Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

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What they said…

September 30, 2017

I couldn’t care less about the NFL and Trump’s recent tempest-in-a-tweet-storm struck me as just throwing red meat to his crowd of easily-played supporters. Mostly, I’m wondering if we’ll ever get past this Cult of the Presidency thing that’s been going on.

But I did come across a couple of good responses to Trump’s tweet storm this week. My emphasis below.

Matt Welch at Reason gives a good analysis from a libertarian view. It’s pretty long, so I’ve only listed the ‘lessons’ without their explications. But it’s worth a read.

9 Lessons from the Trump/NFL Anthem Wars

1) The most offensive aspect about mixing politics and sports is the conscripted tax money and police power. […]

2) Donald Trump made the conscious choice to revive a near-moribund social controversy for political advantage. […]

3) Almost every sentence containing the phrase “we must” in reference to strangers is a bad sentence, particularly coming from a president. […]

4) Freedom of political expression for athletes is directly proportional to their freedom of contract. […]

5) Trump is on the opposite side of the criminal justice reform cause that sparked all this stuff in the first place. […]

6) Fantasizing about ordering ungrateful “privileged” athletes around is one of the lower tendencies in American sports fandom. […]

7) Public patriotic rituals are already political, and should not be a one-way ratchet. […]

8) Telling the president to get bent is a healthy democratic response. […]

9) Culture-war dissidents deserve a shout-out, too. […]

And Jay Nordlinger gives his conservative take at National Review.

Trump, the Flag, and Us

[…] I never had any use for Colin Kaepernick’s stunt. I don’t like this exploitation of national-anthem time. I also believe in safe zones — zones free of politics, such as concerts and games. I’m semi-famous for it (though only semi-)! An essay on safe zones is included in my recent collection, Digging In.

Kaepernick really disgusted me when he wore a shirt touting Fidel Castro — and socks depicting cops as pigs.

At the same time, I counseled benign neglect, borrowing Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s (radioactive) phrase from the late ’60s. […]

The issue was dying out. There were just a few embers. Then Donald J. Trump got into it, of course. He is an arsonist in American politics. We used to call Sharpton & Co. “racial arsonists.” The president is his own brand of arsonist. (Actually, Trump and Sharpton are a lot alike, as I’ve argued before: two New York media creatures.) Also, Trump insists on being at the center of attention, always.

There’s an expression for such men: “the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral.”

You heard Trump, revvin’ up that crowd: “Get that son-of-a-bitch off the field right now! Out! He’s fired!” Blah blah blah. Roar roar roar. And that changed everything.

We Americans are a patriotic lot. We’re also a cranky, independent-minded, nonconformist lot. We don’t like to be told what to do, especially by Authority. We don’t like to be bossed around. So, pre-Trump, kneeling meant one thing — and then it meant a big middle finger to the Man, a.k.a. Trump, a.k.a. POTUS.

Context is everything. Everything. It took Donald J. Trump to make anti-kneelers sympathetic to kneelers. Indeed, he turned some anti-kneelers into kneelers themselves.

He crudifies everything he touches — including conservatism, including patriotism. There is a difference between patriotism and jingoism. Between patriotism and crude nationalism, crude flag-waving. […]

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Asset forfeiture 101

February 13, 2017

Frankly, it’s a little disappointing that Trump wants to wind back the clock on asset forfeiture. It would be disappointing to hear this from anyone, of course, but it’s worse because Trump has a bully pulpit these days.

Several states have banned the practice in the last year or two and the Institute for Justice has been waging war on it for quite a few years now – with some success. Check out their Policing for Profit page.

In the meanwhile, the folks at Reason are keeping the banner high.

I’m not wishing misfortune on anyone, but maybe if one of Trump’s family members or close friends had been a victim of civil asset forfeiture then he might have a different view of what often comes down to highway robbery.

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Sharing the Trump humor

February 5, 2017

Dan Mitchell posts some amusing videos at International Liberty today. Here’s one from the Netherlands.

