Reason Podcast

National Review's David French Is a Conservative, Evangelical Christian Who Is Getting Worried About Theocracy. So Should You.

Why libertarians should care about the illiberal Right as much as the illiberal Left.

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Donald Trump has seriously altered the ways in which we talk about politics. While conversations about politics and ideology have never been particularly civil or uplifting, these days they tend to be downright nasty, and especially among groups who are mostly on the same side of things.

This is nowhere more clear than on the Republican friendly right wing, where the division between pro-Trump and "Never Trump" conservatives is creating more friction than Stormy Daniels on a stripper's pole. Today's guest is David French, a senior writer for National Review and a columnist for Time. He's one of the most prominent Never Trump conservatives in the country and he recently has been attacked by fellow right-wingers for—get this—being just too nice a guy.

French's conservative bona fides are sterling: He's a devout evangelical Christian who writes about how religion is central to living a flourishing life. He's written critically of high levels of immigration. He's resolutely anti-abortion and pro-military intervention and even served during the Iraq War. He believes that young men today are being stripped of their traditional masculine identities by feminism and he's written critically of trans people.

So why are some on the right attacking David French and why should his travails be of interest to libertarians?

French is being attacked because he believes in the classical liberal ideal of a marketplace of ideas, where people civilly argue over ideas and agree to abide peacefully by the outcomes of elections. He mostly believes in the power of persuasion rather than coercion. Unlike a growing number of conservatives and Republicans, he thinks that social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube have the right to kick off whomever they want, even if that leads to fewer conservative voices. And he's a resolute civil libertarian who remains skeptical of government power, even or maybe especially when his own side is wielding it.

He talks about all that, and also about a recent court decision finding Oberlin College "guilty of compensatory damages for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with business relationships" in relation to statements its officials made in relation to a local Ohio bakery. French is the former president of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in education, the nation's premier outfit fighting for free expression on college campuses, and he thinks the Oberlin verdict may be a turning point when it comes to political correctness in higher education.

French sat down to talk with Reason's Nick Gillespie while both were at FEECon, the annual conference organized by the Foundation for Economic Education.

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  1. There is no ‘left’.
    There is no ‘right’
    All that is old must pass away.

    The new terms are ‘individualist’ and ‘slaver’.

    1. Yes, libertarianism is rooted in individualism. The left is collectivist, and the right is just as collectivist. Anyone that spends time trying to prove that one side is better or worse is a tool and a useful idiot.

      1. The dark cloud of intolerance is always descending upon Republicans but it always turns out to be composed of progressives and Democrats.

        How Trump supporters survive in blue California: ‘You kind of keep your head down’

        Quotes:
        Living behind the Blue Curtain requires certain survival skills, backers of the president say. No bumper stickers, lest someone key your car. No signs, in the window or planted on your front lawn, to prevent vandalism. Steer clear of Facebook and other online forums, and don’t discuss politics in the real world if you can help it.

        “You kind of keep your head down,” said Danny Turner, 29, a Trump supporter in the East Bay suburbs of San Francisco who waits tables as he prepares to launch a stock-picking newsletter. “You can’t be very loud about it.”

        He learned that when someone in Turner’s Livermore neighborhood put up a Trump lawn sign last fall and had their car and home plastered with blue spray paint. The word “fascist” — misspelled, Turner said — was left as a calling card on the sidewalk out front.

      2. There are indeed authoritarian opportunists on the modern Right, such as we now see pushing sweeping abortion bans and anti-flag burning amendments. Personally, though, I’ve experienced more acceptance of individualist principles there than on the Left, whose worldview is fundamentally more collectivist. A religious person can grasp the idea of “living in Babylon” – focusing their evangelism at the individual level – than can someone who sees the individual duty to society more broadly.

        So yes, there’s a need for libertarian vigilance, and a need to oppose authoritarianism whichever side is manifests on, but I can’t quite buy the idea of complete equivalence, because that’s just not what I’ve encountered.

        1. Exactly. The dark cloud of intolerance is always descending upon Republicans but it always turns out to be composed of progressives and Democrats.

          Bay Area Conservatives Keep Meetups Secret Fearing For Their Safety

          Quote:
          Robert Ward is coming out conservative, but in a place he says is risky for those who share his beliefs.

          “If you witness what happened in Berkeley, actually they are so violent on top of it. I mean being a conservative in the Bay Area is like being a heretic,” says Ward. “You lead a double life. You can never tell your friends and co-workers.”

