Post Election Survey of Third Party Movement Leaders; Part Three – Where to Now

by Peter B. Gemma

 

In the December 8th edition of The Hill, under the headline “After 2016 drubbing, what’s next for third parties,” author and journalist Dan Arel writes: “Endless analysis has been written about how Trump beat his primary rival Hillary Clinton, and for a short time everyone wanted to blame Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. However, in the wake of final counts, it appears clear that third parties did not sway this election.”

Arel recommends that for 2018, “third parties should not start from the top. One massive criticism from liberals about the Green Party was their focus on the presidency instead of creating a larger grassroots movement from the local level.”

American Solidarity Party’s 2016 presidential nominee Michael Maturan is taking that course of action. He believes that “both major parties suffered some structural damage in this election cycle.” He went on to say that his group intends to “reach out to the disaffected voters of both major parties to offer them a political home. We are also building grass roots coalitions with other like-minded groups in order to move the party and our platform forward. I think we have built a very strong foundation for our future.”

Presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente, who ran on the Reform Party and American Delta Party lines, claims: “I would say that having earned ballot certification in 20 states and write-in status in 16 more certainly gained valuable exposure for both parties. They can also celebrate and build on having a nominee who finished sixth out of the 26 ballot-qualified third party candidates.”

Author and political historian Darcy Richardson, a candidate for the Reform Party nomination in 2016, maintains: “Although votes were few and far between, it’ll be interesting to see if Rocky De La Fuente, who appears eager to give it another whirl four years from now, was able to breathe enough life into the once-robust Reform Party to keep it around for another election cycle or two.”

Looking beyond 2016, independent presidential candidate Lynn Kahn is mapping out a new political path: “I talked with several people about helping them start an independent political party in their states and I’m writing a book: ‘How to Run for President as an Independent.’”

Matthew Bartko, Chairman of the American Solidarity Party’s National Committee, is hopeful about broadening the base of his party: “We are looking for people to start state and local parties where we don’t yet have them and for people to get active in the state parties that have already formed. There are now outreach committees targeted at communities that agree with us on many issues.”

Arvin Vohra, Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, is convinced his party will expand because “more people know the benefits of ending the ‘drug war,’ getting the government out of education, ending the income tax, and repealing the Patriot Act than at any point in the recent past.”

Jim Hedges, 2016 presidential nominee of the Prohibition Party, noted that there was “an influx of younger people this year, people who knew how to use social media – we will make more use of social media.” Hedges also learned a lesson: “The Prohibition Party failed in Tennessee because after our filing was accepted, two of our electors were poached by other small parties. We will insist that ballot-petition contractors use only ‘our own’ people as electors. We’ll work harder on strengthening local party organizations.”

The Legal Marijuana Now Party’s senior political analyst, Oliver Steinberg, is confident about the impact of his party. “Our presidential ticket received 11,290 votes in Minnesota and 2,256 votes in Iowa – the eighth largest third party showing nationally. Our two Minnesota congressional candidates collected 7.7 percent and 8.5 percent respectively, and the LMN candidate for a state senate seat polled 21.8 percent – that’s more than respectable.” Steinberg asserted:

“In states where cannabis law reforms were on the ballot for a direct vote, legalization won in four out of five, and medicinal cannabis prevailed in four out of four. Our efforts should be seen as tangentially connected to those positive results.”

Constitution Party Chairman Frank Fluckiger is upbeat about the future of his organization: “Not all of the votes have been counted, especially write-in votes, but based on the totals received thus far our presidential candidates increased the Constitution Party vote total by a margin of about 55 percent over the 2012, and we were on the ballot in two less states this year. We plan to begin working on ballot access in as many states as possible right after the first of the year and we intend to make greater use of social media than we did in this past election.”

Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party’s standard-bearer, said building his party will start with “attracting a large number of conservative Republicans who chose to support me after Senator Cruz left the race. These people had energy, enthusiasm and incredible resolve. I am very grateful for them. He suggests that “working with other third parties to help each other in ballot access and other ways” will expand the reach of the Constitution Party.

Regarding the Constitution Party, Darcy Richardson commented: “I was most impressed by the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle. I don’t share his politics but he came across as well-informed on the issues and, if I’m not mistaken, Castle was the only candidate who spoke substantively about the Federal Reserve.”

In a November 15 Washington Post story entitled “Five things you need to know about how third-party candidates did in 2016,” authors and academics Christopher Devine and Kyle Kopko warn that third parties continue to face many challenges “including a lack of federal matching funds, state ballot-access restrictions, and voters’ willingness to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils.’ There may be different presidential candidates in 2020, but probably not different rules. If so, minor parties shouldn’t expect the results to change, either.”

A final thought on the future of third parties from Darcy Richardson: “Much depends on the Trump presidency and whether he’s able to unite his fractured party. I imagine the Democrats, on the other hand, will be in lock-down mode for the next four years while support for third party and independent candidates could dwindle significantly in 2020, a la 2004.”

This is the last installment in the series (links: part one and part two)

 

126 thoughts on “Post Election Survey of Third Party Movement Leaders; Part Three – Where to Now

  1. Mike

    It’s encouraging to see the emergence of alternatives to the two wings of the Ruling Party. And it’s interesting how they’re growing while the establishment parties are losing their core constituencies.

    Let a thousand blossoms bloom!

  2. Tony From Long Island

    I love 3rd parties, but the “Reform” Party needs to die a quiet death because it’s name means nothing. What do you want to “reform” things into? What do you do if you get to implement your entire agenda? More reform?

  3. Luchorpan

    It’s kind of you to run this series. I hope Trump is a success, even if it harms third party popularity in the near-term. The expectations on Trump are nearly impossible though.

    The American Solidarity Party is extremely interesting. It’s a breath of fresh air that focuses more on the problems we face today.

    Older folks want to see the young continue their cause, carrying the banner. But the young should look at the new problems of today.

    And indeed, Russell Kirk’s declaration against ideology should be considered. Perhaps “first things” should be put first, and perhaps there is no single political formula that is best for all societies at all times.

  4. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I wonder if Gary Johnson will try for a third run in 2020? If so, I wonder if LP delegates will nominate him?

    I can see Johnson supporters pointing to Johnson’s historic LP high of 3% and 4 million votes. And that his numbers increased from 2012 to 2016. (Unlike Harry Browne’s, which fell from 1996 to 2000.)

    But I think Johnson is spent. His historic LP high wasn’t due to his appeal as a candidate, but to the widespread hatred felt for the top two candidates. Johnson himself came across as buffoonish, at times even bizarre, in his campaign.

    Does anyone know if Johnson will try again in 2020?

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    I would be very surprised if Gary had any interest in running again, and I’d be even more surprised if any Libertarians were interested in supporting him. Johnson was never very enthusiastic and never exhibited much passion this time around. I wouldn’t support him.

    My personal observation is that he made poor choices of people to work with him (specifically Nielson, Weld and his thug handler, whose name escapes me right now).

    That’s a big character fault, as I see it.

  6. steve m

    I would like Gary to run for one of the New Mexico senate seats which are up for contention in 2018 and 2020.

    For President in 2020 it is time to run someone else.

  7. Darcy G Richardson

    That’s a profoundly insightful and astute comment by Luchorpan regarding Russell Kirk, the gifted prophet of American conservatism.

    Kirk definitely put political ideology aside when choosing a candidate for president. In fact, he was among the lonely few who cast a ballot for the Socialist Party’s Norman M. Thomas in 1944 — one of the leanest years for third-party candidates. The “Greatest Generation” simply had no time or patience for alternative voices that year. Kirk, who famously debated Thomas seventeen years later, supported his 1944 candidacy — his fifth of six tries for the presidency — largely out of gratitude for Thomas’s steadfast and principled refusal to join America’s rush to war in the years and months preceding Pearl Harbor.

    Kirk later supported Eugene McCarthy’s largely-forgotten independent bid for the White House in the year of America’s Bicentennial and proudly supported Pat Buchanan’s insurgent candidacy for the Republican nomination in 1992. He was a rarity, someone far more interested in a candidate’s intellectual competency than his or her ideology.

  8. robert capozzi

    dgr: someone far more interested in a candidate’s intellectual competency than his or her ideology.

    me: Choosing candidates by intellect sounds like its own ideology. Kirk’s approach has its merits, although I prefer wisdom to intellect. I also prefer authenticity as a consideration.

    So, for ex., Ted Cruz strikes me as a very smart dude. His wisdom factor seems moderate, and his authenticity factor seems quite low. I would not be inclined to vote for him.

    GJ doesn’t come off as the sharpest tool in the shed. His wisdom seems quite high to me, but his authenticity seems uneven…he’s at his best when he knows who he is and he makes no excuses for that.

    DJT seems less bright than he thinks, but probably bright enough. His wisdom factor seems very low, which he compensates for by insulting his way into office. His authenticity factor seems really low, as if he is a character he made up.

    HRC seems very bright. She puts on a great wisdom act, but I’m not buying it. Authencity…also extremely low.

    These are of course just impressions.

  9. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Capozzi: GJ doesn’t come off as the sharpest tool in the shed. His wisdom seems quite high to me,

    Whereas to me, Ted Cruz seems wiser than Gary Johnson. And I don’t consider Cruz all that wise.

    Johnson has a buffoonish quality, similar to that of George W. Bush. Only more so.

  10. Matt

    Johnson is done running for any and all offices. He’s sick of politics and wants to enjoy life. Heard that from multiple people including some who know him. Unfortunately, if he was to change his mind, I think Libertarians probably would give him another chance. I don’t think he deserves it. Any of the “top six” and probably some of the others at this year’s Libertarian convention other than Johnson would have been better.

    I agree with RTAA, “Johnson has a buffoonish quality, similar to that of George W. Bush. Only more so.”

    The Reform Party is already effectively dead. They are down to a couple of states in ballot access. Post-2000 they have either cross-endorsed other parties’ presidential candidates or run their own candidate who only got a few hundred votes nationwide. They have had very few candidates for other offices either. I’m not counting the New York Reform Party, which did not start out being allied with the national Reform Party, mostly cross-endorses candidates and which Richard Winger estimates is going to lose its ballot access in 2018. To the extent there is still a Reform Party it is walking undead. The name is not ultimately sustainable, as Tony explains, but it can be a pretty effective party name in the short run.