OK… Since Be Social Education (whatever that is) got the Netherlands video taken down, here’s the clip from Switzerland. Later… The Netherlands clip is back. Did ‘Be Social’ decide to be sociable?

The idea seems to have gone viral. There are similar videos from Denmark, Germany, and many others.

See also #everysecondcounts.

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The protest stimulus

February 3, 2017

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And he’s not even President yet

January 11, 2017

The news about Donald Trump, the Buzzfeed & CNN articles, and all the reaction to them is quite a show, idnit? The fixes that man gets himself into sometimes remind me of The Perils of Pauline (when I’m feeling charitable).

But the worry, of course, is what he might be getting all of us into.

I don’t know the merits of the document about Trump’s alleged dealings with Russia. At this point, the problem is that the large majority of us don’t know the merits of it.

Glenn Greenwald makes some excellent points about what’s been going on recently at The Intercept today. RTWT.

The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer

IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” […]

This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as "Fake News."

Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.

But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. […]


Here’s a more humorous take.


This reent Reason podcast has Nick Gillespie talking to Greenwald about ‘Russian “hacks,” Donald Trump, Wikileaks, and the End of Media Status Quo’. I recommend at least the first 20 minutes.


Finally – and especially for those who haven’t yet ‘recovered’ from the election – I suggest this post from last November: YOU ARE STILL CRYING WOLF.

I won’t try to excerpt it because, as its author writes, it’s a "reduction of a complicated issue to only 8000 words, because nobody would read it if it were longer."

So, yeah, it’s long. But if you have the time, RTWT.

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A Constitutionalist Revolution?

January 7, 2017

Where do I sign up?

Jeff G sent this shortly before last Thanksgiving. On the one hand, I’d be thrilled if this turns out to be true. On the other, I’m not sure it applies to the Trump voters I know. Most of those were concerned about (a) the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court and (b) defeating Hillary Clinton at all costs (not necessarily in that order).

Maybe the "SCOTUS voters" had this constitutionalist point in mind. But I’m thinking they could have made the point more clearly by voting for Johnson-Weld.

Here’s John C. Eastman, a constitutional law scholar, writing at the Claremont Review of Books last November. It’s an interesting read and he makes some very good points.

The Constitutionalist Revolution

It started even before Donald Trump was declared the winner. The pundits and commentators, stunned beyond belief, began to pontificate about how this could possibly have happened. No one they know thought that Trump was anything but a boorish oaf. And the uniform view in their circles was that Trump’s supporters were even worse. Must be, else they wouldn’t be Trump supporters.

Then I started to notice a different narrative as the night wore on while the country was awaiting results in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—the so-called rust belt. White, blue collar workers were angry at Washington, the pundits conceded. They have lost their jobs to a global economy that they cannot control, and the government—their government—was ignoring their plight. Whether Trump could deliver on his promise to help them, they seemed to know that Hillary Clinton would not.

Notice the underlying assumption. Trump’s voters were angry because government was not doing enough for them, not that it was doing too much to them. Six years into the Tea Party revolution — and make no mistake, this is an ongoing manifestation of the Tea Party revolution — the Washington crowd still does not get it.

I spoke to a lot of Tea Party groups when I was running for California Attorney General back in 2010. These were not (and are not) people seeking more handouts from government to make their lives better. And they were not backward hicks clinging to their guns and Bibles, as the Washington establishment on both sides of the political aisle believed. They are rock-solid citizens, deeply concerned about handing a $20 trillion debt to their kids, but even more concerned that we seemed to have incurred that debt in utter disregard of the limits our Constitution places on government. Eight years of President Obama exacerbated those concerns to the breaking point, and the prospect of a President Hillary Clinton doubling down on rule by executive pen, by acting assistant deputy secretaries, by “guidance” memos from deep in the bowels of an unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy, provoked a citizen uprising. Not a populist revolt, as the pundits believe, but a constitutionalist revolt. […]

You see, the D.C. crowd has viewed the lack of a revolt to their expansion of government beyond its constitutional tether as indicative of agreement rather than mere toleration while the abuses remained tolerable. They should have read another line in that old Declaration: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” […]

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Crony-in-chief?

