Monday, February 27, 2017

The Shocking Pro-Government Spirit Amongst Some Libertarians in the Era of Trump

It has happened again. Trump fanboys have come out in support of Trump authoritarianism.

I put up this post, CNN, New York Times & Others Blocked From White House Media Briefing, and out came the comments supporting a Trump action.

Aren't libertarians supposed to be anti-government? Shouldn't they appreciate when the government is harassed? Don't we want to get reports on what government is doing from every possible angle?

In the post, I wrote:
Opposing views reporting on the government should be welcomed. Shutting down access to news organization, even those clearly biased and anti-Trump. is a very slippery slope.
And yet these comments were made at the post (my comments in blue):

Perry Mason wrote:
I disagree here. In a vacuum, I agree that there should be a diversity of opinion and wide access.

But NY Times, AP, etc., these organizations are the enemy of freedom and the people. They preach lies. They act in bad faith. Why grant them access? For decades they have lied and benefited from cozy government relationships. Now the hand that feeds is biting them. I celebrate that.
Well, first I would argue that not everything MSM prints is a lie and it is not an exclusive domain of MSM. I have seen plenty of distortions and lies coming out of the pro-Trump crowd. Are pro-Trump liars somehow ok? Should we cheer when Democrats are in power and shut them down? 
Libertarians should be for as much access and reporting on the government as possible. The government needs to be exposed and it is positively bizarre to hold the view that the barring by the governmentof some news organizations to government briefings is somehow pro-freedom. This is nothing but an authoritarian view that government should determine what news should be fed to the people. It is Stalinesque and has nothing to do with liberty.
But, hey, it is good to know you will apply libertarian principles when you are "in a vacuum."
And this post really singles out Trump for something all Presidents have done, just on the other side of the spectrum.
I doubt Infowars and got direct access to White House briefings during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations.
This is a the Soviet  propaganda technique  known as Whataboutism. What difference does it make what other presidents have done? Libertarians should always be against this. 
And, for the record, whenever I had a question of the Treasury or the White House during the Bush and Obama years, I always received a prompt reply, generally with the details I asked for.
I was also always notified by the Treasury of conference call briefings, including "pad and pen" briefings, where I could participate. I was appraised of White House calls when they pertained to economics.
Here is a sample of a Treasury call I requested to be on after being notified by the Treasury of the call:
From: Robert Wenzel []
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 10:42 AM
To: Gudmundson, Erika
Subject: Conference number

Hi Erika,

Could you please provide me with the conference call number for the
Background Briefing in Advance of U.S.-China Strategic & Economic
Dialogue .


Bob Wenzel



Here is the dial-in information for today's briefing at 11:15am.

US dialin: 888-989-XXX
International dialin: 1-630-395-XXXX
Participant pass code is 55170.


Media Coordinator
Public Affairs | Department of the Treasury
 Stuffed Pimento wrote:
Trump killed crony TPP, gutted Obamacare including removing the truly authoritarian individual mandate, signed executive orders that directs the government to avoid taxpayer bailouts, re-examine all existing regulations, repeal 2 regulations for every 1 created, froze the hiring of federal employees, repealed forced transgender bathroom integration policy, and has triggered the horrible MSM to out itself. In a month.
Trump killed TPP because he is against most trade. He is an economic ignoramus when it comes to trade. I would not recommend using Trump trade actions at a libertarian blog to buttress your argument. 
He did, for the present time, kill the mandate but he hasn't told us yet how he is going to replace the funds lost by the mandate repeal so that he can pay for "everyone having coverage available to him"---which is what Trump has promised. The repeal part is fine, but the "replace" part is where the scam lies.
Why will he need to bailout the military-industrial complex when upfront he is going to pour trillions into the military?
Two for one is just to sucker in the dumbest of the Trump fanboys.
 He is not freezing the hiring of government trained killers though.
Whoopee, he has killed the transgender bathroom regulation nonsense.Yes, I'll take all kinds of authoritarianism to get this killed. Tie me to a rack, it will all be worth it.
Quoting anonymous sources in news reporting has gotten out of control.
And you are the authority on this? Why can't each of us decide what reports we want to listen to. God, you are an incredible authoritarian. I can see why you are a Trump fanboy. 
There is a role for anonymous sources in news, however it should only be used when the source's safety or livelihood is at stake AND the information can be verified by documentation or multiple other sources. AND the target of the source's information should be given an opportunity to respond. 
How do you know this isn't done? Clueless and authoritarian.
Otherwise that source should only be used on background AND the reason he is not identified should be given with an explanation to the reader on how the information was independently verified AND any biases held by the anonymous source.
Ditto:  Clueless and authoritarian. 
That is not what the media have been doing. The media are carrying the water of the Deep State - the authoritarians of the past 50 years.
Yes, and now you support water carrying coverage by pro-Trump news outlets. Evil. 
This blog's Trump Derangement Syndrome is spiraling out of control.
Yes, I am deranged. I am making up the fact that Trump wants to send more troops to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. That his Treasury Secretary wants to expand the IRS. That he wants to implement tariffs. 
Yes, Trump is the second coming of Ludwig von Mises.
What pill shoud I take to fix this since I don't see it properly?
 And finally there is this gem from
I disagree. Those media outlets are more harmful than terrorist organizations. They have colonized the kinds of the public, and lead them to hold ideas that impinge on the liberty of others.
So the solution is to allow the government (funders of terrorists) to decide who gets to cover the government? 


