Refugees

Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump's America? (New Reason Podcast)

We're entering a world "much less friendly to our overall belief system and values."

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Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and refugees is anathema to Reason's core libertarian beliefs—as is his proposed tariff, border wall, and a slew of other anti-globalist policies—but he's also talking about deregulating industry, and has nominated (or is considering nominating) several pro-freedom cabinet members. So where do libertarians fall in Trump's America?

"The future of politics is going to be more oriented around a purely issue-by-issue consideration of things," says Reason's Editor at Large Matt Welch. "You're going to have a lot of temporary coalitions." On the other hand, "we also seem to be seeing the rise of a permanent anti-Trump coalition," notes Reason magazine Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward, "and at some point the true Trump oppositionists will consider any kind of coalition building with Trump to be evidence of non-trustworthiness."

In our latest podcast, Nick Gillespie chats with Mangu-Ward and Welch about refugees, "rage exhaustion," tribalism, and how Trump is making us more like Western Europe.

Click below to listen to that conversation—or subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

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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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. Do we make a noise?

    2. Yes, “flat on your faces” is appropriate.

      I didn’t vote for Trump. I voted for Johnson. But I approve of virtually everything Trump has done so far – and have gone from considering him a self-centered buffoon and clown – to appreciating the way he tunes out the noise of hired hecklers and paid protesters.

      As for those who advocate throwing open the borders to everyone world-wide: Will you be responsible for them? If they commit crimes and are sent to prison, will you share their sentence? Will you ensure that they do not cost the American taxpayers one red cent? If they’re hungry, you’ll feed them? Let them live under your roof and buy them clothes? Will you ensure that they assimilate into society as productive citizens? Because if the answer is, “No”, then you violate the first rule of Libertarianism – to act responsibly – to be responsible for the results of your actions.

      Flat on your face.

      On immigration, and foreign policy, what I’d REALLY like to see Trump do is recall our troops from overseas and station them on the border with orders to kill invaders. That would free up ICE workers to run down the DREAM Act list and deport them.

      So Trump comes up just a little short, because all he’s done is told people they can’t come to the US for a while… an action that’s not nearly strong enough. But it’s only his second week on the job.

  1. Skydiving class?

    1. I was gonna say “down the stairs,” but that sounds like more fun.

    2. Down the memory hole?

    3. Voting for CalExit.

    1. Yes, but they will be wearing American flag patches on their uniforms.
      That will make everything OK.

  2. We’re entering a world “much less friendly to our overall belief system and values.”

    That’s a weird way to describe the Libertarian Moment.

    1. Much less friendly than Obama and the Democrats? Really? I must have missed all the government-shrinking and liberty-expanding going on over the past 8 years.

      1. You haven’t been coming here the last 8 years? It’s virtually been a constant libertarian moment. Now it’s just a post-apocalypse wasteland.

        1. Reason has this . . . unique . . . definition of libertarianism which has very little to do with the size and scope of government.

          1. It has a lot to do with porn and twitter.

            1. and Mexican ass sex

            2. Two of Trump’s favorite things, ironically enough.

            3. It has a lot to do with porn and twitter.

              Which is weird because the last 8 yrs. haven’t been exceedingly friendly to porn. If one were to consider private nude sexting among minors as ‘porn’ they’ve actually been exceedingly bad.

              1. And you think with Jeff Sessions running the Justice Department there’s going to be a great flourishing of private nude sexting among minors?

                1. I predict a great flourishing of LEOs monitoring nude sexting among minors.

                2. And you think with Jeff Sessions running the Justice Department there’s going to be a great flourishing of private nude sexting among minors?

                  Please don’t construe my statements to be an endorsement of the current administration.

                  I merely meant to dispel the notion that we’ve been living in some manner of porn libertopia for the past 8 yrs. or that the recent libertarian moment was somehow more substantial for porn than it was for, say, private surveillance or personal liberty in general.

      2. They just showed their love through scorn and beatings.

        1. It’s such a hurtful stereotype that all libertarians are subs. And it hurts so good.

      3. Yeah, Trump has a long way to go before he equals the depths that Obama reached.

        I don’t care for Trump, either, but let’s condemn him one step at a time, not all at once. Not that I’m not totally skeptical about any government.

        1. Um, he was proclaimed as the 2nd coming of Hitler around here a year before he ever served one day in public office.

          1. Hitler? No, that took him daring to be elected. Before that, he was dismissed as a clown. Wrongly so, it turns out, because he was an electable clown, but the left only called him Hitler for being a Republican, and the libertarians mostly just didn’t believe he could be elected.

          2. 2nd coming?

            Hitler was merely the harbinger of Trump. A voice crying in the wilderness.

      4. Much less friendly than Obama and the Democrats? Really? I must have missed all the government-shrinking and liberty-expanding going on over the past 8 years.

        That’s not a fair reading of this article (blurb?). The quotes say, “You’re going to have a lot of temporary coalitions. . . . [W]e also seem to be seeing the rise of a permanent anti-Trump coalition, . . . and at some point the true Trump oppositionists will consider any kind of coalition building with Trump to be evidence of non-trustworthiness.”

        Reason is noting not only the anti-liberty tendencies of the Trump Administration but also the almost pathological opposition the left has to Trump that makes anything but a rickety alliance with them on any given issue damn near impossible.

    2. That’s a weird way to describe the Libertarian Moment.

      Burrrrrrrrrn.

    3. I think instead of “much less friendly” to liberty, it’s “just as unfriendly, but in different ways”.

  3. In the toilet.

  4. I don’t know. I wouldn’t mind less regulations and less of my taxes spent and more school choice. I don’t know if those are libertarian issues anymore.

    1. Those things would seem to be more friendly to libertarian values, wouldn’t they?

    2. What we need is some sort of committee that can officiate what are libertarian positions and what are betrayals of the libertarian cause.

      1. A committee of of wise neck-beards. And they would need a gifted and compassionate leader able to see and appreciated all side on an issue.
        The Hour of HIHN is upon us.

        1. Not funny to even joke about that. Hihntard will jump on it.

        2. Put that out right now!

          *kicks over giant lantern that projects the image of a bully throttling his victim*

          1. [Turns off lights, lights candle, and looks in mirror]

            Michael Hihn, Michael Hihn, Michael Hihn

            1. Reasonoids, they are the best.

      2. Reciprocity of carry permits is unlibertarian because we shouldn’t need permits.

    3. The only libertarian issue is immigration.

      1. If you read Reason it would seem that way

      2. There is also marriage equality for couples.

  5. We’re entering a world “much less friendly to our overall belief system and values.”

    What? What? What the fuck?

    What’s this “we”, kemosabe. The Democrats were not friendly to me or my values. Trump, I can at least see possibilities.

    Your bubble is shiny and lovely, and I loathe it.

    1. Well, all that Obama did was totally fuck up the healthcare system even worse than it already was and raise my taxes to pay for the steaming pile of shit. I mean he tried to do just about every other anti-libertarian thing imaginable, but then the GOP controlled congress ruined it for the most part.

      The feeling that everything has suddenly become worse… I’m just not feeling it.

      1. The tone-deafness is rather breathtaking. I’d love to defend them – I would, really, been turning over a new leaf about giving staffers credit where credit is earned rather than just bitch when they get it wrong – but this is nigh indefensible. It’s almost as if they think the sound and fury of outrage click-bait is the same thing as lasting popularity and a lead-lined reputation for excellence.

        1. The outrageous bullshit gets the most views and comments. It’ll eventually drive people away though.

      2. Hey! He legalized gay marriage! Oh, wait, the courts did that. Well, at least he closed Gitmo!

    2. So you’re saying that you want your kids to drink polluted water, breathe polluted air, take unregulated medicines, eat disease-infested food, work seven day weeks for no pay, and burn alive in the new 300 degree heat? Our government is the only thing standing in the way of that nightmare.

    3. So you’re saying that you want your kids to drink polluted water, breathe polluted air, take unregulated medicines, eat disease-infested food, work seven day weeks for no pay, and burn alive in the new 300 degree heat? Our government is the only thing standing in the way of that nightmare.

      1. And they may be eaten by squirrels.

        1. Not my kids. There’d be little scraps of fur, a forlorn leg in the corner of someone’s underwear drawer and the toilet won’t flush for three days. I know my kids.

          1. They get it honestly.

  6. Reason’s core libertarian beliefs

    When did ‘Reason’ develop “core libertarian beliefs”?

    1. And what are they?

      1. What are they?

        Mexicans, ass sex, and pot.

        It Is Known.

        1. That’s a little out of date. To stay fashionable with collaborators, they replaced Mexicans with Muslims. Wasn’t long after that pot and ass sex got thrown off a building.

        2. Also out of date: food trucks & ferrets.

      2. Weed, Mexicans, and ass sex, duh.

        1. Now we can add Muslims to the mix.

          1. Imported Muslims, none of this domestic shit.

          2. Pot-infused Muslim-Mexican Ass Sex – let it be known across the realm

            1. I support gay Muslim and Mexican couples’ rights to buy AR-15s to defend their recreational Marijuana plots.

    2. Friday afternoon during happy hour cocktails?

    3. You know, the “core libertarian beliefs” that are reflected by the articles written by Richman and Chapman!

      1. Sexist, what about Dalmia?

      2. I love a good Richman kick as any man, but he hasn’t had an article for quite a while now, has he? It has been an improvement.

