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Category Archives: Libertarian

Dec 3 Dec 3 Texas Libertarians Win Temporary Injunction on Ballot Filing Fees – The Amarillo Pioneer

Posted: December 6, 2019 at 2:43 am

Texas Libertarians were greeted with good news on Tuesday, winning a temporary injunction against a new law enforcing filing fees against third-party candidates in the state.

Judge Kristen Hawkins issued the temporary injunction on Tuesday in Dikeman v. Hughs, restraining Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs and Harris County from enforcing filing fees against third party candidates. The law, which was passed during the 2019 legislative session, requires candidates seeking the nomination of third parties with ballot access to pay the same filing fees as candidates seeking the Republican or Democratic nomination for an office.

In a statement, plaintiff Neal Dikeman, who was also the Libertarian Partys 2018 nominee for the U.S. Senate, praised the decision.

It is a testament to Texas' shift to a battleground state that the Republican controlled legislature would risk a constitutional challenge just to limit the competitiveness of races and keep Libertarians nominees off the ballot, Dikeman said.

The temporary injunction, specifically, prevents the Secretary of State from refusing to certify third-party nominees for the general-election election ballot on the ground that the nominee did not pay a filing fee or submit a petition in lieu thereof at the time of filing or any other time, and from refusing to accept or rejecting applications for nomination from third-party candidates on the grounds that the applicant did not pay a filing fee or submit a petition in lieu thereof at the time of filing or at any other time.

Candidates are currently filing for spots on the ballot, with the deadline set for December 9. If you are interested in running for office on any partys ticket in 2020, you are asked to contact your county chairperson for additional details.

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Lincoln Chafee is coming back to Iowa, with yet another party affiliation – The Gazette

Posted: at 2:43 am

The most interesting candidate from the 2016 presidential race has a new political home, and hes making plans to visit Iowa next year in what appears to be another shot at the White House.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafees campaign last cycle was widely mocked by political elites. He appeared in just one Democratic presidential debate, where his most memorable TV moment was telling the CNN moderator that he was being being a little rough in criticizing Chafees vote in the U.S. Senate to repeal banking regulations.

Chafee dropped out of the race fewer than two weeks after the debate. Now hes back in politics, under a new political banner.

Chafee changed his official residence to Wyoming this year, and took the opportunity to update his party registration after being a Republican, and independent and a Democrat at various times in his political career. Chafee said the Libertarian Partys values aligned most closely with his own.

Anti-war, anti-deficit, in favor of the 4th Amendment and gay rights, anti-capital punishment. Thats me, Chafee told me in a recent phone interview.

Chafee is scheduled to attend the Libertarian Party of Iowas state convention next February, alongside at least three declared Libertarian presidential candidates. For now, Chafee says hes only getting involved and meeting new people, but he has made zero effort to refute media speculation that hes planning another bid for the presidency, this time as part of a third party.

The two leading leftist candidates for president Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both faced questions about their loyalty to the Democratic Party. Warren was a Republican until the 1990s, while Sanders has identified as and run for office as an independent for most of his life. Another Democratic candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, has been accused by party elites of being a Republican plant.

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On the Republican side, President Donald Trump has previously been registered as a Democrat and an independent, while donating to candidates from both major parties. One of his challengers for the 2020 GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, was a Libertarian Party candidate for vice president last cycle.

Trump challenger is part of great American party-switching tradition

But nobody running for president has as peculiar a political history as Chafee, who has run for state or national office as a Republican, a Democrat and an independent.

Chafee was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1999 as a Republican after the seat was left vacant by his own fathers death. He won reelection as a Republican the next year, served one full term, and was defeated in 2006 by a Democratic challenger.

After leaving the Senate, Chafee registered as an independent and endorsed his former Senate colleague Barack Obama for president in 2008.

In 2010, Chafee was elected governor of Rhode Island as an independent, with a narrow plurality over the Republican and Democratic candidates, making him the countrys only no-party governor at the time.

As governor, Chafee switched again to be a Democrat, in part because there was no national political support for independent governors. However, he was seen as a vulnerable incumbent and ultimately decided not to seek reelection.

Chafee is quick to point out that his registration has varied, but his position on important issues has stayed the same: I have not waffled or changed.

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To the extent Chafee is discussed in national politics at all these days, he is defined by his quirks the poor debate performance, the unauthorized Lincoln Chafees Dank Meme Stash page on Facebook, or his weirdly intense dedication to transitioning the United States to the metric system, to name a few.

Its an unfortunate and unfair characterization for a political figure who is saying something different from anyone else on the national stage. His prosperity through peace platform from 2016 emphasized a realistic foreign policy, not so hellbent on policing the world and raising tension with foes.

Chafee hopes polarizing and unpopular candidates nominated by the major parties in 2020 will propel a third-party candidate to greater success.

This 2020 has potential to be very, very unique depending on who the Democrats nominate. Certainly, President Trump has his base core, but with the daily chaos I think the potential is going to there for something to be very different, he said.

Comments: (319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

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Minor parties face major obstacles in New York – The Daily News Online

Posted: at 2:43 am

Daily News Columnist

Up until last week 2019 was a good year for the Libertarian Party in New York.

In 2018, Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe ran a spirited gubernatorial campaign. His voice and vision were so fresh, so different that he became the only political candidate this writer has ever endorsed in 14 years of this column. Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers shared my assessment and cast votes for Sharpe. By surpassing the States 50,000-vote threshold, the Libertarian Party (LP) gained true ballot access in 2019 for the first time ever in the LPs 47-year history in the Empire State.

Feeding off the energy of Sharpes efforts and the very-important ballot access which led to the Partys increased visibility and viability in New York, more people joined the LP (36% growth since February) and more people ran for the LP (there were 60 candidates on local ballots throughout the State in Novembers elections). Seven Libertarians won their elections and, come 2020, they will be serving a variety of roles from city councilman to town clerk to district attorney.

But, after all those successes came news last week from the States Commission on Public Finance that could potentially close-off inroads being made by the Libertarians and other so-called third parties.

Instead of achieving ballot access by securing 50,000 votes in the race for governor every 4 years, the minor parties would, under the Commissions plan, have to requalify every 2 years by receiving either 2 percent of total votes or 130,000 votes in a presidential year or 140,000 in a gubernatorial year.

The nine-member commission, made up solely of Democrats and Republicans, looked at this as throwing a bone to the third parties as the original proposal called for a minimum of 250,000 votes per executive election.