  11. Oliver Steinberg

    To clarify: Legal Marijuana Now’s presidential candidate ran in 6th place out of 9 in Minnesota. The national ranking is irrelevant (only on ballot in two states) and besides, the candidate who ran FIRST also lost. Think about it.
    UNLIKE OTHER MINOR PARTIES, the political goal of the LMN party isn’t to win elections but to fulfill the historical role of 3rd parties, namely, to test-drive controversial reform ideas and try to attract enough votes so that the professional politicians will steal the ideas and enact the reforms.
    We deliberately underplayed our Presidential ticket, not wanting to even indirectly help Know-Nothing candidate Trump, whose seizure of power probably spells the end of any semblance of free elections and constitutional democracy in the USA. The catastrophic consequence of that Constitutional booby-trap, the Electoral College, spells disaster for our nation, for other nations, and for planet Earth’s human, animal, and plant inhabitants.
    In our other ballot-certified races, we did attract a respectable fraction of the votes even without organized campaigns or any funds to spend. The calamitous ascension of the gangster regime renders moot our efforts–and those of other third parties AND the Democratic party–so the task now is to regroup into a 21st-century version of the underground resistance movements against 20th-century totalitarian systems. Start by re-reading Orwell’s “1984.”

  12. robert capozzi

    GJ can be goofy, and to me personally a bit of goofiness indicates a lack of arrogance, which reflects wisdom. When GJ’s on his game, he frames issues well, and avoids pat dogmatic platitudes.

  13. Luchorpan

    robert capozzi,

    Kirk wouldn’t only consider intellect. You might like this: http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2011/04/russell-kirk-errors-of-ideology-briefly.html

    Trump’s best quality is his foreign policy instinct. His worst quality is his position on the 4th Amendment.

    Trump is smarter than he presents himself. Trump grew up feeling like an outcast from the elite in NYC somewhat, or so the tale goes. And I suppose with his construction business, he’s around a lot of construction types. And he has a distinctly NYC style which is a little rough. Also, the media has a way of shaping our perceptions. According to test score comparisons, Kerry is supposedly dumber than Dubya. The media, however, spins Kerry as intelligent. One example on trade comes to mind where Trump was right but was portrayed as wrong. And both Clinton and Cruz were caught on foreign policy mistakes during the campaign, though only Trump’s mistakes were highlighted.

    If you listen to Trump when younger, he sounds a bit more impressive. His later speeches were very intelligent, regardless whether or not he wrote them. Hillary certainly didn’t write her speeches. Ah, Trump might be the first candidate who dared to tweet his own tweets. Obama, btw, is terrible at speeches without a teleprompter. With a teleprompter, Obama is gifted of course.

    Continuing, Trump is known as a workaholic. However, it’s also said that he can grow bored of projects. So, a risk might be that he allows someone else too much leeway.

    David Stockman said something about how Trump is appealing because he isn’t well versed in mainstream politics.

    I’m a cynical person. I don’t readily believe in anyone. But I like Trump so far as politicians go; he certainly ran on many of the issues I care about. When I hear from Clinton supporters how I’ve been tricked, I feel like replying that they were most certainly tricked.

    You say Clinton is smart. Well, her husband is indisputably a genius. But both of them had foreign policies that were much too aggressive for me. And Hillary has been accused of being unstable, when wife to the president. Whether that’s true, I dunno. There’s an argument that it’s more dangerous to have a dumb good president than to have a smart evil president. But, Trump just isn’t so stupid, especially compared with our Neocon “thinkers”, who were to be empowered under Clinton.

    The US has suffered under very bad monetary policy, foreign policy, trade policy. And Trump dared to speak against these. Also, Trump spoke against cheap labour. That’s bad for donors. So, I wouldn’t say Trump is stupid so much as he’s perhaps foolish to have taken on the powers-that-be.

    Every society runs on a bit of evil though. There is no utopia. Businesses chase profit, and if they can make that profit by lobbying the government (eg. Microsoft avoiding monopoly ruling), or by starting a war, they’ll do so. Similarly, you might gain a few votes with some pork spending. It’s just how society works. To take it all on, it’s very Ron Paul esque. And Trump will need to negotiate deals with Congress; it won’t simply follow him out of partisan loyalty. Congress has donors to consider. Donors decide who is reelected and who isn’t. We’ve similarly seen George Soros spend his money… creatively, so these billionaires can do more than simply donate and run ads. Those with money and other forms of power matter; those voters who are readily influenced by that money and power perhaps matter less since they’ll adjust their views as directed. A perfect example is the NeverTrumpers who as a rule never clarify specifically why they dislike Trump.

    Trump promised to negotiate better deals, to seek out the best deal possible; and if he sticks to that, it’s likely the best we could hope for.

    At times I think Trump misses the perfect solution. Again trade is my ready example. But he pinpoints major problems. Part of this is due to Trump simply wanting to stand out, which, sure, suggests he doesn’t mean everything he says.

  14. Matt

    “Trump’s best quality is his foreign policy instinct.”

    Oh please … that’s such a transparent crock. Not even president yet and he’s already stirring up shit with China over Taiwan. China so happens to be a nuclear power with a large conventional military as well, and a major economic power to boot. Meanwhile, Trump has appointed a hardliner as ambassador to Israel and may be looking to move the embassy to Jerusalem, a move that along with scrapping the Iran nuclear deal will majorly stir the mideast hornets nest. If Israel or the US bombs Iran, which side will Russia take? The fallout between BFFs Putin and Trump is likely to be a lot uglier than the fallout between former friends Trump and Clinton.

    ” One example on trade comes to mind where Trump was right but was portrayed as wrong. ”

    Trump is dangerously wrong on trade. Not only will his trade policies wreck the economy but, as the old saying correctly points out, when goods don’t cross borders armies will. Another reasons why his supposedly good instincts on foreign policy are a myth. If he is so good on foreign policy why is he such a self-proclaimed fan of John Bolton?

    ” But I like Trump so far as politicians go; he certainly ran on many of the issues I care about.”

    That certainly doesn’t speak well of you.

    “Also, Trump spoke against cheap labour. That’s bad for donors. ”

    It’s bad for consumers, and thus for retailers, therefore also for manufacturers wherever they may happen to be, etc, etc. But Trump does have a “solution” – ratcheting up the extortion-funded arms industry (because he’s such a peacenik) and extortion-funded infrastructure projects (because as we all know centrally planned economies work best). Why, just think of all the new police, military and prison guard jobs he will create! That and lowering the standard of living for working Americans through all his regime interventions in the economy to the point that they will want the jobs Americans didn’t want before and were mostly being done by undocumented workers, after he’s done rounding up and deporting tens of millions of people.

    “A perfect example is the NeverTrumpers who as a rule never clarify specifically why they dislike Trump.”

    Untrue. There are lots of reasons we dislike Trump and many of us are happy to name them, as I have done in this comment.

    “Trump promised to negotiate better deals, to seek out the best deal possible”

    Central planning, and a great white leader on horseback, are not necessary to the process of making deals. Individual business owners, workers and consumers, insurers and arbitrators and reviewers and rankers should be free to make all deals on a case by case basis free of coercion. Trump’s or more broadly the regime’s thumb on the scale of those deals brings nothing but trouble.

  15. robert capozzi

    L: You say Clinton is smart. Well, her husband is indisputably a genius. But both of them had foreign policies that were much too aggressive for me.

    me: Me too. I find their aggressiveness highly unwise.

  16. Darcy G Richardson

    “Choosing candidates by intellect sounds like its own ideology. Kirk’s approach has its merits, although I prefer wisdom to intellect.” — Robert Capozzi

    I’m pretty sure that Russell Kirk, like most people, considered an intellectually competent individual as someone who was not only smart and knowledgeable, but also somebody who possessed plenty of wisdom. Those were certainly qualities that a couple of his presidential choices possessed in spades.

  17. Richard Winger

    The Legal Marijuana Now Party did very well for its two US House candidates this year in Minnesota. I almost made a blog post out it. They both got over 7% in races with Dems and Reps.

  18. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Tony From Long Island

    I love 3rd parties, but the “Reform” Party needs to die a quiet death because it’s name means nothing. What do you want to “reform” things into? What do you do if you get to implement your entire agenda? More reform?

    Who cares? You always complain about this and I do not understand why it matters. One might as well complain about the Democrats on the basis that the US is technically not a democracy, but a republic.

    @ steve m

    I would like Gary to run for one of the New Mexico senate seats which are up for contention in 2018 and 2020.

    For President in 2020 it is time to run someone else.

    That’s actually a really good idea. He’s well known to the area and has at least a chance of possibly winning it. And getting even one or two Libertarian senators into congress could make a lot of difference depending on what the makeup of the Senate is. Presently, if two Republican senators were Libertarians, no one would have a majority and the libertarians would actually have considerable force in congress as a result; on issues where the Democrats and Republicans disagree (which is a lot), the Libertarians would end up being the deciders as they’d be necessary to get the 51 votes.

    Before I was thinking he might be an okay pick for vice president for the next election, but if he’d be an even better pick to run for senator.

  19. Luchorpan

    Matt,

    compared with Hillary, Trump is exceedingly better on foreign policy. Trump has been very neutral on Russia and his comments on China/Taiwan have not been significant. You should follow Justin Raimondo on twitter.

    Part of Trump’s success was his foreign policy. He ran against Bush, Obama, and Hillary – all three were overly interventionist. Gary Johnson of course spoke well of Hillary…

    Obama perhaps didn’t want to be interventionist and deserves praise for Cuba and Iran, but Libya and Syria happened under his watch. Also Yemen.

    Regarding trade, you can learn more about it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-fletcher/sorry-but-the-us-does-ind_b_12242314.html

    Or not. Up to you. The US is large enough to benefit from trade protections as everyone else uses, and Trump doesn’t actually want protections. Trump has been arguing for fair competition. I’m a trade protectionist however. I liked Ted Cruz’s proposed BTT and had liked it before Cruz chose it.