          Robert says several Bay Area conservatives have secret meet ups like the one KPIX 5 was invited to visit in the East Bay.

          Organizers asked not to disclose their location or the faces of anyone who attended, but insist this is the way it has to be in a liberal state.

          “They seem to pride themselves on being diverse, and they are diverse about everything but their ideology,” says Ward.

        2. I can’t quite buy the idea of complete equivalence

          There isn’t “complete equivalence” between Hitler and Stalin, either. That doesn’t mean you have to support one of them.

          1. It would help if you compared left and right in your example.

            1. Stalin over Hitler.

              Until Hitler is defeated.

              1. Provided you weren’t a Jew Hitler was actually a far kinder, better leader, who allowed his people vastly more freedoms… PROVIDED YOU WEREN’T A JEW.

                1. Who is Jew Hitler? Which coincidentally rejected as a character name when creating a World of Warcraft character.

                2. When you consider that only half of the 12 million people who were killed in concentration camps, and the fact that businesses were *very* heavily regulated, the claim that Hitler was a “far kinder, better leader who allowed his people vastly more freedoms…PROVIDED YOU WEREN’T A JEW” to be highly suspect.

                  The fact is, Hitler was just as much a Collectivist as Stalin, Lenin and Mao.

        3. The terms Right & Left are meaningless at this point. People on this commentariat can’t even agree. Some here equate the Right with libertarianism, and the left with any form of Authoritarianism. The problem is that others do not and use something more like the Nolan chart. And this schism renders most discussions here worthless shit flinging affairs. If we could use the terms collectivist and individualist, it would at least allow us to debate using a common language.

          1. Most everyone sees themselves as individualists standing up to authoritarian fascists. Most people convince themselves that only one of the two major parties represents the authoritarian fascists, while the other is the Resistance.

            1. Hey, good to see me here! How are we doing?

              1. Sorry, I get carried away at Tulpa’s silliness sometimes, and was laughing at the idea of him thinking everyone with “SQ” is my sock puppet.

                Been a weird day here at home, and it leaked out all over your comment. Sorry ’bout that!

                1. I’m one of your socks now, too, huh? Or were you supposed to be one of SQRSLY’s socks? Or are both of you my socks? I get so confused.

                  1. I think I’m the sock. Tulpa will straighten it all out.

        4. Dismembering a fetus isn’t the same as burning a flag.

          Despite what the flag code says, a flag isn’t alive. You can’t kill it, though you can disrespect it.

          A fetus is a living human being. Unless you are willing to arbitrarily categorize living human beings as unpersons, then there’s nothing authoritarian about enforcing their right to life. In fact, singling out living human beings as unpersons strikes me as authoritarian.

          1. Asking people to take responsibility? What a buzzkill.

      3. “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

        ― G.K. Chesterton, 1930

      4. BOOOOOOTH SSIIIIIIIDEEESS!!!

        1. The fact that they feel the need to write these “come on, guys, the Right is bad too!” articles every few days should cause a thinking person to pause for reflection.
          .
          .
          .
          Nah.
          Progress uber alles

      5. Yes, libertarianism is rooted in individualism. The left is collectivist, and the right is just as collectivist.

        Cite?

        If both are collectivist, why did they differentiate in the first place?

        And, understand, that original split, the one in the French government may be the root of the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ to reference politics, but it is not defining issue of the modern ideas about such.

        THAT stems from a split in the original ‘left’.

        And THAT split can be best summed as collectivist/individualist.

    2. Strange new respect for David French from Gillespie.

      1. David French should read this:

        Class Action Complaint against Google for Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation

        Actual quotes:

        George Sadlier (“Sadlier”), a Director, sent out a mass email condemning James’ essay as “repulsive and intellectually dishonest” and promising an HR investigation into Damore. Damore received a late-night email from Alex Hidalgo, an engineer in Sadlier’s organization: “You’re a misogynist and a terrible person. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*** you.”

        Adam Fletcher (“Fletcher”), L6 SRE Manager stated in reference to conservatives as “hostile voices,” “I will never, ever hire/transfer you onto my team. Ever. I don’t care if you are perfect fit or technically excellent or whatever. I will actively not work with you, even to the point where your team or product is impacted by this decision. I’ll communicate why to your manager if it comes up.”