130,000 is just as bad as 250,000 when it comes to ballot access. Its still a quantum leap from todays standards and it creates a significant hurdle for parties attempting to woo electors and elected to the fold.

How significant?

Of the most popular minor parties in New York only the Conservative Party would have been left standing after 2018s election were the rules in play, they having secured nearly 239,000 votes. Struck from 2019 and 2020 ballots would have been the Libertarians and parties that have for the most part become widely-recognizable across the state Working Families, Green, Independence and the Serve America Movement.

The loss of ballot access makes things very difficult for those that want to break up the status quo.

Rather than putting all of their grassroots and administrative efforts in developing ideas, candidates, and support the unqualified parties have to complete a petition process in order to get a candidate listed on the ballot.

Of course, the Commission has chosen to make that more difficult, too. Currently, it takes 15,000 signatures. Under the commissions plan minor parties will need 45,000. Just imagine the roadwork, hustle, and hassle that is needed to canvas the state for 3 times as many John Hancocks than are needed now.

Removing ballot access from a party also removes some democratic principles from party members. An unqualified party is unable to have a primary for state-wide offices. That means its up to party heads to decide whos running under their title; its not up to the people of the party. That not only silences different voices it can also lead to infighting among the power brokers of the party.

This is all part of the Commissions plan.

They want the infighting.

They want alternative ideas to be quieted.

They want the minor parties to be unrecognizable and forgettable.

They want the two-party system to continue its domination.

They want to control every one of us and everything we do.

Its not the least bit coincidental that the de facto chairman of the Commission is Jay Jacobs, the head of the states Democratic Party. It was a commission doing the work of the two Parties, not of the many People. If the Commissions very significant policy changes dont tell you that they think the minor parties could really pose a threat to their power, then nothing will.

Some will say thats conspiracy talk, that minor parties are meaningless and can have no positive impact. I could say the same about the major parties.

Look around the state. What have Governor Cuomo and his Democratic cronies done to improve our economys standing? What did Governor Pataki and his Republican cohorts do to stave off economic decline? Nothing and nothing.

Look around the country. Too many Americans are all-in with the Democrats or the Republicans. That partisan divide has made our nation an ugly mess.

It time for something a little different, even if that difference is sprinkled in a little at a time.

The LP won 7 seats this year. Thats where revolutions start.

State commissions? Thats where revolutions end.

Bob Confer is a Daily News columnist and president of Confer Plastics. He can be reached at bobconfer@juno.com. You can follow him on Twitter @bobconfer.

The fork ratings are based primarily on food quality and preparation, with service and atmosphere factored into the final decision. Reviews are based on one unsolicited, unannounced visit to the restaurant.

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Pros and Cons of Public and Private School – The Libertarian Republic

Posted: at 2:43 am

Schools have been always a good source of primary education. Most parents admit their child to school at the age of 3. School is the second home of a child. Teaching is a separate thing and making sure that the student learns is another thing. Schools make sure students learn by giving assignments (assignmentgeek), quizzes, class test, and many other methods.

Furthermore, school plays a vital role in building a childs character. That is one of the reasons why parents should find a good school.

When it comes to school, you will find two types of school. One is public school while the other is the private school. Both schools have different perks. In other words, both schools have pros as well as cons. In this article, we will talk about both the pros and cons of public and private schools.

Private schools owned by people. In simple words, these schools arent controlled by the government. However, the course pattern is almost the same as in public schools. The books might be different but in the end, the course learning outcome is the same.

One of the biggest advantages is that the classes are smaller. This means that the environment will also be small. Since the classroom is small, the teacher can give attention to all students. This will increase the learning process so that students can understand everything.

The private school doesnt only focus on quality education but they also focus on other activities. You will find extra classes such as PE, music class, art class, etc.

However, the curriculum is the same but, in private schools, they design it in a way to make it more challenging than public school.

One of the biggest problems is the fees. A private school charges a lot of money. This is not easy for every parent to afford such expensive schools. Moreover, because of small classes, it is not easy to secure admission in private schools.

The teachers are not qualified in public schools. In other words, mostly teacher doesnt have a teaching degree (which is one of the requirements set by the accreditation board).

Since the school has less space, therefore not many sports activities can be carried out. In a few private schools, your child needs to pass their entrance exam otherwise they wont offer the admission.

Public schools are controlled by the government. This means that the government takes care of everything from classrooms to the quality of education. There are many positive points as well as defects in public schools.

Public school is free for all children. This means that even if parents cant earn that much to pay tuition fees, they can always think about public school. The school is supported by the government. In other words, the government provides all the funds.

There is no need to pick and drop your child because public school provides transportation facilities. They have big busses and they almost cover all the important places in your city.

One of the amazing parts of public school is that they hire qualified teachers. These teachers meet all the requirements such as the degree of teaching, etc. Not to forget about sports activities. Public school keeps students engage in all kinds of activities from sports to art.

In this case, if a child contains disabilities, there is nothing to worry about because public schools also provide special services. Furthermore, they wont charge you a penny for the special services because it is a part of the Exceptional Student Education program.

Since classes have large therefore it will become hard for the teacher to give attention to all students. However, few public schools dont have such a big environment which results in great teacher-student interaction.

Another problem because of a large number of students causes funding problem. The fund (provided by the government) is not much and that is why the quality of education is decreasing day by day because they cant hire teachers.

There is a serious issue of the bad attitude of students towards others. Bullying, fighting, and many other bad behaviors are found in public schools. Last but not least, in public schools, the region cant be expressed.

School is the place where a child receives an education. It is the responsibility of the school to build up childrens character. There are two types of schools, public schools, and private schools. Both schools have different advantages as well as disadvantages. Parents should look up all the pros and cons of both school then decide what which school will be best for their child.

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The successes and failures of the Free State Project – Manchester Ink Link

Posted: at 2:43 am

A Porcupine, mascot animal of the libertarian party.

Authors note: The FSP mentioned here should not be confused with the Freedom Socialist Party.

In July of 2001, a Ph. D. Student at Yale University named Jason Sorens wrote an article highlighting the failures of libertarian activism and what might be done to further the cause of personal human liberty. The traditional method of capturing government power and influence through elections in order to reduce such power and influence simply was not working. The Libertarian Party had been around for almost 30 years by that point, having been formed in December of 1971 in response to growing concern over the Nixon Administration, the War in Vietnam, military conscription, and a move away from an economic gold standard of currency. In those thirty years, the party largely failed to accomplish any of its goals. It had only one single electoral vote in 1972 from the presidential candidacy of John Hospers and Theodora Nathan.