  1. Having watched eleven different President's mannerisms and oratory when interacting with the press, I have to pin this over-infatuation with all things Trump down to how absolutely stupid the President is, and how manly he is when expressing his abject stupidity. George W. Bush comes to mind when examining this conundrum of supposedly intelligent men rationalizing the mind-numbing stupidity of Presidents. George W. Bush was coached by Rove to be overtly manly to the point of becoming a living color cartoon figure. A lot of men are incapable of grasping difficult policy questions, so they tend to be more comfortable with adoring literally wooden-brained puppets.

    These clowns that are harassing you would cheer the news that a dystopian nightmare is now taking place when a U.S. citizen tries to leave Atlanta to fly to Mexico, iris scans.

  2. I think I can explain why libertarian idealism no longer appeals to many who used to call themselves libertarian and why it won't be making a comeback any time soon.

    Instead of the usual program we have all become accustomed to, where our liberties are slowly taken from us piece by piece while we complain about it in our blogs online, the Democratic Party looked at the country's demographics (which are far more non-white than even 10 years ago) and thought they had an opportunity for a kill shot. To end the Anglo-Saxon tradition in the United States and the liberties associated with it once and for all.

    Almost as if by Providence, Trump arose and not only stopped this plot but dealt a devastating blow to the establishment of both parties. Since libertarians are anti-establishment by definition, this made him interesting enough to examine further.

    The moment he won me over was his campaign ad that stated what is entirely obvious but no politician will dare say: that globalist elites are using international trade and mass migration to purposefully dispossess the Western middle class in order to lay the foundation for the leftists' grand plan for humanity: the proverbial boot, stamping on a human face, forever.

    Trade and movement of people between nations should be used as ways to increase prosperity and human dignity, not as demographic weapons to crush the enemies of totalitarianism.

    We have woken up to the demographic reality, and won't go down without a fight. As libertarian idealism is not useful in this struggle, we have left it in the dustbin of history.

    1. Chad, you've become part of the Hegelian dialectic.

    2. I agree with Chad. Importing millions of aliens from the 3rd world does not bring us closer to Rothbardville.

    3. @Sam Dean - Hegel, like Ficthe, Holderlin, Goethe, Schelling, and Schoppenauer desperately tried yet ultimately failed to complete the System of German Idealism. Trump is a German Idealist. He is a Kantian, and I believe he will derive from first principles the System of German Idealism. Everyone needs to be aware of this.

    4. Chad, do you not realize that replacing the left boot in the face with a right boot is pointless? They have you fooled into ditching liberty for nonsense like this?

      "Trade and movement of people between nations should be used as ways to increase prosperity and human dignity" Exactly what occurs in libertarianism. Trade and migration are limited by private property and, needless to say, not subsidized by the state.

      Bottom line, to support Trump is to oppose liberty. Which side are you on?

    5. I see eye-to-eye on this with Chad. It's about choosing an effective means of change (even if it takes longer) versus strict policy that does not deviate from principle. There are 'intellectual' libertarians and 'builder/changer' libertarians. The former ought to be smart enough to see the forest for the trees in this situation, but that's a problem with a pure thinker. a tactician who has studied battle and warfare to great extent but does not put enough ( or any) emphasis onto intel / info . The death blow described by Chad was very real and I guess most of you are upset that Mr Trump ( imperfect as he is) scuffed up your wingtips while he pushed the US out of the path of that bus!

  3. People are showing their true colors thats the sad truth. Also if anyone thinks Infowars is going to give Trump the same treatment they correctly did for Obama, they are smoking some serious stuff. Jones, Wastson and company have become bootlicks of the state, which reminds me of the Rockwell quote when speaking of conservatives; "They hate the left more than they hate the state". I remember how I discovered Copblock and Photography is Not A Crime through Infowars (who supported them) I highly doubt that IW still supports them now. I also completely expect Rainmondo to follow since he's had his foot in that door for awhile.

