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Free Minds & Free Markets

Debate: Libertarians Should Work Within the Two-Party System

Or is the L.P. our best bet for making a difference?

AFFIRMATIVE:
Republicans Get Elected; Libertarian Party Members Don't

Rep. Thomas Massie

Joanna AndreassonJoanna AndreassonIt's my observation that libertarians argue about a lot of things, but at the end of the day we all want to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. So is it wise or useful for libertarians who want to shrink government to run for office as Libertarians? My answer is the same as my vote on the Republican version of Obamacare this term: Hell no!

First, there's the existence proof. Even on the worst days, there are two libertarians [Massie and Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.)] on the floor of the House of Representatives. On the best days there are a dozen. None of these libertarians are in the Libertarian Party. So if you want to introduce libertarian bills, force roll call votes to expose faux fiscal conservatives, speak on the floor about free markets, or vote for laws to protect civil liberties, you darn well better have a D or an R beside your name.

When I arrived in Congress, I was struck by the architecture. Everything is bifurcated. Two cloakrooms each for the Senate and House chambers. Two backrooms for every hearing room in the Capitol. I marveled at how two centuries of architects had successfully conspired, with marble, granite, and oak, to exclude a third party.

Truth be known, there are at least six parties in Congress, but they're shoehorned into the American concept of red team vs. blue team. If you want to field another team, you have to either completely replace one that's there now (within an election cycle or two) or work inside one that already exists. The most expedient path for libertarians is to work within the red team.

(To everyone with Trump Derangement Syndrome, please calm the hell down—I am not advocating that libertarians work with Russians.)

If a pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow Libertarian actually got elected, how long would he or she last before selling out? About an hour. You see, the first thing we do at the beginning of every Congress is to swear an oath to the Constitution as it exists, not as we want it to exist. Even after being trued up with 27 Amendments, the document is still chock full of stuff that sends many Libertarians into apoplexy: eminent domain, intellectual property, income tax, government-regulated currency, and those oh-so-dreadful post roads. "Support and defend" that at your national convention!

Now that I've fully alienated half my Twitter and Facebook followers, let me make the counter-case for the Libertarian Party.

"If a pure-as-the-driven-snow Libertarian actually got elected, how long would he or she last before selling out? About an hour."

There's a concept in Congress that we conservatives call True North. When you succumb to pragmatism and pursue a path that's 10 or 20 degrees off True North, it's best to admit, if only to your trusted colleagues, that you've gone a bit squishy—because if you don't, you'll soon forget where North is. Some of our Republican colleagues have their compass settings 180 degrees askew. They are completely lost. With aplomb and conviction they can make the case that all this country needs to be great again is another $100 billion in the next omnibus. So I must concede that the Libertarian Party and its passionate members are the keepers and arbiters of True North for liberty and fiscal conservatism.

Let me end with this Socratic inquiry: A mediocre libertarian can make a great Republican, but is the converse true as well?

NEGATIVE:
We Can Help Kill the Two-Party Monopoly

Bill Weld

Virtually everyone in the United States is coming to the sad conclusion that the two-party monopoly of Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., is choking off creative policy making, to the detriment of the country at large.

This unhealthy situation has been years in the making. Both parties had noble antecedents: Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party, which prevailed in 1800, and the Free Soil/Republican coalition that elected Abraham Lincoln in 1860. But despite being born in dynamism, both parties are now ending in orthodoxy—brittle, calcified orthodoxy.

Decades of hyper-gerrymandering congressional districts have produced a House of Representatives composed of extreme-left Democrats and extreme-right Republicans, who fear defeat only from a primary opponent even further out on the fringe. The result is that neither caucus has the wisdom or the incentive to reach across the aisle, even when a teenager could quickly see a middle approach that would advance the public interest without harming anyone.

This "duopoly" status quo obviously needs to change, but where will the change come from? One of the existing parties?

Not bloody likely. Rs and Ds in Washington are obsessed with being re-elected so they can continue to enjoy the perks of office and the adulation of those who elected them, even if only by a slim majority. To quote from the musical Oklahoma, with them it's all or nothin'—either they cling to office or they're voted out. They must demonize their opposition, stir up their base, or die.

So we cannot appeal to sitting members of the R party or the D party to mend their ways, because they don't see that their ways need mending, and even if they did, they would view such internal reform as against their self-interest. Their only reward is re-election, and that by definition means the status quo.

It is a truism in economics that competition produces more efficient results than monopoly, and the same goes for politics. So there is a way out of this mess, and that is the introduction of a principled, entrepreneurial third party to compete for votes with the Rs and the Ds.

The Libertarian Party—fiscally responsible, socially tolerant, and on the ballot in all 50 states—could easily play this role. It has fully developed and thoughtful policy views. If pollsters described the R, D, and L parties by their positions, the Ls would have a majority in the polls right now. As it stands, we could well elect the next president of the United States.

It has been rightly pointed out that the odds of a third-party candidate being elected in 2020 are at least as good as the 2014 odds of Donald Trump being inaugurated in January 2017 or the 2015 odds of Emmanuel Macron being elected president of France in 2017.

If we want a new broom to sweep things clean in Washington, the answer is not the R party or the D party. It is the Libertarian Party.

Photo Credit: Public domain

Thomas Massie is a Republican congressman representing the 4th Congressional District of Kentucky in the United States House of Representatives.

Bill Weld was the 2016 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee. As a Republican, he served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997.

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  • Horny Lizard||

    Massie believes a Jew who lived 2000 years was the son of God and God himself. We take it for granted but it's nuts to believe the shit he believes. Those beliefs alone reveal someone who can't think rationally. Since we're talking whose beliefs should govern it's not only fair to bring up his religion but it would be delusional to ignore it.

  • Eddy||

    Which is more delusional - for Massie to say Christ is the Son of God, or for Weld to say Hillary Clinton is a personal of integrity worth vouching for?

  • perlchpr||

    Well, even if Christ is a fictional character, his character is portrayed as the "Son of God". But calling Clinton a person with integrity is clearly a lie. ;)

  • CE||

    I think this is more delusional:

    Bill Weld: "As it stands, we could well elect the next president of the United States."

  • Ken Shultz||

    Religion is an evolutionary adaptation like language, and like language, it's largely credited with the development of our neo-cortex--the thing that makes us human.

    "Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.[14]

    Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may have grown out of evolutionary changes which favored larger brains as a means of cementing group coherence among savannah hunters, after that larger brain enabled reflection on the inevitability of personal mortality.[15]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....brain_size

    You might want to google "Dunbar's number" for some details.

    Culture is adaptive, and if our brains evolved to leverage the advantages it confers, and treating important aspects of it, like religion, as if they were a scientific argument is to completely miss the point.

  • Eddy||

    "Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may" etc.

    In other words Gould made a hypothesis, which is a guess with a PhD.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You haven't looked at his argument or his data at all--you've just parsed a quote?

    He's basing a lot of that on Dunbar's number.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

    I'm not saying this about you, Eddy, but I'm often surprised by the number of atheists I see online who criticize religion from an atheist perspective--but don't seem to know much about religion at all from an evolutionary perspective. It's like they've been emboldened by winning chatroom arguments against creationists over the years--as if that were somehow impressive.

    Anyway, religion is an evolutionary adaptation, like altruism, and it predominated because of the benefits it conferred.

  • Eddy||

    I admit I was simply parsing your remark - I presume that if Gould had enough evidence to go beyond the hypothesis stage, he'd have said as much, and you'd have credited him with his discovery!

    But it's true that I haven't made a detailed study...

  • Eddy||

    (Of course, it's my understanding that a successful evolutionary adaptation makes it easier for humans to exist in the real world...)

  • Vernon Depner||

    No, a successful adaptation makes it more likely that the individual with that adaptation will reproduce. Evolution doesn't care about society or our happiness.

  • Eddy||

    I spoke of existence. Existence makes reproduction more likely, in most circumstances, at least statistically, IMHO.

  • Vernon Depner||

    You spoke of ease of existence. The outcome of evolution is unaffected by whether we feel we are having an easy time. If we feel miserable and burdened but succeed at making babies, then our adaptations are an evolutionary success.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, and now evolution applies itself to religions (and other cultural matters). "The Evolution of Everything" is an excellent book that explains it very well,

    Short version: Jimmy Jones' religion in Guyana, and "Applewhite" Dude of "Heaven's Gate", and his talk of "the level above human" are cases in point... They committed mass suicide, and now their religions aren't here any more! Belief in "suicide as a good thing" is not genetically or evolutionarily or culturally "fit", so those religions are gone... Good riddance! Conversion would have been better, but for lack of that... Good riddance! ... Religions that teach us to be nice to each other are far more successful!

  • SQRLSY One||

    http://www.amazon.com/Evolutio.....0062296019 = Matt Ridley = The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge Paperback – October 25, 2016 = Recommended by SQRLSY!!!! If THAT doesn't persuade you to read the book, then there is NO hope at ALL!!!!

  • Cy||

    Added to reading list. I also came across: The Rational Optimist, I threw that on there too.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Thanks for breaking up the hyena pack of mystical republicans--like Massie.

  • Nardz||

    Joseph Campbell's 4 book "Masks of God" series is amazing in this regard.
    Particularly the first of the series, "Primitive Mythology" sheds rather fascinating light on the evolutionary aspects of religion.
    I highly reccomend.

  • StackOfCoins||

    I'm an atheist, and I always find attacks on believers by militant atheists cringey. So Thomas Massie believes in something that I think is patently false. Who gives a fuck? I undoubtedly believe in nonsense too. All that matters is how Massie conducts himself. His personal beliefs are his alone and if they provide value to him, then he should hold them. Only if his beliefs led him to act in some way that is hostile to liberty should anyone here give a shit.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah Man, StackOfCoins gets it!

    So did Jesus, who told us that "by their fruits, you will know them", and to "beware of wolves in sheep's clothing". Watch what they DO, not what they SAY! I had to re-learn that at the tender age of about 55, yet once again, sad to say...

  • Cy||

    If someone claims to believe in an umbrella of things and those things involve imposing their will or 'beliefs' on others through force and coercion, in the least, we have a moral obligation to point out how wrong they are. In some cases we have a moral obligation to end their lives. It's a large scale, but, "Do nothing" when someone is attempting to force their will on others because of their own beliefs, is bullshit.

  • DenverJ||

    "If someone claims to believe in an umbrella of things and those things involve imposing their will or 'beliefs' on others through force and coercion..."
    Many people believe that they should impose their beliefs on others through force, but the only religion that I know of that includes that requirement is Islam. When Christians do so it is because they are authoritarian, not because they are Christians. Nowhere did Christ command his followers to force others to convert.

  • Cy||

    "Nowhere did Christ command his followers to force others to convert."

    This is the part where you completely ignore the old testament? Jesus specifically said that the old testament still applies.

    The overwhelming majority of Christians still consider the Old Testament a Holy book and selectively observe some of it's instructions. To claim otherwise, as you have, is SOP for most people in these arguments.

  • The Last American Hero||

    The OT didn't command the spread of Judaism at the point of the sword. We also don't stone people for eating pork.

    And the first 400 years of Christianity wasn't forced conversions, but actual Christians being persecuted.

    Other than that, good post.

  • Shirley Knott||

    "I come not to bring peace but the sword."
    Christianity is such a mash up it's possible to derive scriptural support for virtually any position one would care to support.
    The actual factual history of Christianity looks a lot like a bunch of bloody murderers forcibly converting the heathens wherever they go. Sure, 'not real. Christians'. Guess they must be Scotsmen, truly.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Attacks are best avoided. Pointing out that they are delusional to say belief in a higher power is anything but a belief is nothing but framing reality.

    Religious folks will absolutely murder you for being a non-believer if they could.

  • The Last American Hero||

    That explains all the persecutions of Americans that don't attend church.

  • Tony||

    As the global phenomenon of increasing obesity attests, things that were adaptive in our evolutionary history are not necessarily adaptive now. Well, religious people do have more children, but they could get us all killed in the end.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah man, sociobiology... You've got part of it right! As we evolved as hunter-gatherers, WAR (in time of need and resource shortages) could help us pass on our genes. Now, in the age of NUKES, we'd better think some more about this!

    And then also.... SHORT VERSION: Evolution has left us with "Emotional intuition" which has a HUGE drawback in my mind, and that is self-righteousness! Jesus was spot-on, in repeatedly and strongly warning about self-righteousness!

    LONG VERSION: Those who accept evolution and sociobiology (as I do) readily accept that our evolution has left us with bad instincts that need to be over-ridden, if we can. Periodic starvation in the old days left us with lusts for too many sweets and fats… Not good for us in the days of cheap, plentiful foods! Not much controversy there…

    Old days: Distrust of the stranger, territorialism, wars over mates, tribalism, then nationalism… Not too dangerous in the old days, and could sometimes advance your tribe or nation. Now we have nuclear weapons, we REALLY need to watch our step, or we may all wipe ourselves out!