        1. I miss him. Only Doherty can challenge Richman for libertarian creds.

    4. The schism between hardcore libertarians and unapologetic conservatives seems to be widening amongst the commentariat. Core libertarian values? You know, non-aggression principle, free markets, personal responsibility? Remember them?

      This border fixation, the Trump ban on whoever you call them… these things look like doing the same thing that everyone here is always lamenting about Big Government: controlling groups rather than seeing individuals.

      Whether it’s Einstein postulating that gravity and acceleration feel the same, so maybe they actually have the same basis, or SCOTUS saying it’s not the intent but the effect (Brown vs. Board of Education), if it looks like religious / xenophobic hysteria, then it might as well be.

      I want, I really really want, to think that Trump is doing the right thing for the country, but at the end of the day, the only way I can get ok with it is to let my dark side take over.

      1. This border fixation, the Trump ban on whoever you call them…

        It’s funny that you call it a border fixation when pretty much every conservatarian on the forums (and plenty ‘Team R’ of every stripe in Congress) acknowledge that if we weren’t handing out free shit, immigration wouldn’t be such a problem.

        Even many of the less libertarian-y individuals aren’t wrong in pointing out that, regarding immigration, personal responsibility starts at home.

        1. That is the elephant in the room that no one seems to want to talk about. Stop giving away “free” stuff, shut down the anti-competitive unions, and dump the concept of a minimum wage, and much of the immigration issue will end.

          I have to disagree that “pretty much every conservatarian on the forums (and plenty ‘Team R’ of every stripe in Congress) acknowledge” this. Most of them seem to spend a tremendous amount of energy avoiding that very conversation.

          1. Most of them seem to spend a tremendous amount of energy avoiding that very conversation.

            Because that ship has the wind at its back and a full head of steam. Much the same way it’s not just plain repeal the ACA but repeal and replace or that, on top of providing comprehensive medical coverage to pretty much any woman under the ACA, we can’t trim back a little bit on our funding of Planned Parenthood.

          2. GroundTruth, the number of libertarians here in the commentariat has been dwindling. I think most of them have had the sense to get out of here. It’s just a bunch of Trump fellating now. Getting kinda boring.

        2. Yes, they acknowledge that. But then they spend their time going on about how real countries have border walls and how Muslims and Mexicans are going to ruin our civilization and not about welfare, rather than how the welfare state enables most of the problems.

          I think it shows where some people’s priorities are.

  7. Where do libertarians fall in Trump’s America? We’re irrelevant as usual so not much has really changed.

    1. Best answer so far.

    2. On our S-Words for $1,000, Alex.

    3. Yup.

      And honestly, at this point, irrelevance seems better than the alternatives.

  8. Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump’s America?

    Wherever our bodies hit the ground after being put up against a wall? /sarc

    1. ^this here. We’re not with progressives so we are against them, by their estimation. /no sarc

  9. “Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees is anathema to our core beliefs…”

    Nick, aren’t there respected libertarian voices on both sides of this debate? Why not lay them out for us?
    Is it core libertarianism that anyone getting off a plane, or crossing, into the U.S. is to be admitted without examination of any kind?

    1. That wasn’t even Nick’s position a few days ago, but that was before the pants-shitting signal was lit.

    2. It’s interesting to see Nick talking about core beliefs while he has on several occasions expressed his support for welfare statism. I thought the whole “redistribution” thing was something that every libertarian regardless of their flavor of libertarianism, could agree on. Assuming of course that Noam Chomsky types are not libertarians.

      1. There are libertarians who are “okay” with the welfare state in the sense that they don’t find eliminating it be realistic or worth pursuing. That having been said, a full throated defense of the welfare state would IMO put you outside the bounds of libertarianism. You’re not really supporting free minds or free markets if you’re saying it’s a moral prerogative to take money from some people at the end of a gun for the express purpose of handing it to someone else (with or without some of it getting siphoned off to grease the wheels of bureaucracy).

        I don’t know which side of that line Gillespie falls on, though.

        1. That having been said, a full throated defense of the welfare state would IMO put you outside the bounds of libertarianism.[…] I don’t know which side of that line Gillespie falls on, though.

          It’s obviously not a position he writes all that many articles about, but on several occasions he gave support.

          I happily support a social safety net (preferably financed by the private sector but I’m OK with the public sector taking up the slack), especially for people who cannot care for themselves

          I get that none of us want to see old people dying in the street. But this is just another “muh roads” argument reformed into something else with even less credibility than that argument. I don’t think for a minute that in the absence of of compulsory welfare programs disabled people will die by the thousands. If we as a society are so utterly horrified at the prospect, it stands to reason that we as a society would launch a legion of new and reinvigorated charities to fill the gap without needing to point a gun at anyone to make it happen.

          1. I don’t think for a minute that in the absence of of compulsory welfare programs disabled people will die by the thousands.

            Rather empirically, they die by the thousands whether we prop them up with tax dollars or not.

            But, exactly, if we were so horrified of people dying in the street or without dignity or whatever, we’d find a way to deal with it.

          2. But this is just another “muh roads” argument

            Yes. But the thing is, for everybody who recognizes that “muh roads” is a fallacy, there’s a dozen people who don’t spend a minute thinking about who should be building the roads. If you open with, “the government shouldn’t be building roads” you may as well be saying “there should be no roads”. Do you start with a moderate approach and try to explain the argument more fully?

      2. It’s obviously a gradual scale. I don’t mind hobos getting food stamps, I’m not an ancap, maybe that means I’m not a ‘true libertarian’ and I don’t really give a shit.

        I would set the bar for ‘reasonable libertarian position’ at: currently the state spends far too much money on entitlements.

        Far fewer people should be eligible for disability and probably workers comp and a host of other crap. These are facts.

  10. Back into the category of “easily ignored” for too-often bending so-called “Core Beliefs” to fit ad-hoc and politically-convenient postures?

    *and wow, did that involve a lot of hyphenation

    1. today’s LOL case study in Core Libertarian Beliefs being =

      Objecting to “temporary travel bans” on the basis they interfere with our “Military Interests

      you know, those “Military Interests” libertarians are always defending…. like bombing refugee camps.. God forbid people have their travel plans upset? Why, it might make our Syrian “allies” confused and upset!

      1. LOL. I would give every refugee an AK-47 and send them back home.

    2. I think we are in even worse straits.

      This isn’t only about Trump- it is about the general sentiment of middle class America.

      20 years ago, people protesting free trade were considered wacko commies, or Union stooges (but I repeat myself). The general sentiment today is that free trade is bad, because it costs Americans jobs. Immigration goes hand in hand with that same sentiment- movement of labor is a market question.

      Certainly, economic concerns are not the end-all-be-all of libertarian values, but since so many of our day-to-day decisions have an economic angle, the anti free-trade sentiment in the country is pretty fucking depressing.

      1. The general sentiment today, among actual libertarians, is that free trade is awesome and wonderful–and we could all really use some. Trade managed for the benefit of politicians and their cronies with the words ‘free’ and ‘trade’ scotch taped on doesn’t cut it.

        There’s some actual leveling that needs to be done to get the playing field back to even.

        1. The “level playing field” is only as real as the strawberry-scented unicorn belch.

          Stop all trade restrictions on Americans, FTW.

          1. Attempts to “level the playing field” inevitably lead to more, not less, socialism. It’s sad that so many libertarianish conservatives fall into the same trap that got us into this mess in the first place. You are never going to have everyone playing by the same rules. So if you insist on waiting for that before respecting people’s rights to engage in commerce as they see fit, economic liberty will never happen.

        2. Is this how Trumpkins rationalize protectionism now? “Free trade agreements aren’t really free, what differences does it make if we go full mercantilist?”

          1. Pretty much. Of the Chinese government oppresses its citizens to our benefit, then we need our government to oppress us so that we can have a level playing field.

            Once everyone is exactly 6’3″ tall, we can play REAL basketball.

            1. Of the Chinese government oppresses its citizens to our benefit, then we need our government to oppress us so that we can have a level playing field.

              Yeah, because the US would never oppress its citizens and shame China into doing the same.

              *Our* TOP MEN are the. right. TOP MEN. Always.

          2. I don’t get that either.

            The initial observation is true and worth noting. “Free Trade agreements” aren’t usually all that free (why the hell does NAFTA mean I have to fill out more paperwork to send something to Canada?).

            But some seem to be going from there directly to “so new tariffs and trade restrictions are just fine”.

            1. Are you really expecting them to admit Trump did something wrong?

              1. I don’t know what to expect anymore.

                1. Expect…the unexpected.

  11. Libertarians tend to have less shitty pants at this point in the Trumpocalypse.

  12. Trump signs executive order requiring that for every one new regulation, two must be revoked

    “The executive order calls for agencies to pinpoint “at least two” current regulations to be repealed for each new proposed regulation. And it says the net incremental cost for fiscal 2017 should “be no greater than zero,” meaning the cost of new regulations should be offset by existing rules that will be rescinded.”

