5 Things Libertarians Should Be Nervous About in 2017

Say goodbye to 2016. But don't let your guard down.


A lot of folks are understandably ready to pull the plug on 2016. But before you pop the champagne, here are five things libertarians should be nervous about in the new year.

A new war on drugs.

At a time when most Americans support legalization, 2017 could be bad news for those in favor of legal weed.

Donald Trump has commented that legalization should be up to the states, but he's been appointing anti-marijuana lawmakers to key positions in his cabinet. The most notable of these is Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who's been tapped as Attorney General. Sessions has long opposed legalization and has criticized both the Obama administration and the Department of Justice for not enforcing federal marijuana laws.

The national debt.

When Donald Trump is sworn into office, he'll be inheriting a debt that has nearly doubled under President Obama. In early 2017, the national debt is set to hit a staggering $20 trillion. And estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Budget say Trump's policy proposals will add another $5.3 trillion over the next four years.

Attacks on Free Trade.

Globalisation and free trade have lifted millions out of poverty and has raised living standards across the United States. Yet we enter 2017 with both Democrats and Republicans questioning the fundamental value of free markets, a new administration promising to inject itself into the affairs of private companies, and a president openly threatening a costly trade war with China.

Fake news and free speech.

Hillary Clinton called fake news an "epidemic" at a recent public event and said that the trend "can have real world consequences."

Those consequences now include Facebook testing new plug-ins to limit misinformation and partnering with fact-checking groups to root out any false news items—causing fears of censorship on the popular social media platform.

Expanded surveillance powers.

The FBI, NSA, and CIA are most likely going to get expanded surveillance powers under a Trump administration.

Some of these changes are already happening. A new rule approved this fall allows federal agents with a single search warrant to hack millions of Americans' computers or smartphones at once.

And the United Kingdom just approved the Investigatory Powers bill which gives the UK's global surveillance program authorities power to create a new government database that will store the web history of every citizen in the country.

Produced and written by Alexis Garcia. Music by Letter Box.

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81 responses to “5 Things Libertarians Should Be Nervous About in 2017

  1. 5 Things Libertarians Should Be Nervous About in 2017

    1: More Embedded videos at reason
    2: agressive anti-troll policies leading the way into censorship
    3: bees
    4: the ‘libertarian moment’ having passed them by
    5: [Redacted]

    1. 4: the ‘libertarian moment’ having passed them by

      Trump is paving the way for Rand Paul 20/20

      1. That statement is visionary!

            1. Whoa, what happened to Lake Bell?

            2. Whut!?!? Clowns have got me all stressed out; now I hafta worry about Bugs Bunny tooOOOoooOOOO?!?!?

    2. 6: Our movement getting hijacked by women

  2. I’m not worried. Things will be fine… just fine….

    1. Serious question I keep asking (and getting no response) for you, virtually every newspaper editorial board, half my Facebook friends, and most of my family. What if they are?

      What if we get to 2019 and things are more or less the same – the economy is puttering along, not great, but not great depression, the ME is still a dumpster fire, but WW III hasn’t happened, Fedgov spends too much money, but we haven’t turned into Greece.

      Will you and they give a massive public apology and admission that you completely freaked out for no good reason?

      1. Yes I will go on an international apology tour. Here you can buy tickets.

      2. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. We get to bathe in their tears now, then shame them with their gullibility and/or hysteria in four years*. Thanks to the internet, it’s all recorded for posterity.

        *Unless we’re all killed in the camps or annihilated in nuclear war, but we’ll too dead to care in that case.

  3. Only Libertarians or can anyone else join the action?

    1. Anyone can join, but you have to get a 94% score on the purity test.

      1. In that case, this video should be called “5 Things Shreek Should Be Nervous About in 2017.”

  4. 1 thing Libertarians should NOT be worried about in 2017

    1. President Hillary Clinton!!

  5. The fact that the supposed glorious summer of the libertarian moment ushered in the discontentful winter of Donald Trump.

    The fact that it’s not even clear that libertarian party can play spoiler anymore.

    The liquidation of libertarian influence within the one party it had any influence. Influence that isn’t coming back.

    The completely disintegration of the Koch family’s influence over the GOP.

    1. The fact that it’s not even clear that libertarian party can play spoiler anymore.

      Difference between Trump and Clinton in the popular vote: 2.9 million votes
      Gary Johnson’s popular vote total: 4.5 million votes

      … right.

