Donald Trump (courtesy ammoland.com)

“I do have a gun, and I have a concealed-carry permit, actually, which is a very hard thing to get in New York. And, of course, the problem is once you get to the border line of New Jersey or anyplace else, you can’t do it, which is ridiculous, because I’m a very big Second Amendment person.” That’s a quote from a recent Field & Stream interview with The Donald [via ammoland.com]. What they forgot to ask . . .

is whether or not Mr. Trump supports constitutional (a.k.a., permitless) carry. It’s easy enough to say “I support gun rights” without addressing the crux of the matter: do all Americans have a right to keep and bear arms without government infringement? If you believe that the government should be able to decide who carries, then you don’t support the Second Amendment.

The problem with that position is, of course, political. Gun control advocates would have a field day with any Republican candidate who’d come out for constitutional carry. Extremist! Gun nut! Baby killer! Even so, I’d like to see Mr. Trump and all his fellow presidential candidates thread the needle on constitutional carry — if only to get the idea into the mainstream.

Mr. Trump’s comment raises another issue which F&S and everyone else in the media have neglected to address: how did Mr. Trump get his New York City concealed carry permit? The average NYC resident has as much chance of getting a permit as I do dating Michal Idan. Maybe less. What strings did Trump pull to get his permit?

Never mind New Jersey’s failure to recognize out-of-state permits. Why doesn’t Trump highlight the fact that millions of law-abiding citizens of his home state are denied the same right that he enjoys? My theory: because he doesn’t care. Not really. I reckon Trump is an narcissistic elitist masquerading as a man of the people. Your thoughts?

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132 Responses to Donald Trump, Aggrieved Gun Owner or Closet Elitist?

      • I’m pretty sure he’s a closet elitist, at best. That being said….I’d vote for him over Clinton or Sanders. But I’ll vote for Cruz or Rubio over him in the primaries.

        Tom

        • What’s the “closet” qualifier about? I’m quite confident he’s just an elitist. I’ve yet to see illustrated why he would be “better” than Clinton/Sanders.

          Is projectile vomit a “better choice” than diarrhea?

  1. “I reckon Trump is an egomaniacal elitist masquerading as a man of the people.”

    Yup. I reckon you’re probably right…

    Translation: He’s a politician.

    Will I still vote for him if he’s the nominee?

    You bet your ass.

    • Boom! Right there with ya.

      We all know how he got a permit, $$$ It’s New York. Grease the right wheels and watch the magic happen. Same as in my state (Alabama it costs $35 a year, the dolllar goes to the state) the county sheriff get’s $34 dollars a year for EACH permit “sold” in his county.

      Let’s do some math – 10,000 permit holders = $340,000 A YEAR

      The $$$ goes to a special fund that pays for all the cool toys.I like to imagine it’s because the Sheriff cares about us and want’s to support 2a. You want your state to get on board, well start spreading the cash around. Do ya Really think it’s all about caring about our 2a rights and safety? NO it’s about the revenue. Exploit this now.

      • Why? Sanders is in a “who’s the biggest gun grabber?” race with Clinton even as we speak. If Trump doesn’t really care about gun rights (which I suspect is the case) that’s still better than outright hostility to them.

        • I agree. Trump may not be for the second amendment as much as Cruze, but we know Sanders and Clinton are openly against the second amendment, and Clinton is for confiscation of all citizens firearms.

      • You’d rather a literal socialist who is openly anti-2A (now, at least) than an elitist capitalist asshole who is at minimum pro-gun ownership?

        • Trump is only ever in anything for Trump. He’ll do or say anything to make a deal, in this case, to win an election. He has zero genuine 2A bona fides. He got his license, but he’s done jack squat for anyone else to get theirs, despite having the money and bullhorn to do so. That’s hardly a “big Second Amendment person.” That’s just a big blowhard.

        • Who, if elected, would spend 4 years blowing the 2A horn just as loud as he could, planning for it to help him win reelection. Like the system is supposed to work, assuring compliance with the will of the people. Your preference would be what? That is precisely how W won the governorship of TX over Ann Richards, who just about everybody (including me) loved all to pieces. She was wild eyed fanatic about preventing CC, he did not give a rats ass one way or the other, so promised if the legislature put it on his desk, he would sign it. BOOM! So long, Ann Richards, onward to the presidency. Are any of you guys over 30?

  2. Of course Trump is an egomaniacal elitist masquerading as a man of the people. That does not mean he is untrustworthy on 2A issues. A significant (perhaps overwhelming?) portion of his base views 2A freedoms as a key issue, and he knows which side his bread is buttered on. I think he is a poor candidate and would be a bad president, but I have no worries about the man concerning the second amendment.

    • The only reason he might be “trustworthy” on the 2A is because he (currently) doesn’t give a flip about the 2A. Trump is only a threat to freedom when he has an opinion.

    • Your 2A rights would be the first pawns he sacrifices in order to get what he wanted from the Democrats.

      Listen to him when he brags about being a deal maker. He really means it. Every instruction on successful negotiation always emphasizes win-win. You give the other guy something so he comes out a winner, and he reciprocates.

      If you really want to come out ahead, find someone who has what you really want and will exchange if for something you have, which you really don’t care about. Democrats are salivating over the prospect of negotiating with Trump to get at your 2A rights in exchange for something Trump (and, actually, the Dems, too) wants, like China tariffs.

      You heard it here first.

      • Anyone who claims to know all about what Trump, or anyone else, would do as president, should hang out a tarot psychic palm reading shingle and be done with it. Most of us will take the best we can find, and hope it works. The kind of betrayal you describe would do well to be careful, we are still armed.

        • It’s about risk assessment. In extremely clear and politically unambiguous cases, I have no doubt Trump, like any GOP’er, will realize he’ll be toast unless he does what the overwhelming majority of his party wants. But in more complex ones? Say, Supreme Court nominations…. Whatever, if anything, he has under that hairdo, is just as likely to elect some New Yorker who is billed as a “staunch capitalist” because he got seom Fed welfare, as he is someone whose main credentials is unwavering support for the 2nd. Even more so if The Donald ends up presiding over a nasty recession brought about by asset price corrections directly hurting even his own social circle.

          Versus Hillary, and Bloomie…..!!!, heck yeah, both Donalds (Trump and Duck) are obvious votes. But until the nomination is set, there are safer candidates available. Cruz for his more anchored 2nd stance and reasonable shot at the nomination. Marco, not because he is all that of a gun guy, but because he is likely the one that will fare the best against Hillary, even assuming she doesn’t flame out.

          I’m honestly a Rand guy, but this late in the game, I’d throw in for Cruz, even though I suspect he is capable of reasoning that since the cradle of humanity was somewhere in the “terrorist state” region, we’re all suspect, hence spying on us and shipping us off to Gitmo is a-ok. But he’s enough of a politician to realize that in order to get away with that kind of stuff, he can’t simultaneously tick us off by coming for our guns. IOW, he’s a “you get to keep your AR, as long as you don’t mind paying half your income for “my” somewhat bigger guns…..”

      • Jonathan – Houston

        “Your 2A rights would be the first pawns he sacrifices in order to get what he wanted from the Democrats.”

        Why? The republicans control both houses of Congress.