        Kim Burchett (“Burchett”), L7 SWE Manager, proposed creating an online companywide blacklist of political conservatives inside Google.

        Another manager, Collin Winter, posted threats directed at a Google employee as a result of raising concerns of harassment and discrimination to Urs Holzle. Winter stated: “I keep a written blacklist of people whom I will never allow on or near my team, based on how they view and treat their coworkers. That blacklist got a little longer today.”

        1. Good thing people on the right never call for people on the left to be rounded up into camps. Otherwise it might look like you’re hyping up one side and ignoring the other in order to make a partisan point.

          1. Yeah that is a good thing because it never happens.

            1. It happens in this very comment section literally every day.

              1. It happens in this comment section…. Meanwhile the mainstream media incites violence through fake stories every day.

                Joe Biden just called for physical violence when voting doesn’t work. Equivalence! Good times.

                1. Don’t wear yourself out running off with those goalposts.

                  Joe Biden just called for physical violence when voting doesn’t work.

                  Which Trump has never done!

                  Equivalence!

                  Huff and puff and BURN that strawman!

                  1. How dare he stoop to the level of the left. You can point to the riots when Obama was elected. You can point to the damage and injury at the Tea Party protests.

                    Completely equivalent to Antifa and Occupy.

                    #Bothsidism

          2. I call for horrible things to happen to progs, only because they won’t leave us alone and keep trying to subvert the constitution and enslave us. Or they could just stop, and I can resume next giving a shit about them at all.

            It is reasonable to want people trying to enslave and kill you to be stopped.

      2. Reason likes losers. Can’t say I’m stunned.

    3. So true! It would help if everyone could agree to use the terms individualist and collectivist instead of left or right. The left/right spectrum has moved to the point as to mean nothing at this point.

      1. Meh, not sure those terms cover it either. It’s perfectly libertarian to voluntarily form collectives to solve problems.

        There is liberty, bounded only by your actions inhibiting the liberty of others, and there is authoritarianism.

        1. That’s the only scale that matters. Leave people alone or mind their business,

        2. It’s perfectly libertarian to voluntarily form collectives to solve problems.

          No, it’s not.

          Collectives are held together by force.

          Libertarians form what are better called co-operatives–groups held together voluntarily.

          While leftist grouping may start voluntarily, their precepts lead inexorably to force because no one actually wants to follow them.

          While this might seem trivial, it is a hugely important distinction.

    4. Individualists are a collective. There is no such thing as individualism, only freedom loving people and slavers.

  2. >>>Donald Trump has seriously altered the ways in which we talk about politics.

    Internet on line 2 …

    also the term conservative is dead.

    1. Yeah more or less.
      It’s either “progressive collectivist” or “reactionary collectivist”.

    2. Conservatism is just more honest now. In the past, there was all this talk of fiscal responsibility, but when you listened to what conservatives really cared about, despite always saying “I don’t care about the social issues, cut spending!,” it always ended up being some outrage about some social issue
      Now, they don’t pretend anymore that it’s about spending and it is rarely brought up. It is culture war 24/7 now.

      1. It seems it turns out most voters are less interested in fiscal issues than social issues, including libertarians.

      2. >>>Conservatism is just more honest now

        yes, alternatively has been a lie all along.

      3. So that differs from libertarianism how? Remember, these very pages argued against any change to Obamacare.

        Wokatarians remain socially liberal and fiscally convenient.

        1. Wokatarians remain socially liberal and fiscally convenient.

          Therefore, vote for Team Red, so you can be socially nauseating and fiscally stupid!

          1. Don’t vote for teams.

            Vote for issues. Vote for the people whose stances most nearly approximate one’s own stances.

            Don’t walk into the voting booth and pull the lever for a politician who has openly stated that their only intention is to be a ‘spoiler’ just because you signed up for the party.

            Look at what a prospective politician has DONE that is in accord with your beliefs–not what they’ve said.

            Vote for the people who agree with you the most.

            Wanna know why there are so many libertarians here who appear to be ‘team red’ supporters, Jeff?

            It’s because they vote for people who have shown that they’re DOING things that advance liberty.

            And those people, for whatever reason, can’t seem to get elected as anything other than Republicans.

          2. More brain dead bullshit from Pedo Jeffy, violent child rape enthusiast.

            Seriously, he should have been smothered in his crib. Maybe his parents still can.

