Please save libertarianism from the libertarians

Most intelligent people don’t like Trump.  Heck, polls suggest that most unintelligent people don’t like Trump. Nonetheless, I feel that libertarians often focus on the wrong issues regarding Trump, and this leads outsiders to wonder why we are so narrow in our focus.

Bob Murphy (who doesn’t support Trump) has a post reflecting on the lessons of the election.  I disagree with much of it, but I suppose all the points are defensible, taken one at a time.  Unfortunately, the overall impression is that libertarians are tone deaf.

Much of the post is devoted not to attacking Trump, but rather to attacking his critics or pointing out that some of his issues have merit.  Fair enough, it’s his prerogative to do so.  But when it comes to free trade Bob pulls no punches:

Immigration Policy Is Debatable Among Libertarians, but Trump’s Trade Rhetoric Is a Disaster. I personally think that much freer movement of people across sovereign borders would be a good thing, for Americans and foreigners, and both in material standards of living as well as intangible civil liberties. In particular, a giant wall to keep illegal immigrants out might make it that much easier for a future regime to keep dissidents in.

Having said that, I should acknowledge that libertarians are divided on questions of immigration. Although I agree with my colleague Ben Powell on the economics of greater labor mobility, some libertarians understandably worry about the negative consequences of letting in people who will vote for a larger welfare State.

Yet when it comes to the free movement of goods, then the Trump phenomenon is clearly misguided. As a free-market economist, I will unfortunately have to spend much more time during the next four years explaining to Americans why more regulations and taxes—levied on their choice to buy foreign products—won’t make America richer.

No discussion of the vile racism, misogyny, anti-disabled, anti-POW or anti-Muslim bigotry, beyond an allusion to Trump’s “boorish comments about women”.  Nothing on his pandering to the alt-right, or hiring the publisher of a leading alt-right outlet to be his campaign manager.  Nothing about his support for much worse types of torture than waterboarding.  Nothing about his comments that we should steal the oil of countries when we conquer them. Nothing about his support for assassinating the family members of terrorists.  Nothing about his embrace of brutal authoritarians like Putin.  Nothing about his promises to stop the media from printing anti-Trump stories. Nothing about his bizarre embrace of numerous nutty conspiracy theories.  Or his comments in favor of nuclear proliferation.  Or his contempt for facts, which I’m afraid goes far beyond the lies we see with even Hillary/Nixon-level politicians.

Look, I’m also opposed to tariffs on Mexican goods.  But when people read posts like Bob’s they are going to think that libertarians just don’t get it.  One defense is that Hillary is also horrible.  I agree, she’s much worse than Obama.  So put in a, “To be sure, Hillary also has many faults like militarism and support for the war on drugs” or something like that.  But Trump’s outrages go far beyond anything I’ve ever seen in American politics, and if we write posts mostly attacking his critics and then throwing in a few lines about tariffs, we are just giving ammunition to the people who troll libertarians as insensitive on issues such as race and gender (I don’t recall specific examples, but I’m thinking of people like Noah Smith, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, etc.)  Lots of female GOP intellectuals (who earlier criticized Bill Clinton) are disgusted right now with the GOP, and their reasons go far beyond “boorish comments”.  They don’t understand why the men in their party don’t get it.

Moving beyond Bob’s post, I’m glad those “sore losers” are out in the streets protesting Trump; I wish there were millions of people protesting (peacefully of course.)  I’d be disgusted with this country if people simply bowed down to Trump because he won.  The fact that he won more states than Hillary doesn’t magically transform him into another person; he’s still the appalling, disgusting, evil person he was on November 7th. A man with literally no good qualities (with apologies to Musil). All that’s changed is that he’s now a government employee.

Sometimes I wonder why we even have a public education system.  When I think back to all the “social studies” classes I took in high school, there were lots topics covered.  But much of the history (back in the 1960s and 1970s) we covered actually boiled down to one basic point: “Do not ever, ever, ever, ever vote for a demagogic politician who engages in the big lie, is contemptuous of civil liberties and demonizes minorities and foreigners. Just don’t do it.”  And if we can’t even get that one basic point, then can someone tell me what these civics classes are for?  What’s the point?  And please don’t tell me that all politicians are demagogues, of course that true to some extent.  But Trump’s a textbook definition of what we were warned to shun at all costs.

If libertarianism doesn’t rise to the occasion and loudly proclaim that Trump is completely beyond the pale, then we are going to make the same mistake those leftists made in the 1950s and 1960s, when they spent more time criticizing anti-communists than they did criticizing the unprecedented evil of global communism.  Of course Trump’s not that sort of threat, he’s probably too incompetent to do much harm (one key difference from Hitler), and our democracy is quite strong (another key difference).  Maybe he won’t even impose those tariffs—I have no idea what he’s going to do.  But in symbolic terms the issues are just as stark, and we need to reject Trumpism without any qualifications, even if Trump were to bring about small government and NGDP targeting.  Otherwise libertarianism will be tarnished by this sad episode of American history.

PS.  You might say I didn’t mention Hillary’s scandals.  That’s right, but I also didn’t mention’s Trump’s, which even more extensive.  Cheating on his taxes.  Using a charitable foundation for personal profit.  Creating a fraudulent “university” to scam students.  I agree that Hillary has scandals involving emails and the Clinton Foundation, but Trump is a walking non-stop scandal.  I didn’t think those were even worth adding to the list above, because I was trying to focus on the things that were completely outside the range of normal American politics.  Scandals are a dime a dozen.

PPS.  This is good news:

President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview to air on Sunday that certain areas of his promised border wall with Mexico, a key part of his White House campaign platform, could be fence instead.

Just as stupid, but cheaper stupidity!


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82 Responses to “Please save libertarianism from the libertarians”

  1. Gravatar of David R. Henderson David R. Henderson
    13. November 2016 at 12:53

    Scott,
    For you to say he’s “anti-disabled,” you are saying that that issue matters. I think it matters too. Does it matter enough to you for you to get the facts?

  2. Gravatar of Simon Turkel Simon Turkel
    13. November 2016 at 13:17

    Thank you for this, and for all of your Trump writings. Excellent. Appreciated.

  3. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. November 2016 at 13:22

    The reasons you oppose Trump are why your side loses -it’s detached from reality. You do realize Trump got more White, Black, Hispanic, and (apparently) Asian support than Willard Sh*t Rmoney, right? This isn’t surprising, except for those living in a bubble.

    More seriously, the biggest problems with Trump are the same as those with any GOP presidential candidate except a Paul -he thinks John Bolton, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Pence as examples of “great people”. They are most certainly not. He should dump all of them and be liberated from the constraints of the foul establishment. Spit in the face of Marco Rubio. P*ss on the grave of Chris Christie. Dump Pence. Make America Great Again on his own, by pure will, with zero establishment support, just as he won the Republican primary.