    1. I guess that doesn’t count as libertarian.

    2. This is more important than the supposed ban but that’s all anyone will be talking about. They have to be doing this on purpose.

    3. It’s a start, but it will take a million years to get there. Anyway, they’ll just roll all of them back into a giant omnibus clusterfuck and be done with it.

    4. Don’t get me wrong, big big fan of this. But seriously, do we have any indication this will actually work out? I don’t really see any good guidelines to implement this.

      1. That’s a good point-I like the sentiment though.

      2. Well the zero cost component is key. Almost every form of regulation goes through a cost vetting process, where they analyze how much the compliance burden will cost the private sector.

        However, I can see this backfiring. Switching costs are still costs. Companies may find themselves spending more money to become compliant with one regulation and to STOP complying with discontinued regulations, than if they just had the new regulation to worry about. Sure, in the long run, they may net zero cost. But in the present term, this will increase their uncertainty as we have added 3 regulations to deal with (2 old, one new) rather than the one.

        Still, in the long term, this will be helpful, despite the extra churn and uncertainty it will cause.

        1. ‘ Almost every form of regulation goes through a cost vetting process, where they analyze how much the compliance burden will cost the private sector.’
          Ho Ho!
          The EPA was recently taken to the Supreme Court over just this issue, fortunately the EPA lost. The notion that cost vetting is the norm requires some supporting facts.

        2. Cost vetting process = making wild assumptions about costs and benefits based on vague notions, intuitions and biased guesses to arrive at some completely meaningless number with no error bars.

          Regarding switching costs, I used to have to deal with legal compliance in my job, and the only switching cost I can think of to deal with a repealed regulation is the small amount time it would take to call a meeting and say: (1) call outside counsel, thank them for their help up to this point and tell them we won’t need their $700/hr advice on this issue any more and (2) the committee formed to research, waste time thinking about and meeting on this issue for hours on end every week, and cajole recalcitrant employees to implement policies that they do not understand and whose value they understandably do not see, is hereby dissolved.

      3. It could be a big nothing. Not all regulations are created equal. There is no reason to assume that new regulations still won’t be more damaging than the 2 that are got rid of. How about just ordering departments to cut regulations? Or even better, trying to get congress to do something about it so the next president can’t just do whatever they want.

        1. I greatly appreciate the general sentiment of the directive, and do not take the 2 to 1 detail literally (what the heck counts as “one” or “two” regulations?). The overarching point Trump is making is that regulations are more bad (cutting two) than good, which he is willing to concede is possible (making one). I agree that just ordering departments to cut without making is better, but he is trying to make the cutting more palatable by signaling that he is not some radical anarchist who wants to slash and burn (which is my own preference).

          1. Sure. I’ll put that one in the “not terrible, possibly good” pile.

  13. Less friendly to libertarianism than socialism? I have no doubt that Trump will not be friendly to libertarianism, but let’s not pretend we’ve been living in the wonderful world of no roadz prior to 1/20.

    1. No, apparently we are going to pretend just that.

      1. Look, a few Muslim immigrants feelz have been hurt and all you can think about is the mountain of suffocating regulation burying us all? What kind of libertarian are you!?

        1. I’m a man who thinks, I’m a man who drinks, so please let me live my life.

  14. “The future of politics is going to be more oriented around a purely issue-by-issue consideration of things,” says Reason’s Editor at Large Matt Welch.

    Which is the only kind of environment libertarians in which have much chance of getting stuff done.

    at some point the true Trump oppositionists will consider any kind of coalition building with Trump to be evidence of non-trustworthiness.”

    At some point? Hasn’t that already happened?

    The notion that Trump’s administration will be more hostile to libertarians than Obama’s administration is, well, premature at best, and delusional at worst.

    C’mon, Reason. There are innumerable evolutionary niches wide open in the current media environment. I don’t know why you insist on trying to serve niches that are already over-supplied by vast swathes of the current media. I can get hot take outrage just about anywhere. Give me something different – rational analysis of what Trump has actually done, historical context, proposals for getting him to do something libertarian, something.

    1. Since Trump’s election, Reason is pretty much Huffington Post with intelligent commenters.

      1. Reason is pretty much Huffington Post with intelligent commenters.

        Ummmm….

        1. You’re welcome.

      2. The commentariat is the only reason I contributed to the last money bucket.

        1. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but we don’t see any of that money.

          1. Sucker

          2. Oh, OK. I guess it all goes to look after the little orphan monocle polishers.

      3. I’ll give you that the commentariate is one of the few reasons that I lurk here. But only because I seek to learn intelligent right-wing viewpoints. Most libertarians with actual principles seem to have stopped posting. What’s left are not libertarians (small l) but seems to be mostly small government team red tribalists.

        1. Most libertarians with actual principles seem to have stopped posting.

          Or switched the focus of posting to humor.

          Sad but true.

    2. this.

    3. The inanity of the staff here is intensifying daily at this point.

  15. “Trump is making us more like Western Europe.”

    I thought Western Europe was cosmotopia? Oh you mean the rubes that do all the work.

    1. Since Trump is severely limiting migrants from the ME, isn’t he making us less like Western Europe with its open door policy to any and all ME migrants?

      1. I’m not sure how he’s ‘severely’ limiting anything. Those Muslims can just migrate to Europe and once they have a visa there, they can make the USA in only one more hop.

        1. Anyway, Zoolander has committed to taking them all. Why would they want to come to racist America anyway if they can get into the progtopia of Canuckistan? See it even has a name similar to where they came from.

          1. Free Quebecois French classes for all!

        2. Those Muslims can just migrate to Europe and once they have a visa there, they can make the USA in only one more hop.

          So you have no idea what the EO does. More informed commenting!

          1. *blocks turd sandwitch*

            1. I hope your wife’s naturalization goes smoothly.

    2. Look, those bitches in Cologne probably wanted it. Get off Reason’s back.

      1. Hey, my blood is boiling over a 3 month pause in travel from the 8th Century. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to sleep.

      2. They were just trying to introduce the native women to a new sexual technique. We’ll call it passionate sodomy, because it involves no lubricant — just insert harshly, ram, and enjoy.

        1. Blood is a lubricant, you know.

    3. In the end, you reap what you sow. Liberals have created this massive social welfare state which is fundamentally envy-based. Trump just doubles-down on this envy that liberals have created in the first place.

  16. “The future of politics is going to be more oriented around a purely issue-by-issue consideration of things,” says Reason’s Editor at Large Matt Welch. “You’re going to have a lot of temporary coalitions.”

    And this is different than any other presidential administration….how, exactly? There are some horrible aspects to the Trump administration, and there are some promising aspects. The negative still outweighs the positive, but by a lesser margin than during Obama’s tenure, which was almost uniformly anti-liberty.

    1. Well I for one am happy to hear that Congress is going to stop creating massive pork filled omnibus bills.

  17. “We’re entering a world “much less friendly to our overall belief system and values.”

    Barack Obama was entirely hostile to libertarian ideas–especially capitalism. Meanwhile, being a progressive is all about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices for the collective good.

    That was unfriendly to our overall belief system and values.

    Trump wants to repeal ObamaCare, and he started out by doing what he could to get rid of the individual mandate.

    His next big project is repealing Dodd-Frank along with all sorts of other regulation.

    Things are better for libertarianism going forward than they were.

    I’d even extend that to public discourse as a libertarian issue. We’re seeing the prospect of hate speech laws and PC used as a means to demonize unpopular speech fading like last night’s bad dream–and that’s because of Trump.

    1. It’s important to note that better =/= good. It just means less horrible.

    2. Trump wants to stop the government from forcing people to act against their religious beliefs. He also supports gun rights and will very likely appoint a justice to replace Scalia that will ensure the future of Heller and McDonald.

      That statement really shows you what Nick considers important and what he doesn’t. Basically, freedom of contract, gun rights and religious freedom don’t mean much to Nick, otherwise he would be more circumspect about Trump. What Nick cares about his immigration and trade. Everything else is just something Nick likes but can be given away whenever it is necessary to accomplish the important things.

      1. Since trade is a pretty big component of the freedom to contract, I don’t see your points being as relevant.

        Yeah, Trump is at least sounding good on guns. And he sounds decent on religious beliefs.

        However, religious liberty of a business is small comfort if that company is forced to pay more for labor and goods because of tariffs imposed on imported goods. The anti-trade impacts of a Trump (or Sanders, for that matter) administration will have far more deleterious effects on our quality of life than a baker being allowed to follow his religious conscience on whose wedding cake they make.

        Again, I am all for freedom of contract. But I am for full freedom of contract. That means a cake maker should be able to bake what he wants and source labor or goods from wherever he wants. That Trump allows for one but not the other is pretty troubling to a libertarian.

        1. Insofar as an increase in tariffs is offset by a decrease in income taxes, which does seem to be Trump’s plan, the question is more one of “how should the government raise revenue?” not “can the government interfere with contract”, because the contract between employer and employee is not materially different from the contract between purchaser and supplier.