        • The Republicans would offer themselves up like dogs in heat just like they do every other time. The Republicans and the Democrats are just two sides of the same corrupt coin. If Bush the Lesser had asked for gun control to fight terror, the Repubs in Congress would have given it to him. If McCain had been president during Sandy Hook, we would have new gun control laws today.

      • Ironically, the reverse is true for Sanders. He’s definitely pro-gun-control at this point, but it’s the part of his platform that he cares least about, and by a large margin. And he’s also a deal maker (look at his track record in Congress sometime; many people can’t see past the “crazy eyed angry socialist” public persona, but if you look at how he does politics once he is elected, it’s nothing like that). And given that House, at least, is pretty much guaranteed to stay majority Republican, he’d need every bit of that deal making if he gets elected and tries to implement even 10% of his platform… so gun control will be traded away very quickly there.

    • I’d bet $100 he wouldn’t know what “constitutional carry” means. But of coarse that wouldn’t stop him from saying “I’m a big believer in constitutional carry” if it sounded right to him.

      He talks about how he would assemble a good team but what’s the odds that it would be a team of YES men?
      I’m guessing high.

      Does anybody know who he consults with on national security issues?
      He doesn’t even know the most rudimentary aspects of Nat Sec and it was glaringly obvious when he didn’t know what the nuclear triad was.

      The nuclear triad would be described in the first paragraph of “Nat Sec for dummies” handbook.

      It’s obvious he’s just F’in winging it and at some point he’s going to get caught in a debate looking like a total dullard.

      But in the end, if it’s him or Hillary, I’ll hold my nose and pull the R lever.

      • As long as he doesn’t have the NeoCons who have steered our national security since 1992 advising him, Trump has a shot at doing the right thing.

  3. on his website, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/second-amendment-rights, he highlighted his positions as it concerns the second ammendment. From what I can tell, he is for a national right to carry (national reciprocity), and he is against magazine limits. It remains to be seen how much he will fight for these rights. Even if he isn’t a purist, any movement towards our goals should be supported. Let’s make the liberal assholes compromise towards us, vice the typical republican cave-in towards them.
    Just my two cents.

    • THIS! In the clutch, he may very well be squishy on some aspects of 2A, but he’s still light years ahead of choices we’ve had in the past: McCain, Romney, Dole? Heck, even Bush sold us down the river in some respects. I’d like to go on the offensive for a change.

      • Except, you don’t have to accept Trump as the only alternative to Hillary, the lesser of two evils. The contrast available is much more stark than that. Evil Witch Hillary vs. Paladin Cruz.

        • Isn’t Cruz an anointed king these days? You know, the one to take the wealth of the wicked and give it to the righteous priests…

  4. Iowa drama excluded, I could see a President Trump nominating Cruz to the Supreme Court. While I’ll vote for Cruz in the Primary if I get the chance, the Supremes is the probably the best place for Cruz to better secure the 2A.

    • If Trump were to nominate Cruz to SCOTUS how many of the RINO senators would fight the appointment?

      Better option, Cruz nominates one or more conservative justices over 4 to 8 years. After he is term-limited out the next conservative president nominates Cruz to SCOTUS. Win-win.

      • Cruz is a fighter, though. He doesn’t shy away from what’s difficult simply because it is difficult.

        Aside from that, failed Supreme Court nominations aren’t all that common. There’ve been roughly 200 SC nominees over the years. Of which, only about 29 have failed. Of those, only about dozen were outright rejected by the Senate, which hasn’t happened since 1987. As for RINOs opposing conservative SC nominees, let’s look at the record of late.

        The most conservative current SC justices and their confirmation vote tallies have been Antonin Scalia (98-0), Clarence Thomas (52-48), Samuel Alito (58-42), and Chief Justice John Roberts (78-22).

        Looking back, I don’t know how Scalia ever got confirmed, but he was unanimous. Granted, that was after Bork was Borked and Ginsburg withdrew, but I’m perfectly OK with getting Scalia out of those events.

        Thomas was close, but only because the Democrats controlled the Senate. The only RINO to oppose him was Jeffords from VT., who years later would switch parties and caucus with the Dems.

        Alito had an OK margin, for a closely divided Senate. He even managed to pick up four Democrat votes along with all the RINOs, but one: R.I. Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, another future party switcher. (Jeffords voted against Alito, too, but he was already a party switcher at this point, so that doesn’t quite count.)

        Chief Justice Roberts came in with a nice 78-22 vote, including some two dozen or so Democrats; among them, Chaffee and Jeffords. Now, the fix may have been in with that Trojan nominee, given his unconscionable and unconstitutional Obamacare vote, to garner Democrat support; but I can’t prove that. At the time, on the surface, he appeared very conservative.

        So I wouldn’t sweat too much the prospect of a Senate showdown. Playing it safe only gets us squishy moderate/liberal nominees like Kennedy and Souter.

    • I would be pleased to vote for Cruz if he is the candidate, and at least as pleased to celebrate his appointment to SCOTUS, whenever.

  5. How about TTAG try and reach out and get an interview with Trump. You had 2.9 million unique visitors last month and Trump seems to be more open to doing lots of interviews and with whoever asks compared to other politicians so maybe he would. Then we could find out the truth about trumps stance on guns.

  6. He’s masquerading?

    A common man of the people that narcissistic and egomaniacal?

    The best cast persona I see on the nations stage
    is Charles Krauthammer – a psychiatrist turned political commentator – truly this is his time.

    • Krauthammer is blind on guns, he is incapable of using one, so he thinks I should not use one either. Look for a different 2A hero.

    • Krauthammer is an Anti-American traitor. He puts the interests of a nation on the other side of the world before those of the United States.

  7. News flash, Robert. Anyone running for the office of President is an elitist. Some are in the closet, some make it a personal badge of honor.

    • Except kasich. Don’t you know his dad was a mailman? Hahahaha…

      Trump took a few million and turned it into a few billion. It means his dad was successful at the game of life, built up a business, and left it for his son. Which is what most men aspire to.

      Calling him an elitist means your ancestors (and you) didn’t do as well. It shouldn’t be cause for sour grapes.

      • Most every Tin Pot Dictator is “successful at the game of life”, measured that narrowly. Ergo, Chavez da man? Fidel? Champagne Kim? Bloomberg? Great champions of the Second and freedom more generally, all of them?

        As someone notably smarter than all of the above once said: Money is something any idiot can make, and only idiots are all that preoccupied with making.

  8. I think most people don’t even know what constitutional carry is, including politicians. People have become so conditioned due to the permitting process that they see it as normal. I believe we should be teaching people what constitutional carry is, and how it makes sense compared to the system we have in place now. Bearing arms is either a right, or it isn’t. The 2A protects our right to bear arms without infringement.

  9. He is a total elitist. All of you trump supporters, do you really think he gives a damn about firearms? He does only to the extent that he can get fudds and the gullible to vote for him. He gave good money to Bill and Hillary, a vote him is the definition of a vote for the elite.

    • Someone who gives a damn about firearms freedom because he realizes that attitude will win him votes, that is somehow BAD? WTF are you thinking? Would you bitch if suddenly *HILLARY* had that attitude? I want EVERY politician to understand that, at which point the battle is over, because we WON!

