Libertarians Must Be Welcoming But Wary.

This will be a reply article to Steve Kerbel’s article entitled “Libertarians Must Learn To Welcome Newcomers” which can be read here.

Steve Kerbel is a former presidential candidate for the libertarian nomination, and a person for which this author has great respect for.

In an article published the other day Steve Kerbel announced what he thought was a good way to grow the liberty movement, and though I agree with some of his points I feel I either disagree or simply see a lack of information regarding his opinion. In this article I’ll break down what Steve has to say and give my thoughts and opinions.

What is a Libertarian? This is the key question that can spur intense and sometimes vitriolic debate among those who call themselves Libertarians. According to Webster, the following is the definition of a Libertarian:

  1. an advocate of the doctrine of free will
  2. a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action
  3. capitalized : a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles

I think it’s important to note Steve intentionally capitalizes the word libertarian, which most people note as a sign one is talking about a Libertarian party member and not necessarily an adherent of the libertarian philosophy. He then lists three separate definitions of the word libertarian.

The first being the definition coined by William Belsham as a pejorative for those who believed in free will. This definition is really rather irrelevant to the context of the libertarian philosophy or Libertarian party. The second and third definition properly, if vaguely, describe what a libertarian is. The second describes ( again vaguely) the philosophy, and third the party that was born from it.

Personally I’ve always found it helpful to generally describe the philosophy, but I think all of these definitions fall short. I think the best definition of who a libertarian is in the context of the Libertarian party and philosophy,  is simply:

A person who generally advocates against government intervention in life, liberty, and property.

This definition I think gives the most inclusive answer, and while vague enough to be inclusive adheres closely to the values of the libertarian philosophy without contradicting them.

Mr.Kerbel goes on to say:

Within the Libertarian community, there is a very real concern of infiltration which would result in a change in the principles of Libertarianism, thereby negating the purpose of the formation and growth of the party. Why would people have this concern? For good reason… The Libertarian Party has built a formidable organization that has the skeletal structure in place to allow for the movement to actually be implemented. There is no other third party in the USA that is in this position, so others may look to the Libertarian Party as a potential of a “hostile takeover” of sorts.
It is this sensitivity to the reality of this threat that keeps the “so and so is not a Libertarian” argument alive and well ad nauseum.

What Mr.Kerbel is describing is the tactic of entryism. A political strategy employed by the communist Leon Trotsky in which people enter a political party or philosophical movement and attempt to change it slowly from within by advocating or growing generally opposing elements of a group until it’s actual adherents can be denounced and removed. This is what happened with the word liberal in the 1920s and 1930’s. FDR and many progressives infiltrated and basically stole the word. Actual liberals from then on came to call themselves “classical liberals” or “libertarians.” So you can see why libertarians are wary of an influx of new people who aren’t properly vetted, especially when the party has been so closely linked with the philosophy for so long. So I’d say there is quite a good possibility that with the combination of people who are looking for advancement inside the party and the ever growing threat of entryists that the claim “so and so is not a libertarian” could be correct. However, at the same rate it’s just as likely to be abused by those same individuals. It’s  a rather tough dilemma.

He continues:

 To me, this situation has created a problem for the party… Growth is improbable when the first question a person is asked is: “How long have you been a Libertarian?” This question itself seems innocent enough, but the inevitable follow up is the damaging part. That follow up manifests itself in the form of a put down or insult. When we fail to welcome new members (and many times alienate them), our growth is restricted. One by-product of that restriction is that it keeps us small enough to be a viable take-over target from one of the old parties.

I completely agree here with Steve, as a party we have to be inclusive and we can’t denigrate people’s opinions or motives because they are new, or more new to the movement or party than you are. This is a great way, as Steve said, to make sure we can’t grow as a party but I think entryism can happen no matter how large you are. Look at what happened to the Republican party.

On the other hand we can’t be openly hostile to our own values just to be inclusive. We should vigorously defend libertarian ideals even against people in our own party. You should never kowtow to popular opinion if you don’t think it’s libertarian. If we throw away key tenants of the philosophy just to gain a foothold, we’ve already lost before we’ve started. If we wanted to appeal to the mainstream with populism we already had that chance in Rand Paul and libertarians saw fit to let that option fall by the way side, stupidly so in my opinion.

So how do we balance a need for inclusivity and retain our values?
I think a good general rule is that if someone can argue from a particularly reasoned position that something isn’t necessarily libertarian we should be open to at least discussing it. If they can’t and instead use tired cliches or classic leftist or rightist argument in favor of something clearly not libertarian I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that we must entertain such behaviour.

A simpler definition of the basics of Libertarianism should be all the requisite “glue” that is required to hold us together. In essence, our own bickering and posturing, put downs and insults, lack of finite definition of Libertarian from within our party, willingness of some to support candidates from other parties, and cannibalistic tendencies of some of us… result in a group of people that agree on 80% – 90% of all pertinent issues that is perfectly willing to publicly impugn others based on a small minority of a person’s platform. After all, we are very different from the old parties and even an 80% agreement with a Libertarian will far outweigh supporting a Republican or Democrat which may share our views 20% of the time.

I completely agree and my definition, as stated above, does this quite well. At least it does, in my estimation. Libertarians have a penchant for holding other libertarians to a higher standard than they hold Republicans or Democrats for the simple reason that it’s what we’ve come to expect from them, to be traitorous awful human beings and rightfully so we’ve rejected them. However, what we have to get away from this idea, that if we disagree with someone 10% of the time, that we can’t or shouldn’t support them. It is foolish and will ensure we remain irrelevant and more oppressed than if we had simply came together.

This drove even the founder of anarcho-capitalism, Murray Rothbard up a wall. He and I both can not understand this:

We aren’t talking about electing a lesser of two evils here. Someone with whom we agree with 90% of the time is decidedly not evil, we just disagree. There are degrees of disagreement, there must be. Just as the United States isn’t North Korea, a libertarian who wants a government court system, isn’t a totalitarian. The all or nothing style of libertarian thought must come to an end less we become totally and irrevocably irrelevant. I think even the most hardcore anarcho-capitalists would agree that they wouldn’t have many complaints under a solidly constitutional or articles of confederation type government. We have to realize we’re on the same train, some people just want to get off sooner than Ancapistan, and we should be ok with that for now, as long as it gets the damn train moving up hill instead of continuing to roll down it.