    You argue that trade protections would cause war, but everyone else uses them already and long has used them. And we already have managed trade deals. Gary Johnson rejected Ron Paul’s free trade. Johnson embraced TPP. So, you’d have to clarify whether you’re for TPP or actual free trade. And yes, there were three Obama trade deals, but TPP tends to be what people focus on.

    Regarding cheap labour: it undercuts American citizens and leads to socialism.

    The libertarian open borders argument seems to be that all the world will soon convert to the Church of Libertarian, but there’s no rational reason to expect this. What really happens is poor, exploited workers vote for bigger government. And I can’t blame them really. I wouldn’t want to be treated as a second class citizen or slave either.

    No, NeverTrumpers never have much idea why they oppose Trump. You might dislike Trump, but you aren’t arguing as if you’re a conservative. A Ron Paul libertarian or a Gary Johnson Libertarian might argue against Trump, but they’re not really NeverTrumpers. NeverTrump claim to be “conservative” but shy away from explaining why they oppose Trump. They hate how noninterventionist Trump is in, with the exception of defeating ISIS. And they hate Trump’s trade and immigration policies – and also Trump’s refusal to cut Social Security and his comments on the debt, infrastructure, and the Federal Reserve.

    The key issue is Trump ran against moneyed interests. What NeverTrump supports are the lobbyist interests. NeverTrump is for sale to the highest bidder; Trump at least ran as if he weren’t.

  20. Matt

    “compared with Hillary, Trump is exceedingly better on foreign policy.”

    Bullshit. He gets undeserved credit for this. There are many reasons why it’s untrue. Just within the last 24 hours, and still almost a month from assuming office, he’s already talking about starting a new nuclear arms race and stirring the hornet’s nest in the middle east. There’s a lot more where that came from.

    ” Trump has been very neutral on Russia…”

    He’s been very craven to Russia, but past performance does not necessarily predict future results. What’s he going to do when Israel or the US bombs Iran, thanks to a restarted nuclear program after he scraps the deal and moves the embassy to Jerusalem, and Putin doesn’t like it? Among many other things that can lead to a falling out.

    “…and his comments on China/Taiwan have not been significant.”

    I disagree. Along with his trade policies he may very well be putting the US on a course to conflict and perhaps war with China.

    ” You should follow Justin Raimondo on twitter.”

    Why? I already know about his Trumptard fallacies.

    “Part of Trump’s success was his foreign policy.”

    It was widely misunderstood. Trump will exacerbate tensions with China, the EU, Latin America, Iran, and other countries. He wants a military buildup, including nuclear. Given his reckless tendency to escalate conflicts we need to worry about the very real possibility that he will start out in a twitter war with other world leaders and end up in a real war. And I doubt he’ll resist the temptation to go to war to boost his popularity after his economic policies wreck the economy.

    “Regarding trade, you can learn more about it here…”

    Not a good source to learn economics. You would be better off reading classical liberal authors on that subject.

    “The US is large enough to benefit from trade protections as everyone else uses”

    And the vast majority of people are hurt by them.

    “Trump doesn’t actually want protections.”

    Yes, he does.

    “I’m a trade protectionist however. ”

    And you are completely wrong on this issue.

    “You argue that trade protections would cause war, but everyone else uses them already and long has used them.”

    And they have frequently led to war. Trade sanctions and embargoes and blockades are escalating stages of hostilities and weapons of war.

    “And we already have managed trade deals. Gary Johnson rejected Ron Paul’s free trade. Johnson embraced TPP. So, you’d have to clarify whether you’re for TPP or actual free trade.”

    Actual free trade. And forget Gary Johnson; he is yesterday’s news, as he should be.

    “Regarding cheap labour: it undercuts American citizens and leads to socialism.”

    Again, you are completely wrong here.

    “The libertarian open borders argument seems to be that all the world will soon convert to the Church of Libertarian,”

    No, it isn’t.

    “NeverTrump claim to be “conservative” but shy away from explaining why they oppose Trump.”

    There are plenty of conservatives who explained very well why they oppose Trump.

    “They hate how noninterventionist Trump is”

    Again, if he’s so noninterventionist, why is he a fan of John Bolton?

    ” And they hate Trump’s trade and immigration policies – and also Trump’s refusal to cut Social Security and his comments on the debt, infrastructure”

    As well they should.

    “and the Federal Reserve.”

    He’s been all over the map on that one.

    “The key issue is Trump ran against moneyed interests. ”

    Is that why his cabinet picks include so many billionaires and Goldman Sachs bankers?

    ” NeverTrump is for sale to the highest bidder”

    No, Trump is.

    “Trump at least ran as if he weren’t.”

    And you fell for that one? LOL.

  21. George Phillies

    I am one of the minority who thought that Trump had a reasonable chance of winning the election, which I viewed as neither better nor worse but way different from Clinton winning. I did not view either of these as a favorable outcome. Having said that, complaining about Trump’s foreign policy et tedious cetera when he is not yet even in office and therefore has actually not done anything seems a bit much.

  22. Matt

    I also thought he had a good chance of winning. See the pre-election prediction thread. It’s not a complete unknown what Trump’s policies will be. We know how he had conducted himself as an individual, neighbor, husband, businessman, etc, throughout his life. We know how he ran his campaign. We can the promises he made to get elected. We can see his cabinet and staffing picks. We can see his conduct during the transition. We have an extensive history of other right wing authoritarian nationalists who have come to power in other countries using populism as a cover. It’s not like some blank book where we have no idea how it’s going to go.

  23. George Phillies

    As usual, Libertarians will have inflicted on themselves various sorts of paranoid conspiracy fantasies about a hypothetical Trump administration.

  24. Matt

    So, not being in denial is paranoid conspiracy?

    “That giant meteor hasn’t even hit earth yet. Let’s give it a chance and see what it will do.”

  25. Tony From Long Island

    I love 3rd parties, but the “Reform” Party needs to die a quiet death because it’s name means nothing. What do you want to “reform” things into? What do you do if you get to implement your entire agenda? More reform?

    Who cares? You always complain about this and I do not understand why it matters. One might as well complain about the Democrats on the basis that the US is technically not a democracy, but a republic.

    I guess obviously I care . . . And If I remember correctly , this might be my second or at the most third post about this, so “always” doesn’t really apply. Glad you read my posts, my friend.

    A definition of DEMOCRACY: “1.a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives: ”

    So I guess it does apply,

    The “reform” party is a name that means nothing. It doesn’t give anyone interested in it any idea of what they stand for. At least with the “prohibition” party, you know what you are getting into!!

  26. Tony From Long Island

    Luchorpan: ” . . . .No, NeverTrumpers never have much idea why they oppose Trump. . . . . ”

    What? Even if I agreed with the man on every single issue (which is impossible because he changes his positions daily) I would oppose him. He is a buffoon. He is a bully. He is a narcissist. He is rude, arrogant, insensitive and speaks with the grammar and vocabulary of an 8th grader. But, hey, he knows “all the best words” and is “like, very smart.”

    He is beneath the dignity of the office. He makes George W. Bush look like George Washington.

    Just take a few minutes to read his twitter feed. This isn’t “The Apprentice!” Meat Loaf can not be head of the FDA. Gary Busey will not be head of ATF.

    Never Trumpers of all political parties know exactly why the oppose this dangerous man. They not all oppose for the same reasons, but they know. And as each day goes by and more and more people start feeling that voters regret, more and more people will know.

  27. Tony From Long Island

    Jorge Philipe: If you haven’t gotten a feel for the type of person this man is during his 70 years of life, I don’t know what to tell ya. If’s not being paranoid to clearly see that the man is a fake, a fraud, a con man, narcissist and a misogynist. He is an international embarrassment who doesn’t care what he has to do to get his name uttered by the press he pretends to despise.

    The man once acted as his own publicist so he could tell a reporter how much poontang he got.

    To use a word he invented a few days ago, this is “unpresidented”

  28. Tony From Long Island

    ” . . . . . “The key issue is Trump ran against moneyed interests. . . . . ”

    This was one of his most laughable. His voters really truly were suckers. The backwoods rednecks really thought that a NYC (alleged) billionaire gave a crap about them? These are the same people who yell “keep you dirty government hands off my medicare.”

  29. Tony From Long Island

    I will be gone until Tuesday so MERRY CHRISMAKWANZAKAH to everyone and Happy Festivus for the rest of us

  30. Oliver Steinberg

    Thanks for this point-by-point refutation of Trumpinista nonsense! However, a certain mental zombification sets into the Trump followers, so your valiant effort may be of no avail to those already afflicted with the political equivalent of mad-cow disease. The rest of us can appreciate it and express our gratitude for someone with the brains and the fortitude to keep slugging it out. First and foremost, remember Trump is NOT the people’s choice; he ran 2nd in the election and his pretension should be denied and his regime resisted, to affirm the principle of majority rule and to uphold the voice of the people. After his vicious campaign, Trump secures legal election but he cannot, as the clear and decided loser of the popular vote, claim legitimacy. There IS a difference! And we the people, for the sake of trying to restore our democratic system and civil society, must never concede legitimacy to this gangster regime. As for the Democrats, their gutless capitulation in the face of this historical catastrophe ought to give lots of opportunity for new popular leadership to arise. It could be the Libertarians, I suppose, although I would rather see someone of the Sanders philosophy.

  31. George Phillies

    Tony, your remarks are not relevant to the original claim. The issue is not whether he is an egomaniac, but as suggested above whether or not he wants to turn himself into a dictator. He’s a populist, so he is plotting to be a dictator is meritless as a claim.

  32. Matt

    You must not be familiar with the history of “populist” authoritarian nationalism. It’s commonplace throughout world history. Hitler won power democratically, and even though he dispensed with elections later, he most likely would have won them had he allowed them. Putin still has elections, and by all accounts is genuinely popular, even though there are many autocratic elements to his rule. Peron and others in Latin America followed a similar playbook, and there have been many others.

