Reader Poll: Election 2016

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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143 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    My votes require some nuance..

    Who would I have liked to see as Pres? I voted for Trump only because there was no one I’d seriously vote for and he was giving the press and the Dems hives. I very much enjoyed watching them squirm–still do. It’s been a fun couple of years watching them loose their shit. Best entertainment ever.

    However, I did not and do not vote since my view is that voting is an act of political violence. I’ve explained that position before-no need to here.

    “libertarian right” is the closest to where I align since anarchy wasn’t on the list, although that’s mainly on fiscal areas and I’m more “liberal” on personal freedoms, drugs, non traditional marriage, etc than most “right” leaning folks are.Report

    • gabriel conroy in reply to Damon says:


      While I would have never voted for Trump, I was tempted to, to some extent for the reasons you mention and to some extent for other reasons (most of them bad ones).

      But of course, some people are just too pure to be tempted.

      I admit to a sort of ….not contrarian thrill…..but…..something else when I think of how some* Hillary voters would have reacted to her winning, with a triumphalism bordering on vengefulness against anyone who would dare to depart from the consensus, and more because the departers are different and not only because they were (in my opinion) mistaken. And yet, the anti-Trump voters were, in my view, correct to vote against him.

      *Yes, “some” is a weasel word. But there are such people.Report

      • Koz in reply to gabriel conroy says:

        While I would have never voted for Trump, I was tempted to, to some extent for the reasons you mention and to some extent for other reasons (most of them bad ones).

        In the age of Trump, I can’t really schadenfreude the Democrats any more. There’s a lot of them who have serious psychological issues participating in a pluralistic society, and in contrast to times past I can’t really find it funny or enjoyable any more.

        To be honest I don’t they do etiher. Obviously they like to take delight in trashing the President or outmaneuvering him as the case may be, but I don’t think they have any kind of sense of where legitimate authority is supposed to be beyond their own intentions.Report

        • dragonfrog in reply to Koz says:

          You’ve mentioned twice the proposition that some leftists have a hard time living in a pluralistic society. Which I’m sure it’s true – except you’re setting it as against Trump and his supporters, which is confusing to me.

          Isn’t the whole premise of trumpism, to the extent it’s any kind of coherent ism, the rejection of pluralism?Report

          • Koz in reply to dragonfrog says:

            I see your point, but as it pertains to the Left I wasn’t talking directly about ideology. Instead, the problem has more to do with their sheer disbelief, disdain for their ideological adversaries, combined with an inability or unwillingness to comprehend a world where they don’t have some satisfactory modicum of political control.

            In ideological terms, there are of course some problems with the sort of the motivations that propelled Trump and pluralism. But there, I would say it’s a matter of tension more than rejection.Report

  2. Michael Cain says:

    A note on my “politics”. I marked liberal because, by my perception of contemporary liberal, I agree more with their ends in the abstract than with the other categories. OTOH, I often find myself disagreeing with them over means.Report

  3. Maribou says:

    As a reader, I am sad because Jaybird already voted and the poll knows we’re in the same house and won’t let me vote. But I am pleased the poll is that clever, as an editor. (If anyone else runs into the “my housemate already voted and I wanted to vote too!!” problem – if you are comfortable doing so, and generous enough to take the time, please just email me or Will or the inquiry address and tell us your answers, which we can then add to our understanding, that would be fabulous. unless there are secretly 20,000 of you out there, which would be unlikely, and rather overwhelming to my inbox, but also fabulous for its own ridiculous reasons.)

    I’m pretty sure you could guess my answers to this, @trumwill. And you don’t really need to know what *I* think to understand the readership better anyway.

    But I’mma email my answers to you anyway because I am just like that.Report

  4. Mike Siegel says:

    I’m kind of an odd duck on this one. In principle, I would have loved a Johnson presidency. In practice, he had no chance of winning (although I would have voted for him did I not live in a swing state or had the election not been close). So, practically, I was favorable to Kasich. When it came time to vote, however, I decided that 1) Clinton was awful, but Trump was crazy; 2) the election was going to be WAY closer than anyone thought. So I held my nose and voted for Clinton.Report

    • scott the mediocre in reply to Mike Siegel says:

      I wanted the 2012 version of Johnson available in the 2016 election, in which case I would have voted for him with negligible hesitation (but then I live in CA): I came fairly close to voting Johnson 2012 and that is even though I basically liked and still like Obama and consider him about as good as is realistic to ask of the Democrats; I was really getting pretty tired of “kinetic military action” by 2012. McMullin was not a recognized writein in CA or I might have voted for him.

      2016 was striking to me that not only were the major party VP candidates clearly better than the respective Presidential candidates (I’m no Pence fan, but I’m not sure it’s actually possible to be worse than Trump – not even Jill Stein, but maybe Lyndon Larouche?), but the major minor parties too (I’d happily take Bill Weld – probably over Kaine – and Baraka was not obviously awful; I dunno who the lesser minor party VP candidates even were).Report

      • Maribou in reply to scott the mediocre says:

        “I wanted the 2012 version of Johnson available in the 2016 election,”

        Oh so very much this. I thought I was the only one who felt that way!!!Report

        • scott the mediocre in reply to Maribou says:

          Hi Maribou

          Sorry, I’ve forgotten the biographical detail of when you moved to Colorado – was it while Johnson was NM Gov. (95-02)? I sort of followed him from probably the middle of his first term, seeing an interesting experiment (ultimately failed in terms of not being sustained or replicated) in a viable libertarian-lite governance (I was not a big fan of the privatization of prisons, but overall I think his record stands fairly well, given the constraint of a majority-D legislature most of the time).

          I have no idea what happened to his cognitive abilities between 2012 and 2016 – I know of nothing in his biography that would explain it, but I admit I have not dug deep into the topic.Report

          • Maribou in reply to scott the mediocre says:

            @alan-scott Yes, I moved here in 1998. (And agreed about prison privatization, but I see that as a national ill, never thought to particularly blame it on Johnson or not before, though I’m sure you’re right about him having been the driver for it in NM.)

            I honestly didn’t think about him that much until about 2011 or so, though, if I’m totally honest. Until then my opinion was probably “vaguely favorable, don’t hate”.Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    I joke that I’m a Disenfranchised Distributist… which I might once-upon-a-time thought as an “Alt-Right” position… but something happened to the term “Alt-Right” along the way. So I clicked “Hard Right” just to show that there are some outliers here. But I doubt I qualify as Hard Right in any meaningful sense… but I doubt I’m allowed in any team Blue meetings either.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Yes, I was disappointed in not seeing a “Middle Finger Individualist” category under the ‘Politics’ descriptor.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Marchmaine says:

      @marchmaine Speaking not about contributors and regular commenters here, who are quite different than this IME, but extrapolating from in-the-flesh experience: They’ll probably allow you in the meetings. But then if you say anything you actually think, ie something that isn’t “Go Team Blue!”, they will edge away politely and tune you out from then on, refuse to offer you the donuts they’re passing around, and make sure you don’t get invited next time. Unless you say something they think is Shockingly Wrong (does not overlap in any way with “indecent” or “inhumane” or even “offensive” unless not liking their candidate as much as they do is cloakable in offensive), at which point they will really like arguing with you and the sense of satisfaction that it brings them, and invite you to every meeting forever and then text you about why you don’t show up more often. (To be fair I have found the same reaction from members of Colorado Team Red, but I don’t think it’s necessarily representative of the country as a whole; generally Team Red seems to be more enthusiastic than that in their dislike of me. Also tend to get the same reaction from Team Mormon, before Jaybird runs them off by liking them too much while simultaneously subverting their missionary younguns.)

      Stop emailing me, Colorado gubernatorial candidates! It’s not you, it’s me…Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Maribou says:

        What kind of monsters don’t share doughnuts?

        I’m happy enough to come here for virtual doughnuts and see what my blue friends think is important to think about; its not so much that I’m above the fray but more like I’m from a Division III school that doesn’t compete in the fray… the fray I like, its my team that doesn’t represent… so I don’t mind critiquing or admiring a good/bad play, but i’m not that invested in either team’s victory.

        Revisiting the first poll I can honestly say that I’d never vote for any of those folks, but if I skip the (implied) voting and simply answer who off of that list I’d like to see in the office of president… I’d pick Mr. Sanders… there are places where the left and the communitarian right can work together.Report

        • Maribou in reply to Marchmaine says:

          @marchmaine Luckily enough it’s pretty easy to be Shockingly Wrong and get the doughnuts back ;).

          Agreed that there is a strain of the left that has very much in common with the communitarian right, as we’ve previously discussed I grew up (extended-family-wise) seeing back-to-the-land (quite politically out there) hippies and community-minded (politically very conservative) farmers as two different sides of one coin.Report

        • Koz in reply to Marchmaine says:

          I’d pick Mr. Sanders… there are places where the left and the communitarian right can work together.

          There was a time where I would have voted for Bernie over Trump if it came down to that. But, I did change my mind several times over the election cycle so I’m not sure that I would actually have done it on Election Day.

          As far as the communitarian Right goes, I think the best answer is to vote Republican. I think things will look a lot better once the lib distortion field is out of the way, and that’s much more plausible to hope for than some people suppose.Report

          • Road Scholar in reply to Koz says:

            @koz , this is why I have a hard time with your comments. Up above you say (speaking of Democrats), There’s a lot of them who have serious psychological issues participating in a pluralistic society… and then you turn around and say, I think things will look a lot better once the lib distortion field is out of the way… From my perspective, it sure likes you’re the one with “psychological issues participating in a pluralistic society”, but I’m sure you have some way of resolving that fairly glaring conflict.Report

            • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Road Scholar says:

              @road-scholar Be more careful, please, in talking about other people’s psychological issues. This is awfully close to a personal attack on Koz.

              I can tell you *were* being careful, in this comment, and I’m not going to censor it or otherwise hold it against you, but just wanted to note it really does cross a line.

