Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Bernie J. Trump: Nationalism and Socialism Are Two Sides of the Same Statist Coin

No wonder they both sing the same America First tune

The social justice left and the reactionary right have never been at each other's throats more viciously than today. Antifa warriors and alt-right foot soldiersBernie Trumpalex edelmandpapicture-alliancenewscom attack each other at rallies, clash on campuses, and see each other as mortal enemies.

But the weird thing is that when it comes to issues, their standard bearers, Bernie Sanders and President Trump, have never been closer together.

The latest proof of this came just last week when Trump unloaded against the billionaire Koch brothers on Twitter. The Kochs are free-market libertarians who have been aghast at the protectionist, restrictionist, and racist turn of the GOP under Trump. At a recent summit they indicated they would actively bankroll Democratic candidates who share their values during the midterms. (Full disclosure: David Koch sits on the board of Reason Foundation, my employer.)

Trump went ballistic. He fired off a series of tweets accusing the Kochs of being a "total joke" and "globalists" who oppose "Strong Borders and Powerful Trade" because, unlike him, they don't put "America and American workers" first.

This may sound nuts, but consider what Sanders told Vox's Ezra Klein three years ago when asked whether he would support "sharply increasing" the level of immigration to help alleviate world poverty. Without batting an eye, Sanders dismissed that as a Koch-backed "open borders" idea that would "bring in all kinds of people" who would "work for $2 or $3 an hour" and "make everybody in America poorer." Indeed, he maintained, if you believe in something "called the United States or U.K. or Denmark," then "you have an obligation ... to do everything to help poor people ... raise wages in the country."

That a high-minded altruist like Sanders who is supposed to appeal to our better angels is demonizing his intellectual opponents and echoing Trump's crass nationalism is remarkable enough. But what's even more astonishing is the fact that Sanders is supposed to be the thinking man's liberal — in contrast to Trump, who is allegedly the low-information voter's conservative who panders to our base instincts. Yet he, like Trump, is ignoring the widespread academic consensus that the harm to wages and employment from immigration is small, targeted, and short-lived while the gains are enormous, widespread, and enduring. Indeed, America's entire history shows that immigration does not harm natives, it helps them; it creates jobs, boosts real wages, and even strengthens old-age entitlement programs.

These two white septuagenarians from New York are not only simpatico on immigration but also on trade. They both scoff at the notion that free trade has raised real living standards for Americans by putting untold riches in the hands of working-class Americans, especially those who shop at the likes of Walmart, which sources cheap goods from China and Bangladesh. They have both derided NAFTA as a "disaster" for American workers and were implacably opposed to normalizing trade ties with China. But what's interesting is not just the convergence of the duo's trade views but also their rhetoric. Trump has embraced Sanders' vocabulary of "fair trade" as he smashes the international trading regime in the name of negotiating better deals. And Sanders intones darkly about the loss of U.S. "sovereignty" in "giving [foreign] corporations the right to challenge our laws before international tribunals."

And then there is their shared disdain for fiscal responsibility. Neither has any use for austerity or trimming entitlement spending — which already consumes fully three-fourths of the federal budget and is on track to consume all of it in a few decades — while cranking up infrastructure spending. And for all of Trump's assaults on ObamaCare, he is quite enamored with the idea of single payer — or Medicare for all, as Sanders calls it. The only reason he might have desisted from moving towards it right now is that liberals won't work for his administration and the conservatives he hires have no appetite for it.

Both have also lambasted the pernicious influence of money in politics — the revolving door between Wall Street and government — that allows rich guys to buy politicians and policies. Trump, of course, told voters that he was uniquely qualified to "drain the swamp" because being rich enough to self-finance his campaign meant he was beholden to no one (never mind that as a sitting president who failed to divest his business ventures he is also uniquely susceptible to self dealing by doing special favors for those who patronize his properties). Along the same lines, Sanders boasted that he was financed not by big corporations but small donations by ordinary Americans. But though Trump has proffered no real plans (besides venting) to actually prevent the moneyed classes from buying government favors, Sanders has an elaborate agenda that involves overturning Citizens United v. FEC and moving to a system of public financing where the government gives every American a fixed voucher to hand to the candidate of their choice.

But what truly unites the two — other than their hatred of Hillary Clinton — is that they love to beat up on their favorite, often overlapping, corporate villains. Besides the Kochs, both have gone after Big Pharma, Wall Street fat cats, and, most ominously, media companies. Trump has declared the "failing New York Times" and "fake news" Washington Post the "enemy of the people." He has openly fantasized about using libel laws to bankrupt his media critics and threatened to punish Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos for negative coverage by raising the postal rates for Amazon, which Bezos founded. Meanwhile, Sanders, a child of the 1960s, has his own beef with media conglomerates that he accuses of serving not the interests of ordinary Americans but shareholders. "Is there a basic conflict between making money for large media and having a serious discussion about the issues that impact the working people?" he asks. "Yeah, I think there are (sic)."