Let’s continue.

In 2016, the eyes of the nation are upon us. In our attacks of our own candidates, we provide fodder to the Republicans and Democrats in the constant attacks against them, many of which are on finer points or impossible realities. In essence, we give the impression to others that we would rather not see the Liberty movement successful at all unless it is precisely on all of our own terms. The damage in that position is that we never overtake the Republicans or Democrats because we are too busy discrediting our own members and candidates over some trivial detail (it may not seem like a trivial detail to whoever is repeatedly espousing it, but in the reality of our nation today, it is trivial or likely to never be addressed in the first 20 years of Libertarian administrations.) I believe that there is a solution to this.

While I understand Steve’s point here, I have to say I disagree with the premise that as libertarians we shouldn’t be vetting our candidates with criticism. It happens in all party structures and it’s a very good thing. It allows us to see the candidates for who they are and what they believe and allows us to make a better, more informed decision as to who we want to represent us on the main stage. If your preferred primary candidate can’t handle the heat of a bunch of small time libertarian critics how on Earth can they take the criticisms of the mainstream? This process is important and must continue, less we become exactly what Steve here is alluding to, a party totally engulfed by another ideology.

In conclusion, I’ll just say that while Steve is right that if we ever want to change anything we must be willing to welcome new people, we must also be reasonably wary about losing who we are.

A right-libertarian case against every candidate but Trump (no exceptions!)

My fellow contributor Michelle Catlin just wrote a powerful piece against Trump from a Libertarian (notice the big “L”) perspective. In a spirit of playful and friendly point-counterpoint, I’ll  make the right-libertarian case that Trump, as president of the USA, would advance our interests better than  any other candidate. Since we are assuming he’s the POTUS, electability is not a factor, so I’ll include in the comparison the Libertarian Party candidates; and Rand Paul, for good measure.

TLDR: pour an ounce of Walter Block and Lew Rockwell in a Liberty Bell, add an ounce of Ann Coulter and Chris Cantwell,  add some red ice , then water down and stir until the text is legal somewhere in Europe. Still, I must say, “TRIGGERS AHEAD!” You have been warned.

This being a right-libertarian post, we needn’t discuss comrade Sanders and the Sea Hag, do we?  I mean, assuming we want peaceful change.

To be honest, in a sense I agree with Michelle that, if all you like about a candidate is his foreign policy, that’s not a very good reason to vote for him. My reasoning is a bit different, though. I’ve never been a fan of peacemongering killjoys. War is bad, violence is bad, but perceived weakness is even worse. That doesn’t make me (or Trump) a neocon. Not every “war hawk” is a neocon, and “warmongering” is not even, per se, the real problem with neoconservatism. By the way, even right-libertarians sometimes have unrealistic views on military policy. I’ll discuss this topic some other time. For now, I’ll leave it at that.

That said, it’s one thing to spend too much time playing in the sand with our toys and quite another thing to start World War III, particularly when America can join forces with Russia against the most cartoonish pack of villains in decades (who are totally asking for it) instead. In fact, Obama is doing just that, it’s only a matter of staying the course.

And then there’s the issue of money. Trump is the only  Republican candidate who called out the NATO free riders. America shouldn’t just ask the “allies” to help with the cost, she should provide defense as a service for a profit, like an actual ally does (an empire goes a step further).

In summary, a sane foreign policy, from a right-libertarian perspective, is: “peace through strength, pick your fights, ask the allies to, at least, cover the cost of their protection”. Exactly what Trump embodies better than any other candidate.

Regarding his remarks on waterboarding and the like, let’s just say that enemy combatants are not US citizens (or war prisoners, for that matter). You may object to the distinction, but it’s there and it’s useful against any “slippery slope” developments. If the terrorists happen to be American citizens, that’s another matter, and more careful consideration is in order, but the war against radical Islam is real whether we like it or not. There’s no need for the US government (or the people) to choose between facing Islamic terrorism like sitting ducks , or waging total and permanent war on everyone and everything.

So much for foreign policy. Now let’s address Trump’s main selling point: THE WALL immigration.

There’s no need to go full alt-right and get messy with population IQ statistics, or that other two-letter acronym ending in “Q”. I’d say culture is far more important than strictly biological factors, but the connection between a shared cultural and national identity and a shared network of  family bonds (and hence blood ties) is so strong and so crucial for a nation’s stability that the nature Vs nurture debate is almost pointless in this context. The world as a whole is doing an acceptable job at handling its diversity and multiculturalism by such clever tricks as having borders and not having a world government (the fact that the closest thing to a world government is America and not, say, China, Mexico, Venezuela, Congo, Iran  or Saudi Arabia also helps).  America must go back to the idea of peacefully and patiently exporting its values to culturally hostile places, as opposed to importing culturally hostile people and hoping for the best. The sooner, the better.

Yes, other Republicans jumped into the anti-immigration wagon, but they are not nearly as credible. Ted Cruz, may look better than Trump on paper regarding economics and a few other issues (not foreign policy),  he even looks good on immigration , but his conduct during the primaries (the Carson affair, the “voter violation” mailers ) makes him untrustworthy in general, and his former stance on amnesty was “legalization without citizenship“, which still leaves the door open for the immigrants’ descendants and, probably, for a full amnesty later on. He seems to have hardened his views but, again, can he be trusted? I don’t know, maybe it’s just his creepy face.

Rand Paul (now gone from the campaign anyway) is far more likable and not bad as a right-libertarian, but he’s still too weak on immigration, and his PR strategy has practically turned him into a BLM activist. Of course, he got from the left the response he deserved.

And here, on immigration, is where the positions held by all Libertarian Party candidates, following the party’s platform, are spectacularly wrong, suicidal and, frankly… well, autistic. Fun fact, Austin Petersen goes out of his way to reject the NAP as an axiom. Go figure.

Trump’s un-PC character (I mean, apart from his views on immigration and radical Islam) is also more useful in practice than it may seem from a “clean” intellectual perspective.  I don’t really care that much whether you can talk in public about a bimbo’s “whatever”, or which toilet trannies use (hmm, bad example, Trump doesn’t care either) but the left does. Let’s throw them a rubber bone to chew on while we fix the mess they have been doing. The Overton Window is real, yesterday’s parody is today’s reality (ignore Poe’s law at your own peril) and tomorrow’s old news. We should learn from the left to move this window rightwards through a push-pull chaotic team work which combines respectably moderate and shockingly ambitious messages.