    Dictators often hold mass rallies to shore up their popularity, and they may well hold elections, albeit ones where genuine opposition is intimidated and attacked by force. What makes them dictatorial is not the lack of populism but rather the dispensing with checks and balances on power, the exaggerated use of the bully pulpit to appeal directly to the people and dispense with the power of the legislature, courts, permanent bureaucracy, with civil liberties, etc. The press and anti-regime protesters are likewise typically intimidated by pro-regime crowds and thugs, ranging from official to freelance. Indeed, adopting a populist stance helps authoritarian regimes be effective in taking such measures.

  33. steve m

    seems disingenuous to think that all 63 million people who voted for Trump are “backwoods rednecks”

  34. Matt

    I doubt anyone here believes that or has made any such claim. And some of them must have realized that his claim that he would not be swayed by other wealthy people were also bullshit. Nevertheless a lot of people – including, but not limited to, blue collar white voters and “rednecks” – fell for Trump’s phony populism and his lies about being independent from financially corrupting influences. And, yes, those people were and are suckers.

  35. George Phillies

    I am quite familiar with history.

    ” Hitler won power democratically,” well, not really. The NDSAP had peaked electorally, but Hindenberg was prevailed upon — notably by his daughter, a fanatic Nazi — to make Hitler Chancellor.

    Putin is ex-KGB, following the formula he advanced before the fall of Communism to take back power.

  36. George Phillies

    And most of your remarks have nothign to do with what is actually happening in this country.

    With respect to which campaign commitments Trump will keep, I suggest that you will have to wait and find out.

  37. Just Some Random Guy

    @ Tony From Long Island

    I guess obviously I care . . . And If I remember correctly , this might be my second or at the most third post about this, so “always” doesn’t really apply. Glad you read my posts, my friend.

    A definition of DEMOCRACY: “1.a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives: ”

    So I guess it does apply,

    Democracy actually originally meant specifically to be direct rule by the people; you didn’t have people vote for politicians, people directly voted on all the issues themselves. Obviously, the US is not a democracy under this definition, nor is really any country.

    But even if one wants to claim that it’s the modern definition that matters (in which it has been expanded to essentially mean what “republic” used to), at the time of the creation of the Democratic Party by Andrew Jackson, I believe the original definition was in effect.

    The “reform” party is a name that means nothing. It doesn’t give anyone interested in it any idea of what they stand for. At least with the “prohibition” party, you know what you are getting into!!

    Okay, so it doesn’t give anyone interested in it what they stand for. Want to know what else doesn’t do that in their title? The Democratic and Republican parties. “Democrat” and “Republican” are about the vaguest possible names for a party you could possibly come up with.

  38. Matt

    “And most of your remarks have nothign to do with what is actually happening in this country.”

    They have everything to do with what is actually happening in this country.

    “With respect to which campaign commitments Trump will keep, I suggest that you will have to wait and find out.”

    The specific matter a lot less than the overall pattern, which is easy enough to recognize.

    “Democracy actually originally meant specifically to be direct rule by the people”

    That’s why we have representative democracy. As for Republics, they can be dictatorships, so long as that dictatorship is not hereditary.

  39. Matt

    https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/populistauthoritarianism/

    “WHAT IS POPULIST-AUTHORITARIANISM?

    Populist-Authoritarianism is defined as a philosophy and style of governance which blends two sets of ideas.

    Populist parties are defined as those which endorse popular sovereignty and direct democracy at any cost, if necessary over-riding minority rights, elite expertise, constitutional checks-and-balances, conventional practices, and decision-making by elected representatives. Populists typically adopt a rhetorical language and governing style which challenges the authority, neutrality, and expertise of traditional establishment elites. In practice, supporters express faith in being led by maverick and transgressive outsiders (‘none-of-the-above’) who maintain direct links with their followers, through public rallies, television studios, and social media, with leaders articulating the authentic voice, virtue, and experience of ordinary people.

    Authoritarian parties and leaders adopt policy positions which endorse the values of tough security against threats from outsiders, xenophobic nationalism, strict adherence to conventional moral norms, and intolerance of multiculturalism. This orientation underpins competitive authoritarian regimes.

    The danger is that authoritarianism corrodes principles and practices at the heart of liberal democracy. This includes respect for norms of live-and-let-live fair play, constraints on partisanship, the protection of civil liberties, and the value of consensus-building; the importance of a bright line clearly separating personal and political interests; the unambiguous rejection of political violence and the active defense of human rights; the value of tolerating a multicultural diversity of lifestyles, beliefs, and ideas; and the importance of cosmopolitanism, open borders, and multilateral cooperation.

    It is worth emphasizing that not all populists are authoritarian, and not all authoritarians are populists, by any means. Populists may also challenge the establishment to advance a progressive agenda. But Populist-Authoritarian parties and leaders blend both these potent appeals. “

    Sound familiar?

  40. steve m

    Matt,

    let me propose an alternative to being swindled by trump or being dumb rednecks… which yes one previous comment used that term and implied it to all of Trumps voters.

    There are two predominant parties, one ran a well known and highly disliked politician whom is widely disliked and un-trusted. The other ran a well known individual who is was also widely disliked and made really wild statements.

    In enough states the voters picked the wild character over the un-trusted career politician.

    Those that use insults to describe about a quarter of the voting age population (which turns out to be 45% of the population that bothers to vote) while claiming to be rational and expecting to progress a 3rd party are well… dumb.

  41. Matt

    You’re trying to make the statement far too categoric. Not all Trump voters bought the li(n)e that he was running against moneyed interests. But the ones who did were suckers. It’s not an insult, just a fact.

  42. steve m

    ah a difference between you and I, Matt is I know that facts have to have proof otherwise they are just opinions. By the way I am not the one who made the categorical statement that would be the individual who called Trumps 63 million voters “backwoods rednecks”.

    I also believe, that you make less headway in persuading people when you start of by insulting them. I am just hoping to dissuade use of such broad ridiculously inaccurate and insulting categorizations.

  43. steve m

    not a long read Matt. here it is.

    This was one of his most laughable. His voters really truly were suckers. The backwoods rednecks really thought that a NYC (alleged) billionaire gave a crap about them? These are the same people who yell “keep you dirty government hands off my medicare.”

    One paragraph, “his voters really truly were suckers.” Following sentences in a paragraph are expected to expand upon the idea, this is where he calls them backwoods rednecks.

    What are you Matt? Tony’s Trump like minion who explaining off another New Yorker’s tweet?

    Tony, wrote it. I take it for what English grammar implies that it means.

  44. Matt

    I’ve disagreed with Tony plenty, so I can hardly be accused of being his minion. You add a word “all” that is just not there. Then you further make the even more completely absurd leap that the following sentence regarding backwoods rednecks is also meant to apply to all Trump voters and not just some of them. The original issue is that some of Trump’s voters (again…not all of them) thought he would be independent of moneyed interests. Tony then said those voters were suckers. Your determination to believe that every single statement in the paragraph was meant to characterize *all* Trump voters is astounding. Presumably, on any part of Long Island Tony would know that not all of them are backwoods rednecks. I suspect you realize that Tony knows this, and never meant to imply any such thing, so you are just trying to twist things just for the sake of doing so.

  45. Oliver Steinberg

    63 million voted for Trump. 65 million voted for Clinton. IF Clinton had won the electoral college and lost the popular vote, there would have been riots and armed insurrection across the nation by the armed-to-the-teeth Trump supporters (and calling them “armed-to-the-teeth” is NOT an exaggerated characterization, as every one reading this knows.) The Democrats, lacking an understanding of fascism (and/or “authoritarianism a la Putin”–which is a distinction without much difference) just capitulate and surrender. Patriots need to organize into resistance groups, and find new leadership. We need an American Gandhi, or another M. L. King, or Mandela.

  46. Matt

    You see, next we will have Steve M insisting that Oliver Steinberg just said that every single Trump voter is armed to the teeth.

  47. steve m

    Matt,

    The implication that Tony made, is that Trump voters are backwoods rednecks. It is as deplorable as when Clinton claimed Trump supporters are deplorable. Insulting the people you would like to get votes from is dumb. Did Tony mean all 63 million or only a few? I claim doing so is bad politics. It was bad politics when Hillary did it and it was bad politics when Tony does it. And it is bad politics when you defend it.

    So tell me Matt how many of the Trump voters do you consider to be backwoods Rednecks?

  48. steve m

    what is really ignorant…. is that it was voters in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that voted for Trump and cost Clinton the election…. States the democrats should have won. So the Tony from New York is calling a bunch of people from the midwest a derogatory term normally reserved for southerners. The southerns would call these people Yankees and derogatorily mix them in with New Yorkers.

    Talk about New York Fucking Stupid.

  49. Matt

    Your question is stupid. Obviously some Trump supporters are deplorable. I think Clinton originally estimated half, and then walked that back. I don’t know if there is any way to measure the percentage or hazard a real guess but they clearly exist and not in tiny numbers by any stretch.

    Trump was overwhelmingly popular in white rural areas, so to the extent that backwoods rednecks had a candidate it was usually Trump. Now there’s not some bright line separating rednecks from non-rednecks nor is it a census category so exact numbers would be hard to come by, but easily in the millions, most likely in the tens of millions of would be my guess.

    Not everyone in rural areas is racist, nor do all racists live in rural areas, but some racists do move to rural areas because they can live further away from people of other races, and some people who grow up in rural areas and are less educated tend to be racist because they have had little or no interaction with other races, or because they live in areas with a history of racial animosity that has been passed down through generations. All of these are overlapping categories, and most lack solid numbers, but again they do all represent millions of people – and the more low income/low education white, rural and/or white racist someone is – that is the stereotypical backwoods redneck – the more likely they are to support Trump.

    “The implication that Tony made, is that Trump voters are backwoods rednecks.”

    No… that’s an implication that you read into it.

    “Did Tony mean all 63 million or only a few?”

    Well, he’s not a complete moron, so he would know it’s not all 63 million.

