Donald Trump

Should America Declare Independence from Pants, Twitter, or Both?

The Reason Roundtable podcast has some helpful suggestions for the summer of 2020.


President Donald Trump, in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore, warns of the "merciless campaign to wipe out our history." Joe Biden, from his secure location, urges America to finally live up to the Declaration of Independence. As the Statue Wars enter month two, coronavirus cases increase, and the nation's couch potatoes flock (shhhh) to the Disney Plus showing of Hamilton, it can be hard to make sense of the mixed up state of summer 2020.

That's why Nick Gillespie, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Matt Welch spend a good chunk of today's Reason Roundtable podcast brainstorming new malignancies that America should henceforth declare independence from, in this our wobbly 244th year. Starting with pants.

The gang talks fireworks, patriotic gadgetry, men's hair fashion, the fragrance of space, and so very much more.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "Deep Mind," by Jeremy Black.

Relevant links from the show:

"It's Not Just Face Masks. Everything Is Now a Political Death Match," by J.D. Tuccille

"Editorial Notes on Police Brutality," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Post-Pandemic Americans May Be Done With Taking Orders," by J.D. Tuccille

"Let's Have Fewer Public Statues," by Steven Greenhut

"The Next Pandemic Will Be Caused by the National Debt. It Will Crater the Economy," by Nick Gillespie

"Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Self-Flattening, or Will It Grind Relentlessly on?" by Ronald Bailey

"The New York Times's Inconsistent Standards Drove Slate Star Codex To Self-Cancel," by Robby Soave

NEXT: Wesley Yang: Woke Protests Against 'White Supremacism' May Be the New Normal

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

  1. SQRLSY One
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  2. I haven’t worn pants outside since the day the world ended. Shorts at the office every day. *This* new normal works for me.

    1. I am glad you are enjoying your daisy dukes.

      1. my legs are my finest asset yes.

    2. “since the day the world ended.”
      OK just so we’re all on the same page here are you talking about that day that the polar ice caps melted and the rising sea swept NYC into the murky depths? Or that time Trump started WW3 when he took out that terrorist dude? It appears to me that the world has ended at least once in every 3 week period for the last 3 years. Gonna need a little specificity here.

      1. March 12 seems to be the marker.

      2. Twas when the Y2K kilt is all dead. Then we died again after they repealed net neutrality.

  3. People still wear pants?

    1. First of all pants are a symbol of white privilege. Secondly and most importantly, they make my ass look big.

      1. Blue Jeans Matter!

      2. No, your fat ass makes your ass look big.

    2. Twenty years ago I used to love the ladies in short shorts. Ymmm. I never would have imagined that someone would convince all the women to wear yoga pants everywhere. My god, do they realize that we can tell whether they go Brazilian or not? Not that I’m complaining: whoever convinced America’s women to traipse around practically neked (who, ironically, was probably a gay man), should be canonized. St. Todd, patron saint of the camel toe. And ass crack. And panty lines (maybe %50 of the time?)

      1. Yoga pants are a gift from the gods, loved just as much by women as men

    3. But pants are cultural appropriation for most people.

  4. I like what Greg Gutfeld said about 2020: If 2020 were a band, it would be Maroon 5.

    1. saw that. lol’d.

    2. Nice. Karen’s favorite band.

  5. I’d shut down twitter and arrest their senior execs for fraud and attempted overthrow of the government. Or just cut off their access to the internet and let people detox.

    1. Or we could just cancel our accounts and quit using social media.

  6. Black Lives Matter made the mistake of going to a small town in Ohio to “protest”. It didn’t turn out well for them. The Buzz Feed reporter’s tears are lovely

    Did you know people think BLM is violent?

    1. Why would they think that?

      When the news media refused to use the words “riot” and “rioter” to differentiate between protesters, on one hand, and looting and arson, on the other, it made it that much harder for average people to differentiate between rioters and protesters. The “protesters” are coming? Grab something to defend yourself and call the fire department!

      I blame the news media.

      1. They thought they would legitimize the rioting by calling it protesting. All they did was cause people to rightly associate protesting with rioting and ended up delegitimizing their own protests.