      4. I don’t think this is true.

        I think elected R politicians fit that bill… But voters mostly really do want small government and spending cuts. The problem is we rarely ever get good politicians elected. At the state and local level you often end up with real deal spending cutting people, they just never make it to DC because the establishment keeps them out.

        1. True. Look at all of Mitch McConnel’s machinations to keep out senate candidates that won’t play ball. Getting good R candidates through a primary can be a real uphill battle. And de karats re just largely evil anymore.

      5. I think the problem is in no small part with the voters as well. When George W. Bush was re-elected, he tried to reform Social Security, but his efforts fell flat when the voters got angry.

        Similarly, there was no shortage of Tea Partiers who simultaneously said “No more Big Government Spending! And keep your mitts off Medicare!”

        I have a difficult time blaming Republicans for having given up on the “spending cuts” side of the equation, even though there are still non-politician Conservatives who are out there advocating for them. I am convinced that politicians just gave up, and said “so you want spending. Here you go!”

        This isn’t to say that politicians are blameless, though: they could teach the public what cuts need to be made, and why we need to make them. It’s just that they are so spineless, they refuse to do the work, and take the lazy way out.

        Thus, we now have two parties: “Tax and spend!” and “Tax less and spend!” It’s hard to see how this isn’t going to end in disaster….

  3. no they really shouldn’t it’s not the illiberal right who literally have control of all the cultural power. They have had close to zero political power since the early 90’s. Politics and power are downstream from culture and currently the culture is almost totally controlled by the illiberal left.

    1. I mean what is a more dangerous thing to do mock theocracy of any christian religion or mock gays/transvestites online? Neither are polite things to do but one will result in no consequences the other will result in you losing your access to your platform and could cost you your job.

      1. Well recently I had my Xbox gamertag taken away by 1 complaint after 15 years by someone whom I can only assume was a Christian due to my gamertag being taken as mocking Christ when really it was named after John Turturro’s character from The Big Lebowski. Both sides are out there bitching and trying to ruin your life. Fuck ’em both.

        1. Don’t assume “Christians” (whatever most people mean by the term, I can at least define it) are Republicans. Or collectivists. Or want to use the State at all.

          -A Christian An-Cap

        2. Well recently I had my Xbox gamertag taken away by 1 complaint after 15 years by someone whom I can only assume was a Christian due to my gamertag being taken as mocking Christ when really it was named after John Turturro’s character from The Big Lebowski.

          Those damned (((Christians)))!

        3. Well recently I lied about being fucked with by someone I claimed was Christian to make a point. It was great. And everyone on the bus clapped.

          There.

          FTFY

    2. If the “illiberal right” had cultural power, how do you think it would be manifested?

      1. Well as a prototheocracy, where religion and gov were intertwined and the nuclear family was promoted as the ideal in all senses. The drug war would be being doubled down on there would be far more deference/reverence shown to authority figures. It sure as hell wouldn’t be a popular sentiment to mock Christianity.

        1. Well, we already have the excessive deference to authority figures. BLM et al. are seen as radical fringe movements, not mainstream.

          But let me just ask about this one:

          the nuclear family was promoted as the ideal in all senses

          The way I see it, the nuclear family IS promoted in the vast majority of cases. It’s not universal of course because nothing is completely universal.

          But what I also see is that, more and more, the non-nuclear family is not explicitly ostracized and shunned. Which IMO is a good thing.

          So there is a difference between “we think your living arrangements should be that of a nuclear family, but if you choose something else, we will accept that arrangement as well”, and “we think your living arrangements should be that of a nuclear family, and anything else will be met with a scarlet letter of shame”.

          1. You don’t see single motherhood promoted?

            1. Not really, because I can distinguish between “accepting single motherhood is a necessary choice for some people”, and “promoting single motherhood as a superior option above all others”. We have a lot more of the former than the latter. Are there SOME people who *promote* single motherhood? Well sure, but I think the vast majority are more of the former variety.

              1. Yes, yes, you didn’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.

                Completely enabled by the welfare state that you love so dearly. The correlation and causality are clear. But to admit that would mean criticizing your fellow progressives and that’s something you will never do.

                1. Hey look it’s Skippy the Pigeon, here to knock over the chess pieces of the conversation and crap all over the board.

                  We were discussing *cultural* power, not economic incentives per se. But you just had to get your two cents in to virtue signal to your buddies how much you hate the left.

