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The Upside of the Trump Insurgency: Nick Gillespie on Stossel Tonight!

"I don't fear the Republican Party implosion, I welcome it."

Tonight's episode of John Stossel's eponymous Fox Business show is all Donald J. Trump. Beginning at 8 P.M. ET 9 P.M. ET, Stossel takes a comprehensive look at virtually every aspect the billionaire real estate and marketing mogul and, for the most part, is thoroughly unimpressed.

The Donald is a bully, a benficiary of eminent domain abuse, and actually pretty similar to Hillary Clinton (one particularly awesome segment asks people to guess whether Trump or Clinton said various awful things). The guests include Monica Crowley of Fox, Trevor Burrus of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies, and Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party.

And me. I'm on a segment where I suggest that I don't fear the Great Republican Implosion of 2016, I welcome it. I'm no Trump aficianado aficionado, I explain, but I do like the fact that his insurgency—and to a lesser degree, that of Bernie Sanders—is showing the country what we believers in the Libertarian Moment have long known to be true: The establishment in virtually every aspect of American life today is weaker than ever. Trump and Sanders are bringing that realization (finally!) to politics.

With the GOP in particular, this is a party that has, in the 21st-century alone, waged two ill-conceived and incompetently prosecuted wars, sanctioned torture and widespread surveillance, created the useless Department of Homeland Security, increased real federal spending by 50 percent under George W. Bush, added an unnecessary and unpaid-for prescription-drug benefit to Medicare, passed awful accounting and energy regulations, federalized K-12 education like nobody before, bailed out Wall Street and the auto industry, and failed to not just stop Obamacare and the individual mandate from becoming law but to dethrone one of the very weakest incumbents in U.S. history. All while failing to pass either Social Security reform and immigration reform (the two things George W. Bush wasn't totally awful on).

We're supposed to cry when the Republican Party goes into receivership? What is it that Stossel used to say? Give me a break!

I don't doubt that Trump would be a terrible president; so would Hillary Clinton. Seeing a major party either disintegrate or radically alter its identity, though, is a real opening for a libertarian dimension in U.S. politics. Party identification is at or near historic lows for the Democrats and Republicans and Gallup finds that broadly defined libertarians (socially liberally and fiscally conservative) are the single largest group in the electorate. Perhaps when the Republicans realize that they can no longer win at the national level by mixing patently false small-government rhetoric with retrograde socially conservative scream memes about gays, drugs, godlessness, and immigrants, they'll not just repeat what Ronald Reagan once said—"I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism"—but, you know, actually embrace libertarian policies.

Instead, we're stuck with candidates who want Apple to do the work of the FBI, who are adamantly anti-abortion, hateful toward immigrants, in love with ever-increasing defense spending, anti-pot-legalization, and calling for "fair trade" rather than free trade. Yes, the Democrats would be as bad or worse, depending on how Congress reacts to whatever bum gains the Oval Office.

For more on Stossel's show tonight, go here.

Earlier this week, Reason's Matt Welch participated in a Cato Institute debate titled, "Was the 'Libertarian Moment' Wishful Thinking?" Moderated by Cato's David Kirby, Matt was joined by David Boaz, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Conor Freidersdorf. Check it out here or just click below.

And tune in to Stossel tonight at 8 P.M. ET 9 P.M. ET on Fox Business!

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  • Rich||

    The establishment in virtually every aspect of American life today is weaker than ever.

    Citation needed.

  • ||

    The Establishment is always weaker than ever. Long live the establishment!

  • Adam330||

    The problem with your Libertarian moment idea is that the primary criticism from both Trump and Sanders is that the establishment just hasn't been doing it hard enough. They want to increase federal spending even more, make the government even more intrusive, and enact even more regulations (they have different points of emphasis of course). The only area where they offer even a semblance of a better policy is on foreign adventurism, but Clinton, Bush, and Obama all said the same things, and look what that got us.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I'm no Trump aficianado

    Is that some strange Spanish spelling of aficionado?

    I explain, but I do like the fact that his insurgency—and to a lesser degree, that of Bernie Sanders—is showing the country what we believers in the Libertarian Moment have long known to be true: The establishment in virtually every aspect of American life today is weaker than ever. Trump and Sanders are bringing that realization (finally!) to politics.

    Really?

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    "is showing the country what we believers in the Libertarian Moment have long known to be true"

    Two completely anti-libertarian candidates being successful proves that I was right about the libertarian moment!

  • MSimon||

    First you have to break the old order.

    Then you come at the remnants from the flank.

    ===

    You should study war. It helps.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    That explains why Germany became so libertarian when the Weimar Republic collapsed.