    “(I don’t recall specific examples, but I’m thinking of people like Noah Smith, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, etc.)”

    -These are people of the swamp. They should be drained.

    I’m sure you all saw that groveling DeLong email to Podesta. Krugman was mentioned in those leaks only once, by Bowles:
    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/34322

    “Lots of female GOP intellectuals (who earlier criticized Bill Clinton) are disgusted right now with the GOP, and their reasons go far beyond “boorish comments”. They don’t understand why the men in their party don’t get it.”

    -And yet, Trump won the women vote in the GOP primary. He also won the White women vote in the general election. Do GOP women not get it, either?

    “A man with literally no good qualities (with apologies to Musil).”

    -He said the truth that Bush didn’t keep us safe. He also correctly called Obama the founder of ISIS and Clinton the co-founder. That makes him a man more fit for the presidency than the rest of the GOP field combined (except maybe Paul).

    “when they spent more time criticizing anti-communists than they did criticizing the unprecedented evil of global communism”

    -The evils of global communism were fully precedented by the Taipings and Mongols.

    “Otherwise libertarianism will be tarnished by this sad episode of American history.”

    -Only you are being tarnished here.

    Make America Great Again!

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 13:22

    David, Not quite sure what your point is.

    Thanks Simon.

  5. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 13:26

    Harding, When you defended the vicious attacks on David French regarding his adopting a black child from Africa, I lost what little respect I had for you. The fact that alt-right racists like you like Trump just makes me even more convinced that I’m right.

    https://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=32037#comment-1279444

  6. Gravatar of David R. Henderson David R. Henderson
    13. November 2016 at 13:44

    Scott,
    My point is that you should get your facts right–and you didn’t.

  7. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. November 2016 at 13:47

    “When you defended the vicious attacks on David French regarding his adopting a black child from Africa”

    -It’s called retaliation. A c*ck attacks Trump; the right attacks back. I strongly support it. Never let the c*cks get away with murder.

    http://thezman.com/wordpress/?cat=36

    Yes, David French stupidly adopted a Black child from Africa. But I doubt he would have been attacked by the alt-right had he not compounded his stupidity by going after the man who would be the greatest GOP President since Reagan.

    Ultimately, I tried my hardest to stop Clinton from winning. And Clinton was stopped from winning by the efforts of millions of men and women like me.

  8. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 13:53

    David, Which facts did I get wrong?

  9. Gravatar of MP MP
    13. November 2016 at 13:54

    Maybe I missed the story, but how did Trump cheat on his taxes? I thought the only actual evidence was of a large NOL that could have zeroed his tax liability in a totally standard and legal way. Was there more?

  10. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 14:29

    Hey Harding, are you pleased that the wall is now going to be a “fence”? If you’d walked across 100 miles of desert to get to the US, would a fence stop you?

    MP, Based on what I read, he did not treat the loan write-offs as income. Of course Trump is free to release his tax returns and prove us wrong, as he promised to do.

  11. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. November 2016 at 14:31

    Scott, you sound like a very sore loser. Like a mixture of Krugman and Michael Moore (but at least Moore got some of his predictions right). Write something optimistic and stop wailing like a banshee please. It’s really depressing.

    I for myself will always give every President-elect of the US a fair chance. I gave Obama and Bush a chance, I would have given Hillary a fair chance and I will give Trump a chance. A small chance only, I’m really sceptical, but he will get his chance.

    @E. Harding

    You do realize Trump got more White, Black, Hispanic, and (apparently) Asian support than Willard Sh*t Rmoney, right?

    I never saw actual numbers on this. I only know that McCain and Romney got more votes than Trump. That really surprised me because the US population must have grown during the times of McCain and Romney. Trump didn’t win because he got more votes than McCain and Romney but because Hillary did so bad. Or to phrase it in a more positive way for Trillary and Hump: Obama’s voter mobilization was exceptional.

  12. Gravatar of RSF RSF
    13. November 2016 at 14:36

    David’s point is that the characterization of Trump as anti-disabled is false and a made up media story.

  13. Gravatar of RSF RSF
    13. November 2016 at 14:39

    Also, David hates Trump, but the media making up stories about Trump creates sympathy for him when he deserves no sympathy.

  14. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    13. November 2016 at 14:53

    Reading pieces of The Donald Is Awful variety, I realise I have a reaction that is not really about The Donald at all, it is about decades of over done rhetoric. No side of politics is innocent of this, but one naturally reacts more against it when it comes from the folk you don’t generally agree with.

    So, the progressive freakout completely fails to touch me.

    It is also complicated by the “but why did so many people vote that way?” issue, where there are reasons to feel sympathetic to folk who made that choice. Which, of course, then reminds us that there are reasons demagogues were successful in the past too.

  15. Gravatar of Bonnie Bonnie
    13. November 2016 at 14:54

    Scott,

    I’d like to thank you for your point of view. I don’t always agree with you, but on economics, your scholarship is difficult to match.

    I am a woman and a former GOP’er. I left the party when they got it wrong on monetary policy, and disparaged the crisis-stricken families of the Great Recession like a bunch of elitist snobs. When they lost their marbles on economics, there was nothing left to vote for.

    What I wanted, NGDPLT and maximum economic freedom, just wasn’t on the ballot which is very sad. Given that it would be necessary to drag me kicking and screaming over to the left, there was just no way I could vote for the well spoken snob who would simply trap victims of tight money in government dependence. Even if all the points you make about Trump weren’t exaggerations, he was, in my opinion, the least dirty shirt in the line up of absolutely atrocious choices.

    I wish the primaries had played out differently, with different people to choose from on all sides. But that isn’t the hand we were dealt. It’s over now, and I plan to move on.

  16. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    13. November 2016 at 14:56

    So, your comments (not being part of the progressive freakout) actually make me think about The Donald. And then things get really depressing …

    The upside is that he may just be a US Berlusconi. Which, of course, may also be the downside.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 14:57

    Christian, You said:

    “I for myself will always give every President-elect of the US a fair chance.”

    I will give him a fair chance on the policy issues. I’ll praise him for every good thing he does, including my praise here for downgrading from a wall to a fence, which we all know is pretty useless. If he reforms the tax code I’ll praise him. Ditto for deregulation.

    But I won’t kowtow to him like all those pathetic GOP leaders—why should I? He’s still disgusting; the election doesn’t change that. If that makes me a sore loser, that’s fine. I’d rather be a sore loser than a hypocrite.