      • Things aren’t that simplistic. Faced with a Democratic Senate that attaches some “assault weapon” nonsense to a bill putting tariffs on China, are you all that sure The Donald won’t sign it? What about a massive outrage after a successful New Years Eve shootup of Times Square by White Supremacists NRA Lifers? 500 dead, including one of The Donald’s kids? Do you really trust the guy to genuinely, deep down, realize that more gun freedom are always and everywhere better, period? Even in the darkest hour? And that any compromise is worth going to the mat against?

        Again, if it comes down to him or Hillary, being a bit suspect beats the heck out of being obviously totalitarian. but as long as there are more reliable candidates left standing, why compromise this early in the game?

        • Given your extreme scenario, there is no current candidate, no past candidate, and likely will never be a candidate who I would trust to keep the faith, including Cruz. Step one is to be sure there is not a Dem controlled congress. If Islamic terrorists murder 500 in Times Square, nuke Tehran and look around for another target to volunteer itself, don’t even mention guns. White supremacist NRA lifers? Ask Congress for tax incentives to persuade everyone in America to carry something that begins with a 4, and to be prepared to defend themselves at all times.

      • Hypocrisy. Thy name is Trump. If Hilary said it would you trust her?
        I trust Trump about as much as I trust Hilary, especially since he had given big money to her and Bill. So yeah thanks for making my point again.

  10. You know, he’s the only one I see actually doing what he says he’s gonna do. He’s the only one not afraid of the media, and the only one who’s stood toe to toe with the media and won, ever. He’s also the one I trust the MOST with his finger on the nuclear trigger. All these limp wristed republicants are just as weak as a democrat in that category. MAD doesn’t work if the other side perceives you as weak and unable to press the button. We need a CIC that has the cojones to go all the way. That gets my vote.

  11. Elitist. And not closeted. He’s NEVER been “of the common man”. Born with a silver spoon… I’d vote for the donald over any dumbocrat/independent(Bloomie?) but trust him very little. Ted for president but… I do agree with Ted Cruz as Attorney General or Supreme-anything but VP.

  12. Maybe it’s because I’m from a lower-middle class family, but aren’t all rich people elitists? Or is that just a stereotype?

    • Usually sort of depends if they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
      Sooner or later, the rot sets in.

  13. This just in: Donald Trump is not a nice guy. He has never been a nice guy. He will never be a nice guy.

    Who gives a sh!t? I don’t.

    I want Cruz, but I’ll vote for Trump — enthusiastically and often — over Hitlery, Bernie Panders or Mike Bloombastic.

    • You guys make a very valid point I learned the hard way with Jimmy Carter. There was a man that I would have been proud to have as a friend or my kids sunday school teacher. A really nice human being.

      Which is eactly what you don’t want in a President.

  14. You know, a lot of what the author has written about Donald Trump is mired in projection. I can’t say I know who Donald Trump is, but what I’ve based my thoughts on him is from what he’s been saying the last year; so long as he is being 100% honest, he is the best candidate for country and he has the best chance of beating the Democratic People’s Workers Party USA.

    I don’t dislike Ted Cruz. Between him and Trump, this is the toughest choice the Republicans have had since Goldwater or Rockafeller. For me, once the primary hits my state, the nominee will already be decided. The issue I have with Cruz is he’s been in government too long for my taste… I’ve had enough of politicians and Cruz is still a politician. In fact, he’s such a good one, I would rather he stay in the Senate where strong conservatives like him are needed to counteract the turncoats like McConnell, McCain, etc.

    Trump says he wants a national carry law… music to my ears, we need that. Within a decade, I believe half the country will have some form of permitless carry. Would Cruz support national reciprocity? I believe he would, but I can’t be a one issue voter. Yes, I think Cruz is stronger on guns than Trump, but it’s not like Trump is a slouch on guns.

    I want to more freely exercise my 2nd amendment rights and Trump will help me do that, but maybe not as much as Ted Cruz will. I’m fine with that because after so many defeats related to 2A, we’re gaining ground and voices like Trump help us gain that ground in this war of posts. In addition to exercising my 2A rights, I also want a job that pays more and Trump’s core principles on placing tariffs on China and stopping illegal immigration will make the economy so much better than anyone else will.

    And after four years, or two, Trump will likely call it quits and go back to making golf courses and tweeting a lot.

    • this is the toughest choice the Republicans have had since Goldwater or Rockafeller

      Goldwater was a choice. Rockefeller was a Democrat echo. And when Rockefeller lost to Goldwater, Rocky and his little followers set out to sabotage their own party so that they could hold on to power.

      The “establishment” plan was rule or ruin. They’re doing the same thing today. They hate Cruz and Trump because both of them are from outside the traitor wing of the Republican party.

      • Tell me about those Rockefellers. I was in WV when Jay came from NY. In NY he was gop but there were no jobs open for him there. So he came to WV as a dem and bought the governors mansion.

  15. Yes, Donald Trump is an elitist.
    He flip flops like a carp in a bass boat, but he probably will be the next POTUS.
    Ted is better, but he does not have the charisma.
    Hitlery has more baggage than major airlines.
    Sandman is a snoozer.

  16. Last week one Trump supporter explained his choice to me with the argument, “at least he doesn’t hate America.” I’m still trying to get my head around this qualification threshold for the Presidency.

  17. Considering that the media will blame republicans, and therefore me as a conservative, for all the problems Trump would create, as well as those that will result from Obama’s current policies, I would have to consider the potential good he would do to out weigh those problems. To put it bluntly I don’t believe Trump is worth the damage he would do to rule of law and the constitution.

    I see no reason to vote for him against Clinton or Sanders, because at least they can’t honestly blame conservatives for what happens if a democrat wins.

    • The Media won’t be “honestly” able to blame conservatives if Hillary or Bernie wins?

      Who cares? The Media has been completely dishonest the last 7 years. They have blamed conservatives for everything during the entire Obama presidency, and will continue to do so during a Hillary or any other Democrat presidency.

      I have a hard time seeing why you are worried about being “blamed” by the Media.

      The next Supreme Court picks are much more important, as is having an administration that the media actually holds accountable. The Media Cartel goes after a Republican president, and gives Democrats a pass.

  18. “I do have a gun, and I have a concealed-carry permit, actually, which is a very hard thing to get in New York… for you lowly commoners.”

    FIFY

    • The man had absolutely no input as to whether anyone else had a permit, but you somehow blame him for that? Get serious. He could buy it, and he did. Eventually, in TX, I found I was able to buy it, so I did. I did not manage to permit everybody in CA to carry, so shoot me.

  19. Why is Field and Stream magazine the only media outlet of it’s type getting this interview? I like it. It speaks volumes to the outside the box thinking Trump has.
    I hope the other candidates follow suite and submit to F&S interviews.

  20. I reckon Trump is an narcissistic elitist masquerading as a man of the people.

    Takes one to know one I suppose.

    I mean is Trump any less plausible as a man of the people than an East Coast Jew suddenly becoming a Libertarian who loves guns and weed?

  21. Robert, I’m just a bottom of the barrel intellect, but I’m a bit perplexed at your Trump animosity. What state issued his permit? You aren’t saying. Does he have a Pennsylvania permit, FL? NV? Without more, I’m blowing you off as a Republican establishment shill trying to undermine Trump’s run.
    You did this before, last July. Raised the same question. I don’t know the answer but I want to see what state before making up my mind.
    And how is Cruz better? Convince me. I’m receptive. Just don’t blow smoke in my face.

