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drewrv on Oct 16, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite

Since there have been several submissions that have made the front page and then have been flagged by users, we're going to try turning the flags off on this one. If you're going to comment here, please take extra care to do so civilly and substantively.

Edit: we've turned the flags back on since the discussion has gone well beyond civility.

Thiel might have ulterior motives, but his support of Trump is not too surprising if you've listened to his other ideas. He feels that the political agenda has been overrun by distractions, like "who can use which bathroom", at the expense of real problems, like the stagnation of median wages over the last forty years. He prefers the days when the national conversation was about how to beat the Soviets, and sees the lack of substance in our political agenda today as tied to a slowdown in progress. So he probably prefers Trump's speeches about China and decaying inner cities to Clinton's about fairness and diversity.

He believes that most of Silicon Valley is naive politically, and that the popularity of social liberalism there is just a moral fashion. He is a liberarian, and believes that the Valley's instincts are libertarian, not liberal. He has a slightly pessimistic outlook on the future, and believes that America has been falling behind since 1969, "when Woodstock started... and the hippies took over the country". That aligns well with the central point of Trump's campaign - America has started losing and we need to "make it great again".

He's often said that one of his favorite interview questions is, "tell me something you believe to be true but which nobody agrees with you on". His support of Trump falls into that category. 40% of the population agrees with him, but the people closest to him see his opinion as unthinkable. He seems to take pleasure in having opinions like that. He has said that he believes climate change is "more pseudoscience than science", roughly agreeing with Trump. Thiel backed up his position by saying "whenever you can't have a debate, I often think that's evidence that there's a problem".

He likely sees the stories that have come out against Trump recently as worth ignoring when the future of the country is at stake, and Trump is the only candidate who can focus the national agenda on the right issues.

> He is a libertarian

I just find this impossible to reconcile with his support for Trump, the most authoritarian presidential candidate in a very long time and possibly ever.

I think many of his supporters would actually agree with that description, they like that about him, and they absolutely do not describe themselves as libertarian.

They describe themselves as "conservatives" who want a "strong" president to "take their country back". They talk about "getting tough".


I've lived in America my whole life, but I was born in Austria, and German is my first language. It pains me to see a fellow German-speaking immigrant support a right-wing populist who appeals pretty explicitly to white identity politics. We of all people should know better.

>"I've lived in America my whole life, but I was born in Austria, and German is my first language. It pains me to see a fellow German-speaking immigrant support a right-wing populist who appeals pretty explicitly to white identity politics. We of all people should know better."

As opposed to black identity politics? Or female identity politics? Would you feel better if the context was a place like South Africa where the white minority is actively being persecuted/discriminated against? Would that make white identity politics okay in your book?

>"I just find this impossible to reconcile with his support for Trump, the most authoritarian presidential candidate in a very long time and possibly ever."

I'm not an American, but I'm a libertarian and I definitely support Donald Trump. He represents an active regression back to a mean, rather than further towards the socialist-left. That is why I think it'll be better for him to be president, rather than someone like Hillary or Obama, or even Gary Johnson.

I'm, too, not an American but a libertarian. And I don't support either candidate.

Tbh. I find it horribly sad how much time and energy people invest in this election where the both possible outcomes are equally bad.

"Voting for the lesser evil" is still voting for evil. So why not take all that time wasted on internet arguments about which evil is the lesser one and do something fun instead?

and not voting is also "voting for evil", since a non-vote is effectively a vote for the front-runner. :-)

You saying they're the same doesn't make them the same, you're aware of that right?

You saying they're not the same doesn't make them not the same, you're aware of that right?

As you see that's a non-argument.

Actually me saying they're not the same would be a statement of fact.

As an American, forgive me for actually caring about my countries politics.

You can care about your countries politics and not support either primary candidate, or the political structures they represent.

Supporting the lesser of evils is still supporting evil and going along with it as the new status quo just prolongs and reinforces your problem IMO, because it makes them legitimate. The fact there is so much hostility against the idea of rejecting both parties is a big reason why the standards have reached such a low point, where Trump/Clinton are the best available options and people are just okay with that.

People prefer to rabidly support the red/blue teams blindly while the majority of the western world has far more healthier functioning multi-party political systems and more advanced electoral systems.

Even though polling shows the average person doesn't like nor trust either candidates it's rare to find news articles in US papers about the poor state of politics and the need for reform (not just deciding to attack one side or the other). Maybe Trump has been too much of a distraction away from the higher level downward-spiral America politics faces.

Unless there is some resistance and holding everyone to higher standards, it's just going to continue like this. America has swung to the other side of the pendelum from their political ideology of the 1750-early 1900s where the status quo governance systems was constantly questioned to now having a culture of doubling down with lost causes, fighting a war of attrition from the trenches while both sides lose. I'd rather not be wasting my life in the trenches TYVM.

>You can care about your countries politics and not support either primary candidate, or the political structures they represent.

Did I say or even imply you couldn't? No, I didnt. I was simply disagreeing that these candidates are the same.

I'll be voting for my interpretation of the "lesser evil" unapologetically.

I'm not 'wasting my life in the trenches', I'm an American citizen with an opinion. I respect your decision to vote third party or not at all, but please stop trying to shame me for "being evil" and voting how I see fit.


thiels philosophy is actually deeply technocratic authoritarian. in a lot of ways he is a technocrat and not a true libertarian. hes said on multiple occasions that politics has failed libertarians and that they should try 'alternatives.'

Yeah he seems more of a Mencius moldbug dark-enlightenment type.

I tried looking up libertarian on Wikipedia and there are so many definitions I'm not sure what people mean when they say the word, libertarian. What I thought the word meant years ago was no government, turns out that is called anarchism. When people tell me that they are libertarian I always wonder what the hell that means or if they even know.

IMO it means you believe in a right freedom so long as you dont infringe on someone elses rights.

So, in theory you would be against forcing someone to pay taxes to build roads or provide education, but would arguably be for paying for a police department and justice system to protect people from having others infringe on their rights.

It basically means the only function of government should be to protect our freedoms and anything outside that purview should be done by the private sector and let the markets decide what has real value and is worth investing in.

I haven't looked into this myself, but your definition of "libertarian" fits exactly with my concept of an ideal government: one that's sole purpose is to protect the freedoms and dignities of all those within its jurisdiction, and within that framework, allowing everything else to be more or less self-determined, so long as the freedoms and dignity of all those within it are not harmed.

In my simple way of understanding this, then, is that libertarians are un-developed democrats. They think Democrats are "wrong" because of what they are, but when you extend this line of thought for many, many many years, you find yourself a democrat. Democrats can be easily criticized for overthinking bathroom rights, but doesn't that argument boil down to freedoms of the oppressed transgendered person? Freedom for the many oppressing the freedoms of the few.

Too many climate laws, too many laws protecting groundwater? How would this Libertarian definition fit those? The freedoms of the individuals in the town that has a giant polluting factory. Now that town needs laws to make the factory safer.

How about gun laws? Libertarians might suggest more "freedoms" with respect to gun availability,... many years later, revealing that more guns available actually means more deaths => freedom lost for the dead? Now they're a democrat too...

How's this definition different than democrat?

I'm just asking, because reading this mini-thread I'm lost here.

All those things you mention violate the Non-Aggression Principle, and are thus incredibly non-libertarian.

Libertarianism make few exceptions to that principle in order to allow for such things as limited government policing, courts and defence.

Bathroom laws require forcing companies to pay for additional bathrooms, and by extension, pay for the policing required to prevent gender-mixing in the non-approved bathrooms.

Environmental regulations force companies to pay for expensive pollution-limiting equipment. Pollution is already handled by libertarianism as pollution means either damage to people's health, or damage to people's property. Both of which are violations of the non-aggression principle. No environmental "regulations" necessary as the repercussions far outweigh the benefits of pollution.

Gun-laws means imprisoning people for owning a piece of property. Same thing with drug-prohibition.

If you force people to do something with the threat of losing money/property/freedom then your policy is not even remotely libertarian. If you are genuinely curious, I suggest you not rely on this mini-thread to define libertarian-concepts to you. Rather research it.

> Bathroom laws require forcing companies to pay for additional bathrooms

Not usually.

> Environmental regulations force companies to pay for expensive pollution-limiting equipment. Pollution is already handled by libertarianism as pollution means either damage to people's health, or damage to people's property. Both of which are violations of the non-aggression principle. No environmental "regulations" necessary as the repercussions far outweigh the benefits of pollution.

I'm having some trouble parsing what you mean. Are you saying the government should stop pollution because it causes damage to people/property, but they shouldn't call it 'regulation'?

How do the people with the pollution-damaged health or property then get justice or cause those "repercussions"? Is libertarianism then ultimately grounded upon tort law? Is the idea to have a corps of free or low-cost lawyers constantly ready to sue polluters to cease and desist and pay restitution to the harmed?

I am totally lost on your pollution point. Can you elaborate ?What repercussions are there for the polluter?

Libertarianism is actually quite an open definition. E.g. I find it easier to describe myself as one, even though I'm technically an anarcho-capitalist.

It's the same if you try look up concepts such as Marxism, Democracy, Mercantilism, Capitalism, Left vs Right, etc. At the end of the day, you need to find someone that can distill the concepts for you to something more easily digestible.

Personally for me, there really is only one consideration to clarify the position. Does the person support the Non-Aggression Principle universally? If yes, then they're an anarcho-capitalist, if "almost-completely" or something like that, then they're fence-sitting near the libertarian position. And if they say no, then they're definitely a Statist (Whether that is democracy, marxism, socialism, or monarchy, doesn't matter).


You worry about which system will permit you to win, when the reality is that concepts like civil rights are the only thing that are keeping minorities like you from losing badly.

What utter rubbish. I just spend 5 days in a French village, literally last week. And I didn't see a single invader killing , looting, or raping anyone or anything. All I saw was a lot of good people leading a happy and peaceful life.

Wew lad

> We of all people should know better.

Not if Austria's 2016 presidential elections are anything to go by.

I'm in Austria, it was a disgrace. All of media was attacking the right wing guy with no dissenting voices, and you have to be afraid of personal and professional consequences if you endorse him or say anything against the Socialist candidate they are trying to push.

It's literally like in the Soviet Union, at least that's what my parents told me as they came from a Communist country.

The media can't be very good at propaganda if they were 'all attacking the right wing guy' and he _still_ managed to poll almost 50% of the vote.

It's a feedback loop of adverse selection. They become more politically slanted, fewer people listen to them, their revenues plummet, their recruitment pool gets shallower, they become more politically slanted... At a certain point only true propaganda believers willing to work for ~minimum wage remain. Now, they're also getting hammered by social media hastening the process.

The same thing happened to communists. After 50 years only idiots and sociopathic opportunists (since they still had the spoils of power) could be found in the party.

Just like the US this year. This is not an exaggeration. Many people would have professional and personal consequences for supporting Trump in public. People like Peter Thiel and Scott Adams have enough money to not care. Scott isn't even endorsing him and he says that his speaking engagements have dried up.

We may see a big difference between the polling and the election results this year. The Shy Tory Effect came to America.

You can't even present facts in a way that feels to liberals like defending Trump without facing social consequences (this is what Adams is guilty of.) I had several problems with friends explaining positions taken by both candidates during the debates and discussing the legality of what's known publicly about Trump's tax returns. Discussion of any of those topics will agglomerate the liberal view of Trump as racist, sexist, xenophobic, and stupid, and project them onto you.

Personally I think both candidates are awful, but suggesting that Trump might be right about something or Clinton might be wrong is social suicide on Facebook (for example) and I wouldn't dare discuss it at work.

Adams faces social consequences because of his bizarre and paranoid rantings, such as that Hillary supporters will literally assassinate him if he supports Trump [1].


He said in an BBC interview that the FBI contacted him that some of the death threats he received were credible.

Maybe it's true, maybe not. But I can see how in the current situation it can be dangerous to you to endorse Trump. There's just too much hatred, especially after Trump is constantly compared to Hitler. (which can give people a justification to kill him or his supporters)

Meanwhile, Adams doesn't believe that women on Twitter don't get threatened with rape and violence, and Trump motivates his supporters to coordinate and commit terror attacks on Muslim-looking Americans, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/us/hate-crime-charges-in-a...

I don't know about this Adams statement (please add a link, I'd read it) but Trump "motivating" his supporters to "coordinate and commit terror attacks on Muslim-looking people"?

I get it that you dislike Trump (fine by me) but how on earth did you convince yourself to believe something like that. (I have no doubt you do, you could probably pass a lie detector test without a problem repeating this statement)

Yeah, I had pretty major family problems for saying that I thought he was a lot of hot air and not actually that dangerous--with a disclaimer that I would never vote for him. Although my perspective on him has changed, it seems to me that the American left has turned into the authoritarian controlling power they so often claim to fight against.

In your view, individual people exercising their personal social power is authoritatian?


Yep, that's what xe said.

>Although my perspective on him has changed, it seems to me that the American left has turned into the authoritarian controlling power they so often claim to fight against.

Only if you consider Clinton to be leftist, which really doesn't make much sense.


American left != Clinton.

I quite realize, but I don't see much authoritarian tendency in the parts leftward of Clinton. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders just aren't that authoritarian, let alone the Green Party.

I was talking about the people adhering to the left--the social movement--more than the politicians themselves. The example I used was my own family, who are not politicians.

In sorry, I can't let such obvious bullshit pass unchallenged.

There are many thousands of people who are being richly rewarded for supporting Trump, including members of the media like Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, Corey Lewandowski, Bill O'Reilly, the entire staff of Breitbart, the entire "alt right" media ecosystem, etc.

In addition there are many thousands more who benefit financially from the pervasive coverage of Trump, like Jeff Zucker and other media executives.

Trump is polling above 40% nationally; he is not some secret oppressed political minority. He has received more benefit from media coverage than any other candidate.

However he is almost certainly going to lose, and that is because it is obvious that he would be a terrible president.

If Scott isn't even endorsing Trump in public, why is he half of your examples of people who are facing consequences for it?

I suspect it has a lot more to do with people paying more attention to his shit-slinging blog. Just on Thursday he declared that he's relieved that "Everything that goes wrong with the country from this point forward is women’s fault." How many people are going to pay to hear that?

Scott Adams has been obviously supporting him since last August, his claims of endorsing other candidates have been very clearly not genuine.

Is he kidding? I can't tell if I'm reading satire there, but I don't follow his blog.

Edit: I'm flipping through his blog and the extent to which politics, for him, is about the meta stuff is honestly kind of surreal

He has said himself -- he says whatever pops into his head, and he's "clearly joking" about anything that is offensive or ridiculous.

Saying whatever pops into his head is hardly unique among bloggers.

The thing that appears to set him apart is a complete indifference to the issues, in favor of a focus on his pet topic, the art of persuasion. He dismisses the correct answers to policy questions that come up as unknowable (wow). Except, amusingly, the question of what his own estate taxes ought to be. He somehow managed to cobble together an opinion on that.

> he's "clearly joking" about anything that is offensive or ridiculous.

We should all go through life with such a disclaimer in place.

I hate to respond to myself, but it is interesting how you can get down-voted simply for providing a reference to man's own words.

When I've posted criticism of Hillary on Facebook, I've gotten savaged in the comments by my liberal friends. It's a sobering and depressing experience and I'm sad to realize that my respect for most of them has declined, as no doubt theirs has for me. Periodically I will post a defense of freedom of speech, and I'll remind people that I'm willing to fight and die for their right to disagree with me, with which they tend to agree. But they also believe that anyone who doesn't toe the party line is practically an enemy of the state.

You posted something your friends disagreed with, they posted something you disagreed with in response. That's what freedom of speech is about, unless they're posting about how you should be jailed for criticizing Hillary.

Freedom of speech isn't freedom from people changing their opinion about you based on what you say.

Unfortunately, in the modern Alt-right view, "freedom of speech" means "freedom of everyone agreeing with me and not talking back"


In a way, because this election has come down to a dichotomy between Hilary and an actual cartoon villain, it'll be bad for the democratic party. It'll ensure the entrenchment of the conservative "think of the children" "just say no" wing of the party for another decade or more.

you mean the decline of the republican party and the entrenchment of angry white uneducated men for the next 10 years? It's already in the cards.

Trump is not going to win, so complaining about angry white men is pretty pointless.

Stupid racist white males!

Obviously you don't know enough people who support Trump (or McMullin, or Johnson) in your facebook feed, because the charicatures they post about Clinton are of a cartoonish evil villain as well, often with their favorite picture: https://goo.gl/images/LvYxB1

Clinton isn't my first pick, but I realized long ago that quite a bit of the hate about her goes back to her feminism and activism in her early days in the white house, when many families felt she had led a full-on attack on their traditional family values simply by not practicing them.

Well, the right wing stopped hating her for not baking cookies when she baked cookies. Then they started hating her for baking cookies.

I mean Trump is an actual cartoon villain.

Ahh; I should have read more carefully. I agree.

Even here. Downvoted for this simple observation. What have we become?

"this simple observation" is indicative of the bubble you're in. There are plenty of places where the reciprocal is true. Politics in the workplace and among friends has always had ramifications. Unfortunately with both candidates being so polarizing, it's worse than usual.

Your comment reads slightly like you have a persecution complex.

You're making a lot of assumptions. I'm a Hillary supporter and because I am, I'm in a bubble of them and I see a lot condemnation and shunning of Trump supporters - more than I see of Hillary supporters.

The fact that you assume that I am the one who feels persecuted says a lot.

Hint: the faulty assumptions we make of others strengthen our bubbles.

As a libertarian he believes in survival of the fittest, so a lot of his strategy involves "fuck shit up" and see what survives. Or just letting things sort themselves out.

I wonder what a world full of people who proactively "fuck shit up" would look like.


Babies need to survive the pits before being part of society. Only the fittest survive in ruthless competition we impose. Let god sort them out.

I believe we're thinking about this at different orders of magnitude.

My initial reaction was that it would very likely lead to a nuclear holocaust.

And the surviving organisms would be ... Antifragile!

We can argue whether Trump is an authoritarian or not, but what we can't argue about is that Clinton openly stated during the election she wants to take away your right to bare arms. Democrats can call it "common sense" whatever, but that's what it is.

> Clinton openly stated during the election she wants to take away your right to bare arms

I'm pretty sure going sleeveless will still be legal in a Clinton presidency.

Spelling aside, it's still incorrect. Nobody is proposing a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Basic gun control-- for example, requiring a criminal background check with no gun show loophole-- is not the same thing as taking away your right to own a gun.

Washington D.C. tried to ban handguns in some public places. The supreme court said they couldn't do that. Clinton wants states and cities to be able to enact their own bans, and she will be replacing at least one seat on the supreme court. So a lot of people might be losing their guns under a Clinton presidency.

How is anyone losing guns? Who is she taking away guns from by placing more restrictions on private sales? Does it really sound like a bad idea having less guns in Washington D.C. when their violent crime rate is over triple the national average[1]?

[1]: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/dc/washington/crime/

I don't think her only gun policy is going to be restrictions on private sales. I think she's going to push for a reinterpretation of the constitution which would allow banning carrying guns in more places.

There's no such thing as the "gun show loophole". It's a myth. There already are background checks. I can tell you've never even tried to own a gun.