None of this is to deny that there are substantive differences between the two. Sanders' socialism couldn't be more at odds with Trump's tax cuts and deregulation. And Trump couldn't be more blasé about Sanders' crusade against global warming or his anti-law-and-order, anti-police agenda. And, stylistically, Sanders is the professor offering systemic critiques — Trump the street fighter dishing dirt.

Yet there is much uniting them, which is why fully 12 percent of voters who "felt the Bern" defected to Trump in the general election. Trump's Trumpism and Sanders' socialism are yin and yang, two sides of the same statist coin. They believe they can use the government's muscle to reverse America's decline by going after their preferred scapegoats: rich people first and foreigners second, in Sanders' case — foreigners first and rich people second, in Trump's case.

They'll both take the country down similar paths of parochialism, insularity, and internecine warfare.

This column originally appeared in The Week

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

  • AmendmentXMigrant||

    It's great for unions, already payed off in Missouri by a landslide. Won't be surprised if it starts spreading to more red states in order to "protect" certain workers.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • Fancylad||

    Oh, food stamps, housing projects and basic income are conservative now?

    Also that study has been widely mocked by most paleontologists. You can't accurately correlate the dates in the middle Pleistocene, when the Acheulean lithic tools were laid in situ, with known climatic conditions. There's too much variance in the dates, usually +/- 5000 years.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Oh, food stamps, housing projects and basic income are conservative now?

    The first two are coming up on 70 years and 50 years in this country as operational programs, so in that sense, they're certainly conservative programs.

  • Flinch||

    It's a great article, but how did the writer make a quantum leap from laziness to "conservatism"? More like they became a society of morons with no inclination to seek anything better than their present moment. Come to think of it, nothing stifles innovation or production like socialism - it almost killed everybody that landed at Plymouth Rock one brutal winter. Maybe Homo Erectus punished anyone going up the hill to seek better stone for making tools as "greedy". Maybe it was the original caliphate/modesty culture and the leaders declared the masses must wait for stone to roll off the mountain first or the gods would curse them. Or maybe... it's the first socialist society to fail, and did so in such grand fashion they took themselves off the map?
    I am lazy, but... I put it to work for me. How? By making things easier to work on later, or arranging things so they require less effort down the road. I don't buy crap that's going in the rubbish bin the same calendar year - I'd rather have something nice that can last a few decades, and if I have to wait on a purchase, so be it. So, something went wrong with that article, and the assumptions are polluting a great discovery.

  • Lucky Ned Pepper||

    When it comes to the GOP, what are the examples and facts to demonstrate that they've turned racist under Trump's leadership? I keep hearing - and in this article reading - that the GOP is highly racist but I'm not seeing overt acts of racism; what am I missing?

  • JesseAz||

    If you believe open borders are not congruent with a welfare state you're racist.

    Saved you from future shikha articles.

  • I can't even||

    It's one of those leftist projection things. They are openly racist anti-white.

    Eventually they will succeed in tribalizing American politics to the point that most un-woke whites are in fact cornered into a single political party and have to actually fight for their own interests.

  • ||

    They're actually more geared towards anti-human, racism is just one tool in the toolkit. Blacks need special treatment and a lower bar, whites are colonialists/Charles Barkley of grabbing privilege whose society must be destroyed, South Americans are incapable of doing "proper socialism", Indians are incapable of family planning,...and so on and so forth.

  • Fancylad||

    This.

    The left's attitude seems to be brown people are naive, helpless little children who need protection from white people who are all-powerful evil gods.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Piss off Hihn.

  • Sevo||

    You're missing Charlottesville and Trump's insane defense of white nationalists and neo-nazis.
    Or diversions like open borders.

    You're missing your meds.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Why so keen on being mean, Red Michael Hihn?

  • JesseAz||

    Now do the one where the alt right tried to destroy the innocent bike lock from the Berkely professor and all those evil alt right buildings stealing fire from innocent antifa.

  • BigBob||

    Obama gave aid & comfort to an enemy by trying to get banks to launder Iranian money & giving $200,000 to a group that supported Al-Qaeda.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano drops his tired MAD magazine reference.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Nope. Both sides were read for a fight. But what you're missing is that, being a public place, there were people on both sides of the actual stub issue that had no involvement in any politics there. People who wanted the statue gone, and people who thought it should stay, that had zero involvement with either Antifa or the ;white nationalists'. This is what Trump was getting at. Plenty of good guys and bad guys on both sides.

    And no, it doesn't make anyone a 'white nationalist' if you don't like the idea of removing statues and monuments. Being a 'white nationalist' makes you a 'white nationalist'. Just like advocating for removal isn't what makes you an Antifa traitor thug.

  • Fancylad||

    Now show the rest of the footage. Including when the first interaction started, Mike.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano loves his selective argumentation.