                  1. All good people hate the left, just like they hate pedo loving pieces of shit like you.

              2. Single motherhood is absolutely promoted via welfare structure.
                Pop culturally, single motherhood is quite venerated

                1. Single motherhood is absolutely promoted via welfare structure.

                  Irrelevant in the context of the current discussion, which is about cultural power.

                  Pop culturally, single motherhood is quite venerated

                  Can you give me an example of how you think it is “venerated”?

                  1. TV and movies always exalt the struggle of single mothers as being heroic. Child rape enthusiasts like you not so much.

          2. “But what I also see is that, more and more, the non-nuclear family is not explicitly ostracized and shunned. Which IMO is a good thing.”

            Objectively, no, it isn’t a good thing. Unless you’re wealthy to begin with, any other family arrangement is associated with a terrifyingly high level of poverty. The nuclear family was so common because it works.

            That’s the thing a lot of liberals don’t get: Some cultural things work, and some don’t work.

          3. Bad behavior needs to be discouraged… Especially in a libertarian society where there should be few laws governing personal choices.

            I don’t think the level of discouragement should involve scarlet letters, or super harsh stuff… But nudges are nothing but a good idea. Social pressure alone, in hindsight, kept a shit ton of marriages together in the past, and created better results both for the married people and their kids.

            Sometimes it sucks to admit you made a mistake, and deal with the consequences… But statistically all parties are better off in a ho-hum marriage than not on average. Not an actual abusive marriage mind you, but just mediocre.

            Similar arguments can be made for drug use and 100 other issues we now are more accepting of.

        1. Tipper Gore

          AKA the “Bouffant-encrusted Thought Police.”

          1. lol. she and Nancy tried to ruin the 80s

  4. The illiberal right does not have as much power as the illiberal left.

    Back in the late 1990’s, if someone in the religious right, even an obscure figure, called on AOL to revoke accounts for supporting same-sex marriage or gay rights, or called on banks to close the savings and checking accounts of people who support gay rights or support abortion rights, all of the network broadcast and print media pundits would have pilloried the entire religious right, even if the more famous figures denounced the idea. They would criticize the religious right for wanting to shut people up.

    We do not have this same reaction when the illiberal left deplatformed those who disagreed with them.

    1. According to a quoted person in the Roundup article, it is silly to expect social media platforms to behave in an even handed manner.

    2. There is a lot to be said for worrying about the problem at hand.

      Siding with the USSR to take out Hitler… I hate commies. But it made sense to use them to take out Hitler. Our only mistake was how we handled the USSR after Hitler was taken out. We should have not allowed them to run wild and occupy eastern Europe. Had we done that it would have basically been win-win-win all down the line using one enemy against another.

  5. The illiberal Right is small, impotent and openly drawing “what the hell?” responses from most of the right. Meanwhile, the illiberal Left is the vigorous, driving force of the Left that the rest of the movement is pandering to, and is in control of a number of cultural institutions.

    Yeah, you should worry about both equally

    .

    1. Yeah, you should worry about both equally

      At the heart of your comment is the observation that the main difference between the illiberal right and the illiberal left is that the illiberal right is out of power at the moment.

      1. And do not have any prospects of gaining power..

        1. And do not have any prospects of gaining power.

          That seems a strange thing to say, given that the Republican Party is currently in ascendance as the Democrats’ base flees out from under them.

          Polls are showing that whoever is able to appeal to the Democrat base enough to win the primary is going to have to embrace policies, like the Green New Deal and Reparations, that most people oppose.

          Trump will almost certainly be re-elected in 2020, and by the end of the 2020’s Progressives will almost certainly be a joke about how silly the teens were while we debate mandatory minimum sentences for flag-burners and sex-traffickers.

          1. Do you honestly think that’s true? Because Trump will likely be re-elected and then you can actually watch and see how wrong you are!

            Remember your predictions here.

            -An An-Cap

            1. Because Trump will likely be re-elected and then you can actually watch and see how wrong you are!

              Trump being re-elected would prove me wrong that Trump will likely be re-elected? Trump being re-elected will prove that the illiberal right isn’t coming back into power?

              What, exactly, are you saying?

              1. I’m saying the second part of this prediction is wrong:

                “Trump will almost certainly be re-elected in 2020, and by the end of the 2020’s Progressives will almost certainly be a joke about how silly the teens were while we debate mandatory minimum sentences for flag-burners and sex-traffickers.”