This is a semantic argument. I agree that the terminology is misleading. However, I think we should always follow the words "there is no gun show loophole" with the words "private citizens can sell guns without background checks no matter where they are," and perhaps "let's call it the private sale loophole."

I know they say there's online loopholes too. Last time I checked the law was they had to ship the gun to a local licensed firearms dealer, who then does a background check and hands over the gun for a reasonable fee.

There is a "gun kit" loophole, according to this article: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/ak-47-semi-autom...

This. It's admittedly pretty simple if you want to go buy a firearm in a reasonable state, like Maine or New Hampshire. You go to the gun dealer/sporting goods store/Walmart. You pick out what you want. They submit your information to the background checking system. You go get lunch and come back an hour later. Assuming you're a law-abiding citizen, you pay the cashier and walk out the store with your new firearm.

Now, what you can also do legally in most states is purchase a firearm from another private individual through a private sale. An enormous number of second-hand gun sales occur in this fashion, through Craigslist or classified ads or personal acquaintances. Effectively, this is no different than if you were buying and selling lawnmowers or comic books, or any other mundane object. I am skeptical of any attempts to really regulate this activity, because it is effectively unenforceable given the number of firearms currently in circulation and the almost complete lack of any records of ownership history for most of them.

That's why universal background checks are considered by many to be the first step down the road to a gun registry.

Have you seen the O'Keefe video where Russ Feingold, a Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate, tells a Palo Alto, California, fundraiser that Hillary Clinton might use an executive order to enforce gun control.


Breitbart as a source?

Does it matter? The claim behind the article appears to be a hidden-camera video. Maybe you should discredit that thing, rather than dismiss the article because its a conservative-leaning organization.

fuck this shit again

It's a video, Briebart is just the messenger. When CNN is Hillary's 7th largest contributor, Reuters giver her $MMs, Google give her $MMs, Fox give her $MMs what's left ?

You mean what's left that supports your views?

No. When CNN tells you reading things is illegal and you should only listen to their opinion, a line has been crossed.


It's kind of a silly thing to disclose and people should find truth but the blatant propaganda at breitbart isn't where you'll find it.

This guy is not the solution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSE-XoVKaXg

I'm done. you're blind.

I hope this spreads wide and far. This is unbelievable.

I guess I'm committed to wearing long sleeves now.

Though seriously, I don't think anyone can argue that Trump doesn't fall squarely in the "Authoritarian" camp. Also, the parent doesn't even mention that Trump is "Authoritarian?" Only that he "appeals to white identity politics?"

Only one presidential candidate has said that they want the police to stop people on the street without cause and confiscate their guns. And it's not Clinton.

I can't understand why Trump gets any support from gun rights people. He advocates for exactly what they fear.


Thiel has bachelor and JD degrees in Philosophy and Law from Stanford. I think it is a little bit preposterous to assume he holds his current views about Trump simply because he is too uneducated to think otherwise.

>Maybe Thiel lacks education in history and pines for a glorious fictitious past, which is a core tenet of the trump campaign. And fascism.

Maybe you are the one confusing narratives built around each candidate by one camp or another with actual ideological separation between those two candidates. Trump is not an authoritarian and Clinton is not a progressive.

This election is about solving the great stagnation problem the world and the US are facing. Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war and an ever increasing flow of immigration that will slowly grow to become impossible to assimilate into what is current mainstream American culture.

> And fascism.

Besides, this is not even the case. You understand concepts have definitions and you can manipulate those to fit whatever pisses you off in a candidate campaigning rhetoric.

> Trump is not an authoritarian

He fits very squarely into the definition of an authoritarian. His greatest goal is "power" and he openly praises authoritarian leaders like Hussein and Putin. His supported policies include registration of minorities, torture, curtailing of the free press, restriction of religious freedom, and reprisals against political enemies—all straight out of the authoritarian playbook. At this point, I'm having a hard time thinking of an authoritarian policy which Trump wouldn't support.

There is zero evidence that he has any coherent plan to solve the "great stagnation" problem unless you think the real problem in this country is it isn't white enough.

Read this article and tell me it doesn't apply to Trump: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/

>"His supported policies include registration of minorities,

Do you have a source for this? What is considered a "minority"? I thought it was directed at "illegal immigrants", which I agree is a dumb idea. But saying it applies to "minorities" is a stretch.

>torture, curtailing of the free press, restriction of religious freedom, and reprisals against political enemies"

How much worse is it to openly support these things, than to say you don't support them, but do so behind the scenes? Because all these things have happened under the watch of nearly every politician I can think of.

> Do you have a source for this?

There are two different proposals I'm thinking of. One for making a national registry of all Muslims in the United States (a religious minority) and another for police being able to demand immigration papers at any time. The problem is that there isn't any way to look at someone and say they are an "illegal immigrant" so you end up with a totalitarian regime where police are stopping minorities and demanding to see their papers.

I honestly don't know how anyone can look at Trump and say he's not an authoritarian. He literally advocates stuff straight out of a comic book authoritarian regime: "stop and show me your papers."

> How much worse is it to openly support these things, than to say you don't support them, but do so behind the scenes?

Much worse. Openly advocating something so abhorrent pushes it into the room of acceptability and makes doing it acceptable en mass. It's the difference between the occasional hate crime and genocide. When something is unacceptable, you can't do it too much of it or you risk causing a scandal.

I also having a lot of trouble agreeing that these things "happened under the watch of nearly every politician I can think of." Has Obama thrown political enemies in prison? Has Hillary asked her supporters to violently attack enemies? Heck, has Bush tried to ban an entire religion from the United States? Citations severely needed.

stuff straight out of a comic book authoritarian regime: "stop and show me your papers."

In France, afaik, it is mandatory to carry an id card and, missing that, the police can stop you for up to 4 hours to verify your identity (according to Wikipedia). If you're a foreigner you have to prove that you are legally resident.

The last time I checked, France is not an authoritarian regime out of a comic book.

Not only France, AFAIK it is basically the standard practice in European countries. It is perfectly normal outside the US to be stopped with no probably cause simply to verify who you are, and if deemed worthwhile, what you are doing.

I have been stopped in dozens of countries for procedural controls. I have never felt oppressed, but obviously it could be abused.

UK is only exception I can think of. Maybe Ireland and Denmark, but not certain.

Under Blair there was a plan to introduce, but it was widely opposed. Struck me as a little ironic with how easily UK has accepted surveillance and CCTV. Police need probable cause too, and generally behave well.

That is a fact. My wife was detained for hours at a traffic stop because she had left her Carte de Sejour at home (despite having a valid driver's license, proper insurance, etc.) The traffic stop wasn't because she did anything wrong either -- it was a random checkpoint that police do from time to time.

Not that it matters, but she's white and speaks perfect French.

In Korea, I routinely got stopped on the street to show my ID card. In Mexico, it happens to people all the time (random checkpoints, car searches, etc.) I once spent theee hours -- WITH proper documents while the state police practically disassembled my car for no reason other than having Texas plates and driving while white.

You need to prove lawful presence in France to open a bank account, but in Los Angeles, an illegal immigrant can open a bank account without any form of US identification or proof of lawful presence.

Calling Trump or the US authoritarian isn't accurate if you measure authoritarianism by the actions of allegedly 'liberal' countries.

Undoubtedly, enforcement of immigration law can only take place in two types of venues: places of employment and public services such as schools, law enforcement, and social services.

Employers are already required to effectively vet applicants for legal residency. They have all sorts of tax forms to fill out and they can be severely fined for hiring illegals off the books.

Obviously, as well, if a LEO discovers a faked driver's license during a routine traffic stop, the illegal is in big trouble.

Interestingly, deportations have greatly increased during the Obama administration.


> Yahoo News asked Trump whether this level of tracking might require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. He wouldn’t rule it out.

> “We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” Trump said when presented with the idea. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”

>Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war

Sounds like something you "understand". Clever little rhetorical trick though, similar to "it turns out that..".

Could you elaborate on the great stagnation problem? It could also be about mitigating undesirable effects of technological progress and economical change. Stagnation might just be another word for humans needing time to adjust.

I think this is a large part of the problem. I believe that the standard quantitative models used for productivity are no longer accurate. They are somewhat precise, but do not correctly reflect value that is produced.

>Thiel understands that should Clinton win, there will be war

Why is this?

Maybe because of Clinton's track record. While Sec. of State, she persuaded Obama to intervene in Libya, and in recent speeches she has suggested that the U.S. should take a more aggressive stance against Russian expansionism. She's more of a hawk than is either Obama or her husband. I would put her in roughly the same category of interventionism as Bush.

At least Clinton has a track record. Trump is completely unpredictable. Last month he said that he would order US ships to attack Iranian vessels if they approach:

"And by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures that our people -- that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."


That would be an abrupt act of war between the two countries, and on a completely different level than the NATO intervention in Libya which was based on a UN Security Council resolution.

I know. When I've heard that recently in the last debate, it somewhat made me throw up in my mouth. Last thing I want is yet another war we can't win.

I also started thinking about John Titor again, regarding how things happened in his story/anecdote. Obviously different, but a good deal of things seem pretty similar... How many rights will we lose before it's too many?

Don't worry, Hououin Kyouma will show up to save the day. ;)

> I think it is a little bit preposterous to assume he holds his current views about Trump simply because he is too uneducated to think otherwise.

Indeed. I believe he holds his views for a more self-serving reason. Trump will reduce his taxes. They also align on their disdain for a free and independent media.

> Trump is not an authoritarian

Please examine, critically, the way he has treated journalists, dissenting voices at his rallies, and the few minorities that happen to attend.

> current mainstream American culture.

What is that, exactly?

Hitler was a Socialist, not a right wing politician. That's what you Austrians/Germans get wrong.

Hitler enacted a 70% income tax for the highest incomes, implemented a full welfare state, free childcare, free schools, free everything to force propaganda down their throats. He was an arts student (probably he would have done well with SJW's of today), a vegetarian, anti smoking, pro animal rights, anti religion etc.

The right wing wants to get rid of all mandatory welfare and government influence on our lives in order to make it impossible for authoritarians like Hitler to hijack the system.

German people in specific are culturally one of least capable in understanding what freedom actually means. That's something that makes them unique in Europe. (and btw the main reason why Benjamin Franklin was so critical of allowing Germans into the US - he feared that they would subvert the system and freedoms with their hive mind mentality)

In the early days of the NSDAP it was a populist party that spanned the politican spectrum. Hitler was part of the wing that expelled most of the left wing of the party from the NSDAP as he consolidated his powers because he abhorred their ideas. Later, the Night of the Long Knives was used to drive the party even further right, by murdering and arresting the leadership of the SA, which at that point made up the "left wing" of the NSDAP.

> Hitler enacted a 70% income tax for the highest incomes

Which made him more moderate in terms of marginal taxes than the US under any number of Republican administations. Are you arguing that the pre-Reagan Republic administrations were left wing too?

> implemented a full welfare state, free childcare, free schools

The first comprehensive welfare systems in Germany were pushed through by the very conservative Bismarck in the late 1870's, under the joint argument of support of Christian morality and to stop the socialists from being able to obtain support for structural changes. Welfare systems in Europe stopped being indicative of left vs. right by the end of the 19th century.

> The right wing wants to get rid of all mandatory welfare and government influence on our lives in order to make it impossible for authoritarians like Hitler to hijack the system.

Right libertarians want this. Right libertarianism didn't exist in Hitlers day. Left libertarianism did (it dates back to the 1870's), but the right wing of Hitlers day were generally supporters of a strong state.

Remember "right" in the left vs. right stems from who supported the French monarchy: the original right wing were monarchists; the classical liberals and libertarians of the time were firmly seated on the left.

As for wanting to get rid of mandatory welfare and government influence: the aforementioned Bismarck - nicknamed the "iron chancellor" - a leading figure of the European right wing of his time, and loyal monarchist, someone who had dozens of German left wing newspapers closed and outlawed and the leaders of dozens of German socialist groups arrested, was as mentioned also the politician who brought us the first welfare state.

> German people in specific are culturally one of least capable in understanding what freedom actually means.

In the 20th century we had an emperor, started two world wars, had a weak democracy in between, then had two dictatorships exactly exposing each other and were the most important puppet state for two opposing world powers and ideologies. The freedom team not only won but overtook many other free nations again.

I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together. Why would a dictator use the healthcare system when you have all the fucking three letter agencies and the military industrial complex just sitting there, fuelled by corporate/right-wing money?

Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition. Today it is much easier to get your private military going in the US than in Germany.

He also used the data of the church to find Jews, so Germany has privacy regulations for private entities. The US has some private entities, who have data the churches of the 1930s could only dream of.

> The freedom team not only won but overtook many other free nations again

The German "freedom team" did nothing of value, it was the US that won or more precise the Soviet Union that imploded because it was unfeasible from the beginning. West Germany was a powerless Satellite state just as East Germany was.

> I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together.


> Why would a dictator use the healthcare system when you have all the fucking three letter agencies and the military industrial complex just sitting there, fuelled by corporate/right-wing money?

You want your slaves to cooperate, which is easier to accomplish when you're not beating them up on a daily basis.

> Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition.

That's not how it was historically. He did not use massive violence to get into power (he got there fair and square in a democratic manner), but he encouraged it to get rid of the Jews once he was in power.

And he was in power for a very long time. since 1922 he was leader of the NSDAP, in 1931 a majority of Germans wanted him chancellor and in 1933 he finally was made chancellor. That's 12 years in the highest positions and he used it immediately to brainwash the population.

Or do you want to argue with me that the Hitlerjugend had no real effect on the youth? Children started to report their parents if they said something against their dear leader.

>The German "freedom team" did nothing of value, it was the US that won or more precise the Soviet Union that imploded because it was unfeasible from the beginning. West Germany was a powerless Satellite state just as East Germany was.

Exactly what I said in my comment. West Germany was the "Klassenfeind" of the East, it won economically in a way, which was literally called a "Wirtschaftswunder". The East then made a peaceful revolution leading up to the Euro and the expansion of the EU.

>>> I think if you have freedom or democracy related questions you should ask us. We would suggest to get your act with your agencies together.

> ???

I am saying that the US agencies are undemocratic and much more problematic than functioning social systems would be.

> You want your slaves to cooperate, which is easier to accomplish when you're not beating them up on a daily basis.

It is always easier to govern a country, whether you are democratically elected or not, if you have a functioning system. I would not count this as a reason to not have a functioning social systems. It is also easier to govern if the people are not starving, that does not mean that a starving population is more free.

>> Hitler did not wait for generations to let social systems brainwash the people, he had the thugs of the SA to beat the crap out of the opposition.

> That's not how it was historically. He did not use massive violence to get into power (he got there fair and square in a democratic manner), but he encouraged it to get rid of the Jews once he was in power.

I never said that he beat the people to get in power, I only said he used the SA to beat up the opposition on the street, which is exactly how it historically was.

> Or do you want to argue with me that the Hitlerjugend had no real effect on the youth? Children started to report their parents if they said something against their dear leader.

Sure. But why are you talking about this? A Hitlerjugend is something different than public infrastructure like a functioning healthcare system we were originally talking about. As soon as the left proposes a Hitlerjugend I would advise you to vote for the other candidate.

Hitler was a Fascist / Authoritarian, not a Socialist.

This confusion about Socialist vs Fascism is common because - as you point out - they enact similar policies, e.g. high taxes.

There are numerous differences between the two. The biggest has to do with the relationship between the state and the individual:

In a Fascist / Authoritarian regime, the individual is subordinated to the state. E.g. "The state knows what's best for me. I'll do whatever they tell me to do." That's why Nazi = "National Socialism..."

In a Socialist government, the state is subordinated to the individual. This is also sometimes referred to as "active state liberalism". E.g. "The state exists to ensure we all live a happy life that enables us to pursue our own interests." France is a good example of this.

These are in contrast to what is called "classic" or "minimal state" liberalism. A liberal will say "The state exists to make sure that no one oppresses me, but it's not the state's responsibility to take care of me". This is the original version that comes from Locke, Mills, F. A. Hayek...

Why is it then that Socialist governments which are supposedly subordinated to the individual all seem to end up in having re education camps, Gulags, forced labour or concentration camps to crack down on dissenters.

Why can't they let individual dissenting opinions exist beside their own hive mind ideology.

Why do Socialist governments always try to get control over education to indoctrinate the next generation instead of allowing parents to raise their children however they see fit.

Why do Socialists always attack people who are successful for merely being successful. (back then: filthy Jewish bankers, today: filthy bankers)

No, I do not buy it that in Socialism the government is subordinated to the individual, my family actually lived in such a shit system and I've seen it as a child myself. You can maybe convince gullible youth and students in the West who frequent overrated Universities that this is true but not me.

Edit: And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist. Not an International Socialist like the Soviet Union but a National Socialist.

> Why is it then that Socialist governments which are supposedly subordinated to the individual all seem to end up in having re education camps, Gulags, forced labour or concentration camps to crack down on dissenters.

The don't actually, since Socialism does not discuss anything of that sort - it's an economic theory, not a political one.

What you're describing is authoritarianism, which is a mechanism for quickly and forcefully delivering ANY political ideology, not just socialism.

If you actually look at why i.e. Stalin and Castro did things the way they did, it was because they were afraid the "imperialists" in the West were working 24/7 to overthrow them (which they were) so they wanted to consolidate their grip on power to make that less likely to succeed.

The problem is, no-one ever left socialists alone, i.e. look at Nicaragua in the 1980s - they actually tried to implement liberal socialism. What happened? Regan sponsored the Contras to turn it into a right-wing state after his own gusto.

If there weren't constant efforts to overthrow socialists by the West, they probably wouldn't have turned to authoritarianism.

But again, authoritarianism is a forceful method to deliver a political change, just look at the number of right-wing military dictatorships in LA that used authoritarianism to deliver their will.

> Why do Socialist governments always try to get control over education to indoctrinate the next generation instead of allowing parents to raise their children however they see fit.

Because in the same way a parent does not have the right to kill their child, they should not have the right to i.e. teach their children creationism, in order to ensure a certain quality of life for all children, regardless if their parents are brainwashed or poorly educated.

> Why do Socialists always attack people who are successful for merely being successful.

They don't, but they think that perhaps you shouldn't be able to have $80 billion if the average personal wealth is $30,000 because you CERTAINLY didn't work THAT much harder than everybody else, it's mathematically impossible.

Also, Hitler was against the Jews, socialism isn't.

So in the first part you argue that they acted this way only because other powers tried to subvert them.

I'm not going to argue against the fact that others try to subvert them because this is a fact, but the thing is that other Ideologies also face the same issue.

Yet we consistently always see the same thing in Socialism. The last one where this happened is Venezuela, which has enacted a forced labour law recently.

Regarding education: I wouldn't teach my children Creationism but I also fail to see how this can in any way negatively impact a child in 99,99% of all existing professions. If my child wanted to work in Biology it's a problem, if it wants to work in any other profession - not so much. For me in IT it is completely irrelevant what my beliefs about these matters is.

The only problem that can arise is other people treating you bad because you hold other beliefs than them, no matter how irrelevant they are.

To me it is a matter of freedom. I'm not here on this earth to further some agenda that someone in an ivory tower has thought up. I'm here for myself and the people around me and I want to be free to act in a way that I see fit. Socialism negates this, I'd be just a part of a collective and someone else is going to tell me what my role in society is, what ideas are good and which are bad.