  22. The self-promoting Don of New York, has a conceal carry permit…and you have to spend a second pondering whether he’s a true believer in the 2nd amendment, or an opportunistic elitist? Duh? Trump is, and has been, an unrepentant autocrat his entire life. He is Caesar of the Global Trump Empire…the Trumpire? Ponder that, before you hand him the keys to the republic.

    • “before you hand him the keys to the republic.” — I’m sorry, but we haven’t had a Republic in a long time. Empire, yes.

  23. I’d gladly hand them over, for a bunch of reasons. It was a horse race with Cruz until Cruz got the fantods about Trump denying Muslim visas. I agree with Trump on that one – why bring people who want to kill us into our home? When I crack the door to a stranger, my 1911 is in my hand. My house, my country, my self-protection.
    That issue mattered because Cruz showed he is constrained by political correctness. Trump isn’t. Moreover, Cruz can’t beat Hillary because he fights by Queensbury rules but Trump doesn’t.
    I am NOT going to assume Trump is a hypocrite because he came late to the party. I’ve been fighting 2A wars since 1967, but I’ll take any converts I can find. From any source. Cruz would be a superb Supreme Court justice, but an ineffective President.

    • Cruz is not constrained by political correctness – if he were, he wouldn’t be speaking about “sand glowing in the dark”.

      What he’s constrained by is idealism. As revolting as I find his brand of social conservatism, the man is clearly a true believer, and everything he says or does is fully logically consistent within his moral and ideological framework.

      And denying people entry based solely on their expressed religion is not consistent with that framework.

      Trump, OTOH, doesn’t have any ideals.

      • “And denying people entry based solely on their expressed religion is not consistent with that framework” — Islam is not just a “religion.” Islam is as much a constitution as it is a religion. It is a hostile constitution to the one that is accepted in this country. By the US law, people who desire a change of the US government and US Constitution through militant means are excluded from entering the country. This law was created to keep the communists out and should be used to keep Muslims out for the same reason.

  24. Robert, your Democratic past is still haunting you – influencing your thinking and article perspective. Most anything you post about Trump is the regurgitated spew of the Uniparty.

    Break free of the past. The country needs a serious doer, not more of the same destructive policies the Republicrats have been foisting on us.

  25. Trump supporters are voting on emotion, something regular conservatives have criticized the Left for over the past 30+ years.

    Voting with your emotions FEELS good ……but it does not DO good.

    DOING good over FEELING good is the sign of being an adult and that’s why the Left are very childish.

    Now the Right has succumbed to the same illness.
    I weep for our country.
    We’re just about at the point of no return.

    • If Cruz or any other dingbat had come out and said they opposed illegal immigration and would kick out every criminal in the country illegally, they could have risen to the top.

      But, none of them did because they either cowards or they support illegals.

      And trump had been calling man-made global warming a crock. None of the others did.

      Republican voters want a fighter, not a girly man.

      • Thanks, ADUB, somehow that had not struck me. Absolutely anyone out of 17 declared candidates could have said the same things Trump did, and not one did. Several got on board later and pretended it was their idea, but Trump was alone at the start of a bunch of ideas which resulted instantly in hateful shit flying his way, with no one supporting him, at all. And he did not back down, did not follow PC doctrine, did not waffle and lie. I am his bitch. I will vote for the victor in the GOP primary, but if it ain’t Trump, I still am his bitch.

    • There is no “Right” as in the old meaning of the Republican Party anymore. The last elections have proven it – the Party won and immediately continued the same statist/socialist policies as the Progressives/socialists. Well, perhaps with a prayer for your soul…

      • >> The last elections have proven it – the Party won and immediately continued the same statist/socialist policies as the Progressives/socialists.

        The party didn’t “win”. They took over Congress, but don’t have enough votes to overcome the presidential veto, so the result is an impasse.

        What kind of legislation (which is, ultimately, the only real way they can enact policy) would you expect from them in these circumstances?

        • Congress has, theoretically, the power of the purse. They could have de-funded Obamacare and a multitude of his programs and agencies. Would that have halted the government? – sure, so what? I work for the government and I would not have been getting paid – and that’s fine, because we will soon all be getting paid in Zimbabwean dollars, if this insane national suicide is not stopped.

        • Most people don’t think that defunding the government entirely for a prolonged duration of time is a reasonable way to get what you want. And it’s certainly not in the same boat as actively passing and repealing laws. So it’s not right to say that Republican congressmen are “the same” on the basis that they aren’t willing to sacrifice all govt spending to kill Obamacare.

        • If they are not recognizing the cancer that is Obama, and his programs, by turning off the oxygen to the cancer, then they are not the people that they advertised they will be and not the people that I voted for. Some of the other programs are stand alone and may be legislated out, but Obamacare is so intertwined into the fabric of the country, that the longer it breathes, the more it will choke the nation. From the beginning, it was based on the stupidity of the American voter and designed to fundamentally destroy not only the economy, but the American culture itself. By the looks of it, it is succeeding.

  26. There’s nothing “closet” about Trump’s elitism. If you’re not rich and white, he doesn’t give a shit about you or your opinions. Don’t be deluded into thinking otherwise. He doesn’t care about you.

    • Explain why he would care if you’re rich, please? That assertion, unsupported, is simply stupid. He doesn’t need your money, no matter how much you have.

    • Since you’ve brought color/race into this, could you please tell us what actions or words of Trump made you think that color/race is an issue for him?

  27. There seems to be a lot of talk about Trump being an “elitist.” First, is there a single candidate in this election, or in the past 10 (at least) elections who is not (or has not been) an elitist? Second, would any of you prefer the very average McDonald’s hamburger flipper to be the president – who would not be an elitist only until elected? If there are issues about Trump’s proposed policies or his beliefs, do raise them, for sure. But the issue of “elitist” or not? Whom are we kidding?

    • Hollywood provides numerous examples. You make a good living doing nothing more productive than pretending to be somebody you’re not, and suddenly you are running off at the mouth about how incredibly wise you are, and looking down your nose at people who work for a living. THAT is elitist, and totally unjustified, at that!

  28. I have to say, I do feel kinda sorry for the conservatives (regardless of the brand – economic, social, religious, everything) who were truly committed to the ideological aspect of it. It must be really tough, after assuming (and being told by everyone) that you’re the “party base”, and to hear other people nod in agreement, suddenly find out, come Trump, that their agreement was on the shallow points of the day, and never on your ideology. And now that your ideology dictates you to oppose Trump – they tell you that you’re “not a real conservative”.

    As a liberal, I strongly disagree with most conservative ideology, but I respect the fact that people who committed to it have an ideology, and can coherently explain and rationalize it. I can talk to them, and debate their points – because they have points that can be debated by logic and reason.

    Populists like Trump, and their supporters, on the other hand, don’t have an ideology. All they have is a visceral reaction to fear of what they see as looming problems – and not even real problems at that, but largely manufactured ones that they’ve been taught to fear (to give a simple example: your chances, as an American citizen, of being killed by a terrorist anywhere in the world – not just in US! – are about 3x lower than your chances of being struck by a lightning). It’s the concentrated essence of “somebody please do something!!!”, the kind of stuff that produces turds like PATRIOT Act or AWB. There’s no debate to be had there – it’s just shouting, words without meaning, the louder the better. And hate, lots and lots of hate.

