males were done, there was now a permanent ruling coalition of women and minorities and we'd never see another Republican president?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    +1 Jerrykids

  • Jerryskids||

    You know, I think this is why Trump's election drove the Dem's insane, their faith in the science of electoral math was shaken if not shattered. Their whole identity politics thing is simply the idea that Obama got elected because he was black and now it was a woman's turn to get elected. They know campaign platforms don't matter, it's all bullshit political rhetoric anyway, all that matters is the candidate appears sincere and passionate and that can be easily faked. The blacks, the Hispanics, the gays, the women - they don't vote for a candidate based on the issues, they vote with their hearts rather than their heads and that's why the (D)'s have a lock on those blocs. Add in the voting fraud in the big blue cities, and there you go. So how the hell did Trump get elected? The biggest upset since David took on Goliath, how could it have happened? They had the math and the science on their side! The obvious conclusion is that Trump cheated. The alternative is to question whether their faith in the math and science of identity politics is misplaced, and that ain't gonna happen. Witness the adulation of that Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez person, she's as dim a bulb as you're going to find this side of Bernie Sanders but she's an attractive Hispanic woman, totally sincere and passionate despite the fact that she's a moron, and that's all that matters.

  • Cy||

    I would like to point out the recent solidifying of echo chambers that social media has created. "Free speech" to these people is nothing more than a weapon to be occasionally used against government. Otherwise, they're all about censoring the shit out of anyone they don't like. Their organizations are lemming populated circle jerks stuck in three word chants with "leaders" steering the mobs to whatever sound bite they decide the mob needs to hear.

  • Tony||

    So you spend paragraphs apologizing for Trump and then claim to have a problem with dim bulbs?

    Only white men know how to vote rationally? Then why are we here?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Past Me, have you ever read any of Jerryskids posts? Ever? Jerry routinely bags on Trump. He thinks Trump is a jackass and a dumbass. He mocks Trump on the regular! He's farther to the left than most of the commentariat! And yet somehow, he's apologizing for Trump by pointing out that maybe, just maybe, the left have their heads up their asses?

  • Tony||

    The left has no power, and all you idiots know about them is what fat rightwing propagandists tell you to think. It's all a big bullshit fever dream. Some freshman at Yale is not going to get you from under your bed. Focus on who's in power. Focus on the real problems in the world. You don't want to mistaken for sad moronic dupes, do you?

  • soldiermedic76||

    The left has no power? Seattle, San Fransisco, Santa Barbara etc?

  • Tony||

    And what shitholes those places are.

  • TeamsterX||

    Yet you want that for the rest of the country...special kind of retarded.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with sarcasm. Or perhaps you've never left Rat's Nut, Alabama, and don't understand that the places run by liberals are the only places any civilized people want to step foot in.

  • soldiermedic76||

    I would take Alabama over San Francisco any day. It isn't sarcasm when your statement is correct. Those places are authoritarians shitholes (considering the massive amount of human feces on the streets of both Seattle and San Francisco, literally shitholes) ran exclusively by leftist. Yet your own stupidity and bias seems to make you not understand this. You are both shortsighted and bigotted. Yet you are deluded enough to think you are the tolerant one. How does it feel to be so delusional?

  • JoeBlow123||

    San Francisco has a pretty rad. Some dumb laws but a great fucking city.

  • Tony||

    So how many times have you been to SF or Seattle?

  • soldiermedic76||

    Well, since you don't know me from Adam, it is completely stupid of you to have assumed I am unfamiliar with those cities. I was stationed at Ft. Lewis and am from the Pacific Northwest. I have multiple relatives in Seattle (as does my wife). We have visitied the city more often then I can count. But thanks for showing your own ignorance.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    The only places any civilized people want to step foot in

    It's always funny to me that the party of diversity wants to homogenize everyone's lives.

    I wouldn't last 5 minutes in an intensely urban area, any more than you could stand to be in places I dearly love. It doesn't make either of us bad or wrong. In my eyes, it makes each of us more valuable.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And the left had and exercised the power to make those places shitholes. Tony is the example primer inter pares of one who cannot learn from even the simplest of historical experiences.

  • MJBinAL||

    "You don't want to mistaken for sad moronic dupes, do you?"

    Nope! Fortunately we have you as an example of what not to do!

    See? People say you are useless, but you ARE useful, as a bad example.

  • Rock Lobster||

    "Then why are we here?"

    To kill all the white men and take their stuff? Duh!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "After some chatty opening salvos featuring far-right rallies in Germany. Democracy, Mounk says, is a set of binding electoral institutions that translate popular opinion into public policy. Liberal institutions "effectively protect the rule of law and guarantee individual rights such as the freedom of speech, worship and press to all citizens."

    There are a couple of really basic things the elitists are getting perfectly backwards.