                1. It may a little exaggerated, but if you’d like to make an actual bet, I’m open.

                  1. Not gonna bet online, but just remember you said this. Tag it. Look at it in 2022. And note how wrong you were.

                    1. Shhh – Semiotic Contradiction is very invested in distracting opposition away from progressives

                    2. Not gonna bet online, but just remember you said this. Tag it. Look at it in 2022. And note how wrong you were.

                      Will do. I hope I am wrong. But I doubt that I am. I’ve been through this cycle already.

                    3. Shhh – Semiotic Contradiction is very invested in distracting opposition away from progressives

                      Ooh – you’ve got me all figured out.

                      PS – ace_m82 is a very smart guy I have a ton of respect for, which is why I engage him.

                      You . . . you’re just you.

                    4. “I’ve been through this cycle already.”

                      Even assuming it’s a cycle, that cycle has been attached to a train going one way for so long that I highly doubt we’ll ever get back there again.

                      We shall see.

                    5. Even assuming it’s a cycle, that cycle has been attached to a train going one way for so long that I highly doubt we’ll ever get back there again.

                      In fairness I may be letting my cynicism get the better of me.

                      I do think Progressivism is in its waning days. We here have been predicting for a long time that the circular firing-squads Progressives have been forming would eventually start tearing the Left to pieces, which it is doing right now – what’s going on on the contemporary “Far Left” is simply unsustainable.

                      But the reality is that history doesn’t go in either perfect cycles or straight lines, and I don’t see any of the “right wing” factions that are currently poised to move into the vacuum Progressives will leave as being particularly liberty-friendly.

                      That French is currently seeking tolerance and pluralism is unsurprising. What you seek when you’re in power is what counts.

                      This is why I stand by my prediction that in 10 years the excesses of Progressivism will be a thing of the past, as will be the tolerant ‘liberalism’ of those currently on ‘the Right’ (with the caveat that this has a lot to do with how you define those terms).

                      What I strongly doubt is that any ruling faction in 10 years will have seen the error of their ways and embrace limited government and self-rule.

                    6. Oh noes, little academic doesn’t respect me!
                      What a harsh rebuke from the halls of incompetence and perpetual self-gratification!

                    7. Yep, progressive era has lasted over a century, while centralization of power, resources, and reach hasn’t even paused.
                      Increasing calls explicitly for totalitarian global governance are no cause for concern.

                      Progressivism may be in its death throes. Psychologically, it cannot maintain its inherent contradictions forever, and as living standards improve its tenets become less and less tenable. We are seeing mass nervous breakdown occur in the hive mind.
                      But the foundation remains – the centralized planning of New Man via totalitarianism that manically fights natural laws.
                      But let’s not worry about the psychotic who has reached a breaking point and controls almost all the weapons of the information age, eh?
                      After all, if we survive them the Right might be bad too!

                    8. I think you’re wrong.

                      The demographic trends and generational trends show that people who believe in either trad-con stuff or libertarian ideas are about to get swamped over the next decade or two.

                      Trump will probably win again, but after that it is going to be very hard to defeat the left. Perhaps the extra crazy brand of SJW will fade, because most people are annoyed with at least some parts of that… But for the most part it is almost impossible to not see the left in ascendancy based on a lot of factors.

                      We will end up exactly where we are now, but on steroids. Essentially a majority of the “legacy population” (aka white people) will be super pissed at the leftward lurch, and a strong minority of whites and everybody else will be cheering it on. That’s what current trends show is likely to happen. Maybe 30 years after that we’ll convince Hispanics that communism is bad, or Asians will rescue us… But that level of change won’t happen in 2 or 3 election cycles.

                      I hope I am wrong… But I don’t think I am.

                  2. I do think Progressivism is in its waning days. We here have been predicting for a long time that the circular firing-squads Progressives have been forming would eventually start tearing the Left to pieces, which it is doing right now – what’s going on on the contemporary “Far Left” is simply unsustainable.

                    Based on what precisely? The stranglehold they have on new media? Hollywood? Cities? Colleges? Your anecdotes that all those Democrats you work with really don’t want socialism but still keep pulling that lever for team blue? Look, they just want to be FDR. You know, the guy who was literally our most fascist president. No biggie. Same same.

                    Oh yeah, that fever is gonna break real soon now.