    I actually think that from my ideological point of view, Cruz would make a worse president, based on solely the policies he’s more likely to support. But I’d still prefer him over Trump, because I’d rather have someone who’s wrong on policy, but thoughtful, than someone who’s not quite as wrong, but is promoting hate and vitriol far and wide for the sake of his political gains.

    • For a liberal who supports the 2A and, therefore, does not support a police state (makes on more of Libertarian than a Progressive Liberal, doesn’t it?), I would think that Trump would be the best choice from the current stock that has any possibility of winning, if we are to make a huge and a totally irrational jump to believing that our votes actually matter. He is not religious, he is against much of the regulation on the economy, whether bureaucratic or statist, and as far as dealing with other countries, I see him as supporting the same type of trade as the other side does – if Japan, for example, chooses to have 10% tariff on American goods, then we should have the same; if they choose 50%, we match. Ideally, 0% tariff is the the consumer (citizen) of any country, but if some don’t get it, they should be given a proper lesson. And as to sending illegals back – well, they’re illegals. It is another issue whether one should or should not be “illegal,” but doesn’t any country has to uphold its laws? Trump’s position on the 2A – throughout his life he didn’t really give a damn – as you say, he’s not an idealist. But for the foreseeable future we can expect as good of a support on this issue as it comes, and he is not likely to be intimidated by bullshit slogans like “saving just one child.” So, what is so terrible about Trump?

      • Two things.

        One that I have already pointed out: he’s a hate monger. He is specifically tapping into unhappiness about the current state of affairs, and converting it into blind hate towards convenient targets (Muslims, Mexicans, Wall Street etc). You can see it in action if you go to any place where Trump supporters hang out, and try to argue about pretty much anything. The typical response that you’ll get is “fuck off and die, commie Muslim scum”.

        This is really worrying because this is exactly the tactic that established most past totalitarian regimes – tapping into (real, legitimate) anger, converting it into hate, and directing it towards their opponents (and anyone else unlucky enough to be a convenient target) to ride the wave of populism into power.

        The second issue is that Trump doesn’t give a fuck about the Constitution, natural rights etc. Even if you look at his positions from a perspective of someone to whom they’d be agreeable (i.e. if you really believe that Muslims and immigrants are a menace), the measures that he proposes are utterly utilitarian, and if they happen to stomp all over rights and freedoms for some category of people, well, too bad for them.

        Remember how he refused to unambiguously say that he would not support Japanese-American internment camps, because “he’d need to be there” to know all the circumstances, because “tough things” are “needed to win wars” etc. Then recently, he said that he’d reinstate PATRIOT Act in its original form, and possibly even extend it further, because “safety is more important”. Then there’s his take on eminent domain. Those kinds of answers, to me, reek of someone who, fundamentally, believes that the right ends justify any means at all. It is a position that is hyper-statist – a government will be as large as Trump needs it to be to solve those problems that he wants to solve. It’s also, obviously, very antagonistic to the notion of inviolable individual rights.

        • You make good points, and I agree with you that there is potential danger with Trump. However, continuing on the same path as in the last 20 years, completely embracing socialism, which has shown its true colors everywhere where it was allowed to exist without restraint (Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Albania, Zimbabwe…), I don’t care how well socialism works in France, or Norway – give it time and let it get full control of the society and the same police state will occur, is a national suicide. We now have half of the country who do not work at all, whose children will never work, have no desire and no capability to work. Half of the remainder work, but produce nothing productive, as they are employed to satisfy the government machine – EPA, IRS, DHS, Ministry of “Education,” etc. And it seems that just about every Republican, once elected, immediately grows a nose horn. How long does this country have?

        • >> I don’t care how well socialism works in France, or Norway – give it time and let it get full control of the society and the same police state will occur

          That’s where we disagree. I’ve lived in Russia back when it was still USSR (albeit as kid), and I’ve lived in New Zealand and in Canada, both “socialist” by US scale, and the two have nothing at all in common politically or ideologically. There’s zero chance of Norway becoming USSR. So no, I’m not at all afraid of Norway-style “socialism” on those grounds.

          There are other issues with big government, but Trump’s is also a very big government, perhaps even bigger than Sanders’ – except Trump’s would be more fascist-leaning, so between the two I’ll definitely pick Sanders. Hillary is big government for the benefit of the wealthy – fuck that. Ditto Christie, Rubio and Bush, they just pander to a slightly different set of people to get there.

          Cruz is also pro-big government; it’s just that he wants a small federal government so that he can have a big state/local government – the kind that is better at imposing his religious and social mores on the rest of us. Go watch the video with his dad Rafael preaching about how “the anointed kings” will “take the wealth of the wicked”.

          The only one who’s actually pro-small government on all levels with any degree of consistency is Rand, and even he has not really fully stuck to that message in this electoral cycle.

          With the meteoric rise of Trump on the right, small government conservatism is effectively dead as a mainstream political ideology in this country, unless a miracle happens and he loses by large margin (not just the general, but also the primaries).

        • We are definitely in agreement when it comes to the other pretenders, but I am surprised, that coming from the USSR, you can have any tenderness for socialism, of any flavor. Of course, NZ flavor is much more palatable than USSR’s, nor am I saying that Norway will necessarily become fascist (although it can). Besides, in the 21st century, mass executions are not necessary – governments have Progressed and learned to control the sheeple with kinder means – the IRS, the DHS, the EPA, BATF, the BLM, Human Services and many others (note that each of them has an SWAT section – I wonder why?). The basic idea of socialism should be revolting to a freedom-loving individual. To live for the benefit of others and to be controlled by the whim of others, to belong to the society and not be in full control of your faculties nor to fully enjoy the benefits of your labors – that is slavery. Only the harshness of the slavery is variable depending on the implementation, but it is slavery.

        • >> but I am surprised, that coming from the USSR, you can have any tenderness for socialism, of any flavor.

          That would be because I know the difference between socialism and “socialism”.

          Socialism is public (or government, in practice) ownership of the means of production. No “socialist” European country has it, neither on paper nor in practice, nor even in plans.

          What you call “socialism” is simply using the government to solve issues that require a society-wide approach, or which stem from the tragedy of the commons. It has nothing to do with socialism proper.

          Big government does not equate to socialism.

          Real socialism usually equates to big government in practice (though there are some strains of socialism that explicitly reject any government – anarcho-syndicalists and libertarian communists, for example – but they have never held power, so their claims are as yet unverified).

          I do not believe that “taxation is slavery” and similar right-libertarian malarkey.

          I believe in “as small as necessary” government. This is not the same as libertarian minarchism, because some things that I believe should be government responsibility include traditionally liberal things such as busting monopolies and providing public healthcare. However, unlike my fellow liberals who are fully pro-big-govt, I consider the need for government intervention in these cases to be a necessary evil, not unqualified good. In other words, the natural state of affairs (no regulation) should be preferred, unless some sufficiently important social objective requires regulation, and even then such need should be clearly demonstrated (e.g. for healthcare, the epic fail that is the American private health insurance system is evident to anyone who has run the numbers and compared to other countries), and the intervention should be the absolute minimum required to achieve that objective, and not a iota more.