Alas, the LP is broken on immigration, the other Republicans are either pro-immigration or unreliable on the issue, Rothbard is dead and Hoppe could at most be a governor. So Trump it is.

Mill, Hoppe and Robespierre walk into a bar: free speech, freedom of association and political violence

As the political climate heats up, freedom of speech, that crown jewel of Western civilization, is increasingly under attack from left, right and centre.  This tail-chasing irony vortex of rhetoric ropes, ovens, guillotines, helicopters, gulags and upward index fingers is fun to watch online, but let’s make sure it stays there.

Libertarians have become complacent in reducing freedom of speech to a corollary of private property rights. Yes, property rights may well be a silver bullet against the “offense” conundrum (we can get along by staying separate) but the “freedom of speech” debate is not only about the offensive nonsense we may have to endure; it’s also about dangerously appealing mind poison and its peddlers.

The case against government censorship was famously advanced by John Stuart Mill:

Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right

 

Before we can agree on anything else, we must agree on the right to disagree, so we must let critics speak up, even if their critical remarks inspire others to commit crimes. Yes, we are leaving all those pesky intellectual trolls who cause mayhem with their doctrines off the hook, but that’s the price we pay for an honest political environment. I mean, I can also conceive of a tyrant who takes care of my interests better than myself, but I’ll take my chances, thank you very much. That’s “freedom of speech” in the political-theoretic sense.

Furthermore, an intellectually vibrant society should not discourage peaceful dissent, not even through legitimate means such as social and economic ostracism. Indeed, even without government censorship, unpopular opinions are often self-censored for fear of losing customers, a good job or a business partner. In the current political climate, anonymous internet forums and image-boards are becoming the speech counterpart of secret ballots. That’s   the stronger, cultural notion of “freedom of speech”.

While political-theoretic freedom of speech operates in the “top level” context of human relations, the “cultural” version is just a recipe for healthy communities and it can never override freedom of association. For instance, the freedom to form family-friendly covenants. Quoting Hoppe:

In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.

 

Legend has it that Hoppe originally included “bronies” in his list of undesirables, but the reference was deleted by censors. You see, he was renting a house under a covenant which banned any and all references to bronies for any purpose whatsoever. When he was informed of this clause, he bought the house.

From a practical perspective, can a libertarian community afford unrestricted freedom of speech and conscience? Yes, it can. Wouldn’t it lose land by constant secession until nothing is left? No, because people who secede can only take with them the land they own. You can’t lose what you didn’t own in the first place.

Then why are many right-wing libertarians giving up on free speech? Because in a non-libertarian society, there’s no such guarantee. For instance, in a democratic society, your political opponents can vote themselves your land, or hit you with their tyrannical laws until you are forced to leave, so it makes perfect sense to shut them out when your team gets the upper hand. The left has used this trick countless times during the twentieth century (“see? socialism works!.. oops, scrap that, it hasn’t been tried!”) and never gave a rat’s rear end about their opponents’ freedom of speech and conscience.

In general, political persecution can be described as a form of internal conquest and land consolidation against a rival group.

In Robespierre’s words:

Social protection is due only to peaceful citizens; there are no citizens in the Republic but the republicans. The royalists, the conspirators are, in its eyes, only strangers or, rather, enemies. Is not the terrible war, which liberty sustains against tyranny, indivisible? Are not the enemies within the allies of those without? The murderers who tear our country apart internally; the intriguers who purchase the consciences of the people’s agents; the mercenary libelers subsidized to dishonor the popular cause, to kill public virtue, to stir up the fires of civil discord, and to prepare political counterrevolution by means of moral counterrevolution—are all these men less to blame or less dangerous than the tyrants whom they serve? All those who interpose their parricidal gentleness to protect the wicked from the avenging blade of national justice are like those who would throw themselves between the tyrants’ henchmen and our soldiers’ bayonets. All the outbursts of their false sensitivity seem to me only longing sighs for England and Austria.

Notice the “exclusive proposition nation” aspect of Robespierre’s war. He doesn’t say “if you like the French Revolution, you are French” (that would be the better known, “inclusive” notion of “proposition nation”, which creates its own well-known problems), he says “if you don’t like the French Revolution, you are an enemy infiltrator who doesn’t belong here”. Clever. Why share or split up the land when you can have it all?

From a libertarian perspective, the problem is not the exclusionary rule itself but to the constant act of conquest against former fellow citizens, reclassified as foreign infiltrators because of their political beliefs.

Hoppe’s family-friendly covenant is different because, well, it’s opt-in. All members know what they are getting into. Presumably there’s a monetary compensation system which makes arbitrary and unfair expulsion unlikely, and even a somewhat smaller compensation for people who want to leave but can find no buyers. The same applies to their children, who inherit their homes from them with the covenant attached to it. While conceivable in theory, a “helicopter ride” clause for crimes such as wearing a Che T-shirt or watching Almodovar movies is not very likely. And, of course, someone’s right to leave the community can’t be negated by a pact he didn’t make.

For obvious reasons, the “freedom of speech” sanctuary tends to be invoked by political minorities and quickly forgotten by those same groups when they are in a position to silence, persecute and expel others. Only America’s unique devotion to freedom of speech can explain the various tiny but vocal groups of would-be censors and persecutors. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

A Libertarian case against Trump (A rebuttal to Libertarians for Trump)

In the 2008 and 2012 elections libertarians found themselves united in a powerful charismatic leader called Ron Paul who appealed to libertarians of all kinds. But in the 2016 election as Ron Paul left the political game it was expected that Rand Paul became the torch bearer of the libertarian movement. However campaign problems, bad luck, low polling, and failing to stand out like his father left the libertarians disapointed as they jumped ship and became divided over the front-runner of the Republican Party: Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has divided the libertarian community with libertarians such as Walter Block, Lew Rockwell, Stefan Molyneux, and Lauren Southern being on board with Trump while libertarians such as Ron Paul, John Stossel, Julie Borowski, Adam Kokesh, Jeffrey Tucker, Justin Amash, Thomas Sowell, and….pretty much every notable libertarian that isn’t the former being against him. The Trump supporters actually went one step further as Walter Block created an advocacy group called “Libertarians for Trump” which has seen very mixed reactions.