  • Flinch||

    Huh? I recall hairspray being used as flamethrowers, and various other homemade weapons in the original confrontation police helped organize through willful inaction and fatally flawed "crowd control" methods promoting collision of antagonists by dispersing the lawfully [and permitted] assembled through the middle of a growing wild mob. The whole event was shameful on all fronts, and probably theatre for idiots: the left coordinated all 3 sides of the equation in my estimation.
    When people pay for a permit to organize a speech rally, the protection they are paying for is their speech/public gathering. On the surface, police took their money and used it for Antifa/BLM anarchists, who were what the event was all about in my estimation. It should have been named Incite The Left.

  • JesseAz||

    Charlottesville... Oh the March organized by an Obama supporter and OWS member...

    link

  • TheOriginalDaveH||

    Argumentum ad Hominem -- a logical fallacy.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You mean an 'ad Hihninem'.

  • Fancylad||

    - Links to Unicorn Riot
    - Calls out a WND link

    That kettle sure is black, isn't it Mike.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano loves his selective argumentation.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Just ask Laura Ingraham.

    If you believe that *legal* immigrants cannot be as authentically American as native-born citizens, then you may be just a tad bit racist.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If you hold caricatured, one-dimensional views of an entire group of people based on superficial characteristics, then you may be just a tad bit racist.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I think this is Jeff Foxworthy's shtick.

  • Lucky Ned Pepper||

    While I oppose the current and proposed immigration policy, how does the president and certain Republicans supporting stricter immigration controls translate to racism? Wouldn't they better be classified as something else for their anti-immigration stance? Say perhaps protectionists or nationalists or anti-Mexico or something? I just don't automatically sense racism based on their views.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Racism" doesn't mean racism for the left. It's just a content free epithet that they use for everybody who doesn't agree with them about something.

  • Bill||

    By their "definitions" (which can change any time they wish), some folks can't be racist and others are automatically racist. They just wait until you disagree with them to throw that card.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    People like Shikha don't really care about facts. It's all about an agenda. White conservatives = racist.

  • VinniUSMC||

    If you hold caricatured, one-dimensional views of an entire group of people based on superficial characteristics, then you may be just a tad bit racist.

    What you're describing is just as likely to be a good "woke" proggy as it is to be anyone else.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I never said racism was exclusive to either Team Red or Team Blue.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So strange that virtually all of your examples are from the right. Just such an odd coincidence.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well, I wouldn't want to step on anyone's toes or anything.

    After all, we already have you/John/Ken Shultz/Shithead/LC1789/Simple Mikey/Sevo/Johnny Longstorso/Jesse/Brett Bellmore/etc. already covering the racism-from-the-left beat.

  • JesseAz||

    its more calling out the hypocrisy you and others spew. You have no intelligent arguments so you point fingers and yell racist.

    Being opposed to open borders when there is an active welfare state isn't racist noatter how times you try to equate it to racism.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jesse, Jeff is not a rational person. He functions off emotion. And his primary motivator is what pulls at his widdle heart strings. In this case, the poor downtrodden foreigners that oh so want to come to the US.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm hurt you left me off the list. But then it's probably because I put more focus on highlighting your profound soft headed idiocy.

  • Pat Hines||

    Legal and illegal immigration must be ended for at least a 100 year span. We need the nation, at least my southern nation, to be restored to more than 90% white.

    If you think I'll be "sensitive" be being called racist, think again.

  • JesseAz||

    It's only liberals who are allowed to dream of highly homogenous white countries like Sweden and Denmark.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yes they did. When the swedish empire invaded the baltic states.

  • Mark22||

    Good grief you're ignorant, Hihn!

    I suppose you're also not aware of the fact that more Europeans were captured and enslaved by Africans than Africans were brought to North America.

  • ||

    Slavery was the most lucrative trade the Vikings partook in. Haitabu, Birka etc were built on slave trade long before a single African slave set foot in North America,.

  • Bill||

    Are you a troll?

  • Fancylad||

    No, he's just some prog idiot trying to false flag.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If we're going to eugenically engineer the country, then we need to focus on having more thin hot chicks.

    No uggos.

    And no fattys. As Bowie once opined "Those mellow fat chicks just put my spine out of place"

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    False flag. Probably the real fake hihn.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Excellent piece. Although I would have voted for Bernie in 2016 if he had gotten the Democratic nomination, I cannot totally forgive his baseless criticism of the Koch / Reason immigration agenda. I mean, asserting that the Kochs support immigration purely because they expect it to make them even richer? Just absurd. In fact, they support immigration on libertarian and humanitarian grounds.

  • JesseAz||

    Ultimate trolling... Praising a shikha article as excellent. Good work.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    Fuck off you commie douche! The only thing that matters in that Trump doesn't feel hurt. Get a job, loser. ALL HAIL TRUMP AND HIS MASSIVE COCK!!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yeah............

    Are you even trying?

