Morning Ed: Politics {2016.01.25.M}

The Bernie Sanders campaign picked an odd fight with Wikipedia over use of its campaign logos, though apparently backed down.

From Mike Schilling: If we need to know more about what the Alt-Right is up to, they’re having wet dreams that Trump is an anti-semite like them. (That is, they’re saying that if only he had the one fault he clearly doesn’t have, he’d be perfect.)

Vox looks at the eccentric politics of Silicon Valley. They favor Democrats, obviously, which is a bit of a mixed bag for the left because I’m pretty sure they’re pulling the party to the center.

Are white Republicans more racist than white Democrats? According to some measures, yes, but not by as much as you might think.

It seems like we’re increasingly moving to a place where everyone believes that the Ideologically Unsaved cannot really be saved. Like Freddie and Sean Blanda, I think that’s unfortunate (and somewhat short-sighted).

I dunno, I think El Gato is an okay name for a cat.

Libertarianism, mapped.


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109 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Politics {2016.01.25.M}

  1. Most Silicon Tech people would probably vote Republican if something like the Rockefeller Republicans still existed. The populism, social conservatism, and generally tendency towards anti-intellectualism that the Republican Party adopted turns them off though.

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    • Not really, no. If anything, it doesn’t like the anti-government stance of the GOP… it wants to grab the levers of power for good, it just disagrees with the Democrats on how exactly to use the levers of power… which is why it will [or has] transformed the Democrats more than traditional liberals might want.

      It [Silicon Valley] loves competition and capitalism but believes the government has an essential role in empowering every person to give their best to society. People and organizations that can contribute more deserve more resources.

      Traditional Democrats tend to see the government as a protector from the whims of capitalism, while Silicon Valley liberals see the government as an investor. The government competitively funds citizens to solve problems in a way that an agency never could have imagined. This helps explain the Silicon Valley elites’ obsession with charters: publicly funded, unionless, and highly experimental schools.

      … so in one sense, Trump is a move in the right direction for these people.

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      • Daniel Larison over at TAC comments on this as well:

        Should Bernie Sanders be the Democratic nominee, Mr Bloomberg’s temptation would grow. Who then would speak for voters who believe in free trade, internationalism and global alliances? [bold mine-DL] Not Mr Trump, for sure. Or Mr Sanders. Enter Mayor Bloomberg.

        …Suppose that Bloomberg’s “worst-case” scenario unfolded and Trump and Sanders were the major party nominees, and he declares his candidacy to protest these results. It would be extremely easy for the two nominees to pillory Bloomberg as the candidate of draconian gun regulation, heavy-handed paternalism, foreign wars, meddling overseas, and unbridled corporatism. It would be a disaster for the Democrats, since a Bloomberg candidacy would almost certainly cause enough Clinton supporters to jump ship and throw the election to Trump…

        Luce describes Bloomberg’s agenda as positively as possible, but if he were to run he would be a worst-of-both-parties candidate that borrows many of the most harmful and least popular policies from both sides.

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  2. Racism: I’d be interested in racism studies broken down by race and party, for all races and parties.

    Libertarianism: Yeah, I’m not buying this. My state is in the “second most”. And I’ve only met one anarchist here. It’s hard for me to think that a “democratic machine controlled state” has a lot of libertarians in it. But given how they determined this, I think the process was a bit incorrect.

    Cat: meh, El gato, good as any. My alternate name for my cat is “magna cum lardass” before she dropped a few pounds. Now she is svelte.

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  3. Donald Trump retweeted (whatever that means), images from an anti-Semitic, racist twitter account called White Genocide. One of the images is Donald Trump in Nazi Regalia sending Sanders to the Gas Chambers.

    http://forward.com/opinion/331449/that-time-donald-trump-retweeted-nazis/

    And while, I still think their numbers are small, this is just another example why I am unease at any sort of gushing at the alt-right even if they seem unique and special snowflakely because they have some novel arguments against current politics. I don’t care about uniqueness for the sake of uniqueness especially if it is connected to hate and prejudice.

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    • Saul Degraw:
      I don’t care about uniqueness for the sake of uniqueness especially if it is connected to hate and prejudice.

      Yes. I really think that the fact that overt racism, sexism, anti-semitism and homophobia, and support for de jure enforcement of same, have been pushed outside the mainstream is one of the biggest cultural and political success stories of the last two or three generations. Pushing in the opposite direction doesn’t seem worth the trouble just to publicize a few essays that are, at best, debatably interesting if you filter out the dross.