    The first and most obvious is that they're freaking out about the end of democracy--because the people are asserting their will through elections. When we're talking about Germany's inability to form a quick and stable government because of the success of an anti-immigrant movement in elections, we're not talking about the failure of democracy. We're talking about unaccountable elites in Brussels and Merkel herself inflicting an unpopular immigration policy on the German people over their objections and against their will. It's the same thing when the UK votes to divorce the EU (in no small because of their immigration policies) or when the U.S. votes for Trump, to whatever extent, because of his populist views on immigration. These are not examples of democracy failing. These are examples of democracy in action.

    Because we disagree with what the majority (or the swing vote) wants does not mean that the majority asserting itself through elections equals the death of democracy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The second thing they seem to be getting backwards, here, is the idea that democracy protects individual rights. Liberal institutions may be there to protect our individual rights, but one of the main things they're supposed to protect those rights against is democracy. First five words in the First Amendment read, "Congress shall make no law". Democracy was always the biggest threat to the individual rights listed in the First Amendment, and if there's any thing new and alarming about the threat to the liberal institutions that are supposed to protect those rights from democracy, it's the enthusiasm with which the left has advocated using those institutions to undermine individual rights.

    On the one hand, the left bemoans the death of democracy--because the people are asserting themselves through elections--and, on the other hand, the left is trying to use democracy to come after our individual rights--by way of the institutions that are supposed to be protecting our rights. From the idea that hate speech isn't free speech to the idea that what other people like to do with their penises is more important than what the First Amendment says about the free exercise of religion, from trying to pretend that the Second Amendment doesn't mean what it says to the suggestion that news purveyors shouldn't be allowed to show us so called "fake news", the primary threat to our individual rights isn't coming from the right or the fringe. It's coming from the middle of the left.

  • Cy||

    Amazingly, the left is claiming the position of victim while still implementing things like anti-gun and anti-free speech laws.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When Merkel inflicts an unpopular immigration policy on the German people and the German voters respond by punishing her for it at the polls, the left thinks that signals the death of democracy?!

    I don't know whether they're honestly deranged or insulting our intelligence.

    Maybe it's because we're talking about the Germans?

  • Rock Lobster||

    Very true. Essentially, the entire Bill of Rights is saying, "These things are so important that you idiots don't get to put them to a vote."

    Anytime you hear people who know better conflating republic and democracy, it's a sure bet that you're being demagogued.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Very true. Essentially, the entire Bill of Rights is saying, "These things are so important that you idiots don't get to put them to a vote."

    Anytime you hear people who know better conflating republic and democracy, it's a sure bet that you're being demagogued.

  • Rock Lobster||

    And the damn squirrels shouldn't get a vote without a Constitutional amendment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Either that, or the squirrels liked what you said so much, they wanted you to repeat it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    the primary threat to our individual rights isn't coming from the right or the fringe. It's coming from the middle of the left.

    Good Lord. The primary threat to our individual rights are collectivist authoritarian assholes ON ALL SIDES. Why anyone here wants to try to stick up for one side of collectivist assholes as being not quite as assholish as the collectivist assholes of the other sides is beyond me. Fuck them both.

    Show me a liberal who wants to repeal the Second Amendment, and I will show you a conservative who wants to repeal the Fourth Amendment, at least for all practical purposes.

    Show me a liberal who wants to ban "hate speech", and I will show you a conservative who wants to ban flag burning.

    Show me a liberal who wants to proscribe the actions of Christians in public life, and I will show you a conservative who wants to proscribe the actions of Muslims in public life.

    Are they exactly 100% equal on both sides? No. BUT WHO CARES? They both suck!

  • Ken Shultz||

    The argument here is that populism and voters reacting to unpopular immigration polices spell a significant threat to democracy.

    Right?

    . . . even as the left is coming after our First and Second Amendment rights--on principle. They're proud to be coming after our First and Second Amendment, individual rights.

    Isn't that right?

    Their politicians campaigned on coming after our First and Second Amendment rights.

    Given that fact, pardon me if I'm not mystified by the question of where the threat to our individuals rights is coming from primarily.

    Progresssivism is all about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices for what they consider the common good--from ObamaCare to making fundamentalists bake cakes for gay weddings. They're diametrically opposed to individual rights on principle. They don't want individuals using straws for the common good, and they don't want you drinking sugary soft drinks either. We're not even talking about the extremists. We're talking about the center of the left.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "Progresssivism Collectivism is all about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices for what they consider the common good"

    There, fixed it for ya.

    ALL collectivist movements are opposed to individual rights *in principle*. Why do you think the right is immune to this?

    Many on the left want to ban straws, yes. Many on the right also want to prohibit you from hiring the worker of your choice. Why should I be more afraid of the straw-banners than the labor-banners?

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's actually the definition of progressivism.

    Can you name a progressive position that doesn't involve using the coercive power of government to force people to make sacrifices (of their individual rights or otherwise) for their idea of the greater good?

    I can name issues like that for Republicans, conservatives, neocons, etc.

    Progressives without using the coercive power of government to force individuals to make sacrifices for the greater good is like socialism without government ownership of the means of production or wealth redistribution. Hell, there are socialists who aren't necessarily authoritarian on non-economic issues--at least.