      1. Where were those votes? After all, the national popular vote is not the controlling element.

        1. Indeed not. But if the LP didn’t spoil this election, then it’s never spoiled any election, so the statement is facially ridiculous.

          1. election for President*

        2. Just to be clear: Haysom’s claim is that libertarian influence is waning. I’m not saying libertarian influence is strong or waxing, only that it isn’t declining.

          1. When the hell was this ‘libertarian summer’ anyway? When the Kochs gave money to the Republican Party to push candidates they despised?

            1. I didn’t take issue with that part of his post, as conceited as it might be, since it reads like a jab at the writers/editors of Reason rather than a substantive claim about libertarian influence in general.

              1. What is conceited about it?

                1. What is conceited about it?

                  Sorry, it was only supposedly gloriously conceited.

                  1. Guys it was a reference to Richard III

                    Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun [or son] of York”

                    1. Guys it was a reference to Richard III

                      Since you apparently don’t know what “conceited” means, I’m also going to call you a logarithm. I’m interested in seeing your defense.

                    2. Again I asked what was conceited about it you responded with a comment that restated your previous post but added glorious to it which I took to mean you objected to the use of gloroius. So I’ll ask again what was conceited about it-other than the fact that you didn’t like the information presented.

                    3. What information, exactly, does your intentional allusion to Richard III present?

                      I explicitly said “I didn’t take issue with that part of his post”, you illiterate halfwit. Learn what “conceited” means while you’re figuring out how to parse English.

                    4. I know what conceited means I’m not sure you so though because you still can’t demonstrate what was conceited about my post.

                      Clearly it’s facts angered and frustrated you which wasn’t my intention, but it certainly wasn’t conceited.

                    5. Yes, I take issue with all the facts you presented in a literary allusion to Richard III. My intemperate expression can only possibly mean that you are vindicated. By all means, please continue arguing irrelevant side points because you got butthurt about a statement of yours being called conceited.

                    6. So you still can’t point out what was conceited about it?

                    7. conceit, n.

                      1. an excessively favorable opinion of one’s own ability, importance, wit, etc.

                      3. imagination; fancy.

                      5. an elaborate, fanciful metaphor, especially of a strained or far-fetched nature.

                      Read the goddamn dictionary

                    8. Hahahahah. This is the most hilarious reach I’ve ever encountered. The problem is you used the term conceited which doesn’t include any connotation involving the conceit as a literary device. I really got under your skin.

                    9. I really got under your skin.

                      Good job. A+. Pity your arguments were still shit.

                    10. kbolino|12.30.16 @ 2:19PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                      Guys it was a reference to Richard III

                      Since you apparently don’t know what “conceited” means, I’m also going to call you a logarithm. I’m interested in seeing your defense.

                      Kbolino, By George, that is just the most perfectly fucking hydraulic thing I have heard any one say around here this entire year!… And to clarify things, If you are of the sort that has “no more sense than a logarythm” we are talking about entirely different matters. Conceit can be an issue but that is only if your mental compass is off and you somehow don’t take note of the facts. Also never assume you are actually smarter than horses. Because the very best you can hope for if that is the case is that there will be some gentleman around who will be so kind as to kick you in the ass. Before you end up wasting all your time running around in circles and freeze to death in somewhere that will be posthumously ironic. In a very Darwin Award kind of a way.

            2. Is your argument that Reason hasn’t been trumpeting a libertarian moment for about the past three years.

              1. Is your argument that Reason hasn’t been trumpeting a libertarian moment for about the past three years.

                No. But it is going to become “you are illiterate” if you keep this up.

    2. The liquidation of libertarian influence within the one party it had any influence. Influence that isn’t coming back.

      Rand Paul’s share of the primary vote, 2010: 58%
      Rand Paul’s share of the general vote, 2010: 55%

      Rand Paul’s share of the primary vote, 2016: 84%
      Rand Paul’s share of the general vote, 2016: 57%

      Swing… and a miss.

      1. Wasnt their some other election Rand was involved in one that would seem to be a better indication of libertarian popularity throughout the party. I think it might have been the presidential primary. How did Rand do in that? Well i presume otherwise one might conclude that the results you quoted are pretty standard incumbent bump.

        Honestly this is one of the most ridiculous posts I’ve ever read on here. Yea incumbent senators generally improve on their primary results.

        1. I already made it clear that I am neither saying libertarian influence is strong nor that it is growing. Only that it isn’t waning.