                    We’ve gone from “that’s not REAL socialism” to “that’s not REAL communism” and no one batted an eye.

                    1. Yup. We’re in for a shit show.

          2. I am speaking of that faction within the right that this article refers to. It has no power or prospects of gaining power.

            1. The faction that wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine and force Facebook to host Alex Jones?

              I don’t think it’s as small and irrelevant as you seem to. In fact, the only thing that’s changed about David French is that he realizes his faction is out of power right now, so it’s all about the importance of those-in-power tolerating the opposition.

              The Left was all about pluralism and tolerance back when they were being black-listed. Put French and his ilk back in power and watch their tolerance evaporate like mist in Arizona.

              1. Ah, so you simply do not believe there is s classically liberal Right at all.

                I am not sure what I can say in the face of that kind of paranoia.

                1. so you simply do not believe there is s classically liberal Right at all

                  I never said any such thing. I said that’s not the faction that is rising right now.

                  Are you seriously looking at the various factions on the Right and declaring that the classical liberals are the dominant ones? Are the ones who are poised to replace Progressives when the Left implodes?

                  Can you name all these classical liberals that the Republicans are placing in power?

                  1. “when the left implodes”

                    Facts not in evidence. Wishful thinking at best. I know you were traumatized by signing loyalty oath papers, but you can explain how all of those supposedly suppressed leftists were able to completely capture the academy. And how those 5% of conservative teaching staff are going to make a comeback RSN.

              2. No, that faction that wants to remove special protections against civil suits for defamation as opposed to the supposedly imploding left demanding the censoring of any opposing viewpoints.

                “The Left was all about pluralism and tolerance back when they were being black-listed. Put French and his ilk back in power and watch their tolerance evaporate like mist in Arizona.”

                That “blacklisting” certainly wasn’t very effective. Sure, a few on the margins were caught up but the Left didn’t lack for opportunities to express themselves from the 60’s on. But today’s memory hole seems to be doing a pretty good job so far.

              3. The faction that wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine and force Facebook to host Alex Jones?

                There is no ‘faction’ that wants either of those things.

                You’re jumping at shadows of your own mind.

                There are those who desire and end to viewpoint discrimination from companies whose wealth is derived from the promise that they would not engage in viewpoint discrimination.

                There are those who demand that companies stand by the contracts they entered into freely.

                Many of these are called ‘libertarian’, because the upholding of contracts entered into freely is one of their precepts.

                The collectivists have never been about pluralism OR tolerance–they have used the language of liberty as a blade to slide into liberty’s back.

  6. conservatives is creating more friction than Stormy Daniels on a stripper’s pole.

    Stripper poles are heavily greased and so do not have that much friction. ENB wouldn’t have made this rookie mistake, Gillespie.

    1. have not seen you around. nice to.

  7. Why Libertarians Should Care About the Illiberal Right as Much as the Illiberal Left

    Now, tell us why anyone should care about the libertarians.

    1. Broadly speaking (with exceptions of course), Libertarians are some of the only people in this country who emphasize property rights above all else and who generally advocate leaving everyone alone. If that’s something you care about, great. If you prefer interference and legal plunder, then you have no reason to care, so go about your business.

      1. >>>generally advocate leaving everyone alone

        advocacy of leaving everyone alone is oxymoronic and probably why there are few (L)s

        1. Yes, human nature is to be nosy prick, so I’m glad there are at least a few Tom Woods types out there with a contrary message speaking to the proverbial remnant.

  8. The link for the Oberlin article is incorrect. This is the correct link.

  9. After that U.N. population report and where the majority will be I do not think I have to worry about left right politics in the US. After reading about more trillion dollar deficits I can see that the US will not be viable by that time as well.

    It was a good 250 year run.

    1. Pretty much. Unless the west regains the will to survive, the entire western world is DONE. This will require the west to NOT bend over backwards to make others happy, but rather to look out for their own interests.

      I don’t have high hopes. At least an authoritarian version of civilization will live on in Asia :/

  10. The French fetish continues.

    Nah. The illiberal left is much more dangerous. After all, they DO control most of the levers of power. YouTube is bullying centre right and any tuber who dares discuss an unperson like Alex Jones.

    Never mind the Democrat field are a bunch of nutcases.

    You’ll never convince me Reason the right is ‘just as bad’.

    Right now. It’s all flowing ONE WAY.

