Are libertarians Dupes? or Why do libertarians ignore the Binary Outcome?

Over at American Greatness, Edward Ring has an article titled Libertarians Are Marxist Dupes. In it, he shows some really scary facts:

In the 2016 election, the Libertarian Party candidate for President, Gary Johnson, attracted just over 4.5 million votes. The Leftist equivalent, Green candidate Jill Stein, received only 1.5 million votes demonstrating the superior understanding the Left has of political mechanics. Despite being a deeply flawed candidate, this Libertarian moved the national popular vote from a toss-up to a clear Clinton edge. In the Electoral College, Johnson’s influence was even greater.

At the state level in 2016, Gary Johnson very nearly handed crucial states to Clinton. In Pennsylvania, where Trump’s margin was a 1.3 percentage points, Johnson got 2.4 percent. In Wisconsin, where Trump won by 0.6 percentage points, Johnson got 3.7 percent. In Michigan, where Trump won by a razor thin 0.3 percentage points, Johnson got 3.6 percent.

So we see that Johnson, the Libertarian candidate had higher percentages than Trump’s win in these states. Attracting a few more votes could have turned things over the Clinton. Indeed, his margin in some states Trump lost was the factor.

Not only did Gary Johnson very nearly leave the “Blue Wall” intact for Democrats, he also took states out of play that might have been toss-ups. In Colorado, for example, Trump lost by 3.6 percentage points, but Gary Johnson got 4.7 percent. In Nevada, Trump lost by 2.7 percentage points and Johnson got 3.1 percent.

What about “purple states”? Florida went for Republican Trump in 2016 by a margin of 1.4 points, but Johnson got 2.2 percent. By 2020, assuming the biased media can continue to brainwash hundreds of thousands of recent Puerto Rican refugees into thinking Trump deliberately neglected their hurricane relief, Trump will need that 2.2 percent.

I am left aghast. Never Trumpers told me, in no uncertain terms that their votes did not matter, so they were going to vote for whomever they wanted. The Binary Outcome was denied. Still, we see here, by going after right of center voters, Libertarians may well have pushed the election over to Clinton. While I understand that libertarians don’t seem to see much, if any, difference between the Republicans and Democrats, any rational observer would be forced to conclude that the Republicans are more on the side of personal liberty and smaller government than the Democrats. Oh sure, not as much as libertarians want, but they are closer to the mark than the Democrats.

Now, in 2018, Ring points out:

The stakes in 2018 could hardly be higher, but Libertarian Party candidates don’t seem to care. In states where the races for U.S. Senate are too close to call, and in similar cliffhanger congressional races across the nation, Libertarian candidates are runningNone of them have the slightest chance of winning, but dozens of them are capable enough to attract two-percent or more. If more than a few of them do, Republicans will lose control of Congress.

Emphasis added.

What on Earth are libertarians thinking? What is helped by running races that they lose, know that they will lose, that may give the edge to the Democrats. Do libertarians actually believe that is no worse for the nation? Really?

First—and sorry to have to state the obvious—America is not a parliamentary system. Even if Libertarian Party candidates attracted five percent of the vote, that would not translate into 22 seats in the House of Representatives. These votes for Libertarian candidates will do only one thing: help Democrats win.

We need to quit indulging the preposterous talking point that Libertarian Party candidates siphon as many votes from away from Democrat candidates as they do from Republican candidates. No, they don’t. Libertarians, for all their incoherence, agree on one thing: smaller government. And Democrats, for all their incoherence, also agree on one thing: much bigger government. Get real.

Whatever may be the flaws of the Republican candidates and elected officials out there (and there are many), Libertarians need to grow up, and recognize a painful fact. The lesser of two evils is the lesser of two evils. The real world isn’t perfect. You take what you can get, because if you walk away, you’ll get something worse.

Libertarians, as a party, they have never been able to make the sale with the American people. Those voters they attract would have had a home with Republicans. There will be Democrats or Republicans in control. That is the brutal fact, and pitching a fit about it won’t change it. I am not saying that the Republicans have a right to anyone’s vote. I am saying that Libertarians seeking votes from the pool of voters on the right helps to elect Democrats. The math bears it out.


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I am so with David French on Police Shootings

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/police-shootings-david-french-changed-writing/

Moreover, there are legal doctrines that need to be reformed or abolished (such as qualified immunity, but that explanation requires a whole separate piece). And there should be a culture change in the way officers are taught to perceive risk, a culture change that thoughtful veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars could help initiate.

The police get too much leeway. Their job is not to come home at the end of the day, their job is to serve and protect. Their job is to die, if necessary, so that citizens don’t have to.