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      • The fact that these guys try an end run by coyly using the term “race realists”, and shroud it in neo-eugenic type of “science” shows how toxic overt racism still is.

        But one thing that should ever be forgotten is that racism is really a pre-Enlightenment way of thinking, the poor man’s aristocracy, where the circumstances of your birth are determinative.

        Which is what makes it even more disturbing when it is shrouded and covert, it then becomes easier to poison all forms of social discourse.

        The idea that certain people have a natural and uncontestable right to rule, to wealth and power, to have their interests defended and enshrined into law above all others- My eyes see this creeping into our political structure, without enough pushback.

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    • While Trump is aiming his message at a very particular demographic, I can’t believe that anybody on his staff would think that re-tweeting this was even a remotely good idea. People seemed to have lost the crucial think before you act feature.

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        • Hard to say. I’m sure no other candidate has control of his or her twitter; but, to defend the indefensible, he retweeted a picture of a homeless JEB! holding a vote for Trump cardboard sign.

          The “whitegenocideTM” handle might have been worth a click-through by any ordinary politico… and that’s why you don’t let your candidate have nice things.

          Or, perhaps he was testing his theory that he could shoot someone in the middle of NYC and still win. Either way, its hard to say.

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  4. Regarding libertarianism mapped: There’s a positive correlation in states between huge expanses of land being federally owned and voters who identify as libertarian…. Bundy/Finicum 2016!!!

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      • A few years ago, there was a big deal made in the media about the fact that there was what amounted to a secession petition for every state in the country on the whitehouse.gov petition site. At one point I pulled down the signature counts for all 50 states, thinking about a cartogram. The areas that jumped out in the per-capita data were the upper Great Plains states, Appalachia, and… Indiana. Does the Hoosier State have something in particular against the federal government?

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        • Agricultural, midwest … you can guess from that that Indiana is a Red State. Beyond that, it’s got few large cities — Indianapolis is the biggest, with 900,000 residents. It’s 80+% non-hispanic white, about 10% black. 80% Christian, I% Jewish, 1/2% Moslem. So, some cosmopolitan aspects — several well regarded universities, for example, and a pretty substantial venue for pro sports — but the big urban centers with large black and hispanic populations, jammed full of Democrats, as in Ohio (Cleveland, Cincinatti) or Illinois (Chicago) are missing.

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  5. The silicon valley paradox is fairly analogous to the doctor paradox: one the one hand, members of both professions make a lot of money and want to protect it from the government. On the other hand, both professions generally shun magical thinking and hatred. This is presumably why libertarianism is a thing, people.

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      • Good analogy.

        May I offer three minimally invasive policies that I’ve come to as a result of the crisis?

        1. socialize bailouts – i.e. just send everyone a check or lump-sum tax break.

        2. start criminally prosecuting people who commit fraud. In a corporation, whoever knows about something and is in the highest position of authority should be liable.

        3. stop sending people to prison for drug offenses, so there’s room for the real criminals.

        I don’t think those policies are particularly “liberal”, but I imagine they would be construed as such as any (silicon valley) cocktail party.

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      • Economic libertarianism works if companies that screw up are allowed to fail.

        If the government is gonna roll in and say “no, we think this or that company shouldn’t be allowed to fail because reasons”, then you might as well have regulation, because you certainly haven’t got economic libertarianism.

        And yes, I can see you smirking “libertarianism cannot fail it can only be failed”, but, dude, that’s exactly what happened, so you aren’t really invalidating the argument.

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  6. From the alt-right linky up top:

    Our movement is based on the explicit recognition of the racial nature of political reality — the specific threat of elimination Whites face if we persist in egalitarian delusions about Jewish power, mass immigration, and the “value” of non-White diversity to White society. In contrast, Trump represents the implicit mass impulse that the founding American stock, the people who are ultimately paying for these delusions, feels in its collective heart, whether it knows the exact reasons or not. Many of these people, especially the most rebellious and vigorous, have had enough.

    The first sentence – as stated!! – is completely incoherent. The second sentence explains why that doesn’t matter. Strange argument; accurate description.

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    • That’s a recurring theme in racist propaganda stretching back at least a century that I know of.
      That our group is inherently superior, but in a straight up egalitarian world, would face extinction.

      No one has ever explained how that happens.

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      • It’s the hoary beating an ol’ warhorse all over again.
        If they are obviously superior, then they can’t be overwhelmed, only betrayed from within. By race traitors, I suppose.

        Less than fifty more fucking years, dude! (this is in reference to my first line, which is itself referential).