Regarding wealth distribution: Why shouldn't you be able to have 1 trillion dollars, provided it wasn't accumulated through use of force or other criminal means. What you have to understand is that a company makes its money by providing goods and services that other citizens are willing to pay for voluntarily. Maybe the guy with the $80 billion did some shady things, but unless proven so you can't argue against him owning that money.

> Also, Hitler was against the Jews, socialism isn't.

Socialism is against successful people. Why? Because they have options to ignore what the government wants them to do (they are not dependant) and because their success often comes with power.

As it happens Jewish culture has shown again and again that it is a highly successful one at raising children that prove to be highly productive and successful in societies. No amount of persecution and discrimination over 2000 years could change that.

It doesn't surprise me in the least when a Socialist make an Anti-Semitic statement, I know they hate them for their success.

You yourself made a statement one sentence before that arguing that the successful person with lots of money is somehow criminal, which means you despise success at some level. It's not a big step to move from that belief to outright Anti-Semitism.

> So in the first part you argue that they acted this way only because other powers tried to subvert them. I'm not going to argue against the fact that others try to subvert them because this is a fact, but the thing is that other Ideologies also face the same issue.

Others face it too, true, but there's no denying that the country with the largest military in human history does have much more bullying power and if that country is opposed to your country's ideology you better be prepared to be bullied into submission.

> Regarding education: I wouldn't teach my children Creationism but I also fail to see how this can in any way negatively impact a child in 99,99% of all existing professions. If my child wanted to work in Biology it's a problem, if it wants to work in any other profession - not so much.

Except you're making the decision as to what he/she will be able to do for them, years before they themselves can decide - what if they want to go into Biology? Now they're years behind their peers, which is in opposition to the "free will" libertarianism you seem to advocate.

> To me it is a matter of freedom. I'm not here on this earth to further some agenda that someone in an ivory tower has thought up. I'm here for myself and the people around me and I want to be free to act in a way that I see fit. Socialism negates this

What Socialism does is prevent you from "being free to act in a way that you see fit" once you start to infringe on the freedoms of others. It, believe it or not, is there to protect you as well, or do you really want somebody with more muscle than you to come by, rob your house, beat you up and abuse your family just because that was his free will and you couldn't stop him?

> Regarding wealth distribution: Why shouldn't you be able to have 1 trillion dollars, provided it wasn't accumulated through use of force or other criminal means.

Because it was accumulated via criminal means; i.e. there's a limited amount of wealth on Earth - if you have a significant percentage of that wealth as a single person, there's just no way you worked harder than 1/3 or so of the entire population COMBINED, unless you're God that is.

I'm not saying that YOU did something that wasn't already in place, you mostly just took advantage of the framework provided by others like you, but that doesn't make it fair.

Just to make sure we understand each other; I am not against you living very comfortably if you're successful, but $1 trillion is just such an amount that it goes WAY WAY beyond just living comfortably and again, you'd have a hard case convincing me that you worked harder than millions of people COMBINED, even if what you're created is desirable.

And let's be honest, we both know that the person with $80 billion I was talking about got there using questionable ethics at best.

> Socialism is against successful people. Why? Because they have options to ignore what the government wants them to do

They don't actually, because the government has a monopoly on the use of force, what they have power to do is corrupt the government enough with their money to ignore them.

> As it happens Jewish culture has shown again and again that it is a highly successful one at raising children that prove to be highly productive and successful in societies.

Sure, admirable and again, nothing that Socialism itself has a problem with. Also, if you look at Israel, it's a very socialist country, free healthcare, centralised education, gun control laws etc. so I don't think Jews themselves think that Socialism is against them, it isn't.

> You yourself made a statement one sentence before that arguing that the successful person with lots of money is somehow criminal, which means you despise success at some level.

No, what I said was that it is unreasonable for one person to have more wealth than the 80% of the planet COMBINED, I am not against success or against living in luxury - this goes way beyond that however.

> It's not a big step to move from that belief to outright Anti-Semitism.

Oh, this trick, I see - for one, I would say it's insulting to other successful ethnicities, say the Chinese, to suggest that the only people that are, and have for a very long time been successful are the Jews and for the Anti-Semitism comment, I see that you constructed your own narrative to reach your own conclusions, but be aware that such comments only undermine actual cases of anti-semitism.

> Oh, this trick, I see - for one, I would say it's insulting to other successful ethnicities, say the Chinese, to suggest that the only people that are, and have for a very long time been successful are the Jews and for the Anti-Semitism comment, I see that you constructed your own narrative to reach your own conclusions, but be aware that such comments only undermine actual cases of anti-semitism.

How do you expect me to have a discussion with you when all you are doing is trying to twist my words? We were discussing if there's a connection between Anti-Semitism and Socialism so I commented on that. (in fact, you were the one who argued that the Nazis were no Socialists because they hated Jews)

Now you turn around and tell me that I do not give due credit to other ethnicities that are successful too.

Sorry, but I don't feel that you are actually trying to reason here. You just put out statements like "they must have stolen the money and you know it" and Socialism actually celebrates and encourages success. Yeah, with enormous tax rates up to 90% or nationalising private propert (= stealing private property)

> How do you expect me to have a discussion with you when all you are doing is trying to twist my words? We were discussing if there's a connection between Anti-Semitism and Socialism so I commented on that.

You said that I wasn't far off from being an anti-semite because I hated success to which am saying that I don't hate success, but even if I did, suggesting that that means anti-semitism is a stretch at best.

Also, I have never heard of anybody paying 90% tax anywhere.

Firstly I don't agree with the guy you answered in terms of socialism. Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.

So you can have authoritarian governments that are socialist, or libertarian ones (in fact, libertarianism on the left predates right wing libertarianism by a century).

Marx spent one of the four chapters of the Communist Manifesto criticising alternative socialist ideologies, including reactionary, feudalist socialist ideologies. Marx himself was later condemned by people like Bukharin for being too authoritarian, leading to a split in the First International, where the most liberal socialists and anarchists left. Despite that there was shortly afterwards a resurgence in libertarian Marxism.

This difference grew greater leading up towards the Russian revolution. Lenin e.g. wrote the book "Left Communism: An Infantile Disorder" criticising the left-wing of his own party for its anti-authoritiarian views.

Consider that the "Russian revolution" came in two parts: The February revolutions where the Czar was overthrown, and a liberal socialist government under SR was put into place, and the coup that became known as the October Revolution, where the Bolsheviks decided to not honour the elections to the Constituent Assembly - an election that gave them ~10%, with a solid majority going to the liberal socialist SR, Left SR and Mensheviks.

After the coup, parts of the liberal socialists and communists tried cooperating with the Bolsheviks, parts joined the White's in the civil war opposing the Bolsheviks, and over the coming years tens of thousands of socialists and communists on both sides were murdered while opposing the Bolshevik rule. The purges continued for well over a decade (culminating in the Moscow Processes, where Stalin put on show trials to justify executing tens of thousands of Bolsheviks that had until then still fought against the rising authoritarianism).

In other words: Lookin for the label "socialism" to determine whether someone is left or right or liberal or authoritarian doesn't work.

> No, I do not buy it that in Socialism the government is subordinated to the individual, my family actually lived in such a shit system and I've seen it as a child myself.

And you are making the flawed assumption that a name only describes a single system. By thinking North Korea is democratic, because it's name is Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Clearly they are not democratic.

As mentioned above, socialism is not a single political system, but a set of characteristics that can apply to political systems across the spectrum.

> Edit: And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist.

The NSDAP adopted the term because it was popular with the German working class. It was predominantly a populist move, the same way that the staunch monarchist and conservative Bismarck, when labelled a "state socialist" by his opponents for his welfare reforms adopted the name and turned it to an advantage.

Early on the party was a curious mix of left and right wing, that is true, mainly tied together by nationalism, and a variety of policies appealing to a mix of groups.

When Hitlers influence in the party rose, he quickly and brutally changed direction of the party, and pushed out the more left wing parts of the party in order to satisfy increasingly financially important right wing backers, and after he got power he went as far as having the leaders of the remnant of the "left" of the NSDAP murdered and arrested.

If you are going to be discussing the NSDAP, you need to be careful about which time period you consider, as the party that gained power in '33 had little in common with the party in its early days.

> Not an International Socialist

The Bolsheviks too gave up any pretense of being "international socialists" under Stalin, with the passing of the Socialism in One Country doctrine as official policy in '25. They tried to "export" their policies primarily as a matter of self preservation. In fact, the term "international socialism" from then on primarily became associated with Trotskyism (there are e.g. Trotskyist groups using that name).

>Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.

Definition of Socialism: "A political and economic theory of social organization..." (via Google)

When a government enacts socialist policies, it is considered Socialist. Why? Politics is the mechanism by which economic and social policies are implemented and enforced.

Thanks for your very detailed comment! I can say right of the bat that I partly agree with the most important part of your comment:

> Socialism does not say anything about the political system. Socialism is about economics and welfare.

I would see welfare as a part of economics (how much of the resources are spent on welfare and who decides it), so I wouldn't make that distinction here.

But as I see it you can't divide between economics and politics. When the government controls a large portion of the economy (directly owning it or by having the power to enact arbitrary regulation) then it has a large political everyday influence on citizens. When it has almost no control over the economy then it has basically no say in the lives of its citizens.

Imagine a situation where the government actually owned 100% of the economy, how would that look like? It would be slavery, because all resources would be taken away by the government and then redistributed in a way they see fit.

What I can't see is how a strongly right wing government could act authoritarian or dictatorial because they will have no power over the resources, which leaves them powerless to influence the behaviour of their citizenry without actually convincing them through good arguments or lies to act differently.

Socialism will on the other hand always try to have a lot of power over the economy which means they decide who is to be supported and who is not, who is to be punished (by higher taxes) and who isn't. They also want to control what children learn in school, which is very dangerous in my opinion. It means that they are not confident that children raised in a way their parents want them to be raised will be compliant with the system they want to create. I believe it is pretty much a known fact that most people coming out of the educational system today (particularly the higher ones) will be overwhelmingly more likely to be left leaning than not.

> Hitler was a Socialist, not a right wing politician.

He was a right-wing populist that wanted to do "socialism" for the superior German race by enslaving Slavs etc. He actually hated the Soviet Union precisely because it was socialist. In fact Nazism actually means "Nationalist Socialism" = Nazism, which is not the "Socialism" of the soviets, but a right-wing, one race owns everything ideology, which is precisely why Nazism is a separate ideology.

The fact that this is believed by some is disgraceful.

I wrote this in another comment:

> And last but not least: Hitler himself frequently said and wrote that he is a Socialist. Not an International Socialist like the Soviet Union but a National Socialist.

International Socialism was the Soviets. By definition an international variant must be less racist and it's not surprising that a National variant was racist.

But the economy had similarities, it was controlled almost completely by the government. (to a greater extent in the Soviet Union than by the Nazis, but the Nazi economy certainly was no free market economy)

We both know that Hitler wasn't hated because of his economics, please.

How is that relevant when trying to determine if he was a Socialist or not?

I think we all know why he was hated.


Please resist the temptation to reply like this on Hacker News.

He does not explicitly appeal to or endorse white identity politics. Where's the proof for your outrageous statement?

And what exactly is wrong with wanting to "take back your country"? He's talking about enforcing existing laws like having borders.


Could it not be argued that Clinton engages in non-white identity politics? Her 'deplorables' comment was almost entirely referring to white people.

Plenty of deplorables that are Democrat and non-white but her comment was playing the identity card just as deftly as Trump's people have.


This is the sort of BS that ruins any chance of dialogue. Just calling someone or some action a label is not productive, just like anti-abortion activists calling it baby killing or whatever. The people who support those actions aren't going to think they are any less good, just, fair, moral etc just because you gave it an overly dramatic label. Why not discuss impact, moral principles, or whatever else actually makes it possible to at least start from a middle ground?

I don't care what you call it. I caution you to not let the pretense of law and order obfuscate the real consequences of some of these abhorrent policies.

That's all well and good, but Trump is still a terrible option. He never held office, he doesn't know how the system works, and doesn't have the temperament to be commander-in-chief.

His tax plan will add trillions in debt over the next decade, and will only benefit the rich in the long run.

So excuse me if I think Thiel just wants to pay less tax and sue people that piss him off. It's the rich coming to power in a more matter-of-fact way.

I'm sorry but the tax adding trillions is utter rubbish. This figure only accounts if the current people paying tax continue to pay, and all benefits and handouts continue as is.

It neglects the fact that he wants to close loopholes that let people not pay tax and give less reason to dodge tax, you could argue that taking all this into account Hillarys tax could force more people to not pay tax and result in trillions rather than the estimated billions she will add.

How naive can you be to think that a career tax-dodger will make dodging taxes harder? I cannot believe you're honestly having that internal dialogue.

Tax dodger? Like the New York Times? Carried loss isn't a tax dodge. Ironic that Google and other massive tech companies have their Dutch Irish Sandwiches yet overwhelmingly support Clinton. Does anyone think they would support someone that will hurt their business? Of course not. One could infer that Clinton would further enable so-called tax dodging. Google isn't going to risk billions supporting a candidate because of some social consciousness. There's something in it for them.

> There's something in it for them.

That's untrue.

A Trump presidency following the major Snowden leaks would likely be an international death sentence for US tech companies. Other nations might tolerate presidents they feel they can deal with controlling the NSA apparatus in their nation, but almost certainly will take steps to prevent Donald Trump from having the same tools.

For an internet company, the split between Europe and Asia insisting that your service not be an NSA tool while Trump is being tough on terrorists and immigrants likely means that you can no longer continue operating in all markets.

So for someone like Google or Facebook, the hit on taxes is smaller than the potential risk to their European and Asian markets from those regions deciding that they need a localized technology company which isn't as at the behest of US presidents.

tl;dr: Big businesses will pay for international stability, so the hit on taxes from Clinton versus Trump is off-set by better international relations from Clinton than Trump.

> Other nations might tolerate presidents they feel they can deal with controlling the NSA apparatus in their nation, but almost certainly will take steps to prevent Donald Trump from having the same tools.

That's an intereating point: the argument was always "even if the current regime does not use data collection for evil, the next one moght."

This is why I secretly hope Trump wins, just so all the pro NSA democrats get their collective heads out of their asses.

That's not even taking into account the major brain drain which could come under a Trump presidency. We have a precedent.

So he does not know the system but you know it well enough to know that his plan will add trillions to the debt?

Trump's so called economic plan has been trashed by reputable economists and publications. Its easy to see why - he advocates for low taxes and high spending simultaneously. I've read some of the other comments you've posted here, and noticed how impervious to logic you seem to be but surely you can see how low taxes and high spending is a combination that never mixes well.

Never mind the Econ 101 level mistakes made in the report (it confused the meaning of "nominal"). Read the reviews of Trump's "plan"

- Peterson Institute of International Economics called the plan "magical realism" - https://piie.com/blogs/trade-investment-policy-watch/scoring...

- Matt Yglesias points out the stupidity of linking of GDP growth with reducing the trade deficit - http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/29/13075538/tr...

- Who is Peter Navarro (the supposed author of this mess)? - http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/09/who_is_peter_na....

Links courtesy of this FiveThirtyEight article - https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-and-clinton-have-...

Also http://gregmankiw.blogspot.ca/2016/09/trumponomics.html by Mankiw, a former chair of CEA under Bush.

No, but I can read reports by the Tax Foundation http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald...

>He feels that the political agenda has been overrun by distractions, like "who can use which bathroom", at the expense of real problems, like the stagnation of median wages over the last forty years. He prefers the days when the national conversation was about how to beat the Soviets, and sees the lack of substance in our political agenda today as tied to a slowdown in progress.

Yes, and I agree with him. Strangely enough, when I thought about how to have a substantive politics, it led me to support Bernie Sanders. Now, you may not like Bernie yourself, but he sure as hell wasn't a climate-denying wannabe-dictator with a habit for sexual assault.

If you believe politics ought to be about policy, then the Trump candidacy has been miserable for your goal. I can't see how Thiel can hold that goal and support Trump, unless I posit that Thiel is choosing attitude ("MAGA") over substance (mercantilism and a typically Republican dislike of science and technology).

>He's often said that one of his favorite interview questions is, "tell me something you believe to be true but which nobody agrees with you on".

Our society cannot grow or move forward until the finance/real-estate capital complex is removed from control.

None of what you wrote answers "why Trump?", though. If Thiel thinks he can somehow control Trump and get him to pursue a Libertarian agenda (which Trump's platform bares no resemblance to) then he's an idiot.

If he wants Libertarianism he should donate to Gary Johnson. Anything else is just opportunism.

Flattering Gary Johnson isn't going to accomplish any political goals.

Getting him into the 3rd debate might moderately raise awareness of the party, but he isn't going to win the election. Full stop.

Neither, at this point, is Trump. So it's a bad investment either way.

> Anything else is just opportunism.

But that might be it. Trump clearly lacks a well oiled political machine behind him like Clinton. Should he win power there will no doubt a lot of opportunities opening up for anyone with a cheque and an agenda. I guess 1.5 million is not much to gamble for Thiel and will pay back 1000 to 1 if Trump were to succeed.

it won't matter on HN and this shit story does not belong here. There already have been too many stealth political stories posted to HN all bent one way.

For supposedly open minded people techies (this happened on /. and ended that site for many) are the most bigoted close minded people you can find. They don't want to think, they want approval of supposed peers, peers they will never meet nor acknowledge them.

The common trope is always, Republican candidates or Presidents are dumb, they are racists, they are homophobes, they are anti science, they are anti-name it. Yet no matter how much proof is offered that the candidate they will support instead will trounce their privacy rights, their freedoms, and more, they cannot be convinced otherwise.

Shit like this does not belong on HN and thank god for the karma I have because fuck it, this type of crap is the reason to delete sites like this permanently from bookmarks. You want to go to the shitshow that /. became, don't do it.

All three candidates have bad points, some more than others, but I will not vote for someone whose entire political career is one deceit after another and who turns a blind eye to the deaths their decisions have caused nor will I accept a candidate the press desperately wants and will never call on the carpet

PG has made a couple statements about Peter Thiel's position on Twitter[0], and PB has take a stand against ostracizing Trump supporters[1], so let's dig into this.

The gist of the matter is: What should sane and compassionate people do about the Trump supporters in their lives? Many of us have them. Some of my family members support Trump, and I cannot fire them as family members or cancel Christmas, so I, and we, have to find another approach.

There are different levels of engagement, and the three most important are:

1) Political. Trump supporters are asking for power, and they must be denied that power, because their candidate is a dangerous, emotionally unstable racist, a sexual predator, and man who would do deep damage to US democracy. We should take a hard political line and fight them with all legal means to exclude them from decision-making positions that affect the public interest.

2) Private/Social/Familial. What kind of private discussions can you have with Trump supporters? There are different kinds of supporters, and the discussions you can have with them will vary according to which battle in the culture war you choose. Like previous GOP candidates, Trump has gathered a coalition of single-issue voters behind him. These include the usual suspects 1) anti-abortion groups, gun-rights groups, and climate change deniers. But Trump also has the support of a) white nationalists and other racist groups[2][3]; and b) post-factual conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones who preach the existence of an evil and "alien force not of this world".[4]

Anyone who has tried to argue someone out of their views on abortion or gun rights quickly finds that the discussion moving in circles, and pretty soon you've wasted a couple hours of your life.