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I am not a “white nationalist” and I do not think “great swaths” of Republicans are either

Great swaths of Republicans are not just biting their tongues about Trump, they are convinced that his white nationalist path is the right one.

-Mona Charen, August 29, 2018

 

What an offensive thing to say. You can read the whole thing here. You cannot read it at National Review, because it seems it was an article too far for National Review. Ignoring the insane idea that using the a specific term is racist (apparently only for Republicans), I find it a huge slur on Republicans. I will leave that to others, such as National Review to condemn.

And what was the other thing she cited? Not changing the name of a building from one old guy to honor another less old guy. How conservative is it to jump on the renaming buildings bandwagon? For the record, I did not want to rename the National Airport Ronald Reagan National Airport. Unseemly. I am against naming roads and building after people, generally speaking, but I am totally against renaming them with whomever popular today. To me, being conservative means you honor a few people, truly worthy of it after good consideration. And they ought to have been gone a good, long while. And once done, leave it be. Find a new building. But no, those sentiments to Ms. Charen are evidence not of a conservative tendency, they are clear evidence that I am a white nationalist.

It is funny, by the way, because the person she wants to honor, is exactly the sort of person to go on and on about how great a former Senator was, regardless of how bad the man was in real life. How fitting, really, for a name change to be blocked on such grounds. McCain might even approve. I think he had a pretty good sense of history.

I understand that Ms. Charen does not like the direction of the current Republican Party. Indeed, I can see how she gets passionate and gets carried away. However, just as she is complaining about one word in a prepared speech, she uttered a sentence where she calls the majority of republicans supporters of white nationalism. Since she is unwilling to give any grace at all, then she herself deserves none. In fact, using the same logic as Ms. Charen, we can take this statement to look deep into her heart, and we can there see the burning contempt she has for the racists in the GOP. She clearly sees anyone willing to work with Trump as sell outs to save their skin: “Thus does cowardice masquerade as pragmatism.” And they are cowards in the face of the white nationalist Trump supporting voters, who are racists.

I applaud National Review for not running this column. It is the right thing to do, as a publisher to not publish a column that unfairly slurs others as racist. It is good business sense to not to publish a column that applies that slur to the paying readership of your publication.

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What if all focused on giving and receiving Joy?

Right now, it seems like all the forces are focused on bringing anger to the world. Imagine if each of us, instead of worrying about what others are doing wrong, spent all that energy focused on bringing Joy to others. Imagine, when someone tries to bring joy to us, we are able to actually accept it.

It is easier to focus on what is wrong. It is easier to hate another, and to be honest, to hate what we don’t like about ourselves. Our brains look for what is going off, so we can protect. But if we charge around in protection mode all the time, we are not doing more than just staying alive. It is not living and thriving.

I am going to try to focus on giving Joy and Receiving it more. I need God to help me on this one.


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To the Left, everyone on the Right Supports Trump

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/stephen-colbert-trump-jonah-goldberg-alliance/

This may make me pause in my idea that Never Trump hurts us.

Now, Jonah is no Jennifer Rubin, or Bret Stephens. He has approved of some of Trump’s policies. Still, to say he is a Trump ally is just wrong.

I guess we all look alike to them.


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The Challenge of Free Trade: How Does One Side Win When Everyone Cheats?

Posted this at Legacy: What do people think here?

I used to be a believer in Free Trade. No matter what, I thought the trade policy of America should be that there are no limits whatsoever to trade. If the other side had all sorts of restrictions, it did not matter, because it was always better for Americans on the whole to have total free trade. Why did I believe this? Because learned people said it was so, and that was good enough for me.

However, as I have aged, I have grown more an more uncomfortable with the idea that one side trading free and the other side putting up restrictions is always best for the most Americans. It is counterintuitive, to say the least. For instance, how can it be better for me as an American, that American farmers cannot sell their goods in the EU so that EU farmers are protected? How does that help Americans as a whole, exactly, when American farmers have to compete on an uneven playing field? Less competitive EU farmers get the benefits of higher prices, while American farmers have to run even leaner. How does that help the average American?

From a security standpoint, the US armed forces are buying electronics from one of our two rivals. I cannot imagine that the Chinese government is using this to spy on us somehow, but setting that aside, if we went to war with China, where will get the parts? It makes no sense to outsource a strategic industry to another nation. At least to me. I am sure it makes 100 percent sense to the Free Traders. All Free Trade, no matter what, all the time. Nothing is zero-sum, everything is win-win, even when the other partner is a geopolitical rival. Germany should not worry if it is dependent on Russia for its power, because that is the best way to get power, and if the whole Germany power industry goes down, well, that is just free trade to Russia. No worries.