It’s sort of understandable why libertarians would be at least a bit attracted to Trump, as he’s charismatic, chaotic, and rebellious. Furthermore he also shares many libertarian enemies such as SJWs and Neoconservatives. But it’s far more understandable why libertarians want nothing to do with Trump whatsoever, because Trump holds many if not mostly authoritarian views.

He supports eminent domain, supports ground troops in the middle east, wants the government to create a massive wasteful wall, wants to deport 11 million people, promotes socialist economic policies on trade, wants to expand libel laws, promotes more spying and a bigger police state, advocates for torture of families, associates himself with authoritarians like Christie, Sessions, Giuliani, etc. Need I have to go on? There is absolutely nothing libertarian about Trump, if we’re really going by the lesser of two evils Sanders and Cruz would even be less worse than he is. And even those supporting Trump admit that he’s no libertarian by any stretch of the imagination.

But since I’ve already made by case why libertarians should be against Trump, let’s look at the arguments being for Trump. Spoilers: There aren’t many.
One of the poorest arguments I’ve heard for Trump for a libertarian perspective is that he challenges political correctness. Whoa there that completely changes everything, school yard cultural wars on the internet and chalk on campus are definitely super important compared to complex socio-economic issues. Even if Trump wasn’t a total hypocritical whiner who refuses debate when he gets slightly hard questions and would actually fight “political correctness” it’s really one of those issues that are at the bottom of my priorities list. When Trump’s massive tariffs could lead to a freaking global depression i’m not exactly interested in pety “culture wars”

The Libertarian for Trumps group gives a more coherent argument for libertarians to consider him to be the “lesser of two evils”, the three main arguments are this:

1. He’s the only anti-war candidate
2. Foreign policy is more important than social and economic policy
3. Any anti-libertarian positions he holds are not better with other candidates

So boiled down the only other arguments is that he’s “anti-war” and that everyone else sucks as well. That’s not very convincing in my opinion. For one he is definitely not anti-war, he could easily be classified as a neocon by his statements. Military boots on the grounds, promoting torture programs on families, and downright going as far as saying that we should invade the Middle East and take their oil which means he’s basically a caricature of the Neocon king Bush himself. Oh but he said that Libya was a mistake which means he’s anti-war now, because Obama saying the same thing about Iraq and that he would withdraw troops went so well right? In fact where was the “Libertarians for Obama” group during Obama’s 2008 campaign? Considering Obama was far more “anti-war” than Trump is presenting himself right now.

Furthermore the claim that foreign policy being more important than everything else is so flawed. Are you really willing to risk economic disaster on a global level and an unstable childish flip-flopping leader because he “might” just not be as bad on war as other candidates? That is just extremely unconvincing. And finally the idea that all the other candidate positions are just as bad as Trump is dubious. Sanders is far better for libertarians on civil rights than Trump, Cruz is far better for libertarians on economics than Trump. Even Clinton the least libertarian candidate i could imagine is at least better on trade than Trump is.

Overall not only is Trump not a libertarian candidate, he is not even “the least evil” candidate for libertarians. His anti-war record is completely bullshit, his anti-PC crusade is hardly a priority for a president, he constantly flip-flops on everything, he holds extremely authoritarian views on almost everything and when it comes to the lesser evil there’s a much better case to be made with other candidates. Sorry, but i will not be supporting Trump, nor ought any self-respecting libertarian.

Free Trade and Technological Unemployment: A Populist Austro-Libertarian Assessment

What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? The answer is that both point out a real problem of the American middle class (that is, the working class). Trump’s solution is protectionism, Bernie’s is massive welfare. Both are terribly wrongheaded economic policies, but the long-derided, despised and ignored working class have genuine reasons to complain, even from a strictest austro-libertarian perspective. It’s essential for libertarians to understand why this is so and why we can offer something much better.

First, let’s talk about free trade. International trade is sometimes described and treated by economists as just another new technology. China is a magical black box that spits consumer goods in exchange for American stuff like crops, corporate stock and US Treasury bonds. Libertarians are quick to stress the importance of the massive T-bond emission, but that’s only part of the problem.

Let’s ignore monetary policy and treat international trade as barter. Could American workers ever be harmed in a transition from protectionism to free trade? Yes. Could ALL American workers, in principle, be harmed at the same time? YES.

“Hey, wait a minute”, I hear you say, “what about Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage?”. Ricardo assumes, among other things, that labor is the only factor of production. To the extent that, realistically, some capital (ie “means of production”) must be involved, the worker has guaranteed and unrestricted access to it. This is crucial because, while changes in the market may force the worker to switch professions, they can’t force him to increase his productivity beyond his consumption level. For instance, an Amish farmer who owns his land has nothing to fear from technological advances in agriculture (including new trade partners). He may have to switch to different crops, but he can cling to his beloved low-productivity methods. In contrast, if he doesn’t own the land, he must provide a competitive productivity level or else he will be fired and replaced.

Incidentally, as Mises points out in Human Action, something like this happened during the transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, and of course, the public blamed technology and laissez-faire capitalism for destroying the good old feudal order.

Let’s remember feudal England at the start of the agrarian and industrial revolutions. You have an aristocrat who owns the land and a bunch of peasants work it in exchange for a nice share of the crops. It makes sense for both, because the landlord needs labor and the peasants need capital (land). Now, new technology arrives, only one peasant is needed and the rest.. well, let’s say they live on “welfare”, that is, they remain idle and they are given a much smaller ration of crops than before (that’s not what happened, I know).

The UBI, In this context, means that the one working peasant also gets his welfare ration in addition to his “wage”. Fine, but he’s still working for everyone else! Now the socialist would blame capitalism and the Luddite would blame technology, but the libertarian will wonder why this aristocrat owns all the land to begin with. How did he came to own it? probably not by libertarian means. Why didn’t peasants protest before? Because they, in a sense, had “a deal” with the aristocrat. They worked the land and they got food in exchange. So, a “populist” austro-libertarian would either find the original act of dispossession of the peasants and try to give them back their land, or he would argue that the pre-industrial “deal” was a de facto contract, and the aristocrat must buy the peasants off if he only needs one worker now. In any case, the end result would be the peasants taking turns to work the land and eating as much as before, maybe more, by the miracle of technology.