    Now self-righteousness: Who left behind more babies, more genes, A or B?
    'A) The shaman who said that he and HIS tribe had ALL the right rituals, beliefs, language, dress, etc.?
    'B) Or the easy-peasy shaman who was all into, relax, his rituals (gods, goddesses, or lack thereof, or trees and rocks and grasses) are every bit as good as the next shaman's, or any other human's?

  • SQRLSY One||

    I think it is intuitively obvious that self-righteousness has (in our sociobiological past at the very least) been WAY too reproductively successful, biologically as well as culturally! THIS is where Jesus was correct, and THIS is where we need to keep our intuitions firmly in check!

    Yes, be judgmental (AKA "intuitive") about murder and rape and robbery! But watch it about religions or lack of same, and about one language or skin color or another, chopsticks v/s forks and spoons, and so on!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes I do see the paradox... I am appealing to "intuition" to prove that self-righteousness was "genetically fit" in the past, and is still the same in many places today, while saying that we need to keep an eye and a firm hold on our "intuitions" when said intuitions make us feel all self-righteous. Well, deal with it... Paradox IS a part of life!!!

  • Tony||

    Practices that could be described as proto-religious exist among primates and even elephants. There are obvious adaptive advantages to ritualistic behavior surrounding death for animals of high intelligence. It's connected both to "lizard brain" chemical reward systems and higher intelligence aspects such as sense-of-self. Then there's the intertribal stuff you talk about.

    But I wonder if fulfilling both sanitary and emotional needs in the presence of death isn't at the core of religion. Now that we have sophisticated means of disposing of the dead, we're left with the emotional satisfaction as well as a whole lot of ritualistic or cognitive spandrels, some of which we should truly fear. Nothing guarantees that a trait will always be adaptive.

  • vek||

    Here's the thing though, SOME of those primitive instincts STILL serve us well, self righteous libertarians have simply incorrectly assumed we don't need some of them.

    The fact is that nationalism/tribalism in a nice small dose actually does still serve people. The fact that Europe and America are literally destroying themselves because they're too retarded to comprehend that the culture of immigrants they allow in matters being an example. People who have just a dash of nationalism, not full on expansionist imperialist nationalism, would in fact do better at preserving the western world and way of life.

    Likewise with wars, distrust of strangers, etc. They all still serve a very valid purpose in the modern world, provided you don't go TOO overboard with it. It's about having a rational counter balance to the instinct that keeps it within reason.

  • CE||

    Math is math. The USA is headed to a Mormon, Catholic and evangelical future. If the Repubs go after the Hispanic vote, the Dem party has no future.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    What would change the trends toward a less religious, less rural, less backward, less white, less bigoted American electorate?

    How is that improving electorate not bad news for Republicans in general and those who want society to be more Christian in particular?

  • perlchpr||

    What would change the trends toward a less religious, less rural, less backward, less white, less bigoted American electorate?

    Birth rates.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Enough rural white, intolerant Christians to offset the predicted growth of non-white voters and modern, educated, successful communities?

  • vek||

    He's pointing out that religious people are the only ones that are above replacement rate homie... So liberal bleeding heart minded people are literally breeding themselves out of existence. This is a well known fact. An interesting fact is also that personality traits, including political views, seem to be mostly genetic. Therefore, in saaay 2 more generations there will be vastly more conservative minded people alive than bleeding hearts. I for one will have little problem with this. If we're going to be stuck being ruled by bleeding hearts or hard core conservatives, I'll take the conservatives every time.

  • Sevo||

    "Religion is an evolutionary adaptation like language, and like language, it's largely credited with the development of our neo-cortex--the thing that makes us human.

    "Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.[14]"

    Bullshit.
    The claim you make is not the claim made in your cite. The cite allows that shared mythology and superstition requires a certain brain complexity and those traits may have helped develop tribalism, it says nothing about crediting brain development.
    Further, as regards religion (a god), it says nothing whatsoever.
    Ken you are oh, so clever, and often enough full of it.

  • damikesc||

    Massie believes a Jew who lived 2000 years was the son of God and God himself. We take it for granted but it's nuts to believe the shit he believes. Those beliefs alone reveal someone who can't think rationally. Since we're talking whose beliefs should govern it's not only fair to bring up his religion but it would be delusional to ignore it.

    Cannot figure out why the LP hasn't had much breakout success. It's a mystery.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    America is becoming less superstitious, especially in its more educated, skilled, tolerant, modern, successful communities -- an opportunity for libertarianism!?!

  • Mark22||

    America is becoming less superstitious, especially in its more educated, skilled, tolerant, modern, successful communities

    Not in my experience. Silicon Valley and Cambridge are some of the most bigoted, intolerant and religious parts of the country.

  • Sevo||

    "Not in my experience. Silicon Valley and Cambridge are some of the most bigoted, intolerant and religious parts of the country."

    Add Berkeley, but those are post-mosaic religions, such as the annoying asshole worships.

  • Fancylad||

    Blasphemy is still an offense, but the gods are different.

  • CE||

    Not really. They've just replaced God with Gaia and the Devil with the evil corporations.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Infiltrators. The looters bilk a lot of money out of the Political State. Politics is simply the continuation of war by other means, which include spies, infiltrators, blackmail, robbery and murder. Libertarians are learning these things and how to circumvent and jiu-jitsu them. We use the looters to repeal their own bad laws. Spoiler votes are like sheepdogs. Though few in number, they control huge herds of dumb sheep. Socialists used this to change laws before Hitler and Pol Pot. Now the trend is reversing.

  • CE||

    So you would turn your back on 2000 years of accomplishments under Christendom?

  • Fancylad||

    But they don't think there are any, because their historical knowledge is cursory and informed by agenda driven radicals.

    When I read The God Delusion I was stunned by Dawkins lack of knowledge of pre-WWII history and basic Christian theology. It was like reading a book about evolutionary biology by a guy who had browsed through The Dinosaur Heresies. Dennett and Harris were the same. Only Hitchens had any knowledge of history and religion that wasn't CliffsNotes level stuff.
    And yet these guys are the exclusive source of all wisdom for Kirkland and Horny Lizard types.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    So you would turn your back on 2000 years of accomplishments under Christendom?

    I am charitable enough to accept that the volume of good generated by organized religion is roughly enough to offset the volume of harm caused by organized religion.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    So you would turn your back on 2000 years of accomplishments under Christendom?

    I am charitable enough to accept that the volume of good generated by organized religion is roughly enough to offset the volume of harm caused by organized religion.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yes but to Republican partisans he's OUR religious fanatic. That kind of stuff still works in Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan--places God's Own Prohibitionists revere and admire.

  • Tillyosu||

    This is not hard. Ask almost anyone and they will say "I'm socially liberal but fiscally conservative". The problem is that libertarians almost always focus on drug legalization. It's annoying. There's a huge swathe of people willing to listen if you have more to say.

  • rudehost||

    Yes every article and comment on reason is about drug legalization. Why not be honest and admit your real complaint is that we object to the drug war at all? If we could just get into bombing brown people and shooting hippies and shit instead of leaving them alone we would be way less annoying. The fact is most Republicans are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. If they were we could find quite a bit of common ground.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Ask almost anyone and they will say "I'm socially liberal but fiscally conservative".

    Which usually translates to "I don't want the government to stop me from doing the things I like and I don't want to pay taxes." There is however an implicit "I want the government to stop those icky people from doing things I don't like and I want generous government services and benefits."

  • SQRLSY One||

    Anti-Fasciitis gets it! Yes, it is called self-righteousness and hypocrisy!

  • IceTrey||

    I find most people AREN'T willing to listen to talk of maximizing individual negative liberty. "Muh roads!"

  • CE||

    Focusing on drug legalization has been pretty successful though. We need more drug legalization, to downsize government and to reduce crime.

  • Tillyosu||

    This is not hard. Ask almost anyone and they will say "I'm socially liberal but fiscally conservative". The problem is that libertarians almost always focus on drug legalization. It's annoying. There's a huge swathe of people willing to listen if you have more to say.

  • Eddy||

    Sadly, "socially liberal" doesn't mean what perhaps it used to mean.

    The stereotype of the social liberal used to be that of someone who wanted to legalize dope, prostitution, etc., in the name of leaving people alone.

    But whatever may have been the case in the past, the modern "social liberal" supports compulsory cakes, gun control, cigarette taxes, etc. while occasionally putting in a word for legalizing dope (subject to taxes and regulations, of course).

    To libertarian nostalgia-mongers, it's always the 1920s, and H. L. Mencken (deemed a kind of honorary libertarian) is eloquently denouncing those who would prohibit alcohol, censor salacious literature, etc.

    This doesn't really represent the situation today. Social liberals don't believe in social liberty.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah, man, well said! Socially liberal means sending out commands like "Get yer ass on the tranny train and stay there"!!! ... Or at the VERY least, do not EVER question tranny operations for ANYONE, or point out that people have a significantly higher suicide rate after getting on the tranny train. All that matters, is that tranny numbers go UP, so that we can have more political power for trannies!!!

    As a generally "socially liberal" person in my youth, I guess I am totally "socially anti-liberal" So I will now re-publish the below samizdata...

    http://reason.com/blog/2017/10.....ll#comment
    I am utterly SHOCKED to learn that NOT offending the "tranny brigade" of PC people is WAY more important than the actual happiness of trannies and potential trannies!!!

    Speaking of such things, there are biochemical, often off-label, solutions to your urges towards becoming a tranny, which MIGHT actually lead to better results! To MORE happiness, for many potential trannies! To becoming happy with your body, as it already is! Imagine that!

    See http://www.drugs.com/condition.....horia.html for "Off Label" uses of drugs for suppressing "gender dysphoria"… 6 drugs listed in web link above, to include (pretty obviously) testosterone…

  • SQRLSY One||

    Also use below as search-string…
    "Transgender woman, who claims pills for male hair-loss sparked gender change, opens up about 'life and death struggle'"

    Concerns male-hair-loss "…drug Propecia, called finasteride, to halt the onset of hereditary baldness", which feminized his / her body, and brought around the desire for a sex change, according to him-now-her.

    So then Propecia AKA (generic) finasteride sounds like a darned-good choice for an off-label drug use, if you are female, contemplating sex-change to male, and worrying that your marriage might not survive such a sex change… Which is a strong possibility! Try this first, to see if maybe you'd like to stay female, before you make drastic changes…

    Also see "The successful treatment of a gender dysphoric patient with Pimozide" at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/ …. (delete me here) … 14365362_The_successful_treatment_of_a_gender_ …. (delete me here) … dysphoric_patient_with_Pimozide

  • SQRLSY One||

    Fixed link for immediately above... http://www.researchgate.net/pu.....h_Pimozide

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    What's wrong with drug legalization? Determining whether someone is a drug warrior is perhaps the most reliable test for prudish, authoritarian, backward, intolerant, lousy people and all-round jerks.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, allegiance to the drug war shows one to be a jerk!

    The list is long, it has many more elements... In the USA, how many of them are how much of a problem? My wild stab at ranking them top to bottom today, ignoring already-called drug war...

    Racism-nationalism, especially in the form of anti-immigrant, legal humans as well as illegal humans

    Worship of Government Almighty in general. Have some troubles? Get Government Almighty to fix it for you! So then OF COURSE the National Debt goes no-where but up, and we and our descendants WILL pay for it big-time some day!

    Trade wars, "job jobs for good American", other nations don't DESERVE jobs!

    Lingering anti-gay sentiments

    Religious strife. There are good and bad Xtians, ethical and un-ethical Muslims, and on and on. Yes, some religions have a higher percentage of assholes than others. However, it is not right to separate them this way!

    Unwillingness to listen to others... Fossilized minds, self-righteousness.

    There's my list... Have a Great Day!

  • Hank Phillips||

    True dat. Comstock laws in general make the distinction. The LP got the Supreme Court to enforce individual rights for women in 1972-3. Mystical Republicans and the Prohibition Party freaked and the GOP has since then pushed an Amendment to force women into labor for unwanted offspring. It is in the 2016 platform, and they are STILL pushing this race suicide fascism 46 years after losing. Good thing they are dying off and that party is shrinking, and that the Comstock laws are history!

  • Mark22||

    What's wrong with drug legalization?

    Nothing as far as I can tell. Too bad that no progressive actually managed to make it happen.

  • Sevo||

    "Marijuana in California: Jerry Brown opposes legalization, says 'we need to stay alert'"
    [...]
    "If pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation's most populous state, Brown said he worries it could have negative ripple effects.
    "The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes," he said in a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?""
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/03/02/
    marijuana-in-california-jerry-brown-opposes
    -legalization-says-we-need-to-stay-alert/

    See?
    Only the right people, like moonbeam and the annoying asshole can tell us when it's OK to smoke something.