    I actually don’t care much about Trump, what bothers me is the way libertarianism has been so lame in its opposition. (Bill Weld is an exception.)

    RSF, I’ve seen the media stories and the rebuttals. And I’m convinced he was mocking the disabled. Maybe not that specific reporter, but he was basically using a familiar school boy taunt. I remember frequently seeing that exact sort of thing when I was in school. The bully would mock someone for being “spastic” (I don’t know the current term). Maybe it was acceptable in the 1960s, but that sort of thing is not acceptable today, nor should it be. And it’s not just disability, he mocks women for their looks and weight, he even mocked Rubio for needing to drink water when he does public speaking. Obviously that’s no big deal, but it’s all part of his immature junior high jerk personality. It’s who he is.

    I have a question for people who defend Trump. What is the point of all the anti-bullying programs in schools? Why not just encourage bullies, tell them if they keep it up we might elect them president of the United States? Why do we discourage it? Many of the Trump supporters I saw interviewed liked him specifically because he was a bully.

    I don’t blame the media for creating Trump, but I do put a bit of blame on the campus PC culture, which turns a lot of white males into Trump supporters.

  18. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 15:10

    Lorenzo, You said:

    “Which, of course, then reminds us that there are reasons demagogues were successful in the past too.”

    Yup, and despite those reasons, I can’t blame people (especially Jews) in the interwar years from “freaking out” about the success of the demagogues. I always say that politics makes people stupid, on both the left and the right BTW—consider the Sanders phenomenon. Even very smart people often say stupid things. But just because its normal for politics to make people stupid, is no reason to refrain from calling Trump an especially stupid choice–certainly at the primary level, when there were 16 other Republicans available, and the “Hillary is worse” excuse was not available.

    Where I differ from the left wing freakout is that I doubt all that much will change after Trump, because I think presidents in general are less influential than most people believe. Trump is appalling in much the same way as the governor of Maine is appalling. And in both cases I just shrug and go on living my life. I reserve my outrage for the blog. If I bothered to talk about Maine governance, I’d be just as scathing, but it doesn’t even seem to be worth commenting on.

    My other concern is that Trump is reflective of a global move on the right toward authoritarian nationalism, which is pretty nasty stuff. If it were not for what’s going on in Europe and Asia, it’d be easier to write off Trump as a joke.

    Thanks Bonnie.

  19. Gravatar of engineer engineer
    13. November 2016 at 15:24

    Didn’t vote for Hillary or Trump, but I agree with Buffet. It is time to move on, he is our president now…i’m going to withhold judgement until we actually have policies/actions to judge him on or some misdeeds while in office. Trump has gotten his revenge from the 2011 correspondents’ dinner (blame Obama and Seth Meyers), now he will probably let his VP run the government.

    Obviously, most Americans (from a electoral college point of view) were willing to overlook his faults because they found the Clinton corruption and globalism worse. I’m sure some economists, like Krugman, find this very difficult, but that is why I don’t read his drivel…

  20. Gravatar of Idrather Idrather
    13. November 2016 at 15:43

    Thanks for this. I’m a progressive, non-libertarian, reading your blog regularly to learn about economics and smart arguments for views I don’t share. I’m still not a libertarian, but I’m very glad you’re making this point, and I hope they listen.

    Curious about some theoretical points, which may not be your cup of tea, I can’t recall. Are there competing arguments for libertarianism, some more utilitarian and some more rights-based? If so, would it be unsurprising to find the former emphasizing complaints about trade policy, and the latter more the issues you raise here?

  21. Gravatar of B Cole B Cole
    13. November 2016 at 15:47

    The biggest problem with the Libertarians is that the issues are always the minimum wage or open borders, but never property zoning or the routine criminalization of push-cart and truck-vending.

    Protectionism is bad bad bad!—-but not worth talking about when the protectionism favors property owners and employers.

    Yes, Trump is a terrible man.

  22. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. November 2016 at 15:56

    STANDING OVATION…

    Pro-trade/globalization liberals (like me )have done a very poor job selling the very real progressive benefits that globalism has created.

    We never felt like we had a voice at the table…but we never knew what to ask for…we just yelled STOP …

    it was not effective or wise.

  23. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. November 2016 at 15:57

    I just read it again… good stuff…

  24. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    13. November 2016 at 16:01

    Scott,

    I completely agree where libertarians are concerned. Trump is anti libertarian on almost anything, not just trade.

    And yet I feel much less agitated than I thought I’d feel. Maybe it’s the speed at which he’s turning into an ordinary politician. Now that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to make people believe the contrary, he managed to contradict himself plenty and it didn’t matter. But considering he seemed genuinely honored, even humbled, by Obama, considering the intel briefings probably start to sink in, considering his past support for Democrat issues, considering his backtracking on the wall and on Obamacare, considering the weight of responsibility, considering that he probably realises now that even as POTUS he’ll still be the same person inside, and considering the either nepotistic or establishment candidates for his cabinet, I’ll say, he looks like an ordinary politician now. Or at least, h does look more and more like Berlusconi on all accounts and less like Duterte who started having people shot from day one.

    In this respect the biggest danger won’t be a spectacular failure or outrageous actual policies, but a simmering muddle through with constant distractions and an actual chance to get re-elected or to at least keep on poisoning politics.

    My biggest concern right now is amateurish foreign policy – domestically he can’t do much w/o congress anyway which guarantees politics as usual, with the exception of possible backseat driving of a president with a weak grasp of issues, a la Cheney/Bush. The other is that no matter how much chalk he’ll be eating, no matter how much of a sheep in wolf’s clothing he may well turn out to be: too many Americans were NOT bothered by his toxic rhethoric and his attacks on democracy and republicanism. This is more shocking to me than the man himself. As you say, the problem isn’t what he says, the problem is what he IS. Yet, he wasn’t elected on issues, he was elected on identity, like most politicians. Too many Americans actually identify with what he represents, no matter what he actually is inside.

    For the rest I am, at this point, quietly chuckling at how conventional he is becoming after just a week. Maybe we should thank him, maybe that was the point all along: give the anger an outlet, a voice, and a facade, behind which politics as usual will continue.

  25. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    13. November 2016 at 16:02

    “I never saw actual numbers on this. I only know that McCain and Romney got more votes than Trump.”

    -They didn’t. It might be hard for you to believe, Christian, but the U.S. has a shockingly slow system of vote-counting, especially in California and Washington State. Expect the final popular vote results to be released three to six months later. It took months to count the votes from the California Democratic Primary. Blame the California Democratic Party.

    “Bill Weld is an exception.”

    -Neither Weld nor you are even remotely libertarian. Both of you are Massachusetts Republicans and total hacks.