          I believe in certain natural rights, which shall not be infringed regardless of any utilitarian social objectives, no matter how good.

          I believe in decentralized government, in a sense that I do not believe that a couple hundred people, no matter how fairly elected, can meaningfully represent 300 million. So for most issues that I believe the government should tackle, I also believe that it should be done on state level and below, generally the lower, the better, and not on federal level. E.g. healthcare can be perfectly well managed by the states and voluntary interstate associations, just as it is today in Canada (few people seem to be aware of it, but in Canada, provinces are in charge of healthcare, not the feds).

          I believe that hierarchical government system is valuable, but the main goals of higher levels of government is not to govern, but rather to serve as checks on lower levels. In other words, the primary goal of federal government should be to ensure that your state and local government doesn’t violate your natural rights by tyranny of the majority. So it is the judiciary, not the legislative and not the executive, that should be the main federal branch.

          Translating this to contemporary politics – I want Ron Paul as president, and Sanders as my state governor.

          Hopefully that clarifies things 🙂

        • Let me start with the disagreement with you regarding the flavors of socialism, as you call them socialism and “socialism.” The fundamental premise of socialism (in quotes or without) is that an individual is subservient to society. The needs of the many come before the needs of the one. This sounds like a reasonable position, except that in practice, in every implementation, in every place in the world, this formula has given control of the individuals to the few at the apex of the society, for the benefit and enrichment of only the ones’ at the apex. Human beings are not bees or ants – we are not genetically programmed to sacrifice ourselves for the commune. Instead, for better or for worse, we are genetically programmed to preserve and to benefit ourselves as individuals. Forceful reprogramming of the human is a task well beyond Marx and attempts of such have already killed some 100M people in just one century. Nevertheless, the idea of the collective is so enticing, that many persevere, often to their own demise. Bernie Sanders, for example, after losing his father’s family to National Socialism, believes that he’ll do better under Democratic Socialism.

          You raise the question whether European countries are socialist? Do their governments control the means of production? In essence, they do. They allow certain industries to exist, by using subsidies, and they disallow other industries to exist, by using taxation and regulation, including creating monopolies (a monopoly can only be created and sustained by government). But, for the most part, they use intermediary crony capitalists, or more likely, government approved managers, to manage the industries. Multiple attempts to completely nationalize industries have all resulted in economic disaster for those industries. So, for the time being, the Europeans stopped at a flavor of socialism that does not hurt too disastrously because they’ve allowed a degree of private ownership. A reasonable question arises, then – if private ownership makes the economy and the life of the average citizen better, why not continue with more private ownership? The answer, of course, is that private ownership, or capitalism, benefits the average citizen, not the elitist, who, through socialism, e.g., calls to sacrifice and altruism, collects the benefits of everyone else’s production and sacrifice.

          You say that Big government does not equate to socialism – and I would argue the opposite. In a capitalist system, there is no place for Big government. For two reasons; first, people will not be willing to voluntarily pay for a bunch of non-productive mouths and secondly, there would be very little for the Big government to do – the premise of capitalism and private property includes personal responsibility, so the society will not need the government to dictate and regulate every breath taken by an individual. In a socialist system, the opposite is true. Every bureaucrat is promoted to a little King and justifies his existence by telling others what they may not do. Power, as we all know, is a terrible disease. You mention some strains of socialism that do not recognize Big government, but I’m not sure, and I think that you will agree, whether those are even realistic entities – like “libertarian communists” – isn’t that a contradiction of terms? Or “Democratic Socialists”?

          On the subject of taxation. Taxation for the common good, in proportion to what one benefits from this common good, is not slavery. National defense, for example, benefits all citizens and must be paid for by all citizens. But taxation is a method for creating slavery if it is used to collect earning of one person exclusively for the benefit of another. Regardless of the intentions of the enforcer, if he uses force to make a person work for the benefit of another, that is slavery by the most basic definition. When the government takes half of what I produce, with the power of the gun, and gives it to those that have not earned it nor compensates me in any way except for the calls to altruism, that is slavery.

          We’ll discuss the small government that you believe in, under socialism, in a moment, but let’s talk about the services that you believe the government should provide to the citizens, like “free” healthcare. First of all, the government does not provide or produce anything. Government can only redirect or force other people to provide a product or a service. For healthcare to be “free,” or, as you say, to be “provided” by the government, the government essentially takes on the role of an insurance company. Only in this case, instead of having competing insurance companies catering to various needs and providing those options that individuals desire, you get a cookie cutter approach with only two flavors – one for the proletariat and one for the patricians (and every socialist system has its patricians). Furthermore, when individual incentives for the most cost effective service and product are removed, the system invariably bloats, with abuses from all sides. This was the case in the Soviet free medicine, in the British free medicine and is clearly obvious in Obamacare. So, instead of improving the medical system, government mismanagement simply destroys it. But “free” healthcare sounds so good!

          I comment you and agree with you that minimal government is the preferred state, but, as you say, “unless some sufficiently important social objective requires regulation.” So, a religious baker does not wish to bake a cake for gays, a six year-old kid bit a pastry so it now looks like a gun, someone said a joke at work that used one of the forbidden letters of the alphabet, etc., etc. Clearly, for some, a sufficiently important social objective is self-evident and needs the government’s intervention, which, of course, needs an appropriate department or an agency. So much for that minimalist government we all wished for… And, btw, what is often considered an epic failure of the American healthcare system, prior to Obamacare, is wholly due to the government – the government’s tax policy created an instant increase in the cost of healthcare by dividing medical expenses as before/after taxes – that’s 25% difference for most; then by corralling individuals into insurance plans and regulating any flexibility out of the insurance industry, people that didn’t have insurance and wanted to pay cash for the service provided were hit with a bill that was 200 to 300% higher than the insurance company was charged for the same service; and then by adding Medicare into the mix, with their frivolous charges and abuses that dragged the entire system to the bottom. Lastly, by regulating providers, it became illegal for a hospital to refuse emergency service to anyone, resulting in trash that wanted to get a free night’s stay and a meal and would call an ambulance, so that when a normal person walks into an emergency room with a real emergency, there’s a thousand dollar charge just for walking in. But the propaganda machine made greedy capitalists to be the culprits of yet another government failure. And the solution – of course, more government – Obamacare!

          Finally, you ask for Ron Paul, a religious zealot (although I respect his economic position) for president and Bernie Sanders, a socialist elitist for governor? Why not organize the Second Concord now? Well, maybe not Concord, since the people are pretty much disarmed in Massachusetts, so that shot will not be heard anywhere.

        • >> The fundamental premise of socialism (in quotes or without) is that an individual is subservient to society.

          This is plainly false. I don’t know who told you that, but it is simply not the case. The basic premise of Marxist socialism, as defined by Marxists themselves, is the definition that I gave earlier – “public ownership of means of production” (and capitalism, therefore, is “private ownership” of the same). Non-Marxist forms of socialism – which are usually not statist – often preserve this, but they put different meaning into “public ownership” – e.g. in anarcho-syndicalism, capital is supposed to be owned directly by workers, without government as an intermediary.