    Government coercion for the greater good isn't something progressives do sometimes on some issues. It's their definition.

    Look at the Nolan Chart:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart

    From plastic straws to sugary soft drinks, from solutions to global warming, etc., . . . progressives are authoritarian on personal issues, and there's no need to even start talking about progressive authoritarianism on economic issues. Their authoritarianism is simply what defines them.

    Conservatives simply aren't like that. They aren't diametrically opposed to libertarians the way progressives are. That's why progressive is the opposite of libertarian. Nothing is inherently libertarian if it necessitates government coercion, and nothing if truly progressive if it doesn't necessitate forced sacrifice through government coercion.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where liberals want the government to pay for everybody's birth control, progressives want to force Catholic nuns to pay for their employee's birth control.

    Where liberals want to keep abortion legal, progressives want to force individual health practitioners to either perform abortions against their conscience or leave the profession.

    Progressives are authoritarians, no matter the issue, no matter how you slice it. It isn't just what they do. It's who they are.

  • Nardz||

    +++

  • MJBinAL||

    As an observation, the Nolan chart needs some updating. The extreme end of the libertarian area should be labeled anarchist. Because the true extreme opposite of authoritarian, is no authority at all.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Show me a liberal who wants to repeal the Second Amendment, and I will show you a conservative who wants to repeal the Fourth Amendment, at least for all practical purposes.

    Bullshit. Name one conservative who wants to repeal the 4th amendment.

    Show me a liberal who wants to ban "hate speech", and I will show you a conservative who wants to ban flag burning.

    A vague, expansive category of speech vs. a very specific act. Completely incomparable in their threat to freedom.

    Show me a liberal who wants to proscribe the actions of Christians in public life, and I will show you a conservative who wants to proscribe the actions of Muslims in public life.

    Again, bullshit. Put up or shut up, show me conservatives (in similar numbers to leftists who want to force Christians to participate in gay marriage) who want to proscribe the actions of Muslims.

    Are they exactly 100% equal on both sides? No. BUT WHO CARES? They both suck!

    That's exactly what a leftist posing as a libertarian would want us to believe. If I didn't know better...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We all know that chemjeff is NOT a libertarian.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Good post Ken, I agree. Mounk being a Harvard grad and establishment guy, is trying to create the narrative of two parties taking turns, when in reality both parties (Freedom Caucus excepted, i.e. about 15% of the GOP politicians) have become the big government party after our freedoms, and have been milking citizens for 50 years for all they can take (and capturing all the increase in wealth created for about that long as well, by growing government faster than the private sector).

    "Democracy" (really our freedom) isn't suddenly in danger, it's been under constant attack and losing ground for 50 years. What's under attack, are the establishment politicians and their rich crony friends, because that's what voters voted against by electing Trump. Trump said it plainly, they've had decades to fix things (like the economy) and haven't. All they've done is grow government, which means more burdens for the productive and they have the nerve to tell us to accept the "new normal" of less prosperity (except for them). It's a more socialistic, and less free society they want. Because they are in control.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I maintain that markets are more democratic than representative democracy if only because 1) we can represent ourselves in a market and 2) we don't have to wait four years for an election to make our desires known.

    The establishment doesn't like markets because they're too democratic for establishment tastes. That's why they want representative democracy--to keep the unwashed masses and their unwashed desires under control.

    Keeping the unwashed masses under control through the symbols and illusion of representation is what they're talking when they're talking about "democracy". They don't want rule by the people. They want the people to be ruled.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Trump is good at aping what people want to hear, but that man is such a pathological liar, such a low character individual, such a lover of himself, that I think anyone would be remiss the trust him for two seconds to carry out the supposed reforms people claim to want.

    I 100% believe if he thought he could become Emperor Trump that he would or if he thought he could make his kids the next President that he would. Does anyone truly not?

  • soldiermedic76||

    And your proof of this is what? Your own feverant hatred? Because, so far he has carried out at least a few of those reforms.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "And your proof of this is what? Your own feverant hatred? Because, so far he has carried out at least a few of those reforms."

    I just watch him. He seems exceptionally low character and petty. I mean, what kind of dirt bag fucks a porn star or prostitute or whatever you want to call Stormy when your wife is pregnant? A fucking low character dirt bag, that's who.

    That being said, I did not vote for him in the last election but might in the next one of it is a choice of him or rando open borders, socialist Democrat running against him. I might vote for a moderate Dem but the chances of that happening are pretty nil. It's best to be honest about what we are buying into, however, which is a low character dirtbag and not pretending he is some principled patriot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rolling back government is hard work. Trump should get some prime pussy in the white house like JFK as a reward.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    I 100% believe if he thought he could become Emperor Trump that he would or if he thought he could make his kids the next President that he would.

    And if he could build a luxury hotel on Pluto and force any Plutonian life forms to work for below living wage, he would do that too. Obviously he's a threat!

