Election 2016

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, & The Triumph of Independents

The New Hampshire primaries show that the wheels are coming off traditional party politics. That's a good thing.

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You want to know the absolutely most important thing about the results of the New Hampshire primaries?

The winners aren't even real members of the parties for whose nominations they are running.

Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, won his Senate seat as an independent. Sure, he caucuses with the Democrats and many of this policy positions fit easily within the Donkey Party's tent, but it's nothing short of amazing that he's the one giving Hillary Clinton the scare of her lifetime.

Something similar goes for Donald Trump, who has registered as a Democrat in the past, supports universal healthcare, and is nobody's idea of a rock-ribbed Republican

The wheels are coming off the traditional parties. Not only did these guys win big last night—and come in second in Iowa—they are responsible for record turnouts too. Voters aren't coming out because a Bush or a Clinton is running for president again.

Gallup

Every survey shows the same thing: A majority of Americans are frustrated with the electoral choices they're being offered, and trust and confidence in government and authority are at historic lows. 

As a whole, the nation is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. We want a government that's out of the bedroom and the boardroom, one that spends less and does less. 

And until we get a party—or two!—that speaks to that great and growing group of crypto-libertarians who just want to get on with a life that will mostly be lived beyong politics, you can expect more independent candidates at all levels making life difficult for traditional party types. 

So regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders—and regardless of whether either ever wins another primary—take a moment to thank them for revealing just how little voters care for the Democratic and Republican Parties.

About 90 seconds.

Written by Nick Gillespie and produced by Joshua Swain. Additional camera: Todd Krainin.

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NEXT: Clinton Loses Young Women by More Than 60 Points in New Hampshire

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  1. Nick and Joshua,

    I’m with you. Six months ago we were thinking that we’d be stuck with Bush v. Clinton. Now we have a much more interesting contest.

    “As a whole, the nation is socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

    They are? Like on Popular programs like Medicare, public schools, and Social Security?

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

      They are? Like on Popular? programs like the military?

      1. Doesn’t this make my point? Americans *say* they want limited government, but then balk when it comes to cutting programs. If the point is that we as libertarians need to make the case that we don’t need nuclear weapons, troops in Europe, aircraft carriers in the South China Sea and 600 billion dollar defense budgets in general well then, I couldn’t agree more. Can one oppose military spending and the production and stockpiling of instruments of destruction and at the same time support the idea that we should subsidize the lifestyles of the old, poor, and sick– or does that make one a total hypocrite douche?

        1. Doesn’t this make my point?

          What part of:

          I was thinking the same thing.

          Do you not understand?

          Can one oppose military spending and the production and stockpiling of instruments of destruction and at the same time support the idea that we should subsidize the lifestyles of the old, poor, and sick– or does that make one a total hypocrite douche?

          Pretty much. They want to force you to subsidize their concept of military security. You want to force people to subsidize your concept of social security. In a world with scarcity, sometimes choices must be made. You seem to have different subjective preferences, but it’s not like your taking the high road when it comes to achieving your objectives.

          1. So dropping bombs on Syrians is the same as making sure Grandma doesn’t end up on the streets? I mean,after all, how could one end up with no retirement savings in this splendid capitalist utopia unless that person sucked?

            1. So dropping bombs on Syrians is the same as making sure Grandma doesn’t end up on the streets?

              Oh, of course not. Of course, none of my point depends on them being the same.

              making sure Grandma doesn’t end up on the streets?

              That’s one way to describe it. It’s not a very accurate one, but, hey, what works, works.

              Let me guess: you asked a lot of girls out who turned out to probably be lesbians anyway, right?

              1. Dude, it’s a sockpuppet. Don’t waste your time.

                1. Hmm, yeah, I don’t want the government to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on defense and I get shit from “libertarians” I want limited government. Do any of you guys want the same or is this– like so many other things– about fractions of pennies on the taxpayer dollar going to Black people?

                2. You know where I put sockpuppets?

        2. Well, the difference is that true “defense” of the country is actually a legitimate function of the government. Of course, invading countries half way around the world that piss no threat to is isn’t “defense”.
          Also, Ozzy said it best: Thank God for the Bomb

    2. Hell, going by whats happening in government and in higher education, theres a whole bunch of evidence that we’re

      socially conservative and fiscally liberal

      The worst of both worlds.

    3. They’re fiscally conservative when it comes to programs that benefit the “other”

    4. Paid that mortgage yet scumbag?

  2. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, & The Triumph of Independents The Unwashed Masses

    FIFY

    Or, if you prefer, “Politically Retarded” or “Average Idiot Voter.”

  3. You know which other country experienced a parallel surge in Nationalism and Socialism as a response to mounting debt and focused their frustration and aggression on vulnerable minorities?

    1. Might be easier to list which nations did not do this at some point…

    2. or the rich.

      You can read about ancient Greek city-states and you have the poor finding a leader to take on the oligarchs…usually the leader then becomes a tyrant though. You have periodic demands for land redistribution or the wiping out of debts, too.

      Basically there is nothing new under the sun.