  • Eddy||

    Some people like Brown are by nature as goofy as normal people only get with heavy toking. I really shudder to think, if Brown is like this *without* MJ, what he'd be like if he smoked it regularly.

  • Eddy||

    You know what else makes it hard to have a great nation?

    Overeating and the associated health problems.

    Really bad, but strangely popular, movies.

    I better stop, I'm probably giving him ideas.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Overcoming conservative bigotry takes time . . . arranging decent treatment of gays is a vivid illustration.

  • Eddy||

    By overcoming the epidemic of anti-gay florists and bakers? I mean, how can a gay person get good service if all the florists and bakers are straight Republicans? The government needs to step in here.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    By overcoming the bigoted, superstitious, stale-thinking, close-minded, right-wing dullards who abused gays mercilessly for decades, then fought (and still fight) to preserve shabby intolerance against the efforts of their betters.

  • Mark22||

    Overcoming conservative bigotry takes time . . . arranging decent treatment of gays is a vivid illustration.

    Oh, so true. Republicans have gone from the "make it illegal" stage to the "it's not a political issue we care about" stage.

    Democrats, progressives, and socialists, unfortunately, still treat us like incompetent children. I suppose it's a step up from wanting to sterilize us or sending us to mental institutions, as those "less religious, less rural, less backward" people used to do.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It is rare to find someone stupid enough to defend the Republican Party and conservatives while attacking Democrats and liberals with respect to treatment of gays these days.

    The disaffection is strong with this one.

  • ||

    Thank you, Rev.

  • Eddy||

    "What's wrong with drug legalization? Determining whether someone is a drug warrior is perhaps the most reliable test for prudish, authoritarian, backward, intolerant, lousy people and all-round jerks."

    What do you have against Woodrow Wilson and FDR? Are you some kind of Republican or something?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    And that, folks, is how a party becomes the party of cranky, stale-thinking, elderly and left-behind white men, muttering bitterly about kids today and all of this damned progress, science, reason, and tolerance.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Not only are libertarians more likely to make gains by way of engaging with the major parties, we're most likely to gain influence by targeting the general population rather than electing politicians.

    I might go so far as to say that a libertarian is someone who doesn't believe that politicians are the solution to our problems. If that's true, and I think it is, then how can electing the right ones be the solution?

    Our problem isn't that we don't have the right politicians. Our problem is that our politicians' constituents have the wrong ideas. The solution is to reach out to the general population and persuade them to want more freedom.

    Once we accomplish that, politicians in both parties will fall all over themselves to be more libertarian than each other.

    Start with your friends and family.

  • Eddy||

    + a lot.

    Yes, persuading the public is the way to go. If it works, eventually the politicians will be rushing to be at the head of the parade.

    The people who seem to have the most success are those who lobby citizens on particular issues - eminent domain, civil forfeiture, dope, guns - not that any of these have been completely won, but any progress can be attributable to pressure from citizens, not to enlightened philosopher-politicians saying "how shall we serve the public interest today?"

  • perlchpr||

    If that's true, and I think it is, then how can electing the right ones be the solution?

    Because the mechanism exists, and isn't going to go away on its own. Electing people willing to seize the reins of power and then start halting the carriage is probably necessary.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think even in the political domain that there is too much focus on national politics. As much as any, libertarian ideals lends themselves well to a grassroots movement. And we've seen before that the most effective libertarian minded movements have been grassroots.

  • perlchpr||

    Agreed.

  • MasterThief||

    I think the answer is somewhere between the two responses. The two party system is not something we'll overcome quickly because it is so entrenched. Libertarians need to have a strong influence within at least one of the two to have a legal impact now. I think it goes without saying that the Republican party is far more indulging of many libertarian positions than Democrats. However, we do still need a more pure Libertarian party and prominent voices to influence the public. Ideally, the party would steal votes from the middle until it is electorally viable rather than acting as a spoiler vote for the two major parties. I've almost exclusively voted Republican because unless I hated the nominees from both parties the lesser evil at least has a chance with my vote than the greater evil. Johnson wasn't inspiring enough to even cast a principled protest vote (aside from the fact that the down ballot had pointless choices.) If the Libertarian party starts grasping enough of the middle to become electorally viable then I'd be glad to vote for them every time. Until then, they act as a spoiler against the lesser evil.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I think it goes without saying that the Republican party is far more indulging of many libertarian positions than Democrats.

    That explains the growing membership of Libertarians For Statist Womb Management;

    and Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel, Authoritarian Immigration Policies;

    and Libertarians For Tariffs;

    and Libertarians For Abusive Policing;

    and Libertarians For Bigger Deficits;

    and Libertarians For Big-Government Micromanagement Of Certain Clinics;

    and Libertarians For The Drug War;

    and Libertarians For Endless Special Privilege For Superstition;

    and Libertarians For Massive Military Budgets;

    and Libertarians For Protectionism;

    and Libertarians For Trump;

    and Libertarians For Building That Wall;

    and Libertarians For State-Led Prayer In Schools;

    and Libertarians For Government Gay-Bashing (And For Stringent Rest Room Control);

    and Libertarians For Torture.

    Or maybe the "indulgence" involves nothing more than a bunch of Faux Libertarians -- sheepish right-wingers prancing about in unconvincing libertarian drag, masquerading as libertarians because they think it will make conservative backwardness and bigotry more palatable.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Democrat politicians are at least as enthusiastic as Republicans for abusive policing, bigger deficits, micromanagement of medical care, the drug war, privilege for superstition (Islam, transgenderism), massive military budgets, and rest room control (although differing on what to impose). On the average, they might differ slightly on immigration policy, tariffs, protectionism, and torture. That would leave only Trump, the Wall, and prayer in schools from your list as significant disagreements.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You appear to be unfamiliar with the Republican Party platform or the results of searches for "what Republicans believe."

  • Vernon Depner||

    You appear to be unfamiliar with reality.

  • Mark22||

    That explains the growing membership of Libertarians For Statist Womb Management

    I don't really care that much whether racist progressives persuade black single moms to abort their fetuses.

    I do care that I'm supposed to pay for the consequences of women's irresponsible reproductive choices.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The issue of whether abortion (or contraception) should be banned, or whether women should be forced to continue pregnancies from conception, is readily distinguishable from the issue of funding.

    How rapey must a rape be, or how complicit must a 12-year-old incest victim be, to avoid Mark22's "irresponsible" judgment?

  • Mark22||

    The issue of whether abortion (or contraception) should be banned, or whether women should be forced to continue pregnancies from conception, is readily distinguishable from the issue of funding.

    Not to Democrats, who view anything other than free abortions on demand as "denying access to abortions".

    How rapey must a rape be, or how complicit must a 12-year-old incest victim be, to avoid Mark22's "irresponsible" judgment?

    Behold again what a dishonest and polarizing debater Kirkland is, ascribing positions to people they never took. This is what he means when he fancies himself a "less religious, less rural, less backward, less white, less bigoted American".

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I referred to government womb management, you whimpered something about not wanting to pay for something, or something equally irrelevant.

    Carry on, clinger.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Start with your friends and family.

    There used to be a saying, "a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged." Start with those who have been "mugged"—people who have just had the government needlessly intrude into their lives in an aggravating or harmful way. Someone whose kid's treehouse or lemonade stand has just been torn down; whose business is threatened by a new rule or a tariff; whose medicine has just been banned; who can no longer practice his trade without a license; who is in trouble with the IRS over an incomprehensible rule; whose car has just been seized by a Civil Forfeiture gang; someone being threatened with prison over his arrowhead collection. There are more and more such people as government becomes more bloated and arrogant. They're the ones likely to be receptive to the idea that government power in general should be reduced.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    The two most important issues for Koch / Reason libertarianism are unlimited immigration and unrestricted abortion. Therefore the Democrats are so much better than the Republicans that there's really no need for a Libertarian Party.

    This is the fundamental message I've been spreading ever since I started posting here, and we just saw proof of it this week. Putin's Puppet tried to put someone on the Supreme Court who would have been a complete disaster for libertarians. Now, however, his nomination is effectively over, and we're breathing a sigh of relief. What happened? Did the Libertarian Party defeat him? No! It was a longtime Democratic Senator from California whose deft handling of a #MeToo bombshell was the final straw that will keep Kavanaugh off the court.

    This example tells us everything we need to know. Forget about throwing your vote away on Libertarian Party candidates with no chance of winning. Vote for Democrats instead. It doesn't matter that we might have minor disagreements with them on issues like the minimum wage, or Jeff Bezos' tax rate. Democrats are with us where it really counts — #Resisting Orange Hitler's plot to turn this country into a combination of Nazi Germany and the Handmaid's Tale.

    #BlueWave
    #LibertariansForFeinstein

  • Rockabilly||

    Democrats have turned from being far out and groovy to bitter and unhinged prudes.

    Sexy 'Handmaid's Tale' Halloween costume pulled after sparking online outrage

    https://tinyurl.com/y9u339un

  • Rockabilly||

    You know the movie 'Footloose?'

    Well, the democrats would be on the side of the John Lithgow character, the uptight prude who bans this and that.

    No sexy rock and roll and sexy dances because that's sexist.

    And no plastic straws and everything would have to be taxed and regulated, even your farts.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    The sock puppet wants to destroy the Libertarian Party and America. Bill Weld would be proud of you!

    #OpenBordersNutJob
    #UpEqualsDown

  • CE||

    #LibertariansForFeinstein

    Now that's one I never thought I'd see.

  • Rockabilly||

    Have democrats turned from being far out and groovy to bitter and unhinged prudes?

    Sexy 'Handmaid's Tale' Halloween costume pulled after sparking online outrage

    https://tinyurl.com/y9u339un

  • Eddy||

    They should have been warned by the fate of the sexy burka.

  • Eddy||

  • Mickey Rat||

    Sexy nuns are apparently OK, however.

  • Eddy||

    That's because modern bishops and cardinals simply cannot be turned on by women, so they don't see the problem.

  • Mickey Rat||

    SJW anti-blasphemy rules. You cannot mock their sacred texts.

  • Rockabilly||

    Spinal Tap warned us decades ago.

    What's wrong with being sexy?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrMWRKSNLcs

    Smell the glove, you know you do.

    Just being sexy, what's wrong with being sexy?

  • Qsl||

    Ouch.

    Massie arguing a point the betrayal of Ron Paul kind of contradicts, or Weld and... yeah.

    The problem with Team Red is they have no loyalty. For all the promises of even paying lip service to libertarian concerns, the end result is a battered wife listening to the prostrations from the GOP. They didn't mean to get drunk and go bombing (checks map)... Syria. It was all a mistake and they are making more of their AA meetings, so if you could just see them through one more election... Things will be different this time. Honest.

    Meanwhile, the LP is more of a philandering boyfriend. Not really concerned there's no future plans as long as you pick up at 3 AM...

    And some days you are desperate enough, and it seems promising for a few moments and BLAM!; they are off to Cancun and you don't hear from them for weeks on end.

    What's a mother to do?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Genuine libertarians dislike the Democratic and Republican parties in roughly equal measure. The problem with Team Red is its prudish, backward, superstition-laced, bigoted, ignorant authoritarianism.

  • Juice||

    Which is in stark contrast to Team Blue's different flavor of prudish, backward, superstition-laced, bigoted, ignorant authoritarianism.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You miss the mark on Team Blue. It has plenty of problems from a libertarian perspective, but few associated with resembling Republicans on bigotry, backwardness, superstition, or particular flavors of authoritarianism.

  • Mark22||

    but few associated with resembling Republicans on bigotry, backwardness, superstition, or particular flavors of authoritarianism.

    Team Blue has its very own flavors of bigotry, backwardness, superstition, and authoritarianism, often far worse than those of Team Red.

  • Mark22||

    Genuine libertarians dislike the Democratic and Republican parties in roughly equal measure.

    Yes, unlike leftwingnuts, like you.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Are you a libertarian or, instead, a conservative-Republican-right-winger?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    As a libertarian, I see both major parties as having nothing to offer. Yes, the Republicans used to TALK fiscal responsibility. That was many years ago, now they don't even bother with lip service.

    Meanwhile the Dems (circa early 1970s) used to talk about relaxing the war on drugs, being anti-war, and reigning in police. Now they don't even take about that stuff, for the most part.

    I see neither party having few if any remotely libertarian sensibilities. Not in actual practice, anyway.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    The GOP has no reason to respect libertarians' wishes until they bring the votes. Social conservatives reliably bring in 20-30% of the electorate in most areas of the country. Why would the GOP side with libertarians against them when libertarians MIGHT bring 1-2% if they're lucky? Ditto for neocons vs libertarians when it comes to both votes and cash.

    Many libertarians loudly advertise that they either refuse to vote at all, refuse to vote for anybody other than the LP, or refuse to vote for any candidate that they don't agree with at least 95%. If there's no way for the GOP to get your vote, and no way for the Dems to get your vote, then they have no reason to pay attention to you.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Either party could get my vote with a strong anti-war stance.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Good luck with that.