People don't change their minds, and "when faced with doubt, they shout even louder."[5] So sure, talk with them if you want, but adversarial debate is one of the least effective ways to engage with Trump supporters.

Let's take Peter Thiel as an example: At the core of his RNC speech was the simple argument that the US government is broken and only Trump can fix it.[6] I agree that the USG is broken in a lot of areas, but hiring Trump to fix it, as someone funnier than me put it, would be like trying to cure eczema with a blow torch. Peter and I might agree on a lot of concrete, isolated problems with government, and he may have some pragmatic ideas for solving some of them, but when you go up one level of abstraction to a "total solution", there's not much to say. A debate between reason and irrationality leads no where.

At the heart of Thiel's position is a question: How do you fix a complex, broken and long-standing system? There are two alternatives: reform or revolution. Clinton represents reform at best and the status quo at worst. She has my vote because she's sane and sanity has become surprisingly rare. Trump represents revolution.

Most revolutionaries overestimate the good a total change will bring, and underestimate the damage. All they can see is the bad of the current situation. But most revolutions fail miserably. The Arab Spring failed violently in Libya, Egypt and Syria. The Iranian revolution of 1979 rang in decades of theocracy. In China and Russia, Marxist-Leninism ultimately killed tens of millions of people. The French revolution led to a century of political instability and the collapse of the French empire. The revolution that overthrew the decadence of Weimar Germany was called Nazism. In the wake of a revolution, you find that the new humans at the top are no better than the old ones, and generally less experienced. Without well thought out structures (like the separation of powers in the US constitution), the new elite will fail and be corrupted.

Anyone who's had to refactor a large, complex and crappy code base has longed to start from scratch. But countries cannot "start from scratch" without massive turmoil and bloodshed. Revolutions mean violence. I don't think we need a revolution, but if we did, it should at least go in the right direction. Trump is not the right direction.

Another important thing to remember is: some political views do not count as dissent, and cannot be accorded the same privileges as other forms of speech: hate speech and white nationalism don't count as dissent. Sexual predation and misogyny don't count as dissent. They are ugly prejudices, and it's not useful to listen to or engage them in a "debate". They have to be tackled in some other way.

In public fora, we should present alternatives to Trump supporters' views, but in private conversation, we should build relationships with his supporters based on non-political common ground. Years down the road, some of them will come round, and when they do, that human connection will be their road of return. One of my siblings was in a cult for about a decade. We just nodded, laid down some light rules about proselytizing and turned the conversation to baseball. For years. And then one day they left the cult and we never heard about it again.

3) Root cause. This is the most important level of engagement. How do we address the factors that have lead us to this point?

There are a lot of factors, but I think we can boil is down to one word: bubbles. People are living in bubbles. Wealth creates bubbles of isolation (Trump himself is a great example, and so is SV). Poverty creates bubbles of isolation, where people are not exposed to new ideas, other cultures and different kinds of people. And the media creates bubbles. Some of the media's bubbles are great (innocent weirdos congregate and find their human home on the Internet), and some are really damaging, because, as a nation, Americans no longer live in a shared reality or agree upon facts. Fox News has never cared about facts, and the GOP has done a lot to drive its supporters away from mainstream media where fact-checking actually happens. The FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, and since then US media and their audiences have grown increasingly polarized.[7] Maybe that was a mistake.

Different types of bubbles can be burst in different ways. Internet media bubbles could be addressed, at least partially, with algorithms to recommend other types of content, but we would have to accept a benevolent algorithm-maker trying to change our minds.[8] Media bubbles cause bubbles of ideology -- destructive, self-perpetuating memes like anti-semitism and white nationalism. Those are hard to burst. It takes a huge commitment on the part of the people who are hated to go out, encounter the haters in a neutral context and demonstrate your humanity. It can be done. Sometimes it leads to a minor victory, like a racist realizing "not all n are bad." Really hard work.

Bubbles of poverty can be burst by investing more time and money in poor communities, getting people to work and exposing them to the other in non-threatening ways. Maybe we're talking dance troupes and exchange students -- I don't know.

To get to the root, we have to go beyond the media to the interests that are financing the culture wars and climate denial.[9][10]

I don't have ready-made solutions for bursting bubbles, or cutting off the funds that are creating the ideologies that threaten the US and the whole species, but that's where we need to focus. The real issue is the dark money and Citizens United. Beyond that is only capitalism itself, the system that allows a few individuals for reasons of merit or inheritance to lay enormous social claims on the rest of society through the unequal allocation of wealth.

We're living in a strange time. Large historical forces are at work in America, which are beyond the powers of any one person to address. This election cycle has taught me a lot about humans and group behavior, more than I ever wanted to know, and it's given me a surprising sympathy for the Germans whose lives were eclipsed by Nazism in the 1930s. Not all of them wanted it, but all of them got it. A few resisted and died; some fled; many sank into indifference and getting-by; and some saw it as a career opportunity. Just a few more percentage points in favor of Trump and all of America gets him, his walls, his deportations and his groping paws, too. And then we'll all have choices to make.

[0] https://twitter.com/dhh/status/787547255259758592

[1] https://twitter.com/paultoo/status/786990416537149441

[2] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/donald-trump-hat...

[3] http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12256510/republican-party-trump...

[4] http://mediamatters.org/video/2016/03/17/defending-donald-tr...

[5] https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2010/10/why-people-d...

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTJB8AkT1dk

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

[8] https://www.wired.com/2016/09/googles-clever-plan-stop-aspir...

[9] http://www.pnas.org/content/113/1/92.abstract

[10] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-...

[11] https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Money-History-Billionaires-Radic...

Three comments -

(0) Nice setup of the sane and compassionate versus... Trump supporters? Who cannot in any way be sane or compassionate...

(1) If Trump supporters must be fought and excluded from any sort of decision-making that affects the public sphere, then why bring up US Democracy? The very nature of democracy allows the dangerous, the racist and the sexist to affect it. Are you suggesting something else?

(2) While I might criticize the five silos you toss Trump supporters into, I wonder more whether you'd find a Sanders revolution abhorrent. Not that all revolutions have been as bloody or as horrid as the French - are you saying the American Revolution was a terrible thing for the world? Certainly the Brits might think so. ;-)

0) I was contrasting non-compassionate responses (such as ostracism) to Trump supporters, with a sane and compassionate response, which I attempted to describe in my second point. I clearly don't consider Trump supporters to be sane, and by definition they cannot be compassionate beyond a limited group of people, since their candidate is a bigot and a misogynist. If you can't see that, I'm not going to explain it to you. The evidence is overwhelming.

1) For a democracy to be alive, it must have the capacity to destroy itself. I think we agree on that much. Trump and his supporters represent a threat to democracy -- I'm sure we don't agree on that. I'm suggesting they be fought with democratic means.

2) I didn't mention the American revolution because it was different from the others. A bourgeois, nationalist revolution that transferred power from a tiny, foreign elite in Britain to a wider suffrage of propertied white males in America. You could argue that the deeper revolution in North America was the vast transfer of property from Native Americans to settlers, and that was indeed a terrible thing for the tribes.

Some of Trump's strongest policy prescriptions include

1) Clamping down on immigration

2) Clamping down on free trade

I don't see how any libertarian can be a fan of either.

It isn't immigration, it's illegal immigration. It's also against the abuse of H1 visas. Incidentally Tata was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and logically she supports H1 abuses:

Here's a document from the 2008 Obama campaign about Clinton and her coziness with Indian H1 abusers: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/politics/memo1.pdf

Note that is a document from the Obama campaign -- not some republican hit piece.

Libertarians do favor free trade, however free trade doesn't exist as long as governments (such as China,) manipulate currency or (such as France, specifically with Airbus,) provide heavy state subsidization for certain industries in order to compete with companies that aren't as subsidized.

Free trade requires an end to all subsidies and market-distorting practices that disadvantage competitors.

Trumps trade stances aren't in opposition to free trade in as much as they're in opposition to unfair trade -- China being a great example. US companies have to compete in manufacturing essentially with one hand tied behind their back -- stricter environmental rules, tougher labor rules and much higher taxation compared to China. So allowing unrestricted Chinese trade isn't 'free trade.'

Not defending Trump or necessarily bashing Clinton, just providing some context for his 'opposition' to free trade and immigration.

Trump's trade positions aren't much different than the EU -- when I import an American product into France, I pay huge duties and taxes -- importing something to the US from France -- rarely do I get hit with a huge tax bill from FedEx or UPS.

I even had to pay taxes on $100 worth of kids clothes I ordered from the US. I've never had that happen when I bought something from the EU and had it shipped to the US.

Good points. But what specific policy or changes occur under a Trump presidency?

This past spring a 500% tariff was placed on Chinese steel. So, I have a hard time understanding what he's going to do different. That is my complaint with this election cycle that it's been all lip gloss and no substance so everyone concludes what they want about him.

Yeah, a libertarian who got rich on CIA investments and contracts. Isn't it amazing how everything else is crony capitalism and government needs to stop interfering in the market except to make oneself rich and protect ones own assets?

"who can use which bathroom" Isn't this the major problem we have currently?

Muslim terrorists. Warmongering Hillary, Zero Interest rates, crumbling infrastructure, imploding retirement funds. Who gives a fuck? But hey, bathroom problems.

Nicely put. MAGA.


Except that Trump has said that he does not care who uses what bathroom at his hotels and such. So, no, Thiel isn't an idiot.

Except that Trump's running mate is a hardcore social conservative... and he would likely be one of the most powerful/influential VPs in American history thanks to Trump's lack of interest in the details of governing.

But Republican politicians around the US have been introducing bills limiting who can use what bathroom, so the larger problem is the GOP as a whole doesn't know what it even believes. Thiel's and Trump's social ideals vary vastly from the rest of the party.


The bathroom they align with? Do you believe in male and female brains? What makes someone align with a gender? The whole trans thing is regressive, homophobic, and medically unsound. Beyond that, the bathroom safety issue for women is real.

Oh come on, really? In what way is "the whole trans thing" homophobic? As for female and male brains, there is plenty of evidence that male and female brains are significantly different.


1. There is a huge push to say that people are not attracted to genitals. Lesbians are being told they're transphobic for not sleeping with people with penises.

2. There is a well documented phenomenon of homosexual people transitioning for public acceptance. A number of people who have detransitioned have discussed this.

Male and female brains

1. There is a huge difference between the brains of taxi drivers and the general population. The brain is incredibly plastic and our socialization and culture should make us expect brain differences.

2. Question: The brains of transgender people are still more like people of their own sex than of their identified gender. If you buy the brain sex argument do you think that there should be a brink for a diagnosis as trans?

Either that or he's shorting USD and looking to make a killing come November.

Also, trump is no libertarian, he's an extreme authoritarian.

I'm all for it but Trump isn't the guy to lead the change. He has no record of success and treats all humans terribly.

If Somebody with a similar mindset on the business matters minus the catastrophic interpersonal issues runs in the future I'll happily elect them.

Well, he actually does have a record of success. He wouldn't have a strong following if he treats all humans terribly.

I'm not surprised at all that Thiel is for Trump: he was always more for preserving America as white a possible than libertarian guy.

And Trump did for one important thing: we all know who are the racists and which organizations harbor and supporting racisms.

Everyone seems to think it's about maximizing his ROI or, less cynical, about economics. But here's a quote from Thiel's speech at the republican convention:

"Instead of going to Mars, we have invaded the Middle East. We don't need to see Hillary Clinton's deleted emails: her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya, and today it's a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right. It's time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country."

He clearly says "On this most important issue, Donald Trump is right" and it's not really surprising, since Thiel is a libertarian.

Clinton's plan for Syria is scary. Ironically it displays the kind of toughness that Trump claims to represent. Personally I think it is a bad move, and Russia has already been reasonable, e.g. backing the Iran deal.

You don't even need to be a libertarian or an isolationist to believe that the neoconservative approach is wrong.

This is the only issue that really worries me, Clinton might actually attempt to get some leverage over Russia as she says. In such a bold move, Russia will feel so cornered that it may break out into a major war, with possible use of limited nuclear weapons.

The western world doesn't understand the mentality of Russia, they have had two regime collapses this century already. Putin believes that everything needs to be done to avoid a third one.

I'm not even in the US, but have been following the election closely. What a circus, both candidates are horrible choices. But Clinton's foreign policy is what scares me, at least based on what I have heard so far.

Another concern is some type of civil unrest after the election.

I think this applies to whole Asia.

This is how Japan was pushed into WWII, and how China right now is being pushed in arming up.

Quick history lesson:

China, basically dominated the world, even when the world weren't aware of China's existence for most of the history, then when England and US came knocking into China's door, they managed to force China into a mix of submission, collapse and opening.

Then US tried to repeat the feat with Japan, starting with the infamous "black ships" (how the japanese called the mysterious US warships when japan still used wooden ships).

Japan then started a serious attempt to avoiding "being the new China", and started to literally imitate US and Europe: invade everywhere, and attempt to become a colonizing superpower.

This in the end is the reason why Japan ended in WWII.

Russia saw what happened to countries around them, Iraq was literally created by England, with borders intentionally crappy to create internal problems (Lawrence of Arabia publicy proposed this), US and Europe actions in Japan and Korea region basically turned Japan and Korea into virtual US colonies, in fact, Japan plans I mentioned earlier failed, badly, Japan DID became a "new China" that must obey US interests, and instead of "black ships" at their ports, ended with a permanent base in their territory.

Not only to Putin, but to the russian population, stuff like trying to sanction Russia, is viewed as an strongarm attempt to pull Russia into submission, to the russian population, the fact that they are becoming poorer due to US sanctions, and US allies oil-price meddling, isn't a reason to become angry at Putin, to them it is reason to consider US the ultimate enemies, and do their best to support Putin no matter what happens.

US, England and France seemly doesn't understand that after 2 centuries meddling in Asia in a imperialistic manner, one country that always has been very imperial themselves, will see them as a major threat and will never, ever, back down.

To Russia, nuclear war is more desirable than "slavery", it is better to die, than to submit.

(this is not even counting yet the psychological effects of Russia terrain... Russia geography is so fucked-up that only people that are mentally resilient and willing to endure famine, poverty and extreme situations will live there)

I wish the press would call her out on using the term "leverage". If the US military confront Russia's proxies at the no-fly-zone and force them to turn back, then this would given them leverage against Russia. That's what the term implies. Changing that situation on the ground and then going to Russia and saying "now what". When Clinton uses the term "leverage" it's misleading voters, who don't realize that enforcing the no-fly-zone will require confronting Russian planes directly.

This is what worries me, especially given the state of both the mainstream press and feminism right now. Here in the UK, we've already seen the leader of the opposition accused of supporting harassment and violence against women for opposing bombing Syria merely because some of pro-bombing MPs that had anti-war protests outside their offices were female. Imagine what will happen once the President of the US is a hawkish, well-connected Democrat woman who can defend a man accused of brutally raping a 12 year old girl, leaving her with massive internal injuries, by convincing the court to put the girl through a forced psychiatric examination so nasty she refused to testify afterwards using an expert witness who argued that little girls fantasise and lie about sex with older men all the time - and have the press spin this a feminist act that only right-wing propagandists could object to. We're doomed.

George W Bush came to power claiming that it was time to stop being the worlds police and to rebuild the country instead.

This is a very real problem for Trump. Trump has already been forced to change his rhetoric on Israel, and even Pence doesn't support Trump's plan for Syria (letting Russia/Assad win).

On the other hand, Trump has a huge amount of support for him personally that hasn't been seen before, so maybe he can leverage this against the neocons in his own party.

I agree that Hillary would likely be a terrible president, but as PJ Rourke said, 'she's wrong within the normal parameters'

A vote for trump is a vote to end the republic. I don't think we're at that point yet, no matter how bad Hillary is.


I can explain a bit about this.

I am a libertarian-authoritarian mix myself.

Basically, I believe the best government is a local authoritarian government, where variables are known, and the ruler is close to the population, for example Singapore.

When you go stupid-big sized countries (like US, Brazil, Russia...), you have a problem: these countries have too much land and populations to manage efficiently.

In those cases, the ideal solution would be a libertarian FEDERAL government, while local governments (municipalities and states) can do "whatever" they want as long it doesn't put national security in danger.

That said, there are some authoritarian rules, that if applied to the whole country, aren't 100% bad, they are not ideal, but it might work, for example avoiding war, encouraging reproduction (specially among the elites), protecting your economy from external threats, reducing the economy internal mess (subsidies specially are problematic), and so on.

> Hasn't Thiel talked about how it's bad that women have the right to vote?

I was curious about this, so I looked it up. From Thiel's writings on Cato Unbound:

> Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.


> It would be absurd to suggest that women’s votes will be taken away or that this would solve the political problems that vex us. While I don’t think any class of people should be disenfranchised, I have little hope that voting will make things better.

I'm not quite sure what he's trying to say. It sounds more like nonsense than any sort of actionable malice to me. (But then again, I don't really care about Thiel in the first place, so maybe I'm a little biased.)

He's saying he doesn't want to disenfranchise women or any particular class, he wants to disenfranchise everybody. He's framing the democratic political process as something that doesn't get anywhere and something that gets in the way of progress, so he prefers authoritarian power over the checks and balances of a democratic political system.

Thanks for the explanation. It's clear I failed to grasp his argument.

He was trying to deflect the criticism from his controversial essay, so his only option was to be obsequiously vague in his wording while killing the strawman of "Thiel wanting to take away women's right to vote".

He's trying to say what people have always said: I don't think people I don't agree with should be able to vote.

>No sense in doing complicated mental gymnastics here.

Yeah, it's such a hassle trying to understand people who hold different opinions from yours. And reading their own words? Bor-ing! Better to just vaguely handwave some half-remembered boo-words you read in Vox and call it a day.

Voting isn't liberty, though.

Politics aside. What does it say about his judgement to continue investing in something that is statistically on track to fail. Not only that, but its also a toxic brand to attach yourself to.

Or do we just put this in the "expensive new hobby" section and leave it at that.


Update: I want to hijack my own comment to ponder something.

As someone with no money and no influence, I find it hard to think about how to use money to buy influence as part of a grand plan, like many of the comments here are suggesting.

As a layman, I think in simple terms like discrimination, racism, sexism, etc... and my belief in fighting against all those things.

Am I short-sighted? Is there some greater human social structure that I am not aware of that can only be achieved by making such calculated investments? Despite all the immediately negative rhetoric.

Pretty much all of Thiel's investing thesis is to invest in things that are statistically on track to fail, but whose payoff if they succeed is greater than most people imagine. PayPal, Facebook - both of these were terrible ideas when they came out (along with a number of other ones that did, in fact, fail). His idea is that people consistently mis-price risk, and so investing in a portfolio where everyone else thinks it's a terrible idea but you have reason to believe it's a better idea than others suspect will give outsize returns. (Note: it doesn't actually have to be a good idea, it just has to be better than everyone else thinks it is.)