              I understand that it’s a hard line not to cross (because “lib distortion field” is right up to the line itself, but not over it IMO) and I can see the effort you were making to be polite / call him out, rather than go on the offensive… but even still. Dial it back.Report

              • Road Scholar in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                @maribou-moderator , I don’t mean this to be argumentative, but more as a point of order. When Koz says something like, There’s a lot of them who have serious psychological issues participating in a pluralistic society and he’s at least plausibly talking about me (and others here), why is that also not over the line? Is it the hedging with “a lot of them”? I mean… I could say something like I did with the same sort of hedging language, but the fact is he made those two statements here in this forum, so I was responding to those specific statements made by Koz and not some vaguely defined group of Republicans/Conservatives in the public space at large.Report

              • Koz in reply to Road Scholar says:

                I don’t mean this to be argumentative,

                It’s not, your comment was fine.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Road Scholar says:

                @road-scholar First, I should emphasize that what you said was really *borderline* – it was just over the edge while what he said was just not over it – rather than being some giant egregious thing. Hopefully that was clear right away, but if not, let it be said now.

                Second, yes, I suppose what he’s doing is hedging, if hedging means that he’s acknowledging that what he says is not true about everybody in a category and thus not necessarily true about any particular person here (as opposed to the old way he had of expressing it). That sort of hedging is, in some sense and not if it’s GLARINGLY obvious that a person is being passive-aggressive, exactly the line we expect people to stay on the right side of. Vs. directly, personally, examining someone else on a personal level (be it individually or by making a universal statement) and drawing an arguably negative conclusion.

                I think that’s important, and useful, because when he didn’t stay on the correct side of that line, no one else did in response to him either, and the ensuing arguments (among several other such loggerheads and repetitive conversations among other parties) would escalate and escalate and escalate until people were just shouting at each other in the same tiresome way they had last time and none of the editors even wanted to read the comment section much of the time. And that was really untenable.

                He’s hedging because I’ve told him if he doesn’t, he’ll suffer consequences. He doesn’t like it, last time I checked (and no, I’m not asking), but he does it. It’s also the case, and IMO relevant, that someone specifically *asked* him to go into more detail about all this on this thread. He’s not bringing this stuff up at random, he’s being asked.

                Given that he has conformed his behavior to the expected standard, other people need to respect that and be careful not to personally criticize someone who isn’t allowed to give what he’s getting. Not because he is or isn’t offended – but because it’s not civil to do that to people who aren’t allowed to do it back.

                He can say you’re fine, but he’s not the moderator – his standard for moderation, I think, is that I’m a “busybody” and people should feel free to say more or less whatever they want and then take their licks in return – so his opinion carries some weight, but not all the weight.

                Standards of behavior aren’t only between two people on a site like this, they’re also about what will or won’t chase other readers from the site (yes, I’m aware that’s a double-edged sword).

                Hopefully that clarifies things somewhat.

                PS Obviously I’m not going to notice every borderline instance like this, but if I’ve noticed it once and then am still thinking about it some time later, I’m going to bring it up. I always want to know where the line is (even if it’s a context-dependent line), not find out I’ve crossed 50 yards over it and people were waiting for me to notice on my own and now I’m in huge trouble. So I try to be the sort of moderator I would want, in that regard.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                @road-scholar Sorry, that got long. I apologize if it felt like I was lecturing you – I wasn’t; my intent was more like “That is a totally fair question so I will try to be as thorough as possible in my response.”Report

              • Road Scholar in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                That’s cool, @maribou-moderator , I just want to clarify where exactly that line is here. If, for instance, when I directly quoted Koz I had just omitted the word “psychological” would that have been OK? Or if instead of using the words, “you’re the one” I had said, “many Republicans”, would that have been copasetic?

                You see, by “hedging” I mean his use of the words, “a lot of [Democrats]” so he’s not specifically referring to anyone in the commentariat here. But he’s also not not referring to anyone here, creating a thin sort of plausible deniability.

                That combined with the frustrating non-specificity of his complaints about libs/Dems, so that they’re entirely non-falsifiable and therefore immune to argument does, I believe, put them in the category of “your mother wears combat boots.”

                You know… in the interest of comity, I’m just going to return to my practice of ignoring his blathercomments, much like I took to simply ignoring the comments of certain conservative trolls from the past on this site. [Note Not saying he’s a troll, necessarily… you get the idea, passive-aggressive, Yay!] Life’s too short.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Road Scholar says:

                @road-scholar I think returning to your practice of ignoring his comments would be wise. “This comment is to me an example of how (insult)” is still pretty personal.

                It’s a tricky topic because *many* of you (not necessarily you) want to complain about democrats-in-general, republicans-in-general, libertarians-in-general, or whomever… but pretty much everyone also takes it personally at some point when someone else does.

                If I had my druthers I would probably say no one could generalize negatively about any group they don’t belong to ever, exceptions granted for groups that exist only to spread hate — but that’s a standard even I fail to meet on a regular basis, so it wouldn’t be at all reasonable to demand it of us as a group of commenters.Report

              • Koz in reply to Road Scholar says:

                That’s cool, @Maribou, Moderator , I just want to clarify where exactly that line is here. If, for instance, when I directly quoted Koz I had just omitted the word “psychological” would that have been OK? Or if instead of using the words, “you’re the one” I had said, “many Republicans”, would that have been copasetic?

                You see, by “hedging” I mean his use of the words, “a lot of [Democrats]” so he’s not specifically referring to anyone in the commentariat here. But he’s also not not referring to anyone here, creating a thin sort of plausible deniability.

                This is a useful point for context. I want to emphasize that I am not trying to play some kind of borderline acceptability wordplay games. Like it’s bad to say that Democrats have psychological problem but if I kind of dodge a little bit to say that some Democrats have psychological problems then it’s ok.

                No, what I’m saying, at least in potential, is offensive. It’s very likely that if someone wrote that Koz has psychological problems, or that conservatives have psychological problems, there’s some chance that I would be upset.

                I write things this for two reasons: first of all, it’s not gratuitous. Provoking or trolling the other guy is not the point of my posts.

                Second, and far more important, these things have to be said. Like I wrote elsewhere in the thread: I’d like to schadenfreude the Democrats over this. And if it were 2014, 2010, or 1980, I would. But this really isn’t funny.


                These people are simply not in a good place to participate in American political culture.

                The upshot is a huge distortion field over our political culture that can’t process things rationally, or worse, filters our entire understanding of it through the lens of antagonism toward our fellow Americans, eg here:


                We have to be able to talk about these things. If we can’t, there’s really nothing meaningful to say.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                @koz Without commenting on your youtube links, I feel the need to point out that the third (Twitter) link is not an accurate portrayal of actual data, but a dick joke.

                I …. somehow don’t think that was your point in including it. Perhaps you are more self-subversive than I thought.Report

              • Also, this needs to be really clear (although again, I don’t think you’re doing it… at the moment):

                Saying that any particular individual on this site has psychological problems (unless it’s their particular desire to identify and describe their own psychological problems, obviously, they should feel free to do that as much as they want within reason and if they don’t attack anyone else), whether individually or as part of a collective, is not something that has to be said, at least not *here*. In fact it falls under the category of stuff you definitely don’t need to say, insofar as I will take official umbrage to it if you say it.

                Same as it ever was in that regard.Report

              • Koz in reply to Maribou says:

                @Koz Without commenting on your youtube links, I feel the need to point out that the third (Twitter) link is not an accurate portrayal of actual data, but a dick joke.

                Huh. I might be subversive but I’m not that subversive.

                That’s really interesting, because now that I’ve looked at it again I’m not exactly sure what to think. If you look at the user’s twitter feed,, that tweet is fairly close to the top and situated against other charts with similar sorts of data.

                He also has a linkedin account that seems to check out, but tbh I’ve never actually heard of this guy before. And he doesn’t seem to cite any sources for his data.

                If I had to guess, I’d bet that it’s legit, but I’m not sure on that.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Koz says:

                @koz It’s entirely possible I’m too quick to judge, and I should’ve allowed for more ambiguity in my previous comment.

                But if I were going to try to get a dick joke to go viral, *I*’d make it look at least this good.

                (I’m not into pranking the internet, though? But if that’s what it is, dang, he did an amazing job of backstorying it.)Report

            • Koz in reply to Road Scholar says:

              From my perspective, it sure likes you’re the one with “psychological issues participating in a pluralistic society”,

              Yeah, that’s not right. My guess is (I could be wrong) is that you’re taking some of these statements as taunting insults when in reality, they do reflect pejoratively on the libs, but more importantly they are referring to fairly concrete things, and how we should adapt to them.

              Like in the case you mentioned: Democrats have serious psychological issues pluralism. What I’m afraid of that the lib reader see this and reads “Your mother wears combat boots,” but the actual meaning is much more prosaic. In a pluralistic society, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and libs can’t handle losing.

              Obviously this applies to the election of Trump and its aftermath, but it’s not confined to that, it’s part of their general orientation to our entire political culture. In fact, I was thinking in particular to the aftermath of the Shelby County pre-clearance SCOTUS decision as much as anything else.

              The upshot is, we’re all better off to create a world where libs’ opinions of various subjects just doesn’t matter, until such time as their psychological grounding is much better than it currently is.Report

              • Maribou, Moderator in reply to Koz says:

                “The upshot is, we’re all better off to create a world where libs’ opinions of various subjects just doesn’t matter, until such time as their psychological grounding is much better than it currently is.”

                This is one of those things that ends up sounding like “Your mother wears combat boots.”

                You weren’t doing that before, I would appreciate you continuing to not do it. I can understand how in this particular context you’re trying to be clearer so @road-scholar has a better shot at understanding what you mean, though.Report

        • Will H. in reply to Marchmaine says:

          there are places where the left and the communitarian right can work together.

          That’s why I picked Sanders from the first list, though I would sincerely consider voting for him (probably the only way I would consider voting for the Dem).
          As it turns out, I don’t need to really consider it.

          EDIT: Kinda odd that I’m the Right-wing guy around here that’s against all the Leftist knee-jerk stuff, ya think?Report

  6. pillsy says:

    Ah, this place is truly a representative cross-section of America.[1]

    I’d talk about how I voted in the poll, but I’m pretty sure it would be redundant.