    Those parties are anti-war only when the OTHER team started the war.

    That's why Dems were strongly against Bush's war in Iraq, but totally for Obama's drone strikes on weddings in a dozen different countries. It's always "my guy is awesome, your guy is evil," with these people.

    Again, as a libertarian, I've learned to hold both in utter contempt. Even if one or the other were to make overtures, I would not trust them at all.

  • Vernon Depner||

    I would not trust mere "overtures" either. I would have to see them actually vote for bringing troops home, closing foreign bases, and cutting our offensive military capability.

  • JFree||

    The GOP has no reason to respect libertarians' wishes until they bring the votes.

    And the best thing that the Amash's and Massie's do - is to eliminate tons of libertarian votes from straying in other districts so they will never need to respect libertarians wishes.

    I'm pretty sure that not a single R commenter here has either Amash or Massie as their rep. Most probably have some typical dickweed R - or maybe they live in a D district where voting R is as pointless as voting L. But because of the existence of Amash/Massie thousands of miles away, they are 100% reliable apologists that "R's are really almost libertarian since all the things that YOU think are libertarian are not really libertarian if they aren't R" or 100% lesser-evil hacks - "OMG Hillary came THIS close to appearing on TV as Prez for four years in a granny pantsuit - so unless we vote R for the next decade we are taking a big risk of Cthulhu"

    Dems accomplish the same thing with a couple of socialists and greens.

  • Qsl||

    Except social conservatives have no other place to go except home, while libertarians are cast as the spoiler vote for what ever lesser evil fails at the polls.

    You's think carrying such a momentous burden would be cause to be tossed a bone every now and again.

    And while maybe too much attention is given to the wrongs done to libertarians by the major parties, at least a portion of that is libertarians selling themselves short.

    I will gladly support ANY party that is at least giving me a goodish portion of what I want.

    Here I am. Earn my vote (and that includes the LP proper).

    But the sentiment now seems more voting against rather than voting for, and that simply will not do anymore, either for the GOP or LP.

  • JFree||

    I basically agree that if libertarians want to ever achieve a goal, they will only do that from within a party where they don't have to continually battle the rest of that party to avoid selling their souls. I'm certainly glad that the Massies + dozen have gotten elected into a Congress that is structured by the DeRps and of the DeRps and for the DeRps. But let's be honest - they haven't achieved anything libertarian and they never will. Because they are first and foremost DeRps and DeRps will never achieve anything libertarian.

    What Massie is very correct in pointing out is that our electoral governance structure has become hopelessly corrupted by the DeRps. Starting maybe 100 years ago when we doubled suffrage overnight - and kept representation the same. That sort of decision is designed to eliminate all new voices from ever being able to speak or be represented. Compounded by the ton of gerrymandering, slow census derepresentation, career incumbency, and all the other deliberate DeRp decisions that lead to Congress having a 10-30% approval rating (since roughly the 1970's) - and 90-95% reelection ratings.

    That is the disconnect that needs fixing before libertarians (or any other non-DeRp view) have a chance to achieve anything.

  • Mickey Rat||

    :"I basically agree that if libertarians want to ever achieve a goal, they will only do that from within a party where they don't have to continually battle the rest of that party to avoid selling their souls."

    Then they will forever be a minority party. Doctrinaire libertarian voters are rare. If you want to win elections you have to attract voting majorities.

  • JFree||

    If you want to win elections you have to attract voting majorities.

    If you want to win national elections with 100 million voters, that voting majority will be collected via mass manipulation of voter's lizard brains (fears, impulses, and instincts). If you want to win district elections with 700k voters, then it is still mostly likely that a voting majority can only be collected via lizard brain manipulation. Of course, the DeRps have helped themselves by ensuring no competitive election in 80-90% of districts.

    If you want to win district elections with 50-100k voters, lots of ways to collect a voting majority. The ACTUAL libertarian-leaning R's only really won as libertarians in their GOP primary with very few votes needed (Massie won with 20,000 - Amash with 38,000). In the general election, they're just DeRps riding DeRps manipulated districts with non-competitive elections. But libertarians ain't gonna be allowed to take over the R party via primaries.

  • JFree||

    The problem is your assumption that the electoral status quo is based on ideas or reason or anything individual. It is not. The status quo is based on crowd psychology, mass marketing, the herd instinct, etc. Those are part of the human animal - not alien. And the US system is far more extremely biased towards that model than any other.

    Either libertarians learn how that model works and learn how to use it to further libertarian ideas. Or we try to break the model and reform the US system back to more 'normal' elections that don't require that model's expertise. Relying on the DeRps to do that heavy lifting - and riding their coattails thinking we will be allowed to achieve something separate - is just lazy and delusional.

  • perlchpr||

    BTW, I really like your DeRps neologism. :)

  • SQRLSY One||

    Ye, and I'd sure like to see "peak DeRps" coming about soon, but my hopes? I don't let them rise too high,for fear of the inevitable crash back to "reality"... Even though I don't see much "reality" in the prevailing DeRp wordl-view...

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You have to get elected to make a change in Congress.

    Like driving down a city street, block after block of signal lights. In three blocks, you need to make a left turn. Do you stay in the left lane all three blocks, when all also have left turns and are more backed up than the middle and right lanes? No, you move to the right because you have to get into the next block, because you get through the green lights sooner, and you only move to the left when you have to. But if you wait too long, you may find yourself trying to bust into a lane of cars all waiting for the left turn light, so maybe you have to merge left a block sooner.

    It's all a crap shoot. You just do the best you can, play the best odds.

    Same with this debate. Play both games. The LP candidates will seldom get elected, probably won't even get much free media notice or into debates, but they are the conscience of the Repocrats. The Repocrat candidates stand a much better chance of being elected, but only if they provide some nominal Repocrat talking points, and that makes it harder to stay true.

    I mean, heck, there are plenty of ways for libertarians to nto change policy, whether it's from not being in Congress or from not being effective in Congress. There's room for everybody.

    (Unfortunate use of left/right here for traffic purposes only, not a political metaphor, but I'd already started typing it when I saw the corner I'd painted for myself.)

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    When the LP candidates do get free media, as Johnson/Weld did in 2016, they fuck it up to the extent that they would have been better off not getting it.

  • prolefeed||

    Note to FN Bill Weld: we don't need "creative solutions". That is the way of people like the LibertariansForFeinstein troll here. We need to slash the tyrannical fed government.

  • sarcasmic||

    We do need creative solutions. Thing is, government stifles creativity by imposing one-size-fits-all solutions on everyone. Creative solutions come when government gets out of the way.

  • geo1113||

    Somehow I don't think Weld believe getting out of the way is a creative solution.

  • lap83||

    Another way of saying "working within the two party system" would be "working with the two parties", which the LP would have to do even if they magically won the presidency. Just like the Reps and Dems have to do. So I'm not sure what "making a difference" with the LP would even look like.... a libertarian dictatorship? Seems counterproductive.

  • CE||

    Just veto everything.

  • sarcasmic||

    The great libertarian conundrum is we have no desire to control others. So we tend to not seek out power.

    To trim government one must seek power. Once in power people tend to become dicks. Just look at the founders. They created a government of limited power, yet became total dicks when they got into political office.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    If you had a clear path to attaining an influential office, where you could work to trim government, you would not pursue it? Really? If that's the case, you're part of the problem. Libertarians SHOULD take advantage of opportunities to help liberty, even if it means working through the government.

    The real problem is that getting into a government office where you can actually influence the system in a pro-liberty way requires decades of carrying water and doing dirty work for your political superiors. Only the most power-hungry are willing to do that. And of course, if you betray any hint of an anti-govt-power leanings during those decades, you're going to be seen as a threat and kicked out of the nest. It's not that libertarians don't want to use political offices on behalf of liberty, it's that the system is stacked against them.

  • JFree||

    The real problem is that getting into a government office where you can actually influence the system in a pro-liberty way requires decades of carrying water and doing dirty work for your political superiors.

    I don't agree. It requires getting on ballots (which L's are pretty good at despite huge burdens placed on them). And organizing the basics of electoral politics (organizing counties/districts/precincts, providing resources to candidates re media/GOTV/etc). The latter is what the LP really sucks at and there seems to be a segment of it that is proud to suck at it.

    Honestly if the LP provided more support for candidates who run intending to win, potential candidates would flock to them and they would likely be able to recruit candidates who can win. And they could screen those candidates for their ability to influence the system in a pro-liberty way. Too many in the LP have no actual interest in the LP being a political party because that means govt exists - which is apparently a fatal compromise with the ideal goal.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    It's the chicken and the egg. Until the Libertarians appear to have a nonzero chance of winning, they are never going to get sufficient votes to do anything but get leftists elected by playing spoiler against the GOP.

    And if you're chill with helping leftists get elected, you're not a libertarian.

  • JFree||

    If you're a 'strategic every-vote matters' voter in the country where the individual voter matters less than every other country on Earth - by far - well at least those that actually have elections - then you are a moron party hack.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If you prefer right-wingers to leftists,or are a Republican, you're not a libertarian . . . but you likely are bigoted and backward.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    Oh puleeze - let's call this debate what it is: A guy who can still get elected to office on a Republican ticket saying "No! Don't run as a Libertarian!" vs. a former Republican who can't get elected dogcatcher in his former party, desperately trying to up his Libertarian cred by saying "Yes! Run as a Libertarian!"

  • MasterThief||

    This. The results speak for themselves. I think ultimately the answer is that both paths must be pursued simultaneously. Libertarians need influence within the halls of power as well as more principled voices outside the structure of government. I also question why Reason and the Libertarian party continues to deny that there is far more synergy with the Republican party on libertarian issues than there is with the Democrats. The R's have been moving more in the right direction on international interventionism and are becoming much more permissive on social issues. Where they need a bit of a push right now is drugs, police reform, and spending. In the latter they at least talk the right principles but need their feet held to the fire. Name a couple libertarian-leaning Democrats and show how much of their alignment is based upon first principles and how much is based on convenience (immigration, homosexuality, etc.)

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    MasterThief, on what basis do you construct a dichotomy in politics which opposes first principles and convenience? Do you think convenience is no proper part of politics? Do you think first principles which deliver inconvenience can be contained within workable politics?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1

    Republicans trying to stop the libertarian revival before it kicks off.

    Democrats trying to stop the libertarian revival after it has kicked off.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Thomas Massie is a right-winger, not a libertarian. Why choose a conservative to advance an ostensibly libertarian point? Have all the libertarians left as this site has been overrun by disaffected right-wingers?

  • CE||

    He's still in the top one percent of Congressmen. (Not saying much I know.)

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    He's so awesome, he may be the caucus leader of Libertarians For Statist Womb Management and Libertarians For Government Micromanagement Of Clinics That Treat Women.

    In his spare time, he could run Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel, Authoritarian Immigration Laws and Practices.

    I imagine he is in good standing among Libertarians For Government Gay-Bashing, too.

    Is there enough room in that top one percent for Thomas Massie and Steve King?

  • Mark22||

    The US political system is set up for two parties. It's a good setup compared to the multi-party systems in Europe. It forces new political movements to come to power by taking over one or the other parties.

    The Republican party is actually fairly libertarian, at least in terms of their stated policies. They used to have a problem with trying to impose socially conservative policies, but they seem to have come around on that.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    The Constitution was not set up for national parties at all, and many of the founders were not at all happy about the fact that a party system arose. The constitution was designed to manage disputes between different regions of the country. To be fair, democratic republicanism was a brand new thing in 1787, so they can be forgiven for not foreseeing all the counterintuitive developments.

    Of course, there's no reason you couldn't have coalition majorities in Congress the same as they have in parliaments in Europe. Where superbipartisanism becomes a problem is in the electoral college.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    My solution to parties is

    elect the top three in each district;

    each rep proxies the votes won in the election;

    every voter can also volunteer to be a rep, and one is selected at random to be the fourth rep, proxying either the count of volunteers or all the remaining votes;

    any rep can introduce a bill;

    a bill has to undergo a 30 day public review, at the end of which it becomes law if 2/3 of reps in each chamber have signed on as approving the bill; any changes during this review restart the 30 day clock and void all current approvals.

    Parties would still exist. They would no doubt have their own meetings and rules and guidelines and committees and hierarchy, and punish transgressors, and maintain lists of bills to approve or not approve. But it would cut back on their strangle hold, and make it easier for minor parties to have a presence. The 2/3 approval rule and volunteer reps especially would shake things up, since voters would realize they actually do have a real valid method of voicing their disgust with the major parties by voting for less popular candidates to give the volunteers more influence.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    The volunteer rep proxy is an interesting question. I like them proxying all remaining votes simply because it gives them a lot more weight in the legislature, and it makes it a lot easier for voters to add to that total by voting for the minor party candidate of their choice; if the volunteer only proxied the number of volunteers, you'd have to risk being selected to make your vote count, and a lot of people can't afford to take time off form their jobs. On the other hand, most volunteers would actually only represent some small subset of all the minor party votes, and maybe those voters might rather have no representation than have anti-representation.