December 4, 2016

Peter Suderman writes an interesting column at Hit & Run about Trump, politics, and free markets.

Yes, We Should Worry About Donald Trump’s Business Conflicts of Interests—and His Whole Approach to the Interaction Between Government and Business

The president-elect was a crony capitalist businessman. Now he’s set to become a crony capitalist politician.

As a real estate developer, Donald Trump made and sought special deals designed to use the power of government to improve his personal bottom line.

The first building project he ever developed, the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan, was completed using a multi-decade tax abatement obtained using his father’s connections. This was not a broad-based tax cut so much as a state-granted subsidy that granted Trump’s project the financial wherewithal to proceed. In 1994, Trump proposed that the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, become a partner with him on a $350 million theme park project, allowing him to get access to land by declaring a number of businesses as condemned properties. Over the course of his career as a developer, he repeatedly pressured the government to use eminent domain to clear private property owners out of the way, including one instance in 1994 in which he requested that the government kick an Atlantic City widow out of her home in order to replace it with a limousine parking lot. While campaigning for president, he aggressively defended the use of eminent domain, calling it a “wonderful thing,” and describing it as necessary for construction projects that create jobs.

For Trump, this is not merely a business strategy. It amounts to a working theory of how government and the private sector should interact. And it is one that should worry anyone concerned about maintaining a fair and proper division between the state and the private sector. […]

He doesn’t believe that the government’s role is to set clear ground rules and let market competition work things out. […]

Remember all the well-deserved grief Obama took for Solyndra and Fisker?

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

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How crony capitalism works

December 2, 2016

Kevin Williamson has a good article about how Trump ‘saved’ jobs at a Carrier plant in Indiana. RTWT.

The Economic Stupidity of the Carrier Bailout

One particularly tough and indigestible nugget of talk-radio stupidity afflicting the guts of conservatism is the idea that there is some sort of fundamental difference between bribing a business with tax cuts and bribing it with a wheelbarrow full of cash. The Trump-Pence bailout of Carrier’s operations in Indiana provides an illustrative case. […]

Republicans might have had a little bit of a point in the question of general tax cuts: A tax cut and spending are different things, even if the budgetary effects are exactly the same.

But in the matter of industry-specific or firm-specific tax benefits of the sort extended to Carrier in Indiana, they do not have a leg to stand on. These are straight-up corporate welfare, ethically and fiscally indistinguishable from shipping containers full of $100 bills. […]

For Carrier’s accountant, any pecuniary benefit will do. So far as the bottom line is concerned, a $7 million tax credit is the same as a $7 million check or $7 million in Apple stock or $7 million in gold. It’s all +$7 million on the line where you want it. […]

This is a case of Frédéric Bastiat’s problem of the seen vs. the unseen. The benefits are easy to see, all those sympathetic workers in Indiana. The costs are born by sympathetic workers, too, around the country, and by their families and by their neighbors. But those are widely dispersed, so they are harder to see and do not hit with the same dramatic impact.

But the math is the math is the math. Trump and Pence are trying to sell you a free lunch, the same way the Keynesians and their magical spending multiplier do when they promise that government stimulus programs (Trump is pushing one of those, too) will somehow magically pay for themselves. […]

I suppose the good news for most of us is that the State of Indiana (and its taxpayers) will be the ones picking up the tab for this.

Bastiat’s That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.

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The cost of political correctness?

November 11, 2016

These are a few interesting items I came across in the last two days about how the current atmosphere of political correctness may have affected Tuesday’s election.