So, I no longer believe in Free Trade at all times. If you are a free trader, I’d love to have my mind changed.


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My kids are fine. I don’t think “Gen Z” is that bad off.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/generation-z-depressing-look/

 

Generation Z appears to demand safety over intellectual discomfort on campus. It is too early to tell whether other students will push back against this campus shift in favor of open debate and academic freedom, but the trend is not at this moment favorable.

I do not agree. This is based on my kids, their friends, and the boys I have worked with as an Assistant Scout Master. Now these are all post 2000 kids, not yet in college, but to a one, they seem to ignore race, think there are only three genders (male, female, attack helicopter), and generally think that the heat of the left is something to be ignored at best, or laughed at at worst. Most tend to think Trump is a weird, wild man, but think it is more funny than serious. That seems to be the theme: All the rage of the Gen Y and Boomers is funny, not to be taken seriously.

Now, maybe I am biased here, but that is what I am seeing.


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Conrad Black: Decisive as Ever

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/donald-trumps-nato-allies-beleagured/

Many of the president’s EU counterparts are in deep water politically.

On the heels of my misguided intuition, expressed on another site last week, that Judge Coney was the president’s most likely selection for the Supreme Court vacancy, the president should be (but won’t be), commended for choosing the least controversial candidate, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The nomination of Kavanaugh, a Bush appointee and friend, may be taken as (but again probably won’t be) a conciliatory gesture to traditional Republicans. Whatever appearances, conservatives are placated, moderates have nothing to complain about, and an obviously highly qualified candidate is unlikely to be seriously damaged by the Democratic kamikaze attacks, which did not await the banal formality of having the name of the justice-designate before hurling themselves at the unnamed choice. Assistant Democratic Senate leader Dick Durbin bravely advised the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection to the Senate, those in states that went heavily for Trump two years ago, to sacrifice themselves, take one for the (shrinking) team, and fight the president’s nominee. There is no indication at this point that Trump needs any Democrats to get Judge Kavanaugh confirmed, or that some of the more vulnerable Democrats can win reelection, whatever their selfless histrionics over this issue

 

Read the whole thing!


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“Always” anything Always sounds like an article of Faith to me

So, over on the other site, I am being lectured about free trade. Apparently, war only destroys value, and trade always increases value. Now, I argued that war can create value in terms of technological advancement, but was told that, no, that is actually trade between government and the market, and as such, not “apart” (sic) of war. Further, trade always creates value, and if used as a weapon it is not trade.

Now, what I see going on here is changing the meanings of things to fit the template of faith. Once one makes a decision about how things are, one fits everything into that system. Here, “trade” is always a good thing that will increase “value” while “war” is always a bad thing that will destroy “value”. As such, any demonstration that war might bring value is turned into trade. If there is such a thing as using trade for destruction (say to run someone else out of business), then it is not real trade.

Anytime a complex system is treated with an “always” or “never” I always feel like I am walking into a faith system.

What do y’all think?


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AI Drivers

 

Liked this article on AI and cars. It hits many of my concerns. It also lays bare a classic programmer desire, that I hate. Namely, the desire to force everyone to change what they do, because it is to hard to get the software to adapt to us.

Drive.AI founder Andrew Ng, a former Baidu executive and one of the industry’s most prominent boosters, argues the problem is less about building a perfect driving system than training bystanders to anticipate self-driving behavior. In other words, we can make roads safe for the cars instead of the other way around. As an example of an unpredictable case, I asked him whether he thought modern systems could handle a pedestrian on a pogo stick, even if they had never seen one before. “I think many AV teams could handle a pogo stick user in pedestrian crosswalk,” Ng told me. “Having said that, bouncing on a pogo stick in the middle of a highway would be really dangerous.”

“Rather than building AI to solve the pogo stick problem, we should partner with the government to ask people to be lawful and considerate,” he said. “Safety isn’t just about the quality of the AI technology.”

I despise this mentality in software. Machines should adapt to me. The whole point of AI is that it is is smart enough to adapt to me, not the other way around. Outside of software, the whole concept of ergonomics is to adapt things to people. Inside software, the goal is to make people adapt, and in this case, adapt at the point of a gun.

I love this part too:

many companies have shifted to rule-based AI, an older technique that lets engineers hard-code specific behaviors or logic into an otherwise self-directed system.

A bunch of rules is not AI in my book. Oh, maybe it meets the why it is listed in the dictionary, but when we say “AI” people are thinking about something that learns, not something following a bunch of rules written by people.

Ann Miura-Ko, a venture capitalist who sits on the board of Lyft, says she thinks part of the problem is high expectations for autonomous cars themselves, classifying anything less than full autonomy as a failure.