    On the third hand, volunteer reps could do all their voting and bill introduction form home in their spare time. They'd lose out on all the glad-handing and face to face politicing, but their primary purpose is to put a brake on majority two-party rule, and bill approval itself is their primary tool.

  • JFree||

    My solution to parties is get rid of elections altogether. Randomly select a very large - up to 30,000 or whatever else can be made to work online - citizens assembly by lot. Have them organize themselves into smaller working subcommittees to work on specific issues. Everyone else not chosen by lot has the freedom to interactively decide their representation (or maybe just voice their preferences) - eg that delegate x speaks for me on surveillance/war issues and delegate y on other stuff.

    Parties would still exist. They would be the entities organizing particular policies on particular issues thru those committees. But the only power they would have is persuasion of existing delegates chosen by lot - not election of future delegates chosen by party. And that ability of all voters to interactively decide their representation would eliminate the smoke-filled room shenanigans that lead mostly to corruption and also allow for the possibility that in a group of 30000 random people someone has an idea that takes off regardless of how 'parties' might want to control things.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    At that point you might as well just have direct democracy, where every voter votes on every bill.

    Keep in mind that there would be an enormous potential for hacking and fraud.

  • JFree||

    No it wouldn't be direct demo. You have to choose from among those 30,000. But you aren't restricted by geography - and you can 'split' your voice if that's what you want.

    an enormous potential for hacking and fraud.

    Hmm. You mean something like blockchain to make those choices transparent, widely known/agreed on, and unhackable? And with blockchain being used to drive a govtl process - that can be a cryptocurrency (though not some silly bitcoin game).

    I can't imagine a better way for the libertarian-oriented to disintermediate the political intermediaries who are failing as intermediaries - than to set up competition.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Eh I am fine with elections themselves. But each representative should be much more representative of the people that they represent. Having one House member representing millions of people is absurd. That is not at all what the original intent of the Constitution was, which was for each House member to represent only about 30,000 people. That is the size of the House that we should have.

  • JFree||

    Yes it is. But it won't happen.

    My alternative can actually be done even if Congress does nothing - because it doesn't involve elections which requires state action/oversight. Put that in place - and then let that assembly and Congress compete for credibility among the American public. My guess is Congress is extremely vulnerable to losing that - and to an elected pol the only fate worse than death is being ignored.

    I'm not at all sure that the outcome is 'libertarian' - but I'm certain that changing the role of parties from 'controlling elections' to 'influencing issues' creates a lot more room for non-DeRps

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Yeah, particularly in this day and age I see now reason to so harshly limit the number of Representatives. I kind of think we should also just get rid of a centralized capital as well, but that would probably arise anyway.

  • Mark22||

    The Constitution was not set up for national parties at all, and many of the founders were not at all happy about the fact that a party system arose.

    Compared to Europe, the US party "system" isn't much of a party system at all. You can run as an independent, or you can run as a party candidate even if the party leadership doesn't want you to.

    Of course, there's no reason you couldn't have coalition majorities in Congress the same as they have in parliaments in Europe

    You say that as if you think that the system that let communists and fascists come to power in Europe is anything to be desired.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Communists came into power in Russia by violent revolution. Fascists came into power in Italy and Germany because they were popular and enthusiastic in the aftermath of WW1. It wasn't because of having more than two parties.

  • Mark22||

    The Nazis in Germany were far from a majority. If voters had been forced to choose between the major two centrist parties, the Nazis would never have come to power.

    As for communists, I wasn't referring to Russia, I was referring to the numerous communists parties that have operated in Western Europe since WWII.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nazis came to power throught two eldtiobs where they gaine dreichstag seats but nevevr had a clear majority.

    President hindenburg appointed hitler chancellor.

    Hindeburg died and hitler got his Nazi and other socialists allies in the reichstag to grant him absolute power "fuhrer".

    Hitler turns on non-Nazi socialists who do not become Nazis.
    ....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    *elections

  • Mark22||

    Hindeburg died and hitler got his Nazi and other socialists allies in the reichstag to grant him absolute power "fuhrer".

    That's incorrect. The communists and the democratic socialists both staunchly opposed Hitler. The deciding votes installing Hitler as Fuhrer were cast by the Catholic Center party.

    President hindenburg appointed hitler chancellor.

    And to be clear: this was largely a consequence of the messy and unclear election outcome. We're not talking US-style 49-51 outcomes, we're talking many parties with no clear majority.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Compared to Europe, the US party "system" isn't much of a party system at all. You can run as an independent, or you can run as a party candidate even if the party leadership doesn't want you to.

    1. You're moving the goalposts; went from arguing against "more than two parties" to arguing against "more than two parties operating exactly as in Europe".
    2. US party leadership can legally block somebody from running as their party's candidate. They usually don't do so openly because they want to guarantee the support of the rank and file voters. Courts have thrown out lawsuits against party leadership even when it was obvious they were interfering in primary elections.

  • Mark22||

    1. You're moving the goalposts; went from arguing against "more than two parties" to arguing against "more than two parties operating exactly as in Europe".

    I'm not "moving the goalposts". I think the US political system of two, weak parties is a good system. The European system of many, strong parties is a disaster.

  • MasterThief||

    That's how I see it. Based on platform and principles the R's are pretty decent on libertarian issues. The religious influence on the party has been toned down greatly in recent years. One of the biggest problems with the party as I see it is the same issue conservatives constantly hammer them on. The R's core voting constituency claims that their elected members are RINOs that essentially vote the same as D's. It seems to me conservatism and libertarianism overlap much more than they are at odds for most issues. If the R's could stick to principles and reduce spending and government growth then they'd quickly render the L party even more irrelevant.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    yeah, tons of overlap.

    "Get Your Government Hands Off My Medicare"

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The religious influence on the party has been toned down greatly in recent years.

    That would explain the Republicans' recent movement away from superstition-based positions and toward modernity on gay marriage, abortion, special privilege for religious claimants, public funding of schools that teach nonsense, contraception, religion in public matters (currency, courtrooms, pledge of allegiance, religious symbols in public spaces), creationism in science classrooms, transgender issues . . .

  • Mark22||

    That would explain the Republicans' recent movement away from superstition-based positions and toward modernity on gay marriage, abortion, special privilege for religious claimants, public funding of schools that teach nonsense, contraception, religion in public matters (currency, courtrooms, pledge of allegiance, religious symbols in public spaces), creationism in science classrooms, transgender issues . . .

    Well, I'm an atheist and I agree largely with Republicans on these issues.

  • JFree||

    Hell - a one-party system is even better then. It forces new political movements to come to power by taking over the entire country.

    And damn what a fucking moron hack you are. Yes of course the Reps are I suppose as fiscally libertarian as you can be while running $1 trillion deficits and stealing from and enslaving your children. At least in theory I'm sure they wish they didn't have to do that but omg don't push them to actually stop doing that.

    And on social issues, why they are positively enlightened. If only women and blacks and Mexicans and Muslims and gays and hippies and tatooed freaks weren't so fucking uppity, it would be very obvious that old white men are perfectly capable of making all the decisions that are necessary to ensure - well to ensure something.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    They used to have a problem with trying to impose socially conservative policies, but they seem to have come around on that.

    The wingnuts lost the culture war, but they're still fighting, as a seventh-grader would recognize from reading the Republican Party platform.

  • Mark22||

    The left wingnut speaks again. Why don't you just STFU?

  • Eddy||

    I don't have a copy with me...which parts of the Republican party are most problematic for you (exact quotes would be nice)?

  • Eddy||

    Which parts of the Republican Party *platform*

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I generally prefer not to perform basic research for the poorly educated and uninformed, perhaps because I am an optimist with respect to educability and a believer in personal accountability and self-help.

  • Eddy||

    You can always tell the smart people in the room because they're the ones who keep talking about how smart they are.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's the same for libertarianism. I constantly remind everyone that I'm the only libertarian here, and that is 100% accurate.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I did not contend that I am smart; I observed that you are dumb.

  • Eddy||

    Oh, dear, so you're *not* a product of the enlightened liberal/libertarian university system? You're not from one of the keeping-up parts of the country?

    Which goober college did you go to, maybe Merle Turnipseed's Discount Learnin' Emporium?

    No wonder your debating skills are...somewhat deficient.

  • Vernon Depner||

    What "two party system"?

  • Eddy||

    Two buttcheeks supporting the same a$$h0l3.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    This debate is like a basketball team consisting of four overweight midgets arguing about whether they should play zone or man-to-man against the NBA All Stars.

    Libertarians are a tiny segment of the population. They can't possibly either influence the larger parties or win anything as their own party. We need more libertarians, or at least more libertarian leaning people. What party affiliation this maps to is irrelevant.

  • DenverJ||

    "fiscally responsible, socially tolerant" is the way people who aren't libertarians describe libertarianism. It's not accurate because it doesn't stress individual freedom.

  • Eddy||

    "Prochoice on everything" is closer, but it glosses over what one might call the slight difference of opinion between different liberarians on abortion.

    How about, "it's a snap, don't disturb our NAP."

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    This reminds me of the faux libertarians who contend that appeasing gay-bashers is a libertarian position, and that building a border wall and implementing a 'your papers, please?' society is a libertarian position, and that supporting the invasion of Iraq (the wrong country, no less) is a libertarian position, and that advocating government micromanagement of abortion clinics is a libertarian position, and that tolerating torture is a libertarian position, and that separating families for lack of paperwork is a libertarian position, and that incarcerating people for use of superstition-disapproved contraception is a libertarian position.

  • Eddy||

    "supporting the invasion of Iraq"

    I hope nobody taunts the rev by reminding him who it was who said the money being spent in the Iraq war would be better spent in the U. S.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I hope someone reminds Eddy of the faux libertarian right-wingers who supported invading the wrong country (and torture, and massive military budgets, etc.).

    Mostly, they're the same faux libertarians who today wish to prohibit abortion and contraception because of partisanship and superstition; want to build a wall and separate families because of bigotry and authoritarianism; and impose tariffs and engage in protectionism (inexplicable).

    Carry on, clingers. Maybe adjust that feather boa from your libertarian drag.

  • JFree||

    'Live and let live' is pretty much the best descriptor I know. And it works in pretty much every part of the country - and on both fiscal and social issues. With a positive impression left of the person espousing it.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Better than "fuck off", I guess.

  • JFree||

    In fact that phrase could be the basis of an artistic competition to envision what that would look like - a policy competition to detail what specific sorts of things are most important to achieve and in what order - in short a way that the LP can capture the phrase within politics while engaging potential voters in ways that can virally reach out to other potential voters

  • Milo||

    I walked past the Libertarian Party booth at the state fair earlier this month. There were a couple of college-age kids there in front of a big legalize marijuana sign.

    I support legalizing weed with the best of them, but not getting stuck in a conversation with some clueless stoners. Needless to say I didn't stop.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sometimes I think the Libertarian party gives libertarians a bad name.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What would you have them use as their first impression / catch the eye logo or sign?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Milo is a Republican here to gaslight libertarians into believing resistance to Trumpism is futile.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tr7mp is more libertarian than most famous "libertarian" politicians, so theres that.

  • Tony||

    I suppose we're still talking about the two major parties as if they are sides of the same coin. Just today I heard the Republican party described very aptly. Its evangelical base is freakishly obsessed with abortion without even knowing why anymore, and the party itself is the cult of Trump. Nearly everything they believe is stubbornly allergic to facts. It's not a good thing. It's not a new thing either. And anyone who cares about themselves or the future of humanity should do everything possible to keep the cult of Trump and abortion from power before they destroy everything.

  • Homple||

    The evangelical base of the Republicans might be freakishly obsessed with abortion, but every adherent of the Democrats is just as freakishly cultish about it, albeit in the opposite direction.

    I'm old enough to remember when the left used to bellyache about SOCON's abortion-obsessed fanatics and their litmus tests. The left is just as frothy-mouthed nuts as the wildest evangelicals.

  • Tony||

    Horsepucky. When one party is freakishly obsessed with something to the point of denying people basic rights for no fucking reason at all (God said so, he talks to me at night!), then the response surely should be expected to be as militant as necessary to stop this insanity--that is, if they're smart.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|9.22.18 @ 7:42PM|#
    "Horsepucky. When one party is freakishly obsessed with something to the point of denying people basic rights for no fucking reason at all (God said so, he talks to me at night!),..."

    Like my right to own a gun, shitbag?

  • Mark22||

    Just today I heard the Republican party described very aptly. Its evangelical base is freakishly obsessed with abortion without even knowing why anymore, and the party itself is the cult of Trump.