        I blame the media and BLM. BLM is a violent Marxist terrorist organization. The fact that it attracts useful idiots who are not violent as fellow travelers doesn’t make BLM anything other than what it is or it’s protests any more desirable to the majority of the public

        1. And those useful idiots who aren’t violent are nonetheless agents of Marxism

          1. They are just human shields for the ones who are.

        2. Had to laugh yesterday when I saw a woman comment in disgust about the lack of likes to her latest rant. Even amongst a lot of the social justice crowd, the adrenalin is withering. She was so getting used to the applause that when it died off, it became rather distressful.

          People are suddenly back at work, trying to balance the checkbook, and have started to realize that much of this is beyond reason. They are looking at their white/black neighbors and coworkers and realizing they still don’t hate each other.

          Also like “Nah, when they tear down your gates and are threatening to burn your house down, don’t call them peaceful protestors anymore. Nobody is buying that shit.” Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

          1. These dopamine addicts are constantly chasing another hit.

          2. I live in a mostly black area. Often I’m the only white person in stores around here. Ordinary black people are not driving this. Number of times I’ve been accosted about my support for BLM? Zero. BLM signs in windows? Nope. My interactions with black people I know or randomly meet have been normal and friendly. This is about progressives, black and white, but mostly white because progressives are overwhelmingly white. It’s a tiny, mostly white minority commanding an outsized attention to their antics because they have the media and human resources departments (and for now at least, the boardrooms). Normal black people want to live their lives like anyone else, and that includes getting the police off their backs. That’s their only interest in this: Let me live. These calls for revolution come from a place of deep insularity and privilege, and that includes Hannah-Jones, Coates, and the rest of those hucksters.

            1. Now that we have the legal precedent for isolating infected people (or just anyone), perhaps we should quarantine the hyper SJW types–at least until we have a vaccine.

            2. I live in a majority black city and work with a lot of black people from every part of the economic scale. My experience is the same as yours. The black people I know don’t hate the cops. Some of them are total law and order types who think drug dealers should be executed. A lot of people in the black community have relatives or loved ones who have died from drugs or had drug problems. This tends to make them anything but Libertarian on the subject.

              Even the black people I know who are way left in their politics are not like woke white people. I have a friend who is close a freakin black nationalist. Yet, he thinks the idea of people apologizing for their “whiteness” is absurd. His attitude is what the hell good does that do him or any other black person?

              Most won’t say it, though I know one or two who will, but my feeling is black people have about had it with the woke white religion. They may not be Republicans and may not like conservatives or Trump, but a lot of them fucking hate woke whites. They see it for the condescending patronizing bullshit everyone else sees it as.

            3. One of my black coworkers openly proclaims quite regularly, “they aren’t taking my gun away from me” in response to alt-Left radicals pushing for gun control. I’m certain she’s a Democrat, and I know she’s even joined protests against cops. She lives in a high crime area and probably likes aittle added security a gun can provide. Just shows you nothing is black and white, no pun, and the media is comprised of too many idiots to see the nuances of life.

        3. RE BLM movement:

          Once upon a time there was a valid point in there somewhere. It only took them a week or two to run off the rails and loose the script.

      2. Who are “they” Ken?

        Allow me to fill in the picture:

        “Watching footage of the day, you can see the energy grow darker and heavier. You can hear a man yell “you came to the wrong fucking town,” a woman scream “you’re supporting the goddamn niggers,” another man threaten to “break your fucking jaw, bitch.” You can see rifles and handguns and a literal bag full of baseball bats.”

        1. Damn. Will the South ever change?

    2. Kemp’s sending the national guard into Atlanta.
      Let’s see how it plays out

      1. It will play out with BLM either knocking it off or whole bunch of them ending up dead or in prison.

      2. Maybe the National Guard will pull a Kent State on those Atlanta protestors! And then you’ll cream your pants!

        1. Poor Lying Jeffy had a bad day and is being grumpy.

          1. You forgot fat as an adjective.

        2. They aren’t just protestors. It should be pretty easy to tell the difference, they aren’t the ones throwing things and breaking shit.

          1. Lying Jeffy doesn’t believe in private property rights, so they’re still just peaceful protesters.

        3. Hey chemtard, they’re doing a pretty bang-up job of shooting themselves, so I don’t know what your useless ass is crying about.

          Go jump in front of a “luxury car” and stop being a parasite on the body of collective humanity.