  • Nardz||

    I think so... which is just sad.
    Not even smart enough to stay away from OBL, thus highlighting it's inferiority in both absolute, and now relative, terms.

  • JesseAz||

    Remember the old fail picture memes... Think he's going for that schtick in word format.

  • Fancylad||

    It's always about the cock with you guys.

  • TLBD||

    KMW needs to give this man a job writing satire.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Right OBL, and it's not like once your fellow traveller are installed in power that you couldn't go back and take a few billion off of the Kochs anyway.

  • Cyronic||

    I would hardly describe Sanders as a "thinking man's liberal" or a "professor offering systemic critiques"... his economic ignorance is as appalling bad as Trump's (worse, in some cases), he just has the stylistic advantage of not running his mouth of Twitter. A loud buffoon versus a soft idiot is not a meaningful contrast, in my view.

    Other than that, though, I think Shikha may actually be on to something. Amazing.

  • JesseAz||

    When asked how he would pay for his platform, Sanders admitted he never even looked at what the costs would be.

  • Bill||

    His supporters are easily fooled and they think he is the "professor".

    Much like John Anderson decades earlier. His answer to everything
    was that he would put together a committee and study it. But he was
    in favor of the government doing almost everything. College kids who
    supported him thought he was a genius too. But, he had no new ideas
    and did not know enough to discuss anything - just repeated the same
    stupid line about "studying" the problem before he got the govt to fix it.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Shikha might make a good point here and there, but it's usually overshadowed by her constant signaling as well as her significant and storied track record of being a progressive loon

  • H. Farnham||

    "Sanders is supposed to be the thinking man's liberal"

    ... Really? I've never paid close attention to The Bern, but the soundbites and reporting I see make me view him as more of a demagogue than an intellectual.

  • ||

    I thought this was a backhanded compliment to the Democrats, in a "your brightest bulb is still only 15 watts" way.

  • VinniUSMC||

    your brightest bulb is still only 15 watts

    +1

  • Rich||

    HAHAHAHAHAAA!!

  • Rich||

    @ the quote.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In a one-variable universe they'd both be competent. The real issue is how Bernie's closeness to Stalin compares with the Gee-Oh-Pee guy's approximation to Hitler--in inches, not some foreign unit of measure!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Is that supposed to mean something?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    I kind of wonder if Hank Phillips is the original version of the Hihn code, before it got its upthread linking, copy-pasting, boldface, italic, and AGGRESSION updates put in.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Dude, Hank is a national treasure. His comments are so indecipherable to me that I am in awe at the existence of a brain so different from mine. I love Hank.

  • ThomasD||

    Hank has also maintained tremendous rhetorical consistency across the changing political landscape.

  • ||

    Let me just say this, I emphatically agree with Shikha on this point.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You need to get behind a REAL libertarian, like Ron Paul.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    ...what libertarians have been saying that? Because that's the first time I've ever heard it.

    Left + Right = ?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No libertarians say that. Which is why he is, since he's not a libertarian in any way.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    He's not? Next you'll be telling me that Rev. Kirkland, loveprostitution, and Michael Hihn aren't libertarians either!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Crazy, isn't it?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, I keep seeing that here, but I spent about 20 years as an activist in the LP, used to subscribe to both Liberty and Reason, and I NEVER saw that slogan until I followed the Conspiracy back to Reason after leaving the LP in the 90's.

  • Bill||

    Trouble. With a capital T.

  • Bill||

    Left + Right =

  • ace_m82||

    Back to that old shtick, Hihn?

    Let's check out my "History of the dumbest things Hihn has said" Word doc...

    Yep, here it is:

    www.reason.com/blog/2017/01/31.....nt_6728797

    Says precisely the same thing using 2 different handles. Begins with a quote of mine "If the child is a living human".

    www.reason.com/blog/2017/02/26.....nt_6778904

    Hihn uses another handle, gets caught by 3 different people, and continues to deny it.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Eh, all authoritarians are brothers to some extent, but historically the socialist variety tend more towards totalitarianism, the right-wing sort towards authoritarianism. Pol Pot vs Pinochet.

    Trump is, of course, an authoritarian by any libertarian scale. But you don't catch him at idiocy like declaring that we have too many choices of deodorant.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Lot of phony libertarians who are really big government leftist tools. Like that loser Michael Hihn. Totally fake libertarian who was always wrong about everything.

    Not even as libertarian as Trump is turning out to be.

  • JesseAz||

    The debt didn't add 10 trillion this year dummy.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Thats not what you said.

    "Trump has ALREADY added more to the debt, in 1-1/2 years, than Obama added in 8 years"

    "That's the 8-year FORECAST,"

    Your second statement contradicts your first statement. Thats what a progressive does.

    "Libertarians don't take tribal sides."

    Indeed. However, that has nothing to do with you.