Supporting Trump fits perfectly into this: if he loses, he gets egg on his face (which most people will forget fairly soon) and may lose out on a little startup dealflow, but if he wins, he becomes the sole connection between the Presidential Administration and Silicon Valley. That's worth a lot more than $12.5M.

I don't think he's investing in the hopes that Trump will pull of a long shot. I think he has a different goal in mind. He said in his speech at the RNC that the country is broken and that Trump is the only one who can fix it. I have no doubt that he believes the first part - he's said as much for a long time - but I do doubt that he really thinks Trump is the man to fix anything. Thiel may be nutty according to some, but he's not an idiot and the only thing Trump has ever been good at is self-promotion and entertainment.

I think he thinks the country is broken and _someone_ has to fix it. He's supporting Trump and investing in his campaign even at this late, seemingly forgone stage, in order to build credibility with Trump's base and conservatives in general. If he wasn't an immigrant I would think he might be aiming for the presidency himself, but he probably just wants to be an influencer or power broker.

Here is an interesting take on this matter:

> Famously, the only reason he went to seek fortune in the Silicon Valley was because he was denied a highly prestigious clerk position for a Supreme Court justice.

> It seems to me that Thiel originally wished to become a politician, and only stopped pursuing that path to seek his fortune in the Silicon Valley when he hit his first setback when applying to clerk for the Supreme Court.

Source: https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Peter-Thiel-supporting-Donald-T...

I doubt it. Thiel's personality - in all his public appearances - has been hyper-rational, not exactly the sort who would hold onto a childhood dream for 20 years. And he's talked about how falling off that track was the best thing that ever happened to him - so much so that he now wants to help other talented college kids fall off the established track.

Also, he's not U.S. born, which disqualifies him from being president anyway. He could potentially seek some other office...but I really doubt that he would want any position that makes him just like 99 other or 434 other people.


Or he crushed an opponent in comical fashion after 8 years of antagonism.

Considering how divisive Trump is even among the conservative base, and especially in the RNC, seems weird to support this particular candidate if what he wants is to assert himself in the republican base and party.

When (as seems likely) Trump loses this election, a weird new space in the Republican party. The "establishment" (whatever that is) will still be the enemy, but the rejection of any one more serious than Trump will have to go.

This will be opportune world for all kinds of right-wingers whose ideas are too extreme or too kooky to have been taken seriously before, but who are more toughtful than Trump.

In very different ways, Paul Ryan and Peter Thiel are positioning themselves for that world. As are a lot of others.

Maybe the point is to signal his willingness as a backer to other potential candidates.

Though I find even that a bit odd. Would people not take a pledge seriously without having seen his demonstrated willingness to lose large sums of money?

Actually if he loses, he becomes the first investor in a ultra conservative right-wing media empire, Trump Media, which appears to already have quite a large following.

I wonder if launching this media outlet is the real purpose of the campaign. It's at least more plausible than the Trump is throwing the election for Hillary conspiracy theory.

He might very well have set up a "heads I win, tails I win more" gambit. If he wins the election, he's president. If he loses, he has 30 million or so passionate customers for his next business venture.

This is definitely the case...but he doesnt even need the new audience or the new venture. His entire empire is built on a name that is getting billions in free press.

The worst thing to happen to a famous brand is not bad press but rather becoming irrelevant and falling out of discussion.

Even if the Trump political brand crashes and burns, the broader trump brand of success and money just gets stronger...

This election was the ultimate win win for Trump.

This is why he can take all the risks he is taking, he has nothing to lose...which is the ultimate trump card!

Edit: spelling correction

I don't buy this. What was the cost--in brand, but also in actual revenue--to losing his role in The Apprentice, losing the Macy's sales, the Miss Universe thing, etc? I expect the backlash has had real consequences.

No doubt starting a cable network is a good fallback position, but I don't buy the idea that this is all according to plan.

More likely, some in his campaign know he's going to lose and are looking for an out, while others (maybe including the candidate) still think he may win.

I don't think you can make judgement calls from short term things like the examples you gave.

His brand recognition is way up throughout the world and my experience tells me that the negative view will not translate into his business brands once his political brand is not front and center.

His businesses are declining in foot traffic https://medium.com/foursquare-direct/how-the-trump-president...

Short term changes have little to do with long term brand recognition and value.

I've studied branding extensively and I think, if he loses, his presidential run will still be a net win for him and his brand once the political fallout falls out of the news cycle.

edit: changes nothing to little

This is spot on. He's building an audience with the presidential bid. After he loses, he'll cry fowl, start an alt-right online news network, and spend the next 4 years complaining of a stolen election. He's enough of a draw to pull talent from The Blaze (Tomi Lahren), Breitbart, Fox News, etc. $1.25M seems like a small gamble for what could be a pretty big payoff.

This is exactly what is happening.

You have the personalities in Trump and Giuliani etc. You have the news content courtesy of Brietbart. You have lifestyle content courtesy of his real estate assets e.g. golf/travel shows etc. And he already owns a TV production company that made the Apprentice.

And don't forget that Lachlan Murdoch is now firmly in charge of Fox News and has always talked about it being less alt-right and more centre-right. This will leave a massive opening for Trump in the alt-right space. The real question is whether Fox will allow it on their global cable platforms.

You also have Roger Ailes advising Trump, if he helps him to get anywhere near Fox News size of audience, they're both big winners.

Ultra-conservative? Not by a long shot. I was a Ted Cruz backer and Trump to me is as bad as Clinton.

Trump isn't conservative. He's a big government populist. Completely different despite him having an 'R' next to his name.

He is about as close to Cruz as Sanders was to Clinton (in terms of policy philosophy.)

By the way, I understand downvotes because I mentioned Cruz in a positive way, however let's keep in mind that we can disagree with economic philosophy and role of government and still be friends!

I want a flat tax and a repeal of FATCA and Cruz was the only candidate that supported that. If some Democrat comes along with that proposal, they'd get my vote too.

FATCA and it's unintended consequences have caused serious harm to many Americans overseas, so that was my primary issue this election.

The only reason I support the RNC this election is because they have FATCA repeal in the platform while the Democrat side both enacted FATCA as wel as expressed support for continuing it.

Here's an article that delves deeper into FATCA if anyone is interested: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21605911...

As a foreigner, FATCA seems to be a logical reaction to the US system of taxing citizens instead of residents.

If a candidate had proposed to switch to only taxing US residents, plus apply some international pressure to close down tax havens, then I could see the point of repealing FATCA.

> Ultra-conservative? Not by a long shot. I was a Ted Cruz backer and Trump to me is as bad as Clinton.

As bad as Trump is, at least he is not a theocrat.

You need to factor in the probability that Trump doesn't feel any obligation.

Perfect quote from Paul Graham here:

Others may be reassured to hear Trump has only a 15% chance of winning, but it terrifies me. In Silicon Valley 15% is a good chance.


It matters who has the most chance of winning.

If there are 10 competitors and they all have between 5-10% chance of winning you have 15%. Compared to a 15%/85% split.

When it comes to a company 15% isn't too bad as you have a long time to test and figure out whether you make it. It's never just about one exact moment.

With an election it can usually be summed to important event: the vote. So that's why it doesn't terrify me at all. There's enough evidence now and in previous elections to show me he's not going to win the election. If the situation were say closer to Gore/Bush or even Romney/Obama pre-vote polling numbers, then maybe I'd be scared.

> That's worth a lot more than $12.5M.

Agreed. (Though FWIW $1.25M is the amount he invested)

I'm assuming 1/10 probability of Trump winning. Most poll aggregators are going 1/6; I actually suspect we'll see a bigger Clinton blowout than expected, but that's just MHO.

The Princeton Election Consortium currently has Clinton's win probability as: random drift 95%, Bayesian 98%. [1]

[1] http://election.princeton.edu/

As an additional data point, 538 has Clinton at 85%: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

From the numbers so far coming out from early voting you should add +2 to the poll margin. The Clinton ground game is looking like being more formidable than the famed Obama one. And with RNC bailing on Trump and moving money to down ballot races expect to see there being a massive discrepancy in late minute advertising and GOTV operations.

You're assuming Thiel is acting rationally. But more likely, he's blinded by political ideology.

1.25M, not 12.5M.

That is one plausible interpretation but there are several layers to this. It is not a coincidence that RenTech and Thiel are supporting Trump.

I hesitate to be explicit about what I think is actually going on but if you've read my posts on the Stagnation Hypothesis or watched Peter Thiel's videos on Youtube (low view counts, so I know you're not watching them!) you'll know there is a rather disturbing big picture which most people are oblivious to.


I am not sure what you are saying, and I really don't want to watch that video. Can you be explicit? I want to know what you are thinking.

No, I can't, sorry.

It's not something that can be both summarized and understood.


Look this isn't really a temporary interest for me, I'm something of a 'Thiel-logist'. You know how there exist Kremlinlogists? Same thing as that. I watch every video and read every book he writes or reads. This is not some celebrity fetish, but to do with the rich vein of ideas.

This is because I am convinced something very very important is going on and I want to understand more. I think I understand about half of it and I had a holy fuck mind blown moment a few years ago. Remember how Thiel took out Gawker nearly a decade later. This is as nothing in comparison, this is the grand-daddy of all long games.

> It's not something that can be both summarized and understood.

Ah, so it's not real then.

I am glad I am not the only watching those random Thiel conferences on Youtube. :-)

> that RenTech and Thiel are supporting Trump.

RenTec is not supporting Trump.

Mercer is.

Simons, for what it's worth, is supporting Clinton. As, I'm almost sure, does the majority of employees. Mercer is the outlier.

Are you referring to his thesis that globalization without significant technological advance will lead to a Malthusian catastrophe?

I have considered this in wondering why he would support Trump.

Not interested in watching the video, but where are your posts?

Trump isn't nearly as far behind as you may think: http://graphics.latimes.com/usc-presidential-poll-dashboard/

Yes, this poll is an outlier because their methodology is very different than most other polls.

Yes, Nate Silver has a very different outlook on the election, but Nate Silver was also not very reliable during the primary season (although that is, by his admission, because primaries don't have very good polling).

If I had to make a[n extremely uneducated guess], it's because most polling is done over the phone, and I don't think "people who answer their phone when they don't recognize the number" is a very good random sampling of voters in the US.

I don't think this race is nearly as over as most people seem to believe, which is why, if you want to beat Trump, it is REALLY IMPORTANT (all caps!) that you get out and vote!

You've cherry-picked the one outlier.

It's, of course, very possible that "this time it's different" as they say every time. He is certainly an unconventional candidate. However, I'll throw my lot in every time with the MANY polls who are trying to account for this, and the MANY poll aggregators who are trying to make sense out of this madness.

I think 538 was actually quite reliable during the primary season. Pretty much bang on, in fact.

Everything they said anti-trump was basically opinion and they have been roundly chastised (as deserved) for treating punditry as fact.

There was a good documentary on polling on BBC Radio 4 in light of their very weak performance in IndyRef and the UK General Election. One pollster said that he actually has a high regard for outliers which statistical aggregations do not capture. In cases where the majority of pollsters got it horribly wrong, there have been outliers at some significant distance from the herd that have been on the money but ridiculed at the time.

The reasoning is that pollsters have herd behaviours - they believe publishing an outlier they will lose them credibility so they suppress inconvenient results and will rework methodologies and weightings to avoid it. For many, election polling is a loss leader - its publicity to get their name out there for commercial services. The credibility of the outlier is increased because it has escaped the herd pressure despite the incentives.

I think problem is deeper. If one predicts heads as result of coin toss and other predicts tails, than one of them will be right. It says nothing about their abilities to predict. We always can find some outlier who predicts results different from majority of pollsters. The keyword is 'always': if such a possibility always exists (probability of existence P=1), then we can't extract any information from it (-log_2 P == 0).

To extract information we need to carefully revise methodology behind outlier predictions, and such an activity is a complex task for skilled data analyst.

> I don't think this race is nearly as over as most people seem to believe

This feels a lot like the atmosphere over here (in Britain) just before the Brexit vote.

Many people thought it was a guaranteed Remain vote, and woke up to a terrible fright on that Friday morning.

The polls showed Brexit winning.

Nate silver personally hasn't had a good record of making predictions in the primary this year, but his model had trump winning through most of the primary season. He just didn't believe his own model.

4% in national polls (that's the number averaging across the polls) is a huge difference given the strong alignment of so much of the electorate. And it isn't even the interesting way to analyze the election, winning the national popular vote isn't what wins the race.

If you look at states that are contested, things look bad for Trump, even in the ones where demographics favor him he is not getting polling results that point to a win (an example would be Pennsylvania).

Their response: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-daybreak-poll-ques...

Where they eliminated that one 19 year old, and saw very little effect on the poll.

> Where they eliminated that one 19 year old, and saw very little effect on the poll.

How is that a compelling answer?

It's like if a news investigation found that a company had poor quality control and features a photo of a defective product in their writeup and the company's response was "we issued a refund for the product the news team purchased."

All I can say is that you sound an awful lot like the 2012 talking heads who were convinced Romney would win despite all the polling pointing to the contrary. For the record, Nate Silver's biggest mistake in the primaries was not listening to the polls enough. For him (and every other data-driven forecaster) to be getting the general wrong they'd have to be making the exact opposite mistake as before.

I'd be happy to give you 10:1 odds on Trump losing. And I'm biased here: a few months ago, I was convinced Trump would win.

I haven't seen the crosstabs on the USC polls, but my gut feeling is that you're right; the kind of very fine demographic reweighting they're doing isn't common, because (A) it's a pain in the ass and of dubious real-world value; and (B) it's vulnerable to magnifying sample-size and selection problems, of which the skewed Trump support amongst young African-Americans is one example. So while I'll be interested to do a retrospective on the poll's accuracy and precision after the election, I'm personally not putting much faith in it for now.

That's not true, they saw the same affect as upshot, which is to say nearly 1 percentage point movement by removing him.

1 responder should not move a 2500 person poll by 1%

> Of the poll’s 14 weeks so far, there were three times when removing that weight switched the result from a Trump lead to a Clinton lead. Generally, the shift was between one and two percentage points...Some people have ignored the margin of error in order to make a political point, but there’s not much we can do about that.

That seems highly disingenuous a response.

You've just selected the national poll that is the most favorable to Trump. An average over polls >> any individual poll. Note that I am not saying that poll should be thrown out. But picking one poll in isolation is almost useless.

Looking at this specific poll in isolation is fine as long as you understand that you are looking at it in isolation.

I say so because of its polling methodology, which is unique.

If you're a politics/polling nerd, this poll is interesting. If you're not, then yes, you are probably better off either just reading 538, or looking at the RCP polling average.


Most politics/polling nerds look at aggregations of polls. Not sure where you get this idea that they are interested in a poll like USC which is such an outlier.

The fact that it's an outlier doesn't interest you? Maybe we have different definitions of "nerd".

The fact that it's an outlier means, statistically, that it is more likely to be wrong.

Yes, it's more likely to be wrong.

But this poll performed well in 2012[1] with the same methodology. As a polling nerd, wouldn't you be interested in why it is producing unusual results this year and what implications that might have for polling in general?

[1] http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-poll-faq-20161006-...

It is the height of stupidity to believe in any one poll. Especially that one which has had major issues with sampling:


There are plenty of aggregation sites which are far better at smoothing out any issues:


They all show Trump losing in a landslide with Clinton getting around 330 EC votes.

This is exactly why you should never blindly trust a single poll.

We don't know who is right/wrong until after the election so it is better to assume that a range of different polls taken at different times with different methodologies is likely to be more accurate.

I heard about this poll, but I haven't paid attention to it. You got me reading up on it.

Now I can't sleep...

If you look at the pictures of the number of people in attendance at their respective events one would conclude Trump is ahead.

Which is why thats an awful gauge of the electorate. The vast majority of voters do not attend political events, and "attendees at events" is really just an uncorrelated measure of "enthusiasm for a candidate amongst their base". If 40% of the country loved him so much that they all showed up at every single rally, yet the other 60% hate him, and will vote for HRC despite not really loving her, then you see a rally filled to the brim with Trump supporters, and nobody at hers, yet his chances are zip. Rally attendance is a meaningless metric.

It might not be great, but I trust it more than these dishonest polls

I'm sorry, but offhandedly dismissing "these dishonest polls", when, frankly,

1. They're the best data we have

2. We have no reason to believe they're incorrect

3. There is REALLY no reason to believe they're dishonest

Is 100% intellectually dishonest.

This is exactly what happened 4 years ago, and apparently some people have not learned from their tremendous mistake.

If you want to know why "turnout at a campaign event" is a crappier metric than "real actual scientific data", I don't know how else to help, other than to point to other instances in which it has failed:

"Mitt drawing larger crowds" http://www.politico.com/story/2012/10/mitt-drawing-larger-cr...

"Donald Trump continues to draw YUGE crowds. That matters less than he thinks." https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/28/do...

"Trump brags about crowd size but will it turn into votes?" http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d74fbd472f7a420a90737e55cfb20...

I do not know or care who you support in the Presidential election. However, I suggest you get realistic about your metrics, as you're way off in fantasyland at the moment, as far as I can tell.

If you turn out to be incorrect, I hope you learn from this experience. I know I will, if the data turns out to be wrong.

I'm in fantasy land? If you think the polls aren't manipulated for political advantage you are in fantasy land. You're appeal to 'real scientific data' is childish, since the data can be easy manipulated.

And yet, Trump supporters never had any trouble believing the polls when they showed their candidate leading during the primaries. Every single time, Trump would open his rallies with "have you seen the latest polls?".

When the polls show him to be ahead, it's evidence that the voters love him. When he's behind, it's evidence that the polling is rigged.

Hillary Lead Over Trump Surges After Reuters "Tweaks" Poll http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-30/clinton-lead-over-t...

All of my comments stand.

Campaigns also conduct their own internal polling which may or may not have biases, but they're not released; they're used for the campaign. So it only benefits them to know what's actually going on. Trump's is one of the few campaigns that seems only interested in good news, and in not learning from what their internal polling tells them.

That said, of course all campaigns will selectively brag about the polls that make them look good, and quietly ignore those that don't.

Again, the polls are extremely reliable in this country. If you can't see that, you're unlikely to be swayed by yet another data point when this election is complete.

Bernie is a good counter-example. Huge rallies, way behind in votes.

have you not read wikileaks? the DNC/Hillary rigged it against him from day one, he never stood a chance

Clearly you haven't read those emails: they show nothing of the sort, which is why you couldn't provide any evidence to back that claim.

You can find signs that people in the establishment personally favored the establishment candidate – the least surprising revelation in political history – but there's no evidence that lead to any concrete action. That's why the only claims of rigging have been intentional misrepresentation based on the knowledge that some people like you would repeat those claims without checking the sources.

When you have Donna Brazile feeding the Clinton campaign townhall questions so that she can prepare the answers. Threats for super delegates switching to Bernie and Debbie Wasserman Shultz stepping down. It's clear evidence of a rigged election. Who knows what was happening that is not in the emails.

Try citing specific ptimsry sources for events which actually happened. There's plenty of hyperventilating and outright propaganda on right-wing blogs but there's a reason why nobody with credibility is claiming the primary was rigged.

Hint: it's the same reason why the alleged victim is going around telling his supporters to vote for Hillary. If you trusted his judgement enough to think he should be president, why not trust his analysis now?