And here’s where many austro-libertarians freak out. On one hand, we can see that a workers’ ownership of his means of production (all else being equal) makes a fundamental difference in terms of income stability which is often underplayed in debates about foreign trade and technological unemployment. On the other hand, we know that economies of scale favor the concentration of capital in sizable factories, as opposed to an array of small self-owned factories. These big factories may be owned by someone other than the workers (the usual capitalist mode of production) or collectively owned by the workers themselves. But there are strong and well-known arguments against the efficiency of worker cooperatives compared to single-owner factories, and few successful cases are observed in practice.

Is there an austro-libertarian argument to reconcile the efficiency of capitalism (i.e., an economy based on wage labor) with the income stability of self-owned means of production? YES!

Let’s go back to our Amish farmer. Let’s say he owns the land and he can produce 10 bags of crops per month. Since he owns the land, all of that is profits and he keeps it. As we said before, his income is not threatened by new technology or changes in the labor market.

Now let’s turn him into a wage worker in a modern economy based on wage labor. Let’s assume banks do their job properly, connecting savings with investments in exchange for a small fee we can ignore in this context. The Amish farmer works the land for 6 bags a month (his wage) and he earns another 4 bags as capital gains from his savings account in the bank. Is his income as stable as before? Is it just as safe from the follies of the market? Yes, here’s why.

Let’s say there’s an influx of cheap labor. Now the average wage for a worker in a crop field of similar size is 3 bags instead of 4, while the average productivity of a worker doing this job stays at 10 bags. Then, the Amish farmer must lower his wage to 3 to stay competitive, but the average capital gains for his savings go up from 6 to 7 (that is, 10 bags minus 3 bags). Therefore, his total income stays at 10 bags.

Now let’s say these workers learn to use more efficient tools, so the average productivity of labor, for a similar piece of land, is now 11 instead of 10. The average wage stays at 3, so the average profit is now 8. The Amish farmer hates modern tools, so instead of adopting them to stay competitive, he lowers his wage again, to 2 bags instead of 3. No problem, because his income is still 10 (8 from capital gains, 2 from his wage). What if, because of further advances in technology, the productivity of land goes up to 13 bags per month, while the average wage stays at 3, and so the average profit is now 10? In this case, he has two options. He can live from his capital gains, without having to work and earning an income of 10 just as before, or he can learn to use these new tools at his own pace and become employable again, with a higher income.

Applied to real-life, present-day America (and other first-world nations), this means that, no matter what happens with international trade and automation, the working class is not doomed to depend on “universal basic income” or any other kind of welfare. What they need is jobs and savings. As technology advances, labor becomes more productive, investment in general becomes more profitable and increasingly more of everyone’s income is capital gains. People work less hours a day, take longer vacations and enjoy a higher standard of living.

And there’s the catch. The tax code, the “experts” and every government policy seem designed to discourage saving and promote consumption and indebtment. Private debt is the the main problem of the American middle class and the American economy in general. After each financial bubble, those “in the know” (i.e., politically connected) make big bucks while the rest see their savings evaporate, while those “too big to fail” are bailed out by government. The housing bubble is a prominent example. In fact, according to a recent paper , the growing share of national income deriving from capital income (as opposed to labor income) may well be imputed to the increase in housing prices.

We should indeed expect growing inequality as a product of free-market capitalism, because some people are smarter, work harder, are thriftier, and therefore accumulate wealth at as faster rate than others, but, as we have shown, the “rat race”, i.e., the constant need to stay competitive and updated in order to even subsist is by no means an intrinsic feature of free-market capitalism in any of its forms. On the contrary, the widespread, simultaneous immiseration of the whole working class, its plunge into debt and financial precariousness, must be the product of some macroeconomic shock, which in turn usually boils down to interventionist government policies.

Some obvious candidates are the housing bubble caused by the Fed,  in combination with mass immigration and restrictions in housing construction, the increase in payroll and excise taxes, welfare spending, corporate bailouts, stimulus packages,  military spending and soaring medical bills. Massive military spending is a uniquely American problem. It’s bad enough for America to police the whole world, she also does it for free. Ron Paul pointed out this problem in a clumsy, self-flagellating style and he was booed off the stage. Donald Trump, with his patriotic alpha-male swag, said basically the same and he was cheered by the crowd. Medical bills are also particularly high in America, in good part because of the the AMA cartel and the “bad deals” between Medicare and big pharma. Also mentioned by Trump, credit where it’s due.

Realistically, once all politically viable spending cuts are made, the next step is to slash all taxes accordingly, leaving only a small wealth-based income tax. That is, the more you are worth, the more you pay in income tax. This would be better than the usual, progressive income tax, because if you start poor and suddenly earn a big income, you don’t start paying a high income tax until you get to have some decent savings. It’s better than a wealth tax proper (as proposed by Thomas Piketty and others) because you don’t risk losing your assets if you have no income for a while.

“A new TAX? Some austro-libertarian proposal!” I hear you say.  Well, then, let’s audit the Fed and see who should pay back what they got from the government and who deserves a tax break. It’s not a perfect plan, but it sure beats Trump’s tariffs and Bernie’s “democratic socialism”. There’s a reason why virtually all economists agree that those are awfully bad ideas. The case against socialism has been abundantly made and there’s no need to beat that dead horse here. Protectionism might conceivably bring back some jobs for a while, but at the expense of destroying much of the aggregate American wealth, and it’s useless against automation anyway. Austro-libertarians should take worker concerns seriously, or else we’ll have a chance to see classical Marxism and economic Luddism in all their former glory.

“But What Of The Poor?” A Libertarian Response

The echoes of the welfare state. You’ve heard them before. Don’t believe me? They sound a little bit like this: “We can’t get rid of welfare! Welfare is essential to helping the forgotten impoverished people that nobody would help otherwise!”

The essential nature of the welfare state is a common argument made by progressives. However, progressives have been so persistent and so successful at using their pro-government welfare rhetoric that it seems now only the most ardent limited government supporters dare to question if the welfare state is truly essential or not. However it has not always been a fringe group of people that abhor and question the necessity of government welfare. In fact it is only since the Great Depression that there has been a desensitization of the taking of government assistance, or more properly stated, the forced charity of taxpayers.