    "When they can't cut spending with both houses of Congress and the White House,"

    That much is accurate. Congress is a complete disaster. The House may do better if Jim Jordan replaces Paul Ryan as Speaker. He is actually willing to at least try to push real spending cuts. Don't know if he and Trump can twist McConnell's arm hard enough to get them through. We will have to wait and see.

    Either way, we are far better off than id The Hag had won.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I can't speak for whatever a 'Trumpster' is (something like a Mouseketeer?), but that is a meaningless question that does not ameliorate your erroneous statements.

    It's also the sort of thing some whacko like that ineffectual Michael Hihn would have said.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maga

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Try another sockpuppet, Dumbfuck Hihnsano.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "...Dumbfuck Hihnsano needs his diaper changed..."
    (lol)

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So, Trump and Sanders, brothers from another mother-fucker?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm thinking of maybe a political themed update of the old "Patty Duke show".

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I think at their cores, they're both populist and authoritarian. Thus the overlap in trying to appeal to the people against the "elite" boogeymen, and implying that only government can help. Who they see as the elite might be different, but the concept is the same.

    Shikha might be stretching a little on Trump's view on healthcare. I see it basically as he has no plan and ran an anti-Obamacare campaign. Nothing indicates to me that he wants welfare for all or single-payer despite his praise for those systems in other countries.

    Otherwise, this wasn't a bad article with one other exception:
    The Kochs are free-market libertarians who have been aghast at the protectionist, restrictionist, and racist turn of the GOP under Trump.

    Please stop overusing the "racism" card. If you're calling the GOP racist for being anti-immigration, then explain why Sanders isn't racist when he has the same view?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I always wondered why Shikha wanted to come to such a racist, nationalist, protectionist, and corrupt USA.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    May be she just wanted to see a capybara.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    CMB provides the Monday morning LOL and I'm set up for the week.

  • MikeP2||

    Because the US is the only place in the developed world where a 'writer' like Shikha could pen screeds with hate and insults to half of the country and not face at a minimum harassment and ostracization. Here, in the US, she is able to say what she wants and gain money and accolades from the foolish subset who thinks it makes sense...and face no consequence from anyone else.

    It a wonderful country.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    Of course - because liberal darkie vagina.

  • Fancylad||

    Haven't you ever wanted to go someplace where you could be a giant douche to everyone, and they would have to take it. Heck, some will even praise you for it.

    They wouldn't put up with that crap in New Delhi.

  • Sevo||

    The statue on the right looks more sane than the dimbulb at the podium

  • mtrueman||

    "The statue on the right looks more sane than the dimbulb at the podium"

    More racist too.

  • mtrueman||

    Fun Fact: Choose any two politicians and they will be both sides of the same statist coin. Hillary and Trump, for example.

    "They'll both take the country down similar paths of parochialism, insularity, and internecine warfare."

    Chickens coming home to roost is probably the best we can hope for. I hope the country doesn't drag too many others down with their decline.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    Whatever, you commie cunt. I'm not about the long run on this - I am about me today. Mass immigration and open borders screw me today.

  • mtrueman||

    If you feel victimized, empower yourself with a university education. Join the nation's elite.

  • JesseAz||

    A phd in victim studies doesnt make you elite, it makes you dumb.

  • mtrueman||

    It's all about the credentials. If you want to save some time, you can buy yourself a diploma in Bangkok made to order.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    you can buy yourself a diploma in Bangkok made to order.

    Check out Gary Glitter over here.

  • mtrueman||

    Bangkok, not Cambodia.

  • rferris||

    Seems like a cluesless author. Trump and Bernie both talk about fair trade , but Trump means no tariffs or restrictions while Bernie means the opposite. What insight can she offer when she has the basic so wrong

  • Bill||

    Trump says so many crazy things on trade from every side imaginable. I'm hoping
    he lucks into (or is it part of his genius plan?) more free trade through his actions.

    But, he has said both that we don't need trade and also that the best trade
    agreement has no restrictions at all. So, I have no clue where he really
    stands on it or what he really wants. If he had been a consistent free market
    voice over the years I would have more faith that he actually understands
    much of anything. His Supreme court picks have been good, especially
    Gorsuch, and getting rid of regulations will be great if followed through on.

    But, at this point, I can't really say I support him. On immigration, he could
    have gone the route that George Bush said he would go (before 9/11 derailed
    everything) and come out with improved work visa laws.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "On immigration, he could have gone the route that George Bush said he would go (before 9/11 derailed
    everything) and come out with improved work visa laws."

    At this point, we need to have the security provisions and the illegal problem sorted out first. As we have had thirty years of broken primes and outright lies on that end. It has to be first. If it isn't, then there wis no goddamn way the turds in congress will ever keep their promise after the fact.

  • Allutz||

    Anyone who has watched European politics should have expected it. The natural response to socialism is nationalism, and then liberals have to choose which side to throw their hat in with and try to steer that as well as they can. It rarely works well, but this isn't a chicken-egg issue.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Nationalism in America is very different than in Europe. Their nationalists are still very much top down authoritarians. Ours are not, at least not anywhere near where the Europeans are.