          1. I’m mostly just hoping they have some presence in my friend’s neighborhood.
            I was up there 3 weeks ago and woken up in the middle of the night by a gunfight 50 yards away. 3 shot. Saturday night, 14 were shot in the exact same place.
            I worry

    3. So in a previous thread I posted a link to a Seattle Times article that incorrectly described the recent tragedy with the two protesters on I5 as a “hit & run”. Because Times doesn’t allow comments anymore, I emailed the two article authors directly, politely asking them to correct their article because not only was it NOT a hit and run by virtue of the video, the prosecutor declined to charge him with felony hit& run, noting he is only being charged with vehicular assault.

      The primary author of the article got back to me and didn’t directly address my technical points, but again pointed out that he drove down the road a distance from the accident.

      I emailed her back, further re-iterating my point about the facts of the case, not only based on the video but the charges from the prosecution, asking her if ‘hit & run’ were being used as a mere descriptor or ‘term of art’. I resisted the temptation to add “to keep a certain narrative alive”.

      She wrote back to me an hour later with one line email saying that they were using it only as a descriptor.


      1. That’s a lack of quality control.

        Employment in newspaper newsrooms decreased by 45 percent from 2008 to 2017—and by 60 percent from 1990 to 2016 . . . . Newspapers’ paid circulation has declined from 62.5 million in 1968 to 34.7 million in 2016, while the country’s population was increasing by 50 percent. Just between 2007 and 2016, newspapers’ advertising revenue, their major source of income, declined from $45.4 billion to $18.3 billion . . . . Almost 1,800 newspapers, most of them local weeklies, have closed since 2004.

        —–New York Review of Books February 27, 2020

        Part of the reason for this is that people get their news online from other sources.

        Part of the reason for this is that the news they get from these publications is highly editorialized.

        If you have an entire newsroom devoted to covering stories that are important to Seattle, and you have some of the biggest stories in the country happening right in your city–and you still can’t get things right? Why should anyone pay you a subscription fee for that kind of “quality” journalism, when they can get the same editorial perspective anywhere else for free?

        The advertising dollars certainly aren’t there anymore. That same article mentions that Google ads cost about $20 to reach the same number of people that full page ads in major newspapers used to reach for $50,000. Here’s another statistic from the same article that blew my mind:

        “The Seattle Times and The Dallas Morning News have been able to convert fewer than 1 percent of their formerly nonpaying digital readers into paid subscribers. The figure at The Washington Post, which has the enormous advantage of access to Amazon’s super-efficient payment system, was under 2 percent, and at the Times under 4 percent.”


        They simply must compete on quality. People will not pay a premium to get the same editorialized news coverage from their local news that they can get anywhere else online for free.

        1. Some will, which is why the Times is higher than the others. The Times’ subscribers aren’t paying for news- they are paying for their daily hit of outrage porn. They are addicted to it. I watch my liberal GF everyday get her fix.
          To be fair, I suppose I do the same thing, carefully picking articles from Realclearpolitics that reinforce my beliefs, and that help lead to our current politicization. The difference being that I’m right and she’s wrong…

      2. I’m surprised they bothered to engage with you. Interesting back and forth between you two. Thanks for sharing it.

    4. Did you know people think BLM is violent?

      Re-read your article, John.

      The only people doing anything violent at the protest that you cited were the biker gangs ripping up the protestor’s signs and punching the protestors.

      1. Poor Lying Jeffy missed the entire point. He’s as dumb as he is dishonest. At least he’s not fat too, allegedly.

    5. From John’s article:

      Watching footage of the day, you can see the energy grow darker and heavier. You can hear a man yell “you came to the wrong fucking town,” a woman scream “you’re supporting the goddamn niggers,” another man threaten to “break your fucking jaw, bitch.”

      Well, since we’re doing the collective guilt thing around here it seems, if people who attend BLM protests are endorsing Marxism, then I guess people like John, who oppose BLM protests, are endorsing this racist lady’s words and threats of violence against those protests.

      1. John was there with her? Or are you intentionally being stupid?

        1. I don’t think he is intentionally stupid, I simply think he is stupid.

    6. Good people on both sides:

      “Watching footage of the day, you can see the energy grow darker and heavier. You can hear a man yell “you came to the wrong fucking town,” a woman scream “you’re supporting the goddamn niggers,” another man threaten to “break your fucking jaw, bitch.” You can see rifles and handguns and a literal bag full of baseball bats.”

      1. I look forward to the video of all this.

        1. But everyone called Lois Dennis Mrs Dennis! If you can’t take someone who gets called by her last name at her word, who can you?