    Long Island is typically used to refer to Nassau and Suffolk counties. Trump won Suffolk County with 52.5% of the vote and lost Nassau county with 46% of the vote. Obviously Tony would know that not all those Trump voters are backwoods rednecks.

    In geographical terms, Brooklyn and Queens are also part of Long Island, although they are generally not what people mean when they say Long Island. But even there, Trump won 22% of the vote in Queens and 18% of the vote in Brooklyn. Tony would not be so dumb as to believe there are that many backwoods rednecks in two boroughs of New York City.

    I don’t think Tony is that stupid, nor do I think you are stupid enough to think that he is. So it’s pretty obvious that you are trying to twist things around. It’s not working, and I have already dignified it with a lot more answers than it deserves. In that respect, congratulations, but enough is enough.

  50. steve m

    Matt,

    You are definitely about as foolish an individual as I have had the misfortune to come across. Have a nice life anyway. Your friend Tony used a derogatory term for Trump voters as did Hillary. You might not be sharp enough to get it… but the Trump voters did. Elitist attitudes are what cost Hillary the election.

    You piss on people and then wonder why they don’t vote your way?

    Duh!

  51. steve m

    Matt,

    How many of Trump voters would you label as backwoods rednecks and were they enough to sway the election?

  52. steve m

    My apologize it was Tony from Long Island that used a derogatory term to describe Trump voters. I hope he gets it that he was dumb in using it with respect to any voters, let alone voters from the midwest.

  53. steve m

    “You see, next we will have Steve M insisting that Oliver Steinberg just said that every single Trump voter is armed to the teeth.”

    this is a strawman argument. I am very capable of saying foolish things Matt. I don’t need you putting words in my mouth.

  54. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    A lot of anti-Trump protestors are violent thugs, vandalizing property, harassing and even assaulting people who think differently.

    I’d say the average backwoods redneck is a lot more civilized and respectful of other opinions than some of these urban “progressives.”

    I already dislike some of Trump’s cabinet picks and policy statements. But whenever I look at the shrill, bigoted hysteria on the left, I feel a momentary elation that Trump won.

  55. Matt

    RTAA: “A lot of anti-Trump protestors are violent thugs, vandalizing property, harassing and even assaulting people who think differently.”

    Is it really a lot? How many? What percentage? My guess is it’s actually a tiny number of people that were involved in such incidents. And don’t forget that there have also been quite a few incidents of pro-Trump thugs harassing and assaulting people. There have been cases of pro-Trump racist graffiti, but it can’t be known whether actual Trump supporters put it up since they were not caught in the act.

    “I’d say the average backwoods redneck is a lot more civilized and respectful of other opinions than some of these urban “progressives.””

    And yet, it’s not going to be the progressives who will be leading the charge to round up and deport tens of millions of people, including their US-born citizen spouses and children. It’s not the progressives demonstrating their support for the police blue wall of unaccountable murder and leading the charge to make that wall even taller, thicker and more impenetrable. It’s not the progressives leading the charge to make stop and frisk (aka stop and harass) and racial profiling the norms in every part of the country, or to institute a Muslim registry and travel ban, or to increase the domestic surveillance state, or to militarize the police more, or to make resisting arrest a felony, etc., etc.

    “I already dislike some of Trump’s cabinet picks and policy statements. But whenever I look at the shrill, bigoted hysteria on the left, I feel a momentary elation that Trump won.”

    So you feel elation at the ascent of a fascist regime that will hurt, dispossess, deport, rob, rape, beat, imprison, mutilate, harass, crush and kill millions and perhaps billions of people just because maybe a few hundred, if that, people got carried away during protests and lots of other people have expressed completely justified fear and revulsion at the prospect.

    I also saw from the recent comments listing that Steve M has posted a bunch of responses late into the night after I was asleep, but at least so far I have not felt any temptation to read his latest round of back and forth as it seems to be little more than twisting of words and protracted and repetitive waste of time designed to elicit endless rounds of more of the same.

  56. George Phillies

    The claim that US-Born spouses of undocumented aliens will be deported is complete nonsense.

    The claim that Trump will bring “a fascist regime that will hurt, dispossess, deport, rob, rape, beat, imprison, mutilate, harass, crush and kill millions and perhaps billions of people” is unusually silly for the internet.

    Matt’s claims make Milnes’ political plans seem highly reasonable by comparison.

    Also, they appear to have nothing to do with third parties, in that the Republicans are the major party in the USA.

  57. George Phillies

    At the ’98 convention, the Capital Steps performed. One of tehir tunes, to the music of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, went sort of like

    Glory, Glory Paranoia,
    The Trump World Order will destroy ya

    Non-Sense keeps raving on, on, on on.

  58. Matt

    “The claim that US-Born spouses of undocumented aliens will be deported is complete nonsense.”

    Trump said he would deport their children. What do you expect the spouses to do?

    “The claim that Trump will bring “a fascist regime that will hurt, dispossess, deport, rob, rape, beat, imprison, mutilate, harass, crush and kill millions and perhaps billions of people” is unusually silly for the internet.”

    It’s not a claim, it’s what he has promised to do and what every indication shows he will do. Nothing less will satisfy those who most ardently voted for him, those he has surrounded himself with or his own boundless ego.

    “Also, they appear to have nothing to do with third parties, in that the Republicans are the major party in the USA.”

    Tell that to RTAA as I was just responding to him. You’d have to scroll way, way up to find where discussions of Trump started here. If I’m to blame, so is Phillies and everyone else who participate(d/s).

    Phillies’ recent turn towards Trump apologism, after decades of eviscerating the Republicans and everything they stand for is … interesting. For someone who has long claimed that Republicans and modern “conservatives” are authoritarian, Phillies seems to be remarkably slow to recognize real authoritarianism when it is staring him directly in the face.

    By the way, it isn’t paranoid when Trump really is going after all of our freedom (to the extent it currently exists).

  59. George Phillies

    ““The claim that US-Born spouses of undocumented aliens will be deported is complete nonsense.”
    Trump said he would deport their children. What do you expect the spouses to do? ”

    That’s not “deport”. Do not have a nice day. Do not collect two hundred dollars. Spare us your third-party-unrelated Democratic doomer noise.

  60. George Phillies

    “Phillies’ recent turn towards Trump apologism”

    No, I am rejecting antiTrump lunacy.

  61. Matt

    Your view would have had to have changed quite a bit for you to not be more aligned with the Democrats than I am. If I had my way government would spend nothing, or maybe 1% of what it does now. We’ll see if and when we get there. Now that such fallacies have been dispensed with, let’s take Phillies’ Trump-apologist lunacy (please):

    “That’s not “deport”. ”

    Perhaps it’s because Phillies has not been married that he seems to miss what it means when your spouse and children get deported. Perhaps he just wants to nitpick endlessly while missing the larger point. Whatever the case may be, he should take his third party unrelated Trump apologia over to 4chan’s /pol/ or twitter or whatever rock the Trumptard alt-right hangs out at these days.

    Now I know Phillies may not actually be a Trumptard but if he’s going to call me a Democrat on an even more flimsy basis, there you go.

  62. Matt

    ” You’d have to scroll way, way up to find where discussions of Trump started here.”

    For some reason I did and it was Luchorpan with his pro-Trump nonsense in the third comment in this thread, which I responded to. Perhaps I should have just told him to go somewhere else, or maybe Phillies should have, but for some reason it’s my replies which elicit this response from Phillies even while he himself is continuing to do the exact same thing (discuss Trump here). Or is it only opposition to Trump that Phillies has a problem with, while ass-kissing Trump is perfectly fine with him?

  63. Steve m

    Matt said… Or increase the domestic surveillance state.

    I wonder if Matt is aware of what has been happening these last eight years and who has been president during this time?

  64. Matt

    Yes Steve, I’m aware. I’m not a Democrat or a fan of Obama or Clinton, contrary to what Phillies claims and perhaps what you think. Nevertheless, Republicans have been more consistently and strongly pushing for expansion of the surveillance state, and it took a much more radical uptick under Bush than under Obama. Expect a far more extreme and rapid rise in domestic surveillance under Trump, who doesn’t even pay lip service to freedom from it. Expect more torture and cruelty from the guy who said waterboarding wasn’t enough, people should be tortured even if it yields no useful information, detainees family members should be killed, using nukes may be a good idea, the nuclear arsenal should be expanded, protesters should be roughed up and thrown out on freezing cold winter nights without their coats, etc, etc, etc. If you think Obama was bad – and I do – just wait and see what’s next.

    By the way I’m not on or near any coast and I don’t usually see the AM until the sun comes up and the roosters crow. Not that it matters.

  65. steve m

    Matt, you are the one that stated….

    “I also saw from the recent comments listing that Steve M has posted a bunch of responses late into the night after I was asleep,”

    I am just pointing out that 1 am isn’t all that late on a Friday night

  66. Matt

    LOL, no worries, it was just a fact, not a criticism. 1 am is the same as 3:52 to am me, they are both in the middle of the night. Whenever possible I prefer to get a good night’s sleep and wake up with the pre-dawn twilight. But to each their own.

    Is Phillies going to get mad at us for this non-third party related conversation as well, I wonder?

  67. langa

    Matt, you say that your opposition to Trump is based on the policies that he is likely to implement, and that may well be true. However, it’s hard to take your genuine policy-based criticisms seriously when you insist on mixing them with a steady barrage of hyperbolic left-wing talking points, such as claiming that Trump is literally the next Hitler, that he is going to start rounding up large demographic groups and throwing them into concentration camps, and so forth. It reminds me of the paranoid right-wing claims back in 2008, that claimed that Obama was a “secret Muslim” or an actual Communist. There are plenty of valid criticisms of both Obama and Trump, without resorting to such hysterical, over-the-top allegations.

  68. George Phillies

    ” I’m not a Democrat or a fan of Obama or Clinton, contrary to what Phillies claims”

    I did not claim that.