  • mtrueman||

    "Ours are not, at least not anywhere near where the Europeans are."

    Do European nations have their own branches of militarized police such as ICE dedicated to dealing with immigration? From what I've read here nationalists are the first to call on the state.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Other nations tend to use their militaries for task like that. We do not. Our military is notable in having no arrest powers over civilians. So we require specialized federal law enforcement.

    And it isn't 'authoritarian' to do so. Immigration is a designated function of the federal govt. As America was never designed to be a borderless entity no matter how much communists and anarchists wish it so.

  • mtrueman||

    Which European countries have their military look after immigration?

  • Echospinner||

    At least with Sanders you know what you are getting. He represents a well known and failed set of ideas. It was respectable once as a concept but now belongs on a bookshelf somewhere.

    Trump is what we are saying, populist, nationalist and destroyer of perfectly good steak, but he does not know that. All he knows is that what is going on in his head at any given moment is the right thing to do. He is always the smartest person in the room. He is a genius. That is not my opinion he has said as much many times.

    I think we all have known actually super smart people and people who made a lot of money. You never hear them talking like that.

  • JesseAz||

    Obama said he was smarter than everyome who worked for him too. Sadly having an ego seems a prerequisite for president.

  • Echospinner||

    It pretty much is and not just in politics. Narcissists tend to do very well.

    What normal person would want to be president? Worst job in the world.

  • Rockabilly||

    At the end of the day

    The only thing that matters

    is this....

    Hillary Clinton will NEVER EVER EVER be fucking president = hahahahhahahahaa

    and Bill will never be 1st male 1st lady - although to see him parade around in a dress would be dreamy.

  • Nuwanda||

    Oh, you just know Shikha would have been much happier with Clinton as president.

    So much happier.

  • Bill||

    Really?

  • Pat Hines||

    "But the weird thing is that when it comes to issues, their standard bearers, Bernie Sanders and President Trump, have never been closer together."

    What garbage.

    Nationalism and socialism are NOT the same thing, that the author states that they are merely illuminates his ignorance of social and political philosophies. I suspect he's trying to tie nationalism into national socialism which is a socialist contruct. That begs the question is he actually ignorant or is he just a sleaze bag.

    I didn't vote for Donald Trump, but I wish him well; as for you "never Trumpers", a pox upon you.

  • Echospinner||

    I wish him well too.

    He should retire and spend his days enjoying what he has accomplished.

    He should play golf, enjoy his wonderful homes and estates, his family and beautiful wife.

    Spend time with the children and grandchildren. He gets no time for that now.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No, he shouldn't retire. This is the first shot at shaking off the stats quo in decades.

  • ranrod||

    spoken like a true open borders anarchist...... socialism and nationalism are complete opposites!!
    writing for BLOOMBERG explains it....

    The Alt-Right is Not Right - It's Left.....The alt-right is myth
    One of the pillars of conservatism is "The Golden Rule," which automatically precludes white nationalism or racial supremacy of any kind.
    According to McPaper, the white nationalist/supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term in 2008. If he uses the term alt-right to identify himself and his fellow believers – this begs a question?
    Was President Woodrow Wilson a member of the alt-right? He was a racist white supremacist.
    So were President Lyndon Johnson and the late Democrat Senator Robert Byrd.
    Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood to halt the spread of the black race. I'd call that white supremacism.
    The KKK was the enforcers of the white supremacist Southern Democrat Party, the Dixiecrats.
    Alt-right demonstrators hit the streets adorned with Nazi paraphernalia and Confederate flags.
    Neither of those symbols represents American conservatism.
    In fact, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, which these nuts appear to be so fond of, was a tale of combat between two competing leftist ideologies – fascism and communism.
    Neither faction incidentally resembled conservatism or what we've come to know as "the right."

  • Nuwanda||

    I agree with your thrust, but if you're gonna hang your hat on socialism and nationalism being complete opposites, you better be able to explain the Nazis. They were in name and in fact national socialists, and pretty successful at it until biting off a little more than they could chew.

    Also, the Juche idiocy in North Korea is national socialist in all but name.

    I think it was Paul Johnson in Modern Times who defined the two types of socialists with particular respect to the Nazis and the Soviets; the former being race (national) socialists and the latter being class (international) socialists.

  • Echospinner||

    I have heard this debate for years.

    It goes nowhere. The Nazis have no comparison to what is called right or left in current politics.

    Not disagreeing with what you said.

    Same goes for racism. Each claiming the other is the real racist.

  • Nuwanda||

    Sure, but if you're gonna use words, and if words have meanings, you have to qualify your terms. Else the terms mean nothing. They just become meaningless.