    “Hey Harding, are you pleased that the wall is now going to be a “fence”?”

    -Only if it’s a Rand Paul-style “underground electric fence”.

    “I never saw actual numbers on this.”

    -Check the election results from Zapata County, Texas (usually the best proxy of the U.S. Hispanic vote) and the election results from Detroit City. Clinton’s numbers way down from Obama’s, Trump’s numbers up from Romney’s.

    Dearborn, MI, experienced a boost in third-party candidates, but a decline in the vote for both major-party ones, the Dem nominee more than the GOP one. Apparently, Mitt Romney was already seen as racist and Islamophobic, so nobody cared that Trump was portrayed by the media as both.

    “Trump an especially stupid choice–certainly at the primary level, when there were 16 other Republicans available, and the “Hillary is worse” excuse was not available.”

    -And Trump was the best choice in the primary, as well.

  26. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    13. November 2016 at 16:05

    Who knows, maybe they’ll even pass TPP with a few mock amendments. Watch this space.

  27. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    13. November 2016 at 16:07

    A media free market will be biased toward sensationalism above all else…

    It’s not a wonder really our media was fed by and in turn fed Trump… And now they have created a sensationalism generating god…

    Self-reinforcing cycles that become too pronounced…become unstable…

  28. Gravatar of MP MP
    13. November 2016 at 16:17

    The debt parking claim? I’ve seen that, and I’ve seen it rebutted. The rebuttals seemed much more persuasive. Megan McArdle, for example, good on technical issues and no fan of Trump, had a tax expert saying it just wouldn’t work that way. And I have trouble believing it would be possible to get something that big and that dumb past the IRS.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons not to have voted for him, and I myself didn’t. I just don’t think this particular accusation stands up.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-10-03/trump-s-1995-return-shows-good-tax-policy-at-work

  29. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. November 2016 at 16:18


    I actually don’t care much about Trump, what bothers me is the way libertarianism has been so lame in its opposition. (Bill Weld is an exception.)

    I like libertarian thoughts as well as long as they consider reality. The reality of this election was that you could choose between Hillary and Trump. Libertarians don’t like big government and big media. The Democrats hated him, the GOP establishment hated him, the media disliked him, 99% of the elite in DC disliked him. Therefore Trump was the realistic and obvious choice in this election. He’s a disruptive force, a Molotov cocktail into the heart of power.

    I also never understood the strategy of the Libertarian party. Parties like Ukip proved that anything is possible – even (or better: especially) in a majority voting system.

    The US is especially vulnerable on at least two levels: Congress and the Electoral College. I also said this before Election Day: This is even more true when the race is really close and when both candidate of the two major parties are very unpopular amongst millions of people. The chance of Gary was now. He blew it.


    I have a question for people who defend Trump. What is the point of all the anti-bullying programs in schools?

    I’m very sensible regarding bullying. I was bullied in school myself. I don’t know if Trump is a bully or not. I don’t know him personally but that’s essential in order to find out if someone is a bully or not. Bullying to me is attacking someone vulnerable, especially when nobody is looking. Maybe Trump might have been a bully in school but now he is way too old for that anyway. His public feuds are not bullying.

    @E.Harding
    You are right. At the moment he got more votes than McCain while still trailing a bit behind Romney. Let’s see if he can get Romney is well. I saw a lot of charts in the mainstream media during the last days that were supposed to “prove” that Trump is worse than McCain and Romney. You just cannot trust these journalists, it’s unbelievable.

  30. Gravatar of B Cole B Cole
    13. November 2016 at 16:24

    “Trump taps climate-change skeptic to oversee EPA transition”—

    Classic economists know that the costs of pollution are not included in the price of products or services.

    Ergo, there needs to be environmental regulations or taxes.

    The Libertarians and right wing have been weak on this point as well, generally preferring to ridicule federal efforts to clean up the environment or go mute.

    Scott Sumner has been an exception to that generality.

  31. Gravatar of Thiago Ribeiro Thiago Ribeiro
    13. November 2016 at 16:32

    I think the brighter point is, Trump, for all his many, many faults, knows that China and Mexico are the enemy and must be crushed. Will he have the courage to stand up to the pro-illegal immigration lobbies? Will he have the courage to stop imports from China from coming and stop the outsourcing of American jobs? I am not sure, I hope so. For all his many, many faults, a strong America is necessary for the equilibrium of the international community.

  32. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    13. November 2016 at 16:35

    “I’d be disgusted with this country if people simply bowed down to Trump because he won.”

    That is literally how elections work. People are supposed to accept the outcomes of elections. When a candidate wins an office, people are supposed to honor that.

    What you are saying is ludicrous.

    “All that’s changed is that he’s now a government employee.”

    This goes for any formal role.

    The instant a man/woman puts on a police uniform, people are supposed to give that person certain respects regardless of the individual.

    When a man/woman is teaching a class, students are supposed to give that person certain respects. Other respects must be earned.

    “No discussion of the vile racism, misogyny, anti-disabled, anti-POW or anti-Muslim bigotry”

    This is completely unhinged. No one even seriously thinks he is anti-disabled. And so many women supported Trump, it’s not credible that he is anti-women. And anti-POW? There is a more credible case against McCain.

    “Nothing on his pandering to the alt-right, or hiring the publisher of a leading alt-right outlet to be his campaign manager. Nothing about his support for much worse types of torture than waterboarding. Nothing about his comments that we should steal the oil of countries when we conquer them. Nothing about his support for assassinating the family members of terrorists. Nothing about his embrace of brutal authoritarians like Putin.”

    There are logical, sane rebuttals for all of these. You think Putin is bad? Abraham Lincoln was also a brutal authoritarian who notoriously killed completely innocent American civilians and family members. And much of the GOP disgracefully refers to itself as the “Party of Lincoln”.

    The alt-right has a lot of great points. Even Tyler Cowen, who refers to the movement as neo-reaction stresses “I think it is a category mistake to dismiss neo-reaction on the grounds of racism or prejudice”. You are basically committing exactly this mistake.

    “When you defended the vicious attacks on David French regarding his adopting a black child from Africa,”

    It is admirable to adopt and love and raise a child in need.

  33. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. November 2016 at 18:06

    Scott,

    Good comments, for what it’s worth. As I said months ago, Bill Weld should have been on the top of the Libertarian ticket. Had he been, and if I hadn’t lived in a swing state, I’d have been very tempted to vote for him over Hillary. Unlike Johnson, he seems to know something about foreign policy.