    The top issues Republicans care about are the economy, terrorism, social security, jobs, immigration, and the military.

    Abortion doesn't even make the top 10 list of what Republicans care about. Abortion is a moral issue for Republicans, but in the end, to a Republican voter, it makes little practical difference whether some unmarried inner city black woman terminates her pregnancy again and again.

  • JFree||

    Well that's pretty transparently horseshit. Republicans have been going to a lot of effort to, in practical terms, shut down access to abortion.

    Color-coded map of US with distance to nearest abortion facility. From article - Yeah most of the red (100+miles) is lightly populated (and hell they don't even have GP's now). But combine that with a whole bunch of extremely intrusive rules - required lectures by religious assholes to pregnant women, multiple visits nec for bureaucratic approval, mandates that eliminate medical abortion in favor of surgical, restrictions on doctors, linking ALL women's health issues to abortion. This is not an accident or a coincidence.

    Not to mention that abortion is THE SOLE reason that Reps get motivated to nominate SC justices - and those justice battles are the main driver of national politics nowadays

  • Mark22||

    Well that's pretty transparently horseshit. Republicans have been going to a lot of effort to, in practical terms, shut down access to abortion.

    How does that contradict what I said? When Republicans get into power, of course, they try to limit abortions. But that's not why people elect them.

    Not to mention that abortion is THE SOLE reason that Reps get motivated to nominate SC justices - and those justice battles are the main driver of national politics nowadays

    No, that's just bullshit Democratic talking points, completely divorced from reality.

    Republicans certainly want more state rights and local government, but the fact that that threatens Roe v. Wade is incidental.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Republicans certainly want more state rights and local government,

    Republicans "want more state rights and local government" in the exact same sense that Republicans "want to cut spending".

  • Mark22||

    Republicans "want more state rights and local government" in the exact same sense that Republicans "want to cut spending".

    Quite right: they genuinely want it, but are politically unable to deliver it.

    Just like Democrats genuinely want democratic socialism, but are politically unable to deliver it.

    Hence a stalemate.

  • Tony||

    Republicans want means to their ends, and all means are apparently justified now. People should have stopped buying such obvious syrupy slogans as "small government" decades ago when it became obvious to any twitching life form that they are hypocrites about this.

  • Mark22||

    Republicans want means to their ends, and all means are apparently justified now.

    I sure hope they put on their big boy pants and don't let themselves get pushed around by the leftist Alinsky types anymore.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am fine with roe vs wade going away as a bad precedent.

    Privacy and medical freedom need their own constitutional amendment anyway. A few short sentences would end decades of bad SCOTUS overreach.

  • El Oso||

    I vote for the Zero Party system...

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    James Woods Suspended From Twitter Over Satirical Meme That Could "Impact An Election"

    The offending tweet from July 20, features three millennial-aged men with "nu-male smiles" and text that reads "We're making a Woman's Vote Worth more by staying home." Above it, Woods writes "Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible."

    According to screenshots provided by an associate of Woods', Twitter directed the actor to delete the post on the grounds that it contained "text and imagery that has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election."
  • perlchpr||

    Ironic, since it would have the opposite effect. The sort of people who would do that are likely to vote like the woman anyway.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Fucking hilarious. Twitter will die the death it deserves.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The problem with the Republican Party nowadays isn't the social conservatism as much, but the nationalism. I'm sorry, but liberty transcends borders. Immigrants have rights. Even illegal immigrants have rights. Getting your typical Trumpian Republican to admit to that is like pulling teeth. And I think what Trump really revealed about the right, in 2016, was that nationalism was the real glue that holds together the Republican coalition. It isn't social issues, it isn't even really culture war issues (Trump himself doesn't give a crap about gay marriage or abortion), it is the mindless flag-waving. What modern Republicans hate more than liberals, is globalists. And that is a real problem for libertarians.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Outside US borders liberty is essentially dead. So forgive me for treating with suspicion anything that purports to transcend those borders.

    Particularly importing people. The US system is government by, for, and of the people. Therefore importing people from abroad means importing government from abroad.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You're making my point for me. For you, and for quite a few Republicans as well, liberty stops at the border.

  • Mark22||

    For you, and for quite a few Republicans as well, liberty stops at the border.

    Liberty stops at the border because most places outside the US are illiberal and filled with people with illiberal beliefs.

    If South Americans or Middle Easterners want liberty, they have to earn it themselves; it isn't my obligation as an American to give it to them for free.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If South Americans or Middle Easterners want liberty, they have to earn it themselves; it isn't my obligation as an American to give it to them for free.

    Every individual HAS liberty as their birthright! Liberty is not something that is earned. It's oppressive and corrupt governments that take liberty away from them. No one grants liberty to anyone. This is the fundamental problem here. You view liberty as a privilege. I don't.

  • Mark22||

    Every individual HAS liberty as their birthright! Every individual HAS liberty as their birthright! It's oppressive and corrupt governments that take liberty away from them

    Indeed it is. But I have no moral or legal obligation to put my property or life on the line to ensure that people half way around the globe get their birthrights.

    What you want to do is put a gun to my head and take my stuff and my liberty to increase the liberty of others and that is wrong. And as a purely practical matter, I'm not going to agree to it either.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What you want to do is put a gun to my head and take my stuff and my liberty to increase the liberty of others and that is wrong.

    So are you an anarchist?

  • Mark22||

    So are you an anarchist?

    No, I'm a libertarian.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Mark22 is a libertarian.

    I'm a libertarian.

    At Reason, everyone is a libertarian!

  • Mark22||

    [Kirkland:] I'm a libertarian.

    No, you're not. You're some kind of authoritarian leftist.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Every individual HAS liberty as their birthright! Liberty is not something that is earned.

    Baloney. It's bad comedy to call something a "birthright" when roughly 0.1% of the historical human population has possessed it.

    "Freedom isn't free" may have become cliche through overuse, but it is true. Those who take liberty for granted are seldom able to take it for granted for long.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Even the framers had to deal with the British coming back to try take American Liberty away in a few decades during the War of 1812.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Baloney.

    Okay then, in your view, where does liberty come from?

    Is it granted by the state?

    Is it granted by the mob?

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    It can come about in many different ways. But its continuity depends on those who have it not permitting the state or anyone else to take it away.

    Claiming that liberty is an eternal human right devalues it, by making it seem like something that can coexist with tyranny and mayhem. Such a claim also encourages those who have it to take it for granted. Which is exactly what the state and other potential dominators want to happen.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    It sure sounds like you are resistant to recognizing that liberty is an "eternal human right" because you are afraid of what certain people may do with their liberty.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And EVEN IF one were to agree with the Libertarian Nationalism of Mark22 etc. here as a reason why libertarians should work with Republicans - the Republicans aren't even all that great on liberty *for Americans!* Not only do they view liberty as stopping at the border, but they will support excessive spending, domestic spying, excessive support for the police even when they act wrongfully, etc. If you look at it this way, the case for libertarians for working with Republicans gets even weaker.

  • Mark22||

    the Republicans aren't even all that great on liberty *for Americans!*

    They are certainly a lot better on "liberty for Americans" than globalists like you.

    And EVEN IF one were to agree with the Libertarian Nationalism of Mark22 etc

    My "libertarian nationalism" is limited to the idea that I don't want people like you putting a gun to my head so that you can realize your globalist fantasies.

    You want to help the poor people of Yemen, Cuba, or Afghanistan? Great! Go there, give them your money, and help them establish a liberal democracy in their countries.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You want to help the poor people of Yemen, Cuba, or Afghanistan?

    It is not about "helping poor people". It is not about charity or welfare or sob stories. It is about preserving everyone's liberty, rich and poor alike.

  • Mark22||

    It is about preserving everyone's liberty, rich and poor alike.

    Well, that's obviously what it is about for you. It's not what it is about for me or libertarians.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Huh. So in your view, libertarians should not be advocating for preserving everyone's liberty?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    My "libertarian nationalism" is limited to the idea that I don't want people like you putting a gun to my head so that you can realize your globalist fantasies.

    Unless you are an anarchist, you are totally fine with the government putting a gun to your head in order to protect people's liberty. But you complain when that liberty belongs to foreigners. That is the difference. Don't pretend that it is about the government coercion, because it isn't.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    Every time illegal immigrants cast an illegal vote for statists, every time they collect welfare benefits, every time they obtain a change in government policy through marching or protesting, that is government coercion against citizens.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If a citizen collects welfare benefits, is that also "government coercion against citizens"?

  • JFree||

    If you are willing to have govt exercise its coercion outside the borders of the US with no geographical limits on its actions at all, then who is the one seeking unlimited government? Is this the Trotskyite wing of libertarianism?

  • Mark22||

    Unless you are an anarchist, you are totally fine with the government putting a gun to your head in order to protect people's liberty.

    I'm OK with the US putting a gun to my head to protect the liberty of other American citizens in foreign defense and a few other, constitutionally defined areas. That's the reciprocal deal that comes with US citizenship.

    But you complain when that liberty belongs to foreigners.

    I most certainly do. Protecting the liberty of foreigners is not something I signed up for when I accepted US citizenship, it is not my responsibility under the US Constitution, and it is not my moral obligation.

    Don't pretend that it is about the government coercion, because it isn't.

    Could you please show me where I am supposed to have "pretended" that? I thought I was quite clear in my statement that I don't want people like you putting a gun to my head so that you can realize your globalist fantasies. That is, I tolerate some forms of government coercion and object to others.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I hate to break it to you, but foreigners have rights too.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So Bill Weld couldn't get elected in today's Republican Party because he's now too liberal for them, but ask yourself, could Thomas Massie win an election against a Republican incumbent today? I think libertarians were lucky that a few were able to sneak into Congress in the 2010-2012 anti-incumbency Red Wave in which Republican voters were willing to vote for anyone who didn't have a D after their name. But could a hypothetical Thomas Massie get elected today on his own merits, without the benefits of incumbency? He would be asked to prove his loyalty to Trump and his devotion to The Wall and Trade Wars. Libertarian-minded candidates in the Republican Party would only be able to sneak in to election now by effectively deceiving the voters on their libertarianism and promising to love Trump. That doesn't sound like fertile ground for cooperation between libertarians and Republicans.

  • Mark22||

    Even illegal immigrants have rights.

    Yes, the right to a speedy trial and deportation.

    it is the mindless flag-waving

    As a gay immigrant, I don't want the US overrun by the kind of people I spent most of my life trying to get away from.

    What modern Republicans hate more than liberals, is globalists. And that is a real problem for libertarians.

    I don't see why you think that's a problem for libertarians; libertarians are not globalist. Quite the opposite: libertarians believe in freedom of association, which includes the right to exclude people.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes, liberty include the right for *individuals* to *freely choose* to associate with whomever they please. Do citizens and non-citizens both possess this inherent liberty? Libertarians, generally, say yes. Republicans, generally, say no. That is the big problem.

  • Mark22||

    Yes, liberty include the right for *individuals* to *freely choose* to associate with whomever they please. Do citizens and non-citizens both possess this inherent liberty?

    Sure they do. But that doesn't mean they can associate in my back yard, or travel on the roads that my tax dollars paid for, or cross arbitrary borders.

    You want to associate with Afghans and Cubans? Do it in a place where you can both be legally present together and exercise your right to free association there. Without a visa, that does not include US soil for non-US citizens.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Sure they do. But that doesn't mean they can associate in my back yard, or travel on the roads that my tax dollars paid for, or cross arbitrary borders.

    So I lose my liberty if I use public property?

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    No one is saying you can't associate with them via telephone or the Internet, or go to Mexico to associate with them in person.

    If I want to associate with someone who is imprisoned for life at ADX Florence, must the government immediately release them and allow them to travel to my house in whatever state I am in?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Note to foreign readers: public property is property owned, ruled and regulated by the Political State: government property

  • Mark22||

    So I lose my liberty if I use public property?

    No more than you "lose your liberty" when you try to hold a rock concert in the SCOTUS chambers and get arrested for disturbing the peace.

    Public property is not for you to use as you please, it is common property to be used subject to the laws we have passed. I wish those laws were more libertarian than they are, but until we change those laws, I expect that you obey those laws just like everybody else. And if you fail to do so, you should get punished.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Public property is not for you to use as you please, it is common property to be used subject to the laws we have passed. I wish those laws were more libertarian than they are, but until we change those laws, I expect that you obey those laws just like everybody else. And if you fail to do so, you should get punished.

    Are there any laws that the state may impose on the use of public property that you would consider an unjust usurpation of power, and illegitimate laws that ought not be obeyed?

  • Echospinner||

    So if they paid tax same as you it would be fine right?

    Easy problem to solve. Give them work visas and a path to citizenship just like you.

    You back yard is yours but that is a strawman argument.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    liberty include the right for *individuals* to *freely choose* to associate with whomever they please. Do citizens and non-citizens both possess this inherent liberty?