  • MJBinAL||

    It is a fact that he has been reducing regulations. Authoritarian or Libertarian?
    It is a fact that promoted tax reduction. Authoritarian or Libertarian?
    It is a fact that he is cutting a deal with the EU to reduce tariffs after threatening to raise them. Authoritarian or Libertarian?

    The main complaint (asside from those wedded to open borders) about Trump seems to be the way he pops off in speach and tweets. I am more focused on what he DOES. So far I am more pleased that not.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Fifty years? The basis for what is happening today goes back 150 years at least when northern capital asserted its hegemony over southern agriculture. The rich get richer and the poor (white, black, Hispanic, etc) get hammered.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    All good points. I confess to some bemusement these days because it seems like every news outlet now uses the term "fake news" without even choking the least little bit on the realization that the term was originally directed at them. Fashion prevails over reason (so to speak) once again.

  • Rockabilly||

    Yascha Mounk, Trump Tissues on now on sale.

    They really sop up democrat progressive communist tears !!!

    They'll work for you too, Palin's Buttplug !!

  • Tony||

    We're very lucky that Trump has actually no charisma or intelligence. They'll find plenty of badges willing to frogmarch him out of town in case he refuses to abide by democratic (or legal) norms.

  • Cy||

    You're right! (did i just say that?)

    If he was nearly as smooth as O, we'd be in a lot of trouble. He's a crass asshole. The left should be rejoicing about it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If the social justice left is so despised by swing voters in swing states that the progressives can't even beat someone as uncharismatic as Donald Trump, they must be in a lot of trouble.

    And what's changed since Trump was elected?

    Has the left learned anything about their stupid ideas on regulation and taxes?

    Are they champions of free trade now?

    Have they stopped hating on the white, blue collar middle class as a bunch of deplorables?

    I haven't seen any changes at all.

    They're talking about running Hillary again!

    Oh, and they still want to impeach Trump ahead of the next election--not because has uncovered any indication that Trump perpetrated an impeachable offense. They just want to get rid of him because they hate the fact that he was elected.

    Oh, and they also want to claim they're preserving democracy.

  • ||

    The Korea nuclear holocaust scenario hasn't panned out so now they scream - IRAN!

    After Iran it will be back to old reliable: RUSSIA!

    With progressives, we see how sophistry works in real time. It's fun.

  • Tony||

    Let me get this straight. Trump's trade policies are so bad that liberals have figured out the virtue of free trade, and you're giving Trump credit? Do you cry every night? I would if I put myself in this position. Jesus man, pull yourself together and find some dignity.

  • Rock Lobster||

    But Tony, isn't it the government's job to provide its subjects with dignity?

  • Tony||

    Cleary we don't have a robust enough welfare state for Ken to find any.

  • Rock Lobster||

    If you leftists had any stones you would've bypassed the whole "elections" farce and imposed Social Justice on everyone for their own good. Maybe Ken could then find dignity in a mass grave.

    Too bad the rubes are armed, huh? Stupid Constitution.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Trump's trade policies are so bad that liberals have figured out the virtue of free trade"

    Are you joking?

  • soldiermedic76||

    Since they are doubling down on socialism, I doubt the found anything close to the virtues of free trade.

  • ||

    What you still don't get is if the reaction to Trump wasn't so shrill and irrational, people would conclude he's not what they expect out of a leader. Instead, the left have been so incredibly disingenuous people are seeing that. You don't think most educated and literate minds are reading 'literally Hitler' comments, illiterate takes on the pop vote, calling for his assassination etc., are not recoiling at this idiocy?

    Had the progressive left actually remained calm and collected lucidly conveying their concerns in a responsible and intellectual manner, maybe they could make some inroads. After all, they're supposed to be of 'rational mind', no? I mean, it's the 'I fucking love science' team, right?

  • Tony||

    And you know what "the left" is saying about Trump because Hannity tells you about it every night, yes?

    Trump is the shrillest human being I have ever seen in my life this side of an actual baby. I won't speak for anyone else, but I'm perfectly willing for the investigation to play itself out before he meets justice, because unlike Trump and his pathetic defenders, I still believe in norms of civilization.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    He knows what the left is saying because he reads your posts.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yet, you calling Trump a baby, means that a baby beat everything you Lefties have thrown at him.

    He beat Hillary...badly.

    Trump even got RINOs to even support his tax cuts, wall, trade strategy....

    Trump will win in 2020.

  • Tony||

    He beat Hillary by negative 3 million votes.

  • NashTiger||

    77 Electors iirc

  • Tony||

    Yeah, the 46th biggest electoral college landslide out of 58.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Since we don't have a popular vote and never have, your pointing to those 3 million votes means absolutely nothing.
    The Seahawks had more offensive yards, more 1st downs and more turnovers in Superbowl XL but unfortunately the Steelers took home the Lombardi Trophy. pointing to Hillary's 3 million votes (mostly from a single state) us as meaningless as when I point out that the Seahawks had more yards then the Steelers did that day.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There are millions of registered voters that never voted.

    Luckily, the popular vote count never determines winners.

  • ||

    I don't listen or watch Hannity.