Yes! Either it drives as well or better as a human, fully autonomously, or it should not be on the roads. Duh! That is the whole point. But, here we have one of our betters chiding us for believing the hype they sold.

One study by the Rand Corporation estimated that self-driving cars would have to drive 275 million miles without a fatality to prove they were as safe as human drivers. The first death linked to Tesla’s Autopilot came roughly 130 million miles into the project, well short of the mark.

But with deep learning sitting at the heart of how cars perceive objects and decide to respond, improving the accident rate may be harder than it looks. “This is not an easily isolated problem,” says Duke professor Mary Cummings, pointing to an Uber crash that killed a pedestrian earlier this year. “The perception-decision cycle is often linked, as in the case of the pedestrian death. A decision was made to do nothing based on ambiguity in perception, and the emergency braking was turned off because it got too many false alarms from the sensor”

So they turned off a safety feature because it had too many false alarms. Great. Seems like whomever made that decision should be guilty of something like manslaughter. I wonder how many more deaths are needed to put an end to this farce. Either the cars need to be fully autonomous, driving as well as humans, or they should not be on the road at all. They have already caused deaths.


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Who Do YOU Work For?

How Understanding the Answer for Yourself and Your Employees is Vital to Engagement.

 

When I was a boy my father taught me a story by the great Zig Zigler. You may have heard it, Zigler’s Rail Road Story. Robert Terson repeats it in full here. It’s about the railroad president named Jim, who one day stopped to pull a line worker, Dave, into his car, where they sat and chatted for an hour.

When Dave’s friends on the crew asked what was going on he told them that he and Jim had started working on the same day 20 years ago. They wondered to themselves, how could one man become president while the other was still working on the line?

As Terson reminds us:

“Dave looked wistfully up into the sky and said, “A little over 20 years ago Jim Murphy went to work for the railroad; I went to work for a $1.75 an hour.”

The truth of this story was so powerful that when I heard it I decided that I would probably never work simply for a paycheck, but always “go to work for the railroad.”

Most people believe that there is only one motivation that triggers our behaviors. As a therapist, I have discovered there are many motivations that drive the things we do, and, often, unconsciously. In therapy, much of the work is uncovering these motivations. So, the answer to the question, “Who do you work for?” is not binary. Jim worked for the railroad. He also worked for a salary, but it was not the primary reason.

The fact is that people work for far more than those two reasons. I am driven to work to support my family. I don’t think I would work as hard without three other people in my life, especially with college ahead for two of them. Being unemployed for half a year has been a grind and a time for personal growth. Much of our self-worth is tied up in how productive we are.

Sometimes, however, work is not for yourself or your family. One of the Gallup’s Q12* survey questions asks about having a “Best Friend” at work. Gallup has shown that if someone says they have a best friend at work, they are more likely to be engaged. It’s about the relationship they have formed with the people on either side of them. The starkest example of this is combat. Veterans will tell you in the moments of combat they are fighting for their brothers and sisters.

The late Bill Mauldin, the wonderful cartoonist who did Willie and Joe all through World War Two, captured this foxhole relationship many times in his years-long series of cartoons. There was one with Willie telling Joe, “Joe, yestiddy ua saved my life an’ I swore I’d pay ya back. Here’s my last pair of dry socks.”

For supervisors, it is vital to understand what your personal motivations are for working, as well as to understand the motivations of your employees. If your motivations are centered on your income, the people working for you will know it. If your goal is focused on the advancement of your own career, they are going to know that too.

These are important goals. But if they are the sole focus, they can be self-defeating. Employees know when you care about their careers. They know when you are dedicated to discovering and develop their goals.

We have sayings for someone who is just working for a paycheck: “Phoning it in”, “Doing the bare minimum not to get fired”, “Waiting for retirement”. These all mean the same thing: the employee is disengaged and not going to do his or her best.

Leaders and managers in the 21st Century need to understand the employees’ reasons for working. Otherwise the “Jims” will move to someone who does understand them, and you will be left with the “Daves”. If you are a “Jim” and your current employer does not seem to care, start looking for someone who will.

 

Originally published at TalkForward

Bryan G. Stephens is an executive on a mission to transform the workplace. He is the founder and CEO of TalkForward, a consulting and training company, utilizing Bryan’s clinical and management expertise to develop managers and teams in a corporate environment. As a licensed therapist with strong understanding of developing human potential, he is dedicated to the development of Human Capital to meet the needs of leaders, managers, and employees in the 21st Century workplace.

Bryan has an Executive MBA from Kennesaw State University, Coles School of Business, and both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.


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