  34. Gravatar of A Definite Beta Guy A Definite Beta Guy
    13. November 2016 at 18:06

    People definitely think Libertarians don’t get it, but I assure you it’s not because of some random blog post.

    we are just giving ammunition to the people who troll libertarians as insensitive on issues such as race and gender (I don’t recall specific examples, but I’m thinking of people like Noah Smith, Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, etc.)

    Are you against using federal dollars to pay for birth control? Then you’re a horrible sexist and on the Wrong Side of History. Story, End Of.

    Are you against using federal tax dollars to subsidize low-income housing? Then you’re a racist ignorant of your white privilege.

    I don’t think Libertarians are ever going to be a national political force. As Regina George would say, stop trying to make Libertarian happen. It’s not going to happen. Just work on the Free State Project.

  35. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    13. November 2016 at 18:20

    Beta Guy,

    Libertarianism in an absolute sense will never happen, of course, but we can and should be more libertarian than we are.

    However, is smart economists with a libertarian streak like Tyler Cowen are right in their guesses about automation ultimately lowering wages for many, if not most employees over the coming generation or more, how can we avoid more income redistribution?

  36. Gravatar of Greg Greg
    13. November 2016 at 19:16

    Keep it up Scott. You’ve been pegging what Trump is from the beginning. Don’t listen to the naysayers.

  37. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. November 2016 at 19:36

    Engineer, I already have a new post praising some of his policy statements. Is that what you mean by “moving on”?

    Idrather, You said:

    “Are there competing arguments for libertarianism, some more utilitarian and some more rights-based?”

    Yes.

    “If so, would it be unsurprising to find the former emphasizing complaints about trade policy, and the latter more the issues you raise here?”

    Libertarians generally favor free trade for both rights-based and utilitarian reasons.

    mbka, You said:

    “And yet I feel much less agitated than I thought I’d feel. Maybe it’s the speed at which he’s turning into an ordinary politician.”

    I wasn’t sure what he’d do, but I sort of suspected he would not try to implement his crazier ideas. Presidents still have to work with Congress, and they only have a 2 seat majority in the Senate, and there are some very independent senators who don’t like Trump.

    MP, I read that too, and agree. But no, that’s not what I’m taking about. It was a more recent article, I wish I could find it. The claim was that he gave the creditors something that was supposedly of equal value, but in fact was almost worthless.

    And just to be clear, nothing has been proven in a court of law, but the same is true regarding Hillary’s scandals. On the other hand both have scandals that “look bad.”

    Christian, You said:

    “Libertarians don’t like big government and big media. The Democrats hated him, the GOP establishment hated him, the media disliked him, 99% of the elite in DC disliked him. Therefore Trump was the realistic and obvious choice in this election.”

    What impeccable logic.

    You’d have also voted for Pol Pot if he were running? After all, the GOP establishment would also be opposed to him. Sometimes I wonder why I even waste time with the comment section.

    You said:

    “I don’t know if Trump is a bully or not.”

    You don’t know? Is there anything you do know? It’s not that hard to spot a bully.

    Thiago, I hope that’s satire on your part.

    Massimo, You said:

    “That is literally how elections work. People are supposed to accept the outcomes of elections.”

    Can I get some commenters here who know how to read the English language? God, what’s wrong with you people?

    “The instant a man/woman puts on a police uniform, people are supposed to give that person certain respects regardless of the individual.”

    How’d that work in Germany?

  38. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    13. November 2016 at 20:14

    Here is a piece arguing that the populist nationalism which is on the rise is not to be confused with C19th and early C20th nationalism. It seems to be at least an arguable case.

    http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=9012

  39. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    13. November 2016 at 20:32

    You have lost your grip on your own rhetoric. For example: “I won’t kowtow to him like all those pathetic GOP leaders.” When did you ever “kowtow” to any politician? When did any reasonable person think or say that you had?

    You are obsessed with the fact that Trump is, personally, a jerk–he sneers as the disabled, etc. But this is almost insignificant beside the issue how he will use his enormous power as President. I see little correlation between personal niceness and Presidential success, so I hope Trump will be relatively successful as President in spite of being personally petty, spiteful, etc., etc.

    But I’m probably one of those libertarians you are targeting as insufficiently negative in their comments about Trump.

  40. Gravatar of RM RM
    13. November 2016 at 20:42

    Libertarianism aside, may I suggest that Bob is right, and that worrying more assiduously about racism is exactly the wrong lesson to learn from the populist revolt?

    https://medium.com/@sophocracy/trumpism-as-a-defection-cascade-45933d678e80

  41. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    13. November 2016 at 20:42

    Sumner you didn’t reply to this:

    “Even Tyler Cowen, who refers to the [alt-right] movement as neo-reaction stresses “I think it is a category mistake to dismiss neo-reaction on the grounds of racism or prejudice”. You are basically committing exactly this mistake.”

  42. Gravatar of Michael Michael
    14. November 2016 at 00:40

    > “The instant a man/woman puts on a police uniform, people are supposed to give that person certain respects regardless of the individual.”

    > How’d that work in Germany?

    worked like a charm, and became a trope ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Voigt

  43. Gravatar of engineer engineer
    14. November 2016 at 04:03

    “Pro-trade/globalization liberals (like me )have done a very poor job selling the very real progressive benefits that globalism has created.”

    I have heard of the benefits of free trade all my life and yet when you personally witness plant closings and see the fall out you wonder how can this increase wealth. If is not creative destruction, just destruction.

    I am sure there are all sorts of models that predict the increase in GDP that different trade deals have resulted in, but given the low growth rates, you wonder…

    The one flaw in the argument as I see it is the impact of free trade on technology development. How much further would electric cars and alternative energy be if we could not rely on mid-east oil. How much further would voice recognition be if we did not have Indian telemarketers, and how much further would robotics and 3-D printing be if we did not have an infinite source of cheap labor.

    Ultimately human progress and standard of living is due to technology and to the extent that globalization has reduced technological progress is probably not taken into account.

  44. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    14. November 2016 at 04:06

    After 40 years in the public eye, it was not until Trump ran against the democrats for office that he was called a racist, or sexist, or xenophobe, etc.

  45. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 05:20

    I find many of the spins on this situation. Especially interesting are the claims that liberals cried wolf about racism, sexism fascism, etc. in the past, and hence are somewhat responsible for the rise of these scourges now. That’s an interesting interpretation.

    Of course, the more straightforward interpretation is that liberals were right about conservatives and some libertarians all along. Many of them really have been racist, sexist, and fascists all along.

    And for conservatives and libertarians to claim that through PC and/or unfair attacks in the past that we helped turn people toward fascism, well that kind of flies in the face of personal responsibility, doesn’t it?

    A large percentage of conservatives, at least since the mid-60s, and in reality before also, have been bad people, period.