    [1] This will be helpful the next time I go on tilt and start thinking this place is all Trump or alt-right apologists though.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

      As an added benefit, if Gary Johnson wins the first poll it will be another piece of evidence of why FPTP with plurality victors is bad.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        Depends on how many people rank order Sanders > Johnson > Clinton.

        Anywhere else I’d say zilch, but here….Report

        • Kolohe in reply to pillsy says:

          Clinton voters must be late afternoon people as she’s now in the lead in the 1st poll. Johnson was leading when I voted this morning in that one, then Sanders had the edge midday when I looked again.Report

          • Richard Hershberger in reply to Kolohe says:

            Clinton voters must be late afternoon people

            Well, of course. There’s no point to getting up before the mail arrives with our government checks that we use to buy Cadillacs and fillet mignon.Report

          • PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe says:

            Hmmm, votes coming in at about the same time a Russian hacker would have arrived home at the end of the work day with a bottle of vodka and instructions from Putin.Report

      • scott the mediocre in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think we can safely say that OT readers/commenters are exceedingly unrepresentative of the USAian electorate as a whole.

        To your broader point:

        I would love to see IRV or contingent vote (top two IRV) being widely adopted, though I do not expect it in my lifetime (probably around twenty years remaining). It will be interesting to see if Maine’s experiment with IRV for Congressbeings spreads anywhere else (sort of threadjack, but I like the Maine/Nebraska electoral vote system, even though it probably favors the Republicans versus majority vote given present demographic realities – at least it would incentivize the presidential candidates to campaign in more places than they do now).

        n.b. evidence indicates that Trump was the true Condorcet winner among the GOP base (as defined by those likely to participate in GOP primaries or caucuses), so in that respect the 2016 GOP primary system was efficient. Also a good reason from my perspective to never vote for a Republican given an alternative*, as a party that actually wanted Trump over multiple alternatives is a party that needs to either rethink or die (not that I expect either one to happen.

        *CA has a top-two final election after the June primary – it’s reasonably likely that the 2018 top two for my state assembly district will both be Republicans. Possible also in my Congressional district.Report

  7. Chip Daniels says:

    I’m just wondering what sort of deal Will Truman made with Cambridge Analytica to sucker us into clicking on “Vote”.Report

  8. Dark Matter says:

    I voted for Johnson. If I had to do it again today I’d go for Trump (holding my nose).Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to Murali says:

        I’d hold my nose because there’s a lot to dislike. I’d vote for him because he’s been a lot more stable and effective than I feared.

        RE: Stability (or fears unrealized).
        No nukes, no wars, no jailing of his opponents, no ignoring courts. He has played within the system as much as a normal politician within some margin of error.

        RE: The Good
        Administration reform. Tax reform. Gov reform. Judicial appointments.

        RE: The Bad
        Opposition to immigration. Opposition to trade. Potentially a trade war.

        Having said that, China was a problem with it’s forcing of companies to hand over their tech and should be stopped.

        RE: The Ugly
        Most of his twitter feed, various other times he’s opened his mouth, the intrinsic lack of dignity he brings to every situation.

        Trump is an amazingly blunt tool, I’d really rather have had someone else try to stop China from abusing American companies and (ditto) deal with immigration, and for that matter everything else I’ve put under “Good”.Report

        • Koz in reply to Dark Matter says:

          Yeah, this. It’s been mentioned, but nonetheless flown under radar for the most part, that Trump’s use of the overt powers of the Presidency has actually been quite prudent.

          It’s the Twitter account and the White House Drama is where the issues are.

          In terms of November, the consequences of this are unpredictable right this second. It’s going to come down to how Trump presents himself the last 2-6 weeks of the campaign. One of the forgotten details of 2016 is that Trump spent the last week or so campaigning against ACA. Whether he was lucky or smart, that was a great choice. No Republican would hold that against him, of course, but it also meant that he wasn’t talking about Megyn Kelly or Alicia Machado, and those issues were allowed to die a quiet death.Report

          • Dark Matter in reply to Koz says:

            In terms of November, the consequences of this are unpredictable right this second. It’s going to come down to how Trump presents himself the last 2-6 weeks of the campaign.

            We’re probably looking at a landslide.

            Trump lost 4% of the GOP because he’s Trump, the bulk of that comes back. Trump was the unstable unsafe choice before for the independents, this time he’ll be the safe choice.

            And the Dems will find it very hard to avoid making the election about Trump banging a porn star (etc) and the various other dumpster fire aspects of his life which steals the oxygen from everything else.Report

            • Koz in reply to Dark Matter says:

              Yeah, that is definitely a unique take. But I’m not buyin’ it. The increased determination and motivation to vote among the lib base is very real and will prevent that from happening if nothing else.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Koz says:

                The key details in the following link are:
                1) His approval ratings are at 40%.
                2) 96% to 98% of Trump voters would do the same thing but only 85% of HRC voters would.
                3) Not only would Trump win again if the election were held again but he’d win the popular vote as well.


                And the really nasty part is it’s STILL unclear whether the pollsters have gotten their act together. HRC walked into the election thinking she had a 3.5% advantage, which means 3%-5% of the country isn’t willing to openly admit they’re a Trump supporter at the ballot box.Report

              • Koz in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yeah, I believe that President Trump’s “effective” rating is higher than he polls because of shy respondents and the reality that more people approve of his vague issue stance than approve of him personally (Obama was just the opposite).

                But even if this were so, it’s probably only worth a couple of points relative to the public polls, and it’s still not enough. And there’s a couple other things cutting against us as well. Hillary isn’t on the ballot (and basically out of politics), so there’s no motive force to support Trump to stop Hillary.

                And, there’s a lot of antagonism toward the mainstream GOP by the GOP base, and if Trump isn’t on the ballot, the GOP voters might not show up.Report

              • dragonfrog in reply to Koz says:

                To what extent do you think there was a real motive force to stop Clinton per se, rather than Clinton because she was the name on the Democrat ticket?

                To the extent it’s the latter, whoever is in the Democrat ticket in 2020 will likewise be a child-eating satanic communist with a pedophile pizza club membership whose sinister designs it is imperative to stop.Report

              • Will H. in reply to dragonfrog says:

                Not speaking for Koz, but I can tell you that Clinton was extremely unpopular among the trade unionists, and it was a rare occasion where the leadership & the rank-and-file seemed to be on the same page.
                I can explain that in one word: NAFTA.
                Sure, any other Dem might have been no better, but there was a vast store of unspent ill-will toward Clinton.

                The Left appears to never have come to terms with the notion that the unions were their foot soldiers, and aren’t nearly so up with the identity politics thing.
                Well, other than to criticize them for “going against their economic self-interest” or calling them “Stupid,” both of which leave some doubt as to their truthfulness, and the former assuming there is but a single consideration to their voting patterns.

                NOTE: I edited that to bold the one term, as that is a key point.Report

              • Koz in reply to dragonfrog says:

                Yeah, for me there was quite a lot of juice toward stopping Clinton personally, especially from the parts of Middle America that would tend to vote Republican if they vote but really aren’t very political.

                And of course, she compounded that problem several times since the period when she was Secretary of State.Report

    • I voted for Clinton, but if I had to do it over again I might have voted for Johnson. (I go back and forth)Report

      • Koz in reply to Will Truman says:

        It wasn’t a sure thing that I was going to vote for Trump up until the moment I did it. In the context of 2016 candidates, I’m a lot more solid for Trump now that I was then. Basically, there’s a large cohort of Hillary voters (and other lib/Lefts for that matter) who aren’t psychologically or spiritually ready to participate in the politics of a pluralistic society. And the reality of the Trump Administration has exposed this with great clarity.

        That said, the next time we vote we won’t be in the context of 2016 candidates. On the GOP side, I’d like to vote for a primary opponent for Trump. The problem is the NeverTrumpers. We need a mainstream GOP opponent, not a NeverTrumper. Eg somebody like Rob Portman with enough credibility to be a candidate who at the same time is anonymous enough to represent the mainstream GOP instead of his own ego, eg, Kasich.Report

        • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:


          Two questions:

          1) In which ways, if any, do you think Trump has done better according to your policy preferences than say Cruz (#2 choice of the R base) would have done, assuming that somehow Cruz won both the nom and the general (assume for the hypothetical same results in House and Senate)?

          I ask partly because the two people I know personally who were early (by December 2015) Trump supporters never mentioned greater electability among their reasons for supporting him. FWIW, conditional on HRC as the Dem nominee, especially given the history of the Dem primary season, I think Trump probably was the best general election candidate of the R’s alternatives, which says a bunch of very not good things both about the R base and the USA electorate (not to be interpreted as my being a HRC fan, which I decidedly am not).

          2) Re your wish for a primary challenge to Trump 2020: interesting. It’s certainly true that neither Reagan nor Kennedy to my knowledge faced much long term intraparty hostility for their respective primary challenges: still, the 1976-1980 Republican party was rather different than now (for one thing, I was a member then); I’m not sure the 2020 GOP base will forgive a primary challenge, especially if the primary challenge fails and Trump then loses the general, as happened in both 76 and 80. Discuss.Report

          • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

            This is an interesting comment, I’ll probably reply more than once.

            First of all, now that he’s been in office for a while, there’s kind of a libertarian bankshot case for Trump (though I did not vote for Trump or support him on this basis). Basically, there’s large parts of the federal government running on directionless autopilot during the Trump Administration. And given the alternatives, this is better than if the Executive were led by a competent partisan, either Left or Right.

            I’m not sure I actually believe this, but I think there is some chance that this is true.

            Also, it hasn’t happened yet, but there’s also a good chance that Trump’s handling of the North Korea issue will defuse the regime’s nuclear capabilities in such a way that no other President would have succeeded in.

            There’s also several ways in which Trump has affected the public discourse, and the perception of what issue advocacy is acceptable now, and some of those ways are better than they would be relative to a generic Republican President, and others are worse.Report

            • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

              Koz –

              Thanks for the reply. I don’t buy the unintended consequence libertarian bankshot theory of Trumpism (which you yourself are ambivalent about): given how one of Trump’s (intended) key outputs is chaos, it seems more likely that his reign results in more anxiety/insecurity in both his opponents and his supporters, and in my experience anyway mass anxiety and insecurity don’t lead to more libertarian-friendly outcomes.