          That having been said, an increase in any tax is not desirable to me, even if it is offset elsewhere. I would rather see the one tax stay low and the other go lower. Our government does not have a revenue problem.

        2. If you think trade is more important than freedom of religion and gun rights, that is your value judgement. I can’t really argue with you except to say that I disagree.

          The point is not that Trump is some Libertarian savior. He is not. The point is that Obama was completely awful and Trump does have his positive points. Given that, I don’t see how anyone can reasonably say Libertarians are any worse off than they were under Obama, let alone entering some kind of new dark unfriendly era.

          1. It’s not just Obama who was awful. Bush Jr. was no great shakes either.

        3. Concern trolling 101.

          1. Bash John Day?

            1. In Russia John bash you.

          2. How is stating the truth concern trolling? What about anything I said isn’t true?

            1. John, my dear dear friend, look at the threading. That was addressed to Overt.
              I love you like a brother but you are not the only person I talk to 🙂

              1. Sorry about that.

        4. I am for full freedom of contract. That means a cake maker should be able to bake what he wants and source labor or goods from wherever he wants..

          I don’t think anyone has a problem with an employer sourcing labor from wherever they want–if they want to hire people from some other country, they’re perfectly free to go there, recruit, and help their new hire through the process that will allow them to work here–a process most think should be streamlined.

          But a LOT of people think ‘sourcing labor from wherever they want’ means letting people wander in and out of the country at whim, just in case someone wants to hire an employee without being burdened by the mass of labor regulations that is, even now, making even non skilled American workers too expensive to employ.

          1. The problem there is not that people can ‘wander in and out at a whim.’ The problem is the overregulated domestic labor market.

            By the same principle that I shouldn’t have to pay more for a Japanese car because the UAW fucked over the American auto industry or that it’s bad to kneecap the black sprinters to make the race fair for the white ones. When there’s a problem you don’t compound it with a new problem to make everyone more equally fucked over.

    3. Obama showed no promise at all from a libertarian perspective. All we could do was sit and watch and hope that he would be stopped on some of the stuff he was trying to do. The guy’s a fucking communist, for crikey sake.

      Trump does show some promise from a libertarian perspective as far as regulation and taxes go. He’s worrisome on the law and order rhetoric.

      But I’ll take Trump over Obama any day. And especially over Hillary. Now he might change my mind, but he’ll have to do some pretty ugly stuff to make me like Obama better.

      1. Don’t worry, he’s working on it.

    4. “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

      Totes libertarian, guys.

      1. Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works.

        “Voices” like, um, Ronald Reagan?

    5. The sad thing is, even if Trump did those things that you outline above, we are back to 2008 in terms of liberty, essentially back to 0 for the last decade.

      1. Sounds like a big improvement!

  18. “You’re going to have a lot of temporary coalitions.”

    So several years of the left lining the football up for libertarians to whiff at, a la Lucy/Charlie Brown? Bush Years II, Electric Boogaloo.

  19. How is the world any less friendly to Libertarians today than it was when Obama was in charge? How exactly was Obama or politics of the last 8 years friendly to Libertarians? Trump is worse from a libertarian perspective on trade and immigration. He is better on interventionism, guns, and the regulatory state. He appears to be a wash on social issues but better on religious freedom.

    You can debate whether or Obama or Trump is “worse” depending on what issues you consider to be most important. But I don’t see how you can say either is more or less friendly to libertarian ideas than the other. Each are a mixed bag of both good and bad things.

    For Gillespie to look up Trump as some sort of dark night falling on Libertarianism requires him to completely ignore the harms done to freedom under Obama as well as the good things for freedom Trump is doing.

    And for the last time, stop calling it “Trump’s America”. Trump does not own the country. The country owns him.

    1. He’s only been only been in office for a week and a half. I’ll wait at least a year before I decide whether he’s better or worse than Obama on foreign policy (I.e., which of his personalities he delegates that one to)

      1. True. But Nick has already decided he is “worse” absent any real evidence.

  20. We’re entering a world “much less friendly to our overall belief system and values.”

    can anyone name 1 policy area where Obama was “Much more friendly to libertarian ‘belief systems'”?

    (*and note: simply occasionally aligning on the same basic policy isn’t the same as ‘friendly to the belief system’. e.g. Objecting to drug-war sentencing disparities while strongly supporting the drug war overall isn’t about any “belief system” alignment)

    And if the only example you can think of is “his attitude towards “Officially Sanctioned Torture”…(which mostly involved a perfunctory ‘ban’ on activities largely abandoned and already proscribed)… where exactly is the “much-less-friendly” coming from, then?

    1. “can anyone name 1 policy area where Obama was “Much more friendly to libertarian ‘belief systems'”?

      Umm, he closed Gitmo. Oh shit, well, he descheduled weed… oh, fuck… he stopping murder droning people in poor 3rd world countries… well damnit! Never mind! The answer is NO! Thanks, Obama!

      1. Say what you want about Obama but he did get the US out of the business of drone striking anyone they think might be a terrorist and he also took pot off the federal controlled substance list. Right? He did do that right?

        1. Well, I just said that he did, and I was wrong.

          1. I was being sarcastic. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

          2. Wrong!!
            Look is Hihn every wrong? No of course not.
            Are you better than Hihn; sure, no caps and bold for starters.
            Therefore by impeccable logic you are RIGHT!

            1. Is Hihn the turd sammich with the Hail Rataxes sock handle?

              1. I don’t think Hail is Hihn, more like Tupla and Co.

                1. I agree. Hihn would never say in five words what he could say in fifty, complete with a reference to a CATO survey or a C+C of a free society versus a libertarian society.

                  Hail is an asshole, but he’s at least succinct.

    2. The subject of Obama and attitudes towards freedom and values should never be discussed without mentioning that Obama is the first President in US history to order the assassination of a US citizen who was not anywhere near a combat zone and could have been captured by the local government and turned over to us had we wished. Obama ordered the judicial murder of a US citizen.

      I would think that Nick would see that as kind of a big deal and a pretty fucking serious assault on his belief system as a Libertarian. But that is just me.

      1. The subject of Obama and attitudes towards freedom and values should never be discussed without mentioning that Obama is the first President in US history to order the assassination of a US citizen who was not anywhere near a combat zone and could have been captured by the local government and turned over to us had we wished. Obama ordered the judicial murder of a US citizen.

        This cannot be stated often enough or loud enough. Puts him on the short list of murdering bastards that also have Nobel Peace prizes.

        1. “extrajudicial” correct?

          1. extra judicial. yes.

          2. Yes.

            +1 John-o

          3. It wasn’t just judicial, it was *extra* judicial. Obama so great, he doesn’t just do legal stuff, he does stuff that’s extra legal!

    3. Barack Obama nationalized GM and gave majority control to the UAW.

      “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right”.

      —-Hugo Chavez

      http://www.reuters.com/article…..GX20090603

      1. Random aside: I was listening to Milton Friedman on Donahue yesterday (well, the interview was from 1979), and I was fascinated by the dialogue they had about bailing out Chrysler. Of specific interest was the devil’s-advocate retort Donahue had to the idea of Chrysler failing and being bought out by GM or Ford. “It would be like Sears buying out K-Mart!”

        I chuckled a bit when I heard that.

        1. It’s the cognitive dissonance of the left: on the one hand, big corporations are greedy and evil and probably shouldn’t even exist. On the other hand, we must perpetuate their existence with bailouts instead of leaving them to die or be shredded in bankruptcy.

  21. Doesn’t anyone else remember when free speech was racist, religious freedom was homophobic, free association was misogynist, etc.?

    It was only three months ago!

    1. Sorry, got two of those backwards:

      Free speech was racist.

      Religious freedom was misogynist. (Nuns should be forced to finance fornication)

      Free association was homophobic. (Bake me a cake . . . or else!)

    2. I remember when a web site that didnt work that inconvenienced millions of Americans and taking their Doctor and their healh insurance away was no big deal but baning some green card holders and some other non citizens is akin to the apocalypse.

  22. “much less friendly to our overall belief system and values.”

    Notice how everyone in the comments is for the most part pointing and laughing at you for making such an obtuse statement.

    I’m all about wider gates and taller fences but is a “core value” of libertarianism open borders with no nation states at all?

    1. I doubt it. Some of us here, and among the staffers, have some of these ideas. We don’t own the libertarian brand though, and frankly I suspect we’d do better to make stronger arguments for our values than ignore anyone who doesn’t see things our way and dismiss them as No True Scotsman.

    2. The incoherence of the “open borders” position , and the ignorance in which it is wrapped, continues to rankle.

      Restricting immigration is posited as a violation of the basic human right to live where you want. But, the open borders folks keep a few restrictions – communicable diseases, criminal history – without explaining how those aren’t inconsistent with the basic human right they claim to support.

      They also overlook that any restrictions means an enforcement agency. And, finally, they overlook that the current restrictions are, wait for it, communicable diseases, criminal history, and a verified means of support (because welfare state). If pressed, they will generally agree that immigrants shouldn’t get welfare, which puts them pretty much in line with the current restrictions at a high level.