Up until 2001, with the exception of Ron Pauls candidacy in 1988, a series of political unknowns ran, gaining less than one percent of the popular presidential vote each time. To this day, the Party has not elected a single Representative or Senator to Congress. What victories the party has enjoyed, few and far between though theyve been, have largely come in state and municipal elections. Those victories have generally not been enough to sway federal, much less state, policy on a long-term basis.

A new approach other than electoral politics had to be adopted. Rather than working as disparate voices in the wilderness talking about government overreach and political corruption, libertarians would be better served congregating together in a single state in order to form an island of small government activity in a nation going increasingly mad with unwieldy government power. Such was the idea.

The number set by Sorens was 20,000 libertarian activists moving to a single state he called a Free State Society. In 2003, New Hampshire was chosen as the state where libertarians would settle, with Wyoming coming in second place. Thirteen years later, Free State Project (FSP) President Carla Gericke announced that 20,000 people had signed a declaration of intent to move. The number of people who had actually moved to New Hampshire was far less than this, coming in just under 5,000.

A person who moves for the Project is called a Free Stater. Such people settle in various parts of the state. Concentrations of Free Staters can be found in Portsmouth, Keene, Manchester, Concord, and other regions. Some Free Staters choose to live in small towns; others choose to live in densely populated areas. Their stated, overt goal is to overthrow the New Hampshire state government through an election process to establish a small, libertarian government which favors the individual over the state.

Tiffany Hale, who moved in 2017, reports in the Free State Projects Movers Stories blog that she was incredibly happy with her decision to move to Berlin. She writes, We have been welcomed with open arms into the community (FSP and otherwise). Were so happy to be here; making the move was definitely right for our family! It was emotional to leave family, friends, and all things familiar, but now that were here we couldnt be happier!

Elliot Axelman, who prefers to be called Alu, moved from New York. He writes, Eight months have passed since we moved here, and I maintain that it was the best decision Ive ever made. We have excellent jobs; weve made great friends inside and outside of the liberty movement; and we are living in a beautiful apartment. Unlike in NYC, its likely that you can afford to live in the apartment or house you desire in New Hampshire.

Participants identifying themselves as Robert and Carol moved together as a couple from Wisconsin. Robert writes, The people here are wonderful. The area offers so much from outdoor adventure to excellent shopping. We are within an hour of mountains, Boston, the seacoast, and some of the countrys most beautiful, clean and breathtaking forests, trails and waterways.

Tony Jankowski came to New Hampshire as a Free Stater and fully intends to return, but had to leave for a career move to Portland, Oregon.

There is no better place for a person to raise their children and no better, no more a diverse community than that of Free Staters and other porcupine, Jankowski said.

These are some of the experiences participants have had since moving to New Hampshire in search of personal human liberty.

Their guiding philosophy is the Non-Aggression Principle, also called the NAP, which states unprovoked violence against another person is wrong. Such violence is often found through state measures such as forcible confiscation of property and excessive force on the part of police officers toward average citizens. While this certainly sounds appealing in principle, in practice, things havent always gone smoothly.

In 2016, after arguing that 14 year olds are capable of consenting to sexual activity with adults, Ian Bernard, also known as Ian Freeman, was expelled from the Free State Project. He had been a participant for 10 years. A week later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation served a warrant at 73 Leverett Street in Keene, NH after a months-long child pornography sting. Later that year, Bernard ran for Governor of New Hampshire as a Democrat.

Bernard had long been a part of a libertarian radio show called Free Talk Live. The show regularly featured Christopher Cantwell who was expelled from the Free State Project in 2013 for advocating violence against government agents. (He would remain bitter about it for at least another year when another post appeared on his blog highlighting what had happened). Since then, Cantwell has become infamous for being the Crying Nazi of Charlottesville. He has become an unapologetic white supremacist who argues for selective genocide based on ones political ideology

He was also a part of a group called The Free Keene Squad who went around filming themselves harassing parking enforcement staff working for the city of Keene. While being interviewed for Comedy Central, Cantwell showed off his firearm and his proficiency with it. Whether or not he is still permitted to own firearms after beginning work as an FBI informant remains to be seen.

After seeing his friend expelled and seeing himself get expelled, Ian Bernard started a group called Shire Society, a cult-like group that requires each participant to sign a declaration similar to the Free State Projects iinformal agreement. Thus far, the Shire Society has done little more than congratulate itself on not banning pedophiles and white supremacists. They havent been committing physical violence against anyone by doing so.

On his website FreeKeene.com, Bernard has even gone so far to defend Cody Wilson, an anarchist who was charged with having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl he met on a website called SugarDaddyMeet. In August 2019, Wilson pled guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child. Prior to this incident, Wilson was scheduled to speak at the FSPs yearly February event called Liberty Forum based on his knowledge of 3D-printing firearms.

Another FSP participant named Aaron Day has gained ill repute by supporting Mike Gill, who accused certain New Hampshire residents of being heroin dealers. Day and Gill together lost a civil suit for defamation in which a jury awarded $274 million to the plaintiffs. Prior to this, Day would regularly run for public office in Bedford. In 2016, he ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate just to prevent incumbent Kelly Ayotte from being re-elected.

The Free State Project, meanwhile, has enjoyed a modicum of success running candidates for the New Hampshire State House. FSP participants Mike Sylvia, Glen Aldrich, Emily Sandblade, Mark Warden, and Elizabeth Edwards have at various times been fixtures in the states political process. Anywhere from 10 to 20 participants can be counted on to win elections in the legislature every year. Far more Free Staters run and do not succeed in getting elected.

While not exclusively so, most Free Staters who run for office do so as Republicans based on the ideals of small government who spends its money responsibly. This, as often as not, leads to a divide among the participants between those who are conservative and those who are not. Increasingly, more conservatives (rather than libertarians) appear to be active participants, making it difficult for left-leaning participants to have an equal voice or be taken seriously by others.