There's a reason why nobody with credibility is claiming the primary was rigged

And that reason is elementary game theory. The only people with incentives to claim that the Democratic primaries were rigged are those who will be left with no political influence if the Democrats fare poorly.

When the Republicans do well, it's because they value party unity over literally everything else. One of HRC's strengths is that she brings the same thinking to the Democrats. For anyone within the party, working against her carries no conceivable upside. And as we've seen in DWS's case, working for HRC means you'll be well taken care of, no matter what.

Basically, if Sanders or anyone else on the left has beef with the DNC, they will be much better off if they wait to bring it up until after the election. And maybe not even then.

Except Bernie's rallies were full of young people, who are always up for a rally but who can seldom be bothered to vote. Meanwhile, Trump's rallies are full of old people who have nothing else to do but vote.

Do we have any evidence that number of people at campaigning events correlates to more votes? If not, why would we conclude that?

Is it not (in absence of any evidence) equally plausible that the type of voter that will vote for Trump is more predisposed to attend a campaign event than other voters?

By that logic, Bernie Sanders would be the Democratic nominee.

I think it's very difficult to find truly unbiased statistics on this. Every current well-known analyst has been repeatedly egregiously wrong on the matter throughout this election cycle.

On matters of opinion, ABSOLUTELY. On matters of polling, absolutely false. Even Brexit was predicted by the polls, it just didn't happen until a week before the vote. (It's worth noting, of course, the same could happen here. And that's probably what Thiel is counting on).

Where do you see the Brexit predicted by the polls?


Seems to not support that claim.

Exactly there is a big myth going around that polls never predicted Brexit when in fact they absolutely did. People just didn't want to believe them.

Polls are objective not subjective.

Can you provide some links about the Brexit polls? I was following the betting markets and the prediction markets and they were dramatically wrong, even the day of the vote.

>Polls are objective not subjective.

I get what you're trying to say, and most polling seems to be pretty objective, but you can absolutely do subjective polling. You just have to target the right demo and you can make any poll say anything you want.

With Brexit the reporting of what was going on was dodgy, even the leader of UKIP thought he'd failed. The bookies had Remain at something like .90 probability.


This is different.

Just say you were going to vote for Trump. Someone stops you on the street, or call you up; would you admit it?

I wouldn't.

The guy is an absolute joke of a person on so many levels. He's stupid. He's just aweful.

But there's a tiny bit of Trump in a lot of us buried deep in that ID.

Personally, I do think we need to get much more vigilant on immigration, even though Obama has sent more illegials home than any other president. Would I admit this in public--hell no.

And I have never believed in Globilization. Would I admit this at work--hell no.

I really think a lot of people will vote for Trump in the privacy of that booth.

I won't because I won't vote for a president this year, or will I?

> I really think a lot of people will vote for Trump in the privacy of that booth.

I think so too. There is an interesting phenomenon there. Just guessing but suspect on the surface it is a very accepting, liberal place, perhaps one which encourages and celebrates diversity.

>>even though Obama has sent more illegials home than any other president

Where can I find the source for this? I may need it when arguing with people...

"The Deportation Machine Obama Built for President Trump"


Well, we know that net migration flows to Mexico (and possibly all of central america?) are positive. They turned from inflows to outflows during the recession. Perhaps this is where someone came up with "Obama sending illegals home".

Of course, I'm more than open to being wrong; certain classes of illegal immigrants have been given defacto amnesty, and Obama's spoken in their favor, but no doubt others continue to be persecuted.

>And I have never believed in Globilization

Sorry to tell you, data is in, and it's helping to pull billions out of abject poverty around the globe.

Depends on whether you care about the billions of people around the world or the millions in your own corner of it. I'm not sure most people are really ready to take in that expansive view of who their tribe is yet.

I'm not betting on a Trump presidency, but I'm fascinated at what the electorate is going to look like in the general. We've been basing so much of the polling on projections over 2012/2008 turnout. I would not be surprised if the final margin is within 2 points.

I would be more surprised if the margins are huge. I have come to expect team politics to give us close margins. I would be surprised, in either a very happy or very sad way, if instead the margins are big.

True; I wonder what impact a 9 point poll-implied spread turning into 1-2 points in the ballot booth could have on future political activities by "alt right" candidates. It feels like many are treating this as a "beat Trump and save the world" situation without realizing that the underlying movement isn't likely going away. If Trump brings in a large enough group of non-voters, that will have long lasting impacts (people that start voting tend to keep voting).

It can still be "save the world" situation even when understanding this. Long-term, it would be nice to have a SCOTUS that would be more of a check on someone like Trump, and less of a rubberstamp.

I'd be happy with a SCOTUS that checks the executive branch in general. We're already in full-on rubber stamp mode and have been for 16 years, if not longer.

I wouldn't call the current court a rubber stamp. There have been some very unfortunate decisions, sure, but there were also quite a few decisions that prevented either the states or the feds from running wild.

The real problem with being a true check is partisanship on the court. By now, it seems to be essentially accepted that there are "liberal judges" and "conservative judges", and that they will rule accordingly. I cringe every time I hear that, because SCOTUS, like any other court, is supposed to rule on what the law is, not on what it should be; and one's political affiliation should not affect the former. In practice, of course, it does matter these days, and it is a really bad thing, especially in an institution that is 1) so small, and 2) not providing any mechanism to hold them responsible.

Super Tuesday voter turnout in 2008: 8,228,763 for Democrats, 5,025,685 for Republicans. 2016: 5,557,243 Democrats, 8,307,884 Republicans If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on Trump. I think it will be close. That said, I also believe electoral fraud could decide the election.

Depends what you mean by electoral fraud. In the US, the only electoral fraud that has a significant impact is one where groups of voters are prohibited/prevented from voting. Pennsylvania is particularly vulnerable to that one due to very broad rules that allow people to question the legality of other people to vote. It's why Trump has been calling PA supports to do exactly that.

Other types of fraud (ballot stuffing, voting multiple times, voting when you're not allowed to etc.) are exceedingly rare, and it would have to happen at a massive scale for it to make an actual impact.

That's just not going to happen, especially with it being a felony.

At least one presidential election has been decided by a margin so close that a few hundred votes made the difference. That's not so massive a scale that it couldn't happen.

Yes. And far more than hanging chads, that election was primarily decided by thousands of potential voters being incorrectly purged from the voting lists.

george soros affiliate produces the voting machines in 16 states...

You're down-voted because you're right.

that's usually how things go :)

That doesn't make much sense. Super Tuesday primaries included all likely Republican voters. But Trump only has the support of about 40% of them and nothing he has done to date indicates that number is changing.

And there is no evidence that electoral fraud is likely to decide the election. In fact it's looking like efforts to prevent it e.g. in Indiana are far more likely to influence the election.

The record-breaking Republican turnout was due to Trump, and I think it is reasonable to believe that the vast majority of Republicans will vote Trump over Hillary, or 3rd party. At the same time, many independents and Bernie supporters will vote Trump as well. In my mind, Trump is the Republican Obama, and will benefit from many first-time voters, and a large turnout in general. It does not seem to me that Hillary has the same draw. I don't mean to argue with you, only to clarify.


We've banned this account for repeatedly violating the guidelines.

You're confused again. Trump had record breaking PRIMARY turnout. All polls taken so far have him only getting about 40% of Republicans. And there is no evidence what so ever that he is drawing in independents or Bernie supporters at any significant rate.

He is down by on average 7 points nationally for a reason.

Correction: 75% of Republicans, 40% overall. He seems to have a fairly hard ceiling. His support among Republicans is shockingly low, but likely to rebound a bit to keep it from being a total blowout.

You're off by 2X. Well over 80% of GOP is voting Trump.


where are you getting 40%? last I heard 87% of republicans are backing Trump (regardless of the elitists jumping ship)


Not an argument, try again.

Because the greatest threat to a hegemony of the wealthy is democracy.

And a candidacy that threatens opponents with prison, encourages voter intimidation, enlists foreign powers for cyberwarfare, intimates that any result will be rigged, distroys the norms critical to government functioning and a dozen other things, is the best investment someone who hates public control of policy could make win or loose.

It should not be overlooked that Mr. Thiel's funding of hogan's lawsuit against Gawker was clearly a shot across the bow of American freedom of the press by the plutocracy.

It should also not be overlooked that Charles Harder (hogan's lawyer paid for by Thiel) is now Melania Trump's lawyer in 2 lawsuits against media outlets, and also is working for Roger Ailes, the disgraced deviant sexual harrassing adviser to Donald Trump and former head of Fox News channel.[1]

Also please don't forget that Trump has promised to "open up" libel laws so that he can sue news organizations when they report the truth about his depraved life or bring attention to his abject incompetence.

Thiel clearly shares at least one ideological viewpoint with Trump and his ilk (i.e., removal of freedom of the press)... the more interesting question I think is why?

[1]: http://www.newsweek.com/charles-harder-gawker-melania-trump-... [2]: http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/02/donald-trump-...

While I generally share your sentiment, I also think it's a stretch to hold up Gawker as an example of the freedom of the press. Outing someone or publishing a "sex tape" of someone against their will clearly breaches boundaries. I doubt that the public interest, by any definition, was served by this. Neither Thiel nor Bollea were running for public office.

Trump, on the other hand, is a real danger.

I would not lump those two issues together.

sadly I find his opponent to be more dangerous as the press and Congress will likely never call her out regardless of what she chooses to do. already a proven welfare warfare queen we can expect simply more of the same. At least with Trump we know the press will nip his heels everyday and misstep and Congress will not be friendly.

we haven't had an adversarial press in eight years and only one adversarial party in the same

As a foreigner, I really don't get this attitude.

Hillary's a hawk, so let's support the obviously erratic, racist, bigoted, tax-dodging, incompetent, incoherent, sexually assaulting idiot who looks very much like a new Hitler and thinks if you win an election you get to lock up your opponents like a crazy third world state.

Boggles my mind that 'Murica' 'Freedom' can bring out such a petty, childish and obviously self destructive urge to vote for Trump.

What am I missing? Like with brexit, what the rest of the world seems to miss is the EU is a corrupt beuracracy with a privileged and out of touch political elite marching toward federalisation while deliberately ignoring it's citizens explicit wishes (I voted remain). Foreigners don't seem to report that, they portray the single market as somehow free, without a heavy cost and the British as inherently self destructive.

So what is it about Trump that's so compelling that is not reported to us? As the rest of the world is so horrified by this vile person, this demagogue. Why, America, why? How did he almost win? How did he even get 5% of voters?

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-on... is probably the best article I've seen as a 'splainer for those of us from this side of the pond.

https://morecrows.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/unnecessariat/ is also excellent reading.

>So what is it about Trump that's so compelling that is not reported to us?

It isn't complicated: there is an apparently large population of Americans who are tired of the establishment. Things have not been well for them for many years; wages are stagnant, they haven't benefited from the recovery much. These people don't want to see another politically established Bush or Clinton in the Whitehouse. This was embodied by Bernie Sanders on the left, and Donald Trump on the right.

Trump is the "I'm sick of politicians" vote, and benefits from "right place, right time".

I understand that sentiment, yet am shocked that people put aside all of Trump's faults.

The real issue that I wish American's focused on was their weak democracy. Why accept a two party system fuelled by private money?

I am an outsider as well, and from this side of the border it looks like Trump simpathizers in the USA are applying the "desperate times call for desperate measures" ideal with Trump.

Similarly to how German's where fed up with the war reparations and glooming economy which made them vote for the Nazi party.


What you're missing is nuance.

When you say "the obviously erratic, racist, bigoted, tax-dodging, incompetent, incoherent, sexually assaulting idiot", you're taking the opposition beliefs as fact, just like the Republicans who claim Clinton is an "obviously erratic deathly ill man-hating murdering warmongering power-hungry alcoholic liar."

Look at each candidate from their point of view. For example:

> thinks if you win an election you get to lock up your opponents like a crazy third world state.

Trump does not believe he can lock people up arbitrarily. He believes he can appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing surrounding her emails. He believes the only reason no prosecution happened already is because of political pressure.

There's a huge difference there. You may still, reasonably, find that belief concerning, but it's on a whole different level than "Trump believes he can lock up his opponents" just because he wins. Generally when you look into any claim about Trump or Clinton the reality is a lot more reasonable than one side or the other makes it seem. There are billions of dollars and massive, organized campaigns doing everything they can to paint everything the other person does as insane.

In general, the Clinton campaign is better at this, because they don't go around actively antagonizing the media like the Trump campaign does, and they have a lot more experience in the field. That said, you do still see of total nonsense about Clinton treated as fact even in "objective" sources - let alone the kind of insanity that propagates in the conservative media. For example, the latest meme is that the Clintons had Scalia murdered because of a wet-works email (that is actually about something totally different if you do even a little investigation.)

> When you say "the obviously erratic, racist, bigoted, tax-dodging, incompetent, incoherent, sexually assaulting idiot", you're taking the opposition beliefs as fact,

That's actually the way most people in Europe see him. Our source is not any opposition but Donald himself: listening to his interviews and speeches lets him certainly come across as "erratic" and "incoherent", he bragged about "sexually assaulting" women, and how he talks about and treats minorities makes him seem "racist" and "bigoted". As he has no clue about the state of world politics and no coherent policy proposals (flip-flopping during the same speech, interview or even sentence) the "idiot" label seems hardly avoidable. You could argue the "tax-dodging" though, for all I care.

I also don't see him as a new Hitler, more like a Mussolini type.

>just like the Republicans who claim Clinton is an "obviously erratic deathly ill man-hating murdering warmongering power-hungry alcoholic liar."

In Germany she would clearly be a conservative, which I'm not, but listening to her she comes across as extremely smart and very coherent, so "erratic" really doesn't apply. No idea why I would think she is "deathly ill", never saw anything that made her come across as "man-hating", no idea where "murdering" comes from; "alcoholic"? Never heard about drinking problems. That leaves "warmongering", "power-hungry" and "liar": maybe not more than the average American President in the last 200 years.

Gawker deserved it. They were vehemently opposed publishing the Fappening leaks (i.e. nude photos of famous women), but more than happy to publish Hogan's video ("he's a man, he can take it"). Sexist of the finest degree.

It couldn't have actually been a just ruling against Gawker for their civil offenses? I imagine you must think the American court system is broken.

Good. The media needs to burn for the bullshit they've been pulling.

I hope the tech world shuns Thiel. This is what he is supporting


Specifically, look for his insults aimed at reporters and journalists. This man is unhinged and unqualified. He is currently riling up his followers by claiming that the election will be rigged. I am concerned the consequences of that message


The real tragedy is how easily peoples attention are all about form not substance.

For all the crazy things Trump is saying he actually have some points that are far more important to discuss than whatever he said about women or journalists.

With Hillary you get a seasoned politician who is going to do what they have always been doing. Absolutely nothing. That's besides of course making a huge mess internationally. And a continued support for those specialt interests who pays for her campaigns.

With Hillary you get an absurd potential continuation of a two family dynasty having controlled this country for almost 40 years with only one interruption.

With Hillary you have a woman how is point her fingers at Trump for his taxes yet have done absolutely nothing to change the taxes and is herself using tax-havens where she channels all the money she and Bill make on international speeches, speeches they only have been paid for because they were politicians. Something the american people paid for and got nothing out of. (Not a single job created out of all that money they accumulated)

With Hillary you get both her support for Iraq and several other international faillures.

With Hillary you get a continuation of exactly what everyone agrees can't continue like this.

Go figure.

Well, you have to move past childish rhetoric before we talk substance. And even if we did, Donald doesn't have any substance. If he did, he would have focused on those. His policy ideas are broad brush strokes which don't hold up under further scrutiny. Hillary is a centrist and pragmatic politician. I for one is pretty happy with where the US is and do not want radical change. Minor tweaks around healthcare, military spending, and safety net should be good enough.

You still really only object to form. I have no interest in that.and be happy where the US is all you want. That makes you part of the problem the way I see it.

Something have to change IMO.

Let's agree to disagree that something needs to change. Also, as I said in my previous comment - I object to form AND substance. His form is so vile that it catches attention, but his substance is equally lacking.

He has substance it's just hidden from the rhetorics.

This is his own fault of course but that does not change my interpretation of what I consider most important.

I don't care what he said about women or what cigars Hillarys husband put into what interns something. Clinton was a great president, his (to use modern feminist rhetorics) exploit of his white male privilege to force a young women into obedience doesn't change the fact that he was a great president. Neither will Trumps rhetorics change the fact that he has more important points than Hillary in my book.

So I will live with his language just as I lived with Clintons sexual escapades, Bush absurd wars, Hillarys support for them and Obamas draconian use of targeted killing and it's collateral damage.

1. Taxpayer money was spent suing the Clintons for years. They ended up broke as a result.

2. HRC pays taxes. Lots of them.

3. Politicians on both sides earn lucrative speaking fees after leaving office. (Giuliani had a great thing going for a while.) Are you criticizing the practice in general or just HRC?

I am critiquing the double standards.

Well yes, but with Trump you get Eric Cartman come to life: all the problems of Clinton, plus vulgarity, plus neo-Nazism.

Some would claim you already have that.

Some would claim that Obama is a neo-Nazi? I admit, that's a new one. Haven't heard that before.

Some would claim that his foreign politics are punishing innocent people just for being muslim. The accepted collateral damage and killing of people without trial is a big part of that.

>Some would claim that his foreign politics are punishing innocent people just for being muslim.

Definitely. I'm far enough to the Left that I resent Trump for being so bad that Clinton can pin both parties' godawful policies all on him.


How many innocent people are trump responsible for being killed vs hillary? You are right its not black and white which is exactly what i showed. Trump havent troops in war or approved airstrikrs killing innocent people. I am all too aware of the grayness of politics you are not given you call trump black. No one is we are humans and by definition gray. Calling someone black is exactly sign of the opposite ability you claim to hold high.

I think we need a new law to augment Godwin's Law, that all debates about this election devolve into agreeing that both candidates are grotesque and disagreeing about which one is worse.

people on hacker news don't seem to realize there are shades of gray in the world, it's not black and white. Hillary might be light gray, but trump is BLACK. just like whenever there's discussion about Russia or China, people goes BUT US!. no. shades of gray.

Thiel is a Facebook board member and a YC partner, and we haven't heard a peep out of either organization.

It's a shocking display of gutlessness. As Trump would say, disgusting!

Have you seen the hidden-cam video of Alan Schulkin, NYC commissioner of board of election claiming that they are in fact rigged? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUDTcxIqqM0

Some commissioner somewhere said election is rigged, so that must be the truth we all accept and go rioting on the street.

I didn't say that... I was thinking that hopefully some people will pay more attention and maybe some folks will even follow buses around. But this is just one of many ways that they might be rigged.

Another example could be that polling/registration station employees can also influence votes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NTq1tlBwqI&t=2m20s

Some might even consider that the FBI rigged the elections by allowing Hillary to walk free...

I agree with Thiel about Trump.

On the surface, individually, I think that Trump probably looks like a worse person than Hillary, but if you look at each candidate as the sum of their social connections - I think Hillary turns out to be much, much worse.