      The implementation of current restrictions is crap, of course, as will inevitably happen when you have an enforcement agency charged with restricting immigration for any reason, much less the three that the “nativists” and the open borders folks actually agree on in principle.

      1. Well said. And let’s also point out that it is entirely legal, and traditional, and common fucking sense, to prohibit immigration by people who have anti-American beliefs. One error that people make is to believe that “freedom of religion” means that all religions are the same. They aren’t. One is explicitly anti-libertarian. It believes that women are inferior, that gays and Jews and apostates and blasphemers should be killed, and that the world should be a global theocratic dictatorship.

        Libertarianism is not a suicide pact. No more Muslim immigration or refugees.

        1. I have a feeling that what we’re going to see in Europe over the next year or so is going to change a lot of people’s minds about that topic. Of course the hard left will just say it’s Trump’s fault and blindly continue to rally for more Muslim immigrants. I Just don’t think that’s going to be a winning tactic in the future.

          1. I think the backlash against Islamic immigration will happen there first, thankfully. And it will be hard for the MSM and the left to suppress the news or argue that more Muslim immigration here makes any sense. The left is doubling down on this, and I don’t see a way they can win on it.

        2. If you think assuming that Muslims invariably have ‘anti American’ beliefs (i don’t consider myself a ‘patriot’ so that probably includes me too) but Jews and Christians don’t, then you’ve lost your marbles and there’s no reasoning with you. Pretty much any major religion or ideology has both the text and history to justify declaring it inconsistent with ‘Murican ideals.

          You frankly may as well be arguing that public universities are right to ban male students because of toxic masculinity.

          1. While one can take Jewish and Christian beliefs to extremes, it’s rare. Islam, though, has inherent beliefs which conflict with American (and Western enlightenment) values. You can see that in every country ruled by Muslims. The only reason every Muslim doesn’t act on them all the time is because they aren’t all sufficiently devout all the time.

  23. I have to ask something. We’ve all heard the boy who cried wolf warnings about Donald Trump. People have been going so off the rails at things that turn out to be no less innocuous than anything that’s been being done for at least the last eight years (in many cases more innocuous). When he does start actually becoming a dangerous authoritarian, who’s going to believe those saying so? Libertarian columnists seem acutely susceptible to this.

    But, I’d add another risk. If Mr. Trump actually starts becoming a dangerous authoritarian, who exactly would libertarians ally with against him? In reaction to Trump, progressives have gone full bat-shit insane. And the right has lined up behind him in reaction. Would it make sense to ally with foaming-at-the-mouth progressives who have proven even more authoritarian than Trump?

    1. How would he become an authoritarian and what would he do? Lets talk brass tacks here. What is Trump going to do? Rewrite Obamacare? Repeal a bunch of progressive regulations and controls on our freedoms without crossing all of the Ts and dotting the Is?

      I guess he could torture terrorist suspects. But Bush did that. Obama ordered the assasination of an American citizen and launched a war in Syria without so much as asking Congress. So hard to see what he could do worse than that. Oh yeah, Obama also used the DOJ to go after reporters and the IRS to go after conservative political groups.

      So what exactly is Trump going to do that is going to make him an authoritarian any more than the last three Presidents were?

      1. “So what exactly is Trump going to do”

        That’s the thing. No one really knows. Even this latest thing. These are temporary measures. No one knows what he is going to do in 90/120 days. They don’t even know or care why he did it, only that they get another shot at calling him a facist.

        1. Even if you take him at his word and he bans Muslims, builds a wall on the Mexican border, deports all 11 million illegals, and walks away from NATO and us entanglement in the middle east, how is that by any objective measure worse than Obama and Bush?

          That is not meant as a “Obama did it too” defense of Trump. My point is that I see no reason to think Trump is going to be any worse from a Libertarian perspective than Obama and Bush and there are things he might be better on. That doesn’t make Trump good. But it does make Nick’s talk of the dark night falling on Libertarians pretty curious and unwarranted.

      2. So what exactly is Trump going to do that is going to make him an authoritarian any more than the last three Presidents were?

        Hence, “things that turn out to be no less innocuous than anything that’s been being done for at least the last eight years (in many cases more innocuous).”

        But, I’m talking a hypothetical here. And I know you approve of Trump more than a lot of us, but he has been an adcvocate of executive action. Regardless of whether you agree wiht his policies, bypassing Congress is consistent with authoritarianism. As is flouting federalism to close marijuana dealers (e.g. Sessions). Even if he’s less authoritarian in some ways than some of our previous leaders, I don’t see a shift as an impossibility.

        And that is where I have to wonder, where would libertarians turn for allies? Trump’s opposition has gone so utterly batshit crazy that no one seems interested in anything other than permanent triumph with the boots on the other side’s face. And his allies have dug in accordingly.

        1. Here is the other question. What if Trump succeeds in finally breaking the back of the MSM and actually reduces the regulatory state for the first time in 70 years. Isn’t it possible that the benefits of the MSM and PC no longer stifling debate in this country and having the ability to declare libertarian ideas out of bounds for political debate and the rolling back of the regulatory state might be worth it from a libertarian perspective even if it means closing the borders and having a bit of perfectionism?

          If Trump makes serious strides in reducing the regulatory state, that will be the first unalloyed libertarian thing that has happened in this country since they said states could no longer ban birth control. That would be a pretty big deal. Wouldn’t it?

          1. Yes, it would. And, like I said, while Trump isn’t a libertarian, he’s been less authoritarian in some ways than the last couple of presidents. And if he does that, it’d be great, beautiful, tremendous, the best.

            But, I think we’re talking past each other. I’m not saying Trump is this horrible, horrible president. I’m saying his opponents have gone so insane that, really, it’s closing the door on any sane libertarian to oppose him.

            1. “He’s been…”
              In office for like 10 days.

          2. What if Trump succeeds in finally breaking the back of the MSM

            Not going to happen. Won’t ever happen. The MSM is doing a good job of marginalizing themselves, but they’re always going to have a sizable audience. That’s why Jeff Bezos and Carlos Slim buy their way in.

            I think they’re going to lose more audience, but the trend won’t continue indefinitely.

            1. If the media mattered Trump wouldn’t be President. And Bezos and Slim bought their way in as vanity projects. The Times and the Post are paid for out of the change they find in their couches. They bought in to feel important not because they are going to accomplish anything.

        2. I’ll give you an example. The EO in question had some really stupid provisions. Things I can honestly say I don’t like (application to legal U.S. residents, no exemptions for those who have worked for us, etc.). Libertarians would have been well within their principles to object. But the protests amounted to “TRUMP ID DA DEBIL!!! HE’S GONNA ROUND THE MUSLIMS UP IN CAMPS!!! HITLER 2.0!!! HE AND HIS SUPPORTERS SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND SHOT!!!”. Libertarians are going to ally with that?!

          1. Libertarians are right to object to the EO. But as you say for reasons that have nothing to do with the retards who are protesting. I don’t think Libertarians should associate themselves with that.

            Libertarians should seek allies from Trump’s supporters. They should portray themselves as honest brokers who don’t always agree with Trump but agree with him when he is right and offer principled criticism and offer alternatives when they don’t.. Not everyone who voted for Trump agrees with everything he does. And they will be looking for people to offer sane criticisms when they don’t. The lunacy of the left’s response to Trump creates an opening for Libertarians to be a sane opposition. Without that, ti will be Trump or the political equivalent of a screaming angry three year old. And Trump will win that every time.

            1. Problem is too many libertarian columnists are starting to join the screaming angry three-year-olds.

              1. I agree. Whoever thought hiring a bunch of 20 something aspiring Washington journalists and wonks to staff a Libertarian magazine had a screw loose.

            2. They should portray themselves as be honest brokers who don’t always agree with Trump but agree with him when he is right and offer principled criticism and offer alternatives when they don’t.

              This should be Reason’s plan for covering the federal government over the next four years.

          2. This is a terrific point. As I mentioned in another thread, a Facebook friend of mine had her adolescent daughters standing in JFK holding a sign that said, “End White Supremacy”. No shit. I mean, first, how do you work with people when you have to shout over the voices in their head to be heard? And, second, if this is an enemy-of-my-enemy situation, whose to say that Trump is the one to align against?

        3. ‘Trump’s opposition has gone so utterly batshit crazy that no one seems interested in anything other than permanent triumph with the boots on the other side’s face. And his allies have dug in accordingly.’
          This. I think you are right and it will only pick up speed from here.

      3. In theory, he could turn his rhetoric against the media into an actual attempt to punish dissent. I think that’s a stretch and I’m not really sure how he would do it. BUT, that would be a step beyond the others.

    2. No matter what he does, the left will be going off the rails. Every day that there isn’t a D in the White House is Kristallnacht. I’ll speak out against Trump and I do all of the time, but I’ll also continue to point out the blatent lies of the left.

      1. He’s probably going to nominate someone for SCOTUS tomorrow. Not sure how the left will divide their attention for that with ‘muh Muslims, OMG muh Muslims, free muh Muslims!’