The infighting which takes place usually centers around a classical definition of libertarianism as advocated in the 19th century by writers such as Benjamin Tucker which was synonymous with state-free socialism and todays definition of libertarianism which is synonymous with anarcho-capitalism, a political ideology which arose from the works of economists Carl Menger and Ludwig von Mises, among others. The anarcho-capitalist philosophy traces its roots to Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations, who ironically was more politically left than those who espouse his ideas may realize. Left-libertarianism, or state-free socialism, has largely arisen from the works of Karl Marx, Peter Kropotkin, and Voltarine De Cleyre, among others.

While these two ideologies agree that centralized power is a net negative for society, left-libertarians would suggest that centralized power can be found in private organizations as well as public ones. An anarcho-capitalist would reply that all private authority depends on the consent of those who engage in it. A person who doesnt like their private authority figures simply needs disengage from them in order to obtain personal freedom.

Because the two sides have not been able to disagree, the Free State Project has not been able to offer a united front between all kinds of libertarians in order to achieve their goal. Indeed, as Jason Sorens observed in 2001 regarding the Libertarian Party, the Free State Project has yet to achieve its goals either of having 20,000 libertarians in the state or taking over the legislature.

When there is police overreach or government corruption, Free Staters are often among the first to respond. This was the case in 2016 when the police department of Manchester issued a shelter-in-place order for the West Side of the town in hopes of catching a fleeing suspect. The lockdown, as it came to be known, presented concerns as to whether community members were trading liberty for security.

The Free State Project soon protested these decisions in front of City Hall by holding signs for passers-by to view in their cars. The message presented that day was unambiguous: police officers should not take their authority too far. A counter-protest by other community members followed in support of their local police department.

While shelter-in-place orders have been used since then in Manchester, they did not have nearly the frightening, terrorizing aspect of the one from 2016 in which community members of Manchester were threatened by police officers who did not know whether or not they might be shot at any given moment.

The Free State Project is also known for alerting drivers of DUI checkpoints by holding up signs in the dark of night. The checkpoints, which are suspected of being a waste of resources, have long been disputed as an unnecessary disruption of someones day. While it is not under dispute whether drunk driving is a hazard for the public at large it is the checkpoints did little to reassure people that drunk drivers were actually being taken off the road among those who failed to see Free Stater signs, or who chose to ignore them completely. In 2018, after Representative John Burt claimed fewer than 1 percent of all drivers passing through such checkpoints are found to be driving under the influence, the statehouse passed a bill banning all DUI checkpoints throughout New Hampshire. As an alternative, roving patrols were suggested where police could identify anyone suspected of driving under the influence through erratic behavior. This was an unqualified success for the Free State Project, one of many it has enjoyed since it started in 2003.

Free Staters have long been activists for marijuana legalization. Legalization for medical marijuana passed in 2012 in both the New Hampshire House and Senate, only to be vetoed by then-governor John Lynch. Medical marijuana was later legalized and expanded upon by Governor Maggie Hassan. Based on the belief that a person should be able to do with their body what they please, the New Hampshire House has regularly considered whether various amounts of marijuana should be legal, and for what purpose. As recently as 2017, possession of of an ounce of marijuana is legal in the state of New Hampshire. Misdemeanor charges were also replaced with fines for the first three offenses; charges would only be brought after a fourth offense.

Despite their successes, the Projects participants most often remain hamstrung by their own need for ideological purity, if not outright terrible behavior toward their fellow human beings. The successes the FSP has won, which have often been small and incremental, remain overshadowed by the imperfect human nature of others. The Free State Projects reputation is often not the best with other New Hampshire community members.

When the move was triggered in 2016 by having 20,000 participants, a five-year window was opened during which time all interested participants from around the world could come to New Hampshire. If less than 20,000 people have moved by the year 2022, the Free State Project will reassess its current operations.

Editors note: The author moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in February of 2016 and has since withdrawn as a participant.

Winter Trabex is a freelance writer from Manchester and Inklink Community Contributor. Full disclosure: She moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in February of 2016 and has since withdrawn as a participant.

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The Bongino Report: The Newest Conservative News Aggregator – The Daily Wire

Posted: at 2:43 am

Yesterday, conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino released his new news aggregating website, the Bongino Report.

Advertised as an alternative to the Drudge Report, likely the most prominent extant conservative news aggregator but lately of an increasingly anti-Trump bent, Bonginos goal for his new site is to gather news, opinion pieces and video links from many different websites geared toward a conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist viewpoint.

Bongino has been teasing his new project for the last few weeks on his Twitter account:

The Bongino Report has been praised and endorsed by many prominent conservatives, including radio host Mark Levin, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), and commentator Raheem Kassam:

The site includes seven main categories: Top Stories, Election 2020, the Impeachment Witch Hunt, Culture War, Economy, Immigration, and All the Rest. It also includes a section highlighting recent conservative video content from YouTube.

Drudge, which came to prominence in 1998 during the Clinton impeachment, has been veering left-ward, and specifically anti-Trump, in recent months. This change by Drudge has even garnered the attention of President Trump himself, who has gone so far as to ask his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, to find out whats going on with Drudge.

Considering that the owner of the site, Matt Drudge, is notoriously private and quite elusive, we may never get an answer as to why the Drudge Report has changed.

According to Derek Hunter at Townhall:

How Drudge works is a mystery. Ive known several people who have worked for him as editors, taking various shifts updating the site as news changes. None have any insights into who Matt Drudge is as a person or what is happening with the clear negative slant the site has taken toward President Donald Trump, a man who was helped into the White House, in no small part, by the coverage of the Drudge Report.

According to The Washington Times, the site has been linking to sites that have a blatant anti-Trump bias, such as CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times. In contrast, the Bongino Report links today to openly conservative sites such as TheBlaze, The Federalist, Independent Womens Forum, and the Washington Examiner.

The Bongino Report is the newest of a group of aggregators seeking to rival Drudge, including Gab Trends, Citizen Free Press, Whatfinger News, Liberty Daily, Rantingly, and NewsAmmo.

Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show on Westwood One and a Fox News contributor, is also a three-time congressional candidate and former Secret Service agent during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations. He resigned in 2011 in order to run for the United States Senate in 2012. He also frequently guest-hosts for Levin and Sean Hannity, the third- and second-most listened-to radio shows in the country, respectively. He is also the author of five books, including Spygate and Exonerated, each of which discusses the Obama administrations rogue operations in sabotaging Trumps 2016 presidential campaign and later, his presidency.

The Bongino Report is a welcome alternative to Drudge for those who want their news from a strictly conservative standpoint.