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  7. On Red & Blue racism:

    What’s interesting is that for several of those questions, the spread is less than five percent, but for a few, it’s upwards of twenty.

    Specifically the question about whether Black people can raise themselves out of poverty and the question about whether the government spends too much money on Black people.

    I think this hints at why Democrats get 90% of the Black vote: it’s not that the GOP is highly racist and the Dems are saints. It’s that racism interacts with Republican beliefs about poverty and social spending in ways that especially fish over Black Americans.

    On the map of Libertaria:
    Isn’t this basically just a map of Ron Paul supporters? To look at this map and say “Why aren’t there libertarians on the east coast is just begging the question. I mean, the map’s creator gives away the game:

    I have found elsewhere that in 2012 Paul did really well in states with lots of liberal voters, as he expanded his base beyond libertarians to antiestablishment liberals and moderates. As a result, his cross-state performance in 2012 isn’t actually a good measure of how libertarian each state is.

    As though the libertarianism among the left is something to be ignored or explained away but the libertarianism among the right is expected.

    If I want to end the drug war and police militarization, smash the tyranny of the planning commission, remove “in god we trust” from our money, drastically reduce regulations on small businesses, enact Same-sex marriage nationwide, eliminate tariffs and immigration barriers, and replace the vast accumulation of welfare spending with a GMI; then I’m at least as Libertarian as a bunch of folks who voted for Ron Paul. That remains true even if I don’t want to dismantle social security, don’t want to switch to the gold standard, and don’t want to sell off federally owned land. Find a way to count me even if I voted for Obama, or your version of libertarianism is a fake one.

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    • If I want to…replace the vast accumulation of welfare spending with a GMI…even if I don’t want to dismantle social security

      Hm? Putting aside semantic quibbling about whether Social Security counts as welfare spending, why have it on top of a minimum income?

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      • Perhaps in place of rather than on top of; the maximum SS benefit is higher than the numbers typically tossed around for a GMI. There’s no fundamental reason why a GMI can’t have step functions at certain ages (and based on your taxable income history) that allow it to incorporate the SS retirement program.

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      • Mind you, I wouldn’t say no to phasing it out in favor of GMI. But it’s a non-means-tested cash payment that doesn’t require the recipients to jump through hoops or that can only be spend for a government-specified purpose, which means my libertarian-wonkish reasons for wanting food stamps replaced don’t apply to anywhere near the same extent.

        OTOH, I’d want some immediate changes. Current rules regarding how public employees interact with the SS system are pretty screwed up.

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    • “As though the libertarianism among the left is something to be ignored or explained away but the libertarianism among the right is expected.”

      Left libertarianism doesn’t make sense to me. On axis of the political compass, there basically is the spectrum of collective authoritarian through collective anti-authoritarian. Individual liberty/fundamental individual right, doesn’t survive either of those. It appears the first assumption is that all (inclusive) members have relatively matched alignment of moral agents. Handing over of individual free will to the collective for safe keeping.

      Maybe someone on that side of the fence can make an argument that individual subjective liberty is maintained in a collective architecture? How do you handle non-alignments of moral agents?

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      • To quote FDR a “necessitous man is not a free man.” Modern liberalism is based on the theory that a pure laissez-faire economic system is contradictory to many other core values of liberalism. People who have to worry about the daily necessities of life aren’t really going to be free because they are busy just trying to get by. The people who are able to take the most risks are usually the ones with their own safety net to fall back on if things go wrong unless you have a very independent personality. However, there generally needs to be a base minimal lifestyle available for people for them to be free. This requires some surrendering of economic liberty to the collective to ensure other forms of liberty persist.

        Many Swedish Social Democrats see their welfare state as an experiment in radical individualism even though that seems weird to American libertarians. Their theory is that by using tax dollars to make services like education, healthcare, and housing available to all on an individual basis than people can live on their own and only have to live with other people with their own consent if they are adults. This is why Sweden as a higher percentage of people living on their own than other countries.

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        • Thanks for the response Lee.
          I will say that if the first step to freedom is collective coercion, that’s a tough sell.

          It’s probably not a good time to approach how Sweden is doing on the alignments of moral agents.

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          • Its only collective coercion if you perceive the state as always being separate from the people as individuals or a group as many Right Libertarians do. On the other hand, if you see government in general and democratic government in particular as the people in aggregate than it is not coercive because the people in aggregate made certain decisions on how taxes should be used.

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            • That’s a nice line, but, of course, gov’t is a group action (the group being defined as somewhere between a bunch of lobbyists and the entire population) but regardless, the “group” functions for the service of the individuals, those individuals who want to take other people’s property. Democratic gov’t IS coercive because the group, or individuals, have no claim on the property of other individuals, and it’s only through the gov’t threat of force is the property paid/claimed.