          With that in mind, I’m not going to address all the points that you’ve made based on that incorrect definition.

          >> You raise the question whether European countries are socialist? Do their governments control the means of production? In essence, they do. They allow certain industries to exist, by using subsidies, and they disallow other industries to exist, by using taxation and regulation, including creating monopolies (a monopoly can only be created and sustained by government).

          By your definition, any government is socialist, since all of them tax.

          But it’s a wrong definition. The key point of socialism is ownership of the means of production, which means direct and exclusive control over them. In other words, it’s when the government tells the factories what to produce, and in what quantities, as it were in USSR or Mao’s China. Taxation, subsidies etc aren’t even close.

          >> In a capitalist system, there is no place for Big government.

          Also wrong. Capitalism loves big government – the kind of government that works in its favor. In a capitalist system, again, it’s control over means of production (direct or indirect – via shares etc) that defines how much income and wealth you have, and because everything has a price, money translates to political power. From a purely egoistic perspective of increasing one’s profit (and hence power), it is only logical to “invest” money into buying politicians and using them to pass laws that benefit your business, and stall laws that do not. Witness, for example, how many of the supposedly “conservative” states in the USA have enacted laws specifically to ban Tesla from selling their cars directly – because local car dealerships sponsored such law (under the guise of “product safety”). Yet at the same time genuine safety concerns, such as food labeling laws, are vigorously lobbied against by businesses who would stand to lose profits if their consumers were more informed about the products that they consume.

          If we look at other countries, this is also true. Singapore is widely considered as “the most economically free country in the world” (or at least sharing that spot with Hong Kong), but try to buy a gun there, or publish something critical of the prime minister, and you’ll find very quickly just how statist they are.

          Heck, China, by all counts, is a capitalist economy now. Authoritarian as hell, and government and business are heavily intertwined, but the fundamental arrangement is unabashedly capitalistic, even more so than in US (because it’s much cheaper and easier to buy government that you need).

          >> On the subject of taxation. Taxation for the common good, in proportion to what one benefits from this common good, is not slavery. National defense, for example, benefits all citizens and must be paid for by all citizens. But taxation is a method for creating slavery if it is used to collect earning of one person exclusively for the benefit of another.

          And how do you define that “exclusively”? I very much doubt that a guy who lives in a remote mountain shack somewhere in the Cascades cares one bit about national security. He probably wouldn’t even notice if China invaded and took over (in USSR, there were some religious sects living in such remote places in Siberia, they didn’t even know that WW2 happened). So why do you say that he must pay for national defense? His national defense is his shotgun, and that’s all that he needs. And even if he is getting some benefits, well, he didn’t consent to them.

          Fundamentally, all taxation is a form of wealth redistribution, either direct or indirect. If it weren’t, taxes wouldn’t be needed – we’d just pay for the same services directly, each in the amount according to the service provided to us personally, and that would be that. Taxation for defense, police, courts etc are all redistribution because some people benefit from it more than others, yet all are taxed the same (or differently, but definitely not based on how much they benefit).

          An argument is oft made that national defense etc apply to everyone because they are necessary for a stable society, and stable society is itself a benefit that everyone receives. And it is true (try having a store in a warzone), but it also applies to other stuff! E.g. public education results in better workforce and more educated consumers. Public healthcare and vaccination prevents epidemics. Even if you’re super-rich and can take care of yourself, without all that stuff, you’d basically have to live in a gated community with MG nests on the perimeter (as people do indeed live in countries which don’t have a well functioning or too corrupt government).

          >> First of all, the government does not provide or produce anything. Government can only redirect or force other people to provide a product or a service.

          Of course, but neither do corporations provide or produce anything – the people that work for them do. Yet corporations reap the profits. Do you not see the obvious parallels here?

          At least in government, you have some control – it’s as if it were a corporation where every employee had a non-transferable voting share.

          >> For healthcare to be “free,” or, as you say, to be “provided” by the government, the government essentially takes on the role of an insurance company.

          Yes.

          >> Only in this case, instead of having competing insurance companies catering to various needs and providing those options that individuals desire, you get a cookie cutter approach with only two flavors – one for the proletariat and one for the patricians (and every socialist system has its patricians).

          Not at all. Having a government-run insurance agency doesn’t preclude private insurance companies, and, indeed, most countries in the world with public healthcare system have just such an arrangement. What public system does is provide a definitive baseline, which is sustainable because everyone is required to pay into it. But if you have money above and beyond, sky’s the limit.

          Thing is, for most people, that ability to spend extra money for better-than-public healthcare is mostly theoretical, because they don’t actually have that extra money, and never will. Which is why countries with public healthcare produce much better results than countries without it.

          >> Furthermore, when individual incentives for the most cost effective service and product are removed, the system invariably bloats, with abuses from all sides. This was the case in the Soviet free medicine, in the British free medicine and is clearly obvious in Obamacare.

          And yet British healthcare is still better than what most Americans get, per dollar spend. And Soviet healthcare system is better than no healthcare at all, which was the reality for 30 million Americans before Obamacare.

          >> as you say, “unless some sufficiently important social objective requires regulation.” So, a religious baker does not wish to bake a cake for gays, a six year-old kid bit a pastry so it now looks like a gun, someone said a joke at work that used one of the forbidden letters of the alphabet, etc., etc. Clearly, for some, a sufficiently important social objective is self-evident and needs the government’s intervention, which, of course, needs an appropriate department or an agency.

          I don’t care what some other people think is sufficiently important. I’m giving you my take on this, so obviously, when I say “sufficiently important”, what I have in mind is my own definition of it.

          Obviously, in a real society where there are other people, we need some way to make consensus over such things. This is true in any society at all, because they’re all fundamentally either consensus-based or adversarial (which is kinda another way of achieving consensus – if you kill or imprison everyone who disagrees, you have consensus with the rest).

          Now, plain majority rule sucks, so a better approach is to agree on a supermajority necessary to decide what “sufficiently important” is in advance. For example, 2/3 or even 3/4. If the last number looks familiar, it’s because it’s that arrangement as implemented in the US Constitution – 3/4 of the states must agree in order to amend it, which is pretty much what “sufficiently important” translates to in this case.

          >> the government’s tax policy created an instant increase in the cost of healthcare

          True, but it was still more expensive than public options even before then.

          Consider this. Most countries that have public healthcare today, didn’t have it 50-70 years ago. They went through a period of transition, and if they thought that they’re not liking it, they would have reversed course. Yet not one of them – not one! – has done so. You can blame it on “tyranny” and “propaganda”, but the simple truth is that people liked it, because most of them were better off. The notion of reversing it thus became political suicide, to the point where even the most conservative party in Canada, for example – Wildrose Alliance – fully endorses public healthcare.

          >> by regulating providers, it became illegal for a hospital to refuse emergency service to anyone

          What is your alternative? Should we let people rot alive in the streets, and send out janitors to pick up and dispose of the bodies once they die (and BTW, who pays for that?).

          >> Ron Paul, a religious zealot

          I couldn’t care less about his religion. What I care about is his ideology. It is affected by religion, obviously, but, again, I don’t care. And as far as his ideology goes, on federal level, it’s solid – and, equally important, I believe that he would actually stick to it once in power.