    More projection. Because that's how digest your information except from whoever it is you listen to.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Then how do you know how "the left" is responding to Trump?

    Because it sure sounds like you are cherrypicking extreme examples as representative of the mainstream.

    The only time I have heard anyone say anything about assassinating Trump was Kathy Griffin's horrible joke. And she was promptly fired.

  • NashTiger||

    Johnny Depp, Madonna, DeNiro, Snoop Dogg, etc, etc

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Then how do you know how "the left" is responding to Trump?"

    Because the crazed histrionics have been all over CNN, NYT, WaPo, CBS, etc? I stopped reading the Economist because I grew tired of their ridiculousness. Even the BBC gets a tad ridiculous sometimes and they are the best of the moderate-ish bunch.

    You don't have to watch Hannity to make judgements for yourself. Shocker.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Like what? Be specific.

  • ||

    Are you seriously asking that question?

    IT'S PLASTERED ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay, so where are the supposed assassination threats coming from?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And this is part of the problem.

    Some opinion writer from the NY Times or somewhere writes some hysterical opinion piece about Trump, and that leads to people like you concluding THE LEFT IS HYSTERICAL!!!! No, one person is hysterical. Citing this one person as a stand-in for "the left" is cherrypicking, just like if I were to cite Alex Jones as a stand-in for "the right".

  • soldiermedic76||

    The NYT doesn't keep it on the editorial basis the run it front page above the fold. Or should we discuss how many times Stormy Daniels and her lawyer we're on CNN?

  • JoeBlow123||

    chemjeff you are being obtuse as follows fuck. If there was an Academy for sophistry I'd nominate you.

  • ||

    Supposed?

    From where?

    Are you a child?

  • MJBinAL||

    Tony, the shrillest human being I have ever encountered is the one you see in the mirror every morning. Just sayin'

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Yeah, devoid of charisma or intelligence Trump still managed to defeat 17 opponents in the Republican primaries and then crush Billary in the general election, a loss from which she and the left generally may never recover.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Americans' faith in the fairness and perpetuity of taking turns is fast eroding. Bullies have appeared on the global playground: Trumps, Farages, Orbáns, and Erdogans are elbowing out anyone still putting their stock in rules and fairness. Their arrival shows that the basic contours of "politics and society are being renegotiated." There is name-calling and vilification and a fear that the bullies, once they get on the swings, may never leave. If the erosion of democratic norms that Trump has begotten continues, then the "virus of authoritarianism could ravage the body politic without meeting much resistance."

    From 2006-2010 the media was awash with gleeful pundits boasting of relegating the GOP to a fringe party and looking forward to a permanent Democrat-dominated government. Ten years later and now it's constant ululating about OH NOES BULLEEZ!

  • ||

    "virus of authoritarianism could ravage the body politic without meeting much resistance."

    Oh shut up.

    "...Instead, "it must build on the tradition of multi-ethnic democracy to show that the ties that bind go well beyond ethnicity and religion." To make this all happen, "countries must facilitate a sense of community among all citizens and ease fears of future migration."

    Whatever 'multi-ethnic democracy' is. Heck, the county that absurdly made multiculturalism into official policy - Canada - has never really defined it either. It's all 'purty' words jotted down in the Charter. It's all 'rainbows and unicorns' until the notwithstanding clause.

    Our Charter is easily one of the most uninspiring, confused, weak-kneed, clump of shitty platitudes in the Western world.

    Apparently, it all comes down to this: Immigrants can - nay are encouraged - to take pride in their ethnicity but the Anglo/Franco Christian majority must not lest they be called xenophobic. The majority MUST bend to minority rights and take it with pablum.

    If you want to be Canadian it's your call. If you want to stay Sri Lakan cool too! We even repatriate ISIS fighters because something, something we can learn from them. Or some insane, some such from the ridiculous mouth of Justin Trudeau.

  • ||

    And by shut up I mean academics and authors like this guy didn't give a god damn rat's ass when Obama was expanding the surveillance state or playing tough with the press or wreaking havoc with his drone killing without due process or deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants, or his friendship with Chavez.

    https://wapo.st/2NV9UAb

    That's why shut the hell up.

    If you want some of us to respect you, show some fricken consistency and principles.

    "There's a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime."

    Justin Trudeau 2013.

    It's the progressive left who adore authoritarianism. It's the left who praised Nazi Germany. Time put Hitler on their cover.

    But let's pretend that's not true and let's project.

    Let's freak out over Trump and speciously compare him to Hitler, Mussolini, and let's throw in some Lenin and Stalin while we're at it.

    Here, have some Jell-O.

    Idiots.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Justin Trudeau, then running for the leadership of his party in 2013, was given a lob-ball question from a supporter at a "Ladies Night" meet-and-greet in Toronto: "Which nation, besides Canada, which nation's administration do you most admire, and why?"

    The future prime minister's odd answer: "You know, there's a level of admiration I actually have for China …."

    China? Why China?