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Webb: Billionaires for office | TheHill – The Hill

Posted: at 2:43 am

Its not the first time that billionaires have run for president of the United States but its becoming the norm and not all the reasons are dark as some present. Two successful businessmen and billionaires, Ross Perot and Steve Forbes, have run unsuccessfully.

Perot was an effective independent candidate even though he didnt win. This was a lost opportunity for independent-minded candidates and the Libertarian Party who couldve followed Perots run with building a stronger independent movement regionally and nationally. Instead the libertarian movement became the political home of former Rep. Ron Paul who never built a solid foundation.

More of the same old political playbook by the two major parties and self-interested politicians hindered the development of an independent partys development.

Forbes ran and launched the modern-day consumption-based tax movement. Whether you favor a fair tax or flat tax, it is now part of the political discussion though not always in the headlines.

A recent HuffPost headline Bloombergs Presidential Bid Comes Amid A Golden Age For Super-Rich Politicians takes the billionaire from behind the scenes handing out the money to win campaigns and places said billionaires in front, at the podium, asking for votes.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE is the first billionaire United States president and he spent only $66 million of his own money in the 2016 election. Billionaires can self-fund campaigns and have done so at many levels of government: one example, Jim Justice the governor of West Virginia. Trump proved its the voters who make the decision not the money put into the race.

Billionaire Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Teamsters to host presidential forum with six 2020 Democrats Booker notes 'anger' over more billionaires than black candidates in 2020 race MORE was running for impeachment before he decided to run for president. So far, his most remembered moment is the tie he wore in his inaugural Democratic debate. He was not a factor in his second appearance, but he has the money to stay in the race and has proven he has the will to spend whatever is necessary. Hes not as good a politician as a businessman because the return on investment politically has been so far unrealized.

Enter Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Clinton still 'disappointed' Sanders held off on endorsing her in 2016 Booker notes 'anger' over more billionaires than black candidates in 2020 race MORE. He has enough money to buy the presidency, if he could, but can he? One things for sure, Bloomberg knows how to allocate capital and apply it in the political realm. Bloomberg has a track record of spending whatever is necessary to achieve his political goals. He bought his way into Gracie Mansion in New York City for the third time at the cost of $102 million and in his three mayoral races combined, he spent roughly $250 million. The last win was a narrow margin but in politics there is no second place.

Bloomberg then spent $100 million on the midterm elections to help Democrats achieve a House majority in 2018. Sure, looks like he was setting the stage, or buying the stage, so he could step on and run for president. Thats not going to cut it with many in the anti-billionaire Democratic field.

He laid out his platform in his announcement and two key points of the Bloomberg platform should concern Americans. Guns and taxes or more accurately anti-gun and pro-taxes.

Millions of Americans legally buy guns, but Bloomberg is spending tens of millions of dollars and buying political power at the state levels to stop Americans from being able to buy or own guns. He does this through his heavily funded organization, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which brought in $69.5 million in total revenue last year according to their 990 tax form.

He spent locally with state legislatures and $2.5 million in the recent Virginia elections. Virginia state Sen. Richard Saslaw (D) just introduced SB16 which is a legislative gun grab. If passed it would instantly expand the definition of an assault firearm to cover many different semi-automatic rifles and pistols, effectively creating felons out of law-abiding Virginians.

At the International Monetary Funds 2018 Spring meeting, Bloomberg argued that taxing the poor is a good thing. I thought Democrats wanted to tax the rich so the poor could get their fair share. I guess Bloomberg didnt get the memo from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Hello Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE, you may not believe billionaires should exist, but you and the billionaire agree on taxes going up for middle-class Americans and even the poor.

Oddly enough, many of these capitalist-made billionaires are now pushing heavy-handed, even socialist styled government control of our lives. What is it about these elitists who feel they know better how we should run our lives?

Bloombergs entry is a good news/bad news situation for the Democrats. For the left-wing base, the party leadership has a problem with appeal from non-left-wing candidates and risks base voters staying home on Election Day.

This does present a potentially interesting situation in the form of a brokered convention. Bloombergs plan to participate in Super Tuesday on March 3 gives him plenty of time to ramp up. With California a part of Super Tuesday, if he is able to capture enough early primary votes, its more likely he wont surpass the other candidates in the field. This brings the primary field to Milwaukee for the DNC convention.

This could be contentious and confusing for the Democratic primary base. Will the left wing of the Democratic base play ball with the establishment decision? Democrats have big decisions to make both at the leadership level and at the voting booth. Its not just the presidency but the future of the Democratic Party thats on the line.

I will be there to watch it all play out and thanks to media and social media so will you. Politics is now a popcorn sport and policy will take a sideline to the publicity.

Webb is host of The David Webb Show on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of Reality Check with David Webb on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.

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Webb: Billionaires for office | TheHill - The Hill

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Floridas Supreme Court is more conservative than ever. Heres what it could do. – Tampa Bay Times

Posted: at 2:43 am

The following first appeared in the Buzz political newsletter, a weekly dive into the power, politics and influence shaping Florida from Political Editor Steve Contorno and the Tampa Bay Times politics team. To subscribe and receive it in your email inbox each week, click here.

If youve never heard of the Federalist Society, get familiar with it.

Its an organization of conservative and libertarian lawyers that is reshaping courts in America and in Florida. Heres how.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was a member at Harvard. He spoke to the group in October. Its members fill the seats of the states judicial nominating commission, a powerful, behind-the-scenes committee that serves as a gatekeeper to judicial vacancies.

When it was time to pick three new faces for the Florida Supreme Court, DeSantis first ran his choices through the Federalist Societys executive director. Thats how involved the organization is. The result is the most conservative Supreme Court in state history, one that is poised to make decisions that could change Florida forever. Here are some of the issues they will address in the near future.

Abortion. In 1989, the state Supreme Court struck down an attempt to make minors get parental consent for abortions. Thirty years later, abortion foes are hopeful a more conservative court will chip away at legal abortion. So theyre trying again. It failed last year. This year, its gaining momentum. Heres what we know.

School choice. In another edition of If at first you dont succeed, Florida Republicans were shot down by the Supreme Court in the 2000s when they tried to use taxpayer money for private school vouchers. DeSantis and Republicans passed a new voucher program this year that is on a collision course with the courts. Will justices side with Republicans this time?

Constitutional amendments. The fate of three proposed constitutional amendments lies in the hands of the high court. Attorney General Ashley Moody opposes all three. Assault weapons ban? Too vague, she said. Legalizing marijuana? Too long. Open primaries? Too misleading.