              There’s also several ways in which Trump has affected the public discourse, and the perception of what issue advocacy is acceptable now, and some of those ways are better than they would be relative to a generic Republican President, and others are worse.

              I have some hypotheses regarding which effects you might consider value over replacement R Prez, but if you care to elaborate re both the better and the worse as you see them I would appreciate it.Report

              • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                In short, from a conservative or general right-wing point of view, he’s definitely moved the Overton Window in our favor, but our position within the Overton Window is substantially worse.

                Related to that, he’s also exposed the oversold disaster scenarios/complacent punditry all over the Establishment, both Left and Right. For example, and fairly recently, Trump slapped import duties on goods from China or wherever. And there’s a lot of economic theory that says that’s a bad thing to do.

                But the point is, if that’s the case, that’s something that has to be substantiated instead of piously invoked. Same with immigration, same with Muslim integration, same with criminal justice reform, whatever.

                Trump hasn’t won these battles yet, even as much as rhetorically, but he has shown that of “expertise” being retailed to us was nothing more than Establishmentarian snow jobs.Report

              • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

                Thanks very much. Not what I would have guessed. Interesting.Report

            • Michael Cain in reply to Koz says:

              There’s also several ways in which Trump has affected the public discourse, and the perception of what issue advocacy is acceptable now, and some of those ways are better than they would be relative to a generic Republican President, and others are worse.

              There are a small number of issues about which I am passionate, and I cheerfully admit to a regional bias. That said, the Trump administration has not only affected discourse, but is actively trying to take actions from which the West may require decades to recover.Report

          • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

            As far as a primary challenge goes, right now there’s no obvious candidate. I’m sure there will end up being a NeverTrump candidate if no one else.

            But the best interest of the GOP is to have a credible candidate who’s not NeverTrump. And together with that, the GOP needs to develop a line that’s not opposed to Trump, but independent of him.

            As it is, I fear we’re getting Stockholmed by Trump. We’ve had just enough success with Trump to think that it’s all his doing. But it’s not. Trump gave awareness, access, and credibility with a very large cohort of non-college educated white voters. But he wasn’t some great Hillary-slayer. Hillary was a horrible candidate on her own terms, and probably would have lost worse to any other Republican.Report

            • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

              Hillary was a horrible candidate on her own terms


              probably would have lost worse to any other Republican

              Not sure about that. Assume Trump never ran (let’s say he tripped and fell descending the golden escalator), so his base (those who voted for him in the GOP primaries) would have needed to find their next-best choice or sit that one out (versus him running for the nom and losing, after which loss it’s hard to imagine him being a net positive for the actual nominee). Who do you think would win in that case? I suspect probably Cruz, on the grounds that he had the best combination of plausible vessel for the inchoate rage which was the primary desire of the most of the Trump base and simultaneously good core organizational backing (witness his victory in Wisconsin even when the Trump train had a fair amount of inertia). But maybe without the Trump field distorting things Walker might have stayed in? I know that as of early 2015 I considered Walker the most likely GOP nominee, and a serious threat. Of course, back then I lacked sufficient contempt for the GOP base to imagine that they would actually chose Trump. More fool me.

              I’m not sure Cruz could have won over HRC; in fact I greatly doubt it. He’d probably pull back a few of the educated suburbanites that Trump lost (the Romney-Clinton voters), but:

              1) I just don’t see Cruz managing to get the turnout from the deplorable vote that Trump did (for one thing, while the She-witch would probably have made some egregious blunders running against Cruz, I really doubt she would have made as crystallizing an error).

              2) Since Cruz would inevitably (IMHO) be running as an evangelical, I think he would lose some of the secular Perotist vote that Trump got (cf Sean Trende’s 2012 postmortem). FWIW, of the two early Trump train riders I know personally (that is, the subset of the people I know personally who made their early-Trumper status known to me – I’m sure I know quite a few early Trumpers but I don’t know who out of the set of possibles actually were Trumpers), one claimed to me that he would have voted third party had Cruz been the nominee: this person is pretty anti-religious (of course, this person also seems think he is a deficit hawk). I also know a couple of reluctant Trump voters (long time republicans and Hillary-haters) who might have stayed out or voted Libertarian rather than Cruz. Of course, I live in California, so the secular republicans I know might not be representative of their equivalents in the swing states.

              And I don’t think there is evidence to support the proposition that Trump lost many otherwise-gettable (e.g. by Cruz) religious conservative votes in the swing states, but maybe – how many Russell Moores and Albert Mohlers are there in the trenches? I dunno.

              3) Cruz would have had a much harder time playing the anti-establishment card that the marks Trump base lap up, although I’m sure he would give it a good try.

              4) I don’t think Cruz would have been nearly as successful playing to the emotion of non-college white ethnonationalism – not that he would not have tried, but it came very naturally to Trump (one of the fairly few things Trump is moderately sincere about), whereas the few times I saw Cruz try it it just seemed too stilted. That’s an area where Walker I think could have threaded the needle nicely, and none of the other candidates.

              I think Rubio would have been a workable general election candidate, but I can’t see him getting the nomination in the first place, especially not with the feud with Jeb! The same dynamics that had the Bush, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, etc. fighting with each other and giving Trump a pass would I think have worked to Cruz’ advantage – everybody wanted his base and knew they would need it in November.Report

              • There was an ongoing thing in 2016 where “If it were anybody but Hillary, they’d be destroying Trump right now” and “If it were anybody but Trump, they’d be destroying Hillary fight now.”

                The problem with this was always that Ted Cruz was #2 on the Republican side and Bernie Sanders was #2 on the Democratic side. Yes, Bernie was and is popular, but there is really no telling how he would have stood up to the heat of being a nominee and I honestly have my suspicions and I’m not sure Sanders/Trump wouldn’t have picked up a Bloomberg that would have ultimately assisted Trump. Cruz has a steadier baseline, but a low one. When it was Trump vs Cruz, I remember having a conversation with someone (Kolohe?) about how Trump was more likely to win than Cruz and also more likely to lose by a significantly wider margin than Cruz.

                O’Malley would have won. Rubio would have won. Biden would have won. Romney would have won. But Cruz and Sanders are iffy.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Will Truman says:

                If it’d been Bernie then I would have voted for Trump. A guy who points to Venezuela while it’s burning down and proclaims that’s the way to run a country has no business being President or making economic policy.Report

              • scott the mediocre in reply to Will Truman says:

                Yeah, I know it’s been litigated already. But AFAIK, Koz (who I don’t think was commenting around here end 2016 – ISTR he took off well before then) was not participating in that set of conversations, and I was and am specifically curious about his statement, given his priors, that anybody with an “R” would have beaten HRC, which I am rather less than sure of. I don’t recall having read anyone with Koz’ POV commenting on it.

                I mostly agree with your final graf, except that I see it as exceedingly unlikely that Rubio or Romney could have won the nom in a Trump-free primary season. Ditto, unfortunately, O’Malley – in a Clinton-free primary season, some other more or less mainstream Dem with more crowd appeal (Warren??) would have come in (assuming Biden stayed out, of course). Whether that other mainstream Dem could have fended off the Sanders challenge I don’t know: assuming yes, then yeah, non-Clinton mainstream Dem probably wins comfortably over Trump.Report

              • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                Yeah, I know it’s been litigated already. But AFAIK, Koz (who I don’t think was commenting around here end 2016 – ISTR he took off well before then) was not participating in that set of conversations, and I was and am specifically curious about his statement, given his priors, that anybody with an “R” would have beaten HRC, which I am rather less than sure of. I don’t recall having read anyone with Koz’ POV commenting on it.

                As far as the general election goes, I think that most or all of the GOP candidates would have won, except Carson probably. Rubio for sure, Kasich too (as much as I hated the Kasich campaign), Jim Gilmore was actually a very credible candidate who went absolute nowhere. Fiorina, Jeb, Christie, Huckabee were all weak but when push comes to shove could have gotten over the line. Santorum I suspect would have been deceptively strong. In a lot of ways, he’s a better version of Trump.

                The most interesting case is Cruz (also the most likely). He was disliked by the party establishment, and didn’t connect with the voters that great either. But he’s also very smart, and very disciplined. And the reality is, he’s not well-known enough to be as credible a hate figure as the Dems would like. Yeah, I think he wins too.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think I mentioned this at the time, but there was a weird bit of double talk with regards to the nominees…

                On the one hand, everyone kept talking about how Trump snuck through because of a weak field.

                On the other, there was rampant talk of the deep Republican bench.

                Somewhere in between, you had a field that included:
                – a Bush
                – a young, up-and-coming cool candidate-of-color not too far from the Obama mold (Rubio)
                – a GOP governor from a blue state with national name recognition (Christie)
                – a darling of the Tea Party-crowd (Cruz)
                – Two successful culture warriors with political backgrounds and national name recognition (Huckaby, Santorum)
                – Rand Paul

                So was the GOP field weak? Strong? Both?!Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Kazzy says:

                Many people thought the field was actually too deep. In other words (more, not less) that between having so many fairly strong possibles, but all working in the traditional mode of politics, it left the door open for a truly dark horse. I still stand by my piece Jack Move to explain how he broke out. And I am sure that in many ways he has changed politics in the US, for better or worse I couldn’t say at this point.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

                I never thought the field was especially strong. I can go candidate-by-candidate if you are curious, but only one candidate (Scott Walker) dramatically underperformed my expectations (I was an early skeptic of Jeb). From pretty early it felt like 2008 where somebody was going to win the nomination because somebody was going to have to win the nomination.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Will Truman says:

                Reading that thread, the thing that still gets me is that Trump actually had a competent enough organization when it counted: stuff like get his name on every ballot and get his followers to attend caucuses. (something even Gingrich couldn’t do right in 2012)Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Bernie vs Cruz would have been so bizarre.

                Easy choice for me to make of course, but almost as nuts as the election we actually got.Report

              • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                Assume Trump never ran (let’s say he tripped and fell descending the golden escalator), so his base (those who voted for him in the GOP primaries) would have needed to find their next-best choice or sit that one out (versus him running for the nom and losing, after which loss it’s hard to imagine him being a net positive for the actual nominee). Who do you think would win in that case?