Hillary Clinton is heavily influenced by big finance. That's where the bulk of her friends and her connections come from. Even her son in law is an investment banker (not a very good one - He lost his clients 90% of their investment - But he still lives in a $10m apartment). At least Trump built houses and apartments for people. He didn't build his wealth by leveraging political power, insider information or asymmetrical reward structures.

I agree with Thiel that big finance is responsible for increasing costs of living. Big finance captures a lot of value from the economy but it doesn't create any real value on its own. Whenever I've spoken to someone who works/worked in finance, it's clear that a large portion of their profits come from 'grey area' insider trading.

I think that the main reason why most people aren't aware of this is because people like Hillary have been running the show and legitimizing the whole industry (and allowing them to get away with more and more stuff).

If Hillary gets elected, I'm going to quit software engineering and work in finance instead. If the world is getting worse, I'm going to have to adapt and become worse myself - I refuse to let myself become a loser. If you can't beat them, join them.

It always amuses me how short political memory is.

> At least Trump built houses and apartments for people. He didn't build his wealth by leveraging political power.

All he said during the primary was that he was leveraging political power by donations in the past and his selling point was being self-funded.

On top of that he didn't build his wealth. He inherited it while declaring bankruptcy several times along the way. He doesn't release his tax returns and has been involved in fraud multiple times eg. Trump university.

It escapes me how from your premises you conclude that the problem you identified, big finance, will be broken apart or regulated by Donald Trump.


> It always amuses me how short political memory is.

Indeed. So many Clinton supporters overlook her voting record and justify it despite some very questionable decisions.

As a European following the election, I think Trump is a very scary man, yet you provide a good reason to support him, so I am grateful for that as it illuminates my perspective of the US election. Yet, Trump didn't mention those connections between HRC and the finance industry (which were already well known) in the presidential debates.

At the last debate he repeatedly mentioned her finance friends, her paid speeches and Soros during a question about taxes.

you're letting big finance cloud your judgement. you don't think trump is influenced by 'big finance'? how about the real estate? Russia? republican 1%ers?

The real difference is that Trump doesn't owe big finance any favors - Trump is fueled by his own (relatively petty) business interests. On the other hand, Hillary gets her fuel from by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citygroup, Morgan Stanley... Hillary owes these people favours and she knows how to slowly change things in their favor without anyone noticing - If this election has taught us anything it's that Hillary partially owns the media. If Trump tries to pull anything, the media won't let him get away with it.

Ideally, I would have picked Bernie Sanders, but the elites wouldn't allow it.

I'm genuinely curious what the rational for Thiel is in doing this. He's a smart guy, but I just don't see the ROI.

At this point, it seems very unlikely that Trump will get elected. So Thiel isn't getting access to a future President.

Plus, in addition to the monetary cost of the donation there's definitely a very real reputational cost. A lot of people in SV hate Trump and are completely mystified as to Thiel's support. (Personally, I'm also confused as to how a self-described libertarian would support a candidate who opposes freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and increased government control over the internet.)

Has Thiel described himself as "libertarian" recently? Even if he has, I'm not sure he means it in the same sense as the general population.

I like Samuel Hammond's analysis. His shorthand for Thiel's political philosophy is "corporate feudalism":



Strange to be investing this late in the race though.

Neoreactionary(NRx). Dark Enlightenment.

Why doesn't someone just ask him why he's giving the money.

He's participating the democratic process, would be interested to hear his rationale rather than a bunch of speculations about what he may or may not believe.

You don't need to ask him - he already gave a speech at the RNC endorsing Trump.

Senate races? Enthusiasm for Trump is falling and if republicans don't show up to vote then it's very likely that democrats will get control of the senate.

Then there's Palantir. Even if Trump doesn't win, the "law and order" rhetoric is resonating with a lot of americans. Trump wants to ban muslims, put together a deportation force, bring back stop and frisk, more border control, nukes for everyone, boots on the ground to fight ISIS, more surveillance, more military spending. All of these would lead to more government contracts for Palantir.

> Then there's Palantir.

That's a fair point. Palantir is very well-positioned to be the IBM of Trumpism.

Am I meant to infer "do for Trump what IBM did for Hitler" from that?

Yes, though Trump is obviously not a carbon copy clone of Hitler.


That wouldn't have stopped him either. Given that nuclear weapons did not exist it would have been highly surprising if he had.

Oh, and the Nazis did try to make them:


I've always found the right-libertarian philosophy to be extremely confused. They want freedom to do whatever they want but they also want to base everything off of capitalism which by definition means you can't do whatever you want unless you're rich. It just doesn't make any sense (unless of course you're already a billionaire in which case your world is already quite libertarian in reality).

Libertarianism isn't about doing whatever you want. It's about protecting your rights and the rights of others. This means you can do what you want, as long as you are not infringing on the rights of others.

That last clause is often overlooked or misunderstood, but it is critical.

> Libertarianism isn't about doing whatever you want. It's about protecting your rights and the rights of others. This means you can do what you want, as long as you are not infringing on the rights of others.

It is, however, "do whatever you want" in that it implies no non-negative social duties, ie, it doesn't require you proactively do anything to be part of society or that you seek to help others in society -- merely that your harm to them come through passive actions or side-effects of legally permitted actions.

It might be better to explain libertarianism as "rights over duties", in that it essentially asserts you have no social obligation which is more fundamental than your rights.

Others disagree, obviously.

But but...that is what communism is about too, just with a different set of rights. Making "rights" some abstract thing means you end up saying nothing at all.

> you end up saying nothing at all.

Any discussion can devolve to reductio-ad-absurdum if one is determined to do so.

Libertarianism is basically about negative rights - not so much about "do what you want", but more about "nobody is going to force you to do something you don't want". As an ethical system, think of it as utilitarianism which assigns infinite value to freedom from violent coercion. Everything else follows from that.

Unless it's violent coercion used to enforce the property system, which libertarians seem to like to ignore.

That would be capitalist libertarians. There is also such a thing as libertarian socialists and communists.

But yes, that is the next most important division. Right libertarians believe that there is a natural right to property ownership. Therefore, infringement on that right is an aggression, and using violence to protect it is simple self-defense. Left libertarians believe that private property is a social construct, and that it has negative social effects at large scale (a few would even say that it has them at any scale), and so reject it, and the use of violence to protect it.

There are two notions of freedom to consider: One is the notion of a liberal society in which the collective notion of rights lead to freedom from slavery. This notion underpins modern liberal society.

The other notion of freedom developed in the late Roman empire which came to mean a lord's right to do whatever he wants with his property, including his slaves. This notion of freedom, indistinguishable from power, lies at the heart of the Neo-Reaction movement.


> Capitalism means you can't do whatever you want unless you're rich.

You're conflating laissez-faire or free market capitalism with a plutocracy (society ruled by the wealthiest). They're diametrically opposed systems.

I have my problems with Libertarianism, but I don't understand what you don't understand. Libertarians think everyone should have freedom to do whatever one wants, but that says nothing of having power to do whatever one wants.

Freedom is not freedom without power to exercise said freedom.

There is no law preventing me from doing 100 pushups right now. Yet I also find myself powerless to do it.

Does that mean I'm not free to do pushups?

The word 'freedom' has many different meanings.

Freedom in the Libertarianism context (and in most contexts) means lack of coercion or constraint imposed by government or other institutions. It doesn't refer to freedom from natural or physical constraints. That wouldn't make any sense to advocate for.

Does this clear it up for you?

The lack of economic freedom experienced by many is a direct product of the economic policy enforced by government and advocated for by libertarians, ie, it's directly the result of government coercing people to adhere to its decisions and libertarians support sufficiently many of those decisions to be culpable.

Libertarians are nothing but outright hypocrites in arguing that government shouldn't be required to pay the economic damages of its coercing people to adhere to policy they favor (eg, maintaining a free-market, private-property based economy with courts enforcing contracts) while preaching about how people shouldn't be coerced.

Libertarians disagree with your assertion that the government has implemented free-markets, and therefore reject the idea that they support current policy.

My point isn't contained to the present system:

Even in theory, libertarians are hypocrites because they fundamentally advocate for failing to pay for the externalities of their coercive system, and all supposed benefits of libertarianism can be traced to temporary boosts caused by (inefficient) capitalization of that failure to pay for externalities. Libertarianism enriches a few by creating 0.9 units wealth for every 1.0 units of collective suffering it implements over the current system, but hides this fundamentally externality driven mechanism behind the spread of the suffering (not a lot to everyone) and calling it freedom for many to be allowed to suffer at the hands of others without the instrument of state to implement collective relief.

Libertarianism is nothing but a sham political and economic movement that is wholly and fundamentally dishonest about its benefits and costs, by design, deeply self-inconsistent in its models and policies, and is intended to trick people in to accepting serfdom in a return to feudalism by calling it "freedom".

Libertarians, as a rule, just seem to have not thought very hard about their position or be selling you something (usually that you should be a serf because they fancy that they won't be a serf too in the new system).

Is there any economical system you disagree with but don't consider dishonest?

Sure, lots of them. Now, many of them are still hypocrites, in that very often a model will claim to address something as a top priority, but not actually address it. (Ed: not a hypocrite to propose a model that doesn't work out; hypocrite to continue to claim it will work when errors are discovered or it can't help, even in theory.) Which is why I called Libertarians so -- they bark about externalities when their model is fundamentally about not being accountable for externalities of coercing others to obey your model.

However, the dishonesty of American Libertarians stems from something further than that. Namely, American Libertarians are neo-feudalists in practice, but won't own up to being neo-feudalists.

I find this to be dishonest: they, so far as I can tell, have done this purely because they want to advocate neo-feudalism and its benefits without having to justify the benefits in terms of the costs, so they use terminology where it's harder to find the costs in academic literature and deny that any such costs exist. Nothing different than creationism rebranding as "intelligent design" or anti-abortion as "pro-life".

It is simultaneously amusing and frustrating how completely wrong this is. Coercion and constraint imposed by government (or similar institutions) is absolutely central to libertarianism! The whole point of property rights is to constrain people from doing things. E.g., you own a beachfront property? You get to constrain other people from swimming there, and the government is there to help if necessary. And so on.

Saying that libertarianism isn't about coercion and constraint is like saying that the GPL or copyleft in general isn't about copyright. Both are equally wrong: the GPL absolutely requires copyright law in order for it to work, and similarly libertarianism absolutely requires coercion and constraint.

It's just that there's this sleight of hand where for some reason, most people are so used to property right that they don't even notice it anymore. Talk about successful framing!

This is pedantic. The clause, "except when necessary to prevent the violation of one's rights" is understood by most, and isn't relevant to this conversation.

Precisely. The inability of a person to choose their desired path because they need money to feed their family is textbook economic coercion. We've long passed the point where lack of resources (especially food) is a physical/natural constraint.

What would a person who had a family that needed feeding do in the absence of government entirely? My guess is that they would perform some kind of activity in an attempt to feed them. You can take money and even capitalism out of the equation entirely and people would still work. That Russian family that cut themselves off from the outside for 40 years in the wilderness still worked to survive. The food didn't grow itself and then climb into their mouths to be eaten.

What does "choose their desired path" mean exactly?

most of them also have a very narrow view of "coercion", though, and will hotly deny that economic coercion is a valid concept

'… base everything off of capitalism which by definition means you can't do whatever you want unless you're rich. '

Capitalism is of course not an -ism at all. No one invented it. It's that freedom in the context of democratically agreed regulation whereby we can all trade goods and our labor with others and thereby generate value, usually monetary but by no means exclusively. We can even trade kind words and actions - they too contribute value.

Over the last century, billions of people have had the repertoire of 'things they can do' dramatically extended by the extension of an environment which allows people at all levels of income to take part in this productive exchange of items (abstract or physical) of value.

>It's that freedom in the context of democratically agreed regulation whereby we can all trade goods and our labor with others and thereby generate value, usually monetary but by no means exclusively.

The very idea that people can have exclusive control of some goods and then have to trade for other ones is capitalism. Property is not the default state of the universe, it had to be invented and enforced before it meant anything.

And while it can be called a freedom in a certain sense, property is also a restriction. In order for me to own something, you have be denied the right to use it without my permission.

Which is not to say property rights are not a good thing on the whole, but they should be compared as one economic system, in terms of their outcomes, alongside the alternatives.

Small chance of making it to the Supreme Court? http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_57d80d57e4b09d7a687f9b03/a... ?

If Trump became president and nominates Thiel I expect it would be one of the rare times that the Senate rejects the nomination -- considering this donation and relative lack of experience.

I would support Thiel, or really, any engineer or tech-related person, being on the supreme court. It is absurd that we have fossils that do not have email accounts making decisions on laws touching on the technological future of the country for the rest of their natural lives.

Well, at least those fossils dedicated their lives to studying the law and whether or not they have email accounts doesn't mean squat. Decisions about technology are made with input from many who are well versed in technology.

> Small chance of making it to the Supreme Court?

That honestly does not seem like a very compelling reason. I think Thiel can easily have a bigger impact on the world outside the Supreme Court.

> I'm genuinely curious what the rational for Thiel is in doing this. He's a smart guy, but I just don't see the ROI.

I personally see him more of a cunning guy than just smart because I find his actions disturbing.

Seems like the kind of questions Twitter was designed for no? Has anyone asked?

It's the Stagnation Hypothesis.

More precisely it is the high level implications of the Stagnation Hypothesis. You won't know it from HN or a survey of typical developers but the people who really run Silicon Valley have a set of beliefs about the world which are very different to the people who work for them.

Watch this all the way through.


I'm not talking about typical developers.

Lots of top technology leaders have come out vehemently against Trump, [0] including Sam Altman, who I would definitely include in "the people who really run Silicon Valley." [1]

To be clear, I'm not disputing Thiel's politics. I think he's right about a lot of things. They have near-zero overlap with Trump's policies. Trump is easily the least libertarian Republican presidential candidate in recent history.

[0] https://shift.newco.co/an-open-letter-from-technology-sector...

[1] http://blog.samaltman.com/trump

Yeah, I'm with you. From the article:

A source close to [Thiel] says the investor feels the country needs fixing, and Mr. Trump can do it.

The first part I completely get: there are a lot of things that need fixing. It's the second part that has me scraping my jaw off the floor.

I believe you're missing a puzzle piece. Take the time out to watch a few of his Youtube videos. They are long and have very low view counts but they're important.

Sorry, but the priors on a random Internet commentator insisting that the only way to understand his farfetched, radical theory is to watch hours of videos are not very positive.

It would be helpful if you could provide a rational and concise summary here. I'd genuinely like to learn more.

Short answer: globalization hurts the developed world in the absence of real technological breakthroughs (energy too cheap to meter, something we use a lot gets can now be made for half the price, etc.). A richer world just means more competition for scarce things. The rational policy for a self-interested superpower might be to ease up on globalization.

Thanks. That somewhat makes sense, I think. Kind of ironic though. Most of the underdeveloped world didn't want globalization to begin with!

For everyone saying Trump is not authoritarian and Thiel is just some flavor of eccentric Libertarian, Thiel says very clearly in the first paragraph of his essay at Cato that "freedom and democracy are incompatible"[1]. Thiel's version of freedom does not involve American democracy as we currently practice it, and I think it's reasonable to assume that he hopes Trump agrees with him.

[1] https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/educatio...

> “Across the country, wages are flat. Americans get paid less today than 10 years ago,” he said. “But health care and college tuition cost more every year. Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers inflate bubbles in everything from government bonds to Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees. Our economy is broken. If you’re watching me right now, you understand this better than any politician in Washington D.C.”

I would like to know what Peter Thiel's solution to our broken economy is.

“Across the country, wages are flat. Americans get paid less today than 10 years ago”

His solution has been to advocate increased immigration. Yep, wages are flat, lets bring more people so more people can compete for fewer jobs.

> His solution has been to advocate increased immigration.

Which doesn't square with his candidate's rigidly anti-immigrant policy proposals.

He isn't "rigidly anti-immigration". He is against immigration of low-skilled workers who are working low paying jobs.


Unfortunately I can't take a policy position made by Donald Trump a little over a month ago seriously because his policy positions have been known to change day to day or even within a single speech.

Fair point.

Available jobs increase with population. Additional people need more services, goods, etc. This leads to increased demand. In other words, more people are needed to produce stuff for more people.

Required jobs scale very very poorly with population. I wouldn't be surprised if the rate was something less than 1 additional person in the workforce for every 10 additional people in the population.

That would mean that countries with larger populations would have higher unemployment rates, but that is not the case.

It would mean that any poor country could simply become wealthy by allowing unlimited immigration...Most poor countries are nicer relative to some worse-off country, so certainly there would not be a shortage of immigrants wanting to migrate.

I think the null hypothesis has to be that there is no correlation between population size and employment.

*in the 20th century

Immigration can be very selective. Eg. Meeting minimum education standards, having certain amounts of cash on hand, or targeting those that will start a business. research on this suggests immigration policies tend to create jobs.

"His solution has been to advocate increased immigration. Yep, wages are flat, lets bring more people so more people can compete for fewer jobs."

That isn't true. Peter Thiel has opposed low skill immigration.

Peter Thiel is a YCombinator partner, yet YC has steadfastly refused to disavow him. In a Twitter exchange with David Heinemeier Hansson, Paul Graham suggested that to do so would somehow be the equivalent of firing an employee for having a distateful political opinion.

YC's silence on a partner's outspoken support of Trump is disgraceful, and sends the most shameful message about our industry.

What is disgraceful is trying to ensure there is only one acceptable point of view, and preclude people from trying to support other points of view under threat of public boycott, being fired, deemed unemployable, etc. This is ultimately what you fight is for - so that nobody would be able to speak in support candidate you don't like or policy you don't like or idea you don't like because if he does, he will be run out of his job and made into a pariah. You (taken broadly, not as you personally but as a community of people making similar demands) are not only trying to ruin Thiel, you are trying to make not participating in ruining him as dangerous as being Thiel. And, I assume, not participating in ruining those that didn't participate too. This is not how marketplace of ideas supposed to work. This is how a totalitarian state is supposed to work.

This false dichotomy of "Thiel is making a political statement and expressing his beliefs, he shouldn't be punished/bullied/ruined/etc for it, less we start moving down the slope of totalitarianism" is intellectually dishonest. It paints Thiel as this everyman who is simply expressing his rights, while the truth could be no further than this story.

Peter Thiel is an influential person. He has created and helped build some of the richest companies in the world, an extremely impressive effort. However, his success, intentionally or not, has catapulted him into a leadership role for many in the tech industry, and an advisor for many more. As a result, we should hold him to a higher standard, because he has so much more sway and influence than your every day person. When Thiel made this contribution he crossed the line of neutrality, moving from expressing his speech into an action. Whether this action is a good one or not is debatable, but to pretend that it is not an action is incorrect. We should allow everyone to express their freedom of speech. We should definitely criticize those who perform actions we deem harmful, since to act as a bystander comes close to being complacent with the action.

> This false dichotomy of "Thiel is making a political statement and expressing his beliefs, he shouldn't be punished/bullied/ruined/etc for it, less we start moving down the slope of totalitarianism" is intellectually dishonest.

It's not a false dichotomy, for two reasons. First is it's not a dichotomy - you need two things for it, and you have here just one claim - that Thiel should not be ruined for expressing support for Trump. Also, it is not false - it is completely true, he should not, otherwise we are on the way to totalitarian unity of opinion, where dissent is not tolerated.