    I can't think of a single situation where social disorder led to libertarianism. Even the libertarian aspects of the US founding came from committee meetings, not riots and populist demagogues.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Funny how the nihilists never burn their own houses down. Just imagine what they might find!

  • MSimon||

    I can't think of a single situation where social disorder led to libertarianism.

    1776

  • ||

    I think one could argue that the American Revolution did not start from an internal breakdown of social order but from the external attempt by the British government to impose authority that it did not really have and could not maintain in practice.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Let me guess: If the Germans had only smoked pot they would have won.

  • MSimon||

    Hitler was exactly right. You have to round up the drug users. And then....

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He did it for the lulz from the flank, right?

    That kickstarter over $10 yet? We gonna have polywell RSN?

  • Atanarjuat||

    Maybe, if they'd also brought in some Mexicans and had ass sex with them.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The Republican party will change in some way, as will the Democratic party, no matter whether Hillary is elected or not. I think those Bernie-lovin' folk are going to push for the party to go in their direction.

    Maybe each party becoming more authoritarian will lead to a greater interest in libertarian-minded views, but I cannot see how it happens any time soon, at least on a national level.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well it would be interesting to see the Bush republicans and the Clinton democrats merge to form their own Pax Americana party.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If the GOP us remade in trump's image, then we will have a choice between the socialust party and the old Democratic party. Nick will get all of his social liberalism and plenty of his fiscal covenience.

  • ||

    "Bush republicans and the Clinton democrats merge"

    I have little trouble visualizing this in the form of a Republican splinter party that forms against Trump, which would largely be pro-establishment types who would find the Clinton Democrats very palatable in contrast.

    If Trump then basically becomes the figurehead for the more nationalistic and populist elements of the Republican Party, that will form a small party that will likely fade away quickly. Bernie could well do the same with the Occupy elements on the left who are getting fed up with the Democrats and could well ditch them once the bogeyman of the Republican Party is no longer so threatening.

    A new party will have to emerge to counterbalance the "Clinton-Bush Alliance." What it will be, though, is anybody's guess. I would like to hope it leans more libertarian, but as several here have pointed out, the "resistance" forces seem even *more* authoritarian than the establishment forces.

  • John||

    I can see that happening too. The question I have is how many Bush Republicans and Clinton Democrats are actually out there? I don't think there are very many.

  • ||

    That is the big question. I think this is the year we are going to find out.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Libertarian moment is a euphemism for masturbation.

  • ||

    The Libertarian Moment is much like the Eternal Here and Now - always present, always happening, but no one actually lives there.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm no Trump aficianado...

    Don't sell yourself short, Gillespie. You're a tremendous slouch.

  • MSimon||

    Trump!

    Because you KNOW he is lying

  • AlmightyJB||

    He's going to outlaw pre-shredded cheese to make America grate again.

  • lap83||

    Put that on a t shirt so I can buy it, please

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well my nerves are already grated whenever I hear him talk.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    "Party identification is at or near historic lows for the Democrats and Republicans and Gallup finds that broadly defined libertarians (socially liberally and fiscally conservative) are the single largest group in the electorate. "

    You keep saying this and we keep telling you that if you actually bother asking people what they believe regarding *specific issues* they are rabidly statist. The only way you end up with the claim that lots of people are libertarian is if you ask 'are you socially liberal and fiscally conservative' in which case a lot of people say yes. Unfortunately, this is an issue of stated vs. revealed preferences, where their actual preferences regarding actual policies completely contradict their claims to libertarianism.

    The fact that you keep posting the same study without ever answering this obvious criticism of that study is a bit concerning.

  • Free Society||

    SHUT UP, the Libertarian Moment demands it.

  • eyeroller||

    Yep. I would love it if they were all libertarians, but they certainly are not.

    By the way, "fiscally conservative" means "I want them to spend that $4 trillion in a responsible way."

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    And socially liberal means forcing Christians to bake cakes for gay weddings against their will and trying to 'nudge' people away from eating foods you disapprove of.

    These terms are so nebulous that you can make them mean whatever you want them to mean. That Gallup poll is a Rorschach test, not a serious poll regarding actual political opinions.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    As in more for me.

  • John||

    If 90% of the country split in half between fascists and communists, I am pretty sure party identification would drop to an all time low. That would however not represent the birth of the freedom loving independent.

    I don't understand why Nick keeps trotting this crap out either.

  • Free Society||

    Because he's got a book or two to sell.

  • Restoras||

    So, I someone that works in DC. This individual tells me that the Beltway is freaking out over the possibility of a Trump 'win' in the nomination process and the GOPe is actively working to thwart it - with on operative telling him that "we pick the nominee, the voters only think they do".

    Interesting times...