                That’s a tossup between Rubio and Cruz. As it played out, of course, Cruz would have won if Trump faltered. But Trump’s presence in the race was such that the issue mix was completely different for him having been there.

                No other candidate could have worked the immigration angle as hard as Trump did, so the Gang of 8 would not have counted as much against Rubio. Cruz would have tried, and gotten some traction. Once Jeb would have been forced out of the race, the party establishment would have gotten behind Rubio. Again, it could have gone either way.

                Another interesting hypothetical, for me, was whether the race was winnable for Rubio given Trump being in. Ie could he have successfully walked back the Gang of 8? I mean, Rubio never internalized how much the Gang of 8 was hurting him until well too late.

                But, if he had, could he have done anything about it? I think maybe yes. I know if he had made a forthright accounting of the Gang of 8, with concrete policy promises related to immigration, I would have forgiven him. Other voters maybe not. Most importantly, I don’t know what his donors would have done.Report

              • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

                Hmm, it seems to me that even without Trump in the race from the beginning (your choice of butterfly wings to make that happen), immigration broadly (not merely Gang of 8) was an issue that was going to be very hard for a Republican candidate to finesse – the vast majority of the base was demanding potent symbolic actions, but much of the donor base (e.g. the Koch network) would be pretty nervous about those symbolic actions accidentally on purpose spilling over into something that might have teeth for business. I think that’s what you are alluding to with what might have happened with Rubio’s donors, right? Even though (if my memory serves) the big de facto open borders money was mostly backing Cruz (presumably because they expected more deregulation from him vis a vis Rubio)? Or do you think I am misremembering the correlation of big money forces as of say Jan 2016?Report

              • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. The issue there was the extent to which Trump reset the Overton Window wrt immigration within the Republican Party. Immigration would have been the source of some tension among the candidates in the pre-Trump GOP, but that was much more likely to be finessed, in particular by Rubio. But Rubio couldn’t or least didn’t keep up with the post-Trump expectations on that issue.Report

          • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

            Finally, in terms of how Trump has done in office, obviously people are going to compare him to what a hypothetical President Cruz or President Rubio would have done, etc. But for me it might be more interesting to compare what actually has happened against a hypothetical President Bad Trump.

            This is obscured by libs wailing and Trump’s own cacophony, but in terms of what has actually happened, Trump has done pretty well. And that is actually bad news for the GOP. Given where we are regarding the state of the economy, and having a GOP President who hopefully gives us some protection against the tentacles of political correctness, the GOP should be on its merry way to wiping out the Dems, and manifestly we’re not.

            This is part of the distortion field surrounding Trump. The libs call it gaslighting, and they might be right. Trump has created the reality for us, that our ceiling is to hope and scrape our way to a few wins this November and defeat a blue wave. When in reality, the ceiling for us should be much better, and we should have a much more plausible path toward getting there.Report

      • I voted for Clinton but was very tempted to vote for Johnson because I really don’t like Clinton. However, something Jaybird said over at Hitcoffee convinced me to vote for Clinton. Whether or not that was his intention, I don’t know.

        I voted for her because I thought it was more of a repudiation against Trump than a vote for Johnson would have been. Of course, now I have to live with the reverse might-makes-right fallacy that “Clinton got more votes (with the unstated and unintended implication that therefore, Trump would be a good thing if he had gotten the most votes).”

        Still, I’d do it again.Report

      • InMD in reply to Will Truman says:

        I voted Johnson but if I could do it again would write in Harambe.Report

  9. Koz says:

    The first question was hard, in that I voted for Cruz in my primary but now, out of the candidates listed I’d prefer Rubio.

    The most interesting result for me is the decent showing from the Libertarian Right. I suspect those who voted that way mis-classified themselves. Either they’re not Libertarian, or they’re not Right. Libertarian Right is like Kevin Williamson, and there’s nobody like that here.Report

    • PD Shaw in reply to Koz says:

      Who is Kevin Williamson?Report

      • Koz in reply to PD Shaw says:

        Really? He is a writer, formerly of National Review, hired away to the Atlantic, briefly, and then fired a few days later. His career issues have basically constituted the latest Twitterstorm.Report

        • PD Shaw in reply to Koz says:

          Sorry, was joking, but I really know almost nothing about his career, just perhaps one line he wrote once. But I am not libertarian right.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

      I have Neoreactionary sympathies but I don’t believe that the government could pour water out of a boot without effing it up and, as such, I don’t think that government ought to be doing much (if at all).

      So I put down “Libertarian Right” even though I haven’t claimed to be Libertarian for years now.Report

      • Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

        No Jaybird, unless you’ve been miraculously hiding it all these years you are not Neoreactionary. Among other things, the motivation for neo-reaction is substantially an unwillingness to be associated the rituals and foibles of modern democracy, especially its claims to legitimacy, therefore your antagonism to gov’t would be a reason to support Neoreaction, not oppose it.

        You are definitely Left libertarian.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Koz says:

      I voted libertarian right, because I think of the libertarian left as this. So I was equally surprised to the see the results, but for the opposite reason.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Koz says:

      Libertarian left and libertarian right are pretty broadly defined here. If you tend towards libertarian and prefer team red over team blue then you are libertarian right. If you tend towards libertarian and prefer team blue over team red than you are libertarian left. I didn’t specify that’s what I meant, but I think that’s how people are answering.

      In some cases I think the claims to libertarianism are highly suspect, but that’s ultimately not for me to say. This is about self-identification.Report

      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        I figured as much, but was mildly thrown because I spend enough time with people from the far left, for whom “left-libertarian” means “anarchist who totally rejects the idea of private property” (and who say “liberal” with enough venom to make Newt Gingrich proud, for that matter).Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to Koz says:

      Get two people who self-identify as “libertarian” together in a room, and each will have endless potential for conversation about how the other isn’t really a libertarian.Report

  10. James K says:

    The only question I’ve been able to put an answer two is the second one (naturally, as I am not a US citizen I didn’t vote because I can’t).

    None of the names in question 1 really appeal to me. I suppose Gary Johnson would make a half-decent protest vote, but I’d be hard pressed to say I wanted him to win.

    As for question three, what distinguishes a left-libertarians and a right-libertarian? I tend to think of left-libertarians as non-proprietarians, but right libertarian could also be used to mean a US conservative with libertarian sympathies, so I’m a bit stuck.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to James K says:

      Left-Libertarian: “They should have heroin vending machines in public schools!”
      Right-Libertarian: “Feh. Public Schools.”Report

    • Maribou in reply to James K says:

      @james-k “naturally, as I am not a US citizen I didn’t vote because I can’t”

      Yeah, in that bucket a pretty big number of us already known to participate here, which is the main reason that’s an option in the poll (I mean, obvs. there are also other reasons why a person can’t vote, as well.)

      I think left-libertarian and right-libertarian are both pretty big tents for this purpose. OTOH, I reckon you’re probably a left-libertarian by American standards, in that I’m pretty sure there are plenty of propretarian libertarians who identify as either left-libertarian or “classical liberal” in this country. And responding to the poll?Report

      • Murali in reply to Maribou says:

        I classified myself as right libertarian since I’m not a Georgist.Report

        • Maribou in reply to Murali says:

          @murali I …. suspect that not many of the people who called themselves left libertarian are Georgists either.

          (Had to look that up. Learned a new term. Thanks!)

          And obviously any poll of this nature is going to be super-fuzzy, especially when it comes to folks whose base set is not American in the first place. (We swing above our weight, but there aren’t *that* many of us 😛 ).Report

        • James K in reply to Murali says:


          Yeah, that’s the other group I associate with left libertarianism.Report

    • gabriel conroy in reply to James K says:

      As for question three, what distinguishes a left-libertarians and a right-libertarian? I tend to think of left-libertarians as non-proprietarians, but right libertarian could also be used to mean a US conservative with libertarian sympathies, so I’m a bit stuck.

      I actually interpreted “left libertarian” as “social democrat,” which is why I chose it instead of “moderate” (my second choice) and “liberal” (which to me has too many negative connotations).Report

    • scott the mediocre in reply to James K says:

      I think left-libertarian (which was my choice in the poll) in the USAian context means more like Brink Lindsey’s liberaltarian, e.g. being largely supportive of the center-left’s nominal goals but questioning the use of coercion, govt or otherwise, to achieve those goals.

      Whereas right-libertarians, cf Koz’s reference, below, to Kevin Williamson, are mostly more or less social conservatives (e.g. Frank Meyer, Murray Rothbard, the Kochs) who want especially a light economically regulatory state and fairly porous international boundaries but also mostly want their social conservatism enforced through societal pressure rather than state power. e.g. many may support drug decriminalization.Report

      • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

        The way I’d put it (and on this score I think I’m right) is to say that the left-Libertarians are sympathetic to the Left’s mentality toward equality as a guiding ideal of society, and even to some extent they buy in to the same compulsion toward equality as end to justify the means to do whatever. But, at the same time they share with other libertarians the strong suspicion of government as an effective means to accomplish valuable things, and in particular are wary other negative intended or unintended consequences.Report

        • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

          Well, of course you think you are right (-wing) 🙂

          My interpretation of left-libertarian is less my own idiosyncratic position than an attempted summary of the stated position of left-identified people at USAian libertarian institutions (Cato, Reason, Niskanen Center), e.g. Brink Lindsey, Will Wilkinson, Julian Sanchez, Katherine Mangu-Ward, etc.

          Reading them does not evidence much if any concern for egalitarianism of much of any stripe, though I suspect they all would general favor lower Gini coefficients. I think that’s more your (Koz’s) idee fixe (namely that everybody on the left half is fixated on egalitarianism – I wish it were so compared to reality: far too many on the left, though not nearly so many left-libertarians, are apparently primarily identitarian, not that the right is any less infected with identitarian thinking).