          >> Bernie Sanders, a socialist elitist

          I believe I have already addressed the point that, as far as I’m concerned, Sanders is not a socialist, in great detail. I don’t see him as an elitist, either – elitists generally have much more cash to show for several decades in politics.

        • It seems that we have a disconnect with the basic definition of socialism. If you agree that socialism represents “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one,” then how is it not obvious that the one becomes subservient to the many? Yes, I know that the one-line definition is defining the ownership of the means of production, but going further, it is who serves whom. The capitalist system, on the other hand, holds private ownership sacrosanct and, therefore, the results of one’s labors are his to do with as he pleases, which results in totally voluntary exchanges between people. Socialist exchanges are voluntary only so long as the all the parties do what the state (in actuality, the ruler of the state) desires; otherwise, they become enforced by the state, through the barrel of the gun if necessary. Don’t know about you, but when I am looking at the barrel of the gun and being politely told to do something that I do not want to do, I call that being subservient. You may call that a desirable state of affairs, but it is still being subservient. I think that our definitions need to align, otherwise it’s like speaking different languages.

        • >> If you agree that socialism represents “the needs of the many outweigh the needs the one,”

          No, I don’t agree with that.

          Egoism vs altruism is a distinction that exists in politics, but it’s not really the socialism/capitalism axis. There’s some correlation there, but not anywhere near as much as is often purported to be.

          As far as my position goes – it depends on the needs on either side of the scales, and how dire they are. If we need to take 20% off everyone’s income, but the result in a society where thousands of people don’t die in the streets every day for the lack of basic care, I would call it a good trade – and because no natural rights are violated in the process, acceptable. But if we need to, say, censor all press and public speech to prevent riots, saving thousands of lives, I would call it unacceptable, because freedom of speech is worth more than that, and because at its core, it’s a natural right that shall not be infringed.

          To make this perfectly clear, I do not consider the right to property either natural or absolute. I’m with this guy on that subject:

          “It is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all… It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.”

          “A right of property in moveable things is admitted before the establishment of government. A separate property in lands, not till after that establishment. The right to moveables is acknowledged by all the hordes of Indians surrounding us. Yet by no one of them has a separate property in lands been yielded to individuals. He who plants a field keeps possession till he has gathered the produce, after which one has as good a right as another to occupy it. Government must be established and laws provided, before lands can be separately appropriated, and their owner protected in his possession. Till then, the property is in the body of the nation, and they, or their chief as trustee, must grant them to individuals, and determine the conditions of the grant.”

          Yes, that’s Thomas Jefferson. So I think I’m in a reasonably good company.

          Also note, because I don’t think that right to property is not natural nor absolute doesn’t mean that I think it’s bad. On the contrary, I think that societies with private property rights have fared significantly better than those without. But those societies never had absolute property rights, either! Basically, property rights are a good default, but “infringements” on them – whether it’s taxation, or prohibition of certain activities (e.g. ruining the land), or even eminent domain in some very limited cases – can be necessary.

        • >> If you agree that socialism represents “the needs of the many outweigh the needs the one,”
          No, I don’t agree with that.
          “Egoism vs altruism is a distinction that exists in politics, but it’s not really the socialism/capitalism axis. There’s some correlation there, but not anywhere near as much as is often purported to be.” – I know of no socialist system, society or enterprise that does not proclaim that an individual must sacrifice for the good of the society. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” – must sound familiar to you…

          “As far as my position goes – it depends on the needs on either side of the scales, and how dire they are. If we need to take 20% off everyone’s income, but the result in a society where thousands of people don’t die in the streets every day for the lack of basic care, I would call it a good trade” – Let’s take the Socratic approach – let’s define the extremes of our ranges. Twenty percent is acceptable for you; what about 40%, or 80%? Where do you draw the line, after all, we’re talking about being dying (or not) on the streets, right? So, if I decide that I do not wish to work, but, obviously, my life functions must be sustained (you don’t want me to die in the streets, right?), how do I proceed to acquire that 20, 40, etc., percent of your earnings? Oh, of course, I, as an individual, cannot do that – that would be thievery; but the government is welcome to do the same and it will be called “lawful.” We can also branch out into what is considered “not dying in the streets”? – is it just food (judging by the general obesity of the welfare class, the food must be pretty plentiful), a roof over the head? (surely cable TV must be included), can’t live on bread alone, so football and movie tickets are a necessity, too… Not to branch out too deep, let me present you with this fact – a humanoid sow, who has never worked, with three offspring of the next non-working generation, with an officially absent male (he’s busy making money by other means) collects from the taxpayers $70,000 per year, tax free (equivalent to $110K salary, after taxes). So much for “dying on the streets.” Of course, in the process, a great many government employees are “employed” producing nothing of value, but it sure helps the employment statistic! And yes, there is a socialist way to resolving this problem – make them work! After all, “those that don’t work don’t eat!” Right? So, how do you make them work? Do you suggest using the whip, or make it quicker and shoot them? Of, course, the greedy, individualistic capitalist system takes care of this by preventing the entire situation, using the threat that people may be dying in the streets if they don’t work, but the threat is enough to make one work and nobody actually dies.

          “because no natural rights are violated in the process, [it is] acceptable. So, making another person involuntarily labor for the exclusive benefit another (or others), is not a violation of rights? We can debate whether those are “natural” or not, but it seems to me that the right of person to the fruits of his labor are fundamental rights. If you start separating “rights” into negotiable bins, well, you know what will happen then.
          “To make this perfectly clear, I do not consider the right to property either natural or absolute. I’m with this guy on that subject” – Not sure applicable to this discussion is the parsing of land ownership rights as to natural, fundamental, pre or post the establishment of society. One of the reasons that American Indians remained in a Stone Age culture even after several hundred years of association with Europeans is their communal attitude and failure to recognize landownership rights – there was simply no individual incentive to advance. But aside from land ownership, I am talking about the fundamental right of any individual to the fruits of his labors. If those fruits are given up or shared voluntarily, as in kibbutzim, I have no problem with that, as long as one can leave the kibbutz at any time. When one cannot leave, it becomes one of Stalin’s collective farms. When a person is persuaded to give up part of his labors for the benefit of others, as required by his religion, he may call it bliss, while I call it brainwashing, but when that person decides that he no longer wishes to donate and is being forced to do that, that is called law, enforced by government, backed by the police (with guns), and I call that a thin veil for slavery.

          “I think that societies with private property rights have fared significantly better than those without” – and that is the whole crux of the matter! Can a society be socialist and live? Or a communist or a fascist? Of course. The question is under which rules would a person fare better? So far, experience has shown that societies that come closer to the capitalistic ideal prosper, while those that come closer to the socialistic ideal, wither. But the socialist message is very attractive, both for the “unwashed masses” who always want something for nothing and the pseudo-intellectuals, who are educated, but don’t really think through their ideas to the logical conclusion.

  29. So, an effete, art collecting New Englander masquerading as a “Texan”(Austin, LOL) is accusing ANYONE ELSE ON PLANET EARTH of being a “narcissistic elitist”. Wow, just fucking wow.

  30. At this point Cruz is my guy but Trump will do. They, including Trump, are all cats of different stripes except for maybe Cruz.

    A real risk is that HIllary gets indicted mid or late primary season and Mikey B or worse gets the nomination via brokered convention.

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