  • ranrod||

    The German KPD was the largest communist party outside the Soviet Union during the 1920s.
    It was the Trotsky-inspired KPD or German Communist Party vs. the Hitler led fascist "National Socialist German Workers Party" (Nazis).
    There were no "right-wingers" involved at all.
    And did I see the word socialist?
    By cracky, I did.
    I don't know of anyone who would confuse conservatism with socialism.
    The alt-right is myth.
    It's a name crafted to confuse the public into thinking these loons were spawned out of the conservative movement.
    It should actually be relabeled, or labeled properly as the National Socialist American Party, because they are in fact fascists - not of the right and certainly not conservative.
    But because of our woefully inept education system in this country, most believe fascism and Hitler were right wing.
    They couldn't be more wrong.
    The fascists were leftists who had/have a lot more in common with communists than with free market conservative capitalists.
    The major difference between fascists and communists is that the former is nationalistic and the latter, internationalistic.

    http://freedomoutpost.com/ alt-right-not-right-left/

  • mtrueman||

    "the Hitler led fascist "National Socialist German Workers Party" (Nazis).
    There were no "right-wingers" involved at all."

    Ever heard of Herman Goering? A right winger from the start, it seems, glancing through his biography. He was probably the highest ranking member of the regime who was unmoved by Hitler's anti-semitism. He was motivated by cynicism rather than any crack pot animus towards the Jews.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Goring was a war hero and aristocrat. While aristocrats are right wing conservatives, Hitler needed Goering because the Nazis were Left wing socialists and needed aristocrats for legitimacy and money. The Nazi party begged for money until it had secured state revenue once Hitler became chancellor.

    He jumped into the Nazi party feet first. Goering was head of the gestapo and prussian police forces until reyhard heinrich took over.

    The gestapo and police rounded up jews and other undesirable to the death camps.

    Goering was also minister of the interior which meant that he managed the trains and other infrastructure to carry out mass murder. While there is ample evidence that he turned to opiates to control his minor qualms with mass murder, Goering still was a dutiful Nazi until the end.

  • mtrueman||

    "Goering still was a dutiful Nazi until the end"

    He was a leftist according to commenters here.

  • mtrueman||

    "Goering still was a dutiful Nazi until the end."

    Ranrod would have you believe Goering was a lefty. I disagree. I don't think you understand about socialism. The bolsheviks didn't need Russia's aristocrats. One of their first acts on taking power was the slaughter of Czar Nicholas and his family. Aristocrats along with business elite have traditionally been enemies of socialists though there have been exceptions. Felix Dzerzhinsky, for example, was a highly respected bolshevik, head of the secret police who had something of an aristocratic background, as did the Russian anarchist Bakunin. These are exceptions though. The norm among the leadership is Stalin: very humble and even obscure background.

  • mtrueman||

    Maybe it's important to note that having an aristocratic background in 19th century Russia is not as impressive as it sounds. There were very large numbers of them, and they weren't necessarily wealthy or influential. Probably something to do with the overwhelming size of the country. At least they weren't serfs and received often excellent educations.

  • mtrueman||

    "It should actually be relabeled, or labeled properly as the National Socialist American Party, because they are in fact fascists - not of the right and certainly not conservative."

    The Nazis were both radical and conservative. They saw their mission as the preservation of the race, as well as reviving ancient customs and folk ways. For so-called socialists, they were extremely soft on traditional enemies of socialism, the military, the aristocracy, and the wealthy, who managed to live through the regime without being targeted for the pogroms any self-respecting socialist would have seen to.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nazism fought for revolution to achieve the new socialist state. Revolution is left wing.

    Even the founding fathers were left wing classic liberals in this regard. The English King being the right-wing monarch.

  • mtrueman||

    Nazis were never revolutionary. They came to power perfectly legally through parliamentary maneuvering. I don't know where you are getting your history from. You might be confusing them with bolsheviks in Russia or China. Both came to power via violent revolutions. The German electorate voted the Nazis into power.

  • swampwiz||

    I don't think Bernie would have a problem with a program such as Guaranteed Income to settle up the income score, so he's different than Trump in that regard.

  • Henry Baker||

    Ridiculously contrived, Trump-hating shit like this is exactly why I'm not renewing my subscription to Reason magazine.

  • librich||

    "Immigration does not harm natives, it helps them."

    More Reason idiocy on immigration. When I was a kid there were 150M people in America. Today there are 320M. How many people can our geography support? Do think we might ask that question before we declare that immigration is now and forever a wonderful thing?

  • siempre44||

    This rather misses the point that NYC produces nothing that allows itself to exist , even its water comes from far away. So, NYC is a unique setting, not a population density model.
    But, no one is against LEGAL immigration. No country allows illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is part of the Democrats war on civilization and rule of law which includes demonizing police,military,doctors and working people including unions. Democrats openly talk of getting rid of the Constitution and Bill of Rights .
    So, what would be left...? What Democrats want is Social Justice...which means that whomever has the most insider connections or the biggest mob rules. Think of the Chinese Cultural Revolution as the model including the fanatic college students,adolescents and young adults who served the atrocities of the manipulators well . The alt Left is actually the Democrat mainstream.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano doesn't know about natural resource management.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano burps out more nonsense.