The truth is that before the Great Depression taking welfare of any kind, government or private, was generally looked down upon. Anywhere between one-quarter and one half of working class people engaged in fraternalistic opportunities that helped their peers in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They called these fraternal groups “mutual aid societies”. Mutual aid societies would fulfill the same needs the modern welfare state purports to fulfill, even sometimes going as far as owning and operating hospitals. All of this happened during a time when America was not nearly as economically “blessed” nor as economically dominant as it is today, as America did not see its rise as a world superpower until after the World Wars were fought.

Even today, much after the time period of mutual aid societies, it seems a vast majority of Americans across the country are willing to give of their time and their money to others. I think the reason people are willing to give boils down to the fact that people want to feel good about themselves. Whether for self-actualization or religious reasons, Americans have shown that despite possible burdens we may be experiencing, we are willing to give to others. Yes, even with the slow economic recovery since 2008 and the large taxation burden imposed by the government, the American people were the most charitable first-world nation in the world last year. Just one of the lies of the welfare state is that people will not care for each other if there is no welfare state. The facts belie a different truth.

“Now hold on”, bleeding hearts might say, “how do you know the extra money people are going to get back from the elimination of the welfare state is going to go to the people that need it? How do you know that people will not just give the same amount they are giving now and not give anymore?”. First, it is naïve to assume that none of the money the citizens will rightfully get to keep instead of hand over to the ineffectual welfare state will not go to charity. However, it is also naïve to assume that for every dollar we give back to the American people that they will use that same dollar for welfare. “People are selfish, they will never give close to the same amount the welfare state is providing the poor!”, the progressives and bleeding hearts cry out.

They are right. People are selfish. I can guarantee you that many people are going to take the return of their money, their hard-earned money I might add, and spend it. People tend to live according to their means and spend the money they have. You only have to ask a few of the multitudes of broke trust-fund country clubbers and impoverished former professional athletes to figure that out. That hard-earned money no longer going to the welfare state will be put to work buying products, services, and investments. In turn, the purchase of these products, services, and investments will create jobs and wealth long term for not just the American people but the people of the world. Free market capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system. America’s prosperity is a living testament to that fact. The welfare state does not create wealth and progress that brings people out of poverty; entrepreneurship and the free market does that. The system that brought us the mobility of the automobile, the health of mass produced medicines, and the knowledge concentrated in information technology leads to the betterment of man. The welfare state, however, brings with it the ever tightening shackles of the system and the self perpetuating serfdom of the people.

The echoes of the welfare state gets louder and louder as the ring of freedom gets softer and softer. It is high time we realize the outcomes of the welfare state and eliminate the welfare state for the good of all.

If you don’t know what the word neocon means, stop using it.

The word neoconservative or ‘neocon’ gained prominence during Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential run. Since 2012 however, ignorant people have used the word to describe everyone they don’t like in the political sphere. This sadly includes a great many libertarians. Calling everyone from Rand Paul to Walter Block neocons. This is a wholly inept use of a term that has important historical context and meaning. The misuse of the term only weakens it’s meaning and hurts libertarians.

So just where did this term and the associated ideology come from? Let’s describe where the term originated first. Neoconservative. Neo from the Greek néos meaning new, and conservative a colloquial political designation, typically meaning someone on the right. So slap them together and you have New-Conservative, Neoconservative, or just Neocon for short.  In 1973, Michael Harrington, a well known democratic socialist, coined the term as a pejorative to describe hard left politicos, namely Irving Kristol (who literally wrote a book titled “Neo-conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea”)
and others, who were disaffected by the democratic party’s less interventionist foreign policy but who still held domestic policy views very closely aligned with the left. This however, is not where this philosophy originated, even if the term hadn’t appeared until the 1970’s.

Looking back through history we can see obvious influences in where this ideology was born and it was born with a man named Leon Trotsky. Trotsky, a Marxist communist and political theorist was distinguished from other communists in three distinct ways:

  • Support for a strategy called “Permanent Revolution” in which countries could be overthrown and instituted with values of the communist proletariat.
  • Support for a social or cultural revolution, rather than a vanguard led revolution.
  • Support for internationalism

Neoconservatives today all share the same these same views, though they aren’t exactly described as such.

  • Neocons support foreign intervention to spread “democracy” to countries that don’t share our values, up to and including preemptive wars.
  • Neocons support spreading cultural beliefs in law.
  • Neocons support participation in the European Union,  NATO,  and the United Nations.
  • Support of larger government

So I’m sure you’re asking how Marxist communist beliefs entered American politics. Well looking back at Americans in history that Trotsky carried favor with, one notable American stands out above all the rest, Woodrow Wilson. Yes, the 28th president of the United States was either a communist sympathizer or a communist himself, at one point giving Trotsky an American passport to travel freely abroad.

So how did Trotsky have an influence on American politics and specifically Woodrow Wilson? Well Wilson was the first real internationalist president, he started the League of Nations (which failed spectacularly) but later gave rise to the United Nations and NATO. This idea comes directly from Wilson’s fourteen points plan, and what I see as an American communist manifesto.
I’m going to summarize them here:

1. No private alliances, only international covenants.
2. No privately held territorial waters, all oceans are public use.
3. Promotion of trade agreements
4. Complete disarmament
5. Establishment of territory for an international body (league of nations)
6-13) All revolve around demanding specific actions by other governments in order to spread democracy.
14) The establishment of the league of nations.

As you can see there are a lot of similarities in the approach that Wilson and his friend Trotsky take to political affairs. So now that you know the connection there, let’s talk a little more about Irving Kristol. Irving Kristol was born January 22, 1920 to two eastern European immigrants, just a year before Wilson left office in 1921. Kristol was an avowed Marxist and later and avowed trotskyist. Yes, you read that right, the man who founded Neo-conservatism was a self avowed trotskyist. There is no surreptitious conspiracy here, this is just a fact. Even the Washington Post agrees that this is simply the way neoconservatism came to fruition.

Now consider that Irving Kristol is credited as an influence for talking heads like his son Bill Kristol, fox news analyst Charles Krauthammer, Former president George W. Bush, Senators John McCain and Lyndsey Graham and you can start to see a pattern.

So being a libertarian I can’t help but link this reality with the common libertarian generality “the two parties are the same.”

So how and why are they the same?