    This idiotic line of argument from you has been refuted time and time again, but each time you come back again and pretend it's a novel bit of genius. AKA you're either a troll or a propagandist, not someone interested in honest discussion.

  • Echospinner||

    "As a gay immigrant, I don't want the US overrun by the kind of people I spent most of my life trying to get away from."

    Priceless.

    Of everything I have read on this thread.

    That one takes the cake.

  • CE||

    "The problem with the Republican Party nowadays isn't the social conservatism as much, but the nationalism."

    Well said.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    When are Libertarians (and libertarians) going to figure out that we will not achieve our Liberty via the electoral process? If voting actually accomplished anything [good] they'd make it illegal. I'd rather have a couple of Cody Wilson-like innovators than 20 US Representatives or Senators. Study the work of Robert Cialdini - actions shape ideas.

    Americans (and people in general) are not going to come to Liberty via the abstract (the Libertarian Party and this commentariat are the [only] exceptions): they will come to it when they are presented with a concrete choice in their very own life, and it may come to the choice of absolute Soviet-style tyranny vs some half-baked agorism. Who knows? I do know that with a $21 trillion debt, this house of cards will absolutely fall, and in the not-to-distant future. I do know that power surrenders nothing without a struggle - THAT MEANS VIOLENCE, FOLKS. I do so wish it were otherwise, but I am committed to facing reality. I am more encouraged by the rapid growth of DASH cryptocurrency in Venezuela than I am by anything done by the Libertarian Party. In the last 20 years.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I'd rather have a couple of Cody Wilson-like innovators

    Recent events indicate we need fewer Cody Wilsons.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians...classical liberals set up this nation and did well until socialists were allowed to fool the Sheeple with the grand lie that socialism is free shit.

    Nothing is free, not even freedom.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Yuh goddamm right. What is that price? ETERNAL vigilance? That's a long freakin' time! (I think they should've said CONSTANT vigilance - or maybe that's included in the definition of 'eternal', idk?)

  • Hank Phillips||

    So can you explain how the Socialist platform of 1928 became the law though the Socialists elected practically NO candidates? Milton Friedman raised the issue in Free to Choose, but left it as an exercise for the reader to figure out.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Wilsonians has been slipping into govenrment for a decade as bureaucrats swelling the ranks of government leeches.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Read about the functions of The Fabian Society and its main US functionary, The Russell Trust.

  • JeremyR||

    The rapid growth of cryptocurrency in Venezuela is because the government gives free electricity...

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    No, that's how it started - bitcoin mining. Since the start of 2018 it's been DASH, and mining is difficult - the free juice isn't the issue, it's transaction cost and time. Over half of all merchants accepting DASH are in Venezuela, and there are as many in Colombia and Brazil as there are in the US - think remittances.

    DASH is the new face of crypto.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Libertarians believe in criticism of government. They don't believe in government. Libertarians reject the very notion of sovereignty as against their principles. But limited government is impossible without a sovereign power to enforce the limits.

    That disposes of the question. Libertarians are far more useful, and used to, being on the outside, than they could presently be on the inside. Libertarian ideology doesn't include the tools needed to govern. Until that changes, the notion of government on libertarian principles will remain paradoxical. The notion of government on other principles, but improved by libertarian critique, makes more sense.

    But there remains a need to improve the quality of libertarian critique. To gain influence, libertarians ought to re-formulate libertarian arguments on the basis of experience. Then use those experience-based arguments to replace outworn libertarian nostrums. Those rely too much on theory, axioms, and reason. Politics, with its contingent challenges, future-oriented perspective, and ever-shifting multiplicity of inputs is inherently resistant to theory.

  • Sevo||

    Mr. Bloviate is here to enlighten us, with such gems as:
    "...limited government is impossible without a sovereign power to enforce the limits..."
    Followed by:
    "... libertarian arguments (...) rely too much on theory, axioms, and reason...."
    Buried in a word-salad of other platitudes.
    Thanks, Stephen. You add a certain amusement to the proceedings.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Sevo, what power do you think imposes limitations on government, or enforces them?

    Hint: that's a difficult question. Answers which propose a power lodged in government fail to address it. Answers which invoke an imaginary power fail to address it. Answers which refer to a power insufficient to overthrow government fail to address it.

    And if your ideology doesn't provide a workable answer, your ideology has omitted any ability to constitute a limited government, or to constrain one within limits.

    I have never encountered a libertarian who can answer that question, but perhaps you can be the first.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > what power do you think imposes limitations on government, or enforces them?

    Public sentiment, combined with a prosperous and well armed population. Certainly not some "constitution" that the State claims sole authority to "interpret."

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." Frederick Douglass

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Kyfho, whether you intended it or not, your reply describes a popular sovereign. Which for the U.S., is the right answer! This marks only the second time I have posed that question among libertarians, and got a correct response. Congratulations.

    Problem is, the correct response is one libertarians always deny. They hate and fear the notion of sovereignty, despite the fact that limited government is impossible without it. The vehemence of your own pro-libertarian rhetoric suggests maybe you only stumbled on the right answer by accident, maybe because you were attracted to an opportunity to frame it defiantly.

  • Qsl||

    To be clear, I identity as a libertarian in much the same way someone with a 5 o'clock shadow and an obvious bulge in their crotch region identifies as a girl.

    The popular convention is that every election is essentially a bloodless coup. Granted, that revolution often travels 360 degrees, but even now with the election of Trump, there is a sizable portion that does think a coup has taken place.

    Often here (and elsewhere) people will go into brain-numbing detail on their flights of fancy of changes they would make to government (including my own), which is skirting the issue that many of the problems with government are structuralist, and there are at least 50 thousand proposed ways to remedy this.

    I'd even go so far as to say the problem isn't so much limited government as much as responsive government, as bureaucracy serves as a pretty effective bulwark against change.

    So no, there are a few libertarian responses (depending where you look) to constraining government with the citizenry being the sovereign to dictate the form and limits.

    Some form of demarchy would be the obvious choice.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Qsl, I think I hear a hint that sovereignty might be okay, and, glory be, even a further intimation that you can't do politics on the basis of pure theory. What a day this is!

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > Libertarians believe in criticism of government. They don't believe in government. Libertarians reject the very notion of sovereignty as against their principles. But limited government is impossible without a sovereign power to enforce the limits.

    Double-talk gobbledy gook. Libertarians EMBRACE the notion of sovereignty at the level of the individual. The last sentence is just nonsense.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    There is no sovereignty at the level of the individual, except in the theoretical case of absolute monarchy. Sovereignty is not a synonym for "power," although power is an indispensable attribute of a sovereign. Sovereignty means, literally, the ability to constitute a government at pleasure, and without restriction. Except in an absolute monarchy, no one can do that by himself. Indeed, even in an absolute monarchy, a practical analysis will conclude the king himself cannot wield power to that extent, if acting alone.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Libertarians believe in criticism of government. They don't believe in government."

    That's factually incorrect.

    I'm a small state libertarian who believes the only legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Ken, you have created a contradiction in terms. Understood realistically, your rights are powers conferred upon you, at the pleasure of the sovereign, to stay the hand of the sovereign's government. If that is all that government can do, then government's hand is perpetually suspended, in every instance. Thus fettered, it has no power at all, and ceases to govern.

    I doubt that is the reasoning you intended, but I suggest you were drawn to that formulation because it is consistent with libertarian theory which you approve—and which does prescribe anarchy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Libertarians reject the very notion of sovereignty as against their principles. But limited government is impossible without a sovereign power to enforce the limits."

    Not only do I not reject the notion of sovereignty, I'm also patriotic--about the U.S. Constitution. I'm particularly fond of the First Amendment, which does such an excellent job of approximating our rights that it's made it easy for people to get confused about the difference between our legal rights and the real thing.

    I'm not the only libertarian here who criticizes violations of the Constitution--just for violating the Constitution. For instance, when Obama participated in the liberation of Libya, I opposed his actions--solely for not being validated by congress. Within the context of a argument about whether congress should have supported Obama in what he was doing, I argued that they should support him.

    How much more of a consistent respect for sovereignty do you want?

    Hell, I want to see open borders, and I still respect sovereignty--because I only want open borders within the context of a treaty with Mexico that's been ratified by the senate in harmony with the Constitution. If I'm willing to acknowledge the right of the American people to weigh in on things like immigration policy--even when I disagree with what they want--then how much more respect for sovereignty do you want?

    You know there's more to sovereignty than people obeying the government, right?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Ken, actually, there is nothing of sovereignty in people obeying the government. Sovereignty is the power to create a government at pleasure, and to command it at will, without restriction. The only limit on sovereign power is the geographical boundary beyond which it can't be enforced.

    Obeying the government touches on two separate questions of legitimacy—sovereign legitimacy and government legitimacy.

    In parts of your remark you seem to get that the sovereign and the government are not the same entity. In other parts you seem to conflate the sovereign and the government. Many people also conflate the Constitution with the sovereign, and you may be doing that too.

    But at least we are off to a start in sorting this stuff out.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Massie is a shitbord and weld is a shitstain.

    End of comment

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Shitbird...fuck you reason.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    More like a ShitLord.

  • Hank Phillips||

    When the Constitution was written parties were called factions and changed names to protect the guilty. Democratic Republicans prevailed once Federalists became criminals and were replaced by Whigs, then fissioned into two distinct factions. There is a cranny of mathematics that analyzes how products and ideologies get replaced, and the LP is replacing the stagnant kleptocracy. But as that happens our spoiler votes are fast undoing the damage done by Communist, Prohibitionist, Populist and Socialist spoiler votes during the 19th Century. We legalized abortion via the 1972 platform, and recent repeals of laws against consenting adults, plant leaves, etc, are the result of kleptocracy parties dodging the effect of our spoiler vote capture. Four thousand votes in 1970s assured women individual rights here and in Canada. The LP now commands 4 million votes, 25% more than the difference btwn the two main looter candidates. That adds up to 127 electoral votes in 13 states. Every bad law we force the looters to repeal is a WIN! Every win destroys coercion and replaces it with freedom. The process is accelerating in a hockey stick up the replacement curve. That's winning!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Weld, I hope Hillary's dick gives you the courage.

  • Rob Misek||

    If you're ashamed to represent what you believe in and instead misrepresent yourself to others as something you aren't, you're a waste of skin.

  • Politics of Logic||

    "a House of Representatives composed of extreme-left Democrats and extreme-right Republicans"

    You lost me here Bill considering that the center of the Republican party is left of JFK. For people that claim to be logical and evidence driven, let's look at facts.
    The Dems used to be moderate. When the Communists were put down in the 50s & 60s, they didn't go away, they went underground and reemerged as Dems. It took decades, but the party if JFK and Tip O'Neil has become the party of Obama, Pocahontas, and Gillabrand. With the media putting her finger on the scale, they successfully moved the country left.
    On the Libertarians side, Ron Paul, a libertarianicing inside the Rs, did more to advance Liberty than every Libertarians candidate for President ever, COMBINED.

  • Sevo||

    "On the Libertarians side, Ron Paul, a libertarianicing inside the Rs, did more to advance Liberty than every Libertarians candidate for President ever, COMBINED."
    Care to support that claim?
    I like the guy and would have voted for him if possible, but it was more a faith in his potential than any real accomplishment.
    To my great surprise, Trump has done more to advance libertarian policies than I'd have ever predicted; could Paul have done better?

  • jdgalt1||

    Mostly agreed. Paul would probably not have gotten us involved in the present stupid tariff war, but I'm not sure he would have lowered taxes as Trump has done, and I doubt he'd have done any better at getting ObamaCare repealed than Trump has done, unless he had more people in Congress than Trump does now.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    The Deep State would've murdered Paul as soon as he started pulling out of Syria.

  • jdgalt1||

    Both these arguments ignore the key fact -- the spoiler effect. Under the system as it is, any libertarian candidate who attracts a significant number of votes simply helps the worse Democrat beat the Republican, just as Ross Perot did to George HW Bush in 1992.

    The right way to break the two party duopoly is to first get a preferential voting system enacted, and only then to run LP candidates in most races. Until then, the LP should endorse relatively good Republicans such as Scott Walker and refrain from running candidates against them.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The fake libertarian hasn't looked at the election results. George Holy War Bush helped wreck the economy like Herbert Hoover--seeking the death sentence for plant leaves and using asset forfeiture for enforcement. Saner looters voted Perot or Clinton and libertarians cast libertarian spoiler votes. In this last election the LP covered the gap in 13 states worth 127 electoral votes. Looter party candidates were seated in nearly equal numbers, but they were less communo-fascist on average, than they might otherwise have been thanks to the opportunity for virtuous voting the LP offered. This slow erosion reverses the totalitarian drift that led us to the Nixon/George Wallace/Humphrey joke after the assassinations. The present voting system works just fine and the LP can game it with spoiler votes the way the communists did before there was a Libertarian Party.