Will the court side with Moody, another Federalist Society disciple, or the petitioners who got these amendments on the ballot?

Amendment 4. Which Florida felons will get back their right to vote? The Supreme Court will decide. If you read the tea leaves, it sounds like theyre going to side with Republicans.

Gerrymandering. Florida lawmakers will draw new congressional and legislative boundaries in 2022. The state constitution says these lines cant be drawn to favor one party. Who has protected this in the past when Republicans tried to push through partisan maps? The Supreme Court. Would this court do the same? Time will tell.

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Lets look in the mirror – Meduza

Posted: at 2:43 am

On December 4, Moscows Kuntsevsky District Court continued hearing the case against 21-year-old Higher School of Economics (HSE) student and libertarian YouTube personality Egor Zhukov. Zhukov stands accused of issuing public calls for extremism: Prosecutors have argued that his videos on nonviolent resistance were motivated by political hatred and enmity to the constitutional structure extant in the Russian Federation as well as a desire to destabilize the countrys social and political order.

Zhukovs case, one of many that were brought forward during this summers wave of election protests in Moscow, has attracted widespread attention throughout the Russian opposition. Many of the videobloggers fellow HSE students as well as veteran journalists have openly supported him, calling the states reaction to his videos dangerously unfounded and expressing fear at the precedent his case may set. The editors-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta and Ekho Moskvy even submitted documents in court expressing their willingness to employ Zhukov as a journalist.

However, a smaller group of prominent activists involved in a longstanding fight to curb violence against women in Russia have expressed mixed feelings about their colleagues unequivocal support for Zhukov as a political figure, not only as a political prisoner. They note that the YouTuber has used his online platform to propagate anti-feminist views that, on a global scale, are typically considered to fall in the far right of the political spectrum. Those activists have focused in particular on a video in which Zhukov misrepresents the theory of intersectionality to argue that feminism is dangerous and the patriarchy doesnt exist while using a Make America Great Again hat as a desktop prop. Regardless of their disagreements, activists on all sides of the Russian opposition have found Zhukovs persecution to be illegitimate on its face.

Judge Svetlana Ukhnaleva will announce the sentence in Egor Zhukovs case on Friday, December 6. Prosecutors have asked for the student to be placed in a prison colony for four years. The following is a complete translation of the closing statement Zhukov read at the end of his 10-hour hearing on December 4.

The judicial proceedings taking place right now are dedicated primarily to words and their meaning. We have discussed specific phrases, nuances of diction, and interpretive possibilities, and I hope we have been able to prove to the honorable judge that I am not an extremist, both in terms of linguistics and in terms of common sense.

Now, I would like to touch on a few things that are more fundamental than the meaning of words. I would like to speak to the motives behind my actions, seeing as has addressed them as well. I would like to tell you about motives that are genuine and deeply felt. Motives that force me to be active in politics. Motives that drove, among other things, the videos I recorded for the YouTube channel Zhukovs Blog.

And heres where I want to start. The Russian government today positions itself as the last remaining defender of traditional values. As we have been told, it allocates much of its attention to the institution of the family and to patriotism. The key traditional value named in all this is Christian faith. Your Honor, it seems to me that this may even be a good thing. Christian ethics include two values that are truly close to my heart. The first is responsibility. At the foundation of Christianity lies a story about an individual who decided to take the weight of the entire worlds suffering onto his own shoulders. Its a story about a person who took responsibility in the maximal possible sense of the word. At its core, the central idea of the entire Christian religion is the idea of individual responsibility.

Secondly, theres love. Love thy neighbor as thyself thats the most important phrase in the Christian religion. Love is trust, compassion, humanism, mutual aid, and caring. A society built on that kind of love is a strong society it is, if you please, the strongest society that could possibly exist.

But in order to understand the motives behind what I do, it is enough to look at how the current Russian government which proudly presents itself as a defender of Christianity and, therefore, these values actually defends them. Before we talk about responsibility, we must first answer the question of what a responsible persons ethics are, what words they speak to themselves over the course of their life. I believe those words go like this: Remember that your entire path will be full of hardships, sometimes unbearable ones. All of your loved ones will die. All of your plans will be destroyed. People will cheat you and abandon you. And you will have nowhere to run from death. Life is suffering. Make peace with that fact. But once you make peace with it, once you make peace with the inevitability of suffering, take your cross up onto your shoulders anyway and follow your dreams because otherwise, everything will only get worse. Become a role model; become somebody people can count on. Dont bow down to despots; fight for the freedom of your body and soul, and fight for a social order in your country in which your children can grow up happy.

Isnt that what they teach us? Arent those the ethics that children learn in school? Arent those the kinds of heroes we honor? No. The current situation in this country destroys all possibilities for human flourishing. Ten percent of the richest Russians hold 90 percent of the countrys wealth in their hands. Some of them, of course, are extremely respectable citizens, but most of that wealth was gained through blatant corruption, not honest work for the good of humanity.

Our society is divided into two levels by an impermeable barrier. All the money is concentrated at the top, and nobody there is about to give it away. Meanwhile, on the bottom, all thats left is desperation, and that is not an overstatement. Because they understand that they cant hope for anything, and they understand that no matter how hard they try, they cant bring happiness to themselves or their families, Russian men take out all their fury on their wives or drink themselves to death or hang themselves. Russia has the highest rate of male suicides in the world for every 100,000 people. As a result, a third of all the families in Russia are single mothers with children. Is that how, Id like to ask, we defend the traditional institution of the family?

Miron Fyodorov [the star rapper Oxxxymiron], who has attended a number of my hearings, has noted very justly and accurately that alcohol is cheaper here than textbooks. The government creates all the conditions necessary for a Russian who must choose between responsibility and irresponsibility to choose the latter every time.

Now, lets talk about love. Love is impossible without trust. Real trust is born out of collective action. First of all, collective action is rare in a country where responsibility has not been developed. Second of all, if collective action does appear somewhere, security forces immediately perceive it as a threat. It doesnt matter what you do whether you help prisoners, whether you defend human rights, whether you protect nature sooner or later, either the foreign agent status catches up to you or they lock you up for no reason. The government makes its message very clear: Folks, just go off your separate ways and dont work together. Assembling publicly in groups of more than two is banned well lock you up for protesting. Working together for a social mission is banned well label you a foreign agent. In that environment, where can trust, and ultimately love, have room to grow? Not romantic love the humanitarian love that connects one person to another.