What occasionally strikes me is that many organizations, including our government, are so invested in regulating diversity of race, sex, and gender that they’re doing so at the expense of diversity of opinion. The antidote to free speech you don’t like is more free speech, not less. Let speakers open their mouths and show themselves to be fools*.

Likewise, the antidote to those who break laws to harm people (or to damage property) is to prosecute them for those crimes. Allowing your government to increase penalties for hate crimes is just giving it power that it might someday use it against you — when a later set or governors decides to redefine "hate".

Robby Soave writes at Reason (my emphasis):

Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash
What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand

Many will say Trump won because he successfully capitalized on blue collar workers’ anxieties about immigration and globalization. Others will say he won because America rejected a deeply unpopular alternative. Still others will say the country is simply racist to its core.

But there’s another major piece of the puzzle, and it would be a profound mistake to overlook it. Overlooking it was largely the problem, in the first place.

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness. […]


Katherine Timpf at National Review had this to say:

Classes Being Canceled Because Trump Won Is Why Trump Won

So, Donald Trump won the presidential election, and colleges and universities around the country are predictably canceling classes and exams because students are predictably too devastated to be able to do their schoolwork.

It’s everywhere. […]

Reading all of these stories, I really have to wonder: Do any of these people realize that this kind of behavior is exactly why Donald Trump won? The initial appeal of Donald Trump was that he served as a long-awaited contrast to the infantilization and absurd demands for political correctness and "safe spaces" sweeping our society, and the way these people are responding is only reminding Trump voters why they did what they did. […]

The headline of Ms. Timpf’s article reminds me of the headline of Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone about Brexit: The Reaction to Brexit Is the Reason Brexit Happened.


Here’s Jonathon Pie (British comedian Tom Walker) with a hilarious rant about why he thinks Trump got elected – and why Brexit happened and why the Tories rule England. Mind the volume: the language gets a little salty.

The only comment I’ll add to this monologue is that in addition to being shamed by the dominant media stories of their opponents, potential Trump voters may also have been shamed by things Trump himself said or did. I’m guessing it got a little complicated for some of them.


Jonah Goldberg (also at NR) writes about priorities in the Democrat party:

The party of obsession with diversity forgot about bread-and-butter issues

[…] Liberals want to claim that racism explains it all. That’s a hard claim to square with the fact that a great many of the blue-collar counties that favored Barack Obama — the first black president, in case you hadn’t heard — by double digits also favored Trump by double digits.

The fact that so many liberals went straight to this explanation gives you a sense of why the Democrats lost the white working class in the first place. The Democratic party went crazy for issues that appeal to the new Democratic base: campus leftists, affluent cosmopolitan whites, and racial minorities.

One obvious example is diversity. There’s nothing wrong with placing a high value on racial, sexual, and gender inclusion. But Democrats have earned the reputation of being obsessed with it to the exclusion of bread-and-butter issues.

Moreover, by constantly invoking the primacy of identity politics for minorities and immigrants, they encouraged many whites to see themselves as an aggrieved racial or religious constituency. That genie will be hard to get back into the bottle. […]


*IMO, we’re all ‘Children of Eve’ and I don’t care whether you take that to mean the Evolutionary Eve, the Biblical Eve, or a figurative Eve of Enlightened Self-Interest on a global scale. Treat your cousins well.

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The entertainment’s almost over

November 4, 2016

I’ll be voting for Johnson/Weld to help the Libertarians hit the 5% goal because what the U.S. needs is an alternative to Democrats and Republicans. So I urge people to vote for the least of the evils.

But I live in a pretty Red state: ElectionBettingOdds has Missouri at 90% Trump/10% Clinton today, numbers that haven’t changed much over time. So my vote will make little difference no matter who I favor. The only thing I can affect is the percentage of popular vote.


Like many others, I’ve been fascinated with the contortions the Republican party’s been going through over the Trump candidacy this year. There have been quite a few interesting arguments pro and con since the convention last summer.