  • CE||

    Bill Weld: "As it stands, we could well elect the next president of the United States."

    Yup, just need another 31 percent of the vote.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Christ's Elect misunderstands Weld's meaning of the word "elect". The LP covered the gap in 13 States casting 127 electoral votes. This is way more electoral votes than Virginia influenced with the same number of popular votes: 4 million. What the LP is doing is defeating the more coercive of the kleptocracy candidates by giving honest voters an opportunity to exercise courage and integrity by casting a vote for freedom.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Christ's Elect misunderstands Weld's meaning of the word "elect". The LP covered the gap in 13 States casting 127 electoral votes. This is way more electoral votes than Virginia influenced with the same number of popular votes: 4 million. What the LP is doing is defeating the more coercive of the kleptocracy candidates by giving honest voters an opportunity to exercise courage and integrity by casting a vote for freedom.

  • Hank Phillips||

    LP Senate candidate Neal Dikeman of Texas totally understands what Massey cannot grasp: Of LP spoiler votes he says "That's going to make the loser wonder whether those Libertarian voters might have been worth courting.

    "That's my whole goal," Dikeman says of a close finish between Republicans and Democrats. "If that happens, they'll have to change their game next time."" This is a libertarian candidate who supports individual rights for women and understands the meaning of winning--repealing bad laws. Texans who vote for Dikeman will be winning, while Beto and Cruz dupes are nursing expensive regrets.

  • Anti-Fasciitis||

    "That's going to make the loser wonder whether those Libertarian voters might have been worth courting.

    No, they're not. The actions necessary to court LP voters would piss off a much larger segment of their own base. So all the LP spoiling does is hand seats over to the leftists, who are utterly anti-liberty. Useful idiots is an understatement for LP voters in such elections.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA!

  • ||

    I emphatically-agree. At the end of the day: Jefferson had to run as a Republican to introduce the philosophy of classical liberalism to the mainstream zeitgeist.

  • piperTom||

    I believe Thomas Massie is a good man and true, but he errs in thinking that the LP can only make a difference by winning. On the contrary, we raise awareness of our issues by campaigning and by persevering. Massie could be right that an elected Libertarian would stay true less than an hour. That would mean he believes he can only be effective by getting something to Pass. That would mean he forgot the lesson of Dr. Ron Paul, who voted on principle for decades and then LOST a bid for president BUT recruited tens of thousands to his side.

  • vek||

    I don't think he's even really saying they can ONLY make a difference by winning, but perhaps arguing that by winning one is making a BIGGER difference. Which I don't know what I would argue with that.

    Personally I think taking both lines of approach is the best solution. I wish more proper libertarian leaning people would run as Rs, but the Libertarian party should probably keep trucking too.

  • gordo53||

    Here's a question, Tom. If you're in Congress and a member of either political party, don't you have a fundraising quota? How are you meeting it? Do you employ political operatives to "lean on" government contractors and federally funded non-profits in your district? Can the party rely on you for votes that affect their moneyed interests? Politics, as it currently exists, is a filthy, despicable enterprise. How have you managed to stay above the fray? Or have you?

  • GoatOnABoat||

    I suppose it's better than a one-party system...

  • SteveC||

    Bill Weld is correct, except for one key assertion:
    "Decades of hyper-gerrymandering congressional districts have produced a House of Representatives composed of extreme-left Democrats and extreme-right Republicans, who fear defeat only from a primary opponent even further out on the fringe."
    This is not the usual Libertarian misdiagnosis (debate access and ballot access), but it still misses the root cause of the two-party system, which is known to any political scientist (or Berlin bartender, as I discovered a few months ago). The source of the two-party system is the US voting method, via the mechanism of Duverger's Law. Until this is addressed, I'm afraid that Thomas Massie will remain right. By continually losing, and attracting the sorts of people who are OK with losing, the Libertarian Party will continue to discredit libertarianism as the ideology of dreamers, freaks, and losers.

    BTW, Weld's characterization of the House as being composed of "extreme" left- and right-wingers is also an error. Any political scientist or economist would recognize the mechanism here as Hotelling's Law, and anyone familiar with other countries has the context to know what "extreme" is.

  • jimusa||

    Another Reason article that I just read described how the two main parties no longer overlap. (Rather than the population becoming more divided, it's the parties becoming more extreme, perhaps due to gerrymandering.)

    Do libertarian notions of less international interventionism and less government surveillance for within the R party? I recall another Reason article laying out the fact that Republicans have almost always raised spending faster than Democrats.

    The two parties seem wedded to every bigger government, with new major programs and none eliminated, and to ever more money for the parties themselves, which comes from selling access.

    I think that, like in Britain, people are getting a bit fed up with both parties and their fringe lunacy. Weld was probably the most sensible and qualified person on a presidential ticket last year, and that ticket got more attention and votes than is typical for a third party, despite an Aleppo-moments top of the ticket. Is with a shot again, with Weld at the top. A libertarian or centrist Republican or Democrat would be compromised to the point of unrecognizability by internal party politics.

  • jimusa||

    Another Reason article that I just read described how the two main parties no longer overlap. (Rather than the population becoming more divided, it's the parties becoming more extreme, perhaps due to gerrymandering.)

    Do libertarian notions of less international interventionism and less government surveillance for within the R party? I recall another Reason article laying out the fact that Republicans have almost always raised spending faster than Democrats.

    The two parties seem wedded to every bigger government, with new major programs and none eliminated, and to ever more money for the parties themselves, which comes from selling access.

    I think that, like in Britain, people are getting a bit fed up with both parties and their fringe lunacy. Weld was probably the most sensible and qualified person on a presidential ticket last year, and that ticket got more attention and votes than is typical for a third party, despite an Aleppo-moments top of the ticket. Is with a shot again, with Weld at the top. A libertarian or centrist Republican or Democrat would be compromised to the point of unrecognizability by internal party politics.

  • jimusa||

    Another Reason article that I just read described how the two main parties no longer overlap. (Rather than the population becoming more divided, it's the parties becoming more extreme, perhaps due to gerrymandering.)

    Do libertarian notions of less international interventionism and less government surveillance for within the R party? I recall another Reason article laying out the fact that Republicans have almost always raised spending faster than Democrats.

    The two parties seem wedded to every bigger government, with new major programs and none eliminated, and to ever more money for the parties themselves, which comes from selling access.

    I think that, like in Britain, people are getting a bit fed up with both parties and their fringe lunacy. Weld was probably the most sensible and qualified person on a presidential ticket last year, and that ticket got more attention and votes than is typical for a third party, despite an Aleppo-moments top of the ticket. Is with a shot again, with Weld at the top. A libertarian or centrist Republican or Democrat would be compromised to the point of unrecognizability by internal party politics.

  • jimusa||

    Another Reason article that I just read described how the two main parties no longer overlap. (Rather than the population becoming more divided, it's the parties becoming more extreme, perhaps due to gerrymandering.)

    Do libertarian notions of less international interventionism and less government surveillance for within the R party? I recall another Reason article laying out the fact that Republicans have almost always raised spending faster than Democrats.

    The two parties seem wedded to every bigger government, with new major programs and none eliminated, and to ever more money for the parties themselves, which comes from selling access.

    I think that, like in Britain, people are getting a bit fed up with both parties and their fringe lunacy. Weld was probably the most sensible and qualified person on a presidential ticket last year, and that ticket got more attention and votes than is typical for a third party, despite an Aleppo-moments top of the ticket. Is with a shot again, with Weld at the top. A libertarian or centrist Republican or Democrat would be compromised to the point of unrecognizability by internal party politics.

  • PG23COLO||

    Libertarians who participate in politics are inevitably compromised. The only way to limit government is to discredit it and to spread doubt and disbelief in the legitimacy, efficacy, and morality of government - i.e., the initiation of force and violence. Libertarians who seek political office will ultimately have to choose between their principles and their pursuit of office/power.

  • Outside the Box||

    NONE OF THE ABOVE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    The most effective approach for libertarians would be to emphasize the Non-Initiation of Violence Principle (NIVP): that escalation of a non-violent dispute into violence is never legitimate or acceptable.

    The issue of "government" in a NIVP society then becomes a non-issue: government or not, a government that cannot initiate violence - in particularly, cannot kidnap and cage (aka "jail") people for disagreeing with policy positions or other non-violent "crimes" - would be toothless and quickly invite competing governance providers and institutions.

    The NIVP does not require societal consensus on political or economic schools of thought, including intractable problems such as agreeing on the definition and rules around "property". Many decidedly non-libertarian value systems/worldviews already include or are highly sympathetic to the NIVP in some form, and thus does not require radical re-education. Changes compatible with NIVP can be and have been relatively low-key, e.g. the elimination of debtor's prisons (which eliminated the use of violence as a response to the non-violent act of owing debt).

  • Leslie the Bard||

    For well over a decade the US voters have been disillusioned with the business-as-usual Two-Party system. That disillusionment is the real reason for the Trump election, little though either of the Big Two parties want to admit it. Yes, the LP is distinctly different from either of the Big Two, and should make the effort to get out and stump for votes on that basis.

  • dscotese||

    Holy crap. You guys got me. My bad for thinking an important question ("Should Libertarians Work Within the System?") had been raised. I was sad to discover that no one involved in the creation of this article seems to have any awareness of the option to work outside of this "system" that is constantly working to divide us.

    In "Neither Ballots nor Bullets" there are several excellent arguments showing that working WITHIN the system won't help. Our best bet is NOT A PARTY. Our best bet is to be the change we want to see in the world. Do some research on voluntaryism to learn more.

  • vek||

    The truth is we need to rework the legal situation in a way that allows 3rd parties to actually win. Until that happens there is largely no way for them to get anything much done, unless you have a Ross Perot like character who can force their way onto the scene during a single election cycle.

    So working within the system for now, while trying to change the system to allow 3rd parties to actually win in the future.

    That said, an interesting thought popped into my head awhile back. I think the GOP should stop running candidates in some parts of the country. Think areas that are saaay 60/40 or higher in Democrats favor. That's an area where a line towing R will never win, BUT if they pulled out and spent the resources in areas where they might actually win, and just let the Libertarian party fight it out there, the Ls might actually have a shot because of the differences on social issues.

    If the L wins, they'll have somebody who will vote with them on a lot of things where they agree... If they don't, they still save their war chest for winnable battles elsewhere. It would be win-win. The reason it will probably never happen is because it just doesn't "look good" to throw in the towel and accept not being a truly national party that fights the good fight everywhere. But it would be a good idea, and would probably get a few Ls in office, while also helping the Rs.

  • the_strickler||

    Libertarians need to build from the ground up. In the big cities, Democrats have a monopoly. Libertarians need to challenge them. They don't have any of the Republican or Democrat baggage. The Democrats only have failure and corruption to run on. The big cities are ripe for a third party.
    .
    Once Libertarians prove themselves in the cities, then they can begin to challenge at the state level. If they are successful there, then national politics can be possible.
    .
    I've laid it out the only way it can happen. If Libertarians are serious, this is their path to take.
    .

  • ||

    the strickler: I joined the LP in '73 and got active in '75. It appeared our time had come because there was a great deal of social unrest, protest on many things. We started at the grass-roots level. After 5 years and lots of my time & money I came to the realization that the system was not broken, it was functioning just as it was designed by the ruling elite, for the ruling elite, with the victim's blind support. And they wouldn't listen. They were "willfully blind".

    The LP was not changing the majority. It was changing to mirror the authoritarianism. I quit in '80. It was a mistake to get involved but I was concerned and knew of no option. Now, I write and speak out. Perhaps, the 'net will reach the few who still think. If 10% wake up, things will change for the better. Reason will have a chance.

  • ||

    We don't have a multi-party system. We have the authoritarian party system, that's all. Our only system is based on a political paradigm that uses the initiation of violence, threats, and fraud, not choice, not voluntary interaction. All are forced to comply, even the innocent, and the enforcers judge their actions. No such authority can be justified in reason, and reason is not the final arbitrator, violence is. This is institutionalized immorality. No fix will work. It needs to be replaced by a non-violent political paradigm, a voluntary one would require reason to replace force. It would require reasoned debate instead of a gun. It would require respect for rights, not the false lip-service we see today.

  • Andrew Horning||

    While I admire Rep. Massie (a lot), this is demonstrably wrong stuff here.
    People like Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater, Ron Paul, Justin Amash and of course Thomas Massie have been trying forever to make the GOP something it never was, and still does not want to be.
    It is bad thinking in any human endeavor to keep trying to fix something bad instead of replacing it with something better.
    1. Attempts to fix the GOP have always failed.
    2. The party's getting worse, not better.
    3. The party is not what we're trying to save here, folks.
    4. The self-appointed "Two Party System" is actually recent, unconstitutional, and irretrievably corrupt. Kill it.
    5. Do this instead: https:// wedeclare.wordpress.com /2017/12/15/eight-steps-to-success/