    1. They (Info Wars) were pretty critical of the Bush family and Reagan too. Your assessment does not line up with any facts. AJ is one of the closest examples you will ever find of a regular American guy "on a mission" for the principles of Liberty. I'm pro-State as long as the State maintains its chartered bounds and defends our natural rights / Liberty. What most of the libert's don't seem to fully understand is the deliberate attack on the institutions that kept the State in check. Also I'm surprised to see so much talk about Left and Right on a Liberty-oriented site.. That L/R concept is at best a big distraction and at worse totally misunderstood by average americans

  4. My comments on use of anonymous sources comes from my years working in journalism. In my newsroom, use of anonymous sources had to be cleared by the managing editor. We did use anonymous sources, but only when absolutely necessary - and never to push an agenda or to give a microphone to someone with an ax to grind. I know the MSM is not doing using anonymous sources properly because I'm reading and watching their reporting. They are using anonymous sources to smear Trump in unimportant, see-how-the-sausage-is-made type stories or sensational stories that end up being untrue (Trump likes golden showers in Russia, the crowd size in Florida and DC). CNN is by far the worst offender, but WashPo and NYTimes have been pretty bad as well.

    I don't think government should set any restrictions on use of anonymous sources, however I do think it is vital for journalists to police themselves. This concept is a crux of libertarian society. We don't need licensing or government regulations, but we do need institutions to self-regulate. This is no more authoritarian than you suggesting new rules for a baseball game.

    When Trump made the statement, he was not proposing new regulations. He was bringing the ongoing questionable use of anonymous sources by the hostile MSM to public awareness. Good on Trump for that.

    Trump is to this point the least authoritarian US President in my lifetime. I'm not saying that statement will always be true or that he has significantly rolled back the state, but he is to this point much better than Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush.

    1. "In my newsroom, use of anonymous sources had to be cleared by the managing editor. We did use anonymous sources, but only when absolutely necessary - and never to push an agenda or to give a microphone to someone with an ax to grind. "

      Pimento- You had an exceptional experience in this time and age as even the supposedly local papers have been heavily soaked in secretly pushing their agenda for many years. My wife earned her degree in Journalism and experienced the effects of the corrupt media even before she left school (working for the school newspaper).. Editor told here once that she is not to cover the abortion protest because she's Catholic - that was a big wake-up call to her.

  5. Pretzel Wenzel has become demented. Poor guy.

    Dude: "A gang of thugs is raping a woman. Give way for the cops trying to get there"

    Wenzel: "No. We should harass the cops because they are from the government. Thats what my Libertardism taught me. We should all join in and obstruct them"

  6. Robert,

    Please consider taking a more conciliatory tone with your readers, especially when we aren't disagreeing about principle, but about means. As Walter Block might say, when you agree 99% with someone, it isn't worth creating purity tests over the remaining 1%.

    But in the meantime, liberty has many threats, the mainstream media among them. They are not purely market institutions. They benefit from exclusive access and extol tons of Deep State propaganda. Rothbard knew this well.

    Trump is also a threat to liberty. So we are left with a question of attitude and means in the issue at hand - Trump dismissing some media organizations.

    On the one hand, Trump lacks legitimate authority, at least as to those who do not consent to his rule. So resisting him is good. On the other hand, the media has created a culture of supplication and decivilization, which is essential to tyranny.

    So, my reaction is that there is probably more libertarian good that will result from certain media organizations being exposed as frauds, as they hurt liberty overall, than from sticking it to Trump on this one issue. Trump will sink himself on other issues like warfare if he continues on his ugly trajectory.

    Simply telling me that not everything the media prints is lies is besides the point. There are other considerations RW; it isn't black and white. If they tell 60% lie, do you want people subscribing to these organizations, where they have trouble telling truth from lie? We should celebrate the failure of the statist cheerleaders.

    I have an open mind on this issue, since it is a minor point. But it's a question of weighing which action is more in the direction of liberty. Consider the debate among libertarians that vote and don't vote. Same kind of issues.

    I used to think the best thing to hope for was to have such bad leaders that all politicians lose legitimacy. My view has tempered with wisdom gained over time. One can expect such a thing to happen, and be ready and opportunistic when it does. But one should not cheer for the loss of life and liberty that will result from Nero-like tyranny.

    So we are left with Hobson's choices of what to "root for" and support in trying to determine what will best lead to decentralization.

    I see myself as thinking in the tradition of Tolstoy, Rothbard and Ron Paul, in that you do not compromise principle, but you cheer the good actions and denigrate the bad ones. In the hard cases, you try your best to apply basic principals of both libertarian political economy, and the cultural precepts that historically have helped people move to a more libertarian society.

    And just as a closing note, one of the key difference some commenters have with you on your views is how to think about Government protection of the property it expropriates and claims, and whether it should be overrun, or whether some rules should be put in place, with a concomitant advocacy for privatization to make clear that the rules are only to "stem the bleeding" and are not sufficient for true protection (and can themselves become tyrannical).

  7. This shows that libertarianism is not stable as merely a political coalition. There has to be a robust ethics, perhaps not complete, that's a bulwark against exciting charlatans like Trump.