  46. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 05:21

    I find many of the spins on this situation interesting, that is.

  47. Gravatar of MP MP
    14. November 2016 at 06:42

    Thanks Scott. I’ll look for that. Truth is, I decided pretty early I couldn’t vote for Trump and paid less attention to the details of some of the scandals after that.

    Scott Freelander, I’m one of those who puts some blame with the wolf crying of the left. I’ve been called a racist for the past eight years because I opposed fiscal stimulus and I thought the Affordable Care Act was a mess. It had numbed me somewhat to accusations of racism. My gut reaction is “What is the left blowing out of proportion now?” In Trump, I found plenty to oppose, but I do see how others could have ended up more sympathetic to Trump because they felt they were being attacked by the same people.

  48. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 07:07

    MP,

    Fair point. As a liberal, I may be deaf at times to some of the accusations the idiots on my side throw around. That being said, while surely there was some unjustified accusations against some conservatives and libertarians over the years, the general message that there were many fascists in the conservative movement was surely correct.

  49. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    14. November 2016 at 08:25

    One last comment on libertarianism: the morality non-aggression is unanimous. Most libertarians, notably Ron Paul, think Abraham Lincoln was wrong for waging mass warfare to prevent secession. Sumner considers this common libertarian viewpoint so outrageous to be not worthy of comment. That’s a real hindrance to discussion.

  50. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 08:37

    There’s no point in saving libertarianism. Libertarianism is proverbially good and original. The good part is promoted by the rest of the starboard and the original part is a mixture of juvenalia and what the disreputable Mr. Sailer calls ‘applied autism’.

  51. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 08:39

    Most libertarians, notably Ron Paul, think Abraham Lincoln was wrong for waging mass warfare to prevent secession.

    No, that’s characteristic of the libertarian subtype associated with the von Mises Institute. That’s what they do when they’re not promoting goldbuggery. The rest of the libertarian fold doesn’t read history books.

  52. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 08:45

    the general message that there were many fascists in the conservative movement was surely correct.

    Only to someone who is an utter illiterate. No one’s promoting any sort of revanchism (in Trump’s case, quite the contrary), or liquidating electoral institutions in favor of fuhrerprinzip, or of some sustained campaign against fancied domestic wirepullers, or of reviving the National Recovery Administration and it’s paraphenalia.

  53. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 08:55

    I have a question for people who defend Trump. What is the point of all the anti-bullying programs in schools?

    Why not ask that question to the people promoting those programs? (Who likely would not have voted for any Republican candidate).

    (While we’re at it, the point of the anti-bullying programs is to give a certain class of public employee and human services professional more employment opportunities, as well as to provide a wedge for promoting homosexuality and its correlates among schoolchildren).

  54. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. November 2016 at 08:57

    Lorenzo, I agree that the two kinds of nationalism are different. But I don’t think he’s justified the racism of the alt-right.

    Philo, I find these defenses of Trump to be odd. When I point out that he favors torture, or stealing Iraq’s oil, or banning Muslims, people tell me that he doesn’t really believe that stuff. OK, but how is that a defense of a politician?

    Is there anything a politician could say that is so horrific that it would affect our votes? What if Trump said during the campaign that he wanted to attack China with nukes? Would we say “he doesn’t mean it”? Of course not. So what’s the criterion for deciding when a politician is serious and when he is not? What should we pay attention to in his campaign? His supporters said he was really serious about one issue—deporting the illegals. (Even his supporters must have known the wall was a joke.) Now he’s already backed off, saying he’ll only deport the bad guys. But that was Obama’s policy! So how do we judge the remarks of a candidate? Does character matter at some level, if we can’t tell whether they are telling the truth or lying?

    RM, You said:

    “may I suggest that Bob is right, and that worrying more assiduously about racism is exactly the wrong lesson to learn from the populist revolt?”

    That’s not at all what I’m saying. I don’t think we need to worry more about racism in general, just because of Trump. I simply think that when someone who is the “dictionary definition of a racist” (and sexist) runs for President, libertarians need to speak out loudly against that candidate. Unless we want to be seen as a “white party”. And that’s not to mention all those other awful anti-libertarian ideas mentioned in the post above.

    Massimo, I very much doubt that Tyler favors neoreaction—I think you misinterpreted that statement. Is there more to neoreaction than racism? Sure, I agree with that. There’s antiglobalization, for instance, an area of overlap with Sanders. The movement includes everything from Breitbart to neo-Nazis to intellectuals like Moldbug. But you don’t have any problem with Steve Bannon as chief strategist?

    engineer, You said:

    “Ultimately human progress and standard of living is due to technology and to the extent that globalization has reduced technological progress is probably not taken into account.”

    You don’t seem to realize that it is technology that results in the vast majority of those plant closings, not trade.

    Scott, You said:

    “Of course, the more straightforward interpretation is that liberals were right about conservatives and some libertarians all along. Many of them really have been racist, sexist, and fascists all along.”

    That’s a pretty weak argument, as even the Democrats are now asking why there is no outrage, given that Trump is “obviously not a normal Republican”. Even Krugman changed his tune on that. Obviously the GOP is primarily to blame for Trump, but campus PC culture and liberals constantly crying wolf about racism definitely created a few Trump voters along the way. Once those white males get out of college, they can take their revenge. That’s not to say that the GOP has not harbored some white racists, but that’s not surprising given that it’s an overwhelmingly white party. What’s new is that they nominated a racist. That’s what should outrage people.

  55. Gravatar of MikeDC MikeDC
    14. November 2016 at 09:06

    Yes, because if this election has taught us anything, it’s that even more shrill appeals to political correctness will sway voters.

    Oh wait, no it won’t. Instead, it will serve to convince people that libertarians are just progressives, who they increasingly distrust on matters of basic fact.

  56. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 09:09

    Harding, When you defended the vicious attacks on David French regarding his adopting a black child from Africa,

    You live in a country with 320 million people in it, some of them very rude, none of them likely to do you or David French any harm and none of them in a position to do you or David French harm under the color of law. Here’s an idea of the scale of the problem (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/19/new-report-2-6-million-anti-semitic-tweets-in-one-year.html). You’d like this sort of thing to not happen. Gross insults from pseudonymous persons you’re never going to cross paths with in meatworld are fairly small problems for an attorney who produces opinion journalism on the side, and French’s colleagues at NR indubitably have a stack of hate mail all their own.

  57. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 09:12

    (Even his supporters must have known the wall was a joke.)

    No, you’re hoping it’s a joke. The wall is in danger from AM McConnell and the Waste-of-Space caucus in the Senate, which is not Trump’s fault.