        1. Please let it be a libertarian of some sort. We really need one.

          1. It will be some law and order Republican. I wish it would be a libertarian, but I’m sure that it won’t.

            1. Me, too, but justices are known for doing their own thing once appointed.

              1. This. So long as a nominee is qualified, they can be expected to take being a SCJ seriously. Republican nominees never seem to turn out as conservative as one expects, and Democrat nominees never seem to turn out as liberal as one expects.

          2. Reporter: “How does it feel to be the lone libertarian?”

            Justice: “We’re kind of used to it.”

            1. Almost verbatim from my most recent conversation with partisan liberals.

        2. Not sure how the left will divide their attention

          “Alternative facts” happened 2 weeks ago.

          The fact is that they can’t divide their attention, and Trump will get them foaming at the mouth about the SCOTUS pick while sneaking some other stuff under the radar.

    3. A very good question. The thing I think all the media are missing is that Trump himself is much less disturbing than what his election represents: a very large number of Americans being angry and disillusioned enough to turn their backs on the “American Dream” social contract that non-elites have typically had with respect to elites (ie, “we’re OK with a small number of people having a huge amount of wealth and political power, so long as they use that power to make our lives reasonably comfortable”). This is disturbing from a “social unrest” perspective, as it’s not a recipe for a stable society, but it’s also disturbing for what it implies about what might follow Trump if his economic policies fail. If these angry, disillusioned people end up turning Trump out of office, they won’t be replacing him with a CNN-approved Beltway lifer; they’ll likely turn to someone even more out of left field.

  24. Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump’s America?

    Better than under Obama. Better than under Clinton.

    Worse than under Paul (but he wasn’t a viable option).

    Any other dumb questions you want to ask?

    1. Worse than under Paul (but he wasn’t a viable option).

      Hey!

  25. There is no point to teaming up with progressives. They will kick libertarians to the curb once they get their opportunity.

    They care about their team having power over others…that is all that matters to them. They aren’t acting in good faith.

    You shouldn’t ally with totalitarians because the new guy may be one.

    With Hillary every single area would have been worse from a libertarian perspective. With trump, you have some worse and others good.

  26. How can Donald Trump’s murky centrism even faintly compare in its inadvisability and deleteriousness to the eight-year reign of a communist-raised progressive malcontent whose ideology is the literal antithesis of American republicanism and libertarian principles?

    Are these people honestly this fucking retarded?

    1. I love the implication that centrism is not extremely statist.

      1. No such implication exists, or was intended.

        Murky centrism is shitty, but progressivism is Satanically atrocious.

        Centrism isn’t as bad.

        Do you understand?

        1. I understand you irrationally hate the left, yes.

          1. The extremity of your mental defectiveness astounds me.

          2. There is absolutely nothing irrational about despising the left.

          3. Irrational Tulpa? Just look at the mountain of bodies.

        2. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother replying to it.

        3. Honestly, I wouldn’t bother replying to it.

          1. You’re right. This is pointless.

            1. Someone said it’s Hihn. Didn’t believe it at first–too coherent–but I saw the genuine article in another thread and he appears to have stabilized somewhat. I mean, in the delivery, not in the outlook.

      2. If centrism is extremely statist, then at least one of the endpoints of the political spectrum must be extremely statist as well, and neither of the endpoints can be extremely libertarian. So it can both be true that centrism is extremely statist and that what preceded was equally if not more so.

        1. It’s almost like left and right are not on the same axis as libertarian and authoritarian.

          1. Axis implies orthogonality. It can exist along a line which is not perpendicular to any consistent axis.

  27. You know the canard that progressives like to throw out that Somalia is a libertarian paradise. I suggest pointing that it actually followed the stages of marxism

    was sort of a free country –> morphed into socialism—> dictatorship (shocker) for redistribution and then finally collapsed into Utopia run by a bunch of war lords

    Venezeula is going thru the phases now…just entering the dictator phase.

    1. I would say, on the brink of the collapse phase.

      1. For their citizens yes…for the dictator no. It is just playing out like all socialist societies do…those at the top have all the wealth while everyone else is poor and scraping by.

        Progs rail about oligarchy but yet love socialism. Mind boggling

        1. Progs rail about oligarchy but yet love socialism. Mind boggling

          As your namesake illustrates, they like to play the game “but not Marxist socialism”. Of course, the problem with this argument is that they also tend to defend states and parties that are Marxist, but you’re not supposed to notice that.

          Their vision, to the extent it has any coherence, is of a semi-liberal quasi-democratic social welfare state, in which the people have some say (but not too much!) and some liberties (subject to “reasonable” regulation) while getting taken care of by the government (ideally, from cradle to grave).

          They claim that socialist dictatorships are not the desired goal, but there’s just that little problem of how does a country “bail out” of becoming a dictatorship (or rigid oligarchy) once power has been consolidated into a few hands in order to drive out the “enemies” of socialism.

  28. Meanwhile, Trump signs the most libertarian EO ever:

    http://www.reuters.com/article…..SKBN15E1QU

    And Reason has it’s panties in a bunch.

    It’s almost like they’d rather do the social signalling rather than acknowledge Trump’s team is full of Randians.

    1. edit button please.

      1. No refunds, credit notes only!

    2. I’m sure the next article here on Reason will be in praise of that.

      1. That would be nice but not where I would put my money. They are on a pants-shitting role.

        1. (Adjust your sarc meter)

          1. I got the sarcasm – but Reason might just do it to fuck with us.

      2. Eh, you were right. Now they are bitching about the GOP efforts to replace Obamacare not going well.

    3. Trump’s team is full of Randians

      Oh, that was good. Tell us another one!

    4. So if DEA controls kratom, they have to decontrol 2 other substances?

  29. Did anyone know that Trump has a war on science?

    Trump’s war on science

    Well now you do. I’m so not even reading that.

    1. I fucking love wars on science!

    2. Nope, sorry, Time is on my do not read list.

  30. “we also seem to be seeing the rise of a permanent anti-Trump coalition,”

    Bullshit. It’s the permanent anti-not-getting-our-way coalition. They’re spoiled brats screaming they hate mommy and daddy and threatening to hold their breath until they die if they don’t get some ice cream right damn now and God help you if it’s not Coldstone Creamery. You’d have the same shit no matter which Republican got elected and God willing we’ll see the same thing in 4 years in the Democratic primaries if the DNC picks an acceptably middle-of-the-road Democrat like Corey Booker instead of some half-Haitian lesbian militant Marxist performance artist named Rainbeaux Trout running on a platform of outlawing shoes or some shit.

    1. “we also seem to be seeing the rise of a permanent anti-Trump coalition”

      It’s sort of like Arab Spring. We seemed to be seeing that also.

    2. permanent anti-Trump coalition

      As you said that was baked in the cake if any Republican won.

      In the left’s eyes they won a victory against W. Bush* by protesting and acting like petulant children. So the same tactics will be used again. Trump is already a running joke in popular culture and will only become more so. And all the “right people” will eat it up. Everything will be protested. Everything will be called “the end of the constitution” – until their man (or woman!) gets in power.

      .

      * I’m not defending W, but trying to look at what happened from the left’s point of view.

    3. Does Nick actually think that these idiots who are protesting give a shit about freedom or anything beyond power and getting their way? Is he that naive? How in the world can anyone not see that?

  31. I think we should make a deal on this ‘muslim ban’. We let in all who want to come, as long as they make a solemn promise to bake gay wedding cakes. In fact, they have to wear around a sign that says ‘I bake gay cakes’. It’s the only way to ensure we only get the real liberal ones.

  32. Thought experiment: People establish the religion of Hitlerism. They go to churches and worship Hitler as a prophet, and believe Mein Kampf is a holy book, believing everything a Nazi believes. So, would it be “religious discrimination” to bar them from immigrating?

    1. Yes, as long as they don’t start blowing up stuff and chopping off heads. If they do that, it’s totally cool to consider them our friends.

      1. And if you criticize them, that’s Hilterismphobia and hate speech.

        1. #WeStandWithHitlerists!

    2. You stole that from Clark on Popehat.

      1. Didn’t see that. Must be great minds thinking alike.

        1. To answer the question, yes, it actually would be religious discrimination. Unconstitutional? Probably not.

      2. But he stole it from me.

      3. Clark’s not on Popehat anymore, they ran him off.

    3. Another thought experiment – Godwinning gets so out of control that every second word uttered on the Internet is “Hitler.”

      1. My wife already hates it when I start a sentence with “You know who else…”

        It’s an old running joke that needs to die… but I just can’t help myself.

        1. You know who else used the phrase “needs to die”?

          1. Margaret Sanger?

    4. The federal government of the United States is under no obligation to accommodate foreign miscreants.

    5. If the cardiologist who saves my life one day follows the law and pays his taxes , I don’t care if he worships Hitler or a microwaved cyanide laced turd, yeah I want him allowed in the country.

      But no, we totally need the government to decide which are the good and bad religions, that won’t backfire at all ever. I’m sure of it.