    1. Nothing stokes fear in the hearts of certain Reason commenters like a bratty college kid. Donald Fucking Trump is President and you think the left is a bigger threat to freedom. OK then.

      1. Who is this clown?

        Honk.

  11. “French is being attacked because he believes in the classical liberal ideal of a marketplace of ideas, where people civilly argue over ideas and agree to abide peacefully by the outcomes of elections.”

    French also believed body slamming a girl in class was justified IIRC.

    Potato. Tomato.

  12. It’s really too bad Nick you refuse to interview Peterson.

    I think you could bring something different to the table others haven’t.

    But hey. You guys have your itinerary set I suppose.

  13. The only Theocracy I am worried about is the one that is PROMISED by all the candidates of the Democrat Party, which is the Church of Green Cliamte Change and the Church of SJW

  14. Libertarians/the left/the CFR do not believe in any God…
    What the he-ll do you boys believe in!!!!!!

  15. Both sides!

    We live in a Postmodern Marxist Theocracy, with Leftist pieties enforced socially, institutionally, and legally, while the “Christian Theocracy” can’t manage any more than having “In God We Trust” as the national motto.

    But Both Sides!

    Naturally, it’s the Cuckservative Right who step up to the plate to Both Sides! the rest of the Right. Though it is amusing to watch Reason get all chummy with the Neocons, now they they’re all on Team Globalism.

    “Invasion USA is our core value!”

    Globalists to the Left.
    Nationalists to the Right.

  16. Great interview. Thoughtful commentary. Interesting debate.

    How anachronistic.

  17. Here’s the thing boys:

    What is acceptable in a time of war is not always acceptable in a time of peace. This is why we have the concept of martial law. It is simply reality.

    If the Founders had adhered to the idiot ideas people like French, or many libertarian cucks, have… We’d have the Queen on our money. It’s as simple as that.

    IMO we’re at a crossroads in this country where we’re effectively in the middle of a cold war, as in the shots really haven’t started flying yet… But honestly, if things keep going this way, they may well start getting fired.

    The left were the ones who kept breaking the rules of civility in order to win… And win they did. People like French were too stupid to realize they needed to go to “war footing” many decades ago. Their foolishness is why America is so fucked up today.

    Fighting a verbal war is preferable to literal bullets flying, so I am all for it. If conservatives and libertarians grow a pair, and can actually beat back the left a bit, it may well save Americans from having to shoot each other to sort things out.

    It’s really all that simple. Advocating that people should be polite when dealing with Lenin or Mao is fucking retarded, yet that’s what people are doing. If the left gets its way we’re all fucked. They fight dirty. Therefore if we want to be free, we need to at least fight as dirty as them.

    The whole “we’re above this” thing only works insofar as you have vast superiority and are literally impossible to defeat while also maintaining the high ground… The British largely lost the Revolutionary War because they thought they could maintain the high ground and still win… They couldn’t. We won, largely because we used unscrupulous tactics.

    Smart people are realizing all of the above, and acting accordingly. Victory is more important than moral high ground, something the left understands well… It’s high time their intellectual opponents realize it as well.

  18. I’ll be concerned about right-wing theocracy when the right comes out in favor of gun control and censorship, not before.

    Right now, it’s the LEFT that sees the general population having the means to defend itself as a problem. It’s the LEFT that sees freedom of speech as a problem.

    The right is, at worst, authoritarian in its tendencies. It believes it can win by persuasion, if only allowed to speak freely. It is not afraid of an armed populace, because it doesn’t plan to do anything that would drive an armed populace to revolt.

    The left is totalitarian in its tendencies, and often consciously so. It lacks faith in its power to persuade, and so concentrates on silencing its opponents. It knows much that it plans to do will remain unpopular, and so wants a defenseless population it can impose its will on.

    For these reasons, and others to numerous to list, I find the left far, far more terrifying than the right. At worst the right might make my life a bit unpleasant, I could easily see the left marching me into a death camp, as it has so many times in the last century.

    1. One of the things about right wing thinking too is this: Some of their ideas are a bit stogy. Some are a bit mean to certain classes of deviants. BUT taken together, right wing views create really strong and highly functional societies.

      Left wing ideas literally destroy civilization.

      Sooo a really nice and functional society that is kind of dickish to a couple percent of the population… Or starving to death in the streets, if you’re not thrown in a camp? Pretty easy call IMO, even if one assumes the worst case scenario for both sides.

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