  4. Panem?

    1. Good job, Ship. Missed the “reply” button.

  5. Bernie-related:

    “Respected” “economist” makes the claim that Bernie Sanders would lead to $82000 median income, record low poverty, budget surpluses, and 5.3% yearly GDP growth.

    You’ve got to see this shit to believe it.

    1. Wow.

      I love how he projects the median income in 2026, down to at least $100 precision, without any uncertainty conveyed.

      Hell, $50K today would probably be worth about $80K in 2026 due to inflation. And I’m sure that will lift little people up, while banks are the hardest hit.

      Socialists always promise utopia. They said public education would end crime.

      1. What’s the inflation rate now under Black socialistObama?

  6. It is tempting to over-analyze what happened in NH; it could be that it’s just a state full of lefties and both parties voted for the furthest-left candidate on both sides of the ticket.
    But that being said, if Trump wins in SC over Cruz, I may start to believe his popularity has more to do with being a so-called “outsider”, and less to do with his famously nonsensical platitudes such as “We will build a wall!” and “I will take care of women,” which he targets squarely at the idiot mob…Yes, I’m thinking of Lucilla’s line to Commodus in ‘Gladiator’ here: “The Mob is fickle, brother.”

  7. Sad there aren’t more libertarians in these damned independents as two Reason columnists so wrongly assumed.

  8. Trying to spin the success of Sanders and Trump in the primaries into evidence that the electorate wants a smaller cheaper government is like having your leg posses on and gleefully exclaiming that it is raining. You may classify libertarians as independents but independents are not libertarians.

    1. “…leg pissed on…”

  9. “The New Hampshire primaries show that the wheels are coming off traditional party politics. That’s a good thing.”

    Uh, no it doesn’t. Last night just reaffirmed New Hampshire’s reputation as the “fuck you” state. Granted Trump may not be a fluke and could potentially win the nomination, but Sanders. Yeah unless Hillary completely destroys herself, God intervenes and gets the Justice Department to indict her, or something equally earth shattering happens there is no way the Bern is winning the nomination. It’s possible, but completely unlikely.

    1. If it’s possible, then there is a way.

    2. The more I think about it, the more I think there will be an indictment of Hillary. That’s why these stories are coming out. They are leaking it slowly to scare the electorate- hoping that people abandon Hillary and perhaps someone else jumps in.

      Think about it. If you are the white house, and you know that this is inevitable, what do you do if Hillary refuses to step down? You use what you have now to discredit her in the hopes that by the time an indictment occurs, the field is already prepared for her to be forced aside. If they wait, then they run the risk of her getting nominated anyways and a real crisis occurring when she is prosecuted while in office or near to it.

      1. Obama issues a blanket pardon for any actions that may or may not have occurred while Hillary was SOS. That stops the investigations, too, because who’s gonna waste time investigating actions that have already been pardoned?
        The only thing is, he should have done it sooner so it would be “old news” by now. I think he hasn’t because he’s hoping, like Hillary herself, that it will all just go away.

    3. Haha! The DNC is f*cking over Benito!

      He and the c*nt will get about the same no of delegates from NH

      http://usuncut.com/news/the-dn…..of-voters/

  10. y last pay check was $16400 working 8 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 8k for months now and she works about 19 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do………..

    A?l?p?h?a-C?a?r?e?e?r?s.c?o?m

  11. My last pay check was $16400 working 8 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 8k for months now and she works about 19 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do……….

    A?l?p?h?a-C?a?r?e?e?r?s.c?o?m

    1. Your English is getting better.

  12. I believe that Nick might be hinting that there is some kind of “Libertarian Moment” going on! This is the first I’ve heard of the idea, but it sounds intriguing..

  13. I love this idea that the country is socially liberal and fiscally conservative but where is the proof? Trump and Sanders are both big spending politicians and when you see entire droves of Americans coming out for them it sort of contradicts the notion that anyone over there is fiscally conservative.

    Both the popularity of a Socialist and the absolute destruction of Rand Paul proves that we are in a bit of a political quagmire, I love the spin that there is some kind of libertarian movement happening under our noses, but I fear it is delusional.

    1. “I love this idea that the country is socially liberal and fiscally conservative but where is the proof?”

      Stated preferences vs. revealed preferences

  14. I love the idea that voters are frustrated by the choices that the Duopoly offers them, and therefore votes for Bernie and Trump are really protest votes. But the whole problem is that it doesn’t give us any good idea of what voters really prefer. How do we know that there are large numbers of socially liberal, fiscally conservative voters out there. The whole purpose of the Duopoly is to restrict voter choices, and thus, messages sent by the voters.

  15. We want a government that’s out of the bedroom and the boardroom, one that spends less and does less.

    Cite?

  16. socially liberal and fiscally conservative

    Isn’t this just a reactionary appeal to a non-Existent 1960s-70s past when the Dems were supposedly socially liberal while the Republicans were supposedly fiscally conservative? And glosses over how libertarians intend to deal with the welfare state?

    1. And glosses over how libertarians intend to deal with the welfare state?

      How are you going to get invited to beltway parties bringing up shit like that?

      It’s The Jacket’s new editorial policy of social signalling as job #1.