  • siempre44||

    President Trump has nothing to do with either alt right or left.The President has condemned both and ,ironically, he was blasted for equating the two as b ad after Charlottesville.
    Both are extreme but there is very little extreme right . The extreme left is now so large the New York Times hired a person who called for racial, gender genocide against white men to be on the NYT editorial board.

  • siempre44||

    President Trump has nothing to do with either alt right or left.The President has condemned both and ,ironically, he was blasted for equating the two as b ad after Charlottesville.
    Both are extreme but there is very little extreme right . The extreme left is now so large the New York Times hired a person who called for racial, gender genocide against white men to be on the NYT editorial board.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    No, he didn't lie about Charlottesville, there were good people on both sides. Bad people, too.

    And, it's funny: The Antifa don't even bother pretending they don't go places to start fights, but the left still defends them as somehow innocent.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefty socialists hate jews but wnat their money.

    See nazis. See communists in the USSR.

  • mtrueman||

    After Israel's 1967 war, leftists started to turn against zionism. Until then they had been avid supporters of the project.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ah, more bullshit retread Hihn propaganda. Can someone alert the people who run this site that he snuck back in?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The Antifa go in for concealed weapons. A favorite is soda cans filled with concrete; They look like just a soda, until you hit somebody with it.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano loves his selective argumentation.

  • Mark22||

    Bernie J. Trump: Nationalism and Socialism Are Two Sides of the Same Statist Coin
    No wonder they both sing the same America First tune. They'll both take the country down similar paths of parochialism, insularity, and internecine warfare.

    So you're saying that global unification of the working class, dictatorship of the proletariat, and public ownership of the means of production (socialism) is the same as devotion and loyalty to one's own country (nationalism, dictionary.com)?

    Is that seriously what you believe?

  • Mark22||

    He didn't support his argument. And nationalism isn't the same as statism.

    And, Hihn, why do you hide behind other aliases? In fact, why do you misuse the names of libertarians to push your own statist, authoritarian agenda?

  • Mark22||

    Actually, make that "she". This was a Shikha article. Shikha is almost as confused and incoherent as you. Almost. Reprehensible as her views may be, however, unlike you, at least she doesn't seem to be an asshole.

  • SezWhom||

    Well, let's see: Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States, not of the world. Nor of the United Nations. And speaking of statism, it is the 50 STATES that elect the president, not the citizens. Traditionally, the individual states vote for whichever presidential candidate won the popular vote in that state, but the constitution does not require that they do that.

    It's interesting that Reason works from the premise that the president should be a globalist and not a statist. Reason provides no reasoning as to why the president of the United States, having been elected to represent the interests of the fifty states, should instead support the competing interests of foreign powers. Is France obligated to see to the employment prospects of Americans? DOES France concern itself with the employment prospects of Americans? Does China? Our president's job is to concern himself with the 50 states and their citizens. Period. Trump gets that. Reason does not.

  • Tomnel141||

    You fail to make your case. You seem to be confusing heated rhetoric with political theory. However, nationalism and socialism CAN be combined; i. e. they are not antithetical. In ca. 1921 a young man named Adolf Hitler did so and named it National Socialism. Let's avoid that; it leads to undesirable consequences.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The undesirable consequences are due to the socialism part; Stalin wasn't any better.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Wow Shikha you really knocked this one out of the park.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Statists are not afraid to state they love The State.

  • gclancy51||

    So Trump and Sanders are the same.

    Except when they're not.

    Stellar article.

  • Flinch||

    It's important to note something about socialism: there isn't a pickpocket society put in place by do gooders that can't be hijacked by fascists. No nation is immune. And when it comes to America, the limits of the constitution frustrate them to a point of bitterness.

  • mtrueman||

    Constitutions are no problem for fascists. They are documents and they can be ignored. Nazi Germany was governed under the same constitution as the Weimar republic. That constitution was only abandoned after the war when the allies took over.

  • JNYC||

    I can't believe the biggest similarity (bloated spending) was almost an after thought in this article.

  • Uncle Jay||

    "Bernie J. Trump: Nationalism and Socialism Are Two Sides of the Same Statist Coin'

    Please don't tell that to the Antifa people.
    It will only hurt their feelings.

  • Salero21||

    Bernie the COMMIE, CON, and CROOK; aren't his initials BS for a reason?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Lately, the only Reason writer who consistently realizes that national socialism and international socialism are BOTH socialism is Shikha. Trumpistas irritating the comments live within the same Nolan chart square as the other looters, yet see instead a straight line running from Hitler to Stalin and place themselves between those bookends.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online