  58. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 09:14

    I simply think that when someone who is the “dictionary definition of a racist” (and sexist) runs for President,

    He isn’t a racist at all and the term ‘sexist’ is a bit of rhetorical gamesmanship that has no meaning. No serious person ever uses the term.

  59. Gravatar of Scott Freelanders Scott Freelanders
    14. November 2016 at 09:27

    Scott,

    It isn’t just about racism. It’s about fascism. Sure, charges of fascism leveled against Friedman, for example, were absurd. He was a real libertarian with no apparent racial motives of any kind. In fact, he was a racial minority. Charges that Reagan was fascist were wrong.

    However, we shouldn’t take the stupidity of some of the charges of fascism, of which racism is but one element, and deny there was truth in the conservative movement and Republican Party harboring many fascists for decades. It’s clear now, of course, that the Party is mostly made up of fascists and their collaborators.

    A weak argument, I think, is claiming that the opposition party, especially one that has not even controlled Congress or most state governments since the early 90s, has somehow created racism or fascism in the conservative movement to any appreciable degree.

    Again, without substantial evidence to the contrary, the parsimonious explanation is that there were many fascists, and by extension, racists, in the conservative movement and Republican Party all along. Liberals weren’t mostly crying wolf, but were correctly, if sometimes ineffectively, pointing to the dangers of fascism in the opposition.

  60. Gravatar of Scott Freelanders Scott Freelanders
    14. November 2016 at 09:32

    I should point out that the real shame for liberals is in their collective weakness and incompetence at stopping fascism that they saw present. The liberal movement is surely bankrupt, having lacked strong leaders, sound strategy and tactics, and cohesion to build a stronger movement. We can only hope that the rebuilt Democratic Party can being to fight back effectively, because it’s our only hope.

  61. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. November 2016 at 09:39

    Major F says….”After 40 years in the public eye, it was not until Trump ran against the democrats for office that he was called a racist, or sexist, or xenophobe, etc.”

    Nope…wrong… this is a display of ignorance that could be cured by the slightest bit of genuine curiosity and a google…

    Just because you were ignorant about other complaints, for decades, does not make THEM hypnotists… It makes YOU whiney…

  62. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    14. November 2016 at 09:41

    I hope Trump works out—why wouldn’t I? You have often used the concept of counterfactuals in your blogs. Counterfactuals are hypotheses about what might have happened if X rather than Y was present. Granted, speaking of counterfactuals about the future seems doubly remote. But I have yet to read anything from you about Hillary and why she would be a bad president. I am sure you have but your comments are dominated by Trump. You voted for Johnson—-I would really like to hear your opinion on the manner in which Clinton’s presidency would be bad as you have Trumps. Since you voted for neither, you really do give the impression of having “derangement syndrome” on Trump. If you could not vote for Hillary, it would be interesting to know why.

  63. Gravatar of Bill Ellis Bill Ellis
    14. November 2016 at 09:45

    E hard says …. ” Why not ask that question to the people promoting those programs? ”

    ???…. WTF ? The reason is to try and prevent, discourage and reduce bullying…. what’s the fricking mystery…?

    Why don’t you address the obvious point the comment instead of being an intellectual weasel… ?

  64. Gravatar of Scott Freelanders Scott Freelanders
    14. November 2016 at 09:49

    MikeDC,

    It’s not about PC. As Scott has pointed out here, there’s PC on both the left and right. The left has to learn to assert itself and dominate.

    Liberals should not be afraid, for example, to take extreme positions, if principled. They should not be afraid to offer total obstruction to the Trump agenda, no matter the short-term consequences.

    Liberals should call owners of any, but pure hunting rifles and shotguns what they are, for example. Call them vigilantes, anarchists, terrorists, lunatics, and morons. And always refer to them as “conservative”, “reactionary”, and “right-wing”. Also, refer to them always as “extremists”.

    Initially, the reactions to such behavior will be very negative, as the media and most others are used to liberals trying to “play fair” for the most part, and not casting aspersions. However, there is strength to claims oft-repeated, especially with sincere fervor, and we can begin to change the narrative over a generation.

    I would also point out that liberals are accused of doing such things, no matter the truth. We’re accused of coming to take peoples’ guns, of waging a war on christianity, of trying to be the speech and thought police. So, let’s begin to be very much guilty as charged, but push things to such an extent, that the shock has the opposition confused and reeling even after we’ve conquered them.

    We should have no mercy, just as no one should have had any mercy on the Nazis and other fascists in the interwar period.

  65. Gravatar of engineer engineer
    14. November 2016 at 09:57

    “You don’t seem to realize that it is technology that results in the vast majority of those plant closings, not trade.”

    Technology results in job losses to be sure, but usually not wholesale plant closing. The only technology that results in plant closing are those when you have an entire new product that makes an old one obsolete, i.e. Smith Corona closes last typewriter factory…vs. a auto parts company moving all operations to Mexico.

    Ultimately all production will be local, that is what all companies would prefer to do. An Amazon fulfillment center will be able to produce most of the products, instead of just storing them. The “manufacturer” will be the company that owns the IP and design, while the fabrication will be done on demand by Amazon. I believe that is where we are heading, which means most free trade agreements is meaningless.

    Hilary lost for the same reason so many other democrats lost. They have lost the support of the middle class, the support they overwhelmingly enjoyed a generation ago. The republicans represented them on social issues and on non economic issues, like gun rights. But with Trump they also have someone who talks to the economic concerns.

    From a Jeffersonian Democracy point of view, this election has been totally awesome. All my life it has been assumed that the Billionaires controlled politics. Here is a guy who destroyed both established political parties and all their billions and billions of paid media. Can anyone in the Democratic party really think that the Citizens United decision has had any impact on politics? Has anyone seen they type of voter enthusiasm seen at Trump rallies…not in my lifetime. That is not Fascism, that is Democracy in action. A government run by the elites, that is Fascism.

  66. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. November 2016 at 10:11

    Good post Scott.

  67. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 10:14

    So much of what goes for analysis here misses the point. This election wasn’t about issues. It was about personality, as most elections largely are.

    Obama had a positive approval rating, despite polls showing nearly two thirds of Americans saying America was on the wrong track. Americans have voted, granted not by a majority, to possibly erase Obama’s legacy.

    Obama’s approval rating was bolstered by the fact that he’s more likable than Hillary, more relatable, and deemed more trustworthy, in no small part to the former two factors.

    Trump won, despite nearly two-thirds of Americans saying he’s unqualified to be President.

    Obama had a personality cult in 2008, and to a diminished degree in 2012, despite being issues oriented. Trump has a personality cult now. Both have fairly high floors of support as a result.

    Part of the reason Trump is liked more than Hillary is that he’s seen as a strong leader. This should be a lesson to Democrats.