  33. The thing about this election is, it was a rejection of the progressive mindset and the idea that Americans need to be micro-managed by people with Ivy League degrees. The progressive mindset is thoroughly and completely anti-libertarian – a totalizing state devoted to molding a New Progressive Man. Micro-management by functionaries in a distant capitol is also anathema to liberty. Even the bits of progressivism that some libertarians like – gay marriage and the like – are implemented in a profoundly anti-libertarian way, and the continued support for some kind of DC-based regulatory regime for health care financing among soi-disant libertarian writers just baffles me no end.

    I don’t see how the rejection of profoundly anti-libertarian ideologies makes libertarians worse off.

    1. It doesn’t, even if you account for Trump’s numberless inadequacies.

      What’s happening to the staff here? It’s obscene.

      1. “What’s happening to the staff here?”

        Cocktail parties.

        1. It’s pathetic – truly, thoroughly, tragically pathetic.

    2. Yeah, clearly the nation needed to be micromanaged by Steve Bannon instead.

    3. +1

      I would also add in, like Brexit, an anti-globalist movement. Trump is certainly an imperfect vessel but the only one on the Republican side who “got this”. And the thing about immigration, illegal or otherwise, a lot of voters felt as if they had no say in the matter of who gets to come to their country and the changing of the culture. See Nigel Farage for this aspect.

      1. There are lots of things that are none of my business in which I get no say. That’s the way it should be,

        And do leave this talk of globalism at infowars please.

    4. Precisely. Within the context of American politics, it would be hard to head in any direction away from the Obama years and not wind up more libertarian than we were.

  34. A ‘coalition’ with progressives, especially during their nuttiest phase in quite awhile, will possibly do more harm than good. If libertarians were a higher percentage of the population, perhaps there’d be a better outcome, but with progressives dominating the discourse they will immediately overwhelm the discussion and poison it. Look at police reform. Libertarians are concerned about this issue for years, produce tons of excellent policy suggestions to improve police accountability. Progressives take over narrative, throw in one or two of those good ideas, and instead scream to high hell about racism and associate with groups (*cough* BLM) that actively delegitimize the goal of police reform. Cops, the right, and a great deal of moderates close ranks, police approval skyrockets, issue is now stagnant. Now imagine that, but with progressives as insane as they are now.

    If you want to keep destroying your ability to articulate good policy ideas and actually swing people onto your side, keep allying with progressives.

    1. There is no possible alliance between authoritarians and libertarians. It distresses me that a decent number of us can’t see that. Really, I think part of the problem is accepting the bipolarism of American politics–rather than simply oppose both major parties, we take sides.

    2. It was always my understanding that libertarians would work with anyone on anyone who comes down on the same side of an issue as them. That doesn’t mean you form a permanent, multi-issue alliance, particularly not with progs or other groups fundamentally opposed to liberty. And the best way to do that is to control the groups. Do not join with progs, but rather allow them to join with us – with the upfront understanding that they are not in charge.

      1. I agree with issue alliances to some degree, though Washington’s “avoid foreign entanglements” pops in my head for some reason.

        1. Washington had the luxury of widespread popular support at home. It’s kind of hard to avoid political alliances, even just issue-based ones, when your ideas as a package command a tiny share of the vote.

        2. One comment on this: there’s been some scholarship that would suggest Washington was warning against an entanglement with the French.

          1. Is that like a quantum entanglement?

      2. Do not join with progs, but rather allow them to join with us – with the upfront understanding that they are not in charge.

        But that’s the problem, it doesn’t work that way. Progressives have the numbers and the shrillness to dominate the discussion and overwhelm the libertarians. Do you think you’d ever get a large population of progressives to “yeah, I’ll ally with the libertarians, the evil people who we engage in regular Two Minutes of Hate towards, and allow them to control the dialogue.” No, they want to use us to further their own agenda. Which is admittedly also the libertarians’ goal, but we lack the strategic resources to push it in the same way they can. Which is why on so many issues where there has been a ‘coordination’ with progressives the libertarian solutions fall to the side as the progressives stove their policies through. Libertarian support of gay marriage turns into progressive gay marriage where you can sue businesses, decriminalizing drugs turns into a regulated and taxed controlled market, etc.

        1. A very good point, JT. My suggestion assumed they would be humble in defeat and honest in negotiation – they are neither. I should have realized after my ongoing chronicling of the co-optation of the March for Science by intersectionalists that it was an impossible goal.

          1. I think that’s a bit of a different animal, actually. What you have is a small, vocal minority* with the will and lack of shame to pursue their agenda at all costs, complemented by a larger but less interested group. The vocal minority says any deviance from their agenda is the same as adhering to beliefs that the larger group can agree are out of bounds, no matter how tenuous the connection. So even though, in isolation, the majority might not agree with the craziness, they’re also not interested in being painted as a member of the outgroup. The end result is a slow lurch towards crazy.

            In the specific context of scientific interest circles, labeling dissenters as creationists or global warming deniers does the trick.

            * = NTTAWWT

        2. Not having the numbers is key. In a lot of (esp. less populous) places, a quasi-libertarianism of “leave people alone” rules the day. But at the city, state, and especially national levels, (many) more people adhere to non-libertarian beliefs in at least some areas of life.

          1. Be nice if limited government were viewed as a virtue again.

            1. People don’t even own up to what the government does right now. Everything is somebody else’s fault, but the answer is always to spend more on the parts we like.

              1. Bring back the city-state?

                1. Bring back the city-state?

                  The federal system is alright, if we can just remember how it’s supposed to work.

                  1. Heck if I can recall. Something about Czechs and valances?

        3. So the best thing is to shut up, do nothing, & then nobody’ll ever blame us?

          1. Necroing, but the best thing is to play the long game, and strategically plan. Long game is the production of more libertarians, which is at least optimistic with the internet and what-not. Strategic planning requires the actual development of libertarian advocacy as a central position, i.e. don’t glue yourself onto a progressive moment and then be shocked when they totally ignore the libertarian solution. It’s less ‘shut up’ and ‘maybe don’t support or work with people promoting anti-libertarian policies?’

    3. Agree completely.

      If the left right paradigm is liberal = left, authoritarian = right, they are on the opposite side of the political spectrum as we are. American conservatives are far more liberal in the classic sense than progressives are.

      Any allying we do should be with conservatives, not hysterical statist assholes. At least the conservatives are trying to conserve some of the classically liberal principles of our founding.

      1. Any allying we do should be with conservatives, not hysterical statist assholes.

        I think it’s important to expound on this. Even in the limited issues that we’re nominally aligned with progs, a cursory examination of the progs’ position tends to show that we’re not truly aligned with them. At best, their position could be categorized as a pragmatic reduction of liberty for the benefit of some other principle. In reality, they have no principles, and any alliance with them serves to validate their diseased ideology.

      2. You got that Kool-Aid all over your mouth.

      3. Depends on the issue. There’s some circumstances where conservative views line up enough with libertarian views that you can actively pursue the same goal without attempting to undermine each other. Other issues, like police reform, are dead ends due to conservative support of traditional order rather than classical liberal values (I’m sure the founding fathers would have a lot of negative things to say about the modern police, but I don’t believe that matters much to most diehard cop supporters).

  35. RE: Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump’s America? (New Reason Podcast)

    I can’t speak for other libertarians, but I don’t fit in Trump’s America any more than I fit into Obozo’s America.
    Lost in my own country…again.

  36. This is not promising.

    [Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association] and two other attendees said Trump seemed receptive to Loomis’s concerns that federally monitored police reforms introduced during the Obama administration in some cities in response to complaints of police bias and abuse are ineffective and impose an onerous burden on police forces.

    Trump, Loomis said, was “taken aback by the waste of money” when the union chief told him that federal monitors overseeing his city’s police department earned $250 an hour – a standard salary for the position.

    Sure. Cops get in trouble, get told they have to do these things to protect citizens’ rights, ignore them, and nothing get better. And yes, it would be more cost-effective to do away with $250 hour jobs that have no effect because the cops don’t listen and no one enforces it.

    Still… something about this seems… I dunno.

    Never mind, y’all, back to 24/7 coverage of immigration!

    1. the union chief told him that federal monitors overseeing his city’s police department earned $250 an hour – a standard salary for the position

      I’ll need some corroboration of that. Especially since that would come to $500,000 a year per monitor, which isn’t a pay grade that the feds actually have for any position as far as I know.

      1. The article didn’t source it, and a 15-second google didn’t turn it up, but I did find this.

        The city of Seattle has agreed to pay $880,000 for the first-year costs of the independent monitor assigned to put police reforms in place, mostly for salaries and benefits of the monitor, Merrick Bobb, and his team.

      2. Merrick Bobb’s independent police contracting business

        So, you are correct. The feds do not have a position that meets this paygrade. Police monitoring appears in part to be private contractors.

        1. With a name like Merrick Bobb, you know he crushes it with the ladies.

      3. The head of a union lied?!?

  37. in the opening Matt was citing stats on refugees being accepted by Bush vs. Obama. vs. Bush-predecessors and suggests that Bush-admin policy somehow strangled refugee resettlement.

    For anyone interested, all the raw data you want can be found here (in excel form, unfortunately, as all their summary chart links appear broken)

    the actual data don’t seem to show any significant policy shift under bush (with the exception of 2002 in the immediate post 9/11 environment) so much as “wild disparities in the sources of where refugees come from” at any given time.