  69. Matt

    No, langa, you missed it. Trump is the not the next Hitler. He will be much, much worse. Hitler did not have nukes. It’s not hyperbolic or left-wing, just a simple acknowledgement of reality. As for rounding up people and throwing them in concentration camps…well, that’s step one of deportation. It’s step two of ethnic and religious registries. It’s step whatever of worshipping the police unions and encouraging them to crack down on protesters and drug users and anyone giving them attitude and anyone filming them and anyone who fits the profile and anyone who resists arrest (ie, anyone they feel like).

    Then there’s the economy destroying effects of Trump’s trade and immigration policies. Luchorpan notwithstanding, they will need a new source of cheap labor to keep prices of everyday goods from becoming astronomically out of reach for consumers. Prison labor on a vastly expanded scale could fill that hole. Or, if the economy manages to float for a while longer, who will pick the crops left rotting in the fields as happened in Alabama and Georgia when they passed the same kind of anti-migrant legislation Trump wants nationwide? Prisoners, in vastly expanded numbers perhaps?

    “paranoid …”

    As I told you earlier…It’s not paranoid, Trump really is after what freedoms we now have.

    “hysterical, over-the-top allegations”

    I wish. Unfortunately it’s not any of that.

  70. dL

    Trump has made recent statements that burning the American flag should be punishable by loss of citizenship. A loss of citizenship would mean deportation. However, unless one has dual citizenship, there would be no place to be deported to. Hence, the effective consequence of that policy would be indefinite detention in a place like Guantanamo bay. As people are now starting to realize, you really can’t shut down places like Guantanamo bay even if you wanted to b/c the host countries are not going to repatriate American detainees. In Trump world(where Trump gets what he wants), burning the American flag would result in a life sentence in a detention camp.

    So, the contention that Trump paranoia is unfounded hysteria is not valid. And we should also be careful to separate the red-baiting hysteria from Trump paranoia. The former indeed is unfounded, over-the-top hysteria being perpetuated as a disguise for Dem Party failure by Clinton sycophants. However, the latter is not unreasonable, even if it is being perpetuated in part by Clinton sycophants.

    From what I’ve observed from Trump, he is the archetype of the cult of personality strong man. He comes from no intellectual tradition nor from any party apparatus, so he has resorted to populating his administration with quite a bit of military brass and rent-seeking corporatists.

    The United States is more and more outwardly resembling the old French Napoleonic regime, the thing that birthed modern libertarianism. Libertarian class theory. Political economy is the study of organized plunder. All due respect to minarchists, objectivists, small government conservatives and other late American 20th century right-deviationists, but you are going to hit in the face with old school of Comte, Dunoyer, Thierry and Bastiat. And if you have read Bastiat’s The Law, you should know what the people’s reaction to all this will be. They will want their cut, the poor man’s plunder. More socialism. Of course, Bastiat had a “and you can’t really blame them” attitude on that development.

    Lastly, Phillies’ contention that since Trump hasn’t taken office yet, any judgement at this point re: what Trump will do is premature. Well, that’s half true. Granted, Trump hasn’t taken the oath yet, but as president-elect he has been busy cutting deals on the domestic front. Highly unusual. He is, in effect, already an acting POTUS to some extent.

    I’m not sure I’m pessimistic as Pauli Cannoli re: Trump. However, I’m pretty sure it’s going to go more and more that way over time. That’s simply because that is how national security states roll. And I hope everyone understands that you are never going to be told you are living under authoritarianism. Indeed, it will be quite the opposite. The time to really start worrying is when the paranoia is officially gone, and it is beyond the pale of polite society and respectable opinion to hold to anything other than that these are the best of times.

  71. steve m

    One aspect I would like to point out. Trump is going to be facing a capable opposition. While the pro civil liberties left has been messmorized for the last eight years…. They now have woken up. Yep four years from now they will be again backing the next anti-civil Libertarian pro big enterprise candidate the Dems stuff down their gullet. In the meantime I expect a lot of rocus noice.

  72. langa

    …Trump really is after what freedoms we now have.

    Of course he is. So was Obama. So was Bush II. So was Clinton I. So was Bush I. So was Reagan. That is the nature of rulers. They all love power, they all detest freedom, and they all take as much of it away from us as they possibly can. Where I differ with the doomsayers is their belief that Trump will be so much more effective in pushing his agenda through than any other Dictator-in-Chief. If anything, his inability to “play nice” with the rest of the ruling class will make him a less effective tyrant than his recent predecessors.

  73. langa

    Ironically, if Trump did manage to do all the things he has promised to do, the closest previous analogue among U.S. Presidents would be Lincoln. Of course, most of the people screaming so loudly about Trump would never dare to make that comparison, as they cling to the myth that Lincoln was some heroic martyr.

  74. langa

    By the way, since Bastiat’s name was mentioned, I would encourage Luchorpan, and anyone else who believes in protectionism, to read this essay: http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

    Part VII deals specifically with trade restrictions, but I would encourage you to read the entire essay, over and over again if necessary, until you know it like the back of your hand. Once you have done so, you will have a better understanding of economics than 95% of “professional” economists, and even better than at least 50% of self-proclaimed “free market” economists.

  75. dL

    Ironically, if Trump did manage to do all the things he has promised to do, the closest previous analogue among U.S. Presidents would be Lincoln. Of course, most of the people screaming so loudly about Trump would never dare to make that comparison, as they cling to the myth that Lincoln was some heroic martyr.

    Trump’s actions hitherto as president-elect would be viewed as heroic to proggies if he were a dem. I imagine they would even be enough to offset some of the other less palatable rhetoric. Then again,if he was a Dem, he would know to better about the correct lip service to apply to his actions to assuage any discomfort on the part of his supporters.

    Politics is tribalist. Politics is doublethink. Trump is not going to discredit Lincoln or FDR. The second coming of FDR as a republican would be Hitler to the proggies. Likewise, the second coming of Lincoln as a Dem would be Karl Marx to the repubs.

  76. dL

    Once you have done so, you will have a better understanding of economics than 95% of “professional” economists, and even better than at least 50% of self-proclaimed “free market” economists.

    “Free-market economists” would be better served by re-familiarizing themselves w/ “The Law” than regurgitating twisatwins. Every “free market economist” is familiar with the lessons of “that which is seen…”. Very few,however, appear to be familiar with the lessons of The Law.

  77. dL

    One aspect I would like to point out. Trump is going to be facing a capable opposition. While the pro civil liberties left has been messmorized for the last eight years….

    The Patriot Act, DHS started as Dems ideas floated in the 90s as means to counter the “patriot militia groups threat” that was fear-mongered at the time. In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, it was people like Joe Biden who were at he fore of pushing those things. To the extent that there is a “pro-civil liberties left,” it has been quite active and consistent during both the Bush and Obama’s presidencies. The Dem party, however, is not a civil libertarian party, whether in the minority or the majority. I would count on those guys as the “capable opposition.” Joke…

  78. steve m

    I didn’t say the democratic party… I said a capable opposition…

    I wouldn’t suggest the two are the same

  79. dL

    I didn’t say the democratic party… I said a capable opposition…

    You implied that by being specific about what you meant by “capable opposition.” In this instance, a “pro civil liberties left” that had been on vacation during the Obama admin. Who else would it be that you were referring to? You certainly couldn’t have been referring to the actual civil libertarian left like ACLU, EFF, etc.

  80. Darcy G Richardson

    While I share Matt’s deeply-held concerns about the possibility, perhaps even a strong probability, of a coming garrison state — an unusually ugly country and one at odds with the historical American tradition and one we might not recognize a few years from now — let me offer my heartfelt and sincere season’s greetings to all of the IPR regulars.

    Keep the faith. Our time will come.

    We’ll prevail when it really matters.

  81. Matt

    “And we should also be careful to separate the red-baiting hysteria from Trump paranoia. ”

    Neither one is hysteria, or paranoia. Putin has the means, motive and opportunity and certainly no ethical problem with playing psyops to get a more favorable result for him from the US election. It’s no secret he wanted Trump to win. Whether the evidence of who did email hacking is solid or not is of secondary concern at best, as email hacking was only one of several tools that may have been used. The circumstantial case is strong, so I’ll leave you to dig around the forensics as it’s easy to get lost in the weeds there.

  82. Darcy G Richardson

    Great comments by dL, too. Norman Thomas, a six-time Socialist candidate for president, was America’s greatest civil libertarian — by far. He was also a founder of the ACLU. Too bad the Libertarian Party doesn’t have anybody of his stature and commitment in its ranks. Not even close…

  83. Matt

    “One aspect I would like to point out. Trump is going to be facing a capable opposition. While the pro civil liberties left has been messmorized for the last eight years…. They now have woken up. Yep four years from now they will be again backing the next anti-civil Libertarian pro big enterprise candidate the Dems stuff down their gullet. In the meantime I expect a lot of rocus noice.”

    Perhaps you’re mistaking Drumpf for dubya. This won’t be like that. It will start right at the inaugural. There will be huge protests in DC and all over the country. At the same time the Trump brigades will be there celebrating. Things can and almost certainly will get ugly. Police will start cracking heads along with the national guard, various federal agencies, freelance Trump goons, etc. Whatever agency they are with, or none, they will know Trump has their back when he takes that oath of office so they can crack down as hard as they have ever dreamed of.

    The “lugenpresse” will be kept away when needed, lied to, bribed and intimidated when need be, counteracted with the pro-Trump sources that the other side calls fake news. The anti-Trump press won’t have much influence anyway, as their ratings and popularity are in the toilet. Trump communicates with his supporters directly, through twitter, Nuremberg style rallies, friendly media such as Breitbart, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc., and once he is president, televised addresses. The heretofore mainstream press isn’t well liked and the only institutions that have high approval ratings… are the military and the police, which is damn near perfect for an incipient authoritarian regime.

    Some people – Black Lives Matter, Latinos resisting deportation, maybe some others – may make a show of armed resistance. I suspect they will be outgunned and outnumbered. Trump support is overwhelming in the rural areas, and controlling countryside is critical to a successful guerrilla campaign.

    Congress and local authorities will be spineless. The Republicans hold majorities and their party has just been thoroughly groped, pussy grabbed, had his way with and Stockholm Syndromed by Trump. The party will enforce party loyalty, and the congresspeople and local officials will be too deathly afraid of being primaried out of office or physically intimidated by Trump supporters. The enabling legislation, like the executive orders, will flow freely.