          Rand Paul dropped out of the Presidential primary early. Maybe he still wouldn’t have gotten as many votes as his father did in 2012, but Ron Paul stayed in for the whole race so it’s hard to compare.

          1. Ron Paul got ten percent in 2012 Rand never even polled that high. I avoided the direct comparison in my comments because of there was a large contingent of Ron voters that were simply anti-war votes so it isn’t fair to attribute the entire deficit to libertarians’ declining influence.

            However presidential primaries are the best place to gauge the relative strength of the factions I can’t see any way to make the case that the libertarian candidate didn’t show a startlingly lack of support in 2016.

            Rand Paul’s first primary was a heavily contested primary against the Secretary of State. It was an impressive victory. The fact he increase his share of the primary vote in a largely uncontested primary doesn’t mean much.

            1. However presidential primaries are the best place to gauge the relative strength of the factions

              Isn’t it just so?

      2. Because a single first-timer getting 55% of the vote and improving it as an incumbent by TWO WHOLE PERCENTAGE POINTS is a sign that libertarian influence is burgeoning.

        Maybe he’ll be President someday.

  6. Speaking of ignoring the trolls.

    *updates the block list*

      1. Some commenters are so offensive, Crusty blocks them.

        1. Only the trolls, Eddo, only the trolls.

          1. What extension do you use to block the trolls?

            1. Fascr for Firefox. The link also provides a link to the Chrome extension. There are some generous commenters who deserve all the hugs and kisses in the world.

              1. Ah, Firefox. I am saddened.

                1. I’m a weirdo who uses Opera. The Chrome version might work though. Will have to see.

                    1. Hmm, I do like the style of Reasonable. Interesting extension. I’ve got little need for troll blocking, but some of the other features are pretty nice. Especially the character count.

          2. My joke was along the lines of how bad do you have to be to offend Crusty?

            1. Best lay off of the Bea Arthur jokes lest you find out.

  7. Like I need a reason to be nervous. Anxiety is my default state.

  8. California will raise the state income tax to exact extent Trump and the Republican congress lowers the federal income tax. And yet another year will pass when I cannot afford to snort Peruvian flake cocaine off a $1000/hr hooker’s ass.

    1. What does $1000/hr hooker do that a $300/hr hooker doesn’t. Especially if you’ve got the good scaley coke.

      1. What does $1000/hr hooker do that a $300/hr hooker doesn’t

        Charge $1000/hr duh.

  9. I’ll leave the worrying to the unprepared

  10. The number one thing to worry about is that libertarianism becomes popular

    1. Because that’ll be the death of it: tried and found to be impractical prematurely.

  11. Good list, but backwards imo. Seriously, quit leading with weed… I want to share the link with family and friends, but its pointless when the #1 issue confirms the erroneous conclusion that libertarians only care about legalizing drugs and prostitutes.

    1. Especially when libertarians do not.

      From the LP site in California:
      Proposition 64 ? NO ? Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)
      (While the Libertarian Party has been a strong supporter of ending marijuana prohibition for over 40 years, this proposition does more harm than good, damaging medical availability, and creating additional criminal offenses and regulations.)

      Libertarians are basically Republicans. Except maybe with respect to surveillance.


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  14. I’m scared of news articles that tell me I should be scared.

  15. Trump is not going to roll back free trade. On that issue, he’ll be like Obama on Gitmo. He didn’t make make drug legalization an issue during the campaign and is unlikely to dump on states that legalize them.

    Why is Shinzo Abe cozying up to Trump? He apparently broke some precious protocol by establishing contact so early with Trump when the current president is still in power. Because Japanese cars sell in America and gazillions of Americans’ income depend on it. Trump knows this, Abe knows this. They’ll probably iron out some boilerplate “fair deal” and you know die hard Trump fans won’t abandon their man.

  16. Budget say Drumpf’s policy proposals will add another $5.3 trillion over the next four years.

    $50 to your favorite charity of choice (including your pub) Alexis, if the number is not upwards of at least $7 trillion over that period.

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  18. I just hope Trump and his drugwarboner appointees realize that it’s not 1970 anymore. 60% of Americans support legalizing cannabis, not 15%. And over half of the states have legal pot in some form or fashion. I’m hoping the senators from those states vote against confirming Sessions… I don’t know how they’d be seen as hypocrites otherwise.

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Comments are closed.