The only social policy the Russian government consistently employs is disconnection. Thats how the government dehumanizes us in one anothers eyes. In the eyes of the state, we have already been dehumanized for a long time. How else can you explain its barbaric treatment of its people? Treatment that is accentuated every day by the beating of police batons, by torture in prison colonies, by the choice to ignore the HIV epidemic, by schools and hospitals closing, and so on.

Lets look at ourselves in the mirror. Who have we become if we have let this be done to us? Weve become a nation that has forgotten how to take responsibility. Weve become a nation that has forgotten how to love. More than 200 years ago, [social critic] Alexander Radishchev wrote the following on his way from St. Petersburg to Moscow: I looked around me, and my soul was wounded with the suffering of men. I turned my gaze upon that which is inside me and beheld that the woes of man originate in man himself. Where are those people today? People whose souls feel such sharp pain at what is happening in their homeland? Why are there almost none of them left?

All of this leads us to the fact that, if you just take a look, it becomes apparent that the only traditional institution the current Russian government genuinely venerates and strengthens is autocracy. An autocracy that goes out of its way to destroy the life of anybody who genuinely wishes their homeland well, who is unafraid to love and to take responsibility. As a result, the citizens of our long-suffering country have had to learn that taking initiative draws punishment, that the bosses are always right just because theyre the bosses, and that happiness may be possible here just not for them. And having learned those lessons, they gradually began to disappear. According to [official] Rosstat statistics, Russia is gradually disappearing at the average rate of negative 400,000 people per year. You cant see the people behind the statistics. So see them! Youre looking at people drinking themselves to death out of exhaustion, people freezing to death in unheated hospitals, people who have been murdered, people who have killed themselves People. Just like us.

By this point, the motives behind what I do have probably become clear. I truly wish to see these two qualities responsibility and love in our citizens. Responsibility for ourselves, for those around us, for the entire country. Love for the weak, for those we hold close, for humanity. That is my desire just one more reason, Your Honor, that I cannot call for violence. Violence ties our hands; it leads to impunity and therefore to irresponsibility. For those same exact reasons, violence also does not lead to love. But nonetheless, despite all the obstacles, I dont doubt for a second that this wish of mine will come true. I look forward, over the horizon of years to come, and I see Russia full of responsible, loving people. It will be a truly happy place. Let each one of us imagine that Russia. And may that image guide you and your work just as it guides me.

In conclusion, I will say the following: If, today, the court rules despite it all that these are the words of a truly dangerous criminal, then the next few years of my life will be filled with scarcity and adversity. But I look at the guys the Moscow case has brought together with me at Kostya [Konstantin] Kotov, at Samarddin Radzhabov and I see smiles on their faces. In the minute we had to speak briefly in the pretrial detention center, Lyosha [Alexei] Minyailo and Danya [Daniil] Konon never allowed themselves to complain about life. I will try to follow their example. I will try to be glad of the fact that Ive gotten this chance to undergo this trial, this suffering, in the name of the values close to my heart. Ultimately, Your Honor, the more frightening my future is, the more broadly I will smile in its direction. Thank you.

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Lets look in the mirror - Meduza

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Common Ground on the Common Good – National Review

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Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019(Erin Scott/Reuters)Conservatives should be able to find it

In his speech to the Republican convention in 1988, George H. W. Bush said, I want a kinder and gentler nation. Nancy Reagan, the wife of the man he was trying to succeed, reportedly had an acerbic reaction: Kinder and gentler than whom? When Bushs son ran for president in 2000 as a compassionate conservative, others on the right were similarly unimpressed. Were plain old conservatives to be considered uncompassionate?

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) should have known what to expect, then, when in early November he spoke at Catholic University of America in favor of what he called common-good capitalism. Free markets have been serving the common good just fine, thank you, came the retort from many conservative and libertarian critics of the senator. If they look past a few mostly rhetorical points, however, the critics and Rubio may see that they can find common ground.

The goal of his speech was to contribute to our countrys holding together rather than to identify a third way forward between the two prevalent schools of thought in our politics or to define a post-Trump conservatism for the Republican party, Rubio insisted. But these alternatives are not incompatible with one another, and surely one of Rubios purposes was indeed to chart a course for conservatism after Trump.

That purpose presupposes, correctly, that conservatisms definition is up for grabs: that Trumps election exploded one definition but that Trump has not replaced it, at least in any detail. Even though Rubio mentioned the presidents name only once, while disavowing the goal of looking past him, Trump was in the background the entire time.

As the examples of the Presidents Bush suggest, though, there is by now a long history of Republicans attempting to create a governing majority for conservatism, or just to win elections, by softening its devotion to limited government and markets. Running in 1980, Ronald Reagan took care not to present himself as Barry Goldwater redux: He was not a threat to Social Security or Medicare, and his tax cuts would generate enough growth to avoid a painful retrenchment of the welfare state.

Later came Pat Buchanans conservatism of the heart complete with frequent invocations of Franklin Roosevelts line about the occasional faults of a benevolent government paling beside the constant ones of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference and Bushs compassionate conservatism.

As unusual as he is in many respects, as much of a jolt as he has given to the political system, Trump fits this pattern. He did not change a comma of Republican orthodoxy on social issues. But he ran as a Republican who would protect the elderly from entitlement cuts and manufacturing workers from imports.

In each case, politicians have thought, or intuited, that the great stumbling block between conservatism and voters was the fervor of conservative opposition to government activism. But the changes that these politicians attempted to make to conservatisms approach to markets have varied, as have the justifications they used and the results they got. So the nature of the pushback that each attempt received has also varied.

In the debate over Rubios speech, nine questions have divided conservatives. He has the better of the argument on some of these questions, but not all of them.

First: Should government intervene in markets to advance the common good? Here the debate has been inefficient in just the way a light bulb can be: The ratio of heat to light is higher than need be.

A common good is simply a good that individuals, families, and other subgroups within a society cannot obtain on their own. Assuming, for example, that a government must superintend the building of roads in order for a nation to flourish, it is advancing the common good by doing so. In moments of rhetorical abandon, some of Rubios critics might say that government exists only to protect individual rights. But none of them seriously denies that there is such a thing as a common good or that government should seek it.