    "Because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say 'we need to go green fastest…we need to start investing in solar.'"

    It was way worse than I thought it was. What a fucking jackass. Trudeau has officially earned zero respect from me now for however little that matters. I wish nothing but bad things for him now.

  • Mark22||

    Whatever 'multi-ethnic democracy' is.

    Sweden!, the go-to example of progressives!

    A model country so committed to "multi-ethnic democracy", it couldn't tolerate being unified with other Scandinavian countries!

    /sarc

  • Longtobefree||

    "Mounk fails to offer an extraordinary solution."

    The left wing is the one using bully tactics.
    Vote accordingly.
    How's that for a 'solution' ?

    My observation is that the current wailing and gnashing of teeth is from the left refusing to accept the results of the presidential election. Period.

  • ||

    Remember when they freaked when they misread what Trump said when they asked him if he'd abide the results if he lost?

    WHEN THEY GO LOW YOU MARRY A CARROT!

  • Rebel Scum||

    He clumsily said "we will abide by the results unless there is apparent nefarious activity", which is a perfectly reasonable position that anyone who runs for any office should have. And the only thing he could have done if he thought the results involve any nefarious activity was challenge it via the legal system. They act like he could just install himself as dictator after having lost an election. But as you've said, it is all leftist projection. They want a dictator, but it has to be THEIR dictator.

  • Tony||

    Bob Mueller is a not of "the left." The rest of us are simply voting out preferences in the midterm election. We're allowed to do that, you know. For now at least.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Mueller is nothing more nor nothing less that a swamp creature who is by nature and the authoritarian who has been accused in the past (multiple times) of prosecutorial misconduct. He is power hungry and out to further his own interests. It doesn't matter if he has a D or R after his name. He is little better then J. Edgar Hoover was.

  • Tony||

    Ratfuckers are fucking ruthless huh. I wonder if it's evil or just sad when anonymous internet people do their ratfucking for them.

    Mueller is the corrupt one, and Donald fucking Trump is innocent as a baby's little buttcheeks, I'm sure.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Mueller's corruption has no bearings on Trump's guilt or innocence. However, it should give any liberty minded individual deep pause and concern. Also, BTW, Trump is innocent until proven otherwise. Live with it motherfucker. That is the way it works.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    OT: What I Learned From Hiring a Coach to Grow My Dick Bigger

    That "job" is founder and head trainer at meCoach ("Male Enhancement Coach"), a first-of-its kind personal training service providing one-on-one tutorials on "how to get the penis you want." The program is made up of 30 different exercises with names like "The Slow Crank," "The Leg Tuck Pull" and "Viking's Kegel Squeeze," all of which are designed to stretch and elongate your penis. Big Al has helped thousands of men like me increase hardness, improve stamina, reduce penis curvature, kick porn addiction and add length and girth to their penis — averaging an inch and an inch-and-a-half, respectively. The meCOACH basic plan costs $37.77 for a month, but I opt for a three-month premium plan for $257.77, which includes weekly progress reports and 1-on-1 coaching.
  • Eddy||

    Hi, Crusty!

  • Vernon Depner||

    "1-on-1 coaching"? Like at Boy Scout camp?

  • Eddy||

    People need to be able to criticize Trump without worrying about the lefties rushing out and saying "welcome to the #Resistance, brother (or sister)! I knew you'd come around to opposing literal-Hitler!"

  • GILMORE™||

    "extraordinary times."

    i've heard these same claims ~3 times during my lifetime.

    each time it was because "someone not a Democrat" had been elected president.

  • Rock Lobster||

    An astute observation!

  • Yogesh Singh||

    Great article! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Obama was one of the most authoritarian, norm-breaking presidents in American history.

    He openly and proudly declared that he was going to "go it alone", which was his way of declaring he intended to not even acknowledge the existence of an opposition party and rule as a dictator.

  • Tony||

    Poor Mitch McConnell just wanted to get along and govern this country responsibly!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    McConnell is a RINO. Of course, he wanted to do what the Democrats wanted.

    Luckily, Trump is President.

  • Paulpemb||

    That would certainly explain why he didn't use the 'nuclear option' before 2006 and cram President Bush's judicial nominees down the Democrats throats.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Bill Frist was majority leader back then and supported the nuke. McCain and other RINOs stymied it because they wanted to preserve the sacredness of the filibuster. A favor not returned by the Dems, I'll note.

  • NashTiger||

    And there was the assassinating American Citizen who was not charged with a crime thingy,

    and the LITERALLY spying on Journalists thingy

    and the weaponizing of the IRS, OSHA, BLM, and every department of the Exec Branch against powerless political opponents thingy

    and the berating of the SCOTUS as he towered over them in the SOTU speech....

  • Tony||

    Now do Trump.

  • ||

    Earf to Tony. Hello. OBAMA DID THOSE THINGS and if Trump uses those tactics, America has Obama to thank and blame. Not Mitch fricken McConnell. OBAMA. As in the man who was frickin President for EIGHT YEARS. And maybe Waldo. Waldo always lurks.