    The courts will get packed, or simply ignored if need be. After all, as proto-Trumpian Andrew Jackson pointed out, they have no troops they command. Judges can be intimidated by a mob unleashed by Twitter and Breitbart too, or bribed, or threatened.

    National emergencies will certainly prove handy. If anti-Trump riots and possible armed resistance don’t prove to be enough, agents provocateurs are a time-tested method of ensuring they can serve their role when they fail to do so themselves. Certainly, Trump will provoke Muslim terrorists to increase strikes on the US, which will invite more crackdowns and retaliation from him, and so on. He’ll start trade wars and twitter wars with other foreign leaders, perhaps leading to real wars, and we all know about civil liberties in wartime, right? An economic collapse could be a national emergency. Natural disasters could be national emergencies. So many emergencies we could have, and they won’t go to waste.

    Trump isn’t like Dubya or Nixon. His whole appeal is that he alone is the unique leader who can solve all problems. Trust in him and forget all the other institutions that counterbalance his power, as they have all failed us. Just him and the military and police that he will swell the ranks of and aggrandize like nothing we have ever seen. The tycoons and intel agencies will be bought off with more money and power thrown their way, so no help from them either. Trump’s personal fuehrership rests on a direct connection with the people (volk), cutting out intermediaries. Again, this is a well-traveled path in other countries, so it’s not exactly like we have no idea how it will go. American exceptionalism is blinding people to the reality that it is now happening here.

  84. Matt

    “Where I differ with the doomsayers is their belief that Trump will be so much more effective in pushing his agenda through than any other Dictator-in-Chief. If anything, his inability to “play nice” with the rest of the ruling class will make him a less effective tyrant than his recent predecessors.”

    If that were so, he would not have made it through the primaries much less the general election. Open your eyes, this is very different than what came before.

  85. Matt

    “Ironically, if Trump did manage to do all the things he has promised to do, the closest previous analogue among U.S. Presidents would be Lincoln.”

    More like the worst traits of all the worst presidents ever amplified and rolled into one. But really, you have to look outside the US for a more accurate parallel.

  86. Andy

    Matt said: “This won’t be like that. It will start right at the inaugural. There will be huge protests in DC and all over the country. At the same time the Trump brigades will be there celebrating.”

    If so, don’t be surprised if the protesters are being paid to protest and provocateur by George Soros.

  87. Darcy G Richardson

    I guess that’s my way of saying the country’s most consistent — and persistent — libertarian was a man of the Left.

    Freedom, the preservation and expansion of real individual liberty, will come from the Left. It will never come from the political right or from an ex-Republican. It just won’t happen.

    Tidings of comfort and joy!

  88. Matt

    “Trump’s actions hitherto as president-elect would be viewed as heroic to proggies if he were a dem.”

    Which ones? Carrier and Boeing, probably yes. Appointing a gaggle of billionaires, generals and racists to cabinet and white house staff posts, probably not. Tweeting support for a new nuclear arms race.. I would guess no. Making moves to destabilize peace in the Middle East and South China Sea… again, I’m skeptical. Blatant conflicts of interest involving business, family and the transition team… yes, the Democrats would probably make excuses if it was one of their own, as they did for the Clinton Foundation. What else would you think they would approve or disapprove of?

  89. Matt

    “let me offer my heartfelt and sincere season’s greetings to all of the IPR regulars.”

    Likewise.

  90. Matt

    “If so, don’t be surprised if the protesters are being paid to protest and provocateur by George Soros.”

    Yes, because nobody could possibly want to protest Drumpf without being paid by Soros, and because agencies such as the FBI have never sent provocateurs into crowds. Do you ever stop to think about the total nonsense you parrot from the pro-Trump/Putin propaganda organs?

  91. Darcy G Richardson

    “If that were so, he would not have made it through the primaries much less the general election. Open your eyes, this is very different than what came before.” — Matt

    Matt is right. There is something very, very different going on here.

    This might not be the country we thought it was, but one that we long feared it might become…

  92. Andy

    “Matt
    December 25, 2016 at 10:18
    ‘If so, don’t be surprised if the protesters are being paid to protest and provocateur by George Soros.’

    Yes, because nobody could possibly want to protest Drumpf without being paid by Soros, and because agencies such as the FBI have never sent provocateurs into crowds. Do you ever stop to think about the total nonsense you parrot from the pro-Trump/Putin propaganda organs?”

    I am not a Trump supporter. You must have me confused with somebody else.

    Even though I am not a Trump supporter, I do find it ridiculous for people to get so hyped up when he has not even been sworn as President. Donald Trump has done NOTHING as President. I could see getting hyped up and protesting after he gets into office and actually starts doing things, but as of yet, he has done NOTHING as President, and he is in fact NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT AT THIS TIME.

    Barack Obama is still President, and he just signed a terrible bill called The Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act. Where are all of the protesters over this?

    Also, it is a documented fact that George Soros and other leftist financiers were in fact funding protesters, and provocateurs to incite violence at Trump events. Pointing this out does not make me a Trump supporter.

  93. Andy

    I don’t know if this guy got paid off to do this by some leftist group, or if he did this on his own, but this was clearly a false flag, that is this black guy set fire to a black church and wrote “Vote Trump” on the side of the church to make it look like it had been done by Trump supporters.

    Black Man Arrested In “Vote Trump” Arson Of Mississippi Black Church

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-21/black-man-arrested-vote-trump-arson-mississippi-black-church

  94. steve m

    dl said “You implied that by being specific about what you meant by “capable opposition.” In this instance, a “pro civil liberties left” that had been on vacation during the Obama admin. Who else would it be that you were referring to? You certainly couldn’t have been referring to the actual civil libertarian left like ACLU, EFF, etc.”

    Actually yes I could. Take for example the ACLU. In post election on line fund raisng they get about $60,000 this year they have received over 1 million.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2016/11/15/aclu-says-its-gotten-a-deluge-of-donations-since-trumps-win/

  95. Andy

    I also have to wonder how many of the people protesting Trump would be protesting if Hillary Clinton had been elected.

    I expect that after Trump gets into office, there almost certainly will be legitimate reasons to protest him, I just find it to be absurd for anyone to think that we’d be any better off if Hillary Clinton had been elected instead.

  96. Matt

    “I am not a Trump supporter. You must have me confused with somebody else.”

    Do you see somewhere where I said you are? I did not.

    “Even though I am not a Trump supporter, I do find it ridiculous for people to get so hyped up when he has not even been sworn as President. Donald Trump has done NOTHING as President. I could see getting hyped up and protesting after he gets into office and actually starts doing things, but as of yet, he has done NOTHING as President, and he is in fact NOT EVEN THE PRESIDENT AT THIS TIME.”

    Another incredibly stupid talking point. I already addressed this above, in this very discussion thread. Scroll up and re-read. Do we really have to wait for a giant meteor to hit Earth before we start pointing out that it’s not going to be a good thing when it does? Give it a chance and see what it does first. Putting it in ALL CAPS does not make this stupid, tired talking point any less so.

    “Also, it is a documented fact that George Soros and other leftist financiers were in fact funding protesters, and provocateurs to incite violence at Trump events. Pointing this out does not make me a Trump supporter.”

    No, but it does make you a most likely unwitting Trump shill, since the reason why this is yet another stupid talking point has already been pointed out to you in past threads. The fact is that whenever there is a mass movement there are organizations that are created who like to jump in front of a crowd and pretend they are leading it. Organizations need money, and people who have money give to the organizations that represent causes they agree with. So, yes, whenever there is a Tea Party group the Kochs will give money to it, and where there is a group advocating for progressive causes Soros will give money to it. But from that it doesn’t follow that everyone who attended Tea Party events was just an astroturfer who was paid by the Kochs, although a few of them were. And there have been a few protesters on the other side getting money from Soros and some organizations jumping up to lead the parade at protests that got funding from Soros. But, again, that doesn’t mean that the whole protest was just created by Soros and that there wouldn’t have been protesters there without him.

    Is this a hard concept to grasp? It shouldn’t be, should it?

    Your anecdotal reports do nothing to change these basic facts, so they should be treated as the deflection that they are.

  97. Matt

    “I also have to wonder how many of the people protesting Trump would be protesting if Hillary Clinton had been elected.”

    Some of them most likely would be. The myriad of little Marxist cults would, I’m sure. Other people may be out there protesting for perfectly legitimate reasons such as Trump’s promise to build a giant wall and deport millions of people, his promise to put American Muslims on a regime watchlist and monitor them, his plan to stop immigration and possibly even travel from majority-Muslim nations, his stated support for torture, his 100% support for killer cops, the likelihood that he will bomb Iran and expand other US wars in the middle east, his likely scrapping of the Iran nuclear deal and possible plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, his announced plan to “bomb the shit out of them and take their oil”, his plans to kill family members of accused terrorists, and so on.

    Some would be protesting for reasons that libertarians including me would not agree with, such as the anticipation that he may cut or eliminate some government welfare programs, tax cuts for the wealthy, his (on again) opposition to minimum wage controls, and so on.

    “I expect that after Trump gets into office, there almost certainly will be legitimate reasons to protest him, I just find it to be absurd for anyone to think that we’d be any better off if Hillary Clinton had been elected instead.”

    You might feel differently if your spouse and kids were threatened with deportation, or maybe friends and neighbors and co-workers of yours. Or if they were threatened with being on a government watch list, or not be allowed to have their family members immigrate or even visit, or if they were facing torture for being suspected of a crime or even being killed due to the actions of their relatives.

    Now, don’t get me wrong – the fact that Hillary Clinton lost is, in my mind, the silver lining to the giant looming dark clown that’s about to drop toxic rain on us (ie that Trump won). But, there are lots of perfectly valid reasons – for many people, very personal reasons – to be concerned that this tantrum-prone, narcissistic, egomaniacal, revenge and one-upmanship obsessed, petulant, insecure, vulgar, power-drunk billionaire is being put in a position to do “unpresidented” damage. Hillary Clinton is yesterday’s news, as well she should be. Barack Obama soon will be as well. And there are lots of reasons to protest against Trump, whether or not you get paid by Soros.