          I’ll propose a simple test that I think would capture the left libertarian versus right libertarian:

          Assume for the moment that the following is achievable for the US, and ignore the path to get there:

          The US as a giant version of Denmark – yay or nay? I suspect most left-libertarians would say “sure, give me some of that aqavit”, whereas most right-libertarians would snarl “socialism” and make the sign of the cross. By most quantitative indices of inequality that I know of, Denmark is way ahead of the US (and almost all the rest of the world), but that result to the left libertarian (or to me, anyway) is a vaguely-nice side effect of the way their society is organized, not a terminal goal.Report

          • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

            Reading them does not evidence much if any concern for egalitarianism of much of any stripe, though I suspect they all would general favor lower Gini coefficients. I think that’s more your (Koz’s) idee fixe (namely that everybody on the left half is fixated on egalitarianism – I wish it were so compared to reality: far too many on the left, though not nearly so many left-libertarians, are apparently primarily identitarian, not that the right is any less infected with identitarian thinking).

            Maybe autonomy is a better word than egalitarianism, but it’s pretty much the same in any event. And in fact I think that explains more of what’s going on than Wikipedia. Like your Denmark example. The idea being that the implicit equality of places like Denmark justifies aggressive land use regulation, or the welfare state, or other steps in that direction.

            And fwiw, it’s also how, at least some level, identitarianism is justified as well. This group over here are people of color, transgender, lacking capital, from the Global South, whatever. Obviously, in the abstract they are just as good as Donald Trump or Mitt Romney, so we can and should put our thumb on the scales here and there to even out the historical record of oppression as best as we can.Report

            • scott the mediocre in reply to Koz says:

              OK, thanks Koz –

              With your switch to “autonomy” I can see a more coherent interpretation of your cartoon of left-libertarianism. You think (perhaps very) left-leaning individualism inevitably leads to identitarianism? I disagree, but I’m not sure how we could resolve that disagreement with common facts. If I did agree (about the inevitable entailment of identitarianism) I would change my metapolitics and hard.

              I confess that I have never been to Denmark (if I had, maybe I could understand why they alone of the Nordics are seemingly incapable of producing a good metal band – re Mercyful Fate/King Diamond: I said “good”), but I have spent a fair amount of time in Sweden and a bit in Norway, so I’ve got a little more sense of their societies work than somebody who just reads about them.

              I imagine you are familiar with the concept of “statist individualism” (which is more Sweden than Denmark – I picked Denmark for my example even though I know much less about it because Denmark seems to be the goto example of a Nordic in current USAian dialog).

              It’s been a while since I’ve been to Sweden and I have not kept current with the people I knew there (bad on me), but from what I know from back then, and some more current contact with Norwegians, both countries have mostly dodged the identitarian shrapnel that is consuming so much of the West these days (USA very much included). Biggest counterexample that I know of are Somalis in Sweden, who are, last I knew, pretty much failing to assimilate on any axis, versus both Arab and Kurdish Iraqis (Sweden took in a lot of refugees from the Saddam and immediate post Gulf War periods) who are to my now-dated knowledge generally assimilating reasonably well. (if anyone has more current data I’ll all eyes)Report

              • Koz in reply to scott the mediocre says:

                With your switch to “autonomy” I can see a more coherent interpretation of your cartoon of left-libertarianism. You think (perhaps very) left-leaning individualism inevitably leads to identitarianism? I disagree, but I’m not sure how we could resolve that disagreement with common facts. If I did agree (about the inevitable entailment of identitarianism) I would change my metapolitics and hard.

                I’m not quite getting this. If anything it’s the Left egalitarianism which leads to identitarianism, like I mentioned in the prior comment. Individualism would tend to cut the other way, eg, Native Americans are historically underrepresented as doctors in Connecticut. Ok, why is that a problem? In fact, libertarians up through say, 1995 at least, would have been very likely to think that.

                It would be interesting to know if you’ve ever heard of Arnold Kling and his Three Languages of Politics. I think he wrote a book with a name close to that, but in any event, the underlying conceptual advance is very topical.Report

  11. Mike Dwyer says:

    I went with Moderate because it’s the closest thing to where I land.

    I would have taken Kaisch out of those presented, but that would have been a lukewarm vote at best. I ended casting my vote for Johnson.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      @mike-dwyer Re: where you land…. You and my middle sister! 🙂 No, really, she’s bemoaned before that she wishes she had an 80s-version PC party to vote for in Canada (like, literally the version from the late 80s early 90s) rather than having to do realpolitik every election to figure out who she thinks will do the least harm …

      I’m not sure I’ve ever known another American progressive conservative before, at least not one that claimed the label. Neat.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

        I think Dennis Sanders considers himself a progressive conservative also (though he may use slightly different terminology). He and I were both part of a short-lived Progressive Conservative project years ago. I will also say that I think our brand is slightly different than what you would find in Canada. If I understand the Canadian model correctly, it’s a sort of compromise philosophy between the two seemingly contradictory notions (feel free to correct me if I misunderstand).

        For us, it might actually be more accurate to flip the words. We are Conservative Progressives, meaning we like Progressivism (in the TR mold) but we like it to occur at a slower pace and with some caveats applied towards tradition, etc.Report

        • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Thanks for elaborating. I hadn’t realized you were both working together on something back in the day. TR is one of my favorite dead presidents, possibly THE favorite (it’s not all that impressive, honestly, I’m not a huge presidential fan). But I have a ton of respect for the guy.

          You do misunderstand the Canadian model, somewhat, I think? I’ll try to explain, but don’t think I can do so without rambling on a bit. (I mean, I voted Green and stumped NDP so I’m not the world’s expert on the PC party or anything. But I’ve read a lot, and there’s the having been governed by them thing). But the Progressive Conservative party I’m referring to (that my sister misses) died a pretty violent death in Canada at the federal level not too many years, splitting up into a very much more conservative wing and folks who got folded into the Liberal party. (Really it was kind of a hostile takeover by the very much more conservative (for Canada) wing, precipitated by the creation of and actions of the Bloq Quebecois, who only really coalitioned into the PC’s because of Trudeau’s (Liberal Party) efforts to marry the two solitudes, which they objected to, as separatists … anyway, that’s a really long story.)

          THAT one, the PC party she misses, the one whose last senator changed her affiliation to “Independent” in 2016 after holding on to “Progressive Conservative” with a deathgrip for very many years after the federal party died, is pretty textbook word for word what the wiki link you posted said.

          In my own words, with more Canadian flavor, it would go like:
          1) look after people with a very strong social safety net that nonetheless has firm limits, treat them well, respect their human rights
          2) solid fiscal sense from a center-right conservative-ish perspective (don’t throw good money after bad, respect but control the market, don’t get your short-term environmental ideology in the way of my oil money when I have plans to use the oil money to shore up the climate, don’t get your disrespect for native people in the way of their traditional rights OR their potential economic contributions, sort of things. definitely pro-business and pro-tech, but also pro-small-farmer and pro-traditional-seasonal employments and pro-job-training, etc.)
          3) improve things and also preserve things in a balanced (not compromise) fashion. change things for the greater common good, or in cases where it becomes clear there is a deep injustice happening, only, and no throwing any babies out with any bathwaters.

          All three being equally important. That was the ideal, at least.

          There are still plenty of provincial level PC-branded parties around, but honestly Canada is so regional that provincial parties deviate from a national standard *wildly* when compared to US state parties. (And yup, that is a lot already!)

          I would say that, particularly at the time period I was referencing, the Liberals were the “compromise between two apparently contradictory notions” party and the PCs were (at their best) the “both of these things actually *matter* and we need to take the best of both while keeping cool heads” party. (With the Bloq Quebecois being kind of a separate thing but still more conservative by yards than they became once they fully split off from the PCs.)

          If that makes any sense?

          To those of us to the left or right of that center, of course, we found them more or less indistinguishable back then on a philosophical basis, only distinguishable by what policies they *claimed* they would support (not supported, just claimed) … so people mostly voted for whatever local person made most sense to them, and / or based on which party leader they found more personally appealing. (Yay Parliamentary system!) There were two major parties, in theory PC was center-right (for Canada) and Liberal was center-left (for Canada) but on any actual issue each party would take a position and they might easily flip so that PC was more like center-left and Liberals more like center-right. Not cause PC was compromisers, but more cause they *weren’t*.

          … then came the late 90s/early 2000s and the Liberals became ‘the party of wonkery and corruption,” and the Conservatives became the “we try to control people who aren’t like us and fly in the face of all established traditional governmental procedure to do so, because who said conservative meant respect for tradition” party… fun times.

          and of course sister lives in Alberta where the pragmatic choices last election were between NDP and Wildrose … given that she’s more private than me I really don’t think I can repeat any of her very strong opinions on that, but suffice to say she definitely does have some.Report

          • scott the mediocre in reply to Maribou says:

            Maribou, do you (or anybody else) have an explanation for why Canada, in spite of FPTP voting, at least for federal and provincial parliaments, has not succumbed to Duverger’s Law (which says that FPTP systems devolve to two party systems)? I suspect it has something to do with the Quebecois: one of the exceptions to Duverger’s Law has to do with polities with very strong regional identities. But Canada manages to maintain fairly strong multiparty systems even in intensely Anglophone provinces, e.g. BC.Report

            • Alan Scott in reply to scott the mediocre says:

              Canada is hardly alone, though. The UK has the Lib-dems and various regionally competitive parties. One of the two “parties” in Australia’s two-party system is actually a multi-party coalition. India has complicated multi-party coalitions. It seems like FPTP westminster systems aren’t super-inclined to follow Duverger’s Law, frankly.Report

              • James K in reply to Alan Scott says:

                @alan-scott I vaguely recall reading a blog post a few years ago that made the argument that the only country that seems to follow Duverger’s Law was the US, suggesting that it s wasn’t so much a law as a feature of the US’s electoral system.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to James K says:

                My theory is that what FPTP doesn’t accomplish, the Electoral College does. The EC is brutally and unusually inefficient when you introduce a third party into the equation.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                I think that’s a lot of it.

                And the importance of binding the President and a party together in Congress, and the need for state parties to coordinate with the parties at the federal level, does the rest.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                Coordination between state and federal parties isn’t a given, though. The causation arrow is kind of murky on that one, though I tend to think it a product of our veneration of the presidency and ensuring flowing Dien from that (both to congress and the states).