I would think this bit to be a tad obvious by the time you’ve gotten this far into the piece but for the sake of clarity let’s spell it out. Leon Trotsky was famous for a political tactic called Entryism, in which political devotees of a particular group infiltrate and turn the the positions of another opposing group in order take over that group and expand opposing ideas from within. Think of it like a virus, rather than a bullet. Trotsky made this strategy famous in France.

Now take into consideration the Republican party’s fall from the Taft / Goldwater era republicanism into full blown anti-constitutional pro-big government neoconservatism and you can see why it’s obvious to me that this was Irving Kristol’s plan all along. This is why today there are so many disparate factions in the Republican party. You could easily even credit this with the creation of the alt-right, as the alt-right arose from the abandonment of classical conservative values within the Republican party.

So the next time you see someone calling another person a neocon refer them to this article if they aren’t pointing the finger at the right people. Especially if those people they’re pointing a finger at are libertarians or paleo-conservatives. It’s time we ended the improper use of this term, once and for all.

Why it’s too early to define the Alt Right

The 2016 presidential election has been one of the most bizarre elections i have ever seen, and the most notable thing to arise from this bizarre election is probably the equally bizarre Alt Right movement.


What exactly is the Alt Right? Well it’s a movement largely online based of young far-right white millennials who feel alienated from the political mainstream, and generally promote hyper anti-PC views and Machiavellianism to disrupt elitism in media culture. The movement also tends to be united in their support for white identity, nationalism and racialism which they describe as Human Biodiversity. The Alt Right pretty much sprung up out of nowhere as a notable political player in American political culture alongside progressivism, conservatism and libertarianism thanks to the rise of Donald Trump who is currently leading the Republican Party presidential primaries. I could go into detail about every single part of the Alt Right such as the internet “Chan Culture” behind it, the paleo-conservative magazines that give it a platform, their influences from the European Far-right and Neo-reactionary movement. But i feel like it would be redundant to do so at this point as i just want to focus on how the Alt Right is portrayed.


Despite the movement being small and mostly online based it has gained significant national attention and as a result there has been a lot of speculation on what the Alt Right is and what their goals are, and this has created quite a lot of divides and disagreements.
For example Breitbart duo Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari whom are known for explaining underground internet culture within the context of politics described the Alt Right as a harmless group of mischievous trouble makers who use black comedy, shock value, and culture jamming to upset the establishment. Freelance journalist Cathy Young however disagrees, believing that there is a very serious racist and anti-Semitic component that use their rejection of Political Correctness as an excuse to spread hatred and bizarre pseudo-scientific views.


I think however that both are missing each others point. The Alt Right is a grassroots online movement that’s leaderless, decentralized, has a combination of anonymous users & high profile spokespeople, is relatively new, and is debated on whether it’s simply fighting against elitism or whether it’s a hate movement. Sounds Familiar? That’s because this is the exact same description as another certain internet movement that was huge in Late 2014 and 2015: Gamergate. Now i am not saying that Gamergate and the Alt Right are the same or are misunderstood in the same way. But it’s very uncanny how similar these movements are.


Like Gamergate the Alt Right started off as something created by the anonymous internet community (though the term Gamergate was coined by Adam Baldwin), like Gamergate it started as a backlash against left-wing media culture’s hostility towards white men, like Gamergate it gained a mainstream platform through people with a public image (Gamergate via people like Christina Hoff Sommers and Alt Right via paleo-conservative sites like VDARE, Radix, Counter-Currents, ect), like Gamergate it’s so decentralized and leaderless that it’s very difficult to pinpoint what exactly their goals are. The biggest difference is that Gamergate mostly focused on a scandal where as the Alt Right has bigger plans, they want to become a player in mainstream politics.


This is why I think trying to define the Alt-Right as either Dennis the Menace or Adolf Hitler is too broad of a generalization. As a movement the Alt Right is simply too young and incoherent to really know where it is going. Some people who are more defined for their white nationalism like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor want to use the momentum of the Alt-Right to grow their white nationalist influence, which in that case Cathy Young is right. Others, like many in the 4chan community, simply want to use the Alt-Right as shock humor to subvert media culture, in that case Yiannopoulos and Bokhari are right.


Before we can really consider the Alt Right a hive of white supremacists or the 21st century right-wing equivalent of hippie culture we’ll have to wait how it will develop first, will it even survive as a movement or fade into obscurity? Will the movement be defined by public figures such as Richard B Spencer or by anonymous internet users with Pepe memes and smug anime profile pictures? Will the movement take a more National Conservative stance or will they go full 14/88 neo-nazi?


I have no idea, but from a political science perspective there’s at least one thing i can say: The Alt-Right is a very entertaining addition into the Bizarre world of Social Media Politics.

Religion and Government: Let People Choose!

Days ago, Mississippi(where I live) passed HB 1523, otherwise dubbed the “religious freedom” bill. There is something I have to share with you: even though I “do politics”, I hate days after big, controversial legislation is passed. Why? Because no matter if the legislation is good, bad, or inconsequential, uninformed people who normally do not care a wit about politics feel the need to comment. These uninformed people come in from all sides of the argument and tend to just make everything worse. If you are not going to bother informing yourselves politically on a regular basis, no matter your ideology, please do everyone a favor and shut up before your crude “bull in a china shop” argument breaks all of the finely crafted arguments from people on the same side as you.

This week, however, highlighted the complex relationship of religion and government. For centuries, religion and government have assumed many different roles in how they treat one another. Christian nations of old and modern Middle Eastern countries have employed theocracies. Soviet Russia and China have tried to displace traditional religion completely and arguably attempted to make government the people’s religion. Whereas in America, the ideal is that there will be complete separation of church and state, each institution respecting the other. The Founding Fathers hoped by creating the Constitution, that they had designed a system where government could govern and religion could worship apart from each other.

Although I believe our Founding Father’s did their best to provide us a separate and apart system, they (inevitably) failed due to human nature. Humans are simple and overbearing by nature, which is both why religion and government must be separate from one another and why they are so often not kept separate. People corrupt the system. People try to use government as an ATM machine at the expense of others livelihood, they try to use it as a safety net with the resources of all, and they try to use it as they try to use it as the moral arbiter of all with the power of regulation. People are simple. Instead of allowing one man to live a life you may disagree with, they decide they want to force you to bend to them. It makes people’s lives a lot simpler when they do not have to deal with people who make choices that make them uncomfortable, even if those choices hardly affect them or are within the rights of the individual to deny to another.