    Meaning, suggesting that changes in Average refugee resettlement are entirely a reflection of presidential policy rather than “what’s happening around the world” seems to be wrong.

    as an example = Clinton was taking in ~ 80,000 refugees per year from former Soviet States & Asia during his first term. those 2 sources represented 80%+ of the totals we took in. By 1999, that combined # was less than 25,000, and declining rapidly.

    Basically, the data seems to show that most of the difference in refugee-admissions # between presidents has more to do with “what states happening to be failing abroad” at the time rather than any very specific policy implemented by administrations.

    The chart here from Pew helps clarify that point

    1. An argument that could be made from the data =

      – “what is “normal” US refugee policy“?

      the “normal” baseline of immigration intake (or the long term average going back to the passage of the 1975 Refugee Act) is about 50-75,000 per year.

      50 isn’t low, and 75 isn’t high = that’s just what seems to be an average range based on the constant nature of problems around the world, and the way we’ve historically adapted to intake of refugees.
      What is “abnormally low”? = under 50,000 *(as in 2002) What’s “abnormally high”? = over 100,000 (which only occurred in bursts in 1980-82 (shortly after the US initiated the policy), and again after the fall of the soviet union (1990-1994)

      what sorts of # reflect the high-low from individual regions?

      Asia has traditionally been the largest source, and represented ~50K per year for nearly 2 decades. But since that influx in the 1980s-90s, it was been unusual for any single region to ever source more than 30K or so. The middle east provided less than 10k per year until the Obama admin, and now averages in ~20-30K range.

      i don’t know what the current “target” # is for the Trump admin to accept from the ME, but anything more than 20K would be in keeping w/ Obama era refugee #s.

      The fact that Obama officials set the total target # to 100k, which Trump cut to 50K, does not strike me as a departure from historical norms in any way. If anything he’s hewing to ‘averages’ in order to defend his action.

      1. Correction =

        the “normal” baseline of REFUGEE intake

      2. Perhaps another data point worth considering relative to the Media’s “Outrage Meter” being pegged deeply in the red =

        #6 The U.S. public has seldom approved of accepting large numbers of refugees. In October 2016, 54% of registered voters said the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees from Syria, while 41% said it does. There was a wide partisan gap on this measure, with 87% of Trump supporters saying the U.S. doesn’t have a responsibility to accept Syrians, compared with only 27% of Clinton supporters who said the same.

        U.S. public opinion polls from previous decades show Americans have largely opposed admitting large numbers of refugees from countries where people are fleeing war and oppression.

        that second link i think is probably the money shot. When the numbers are small, and the sources are “places we sympathize with”, Americans are *barely* enthusiastic about accepting refugees.

        What is far more consistent is an opinion that ranges from ‘relative-disinterest’ to ‘vehement disapproval’ when it comes to importing people from war-torn countries.

        The media’s pretense that everyone is weeping for the ‘denied Syrian refugees’ seems contrived.

  38. Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees is anathema to Reason’s core libertarian SJW beliefs…

    Fixed it for you Nick!

  39. How about instead of working with Progressives, Libertarians take their place as the opposition? Progressives have gone nuts. The entire ideology is in a death spiral of incoherence, fanaticism and recrimination. Instead of associating themselves with that, maybe Libertarians should just offer an alternative to those who object to Trump?

    1. There aren’t enough of us, though I admit that the same thought has occurred to me. The first and just about only coherent opposition so far as been from Rand Paul.

      1. There are not enough now. But when the alternatives are blind allegiance to Trump or joining up with a screaming incoherent mob, that might change.

    2. Don’t assume the editorial staff is substantially libertarian. It’s no longer a given.

    3. I am just diving in here.

      Where do you get the ‘libertarians associating themselves with progs’ thing?

      I have been referring to those people as fake libertarians. Progressivism is and always has been all about crushing liberty. I mean, I see more than a few around here that give off that smell, but I didn’t think of the party as a whole as being guilty of it.

      1. I am taking Gillespie at his word. He seems to be saying that Libertarians can finally form the liberaltarian alliance thanks to Trump. And I agree with you that is an idiotic idea.

        1. It is worse than idiotic. It would be the death of any kind of libertarian party as it is.

    4. I honestly thought we had a small chance of replacing Republicans as the opposition, at least ideologically, if not in name, but the base smartened up really quickly after Bush.

      I don’t see the Democrats smartening up, but I also don’t think we have enough in common with them to even start bringing people over to our side.

      Our best bet is to convince the side that can be convinced through logic to join in some of our causes, and gently push them towards libertarianism over the long haul.

      1. I think the Democratic party is dying. I used to think that Libertarians might be able to take over the GOP. Now I think there is a real opportunity to take over the Democratic party. We are not going to have a one party GOP nation. The GOP is going to get too big to stay together at some point. And the Democrats are just going to get smaller and smaller. So why can’t Libertarians take over the Democratic Party and become the opposition?

        Let leftism die. This country was never leftist and never wanted to be outside of its shit head elites.

        1. Yeah I can see your point. I suppose I haven’t thought about it much.

          As annoying as it can be when Matt and Nick constantly claim that the country is actually libertarian, they are fairly correct on that point. Progressivism has survived because they are vocal, they own Hollywood, they own the minority vote (while literally believing they own it), and they guilt the rest of the populace into voting for them.

          This is why they are scared shitless of Trump. Without guilt, they are down to the 20% or so of the population who actually agree with them on the issues.

          Compound that with Trumps desire to not replace the American voter with socialists and fascists from 3rd world shitholes, and his eye on voter fraud (which no one will convince me doesn’t happen on a large enough scale to tip elections fairly consistently) and we really could see the end of the Democratic Party. One can dream at least.

        2. It’s hard for me to tell which party is dying, assuming even one of them is.

          I get that the Repubs control the two political branches and most of the state legislatures. However, the Democrats, and more importantly, their progressive ideas, are never held accountable in the popular culture. That culture is probably as consequential, if not more so, than the current make up of our elected government (there’s also the more permanent class of bureaucrats and judges who seem more aligned with the popular culture than with Repubs or libertarians). Certainly the trajectory of our culture – which is becoming more and more favorable to the welfare state – is more long term than this last election, right?

          1. It seems to me the mask of the pop culture icons has been ripped off. They might have had people convinced for a while they were just good people who wanted good for others, but the blatant partisanship exposed by this last election removes pretty much any credibility they had besides with the aforementioned 20% of the population.

            As far as being more favorable to the welfare state… I don’t know. The country has hated the ACA pretty consistently for the past 8 years. State governments are turning red across the country, welfare reform, school choice reform, other economic reforms. I think the elites want you to believe that we are in love with the welfare state, but even the most die hard Obama voters I know will still complain about people spending 200 dollars in food stamps ahead of them at the grocery store while they’re spending 50 bucks for a week’s worth of groceries.

  40. Taking on the deep state in public. An EO to reduce regulations. Hiring freeze. Maybe destroying the Dept of Ed. These things are awesomely libertar……oh wait…. borders. Fuck Trump.

    1. And don’t forget saying that the US doesn’t have the duty to save the world or intervene and start wars in the name of the international order or stability or other such bullshit. A President is stomping on the IC, and killing Wilsonian internationalism, and Nick is convinced the dark night of fascism is falling on America, because apparently the number of Muslims from failed states we allow in the country is the only measure of freedom.

      You can’t make this shit up.

      1. Incremental derangement of this nature is typically a socialist’s trait, but is evidently manifesting in our very own journalistic paragons!

      2. “Nick is convinced the dark night of fascism is falling on America,”

        Especially when it is the Lefties beating the shit out of people to go to yahoo.

    2. His hair is scary, and everything.

    3. …EPA nominee hates the EPA, wants to cut its work force by 2/3s. DOE nominee at one time wanted it to abolish it. Dept of Ed. is all in on school choice..

      But yeah, muh open borders!

  41. Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump’s America?

    Cum dumpster.

    1. Hillary’s cum dumpster?

      1. No, we get it from all sides. The only choice the right and the left want us to have is which braindead cult we join.

        1. Oh definitely, and I wasn’t implying we only get it from one side. I just wanted to give you plot device for another one of your horror stories.

          1. But Hillary doesn’t swing that anymore, you cishetmormative monster.

        2. Do you really need more than two choices for cults WHEN CHILDREN ARE STARVING?!?

          1. “And Bernie the Christ said to his BernieBros, ‘take this bread; it is my body.’

            “And the BernieBros did eateth from the body of Bernie, and they were satiated.

            “‘And lest we forget,’ sayeth a BernieBra, ‘we needeth not 22 brands of deodorant; for the bread of Bernie’s body is all thou needeth, and shall feed the starving children.’

            “To which the other BernieBros responded, ‘Amen.'”

  42. What percentage of the Popular Vote went to the Libertarian candidate again?
    That’s about where you’ll fall on any political ranking.

  43. “Where Do Libertarians Fall in Trump’s America?”

    Um, on the sharp end of their own principles?

  44. The people of this planet are historically very consistant – they cannot abide freedom and require masters.

    We libertarians are a mutation.

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