                It’s why I think we’d have a mostly two party system even if we had proportional representation.Report

              • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Huh, I’ve always thought it was a given, and there are a lot of strong incentives for having that coordination. One important one is that it means that more ambitious and capable politicians have a natural way to progress to higher and higher offices, whether it’s state legislators going to Congress [1] or governors becoming President.

                [1] One of the reasons for all those incredibly dismal and sort of click-bait-y stories about state legislators being asshats is quite a few of them are in their current job because they’re too dumb or crooked for the House of Representatives.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

                There are a lot of incentives, but sometimes there are enough incentives in the other direction that it doesn’t happen. Kind of like Durverger’s law, in that respect.

                In the US we have Puerto Rico having different parties that operate in parallel to our regular parties. The current governor is a Democrat, but he was elected with the New Progressive Party. His predecessor was also a Democrat, but was elected by the Popular Democratic Party. His predecessor was a Republican, and elected under the New Progressive.

                Now, if Puerto Rico gains statehood it will likely revert to Republican and Democrat, especially since the Puerto Rican parties are formed around the questions of statehood and independence. But it gives you an idea of how local and national parties can work independently and together. You’re a member of one locally in a way that doesn’t prevent you from being a member of another nationally.

                There are or have been a few cases in Canada of different alignment between provincial parties and federal ones. In an effort to prevent the NDP from dominating, members of the Liberal Party and Conservative Party more or less merged to form the Saskatchewan Party, but its members are still Liberals and Conservatives in the national sense. In Alberta, the conservatives split between the Wildrose Party and Progressive Conservative Party until a merger last year (in 2015, the two parties combined for over 50% of the vote, but lost decisively).

                In another world, you could have two leftward parties in California, but with its members being Democrats at the national level. Or the other way in Kansas. in this world, though, that’s not the case for a variety of reasons, and I don’t expect that to change without some significant changes to our electoral system giving it a more fluid structure.Report

              • Alan Scott in reply to James K says:

                I spent a bit of time looking through the various party compositions of Westminster system countries, and there is a clear area where two-party systems thrive: Caribbean island nations all have two-party systems. I think small size and relatively homogenous populations play a part in that.Report

            • Maribou in reply to scott the mediocre says:

              I’m not really familiar with Duverger’s law and so I don’t start from the assumption that not devolving is something that needs explanation…. it just seems normal to me.

              That said, just based on this
              “one of the exceptions to Duverger’s Law has to do with polities with very strong regional identities.”
              I would say that’s enough to explain it.

              Everyone sees Canada as one thing, or perhaps two things, but really every region has a very strong regional identity. BC by itself, BC-and-Alberta, Alberta by itself, the Prairies as an entity (Alberta-Saskatchewan-Manitoba), the North (from a First Nations perspective at least), Ontario, Quebec, the Atlantic provinces (NS-NB-PEI-Newfoundland), ALL think of themselves as their region first, Canadian 2nd. (Well, Ontario maybe thinks of itself as Canadian first but only in the sense that it thinks of Canada as == Ontario :P). People miss it because there is also a great sense of pride in being Canadian for many folks, but the regionalism is huge… just more internally focused, not really for non-family, so what outsiders get is more often a sense of unity or unity-with-that-special-relationship-with-Quebec. That’s not day to day reality though.

              And within that regionalism, every province, even the ones I did not list as a separate region have a very strong provincial identity as well… Newfoundland didn’t even * become part of the country* until the middle of the 20th century, to list the most obvious example.Report

          • gabriel conroy in reply to Maribou says:

            I know too little about Canadian politics* to comment on your analysis. But I do differ from you and Mike about TR. To me he was a dangerous warhawk and imperialist. Of course, you could say, “who among those likely to be president at that time wasn’t?” and it’s hard to find an answer. (The Democratic party probably leaned more anti-imperialist than the GOP then, but at the time it was an an accommodation with Jim Crow.)

            Domestically, I find (what I know of) TR’s proposals to be border on the arbitrary side. In my view we was much too willing to use his “bully pulpit” to aggrandize the presidency’s potential for arbitrary power. I do believe I’m on less firm ground when I criticize him for domestic policy, though, because the point is more arguable. And I’m basing most of my criticisms on his platform when he ran in 1912 (which he didn’t implement because he didn’t win) than on things he actually did while in office.

            *Unless we’re talking about how Canadian antitrust law may or may not have applied to coal dealers in the Toronto market between 1880 and 1940……but I don’t see a lot of discussion here about that 🙂Report

            • To be clear, though, I do like his Bureau of Corporations idea (assuming I understand it correctly), and I’m favorable at least to the idea of regulatory agencies like the FDA, even if I’m persnickety and ambivalent about how they work in practice.Report

            • Maribou in reply to gabriel conroy says:

              “than on things he actually did while in office”

              Yeah, my respect and admiration for him is not based on things he campaigned for near the end of his life (which I’m honestly not that familiar with) but on things he did over the span of it. Not just in office (so much conservation, so much willingness to look out for a wide range of people) – but also long before he held office. (eg doing as much as he did to unbreak the NYC police and get them out from under Tammany Hall) And as much for how he conducted his personal life (Alice! Wonderful, terrible Alice! Who else among his class at that time would have let Alice be Alice? Everyone talks about how they disagreed, but people rarely acknowledge the ways in which *letting her be like that at all* was him, starting in her youth, giving her space and dignity to be her nonconventional self that very few women had back then) as for the things he did politically.

              The one area where I consider him to have utterly failed morally – beyond what was just to be expected of his time – was in his treatment of Native Americans. I can see (and respect!!) why someone would take that as the most significant thing about him, and thereby have no interest in or care for the rest of his legacy. It certainly troubles my enthusiasm for his conservation work, that so much of the land he conserved was stolen from the tribes.

              While I agree with you that he was a hawk and an imperialist – though as a Canadian I probably have different opinions about America’s late entry to WW1 than you do, and more internal conflicts about that war in general perhaps? – he also worked his ass off to get the Russians and the Japanese to *stop* fighting in 1906, and was (IMO rightfully) awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for it. If you *are* going to try and run the world, you should at least be good at diplomacy…

              He was a deeply flawed man, but still when I read about his life, or read his own work, I find a lot to admire, and even to want to emulate. There really aren’t that many presidents who leave me feeling that way.Report

              • gabriel conroy in reply to Maribou says:


                That’s a completely fair response (and one more informed about TR than I am).

                If you want, I’d be interested to hear your conflicted feelings on WWI and on the US’s late entry. But I understand if you don’t have time or the desire to do so right now. (There are only so many hours in a weekend, etc.) My own cards on the table: I think the US should not have entered the war at all, even though I realize it’s kind of hypocritical of me when the US made so much money off the war pre 1917. (I’m not sure if that’s the direction of your concerns or not.)Report

              • Maribou in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                @gabriel-conroy My admittedly uninformed and probably overly-Commonwealth-patriotic opinion, mostly learned at the knees of my maternal grandfather, who was a (Canadian, though dual-citizen) Navy man**, so you can tell how maturely I’ve studied it (not!!!!) is that the US screwed its allies over up until the point where it entered the war.

                Canada saw itself as having a responsibility and loyalty to Britain, especially, in that time period, that I was also taught to see the US as having had *in that time period*. It also saw the US as having a responsibility as an ally *to Canada* that it failed to uphold, which is actually one of the main reasons why Canadians still have such a chip on our collective shoulders about the US generally. (Not saying “conscious reason,” saying “that’s a major historical root of the chip”.) And then the arms thing. Basically my (again, not properly informed) opinion is that the US’s choice to sit back and sell guns without actually participating made the war last far longer than it would have otherwise and led to greater loss of life.

                This gut level opinion that I have is tempered, really more exists in acknowledged deep cognitive dissonance with, my overall views on keeping wars as small as possible and on conscription being a moral evil. Also by being aware of just how many Americans were fairly recently removed (1-3 generations) from being Germans themselves, something I never thought about before I moved here.

                ** I just realized – I often talk about my grandfathers just as “my grandfather”, in such a way that they may seem like one person rather than two. maternal grandfather = boats and engineering guy, paternal grandfather = hunting, biology, and law guy.Report

              • gabriel conroy in reply to Maribou says:

                Thanks for the explanation. Strangely, I’d never thought that the US supplying arms prolonged the war. I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I had never thought it. I suppose any investigation of the role US arms sales had in prolonging the conflict would have to also investigate whether and to what extent it actually supplied the Central Powers. My knee-jerk hypothesis is that the US hardly supplied the Central Powers with anything.

                That doesn’t get at most of what you find conflicting. I simply hadn’t thought of the US’s obligations as a purported ally of UK and the Commonwealth, other than the notion (from a US perspective) that the friendship was a recent-ish innovation beginning from the ca. 1890s, grounded in joint ventures (e.g., Boxer Rebellion) and sometimes tested in other conflicts (e.g., the Venezuela crises). It’s also probably not a coincidence that both the US and UK were involved in imperialist wars of expansion at around the same time (Boer War and the Sp.-US War + Philippines “rebellion”*). Those considerations stray from any friendship the US may have had with Canada.

                Again, though, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

                *If you can call “resisting occupation by a foreign power” a “rebellion.”Report

              • Maribou in reply to gabriel conroy says:

                @gabriel-conroy As for the US friendship with Canada, I think a lot of that has to do with having been a Maritimer, especially. I mean, it’s a common enough opinion in Canada generally – but the commonalities and *literal cousinships* between the Maritimes and New England cannot be underestimated. I kind of alluded to that by pointing out that my grandfather was a dual citizen, but in general Canadians in the Maritimes in the late 19th/early 20th centuries were as likely to go south to Massachusetts/Vermont/Maine/the rest of New England (aka the “Boston states” in the parlance of the time) as they were to go west, looking for work or just a change of pace. When you look at my family tree (which incidentally also includes Germans) it’s full of border-crossers both in the one-lifetime sense and the family-lives-on-both-sides-of-the-US-Canada border sense, continuing into my parents’ generation, and definitely far stronger at the time of WW2. I mean, even when I was a kid we crossed back and forth freely without a passport, and many of the border-crossing roads didn’t even have a guard you had to check in with!