  17. The fact that Americans might be fed up with the Republican and Democratic parties means little if clowns like Sanders and Trump are the alternatives they turn to. Also, “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” doesn’t necessarily mean libertarian. It might accurately describe a good number of libertarians and people with libertarian leanings, but I’ve also seen it used repeatedly to refer to Michael Bloomberg, who is about as far from libertarianism as you get in mainstream American politics.

    1. Also, “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” doesn’t necessarily mean libertarian.

      Problem is spending a little bit less than what the opposition wants is technically “fiscally conservative” and progs argue that by raising taxes they are being fiscally conservative and doesn’t Bernie think that his plans will save money?

      As for social liberalism well the problem is that if you define it as “getting the government out of social issues” then that describes very few social liberals. Not to mention that for a long time “social liberal” was just code for pro-abortion and for Reason it basically means John’s Weed, Mexicans and Ass-Sex.

      1. Good example of what Bernie might call his “fiscal conservatism” is linked here:
        https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..nt_5895160

      2. progs argue that by raising taxes they are being fiscally conservative and doesn’t Bernie think that his plans will save money?

        This needs to be stated more vociferously. Obamacare was passed as a cost-cutting measure.

  18. As a whole, the nation is socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    Hmm…

  19. If only there was such a thing as a Libertarian Party, amIright, Nick?

  20. Should we celebrate the disruption by Bernie/Donald? Each of these two expound the worst of both extreme examples of the US authoritarian society. One wants communism, the other fascism. Both want increased institutionalized violence. How is this better for libertarianism? Is it better that our society self-destruct sooner? Maybe. I don’t know and neither does anyone else. The future will show us, because it looks like destruction is coming, both economically and physically, e.g., the greatest depression and WWIII. The first is unavoidable, the second is politically necessary. It will distract from the first, and restore power to the elite who deserve to be ignored, boycotted, and punished for their crimes against humanity.
    Meanwhile, how will a voluntarist society result from the chaos? I don’t see it. I want it, humanity needs it, but the world is not moving closer to it. Mass discontent does not automatically lead to enlightenment, usually the opposite, i.e., violent revolution followed by less freedom.

  21. Yes, but when it comes time for the RNC Conference, will they literally kidnap all the delegates who would cast a ballot for Trump, like they did for some of the key Ron Paul delegates in 2012? Or will they do what they did to the Maine delegates and refuse them entrance and deny them the right to cast a vote?

    I’m not a fan of Trump, but one wonders if the same dirty politics to refuse delegates to vote for whom they were chosen to vote for will happen yet again.

    And the DNC is no better, so what dirty tricks will come into play when Hillary and Sanders square off? Or will Sanders just up and conveniently die, just like anyone else who has been a hindrance to the Clintons over the decades?

    1. Perhaps you missed the previous thread’s discussion about the Dem Superdelegates. The more I learn of the dirty business of politics… the… more… dirty it seems.

    2. They will be fine with Trump. He said he can make deals with Pelosi and Schumer.

      The GOPe knows that means they will be off the hook and can play pretend to be against Trump and these deals.

  22. “As a whole, the nation is socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

    Completely fulla shit.

    The nation claims to be socially liberal for social signaling purposes, but outside of sex fetishes they are extremely socially conservative.

    The nation is, individually, fiscally conservative with their own money and property, but extremely fiscally liberal with everyone else’s money and property.

  23. …and there’s no better time to subscribe to Reason Magazine!!!!!!

  24. You ever get the feeling that one identifies as “independent” because “small-l libertarian” has some sort of bad connotation?

  25. Crypto-libertarians? Yes, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.

  26. Even with libertarian leanings it is obvious I could never be a L party guy. I see a willingness to stick to principle even when the nation is getting its head handed to it. Every knock on Trump is a knock on upholding the law or his attempt to get some control of uncontrolable situations. When nothing else is being done or nothing else is working going back to the law and formerly workable schemes sounds like it’s worth the chance.
    I was trained in free market economics. I learned that this model has similarities to the models in the skin magazines. What both models share is an abscence of either in the real world. Skin models are painted and poised like nothing found in nature. Free market econ ignores the human propensity for mischief. Libertarianism shares this weakness. It is wonderful sounding on paper and I wish it were so.

  27. Somehow it’s hard to believe that Benito Trumpolini vs Bernie Marx is substantially better than Bush vs Clinton. All I see are Americans desperately desiring a leader who will avenge them against the rich and powerful. That didn’t work out well in 1789 for the French.

    People are abandoning the traditional parties not because of principle but because they feel powerless. Feelings of powerlessness combined with feelings of envy are the building blocks of tyranny, not liberty.

    Whenever I hear that America needs a new leader I think of the words of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata – “A strong people does not need a leader”.

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  30. Trump is a snake oil salesman selling fantasy to a small portion of the electorate to blind or stupid to see the truth. There is a reason his numbers have never gone higher than 40%, that is level of stupidity in the US. When the race is a two man race, he will lose because he will never go past that number. Even in national polls, he is under 40% and remains there. Trump is nothing more than a slogan screaming, profane liberal fraud.

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