    7. The schools weren’t segregated. But private pools still could be. “I never questioned or asked why. That’s why I want to stand with Black Lives Matter — that sort of quiet racism, that’s accepted for so many years, and never questioned.”

      If it’s anything like the private polls I remember in the south circa 1970-76 they were segregated because Black families didn’t buy memberships and pay dues, not because the pools and “swim and tennis” clubs barred them.

      1. Plus it was 50 years ago.

    8. From the article:

      A lot of people have stories like Lois’s. Some of those stories are about how a place like Bethel, whose official slogan is “small town, big heart,” have ignored or left unexamined years of overt and covert racism. But others have different stories: of what it felt like to be the only Black person, the only Filipino family, the only mixed kid in your class. Stories of isolation, and fear, and of trying to make yourself invisible.

      My high school went from 59/26/8/3 percent white/black/mestizo/Asian in the early 90s to 6/13/72/3 percent today. Our cross-town rivals went from 48/31/10/8 percent to 4/16/7/67 percent in that same time frame.

      I doubt Buzzfeed would be interested to find out what it’s like for a white kid to go to school where they are a single-digit minority, without the underlying threat that if these kids said anything that might be construed as offensive, they’d get bullied into oblivion.

      1. Also, note the tone of accusatory resentment that pervades the piece–the town is too quiet, too stable, too high-trust, and too white, and needs to be struggle-sessioned into acknowledging that creating that safe, peaceful community has been part in contributing to everything that’s gone wrong in the black community as part of the BLM’s religious dogma.

        Another gem:

        “I had a conversation with the mayor, and he wanted to know if any of the organizers were antifa,” Gee told me. “And he had this very confused look on his face when I told him that we’re all against fascism, but antifa isn’t, like, an organized group the way that he thought it was.”

        Notice the coy deflection–she knows damn well that white anarcho-commies like Antifa enjoy showing up at these demonstrations to stir shit. The smart thing to do would have been to recognize that Antifa is viewed as a chaotic, destructive element and say, “No, there won’t be any Antifa here, and if they show up, we’ll kick them out,” not “ACKSULLEE ANTIFA IS NOT AN ORGANIZATION AND ANYWAY WE’RE THE ANTI-BAD GUY SQUAD, WHICH MEANS ANYONE WHO IS AGAINST US ARE BAD GUYS.”

        1. Another great line: “People said to me, ‘I’ve had cops follow me in stores. How dare you say I’ve had white privilege?’” Darcy said. “But if they get drunk and disorderly, they don’t get killed. They get tased and put in a drunk tank.

          Just a quick reminder that all of nine unarmed black men were killed by police last year.

          “I get that they feel lost and terrified,” Darcy continued. “But I also wish that they could funnel that into something other than beating up women and children in the street.”

          No, you dumb bitch, they don’t like being shamed for the sin of having white skin.

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  7. “The nation’s couch potatoes flock (shhhh) to the Disney Plus showing of Hamilton”

    Disney who?

    I’m looking forward to Greyhound being released on AppleTV on Friday. AppleTV won the auction for the film for $70 million after it was pulled from the theaters because of the virus. It had $50 million in production costs, and the production company will presumably share in the proceeds after its initial run on AppleTV. This is probably the future of the film production industry, virus or no virus. No regulation of the film industry necessary. No antitrust baloney with the studios being prohibited from owning theater chains. And notice the benefit to consumers: Apple+ will let you sign up and watch for free for a week. After that, they’ll charge you, I think it’s $4.99 a month. If you get in and out of a movie theater with someone else for less than $25, you’re lucky.

    Recessions are like time machines. They make the future come faster than it would been. The rate of change seems to accelerate during recessions. And this new business model isn’t because of the virus. It’s because of creative destruction. The writing was already on the wall of the movie theater anyway. Streaming is taking it all away. If the Christopher Nolan film Tenet makes a theatrical debut, it may be the last time you remember thinking you might go to the movies. Most people will just never want to go to the movies again because they have so many other, better, less expensive options. $25 to go see only one film? What a rip off!

    1. If you get in and out of a movie theater with someone else for less than $25, you’re lucky.

      Exactly, and even if you get laid by your date, you’re looking at a mysterious #MeTooing on twitter five years down the road. It’s just not worth it.