  • The Last American Hero||

    Puh-lease. The Libertarian Moment belongs in the same category as The New South Will Ensure Republican Hegemony for Generations (2004) and The Demographic Shifts and Changing Social Attitudes Will Ensure That Republicans Never Hold National Office Again (2008).

    While I admit I was wrong about Rubio's ability to Romney this nomination, doesn't the whole thesis fall apart when Team Blue nominates Hillary, the establishment candidate and presumptive nominee since November 2012? What about if Team Red nominates Cruz? Doesn't the insurgent campaign become just an odd footnote in the history books in 20 years?

    Regardless of what happens, expect more re-writing of the rules next time around to ensure that the insurgent candidates have no shot.

  • MSimon||

    the insurgent candidates have no shot.

    Dangerous words these days.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Puh-lease. The Libertarian Moment belongs in the same category as The New South Will Ensure Republican Hegemony for Generations (2004) and The Demographic Shifts and Changing Social Attitudes Will Ensure That Republicans Never Hold National Office Again (2008).

    Ya, but those momentary over generalizations were at least based on actual electoral victories.

    This Libertarian Moment we keep hearing about doesn't even have that.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Just want to go on record as saying the implosion of the GOP is worth living with another douchebag president for four years.

  • Rich||

    *** meekly raises hand ***

    Which "douchebag president" would that be?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Einy meany miney mo

  • MSimon||

    I want mo.

  • ||

    "Just want to go on record as saying the implosion of the GOP is worth living with another douchebag president for four years."

    I have to say I'm starting to agree. Partly because I don't think the Democratic coalition can survive the implosion of their most beloved enemy.

  • John||

    I never thought I would agree but I have to admit I do. What is the point of putting the Republicans in if it just means a Bush III administration? And make no mistake, any Republican sans Trump would just be Bush III. People act like Cruz is different but I am skeptical. Even if he actually believes what he says, he would be surrounded by the same people who surrounded Bush. Cruz might end up being worse than Bush. Bush at least had been around long enough and been a governor. Bush understood you can't just shove shit down the country's throat. Cruz doesn't get that.

    People talk about Trump being the Republican Obama. They are wrong. it is Cruz who would be the Republican Obama. Cruz is just like Obama only coming from the Right. He is young, inexperienced, utterly convinced of his world view and happy to stick it to his political enemies by any means necessary. I tend to agree with Cruz so he doesn't offend me nearly as much as Obama does. The fact that I agree with him doesn't make him anything other than what he is.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Trump as the voicr of reason and decorum. That's nonsense.

  • John||

    What part of my post causes you to say that Skippy? The post isn't about Trump. It is about the rest of the GOP. How is saying Trump would not be Bush III say anything about Trump being the voice of reason? It doesn't as far as I can see.

    And the rest of the post is about Cruz. I don't see how you can read my post and conclude what you have.

  • John||

    What part of my post causes you to say that Skippy? The post isn't about Trump. It is about the rest of the GOP. How is saying Trump would not be Bush III say anything about Trump being the voice of reason? It doesn't as far as I can see.

    And the rest of the post is about Cruz. I don't see how you can read my post and conclude what you have.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That's the most optimistic political thought that I can't immediately shoot down that I've had in a quite a while.

  • SIV||

    Nice to see Nick "gets it".

  • yet another dave||

    LIBERTARIAN MOMENT! Coming soon to an election near you. Not this one, this one you just have to hold your nose and vote like the last one, maybe the next one.

  • Nick W B||

    You're too optimistic. As bad as the Republican party may be, what will likely replace it will be worse.
    For every issue either party is wrong on, there are at least two populist crackpot ideas it's rejecting that the masses would support because they sound like they would be a good idea (even though their actual implementation would be awful). That is where an elitist establishment is valuable, they filter out many (not all, but many) crap ideas that could endanger our society.

  • WhatAboutBob||

  • UCrawford||

    Articles by a Republican who threatened to leave the party (after arguing that we were wrong to fight the Nazis in WWII) and a former Republican who never got over being fired as Reagan's OMB chairman.

    Thanks, but no sour grapes for me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So Nick when are you going to demonstrate that the implosion of the GOP will lead to more pro-freedom forces? Any grounding in history? Of course not. Nick is an idiot.

    The Libertarian Moment is real and happening at the state level, where enlightened politicos-usually GOP-have partnered with concerned educated citizen groups to make real change happen ex asset seizure reform. Everything Nick says here was more or less fisked by George Will in his interview THAT NICK WAS AT. Will is orders of magnitude a smarter and better writer than Nick.

  • Rockabilly||

    Think of the children.

    My Daughter Is Afraid of Donald Trump

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....96068.html

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