    Ooo-boo-hoo-hoo, de repubikins were not nice to me poor wittle little Barry.

    Give me a break.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If Trump uses Obama's underhanded tactics, how much blame does Trump deserve for HIS actions?

  • Modus Pwnens||

    If Trump uses Obama's underhanded tactics, how much blame does Trump deserve for HIS actions?

    Except Trump hasn't done any of those things. That's the point, idiot.

  • MJBinAL||

    ^THIS^

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Can we EVER hold Trump accountable for what he does? Or is he always blameless because Obama?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The day you post actual bad things Trump does, without TDS, will be a day that lives in infamy.

  • ||

    Not if he does what Obama did first and wasn't held to account in the first place. It's called establishing norms and precedences.

    You made the bed. Now lie in it.

  • ||

    I will, however, concede there can be a case for two wrongs don't make a right.

  • MJBinAL||

    Of course you can. Now give an example that is about deeds, not talk.

  • NashTiger||

    Okay, he makes inappropriate offhand remarks, but has taken no constitutionally or legally inappropriate actions as POTUS

    curious you seem to think the record is in any way comparable to Dictator Obama

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Also, for most of my life it was unheard of for an outgoing president to stay behind in Washington for the purposes of undermining his successor.

    Until Obama. That's another long-standing democratic norm he has broken.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Quite right -- and he was already planning to do this long before Trump won the nomination, before one of our resident leftists claims it was due to Trump being unusually dangerous.

  • Agammamon||

    Such has been the lucky lot of democracy theorists in the age of Donald Trump.

    Because everything was fine until Trump was elected? No culture wars? No identity politics? No intersectionality? Everything was just peachy keen, with everyone working for the common good, until Trump showed up out of nowhere like a snake in the garden.

  • Agammamon||

    . . . the European Union pretends to be deeply invested in democracy but regularly looks for ways around votes that undermine its agenda of economic liberalization.

    The EU does not have economic liberalization on its agenda. No group that makes as many rules and attempts to force as many of its members to follow those rules without comment is liberal. 'Common market' is the only thing liberal about the EU - once in it you've got a massive regulatory state whose purpose is 'harmonization' of all laws and regulations.

  • Agammamon||

    "a new language of inclusive patriotism."

    We'll call it 'Newspeak'.

  • Agammamon||

    the right of nation-states to accord different rights to individuals based on birth or geography.

    States (or other groups) don't have rights, they have privileges. Only individuals have rights.

  • ||

    States don't have privileges either, they have powers. Powers backed up by naked force.

  • Mark22||

    Because everything was fine until Trump was elected?

    Everything was fine for them, and that's all that mattered. They could jet around the world, secure in their government-funded sinecures, extolling the virtues of European socialism and hobnobbing with European elites. Trump threatens all that.

  • AlmightyJB||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    bad link

  • NashTiger||

    There are some truly some twisted brilliant commenters here to have come up with a hilarious parody sock puppet account like Tony and Palin's Buttplug

  • NashTiger||

    There are some truly some twisted brilliant commenters here to have come up with a hilarious parody sock puppet account like Tony and Palin's Buttplug

  • Mark22||

    Mounk's "new language," he tells us, cannot "be blind to persisting injustices…nor can it privilege the nation to such an extent that it either oppresses minorities within the country or goes to war with other countries." Instead, "it must build on the tradition of multi-ethnic democracy to show that the ties that bind go well beyond ethnicity and religion."

    There is no "tradition of multi-ethnic democracy". Multi-ethnic democracy exists briefly when some authoritarian state that unified a bunch of disparate ethnicities by force becomes democratic, before it then splits abort along ethnic lines. That's why Scandinavia is a handful of small countries, not a unified country. That's why Spain and Britain are falling apart.

    And that's what will happen in the US if progressives persist in convincing people to become more "multi-cultural" instead of adopting "American" as their ethnic identity.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "And that's what will happen in the US if progressives persist in convincing people to become more "multi-cultural" instead of adopting "American" as their ethnic identity."

    I 100% agree with this too. I cannot tell you a thing about where my progenitors come from and I think this helps make me American. If you never give up the past it is hard to move on from it.

  • Mark22||

    A new and recalibrated flavor of liberal democracy is needed, he says—one erected on "inclusive patriotism."

    That's the same language as the old "inclusive patriotism", namely "I'm a proud American".

    It's people like Mounk who are destroying that by dividing people, creating fake identities, and changing it to "I'm a proud Something-American."

  • Gaius Tacitus||

    We are not a democracy. We are a Republic

    Not the same thing. Not even close

    Keep trying

  • soldiermedic76||

    Most leftist dont understand this. Exhibit A, Tony bringing up the 3 million popular vote surplas that Hillary had. Who fucking cares that isn't how we elect presidents.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians do almost nothing but jack off to fantasy worlds. I can say the electoral college is a fucking failure of monumental proportions. It overrides the popular vote to... what? Give us Bush II and Trump? Well thank god. What a useful system.