Here are a couple of recent ones. First, Ross Douthat in Wednesday’s New York Times arguing against Trump:

An Election Is Not a Suicide Mission

[…] I agree with them that grave evils will follow from electing Hillary Clinton. But the Trump alternative is like a feckless war of choice in the service of some just-seeming end, with a commanding general who likes war crimes. It’s a ticket on a widening gyre, promising political catastrophe and moral corruption both, no matter what ideals seem to justify it.

It is a hard thing to accept that some elections should be lost, especially in a country as divided over basic moral premises as our own. But just as the pro-life movement ultimately won real gains — in lives saved, laws altered, abortion rates reduced — by accepting the legitimacy of the republic even as it deplored the killing of the unborn, so today’s conservatism has far more to gain from the defeat of Donald Trump, and the chance to oppose Clintonian progressivism unencumbered by his authoritarianism, bigotry, misogyny and incompetence, than it does from answering the progressive drift toward Caesarism with a populist Elagabalus.

Not because it is guaranteed long-term victory in that scenario or any other. But because the deepest conservative insight is that justice depends on order as much as order depends on justice. So when Loki or the Joker or some still-darker Person promises the righting of some grave wrong, the defeat of your hated enemies, if you will only take a chance on chaos and misrule, the wise and courageous response is to tell them to go to hell.


Second, here’s Jim Geraghty at National Review advancing Hugh Hewitt’s left-handed argument in favor of Trump. I actually found this one sort of appealing and agree with Hewitt’s tactic.

ADDENDA: As mentioned on this morning’s Hugh Hewitt show, I voted absentee this year, and voted for Evan McMullin. Needless to say, I instantly got the typically calm and easygoing response from Trump fans you would expect. Hugh made the argument that because Clinton’s actions with her private server are now so clearly harmful to national security that even a Never Trumper like me has to be rooting for his victory. (It’s easier to root for her defeat than his victory.)

Hugh convincingly argued that there will be more opposition to Trump’s unconstitutional instincts than to Hillary’s. If both are likely to face criminal charges and an impeachment attempt against their abuses of power, Trump will face opposition that Hillary will not. In short, “You have to vote for the lesser Constitutional crisis.”

The perfect slogan!

lesser-constitutional-crisis


The Democrats have an easier time of it (ignoring the diehard Sanders supporters). They’ll vote for Secretary Clinton either not believing there’s any substance to the alleged scandals or not caring whether there is. And to be scrupulous, they’ve got a point: there haven’t been any indictments, much less any convictions, so far.

What there has been is a lot of the Appearance of Impropriety, though. I thought Ed Morrissey at Hot Air asked a good question: How did Hillary get so rich? Money quote:

Don’t forget that the Clintons had been in federal office continuously from January 1992 to February 2013, a period of twenty-one years, while they amassed a nine-figure net worth. Only a small portion of that came from book advances, while their speeches and especially Bill’s consultancy income derived almost entirely from Hillary’s status as a Senator and later as Secretary of State.

In the same appearance-of-impropriety vein, here’s news from Reuters just this evening about a gift to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton’s charity confirms Qatar’s $1 million gift while she was at State Dept

The Clinton Foundation has confirmed it accepted a $1 million gift from Qatar while Hillary Clinton was U.S. secretary of state without informing the State Department, even though she had promised to let the agency review new or significantly increased support from foreign governments.

Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.

Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.

Maybe there was a perfectly good reason for the Qatari donation. And maybe there was also some perfectly innocuous reason why Secretary Clinton didn’t disclose it as she’d agreed to do. And perhaps there’s some perfectly reasonable explanation for why we’re learning about this now — via WikiLeaks — instead of earlier from Secretary Clinton herself.

But what are the odds that all those things are true?

As one of my correspondents said, "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck…"

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You don’t say

October 23, 2016

system-is-rigged

And in this vein…

Via A Liberatarian Future

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Sigh…

October 1, 2016

This cartoon comes via "A (Sadly Short) List of Admirable Foreign Leaders" at Dan Mitchell’s International Liberty blog. There are some good choices on Dan’s list.

stevebreen-leader-you-respect

Now I like Gary Johnson’s and Bill Weld’s positions for the most part; certainly I like them more than I like their competitors’ positions.