  98. Oliver Steinberg

    huh? Let me be explicit. If “every single Trump voter” isn’t yet “armed to the teeth,” I suppose that can easily be arranged.
    I’m well aware, of course, that a lot of unarmed fools and unthinking dupes got swept along with the Trump hard-core types, but please remember that more people voted for Mrs. Clinton than for the pussy-grabber—almost 3 million more!
    She might not have been the peoples’ choice but she WAS the peoples’ preference.
    Traitor Trump may have the legal title to the White House, but he doesn’t have legitimacy–that’s a distinction the Founding Fathers would have recognized. Rejected by the people, contemptuous of democracy, intent on governing as a dictator–what America needs is more than attempted “opposition”–we need an intelligent and courageous Resistance.
    Instead of capitulating to the fascists, Hillary ought to have established a government-in-exile (as Gore should have done in 2000.) But then, Hillary never was the incarnation of evil, or even of liberalism, and she and her clique were sadly clueless as “the long night of barbarism” tripped up her campaign to the coronation that never happened.

  99. George Phillies

    “intent on governing as a dictator”
    Welcome to IndependentPoliticalReport, where bizarre ideas are a dime a dozen.
    Now, do you think the World Trade Towers were blown up by the government, or were they rammed by a flying saucer?

  100. George Phillies

    Something seems to have caused the liberal wings of our political parties, some fraction thereof, to take leave of their senses. I suppose we will have to live with it for a while.

  101. Oliver Steinberg

    I beg your pardon. “Governing as a dictator” gives the orange maggot too much credit. I should have said, “ruling as a dictator.” This character cannot govern himself or anything or anybody else, so he is exceedingly lucky to have been coached and coaxed through the last phase of the campaign, and even more lucky to benefit from the Constitutional booby-trap of the Electoral College, which has truly hatched one hell of a booby at our expense–and to humanity’s sorrow. Those of you who are signing up for the role of collaborators with this regime are of the same ilk always to be found–the toadies who worship the bullies. As for your direct question, no, i don’t think the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 or other jihadist terrorist atrocities are anything other than what they seem–a manifestation of what Winston Churchill once called the strongest retrograde force which exists in the world. And the installation of Trump, despite his resounding rejection by a 3-million plurality of American voters, is the best news the jihadists could dream of. Of course, when I derive my ideas from such thinkers as Jefferson, Lincoln, Churchill, etc., I understand how your allegiance to the pussy-grabber cult would make them sound “bizarre” to you. However, when the pussy-grabber himself asserted the most bizarre sort of conspiratorial nonsense–for example, “Obama was born in Kenya not in Hawaii,” then you would anoint him as Leader and hasten to hand over to him to the control of our nuclear armory—an assemblage of weapons of mass destruction beyond the comprehension of even an educated and reflective person—much less of a sociopathic egomaniac like Trump, who resembles a reincarnated Caligula. As a Trump apologist, you are the WRONG one to accuse others of harboring “bizarre ideas.”

  102. Andy

    It is really astounding that there are still people out there who believe the official government approved conspiracy theory about 9/11, especially people who have internet access.

  103. George Phillies

    I’m sorry, you think I am a Republican? You do realize that I have run for Federal office (as it happens, twice), against a Republican and a Democrat each time. I am not a Trump supporter, any more than I was a Clinton supporter, but the new craze — liberal slavering anti-Trump rants — make Orwell’s 1984 Hate sessions look like tea parties.

  104. Luke

    “Welcome to IndependentPoliticalReport, where bizarre ideas are a dime a dozen.”

    Especially from Trump normalizer-apologists like Phillies.

    “Something seems to have caused the liberal wings of our political parties, some fraction thereof, to take leave of their senses.”

    Some people has taken leave of their senses alright, but Phillies should look in the mirror for a good example.

  105. Luke

    “I am not a Trump supporter, any more than I was a Clinton supporter”

    A lot of people suspected you were a Clinton Democrat at heart during the Obama years. Now you are making excuses for Trump. Perhaps you don’t want to be too antagonistic to whoever is in power.

    ” liberal slavering anti-Trump rants ”

    LOL. If only they were.

  106. Oliver Steinberg

    Mr. Phillies, worse than Republicans-by-brainless-habit are collaborators, enablers, fools, and tools who don’t realize how our entire national history, heritage, purpose, and ideals are about to be ground to a pulp by this sociopath whom you pretend to find some redeeming merit in. I suggest you re-read both 1984 and Animal Farm. While Orwell’s description of Oceania and the world of 1984 has some divergence from the way things have actually turned out (we haven’t had the ostensible abolition of private property, for instance) his analysis of the surveillance state and the oligarchic determination to perpetuate power at all costs is prescient indeed; the description of Newspeak (which we see enthroned now!) and the manipulation of history, of the abolition of the reality of facts and truth–all this is now present tense; and the use of torture, an especial delight of the creep you are so eager to apologize for, is the trademark of government by terror—government whose purpose is to perpetually extinguish even the thought, much less the hope, of human freedom and dignity. You appear to be a victim, intellectually, of your pathetic ideological animus towards “liberals.” I see no reason to moderate or modify or retract a single word I’ve spoken or written against Trump and his gangster confederates–or confederate gangsters, as the case may be. I only wish I had even stronger words of contempt for anyone who pretends to political awareness–whether left, right, or “center”–and who isn’t ready to join the resistance against this usurping tyrant, this reincarnated Caligula—Putin’s puppet and Putin’s punk.

  107. Oliver Steinberg

    Nor am I an apologist for either of the Clintons–never voted for them, in primaries or general election, although if I lived in a swing state I’d have voted for Hillary this time. I’m eligible for the comment board here at least on the basis that in the last 11 presidential contests I voted for a major party candidate only once or twice, and minor candidates otherwise. Have run 3rd-party myself and petitioned to put at least 40 minor party candidates onto the ballots since 1986. I’m not an Obama-bot or Democrat, but:
    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people isn’t viable if the chief magistrate was actually rejected as emphatically as Trump was in this past election–by a nearly 3 million vote margin. Therefore, those now assuming control of the government will in their own interest act to prevent any chance of electoral repudiation, and it will be difficult to maintain effective political opposition in the face of Putin-modeled repression and selective (or wholesale) assassinations. Conspiratorialists like Andy believe in fantasies spun on the internet but deny the evidence of their own senses, don’t recognize fascism when it roosts right in front of them. I suppose that’s human nature.

  108. Andy

    When did I say that I was a supporter of Donald Trump? I NEVER said such a thing. I did not vote for Trump, nor did I encourage people to vote for Trump.

    Oliver saying that he would have voted for Hillary Clinton if he had lived in a swing state really destroys his credibility. I do not see any circumstance, barring somebody putting a gun to one’s head, or to the head of a family member or friend, where there would be a legitimate reason to vote for Hillary Clinton.

  109. Jim

    Oliver Steinberg “…the manipulation of history, of the abolition of the reality of facts and truth…”

    The ease with which that has occurred is the most shocking to me. We can actually watch it happening in real time. Trump speaks and for 50,000,000 people it instantly becomes the truth, no matter how absurd or false.

    The advocacy of torture and killing people just because they happen to be related to someone who might have done something wrong, the mass surveillance, the scapegoating of minorities and foreigners… I can believe all of that of people. It’s the denial of reality that stuns me.

    Trump was right when he said he could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot someone and not lose any supporters.

  110. Andy

    Jim, the same could be said about Obama supporters or Bush supporters or Clinton supporters or etc….

    What else is new?

  111. Jill Pyeatt

    The same is certainly true of Clinton supporters. Apparently, having her campaign manager and others close to Clinton, and possibly even involving Hillary herself, likely involved in a pedophilia ring doesn’t bother them a bit.

    It’s in Wikileaks, in their very own UNDISPUTED emails.

  112. Jim

    I don’t think it’s the same. Clinton, Obama, and Bush all needed some kernel of truth off of which to build, or some kind of plausible deniability. Trump can manufacture truth on a whim.

  113. George Phillies

    My actual position, for the readership, is that Trump is not obviously going to do particularly better or worse than his predecessors did. He is likely to do things differently. He is likely to be as bad as his two immediate predecessors, but in different ways.

    The heated fulminations sent in his directions by liberals are properly lined up with conservative fulminations that Obama was born in Jakarta, Kenya (hint: I see a minor geographic issue here) and was plotting to seize all guns in the United States ,not to mention that the world trade towers were rammed by a flying saucer, namely they are pieces of whackjob nonsense.

  114. Luke

    Oliver and Jim have this one right. Yes, those other politicians are very, very bad – but Trump is many orders of magnitude worse, and is indeed a very real and present existential threat to all life on Earth.

    By the way, I’m not what most people these days call a “liberal.”

  115. Jim

    George Phillies –

    There’s an obvious difference between what Obama’s OPPONENTS claimed he wanted to do and what TRUMP himself says he wants to do.

    Of course, just like Trump, Hillary also came out in favor of torture, deporting illegals, and the 2008 bailouts. She voted for the PATRIOT Act and building the border fence. She supported the war in Iraq, Syria, and Libya before, like Trump, turning against at least some of them. She really wasn’t any different than Trump on most issues, just in style. Either one would have been horrible.

    The biggest difference between Trump and Hillary is that they are from different parties. The Republicans would have stone walled Hillary on many issues for no other reason than that they didn’t want her getting credit for things, even if they were things they wanted to get done. Trump won’t have that obstacle. And that makes Trump more dangerous than Hillary.

  116. dL

    Trump is the classic cult of personality strong man…one of the better prima facie arguments for libertarian anarchism that has come around in quite some time. There certainly is very good reason to fear his administration.

    That being said, if a Dem had done what Trump hitherto has done as president-elect, he would be hailed as progressive hero. In turn, the cons would be calling him a marxist. As always, politics is mostly doublethink.

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