  • JoeBlow123||

    You can say the same thing about first past the post voting giving us an entrenched two party government that is way past expiration date, but those are the rules of the game and the ones we must live with. It is like complaining about referees after losing the game, it just looks petty.

  • Rebel Scum||

    It overrides the popular vote

    It overrides nothing. It is the rule of the game being played. You don't win at soccer just because you had the most possession of the ball.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Your complaint, if indeed you have one, is not with the Electoral College but with Hillary and her closed circle of advisors who did not understand that the election was not a coronation in disguise but an election to be decided by well-established rules. Hillary was going to win in a landslide, so who cared about the Electoral College? Well, Trump and his team did. They did the math, conducted their campaign accordingly, and beat the bee-otch. If the election was indeed Hillary's to win then it tells us everything we need to know that she lost. So quit whining and accept the reality that her "leadership" failed and may well have put an end to Democrat aspirations for the WH for some years to come.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Why pools are facing a severe lifeguard shortage

    99% of the article blames Trump for increasing visa vetting (which the State Dept denies), then the real answer sneaks in in one sentence.

    In addition to a referral bonus, Tata is reimbursing teens with good grades the cost for their lifeguard certification – which runs upwards of $400 in New York City.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Kind of a lot of money for something not that hard. Know CPR and be able to swim.

  • DenverJ||

    Rights, opportunities, and belonging will still rest on the random luck of being born to certain parents or geographies. Whether or not that's patriotic, it certainly isn't very inclusive.


    Yeah. You know what we should do? We should use our military to go in and overthrow tyrants and install liberal democracy. Why, the people will be so grateful that they will hail us as heroes!
    Or did you mean that we should let anybody who can get here become full citizens. Of course, that still smacks of "the random luck of being born to certain parents or geographies", doesn't it?

  • JoeBlow123||

    Invade everywhere, make a one world government. They don't like freedom? Tough shit! We bringing freedom globally.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    So, another blithering idiot from the liberal left wastes trees and ink telling us what we already know: that he really does not know much of anything about anything much. I'm so tired of these posers and their pompous prescriptions for how the rest of us should restructure our minds and lives to achieve some Utopia they cannot even describe well. As always there is a much better idea: leave us alone to work it all out for ourselves.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Democrats win = will of the people

    Republicans win = democracy is dead

  • Tony||

    We only get one president. Give one good reason why the minority of voters rather than the majority should get to choose him.

  • Rebel Scum||

    1) Representative government: A broad number of people in a broad number of States need to have a say in who is president. The alternative is that California and New York (i.e. the most populous states) decide who is president. With the E.C. a candidate must appeal to a more diverse(!) population across the country.

    2) Divided sovereignty and separation of powers: Power is (ostensibly) limited in the Constitution and filtered through the federal government and the States.The States are sovereign aside from the authorities they granted to the common government among them. As such, the States set their rules for how the State's vote will be cast. The president is not the president of "the people". The president is the president of the States.

    Additionally, a minority did not elect the president. A clear majority of electors elected the president. That one candidate got a plurality of the vote is immaterial. The US is a Republic, not a Democracy. So "should/could/would" makes no difference. You have to play by the rules of the game.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Well since Hillary only won a plurality not aajority of the popular vote, by your logic she shouldn't be President either. More people voted against her then for her dipshit.

  • Vernon Depner||

    And more people didn't vote than voted for Trump or Clinton. So, I guess we shouldn't have a President.

  • Sevo||

    "We only get one president. Give one good reason why the minority of voters rather than the majority should get to choose him."

    Easy:
    The Constitution says so.

  • Vernon Depner||

    We only get one president. Give one good reason why the minority of states rather than the majority should get to choose him.

  • MJBinAL||

    I know you historically illiterate, but here is the simple answer to your question.

    The United States was not formed as a unitary goverment (look it up), it was formed as a federal government. Stated another way, the States formed, and owned the Federal Government, not the other way around.

    The states were very interested in making sure to protect their own interests as a state. So the electoral college was created in order to structure the election for president such that the states selected the president. Originally, the states selected Senators as well, and could replace them at will.

    We still have a constitution that dictates a federal system rather than a unitary one. States set up districts for the House of Representatives. Senators are not elected in equal districts but rather at large from each state. And Presidents are not elected by the people, they are elected by the states, via the electoral college.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Americans' faith in the fairness and perpetuity of taking turns is fast eroding. Bullies have appeared on the global playground: Trumps"

    The Obama administration turned the IRS, DOJ, FBI, and intelligence services against their political enemies, advocated electoral college electors casting their ballots against the voters, and then continued as rogue elements in the Trump administration trying to engineer a coup.

    But it's Trump who started the problem of America believing in democracy.

    Reason is Slate.

  • Henry Baker||

    America-hating Pakistani slut Zakaria is just another stupid pie-in-the-sky utopia-dreaming think-tank turd typical of the pseudo-intellectual globalist shitheads this Reason rag caters to.

    It's swill like this that prompts me NOT to renew my subscription.

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