The common good includes such prerequisites for functioning markets as the rule of law. And while Rubio did not emphasize these points, perhaps taking them for granted, the Catholic social thought on which he drew respects private property, contracts, and subsidiarity (the notion that it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do, to quote the 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo anno). That government should pursue the common good does not entail collectivism or a denial of the intrinsic importance of individuals, families, businesses, or churches. It does not imply the subordination of these things to the state any more than the rule of law does.

Second: How badly has our economy been performing? At Catholic University, Rubio was as grim as any of the Democrats running for president. The economy, he said, has stopped providing dignified work for millions of people. As a result, families splinter and children fall into poverty. We have witnessed an economic implosion. Our economic order, regardless of where we happen to be in the business cycle, is bad for America. While Rubio himself did not broach the topic, conservatives sympathetic to his argument have also asserted that wages have barely risen in 40 years.

The senator and his fans are, as the critics say, scanting our economys real achievements. Wages and benefits, when accurately adjusted for inflation, have risen, and not just for the highest earners. The child-poverty rate, with the same adjustment for inflation and including government benefits, is probably at an all-time low.

This question isnt decisive: Even if the economy has enabled many blessings, it might be possible to undertake reforms that would yield more of them; and even if our performance has been as bad as Rubio suggests, it does not mean he is on the right track in fixing it. But an accurate assessment of the economy is necessary to get a sense of the scale and nature of our problems, and Rubios is too pessimistic.

Third: How important is economic growth anyway? Rubio repeatedly points out that it is not enough. It wont by itself lead to dignified work, and it must be harnessed and channeled to the benefit of our country. In this speech, his emphasis was entirely on the channeling and harnessing of growth and not on the fostering of it. He may have chosen to focus on what he believes conservatives need to be persuaded to see rather than on what they already apprehend. But it was a mistake on his part. A healthy labor market that lets people find dignified work is surely correlated with economic growth, so encouraging it has to be an important element of the pursuit of the common good. (Saying that the economy should provide this work, as Rubio does, is not the most dignifying way of looking at it.)

The critics go too far in the other direction. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, William McGurn suggests that families would be better off with higher economic growth than with tailored tax credits tailored, that is, to benefit parents. Every pro-growth tax reform of the past 35 years has included this kind of pro-family policy, though, so the alternative that McGurn posits may not actually exist. It is also difficult to imagine a pro-growth tax reform that would benefit a family budget as much as an extra $1,000 in tax relief per child each year.

Fourth: To the extent the economy has been unsatisfactory, how many of our dissatisfactions are the result of trusting free markets too much? Listening to Senator Rubios speech, you would think we lived in a laissez-faire country. Looking at Senator Rubios legislative record, on the other hand, you would know better: He has again and again proposed reforms to existing government policies in the hope of improving American life. But if, as Rubio the legislator believes, our higher-education policies are an important obstacle to opportunity for all, then perhaps Rubio the speaker is giving us a misleading picture of our countrys problems when he dwells exclusively on the need for markets to be guided.

Fifth: Should companies be run for their shareholders? Rubio argues that we have taken the concept of shareholder primacy too far. Earlier this year, the Business Roundtable, a nonprofit group composed of nearly 200 top corporate executives, issued a new statement on the purpose of the corporation that abandoned any reference to that concept and instead said that companies should serve customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders, listing them in that order. The Wall Street Journal ran several editorials calling the statement a craven abandonment of free-market principles, and Rubio has been critiqued in similar terms.

The statement was, however, an accurate description of how business leaders see their role: They see companies as having multiple purposes, and they judge their success accordingly. Rubio speaks a bit more stringently of companies obligations to people other than their shareholders. Presumably he believes that government policies and our shared cultural understanding should encourage corporations to fulfill these obligations. If he means more than that if he wants to change the fiduciary responsibilities of corporate managers, for example he should say so.

Sixth: How should economic policies change to promote the common good better than they currently do? The critics so far have largely not argued that the principles Rubio has outlined, such as that government should pursue the common good, are wrong. Instead, they suggest that in practice a government run on these principles would be overbearing and destructive. But the specific policies that Rubio himself has advocated as parts of a politics of common good are not especially radical from a free-market point of view.

In his speech, Rubio mentioned a few of these policies: the child credit; an option to take Social Security benefits early to finance costs associated with the birth of a new child; an immediate write-off for the costs of business investment; a revamping of the Small Business Administration to support innovation; and the nurturing of a domestic rare-earths industry for national-security reasons. Most of these policies are defensible, if not quite natural, within a libertarian framework; all of them have ample and recent Republican precedents.

Seventh: Assuming that in principle the federal government has a broad role in pursuing the common good, is it prudent to grant it that role? Kevin Williamson, my libertarian-minded colleague at National Review, scorches Rubio for advocating quotas and price supports for sugar producers in his home state and especially for claiming a national-security justification for these policies. It would be too facile to move from the fallibility and corruptibility of government to the conclusion that governments should content themselves with being night watchmen. But notably absent from Rubios speech is the notion that what we know about government should make us cautious and restrained with respect to government power.

Eighth: How many of our problems are economic to begin with? Our falling life expectancy and birth rate are surely an indictment of something about our society, and it would be foolish not to look at economic trends and policies for part of the explanation. Even causes that on their face are non-economic are probably related to economics: A decline in manufacturing jobs in a community may well contribute to rising opioid abuse and falling marriage rates. Rubio, though, speaks as though economics were everything, which is a particularly glaring defect in a speech that attempts to articulate a view of government that breaks free from materialism.

Ninth: Is this really the future of the Republican party? Republican voters have never been the dogmatic free-market fundamentalists of caricature which is why all those previous attempts to redefine the party were conceivable and sometimes partially successful. The Republican coalition is changing, with a smaller proportion of its members having college degrees than in the past. As a result, it is becoming more open to policies that aim to protect the economically insecure.

But todays Republicans are still recognizably descended from yesterdays. Most of the people who voted for Trump in 2016 voted for Mitt Romney four years earlier. The party still favors tax cuts, which helps explain why Trump signed them. It still responds favorably to Reagans joke about the nine most terrifying words in the English language: Im from the government, and Im here to help.

In his Washington Free Beacon column, Matthew Continetti examines survey data on Republicans and finds that market skeptics are a minority, albeit an important minority. The part should not be mistaken for the whole. Thats true of the Republican coalition and true as well of the fragments of political philosophy that Senator Rubio has boldly sought to recover.

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Common Ground on the Common Good - National Review

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