    2. >If you get in and out of a movie theater with someone else for less than $25, you’re lucky.

      Sure, but the downside of watching it all at home is that you don’t have to wonder what the sticky stuff on the armrests is, how many trans fats are in that buttery crap, and how long you can make your $8 shared soda with 90% ice last. All they mystery is gone.

      Of course this can be quickly outweighed by the upside of letting her watch it in her jammies and slap and tickle that otherwise isn’t often allowed in the theater.

    1. I meant to reply to this but I replied to you above. Seriously, fuck the news. Fuck it with a flaming gas nozzle.

    2. It took a second for it to make sense to me. I just thought “Why mention the type of car? That is so weird….oh”
      Either I’m simple or the journalist brain is evolving into a different species

    3. And the scumbag news media is lobbying hard for an exemption to antitrust law so that they can collude and fix their prices.

      They think if they could collude and fix their prices across the whole industry, consumers wouldn’t have the option to find out about the news through social media and search engines for free. And then we’d all have to start paying for all that shitty journalism.

      Except that isn’t the way it works. If the crap you’re selling isn’t worth the asking price, raising prices probably won’t improve the rate of consumption. They just can’t believe people aren’t that into them anymore.

      P.S. Remember when Reason and Gutfeld were friends? Kerry Howley on Red Eye? Those were the days.

    4. Was the luxury car’s name Christine?

      They’re really twisting themselves in knots to avoid acknowledging that these idiots got pasted by a black guy who was trying to avoid slamming into the barricades they had set up, aren’t they?

  8. Finally something some D’s and R’s can agree on. Starting to be hopeful and bullish on the U.S., it really can’t get much worse.

    Fuck Washington D.C.. The best thing out of that place is Thievery Corporation.

    1. If they want to cut spending, they’re free to do so, and I won’t argue, but if they want to order the troops around, I think they’re supposed to carry the electoral college by 270 votes in a presidential election.

      There’s this thing called, “The Constitution”.

      1. Here’s what I took from that: Establishment goes Duckworth in 2020.

    2. How does that work?

      If Trump orders the troops to get on a C-5 and fly back, do the Dems find some judge in Hawaii to issue an injunction?

      Or do they just impeach him all over again for bringing the troops home?

    3. Yes, Thievery Corporation. But also Bad Brains, Pentagram, Animals As Leaders, Fugazi, and SOJA. Ok, technically Pentagram and SOJA are from Virginia.


    4. jointly sponsored by Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado and Congresswoman Cheney of Wyoming

      Gee, Jason, if you were going to be such a warmonger, why the fuck did you bother running against Mike Coffman in the first place?

    1. Speaking of death, Kenny, did you watch any of Trump’s speech on the 4th? I caught a minute of it and holy shit the guy had labored breathing and was leaning on the podium in a really awkward way as if simply standing was a problem for him.

      1. Speaking of death, Kenny, did you watch any of Trump’s speech on the 4th?

        Hey, shitlib, when are you going to protest all the black-on-black shootings over the last month? Black Lives Matter, right?

  9. Around 9:30, I very much share Suderman’s sentiment towards nationalism, in that, fundamentally, I’m not a nationalist, but every now and then, I can see why so many people (conservatives) get carried away by it.

    Of course, then they’ll start going around making stuff more expensive just for the sake of ‘Made in America’ or wasting trillions on defense because ‘Murica, and I’ll go right back to disliking it again. Never been into hyperbolic nationalistic speeches either.

    1. Speeches and rhetoric in general.

  10. “I used to make jokes on Twitter Dot Com.”

    – Peter Suderman

  11. Matt is a bit of a punk, isn’t he? Someone should teach him a lesson some day.

  12. Okay so I have actually listened to the podcast.
    Matt Welch is right. Trump’s campaign is making the same mistake that the radical left is making – mistaking social media for reality.

    1. Matt Welch isn’t gonna fuck you Lying Jeffy.

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  14. i dont think so, social media sometimes give us a lot information , quality of the informations are depend on us to filtering which is fact or hoax

  15. No Pants.
    No shoes.
    No socks.
    No shirts.
    No underwear.
    No service.
    That’s how America rolls.

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  17. Except that isn’t the way it works. If the crap you’re selling isn’t worth the asking price, raising prices probably won’t improve the rate of consumption. They just can’t believe people aren’t that into them anymore.

    coc magic

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