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              • How and by whom is the legitimacy of property claims established in the first place, if not through coercion?

                This blog has discussed this a few times, that the essence of all rights is coercion, where there is some power center that establishes what rights are to be recognized and defended.

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                • No, “rights” are innate, and individual, and they cannot infringe on another person’s rights. That’s why liberty is a right but housing isn’t. That is also why the constitution talks about the people giving authority to the gov’t to perform specific tasks.

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                  • How is it decided, and by whom, what is a “right” and what isn’t?

                    Which version of “rights” do we enforce with violence, and which are discarded?

                    When you say that rights are “innate” what does that even mean?
                    It sounds an awful lot like some sort of divine revelation.
                    I mean, its not like they are physical artifacts that we can all look at and agree to their existence, and they aren’t concepts that can be proven by mathematical formulas.

                    Essentially, rights are just ideas that we accept and agree upon.

                    I dwell on this only to point out how unacknowledged frameworks are very dangerous. Asserting that rights are “self evident” realities, as the founders did, is dangerous because it enshrines one personal set of views as the default reality which never needs to be justified and defended.

                    The Malheur occupation brought to light how dangerous this is. They saw the right of the government to possess that land as illegitimate, and open to challenge.
                    Yet the Paiute claim to that land was summarily dismissed, not even worthy of discussion.

                    It was in their minds “self evident” that the European concept of property rights was innate and natural, where land can be held by only one owner, whose claim existed from the center of the earth to the heavens.

                    But of course this concept relies on the violent coercion of the native inhabitants of the Malhuer land. The entire concept of property rights as we know them today cannot peacefully coexist with the native concept of property.

                    Systems of rights are jealous concepts. They can only exist by exterminating all challengers by force.

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      • :
        I’m not quite sure I understand your critique. In particular, I feel like the political compass you’re describing isn’t anything like the model I think of when I hear that phrase.

        My understanding of the political compass is that it’s grid along two axes: one representing a measure of economic freedom vs. economic control and the other representing a measure of social freedom vs. social control.

        I’d define “libertarian” as the quadrant which favors economic freedom over economic control and social freedom over social control. “liberal” or “left” as the quadrant which favors economic control and social freedom, and “conservative” or “right” as the quadrant which favors economic freedom and social control.

        When i talk about “right-libertarians” I talk about people who favor economic freedom but who have intermediate or mixed views on the social axis. Ron Paul, who supported DOMA and opposed the Lawrence v. Texas decision certainly falls into that camp, as do many of his supporters. Similarly, when I talk about “left-libertarians”, I talk about people who favor social freedom but who have intermediate or mixed views on the economic axis.

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          • I think there’s a lot of value in that quiz, but I should point out that it’s labels are 45% off from how I pitched them. by the colors on that chart, I’d have libertarian=purple, liberal=green, conservative=blue, authoritarian=red.

            My current score on that quiz is [Economic: -3.13, Social: -5.44]. putting me smack in the green quadrant, slightly closer to purple than red. I think, though, that the quiz, in its focus on the big issues, misses a lot of my views about local economic authority structures that would push me much more toward the purple side.

            Which hints at a pretty big distinction between left-libertarians and right-libertarians, at least as I view things: Right-libertarians love federalism because it takes power away from Washington. Left-libertarians are more skeptical, because it gives that power to City Hall, and we trust them less than we trust Washington.

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            • That said, I’m being a little bit dishonest here, in that I’m arguing much more about my political views as they existed two or three years ago (when I was genuinely a left-libertarian) than they exist today. In 2012, I was as libertarian as plenty of people that were voting for Ron Paul. My views have moved enough since then that I can’t make any real claim to the libertarian label.

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            • -3.13 That’s pretty much left libertarian. (moderate libertarian maybe?) Still far enough left that you would probably lean slightly towards policies that would favor national government over local government.

              Right Libertarians are anti-federalist.

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  8. Does the Libertarian map account for “closed” primaries? If a given state only lets registered Republicans vote in a GOP primary, and Libertarian candidates have only run as Republicans, then they are going to get much less support per capita in heavily Democratic states.

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  9. DensityDuck: Economic libertarianism works

    Works…to do what?

    I don’t think there is a shared framework of what outcome could be described as “works”, between libertarians and non-libertarians.
    This, IMO, accounts for why discussions tend to go past each other, and what explains Charles Pierce’s “5 minute” rule.

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