    Don’t nominate someone unlikable or untrusted, nor someone who isn’t strong, and assertive, like an FDR.

  68. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 10:16

    I should clarify to say that an authoritarian streak in a leader is something that people appreciate increasingly in times of stress, and in this way, perhaps more than fascism specifically, Trump appealed to many voters.

  69. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 10:19

    Ignorant, insecure, authoritarian-loving conservatives would complain bitterly about strong Democratic rule and strong-armed tactics, but would be intimidated, demoralized, and at the same time, feel more secure, much like children rebelling against the structure decent parents impose against their will, but that they desperately need.

  70. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. November 2016 at 10:25

    He should dump all of them and be liberated from the constraints of the foul establishment.

    Now Trump = The Establishment. Trumpe for short, or maybe just Te.

    To imagine freedom from “the establishment” sounds like chump magical thinking. Maybe you could even call it “cuck.”

  71. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 10:35

    Why don’t you address the obvious point the comment instead of being an intellectual weasel… ?

    You seem to have confounded me with E. Harding.

    I wasn’t interested in his ‘obvious’ ‘point’. I was interested in what he actually said. If you want to address whatever it is you fancy his point is, do it yourself.

  72. Gravatar of Art Deco Art Deco
    14. November 2016 at 10:39

    Scott Freelander, maybe this will help:

    https://www.amazon.com/Primal-Scream-Arthur-Janov/dp/0399505377/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479148696&sr=1-1&keywords=primal+scream+therapy

  73. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    14. November 2016 at 10:49

    I am increasingly becoming in favor of “white genocide”, meaning let’s just mixed all the races up into a single race. I need to go mate with a black muslim.

  74. Gravatar of Jay Jay
    14. November 2016 at 11:28

    Great post, thank you please keep it up!

  75. Gravatar of Tom Brown Tom Brown
    14. November 2016 at 21:42

    @Scott Freelancer: alternative idea: we all just join the GOP. Fuck up the primaries good for them by voting in sane people. Maybe even an evolutionist, or someone who doesn’t think climate science is BS, or perhaps thinks vaccinations don’t cause autism!

  76. Gravatar of Hitler Bothers Me As Much as a 3-Second Violation Hitler Bothers Me As Much as a 3-Second Violation
    14. November 2016 at 21:48

    […] that since I’m an economist, I would be talking about economics. Here’s a taste of Scott’s reaction to my […]

  77. Gravatar of J.V.Dubois J.V.Dubois
    15. November 2016 at 02:14

    Nothing to add Scott, just keep up the good work. But believe me I know how you feel. This is the shit that we have to deal with right now here in Slovakia: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35739551

    Last election his party had 8% and now they are at double digits. Yeah, I already see stupids here in the comment section saying that it is not that bad with Trump. But this is how this starts. I remember a time 6 years ago when I discussed politics with my Hungarian friend. He voted Orban and I could not believe it. I knew exactly where it was headed and I was right.

    The problem with Right wing populists of our time – except the obvious fact that they are literally opposed to liberal democracy and civic freedoms – is that they embolden true ideological crazies. So right now in Hungary Orban has to compete with openly fascist Jobbik party for the voter.

    In USA it may be that Trump will fail as a president and will be replaced by somebody more sane. But it may also happen that he will succeed in silencing media and internal opposition and next time his primary opponents will not be Cruz or Bush but it will be the likes of Bannon or Suhayda. Because Trump will be a platform for these people to get a legitimate voice. I know that this seems like a fantasy right now but this is what is literally happening in Europe right now. Parties that had sub 1% support can now get double digit results. Once people will see them as “legitimate” alternative that can win the jokes like Trump will no longer suffice.

    God its all so depressing. How can so many wise people be blind to all this? And it is not as if this is something unexpected. This is literally happening right now out in the world.

  78. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    15. November 2016 at 05:37

    Tom,

    I’m willing to troll them in any way I can. Also may want to found a Christians for Abortion movement.

  79. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. November 2016 at 07:00

    Engineer, You said:

    “Technology results in job losses to be sure, but usually not wholesale plant closing.”

    This is simply false, and your entire argument is based on false premises. Take the steel industry, employment has fallen from 800,000 to 130,000. Only a small portion of that is trade. Ditto for the auto industry, and many others. As new automated mills get built, older labor intensive ones close down. I’m afraid you are not up to speed on what’s going on with technology. Automation of telephone switching in the 1950s and 1960s destroyed 100,000s of phone operator jobs. i could go on and on.

    Thanks Jay and JV.

    You said:

    “From a Jeffersonian Democracy point of view, this election has been totally awesome. All my life it has been assumed that the Billionaires controlled politics. Here is a guy who destroyed both established political parties and all their billions and billions of paid media. Can anyone in the Democratic party really think that the Citizens United decision has had any impact on politics? Has anyone seen they type of voter enthusiasm seen at Trump rallies…not in my lifetime. That is not Fascism, that is Democracy in action. A government run by the elites, that is Fascism.”

    I just can’t wait to see your reaction as Trump rolls out Jeb Bush-type policies. The look on the faces of you fools will be priceless. Did you see that Bolton is one of the top choices for Secretary of State? A true Jeffersonian!

  80. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    15. November 2016 at 07:07

    Scott brings up a good point. Who can think of a more truculent figure who’s actually served in government than Bolton? This is supposed to be dovish compared to Hillary?

  81. Gravatar of Abalone Abalone
    15. November 2016 at 09:41

    Thank you for that piece. I particularly appreciated your mention of what you learned in “social studies.” I was sensitized to that risk growing up just after WWII in a town of immigrants including Eastern Europeans and Jews, people who lost family in the old country because they believed that “it couldn’t happen here.” I don’t recall much about my social studies classes but, over the years, I watched caudillos ruin much of South America. Trump’s display of ALL the earmarks was immediately obvious to me, making him a monumentally unacceptable risk. I found, however, that my observation just didn’t resonate with most people, who considered this election to be business as usual–a matter of weighing one side’s proposals against the other’s. Not that Trump will inevitably take that fearsome path, and not that there was a wonderful alternative, but… Anyway, it was gratifying to see that someone else registered the social-studies lesson.

  82. Gravatar of Major.Freedom Major.Freedom
    17. November 2016 at 23:47

    What discredits libertarianism is the sullying of the term by socialists like Sumner calling themselves libertarian.

    How can liberty be defended or sought after if people believe it means initiating coercion against individual people in order to “maintain civilization”, for example monetary monopolies?

    The reason libertarians lost their way a bit during the 1960s is because just like today the term was co-opted by socialists pretending to be defenders of individual liberty.

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