                A lot of the sense of betrayal I was raised with came from that, I think. Sort of a “OK, we get that you and England have had so much beef … but we thought it was FAMILY beef… and now our boys are dying and where are you??” sort of a thing.Report

              • gabriel conroy in reply to Maribou says:

                Ah, thanks for clarifying.Report

              • Brent F in reply to Maribou says:

                I don’t think this is so much a Canadian point of view as it is an older stock British Canadian view, which is probably a lot more common in the Maritimes than elsewhere.

                I think Canadians of more recent vintage by immigration history are more inclined to view the whole WW1 thing as damn stupid thing that demonstrated the importance of no longer unthinkingly toeing the London line. The fighting is remembered as a nation building project, but also a necessity of making your own decisions project.

                One of the tragic aspects of WW1 for the Dominions was their excessively enthuasitc, almost delusional participation was partial fueled by a commitment to Imperial defense that London was no longer all that interested in.

                Contrast to WW2, where I think early involvement is still a point of pride, as it was a much worthier cause.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Brent F says:

                ” an older stock British Canadian view”

                Thanks for broadening the perspective, but I don’t think that’s really where my / the Maritimer perspective is coming from, exactly. I really think it’s much more the border-crossing, not-as-separate-as-elsewhere piece.

                *shrugs* I might’ve clarified this before and I didn’t, but my grandfather’s older brother spoke Gaelic as a first language and he wouldn’t have called himself British even if you asked him point blank. (Nor would we call ourselves “old stock Canadians,” any more than I’d say “pure laine.”) We were Scots, on that side of the family (and my other side of the family was Irish with a capital I and just wouldn’t even talk about WW1… if you brought it up the subject changed to the Easter Rising more or less immediately. this despite having something like 70 percent Scottish blood and 10 percent English (plus a splash of Calcuttan!) on that side. Nope.. Irish, Easter Rising, perfidy of the British, etc. … probs b/c the Irish guys in the family tree were the patriarchs, etc.)

                I only had one Anglophile grandparent, and she was a pacifist-except-for-WW-2.

                … but whether one cared for the British crown or not, the French *and* scottish-english-welsh-cornish relatives were in it, you know? And it bothered all my grands that the US didn’t come in early even if they wished the war hadn’t happened at all and thought it was a shameful waste of life. .. it pretty much only came up wrt WW1, and tbh I think they were more resentful that the US didn’t back *them* up (a sentiment shared by the other side of the family as well) than that they had obligations to the English or French.

                WW2 was seen, as you say, as transcending national obligations. When I told my mum that a friend of mine’s (American) dad had joined the RAF to get in on it earlier, she said “I hope you shook his hand!”

                The only time she’s ever said that about somebody… I felt like she was channeling some older relative :D.Report

  12. North says:

    Liberal of course.Report

  13. scott the mediocre says:

    Would the Stein/Baraka voter be willing to stand up? I would be very interested to hear your rationale: what you were trying to signal.Report

    • Will H. in reply to scott the mediocre says:

      Wasn’t trying to signal anything.
      I voted for the person I wanted to be President.Report

      • scott the mediocre in reply to Will H. says:

        Thanks, Will.

        By “signal”, I meant that the probability of the Stein/Baraka ticket (assuming you voted for both) winning was sufficiently close to zero that voting for them was even more of an expressive act for you than my extremely reluctant vote for Clinton was for me: in an alternate universe where I personally got to pick who was going to be president out of the set recognized on my California ballot (we have severe limitations on writeins in Federal elections) I would have really struggled -even more than I did in reality – between Johnson/Weld and Clinton/Kaine. I concluded that it was more important to signal that Clinton/Kaine was just barely acceptable (and Trump + anyone utterly unacceptable).

        So, what it is that made Stein/Baraka your choice – what in the Green platform did/do you like? It’s surprising to me given that you seem generally right leaning – if you just told me that you voted third party I would have guessed Johnson or maybe McMullin.

        BTW, how much of Baraka’s rhetoric over the last say decade do you more or less sign on to?Report

        • Will H. in reply to scott the mediocre says:

          I knew there was no way I could vote for Clinton, and the thought of voting for Trump was repugnant to me.
          By contrast, I saw the last two elections before that as having two good candidates fielded (i.e., Obama/McCain & Obama/Romney), for the first time in my adult life.
          So, from the initial position of ruling out both major parties, I began to look at third parties.
          I saw Stein speak, and I agreed with what she was saying.
          There is not any one thing that made me vote for her. It’s more that there were no deal-breakers there.

          Not familiar with Baraka, and I’m ok with that.
          I voted for McCain in spite of Sarah Palin.

          I disagree with that “foregone conclusion” line of thinking.
          At risk of being inflammatory, I was thinking about that earlier today w/r/t the Civil War.
          Briefly, I view anyone saying the Civil War was caused by slavery as simplistic on the level of a geocentric solar system, in that, were slavery the main issue, it is much more likely that the U.S. would have kept slaves well in to the Industrial Revolution, if not past the turn of the century. Slavery was central to the war, yes; but there was something else that happened, else there would have been no war.
          I now believe that was, more or less, miscalculations of a particular nature on the part of the Southern states; specifically, in underestimating what they were up against.
          First, they believed Lincoln was a pacifist, due to his opposition in Congress to the Mexican-American War. They never expected to be met with military force.
          Secondly, as a unified political force, they had consistently out-maneuvered the factional abolitionists time and again. They had no reason to believe those factions would ever come to an agreement amongst themselves long enough to act in unison.
          Third, they relied on nullification, which Madison and Jefferson had endorsed w/r/t the Alien & Sedition Act, but failed to recognize that this had effectively been laid to rest some decades previously.
          Now, had the Southern states been cognizant of these facts, there is a good chance they would have acted differently and war would have been averted.
          As it stands, they relied on (what ultimately proved to be) inadequate information, and plowed blindly ahead into a situation they would have done well to avoid.

          But I was thinking, more or less, about the factions of abolitionists, and how they bound together.
          When people come together, things get done.
          That’s why I voted for Stein– presenting a unified front, waiting for others to come to their senses.Report

          • scott the mediocre in reply to Will H. says:

            Thanks, Will. I completely get being unwilling to vote for Clinton. I have a hard time imaging any other 2016 republican candidate (Carson, probably) that would have led me to voting Clinton.

            I don’t agree with ignoring Palin – that was an important decision for McCain to make and he blew it big time (compare e.g. Ryan who was a perfectly reasonable and qualified choice for Romney). OTOH, compared to Trump she’s a paragon of rectitude – my take is that her WWC cultural resentment is more or less the real thing, rather than a combination of showmanship for the marks and personal grievance as in Trump’s case.

            That’s an interesting take on the runup to the War of Southern Secession (I call it that because the Southerners were not trying to grab control of the [Federal] state, as is usually in play in a civil war. I think a few other wars commonly called civil wars are at least partly misnomers as well, e.g. the terminal stage of the Nigerian Civil War, although you could argue that the attempted Biafran secession was just the last act of the by-then desperate Igbo).

            Your thesis would make a great monograph. I don’t agree with the part of it that says the secessionist leadership would have taken a different path had they known Lincoln would not let them go peacefully and that he would be able to rally the North in support of war. I’ve read a fair amount of period documents, including some letters from secessionist leaders that I have no reason to doubt represented their true feelings. It does not seem like any of them seriously considered the possibility that they would be defeated militarily and conquered* Most seemed to think that if it came to battle, the South would whup the Yankees (as indeed they did several times) and that would be the end of it.

            Is there any reading, particularly of contemporaneous documents rather than post-facto apologia, that you think particularly backs up your thesis that the secessionist leaders would have behaved differently had they recognized the real possibility of losing at war? I could, I think, point you to speeches the gist of which was “better death than give up slavery”, but I interpreted those very public speech acts as competitive signalling exercises. I did not come across the same thing in the personal letters, but that might just be sampling error on my part.

            *Assuming you think/agree that’s what happened; I’m less sure: the former Confederacy was occupied for a while, certainly, but I’m not sure they were actually conquered in the sense that way Germany was; the fact that you allude to that most of the abolitionists did not necessarily think that the former slaves were really first class citizens played into the ease with which the occupation was ended.Report

            • Will H. in reply to scott the mediocre says:

              My take is that Palin was more of a Dan Quayle-type than a Dick Cheney-type, and so, I wasn’t much concerned.

              The only hopefuls on the R side that I felt I would be unable to consider were Trump & Cruz. I stayed true to that as well.

              I thought about going with the “foregone conclusion” of the divine right of kings, which was unalterable reality for both Charles I and Louis XVI, up until one day.

              From what I have read, Lincoln had no intent of using the office of the Presidency to abolish slavery, but was committed to stopping its spread to “let it die a natural death.” Slavery would likely have endured through the Lincoln presidency were it not for secession.
              For that matter, there can be little doubt that the South would have fared better under a Reconstruction headed by Lincoln. With Johnson in the White House and Chase over the high court, the odds of the former Confederate states doing well post-war were effectively nil.
              Yes, I would say there is little doubt that the South was conquered. The significant insurgence arising later seems more a product of Reconstruction than the War, assured vehemently by Johnson & Chase, and unwittingly assisted by CJ Waite.*

              It is odd how the former confederates who made peace and sought amnesty later conducted themselves; e.g. Robt. E. Lee as the president of a university (though still referred to as “the General”), and CJ Edw. White. It looks like Lee was a calming presence, and the former Confederate soldier, White, (IMHO) the first decent Chief Justice since Marshall.
              I believe, overall, our view of the Confederacy is distorted by severe recency bias, in that the Klan came between that time and our own; when the Klan (particularly that of the 1920’s) was of a much different mindset than the Confederacy. As many as were ardent for secession among the confederates, there were as many who went reluctantly, while this was not the case for the Klan; different goals, etc.

              * I don’t dislike Waite; in fact, I believe he was a good judge. But he was more a Jacksonian Democrat w/r/t federalism than what was needed at the time; the right man in the wrong place.Report