As mentioned before, we have seen this countless of times repeat itself over the course of human history. Modern Middle Eastern nations are corrupted by religion in government and force others to live certain ways, just as old Christian nations were in the Middle Ages. Soviet Russia was corrupted by government usurping religion in the 20th century and similarly forced people to live in certain ways. People twist government to force others to live this way or that, and thereby pervert the entire institution.

That is not what government should be. Government should provide a minimum standard someone must live up to that protects people’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Outside of that standard, people should be allowed to live their life without government interference. If someone else’s action does not potentially affect your life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness, then the government has no right to regulate it. That means gay marriage, even though I personally disagree with it as a lifestyle, should be legal. The denial of service for any reason, if there is an alternative option, should be legal even if I disagree with the reason. The government’s purpose is to protect the people, not to make the people feel comfortable. It should not force consenting adults who can decide their own life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness to be married or not be married, just as it should not force an individual to sell or to buy. I would not force a Jewish baker to sell a cake to a Nazi anymore than I would force a Christian baker with moral reservations sell a cake to a same-sex couple engaged to be married.

I am a Christian, and have many Christian friends. Christians for too long have been using government as a moral prop for others when government in reality should only be a body to protect individual rights. If we, the church, attempt to use government as we have in the past to legislate others, when the secular government has power in hand, how are we to defend ourselves when the government attempts to legislate us as they are now?

If you disagree with someone’s moral choices as a Christian, I beg of you, do not use government as a way to force others to live the life you want them to live. Instead, as Jesus did, approach them with love and with reason. Let the Gospel do its job. It does not need the government. God gave us a choice to believe, give others a chance to act on belief.

I am also an American citizen. If you disagree with someone’s moral choices as a citizen, I beg of you, do not use government as a way to force others to live the life you want them to live. Consider how it would feel if the group you are trying to regulate had the power to impose restrictions on you.

For too long, people of all creeds and credences have been using government as a way of lazily forcing others to live the life they want them to. This is wrong. People should be allowed to make choices, not forced into them. Therefore, I support freedom bills across the nation that allow people to deny service for any reason as long as there is an alternative for the person seeking out service. I support people’s right to choose within the limits of life and liberty. If you try to take that away, using government or not, you are just a stones throw away from protecting murderers who take lives and slave owners who take liberties.

The Two Party Fallacy

If you have ever considered voting for a third party, you’ve heard the Two Party Fallacy before: “Your vote for X is actually a vote for Y!” Just this week, I was told that if I choose to vote for someone other than Clinton or Trump,  I am actually voting for Clinton. It does not matter if I am choosing the candidate that I believe would do the best job, I am actually voting for Clinton if I choose anyone other than the Republican nominee. Partisan voters across the country make this argument and similar arguments to try to keep people together so that their preferred candidate can win.

This is a fallacy. To show this, let’s take a look at the logical arguments stemming from this claim and break them down.

The “Feasibility” argument. “There’s no way a third party candidate can win”, the partisan voter might say. The first thing the partisan voter would point to is history. “People within the two major parties are always the most successful ones” they might say. The only problem with that statement: it’s not true. Many different parties have arisen and had varying levels of success in American history. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt won 11 times more electoral votes than the Republican candidate William Taft. In fact, in 1824 there was only one party with 4 different candidates running! In addition, parties have died and risen numerous times throughout history, including the Republican Party, so it is safe to assume other parties outside the two ruling parties can be successful. Faced with this evidence, the partisan voter might say “well, there are a couple of exceptions, but it has nearly always happened the same way in the past so it will happen the same way in the future”. This is a logical fallacy. Simply because American politics has in the past favored two parties does not necessarily mean it has to always be that way. To say that we must support a candidate because the past justifies the future is to say “pick my terrible candidate because people in the past have picked one of two terrible candidates”. Obviously, I am not bound by the faulty strategies of my ancestors. The last argument the partisan voter might make in regards to feasibility is that not just anyone has a feasible chance to win a Presidential election. This claim is actually true. Not just anyone can win a Presidential election. Even if you think your High School History teacher is the best candidate for President, it is probably not justifiable to vote for them. However, it is justifiable to support and vote for someone who successfully jumped through the electoral hoops to get their name on a ballot, especially if they went through a primary process to do so, because to meet those qualifications they had to have at least some level of grassroots support.

The “Loyalty” argument may be the second reasoning the partisan voter may point to. By saying “Your vote for X is actually a vote for Y” is for the partisan voter to essentially say “you picked your party in the past and now you have to stand by them no matter who they put in front of you”. If you do not, the partisan voter implies, you are a traitor helping the other side. The problem with this argument: voting along party lines does not equal loyalty to that party nor does it mean you are signing a contract to always vote for that party. A party is a way for like-minded people to combine their influence to elect candidates that share their values. If the candidate does not share your values or does not earn your vote, then there is no reason you must vote for the party candidate. My vote is not already in the bank for a party even before the election occurs. My vote is a stamp approving candidates that share my convictions and can do the job, and until the party can prove to me that their candidate is the best man for the job, I have no obligation to vote for your candidate simply because people with similar ideology choose to vote for your candidate.

If the partisan voter continues to try to convince you, in a desperate attempt to land your support for their candidate, they may try to “fear” you into voting for their candidate. “If you do not vote for X, Y will destroy the country!”. This argument is usually hyperbolic, however, it can have some legitimacy to it. However, for your party candidate to have the higher ground, your fatalistic argument must be reasonable. Remember, it takes a lot to destroy a country as strong as the United States. A legitimate crisis must be imminent if, AND ONLY if, the other candidate gets elected for your argument to be legitimate. If the partisan voter believes there is a crisis that must be averted, then the burden of proof is on the partisan voter to prove to me that the danger to the country is more important than choosing the person that I believe will be the best President. In addition, the partisan voter must convince me that your preferred candidate is the solution to that danger, not my preferred candidate. If the partisan voter does not convince me of these things, that does not make my vote any less legitimate nor does it make my vote actually for someone I did not cast it for.

If you are a partisan voter and you are trying to force people into voting for “the lesser of two evils”, you are part of the problem. You are reinforcing the status quo that continues to give the American people inadequate candidates by trying to force people to rubber stamp candidates they know are bad. If America wants to receive better candidates, American voters must be open to better candidates. If America wants better politicians, the Two Party Fallacy must die.