But there are days when I wish Johnson would kick his game up a notch or two. Maybe he could take some advice from Matt Welch? (My emphasis.)

Gary Johnson Has an ‘Aleppo Moment’ (His Unfortunate Words) on MSNBC

Right before I interviewed him at the Libertarian National Convention in May and again before his CNN townhall in June, Gary Johnson made the same odd comment to me (this is a paraphrase): “Matt, I’m so sorry that it’s me up there defending libertarian ideas instead of you people who have been speaking about it so eloquently for so long!” He made a similar comment to longtime Libertarian activists just after accepting their nomination in Orlando. Aside from being an expression of his endearing-for-a-politician humility, the pre-apologies pointed to a central paradox of the Johnson campaign: His strategy has been laser-focused on getting into the presidential debates, and yet as a communicator, he is uneven, goofy around the edges, and prone to the occasional WTF moment.

Oh sure, you can come up with some caveats and whataboutisms here. I don’t know who my favorite foreign leader is either! NPR and Salon and all the rest are unfairly mischaracterizing this as Johnson being “unable to name a foreign leader”! There’s scant evidence that the voting public cares about foreign-policy gotcha moments, particularly in this of all campaign seasons! Also, what about Hillary Clinton’s warmongering and Donald Trump’s incoherent Mideast bluster!

All of that may be interesting, but it doesn’t change the fact that Gary Johnson screwed up bigly here, because this is who Gary Johnson is. A partial list of self-inflicted errors in this exchange: […]

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Republicans and walls

September 13, 2016

One of Reason’s Friday Funnies by Chip Bok.

bok-republicans-walls

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A silver lining to the Trump cloud?

August 19, 2016

Here’s an interesting column by Nick Gillespie at Reason’s blog. I’m not sure that I agree with it, or with Lisa De Pasquale’s column.

Why Libertarians (and Other 3rd Parties) Should Thank Donald Trump
On substance and style, he’s a dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack. But he’s shown how easy it is to destroy a major party.

With just three months to go before the long national nightmare that is Election 2016 transmogrifies into a either a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump presidency(!), let’s take a late-summer moment to squeeze some lemonade from lemons. Whatever happens in November, all of us who have political perspectives that are routinely discounted or dismissed by the Republican-Democratic duopoly should thank Donald Trump for creating a blueprint to power for us. […]

The simple fact is, as conservative commentator and Finding Mr. Righteous author Lisa De Pasquale, writes,

There has been much hand-wringing among the right on where Republicans go now that Trump has “destroyed” the party. They complain that the Republican Party has left them, while millions of Trump voters and libertarians believe party leaders and professional pundits left them decades ago. Regardless of whether the #NeverTrump crowd has valid points, it is clear that Trump has done libertarians a favor in busting the Old Guard of Republican kingmakers. The Old Guard isn’t mad that Trump doesn’t represent their principles, but that they no longer hold any power in picking the top of the ticket. The proof is that rather than get behind Gary Johnson, they’d rather trot out a candidate with zero name recognition or campaign infrastructure.

[…]

“A dumpster fire on steroids, with a hit of crack”… Heh!

The problem I have with Ms. De Pasquale’s argument is this: how many reasonably libertarian figures have Trump’s name recognition (or decades of self-aggrandizement)? I can’t think of any, aside from Penn Jillette. And offhand, I don’t think Penn has the personality to be a successful politician.

But maybe what Trump has done proves me wrong. Need someone who’s outspoken and has opinions not generally accepted by establishment figures? That’s Penn, idnit?

Hmmm… I’d probably vote for him. And Teller’s a pretty committed libertarian too… That’s it: Penn/Teller in 2020!

I got $100 says they’d win both Austin and Anchorage.


Update 8/31/16

But perhaps I spoke too quickly. Here’s a recently-published clip of Penn talking about libertarianism and US politics. It takes a few surprising turns.

I’m not fan of the Crony Capitalism Penn gets on about, but I’m even less fond of Crony Government. And that’s what socialist governments frequently end up being. I’m not sure why Senator Sanders’s implementation would be a whole lot different than Hugo Chávez’s.

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I wish it was going to be painless

August 1, 2016

These are from Dan Mitchell’s International Liberty blog.

Uncle Sam, 2016 presidential race, Trump, Hillary, political cartoon

Gary-Johnson-humor-2

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She who laughs last

May 18, 2016

This obituary notice appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

NOLAND, MARY ANNE
posted Yesterday May 17th, 2016

NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68. […]

Well played, Ms. Nolan. Rest in peace.

Via Instapundit

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What he said (10)

May 16, 2016

This comes from Overlawyered, riffing on a post by Paul Horwitz:

One incidental impact of a Trump presidency: mainstream law professors would develop a sudden, strange new respect for constitutional law concepts such as separation of powers and federalism, which tend to serve as checks on the power and ambition of the President and his backers. [Paul Horwitz, PrawfsBlawg]

Via CoyoteBlog

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And I’m dreading the hangover

May 13, 2016

go-home-america

As Tim Carney asks, "Which untrustworthy cronyist liberal New York millionaire do you prefer?"


More humor from Britain:
elizabeth-2016

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Vote for the least of the evils

May 6, 2016

Here’s a post from Hit & Run that appeared Wednesday (two days ago).

Google Searches for “Libertarian Party” Surge After Ted Cruz Drops Out

Donald Trump crushed it in the Indiana GOP primary last night, winning more than 50 percent of the vote and causing Ted Cruz to drop out. Although John Kasich is still in the race, he has only won one state so far while Trump is less than 200 delegates from securing the nomination.

That led to a surge tonight in searches for “Libertarian Party,” as this chart from Google Trends showing searches for “Libertarian Party” over the last 24 hour period:
google-trend-lp
Libertarians will choose their candidate at their convention in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend. […]

How many “Never Trump” Republicans look at the Libertarian Party instead of supporting Hillary Clinton remains to be seen. Mark Selter, a senior aide to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, has already indicated he’ll be supporting Clinton. Other Republican establishment types may do the same, providing a poignant illustration of how the Trump phenomenon became a thing in the first place.

Almost one in five Americans say they’d consider a third party candidate if the nominees were Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Forget about which major party is the "lesser evil." The choice between the Democratic candidate — whichever socialist-know-it-all that turns out to be — and the likely Republican candidate — a turd called itself a Republican, so the GOP is rallying ’round to polish it — is no choice at all.

It’s Hobson’s Choice is what it is. We’re like people with both an abusive spouse and an abusive boy/girlfriend. The only reasonable option is to avoid both of them.

If any election ever illustrated that U.S. politics tend to be the Coke Party vs. the Pepsi Party, this is the one.

So vote for the least of the evils: Vote Libertarian.

A Libertarian vote helps establish an alternative to Coke or Pepsi. Do it For The Children: does anyone want another 50 years of Donkeys vs. Elephants?

Not being a wide-eyed naïf, I expect that a third-party vote for President will mean that Ms. Clinton will win this election. But I expect she’ll win it anyway. Just check Iowa Electronic Markets or Election Betting Odds.

And here’s how to counter that Clinton presidency (or that Trump presidency): put your time and financial support into seeing that limited government representatives and senators win elections. The downstream elections are just as important as the Presidential election. Check out the Club for Growth. They’re not Libertarians but they’re very practical in their endorsements of low-regulation, low-tax candidates.

Political gridlock can be our friend. So think carefully about your votes for congress members.


Update:

Why Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils Is a Waste of Your Vote by Jeff Singer, a surgeon in Phoenix.

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