> Peter Thiel is an influential person.

So is it ok to support people you don't like, but only if you are not influential? Once a person is influential, and their opinions actually does matter, they must agree with you or it is beyond the acceptable normal? It looks like for you only acceptable opposition is a weak and inefficient one. Having strong and influential opposition is something you are not willing to tolerate, but powerless and useless dissent is completely OK. It's a step away from not tolerating any dissent at all, but very small and largely meaningless step.

> When Thiel made this contribution he crossed the line of neutrality, moving from expressing his speech into an action.

Thiel does not owe anybody any obligation to be neutral, and of course he is not. Of course he did it in support of Trump, and it's completely normal. "Speech" does not mean only literally producing acoustical vibration with your mouth, it is a much broader term and has been for centuries. It means a multitude of actions done in support of political point or candidate you prefer, including donating money to the causes you prefer. His expression of his political opinion is not some fault you can tolerate, but only if he hides it well and it doesn't matter. It's a basic right any person of a democratic country is entitled to, and it is a right that millions of persons exercise proudly every day. Thiel is one of them, and there's absolutely nothing exceptional in what he did or is doing.

The only difference is that he is doing it in support of the cause you oppose. That may be unpleasant for you - as is a row of millionaires and billionaires routinely supporting the causes I hate is for me - but it's in no way abnormal or unheard of or beyond what is normally done in US politics.

> but to pretend that it is not an action is incorrect.

Of course it's an action. Nobody ever claimed otherwise, including me. What I said is claiming his action somehow is exceptional is completely false, and trying to get him and everybody he associates with ostracized for the fact he did it betrays intolerance to opposing opinions which can develop into a full blown totalitarian mindset if left unchecked.

> We should definitely criticize those who perform actions we deem harmful,

Criticizing him and demanding his peers to ostracize him is different.

> So is it ok to support people you don't like, but only if you are not influential? Once a person is influential, and their opinions actually does matter, they must agree with you or it is beyond the acceptable normal?

To believe that somehow our leaders only need to be held to the same standard as we are is a notion that works only in theory. If a normal, every day person commits a small crime, say speeding, it is a routine procedure. If a billionaire speeds, it becomes a story. Because leaders hold so much influence and sway, criticizing them is not a direct criticism on them, it is criticism on the group of people influenced by the leader. Thiel's vote is not a singular one, it is a vote that has a dramatic effect on those influenced by him. Is this not a sufficient reason to bring outcry against him?

> It means a multitude of actions done in support of political point or candidate you prefer, including donating money to the causes you prefer. His expression of his political opinion is not some fault you can tolerate, but only if he hides it well and it doesn't matter. It's a basic right any person of a democratic country is entitled to, and it is a right that millions of persons exercise proudly every day.

Where is the line between speech and action drawn then? I can't go out and destroy property I dislike and hide behind the notion I was "expressing my right of free speech". Thiel's donation is massive, far larger than any regular donation amount from a common man. Does this still qualify as speech?

> What I said is claiming his action somehow is exceptional is completely false, and trying to get him and everybody he associates with ostracized for the fact he did it betrays intolerance to opposing opinions which can develop into a full blown totalitarian mindset if left unchecked.

Anything and everything can lead to negative effects if taken to an extreme. However, to preemptively withhold criticism because it has a chance of leading to negative consequences if left unchecked is an awful rule to hold yourself to, since where are we at otherwise? Endlessly creating equivalencies where they do not exist? Blatant trying to stay neutral in the face of overwhelming disgust? This election, as I'm sure anyone will agree, is nothing like the norm. One side has attacked the fundamental structures of society that we have held ourselves to, when is the point of no return? We (as a collective group of people who enjoy the merits of democracy) should realize when some ideas fall outside of the moral lines, and what else decides moral lines than a society?

>Criticizing him and demanding his peers to ostracize him is different.

I'm sure many people who agree with idlewords don't completely agree with him word for word. Is it wrong to demand people who have both 1. publicly disparaged Trump and 2. collaborated with someone who supports Trump on a massive scale to pick a side of the fence? If idlewords believes that Thiel is acting unethically, and that Thiel is simply a business partner to YC, is it wrong of idlewords to ask that YC stop doing business with someone he perceives to be unethical?

> Thiel's vote is not a singular one, it is a vote that has a dramatic effect on those influenced by him. Is this not a sufficient reason to bring outcry against him?

Of course not, unless you routinely outcry agains people the try to influence other's votes - like journalists, political pundits, campaign workers, prominent bloggers, etc. When last time you outcried against George Soros or Tom Stayer spending money in support of political causes? I'd venture a guess - never.

Unless, of course, the problem is not supporting. The problem is supporting the case you oppose. In which case, half of the country should boycott the other half, and independents should boycott everyone.

> I can't go out and destroy property I dislike and hide behind the notion I was "expressing my right of free speech".

Right, because it's not your property. You can't donate other's money - though unions routinely do that, and so does DOJ recently, but that's a topic for another day - but you can donate your own. I can't believe this distinction is a problem for you. Your property - you do what you want. Not yours - you don't.

> Thiel's donation is massive, far larger than any regular donation amount from a common man. Does this still qualify as speech?

Of course. Just as editorial in NYT is massively more influential than a tweet of an obscure geek with 10 followers, all spam bots. Both are speech. I still can't see why it is a problem for you - do you have a problem with New York Times or Washington Post influencing millions with their speech and being large corporations with a lot of money? Do you have problem with what MSNBC is doing called speech? If not, why understanding that what Thiel is doing is a speech is a problem?

Let's ask another question - if you learned that Tom Stayer donated a million dollars to a Clinton-supporting PAC, would you say it's something exceptional that should raise an outcry from everybody?

> However, to preemptively withhold criticism because it has a chance of leading to negative consequences if left unchecked is an awful rule to hold yourself to

Nobody asks to withhold criticism, as I said, criticizing somebody and demanding that he will be ostracized by his peers is a different thing.

Also, criticizing somebody for doing what everybody is routinely doing and what is completely normal and a right of every citizen to do, exercised daily by thousands - is not a valid criticism. Valid criticism has to outline what is different that Thiel did that nobody else is doing. So far nothing was shown.

> This election, as I'm sure anyone will agree, is nothing like the norm.

Yes, it features the worst candidates from both sides on my memory.

> One side has attacked the fundamental structures of society that we have held ourselves to,

Yes, I think the handling of Clinton case by the FBI and the shameful refusal of Comey to prosecute, despite numerous rank-and-file advising to do so and ample evidence of wrongdoing, is a disgusting affront to a principle of rule of law we hold dear. But I don't think it is new for this elections - principle of rule of law and accountability of government, of limited government and separation of powers, is under attack for a long time. Members of the government routinely lie to the Congress and the public, routinely use their office for partisan purposes, routinely circumvent the law and sometimes blatantly disregard it, routinely avoid accountability and brazenly destroy evidence in clear view of the public, and are almost never held responsible for it. This election would not change this, most likely, as neither of the candidates is fit to do anything about it.

> We (as a collective group of people who enjoy the merits of democracy) should realize when some ideas fall outside of the moral lines, and what else decides moral lines than a society?

Yes. One of these ideas is that if somebody supports a person we disagree with, he must be run out of town tarred and feathered and everybody who associated with him must undergo struggle sessions and repent of their association, lest the same fate occurs to them. This is a very dangerous idea, and I agree that we should realize its danger before it's too late.

> Is it wrong to demand people who have both 1. publicly disparaged Trump and 2. collaborated with someone who supports Trump on a massive scale to pick a side of the fence?

Yes, it is.

pinboard is a bookmarking website with a funny twitter, not the gestapo.

people giving other people shit for supporting bad ideas is a fairly important part of the marketplace of ideas.

do you draw any line where support of abhorrent politics is grounds for social shunning?

As another immigrant to this country, I agree with idlewords. Trump is not a regular candidate but someone who has openly argued for bigotry, war crimes, violence against journalists and other groups as well as jailing opponents.

He's not out to make some policy changes; he's openly arguing for throwing out the regime of this country. Now, I don't think he'd be able to do that but at best, he's so callous and lacking of judgement that he'd be utterly manipulated by people, inside and outside US, to do so.

Trump and Hillary are not on any sort of comparable level; Trump is utterly out of what's acceptable political behavior.

And I haven't even come to his personality; which I would argue in a civilized society would be enough to distance yourself with.

So Thiel's actions must be considered in this regard. He's not some poor, misinformed person. He's not someone who is so ravaged by the economy that he's judgement compromised. He should not be prone to demagogues putting the blame on immigrants.

The only explanation I can come up with is that he's arguing for Trump because he's arguing the current political system must be fully debased and must be replaced with something else. That could be an argument but if you are supporting Trump, the only thing that can replace it with is a form of authoritarianism tinged with racism, bigotry and outright hatred.

It's just disingenuous for me to see PG, who while I rarely agree with his views on most things outside of tech, ignore this. He's said that Thiel's actions are a blind spot and it would be a slippery slope to "punish" Thiel for his political stance.

Firstly; calling this a "blind spot" is being naive at best; misleading at worst. Thiel has contributed millions, spoke at a keynote. And he's obviously smart and thoughtful. This is not just some guy being tricked.

And no one is calling for a punishment. YC, by way of taking Thiel's money, is now supporting financially (I assume Thiel invested in YC to make money), this person. This isn't firing someone, which is a different kind of relationship where you involve someone's livelihood.

What idlewords (and others like me) are asking for is just a statement of disapproval of Thiel's actions. Just like Zuckerberg did when Marc A. spoke about the wonders of colonization for Indians (and even then he had the decency of apologizing for his callousness) or when Musk withdrew from FWD.US when he realized there were fossil fuel companies on board as well.

This isn't hard.

Right there with you.

I'd like to know your perspective of the explicit amorality of the SV "quirky-elite", especially the YC-Facebook nexus. To me, Altman, Zuckerberg, and Thiel all very obviously have ulterior scifi motives (live forever, solve the question they think underlies existence, etc) predicated upon a sort of über anthropic principle, i.e., "I'm one in a million so there is a special underlying meaning to my life."

I'm only guessing this from afar. Do you think I'm on base with this, or is their issue just hubris?

I think of it as "AI cosplay". They imagine how an ultimate superintelligence would behave, trying to pull the hidden levers of power in the world to achieve their ends, and then try to emulate it.

At the heart is a very undemocratic belief that the most capable people should 'hack' the world to their own ends, and the rest of us will catch up.

It's disgraceful that you're trying to bully an organization based on the political opinions of one of their partners. You should be ashamed of yourself and of the damage you're doing to your country.

bully : (verb) use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

i.e. you're completely wrong about what it means to "bully". You should be ashamed of yourself for your abuse of the English language.

I wish someone would tell this to UK politicians/media, where MPs are constantly being "bullied" by their constituents who said a mean thing to them on Facebook.

Having political beliefs that you disagree with does not constitute "bullying".

Trying to shame someone who has different political beliefs via social pressure seems like bullying to me. One of the big reasons why so many people are voting for Trump is because people like you (and liberals in general) like to shame people for beliefs by calling them racists, sexists, homophobes and all that.

If someone votes for Trump because because they oppose the shaming of racists, sexists, and homophobes, they deserve the shame they feel. They have the right to express their noxious beliefs, but no norm of justice or civics or our Constitutional system protects their feels from my right to warn others of their noxiousness.

>because they oppose the shaming of racists, sexists, and homophobes,

They oppose unjust shaming. If someone believes in stronger borders and they get called a racist for that it's an unreasonable form of shame that happens way too often.

Where I wrote "oppose the shaming of", you can simply add or substitute "belief that shaming people for racism, sexism, and homophobia is unjust".

Trying to make expressing those belief dangerous to the point of losing one's job, income and business is. Trying to make not participating in implementing the above as dangerous as expressing those opinions, through guilt by association, is. If you don't like somebody's speech, speak against them, not try to ruin their life and lives of those that don't run to help you to do that.

That's exactly what's being done here. And, I'll remind you again:

* Thiel is not an employee of Altman or Graham's

* Graham himself publicly claims that a strength of startups is that one can choose business partners without regard for moral norms, unlike employees.

These are tiny details, which are immaterial for the large point - that supporting unpopular point should be ruinous, and mere association with somebody doing this must be a blemish one has to work to remove, or else.

Thiel is billionaire and he probably has way over fuck you money. He can do anything he wants. Most of us don't have fuck you money, and that's exactly the point - creating the climate in the industry where not being politically conformant, expressing or supporting unpopular point of view, doing something not conforming to the majority opinion or fashionable opinion - means being ostracized, being denied job prospects, being fired, being uninvited from conferences, being target of personal destruction campaigns, etc. Being a pariah.

Thiel is not the point, he'll be more fine than 99.999% of people here in any case. Creating the intolerant lynch mob culture is the point. They may be building this machine to use it against Thiel or Eich or some other large target, but once it's working, the potential target would be everybody. Such things are never put in storage after the first use, they are only used more and more. And what I am seeing that not only this machine is being created and successfully tested, people are enthusiastically cheering it because it's being used against people they dislike. That's always how it starts - but it never stops there.

Honest question: what makes me a large target? I'm not in the "one percent". I have to work to eat. Not whining about it, just saying: I do not have f.u. money.

I agree with you on "the potential target would be everybody."

Based only on the limited knowledge I have of the state of Mozilla when you stepped down, I think what happened to you is wrong.

Lynch mobs were a real thing. They're aren't a literary device. Mobs of white people really did grab black men and boys, torture them, and then hang them to death from trees. People are alive today who witnessed this happening.

Nobody is "lynching" anyone here.

He can dry his tears with the $25 I pay for Pinboard.

I sleep on that $25! I got it in singles so it would look like a lot.

Political opinions are not always sacred - there IS a point where you must oppose what is wrong. If you don't think that Trump's racism, bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, demagoguery, and general incompetence crosses that line...you're obviously not alone. But many of us feel that speaking against Thiel is justified.

I know that after this, I won't work at any YC company, as well as any place Peter Thiel is involved in any way. The organization get to decide which reputation hit they want to take, but no option is neutral in the face of a racist, sexual-assaulting demagogue.

Why aren't you going behind mark zuckerberg as well? Thiel is not only an influential investor, but also has a board seat there, and he probably has a bigger share in facebook than he has in YC right?

I agree, and I've called them out, too. But I'm trying to tilt at one windmill at a time. Paul Graham (to his credit) at least answers my emails, while I have no hope of reaching anyone at Facebook.

So, basically, you're only targeting YC because they respond/reply to you? Also, Thiel is the biggest shareholder in Palantir, you should also start a movement for all anti-Trump employees/stakeholders of palantir to quit as well? Also it doesn't seem fair to target YC even though their supposed "crime" is pretty small compared to facebook or palantir, does the fact that pg and sama have been vocal about their stance against Trump differentiate them? Had they not said anything about their political views(much like zuck and many other important people in the valley), would you still have pressed them to disavow Thiel?

There's a bunch of responses here:

* It would be weird to suggest that Zuckerberg gets a free pass from the likes of DHH and Maciej Ceglowski.

* Zuckerberg's affiliation with Thiel is less voluntary than Graham and Altman's. Fb took on Thiel before the Trump election, and they're bound together by contract.

* Attacking Facebook for not taking a stand against Trump would probably be counterproductive, because it would play into the false Trump narrative that the media elites are conspiring against him when in reality it's simply human decency creating all his public adversaries.

What are you suggesting that YC say or do? Should they be compelled or forced to make a statement?

They should say whatever they want, but remember that silence looks an awful lot like assent.

The current chief of the Australian army has a great line on this.

"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. that goes for all of us, but especially those, who by their rank, have a leadership role."

His silence here is assent. He'd rather we not recognize it as such, and I feel bad for him because I think he'd rather not recognize it as such either. But Graham's own writing spells out what makes his relationship with Thiel different than that of a relationship between employers and employees. If he can discriminate against mothers with young children, he cannot claim that the unfairness of discrimination prevents him from severing ties with Thiel.

Public statements made under duress (however weak the duress) or after the political calculus is done are worth their weight in tweets. Any silence -- which has been anything but in Graham's back and forth with Hansson -- is already indelible.

This is really just a lame, Valley-lensed Pascalian wager. Say nothing and maintain a flatline with YC applicants (who care mostly for YC demo day flow) and the notoriously humorless Thiel; say something and enjoy only the satisfaction of having demonstrated (Apple-like) courage of conviction -- while risking whatever havoc Thiel wishes to wreak upon you.

I think Graham's point is sound. How is making a donation not an instance of political expression?

It's a public political act. I'm asking Graham to do the same thing—publicly express an opinion.

I have to admit as much as I dislike Trump pg raises a valid point. Another analogy would be YC disavowing Thiel for being gay.

An employer has no business in their employees sexual lives or politic preferences.

Disavowing Thiel for being gay would be the opposite of what I am asking for.

"Supporting bigotry" and "gay" are not interchangeable moral categories.

The foundations of this argument are so rickety that my heart is racing just seeing you perched up on it. Come down, before you hurt yourself!

Graham isn't Thiel's employer. Neither is Altman. Thiel is a business partner of Altman's, and to a lesser extent (Graham's involvement with YC being at present attenuated) to Graham.

Meanwhile, Paul Graham is literally the dean of the movement to recognize tech-style startups as singular among modes of human endeavor. To my chagrin, he's managed to redefine a mainstream business term ("startup") through sheer force of will. And among the things that make his "startups" unique, so important that it got a callout in Graham's most famous essay about them, is that affiliation with partners and founders isn't subject to discrimination law.

I refuse to accept that Paul Graham simultaneously believes that it's right to refuse to start a company with a mother of small children, but wrong to refuse to maintain a partnership with someone who campaigns stridently for intolerance --- worse, someone who donates sum so large it makes the front page of CNN to the campaign for intolerance even as that campaign rallies to attack the vote itself.

A core understanding of justice and equal citizenship exists, even between libertarians and supports of teachers unions. We should be able to agree on these principles even if we agree on nothing else. By campaigning for intolerance, giving speeches in favor of intolerance, and funding intolerance, Thiel places himself outside that understanding. Our disagreements aren't merely political, but about the urgency of preserving equal citizenship.

Paul Graham knows this. He has obligated himself, in his own words, to oppose Trump. Were Trump to win, Graham says, he'd "join the resistance". We cross no lines of civility or fairness by pointing out what it takes for Graham to live up to his own words.

Justice does not require that Paul Graham stand idly by while Thiel works to destroy the society that makes Graham's life's work possible.

To conflate being gay with fascism is beyond the point of false dichotomy and well into being grossly offensive.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

I'd say that your kind of mentality which is very common within our industry sends a shameful message about our industry.

Unbelievable. I'm disgusted that you would suggest the blackballing of an investor simply because you don't agree with his political opinion--an opinion, I might add, that is shared amongst a large percentage of our country. Trump say a lot of nutty things but he's not far off the mark when he speaks of a liberal conspiracy to ruin him in this election. Your suggestion is a textbook example of this: using out-of-band threats and pressure to force the hands of major supporters.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

I'm suggesting Thiel face consequences for supporting a sexually predatory bigot.

I'm literally just a guy with a Twitter account, so the idea that I'm strong-arming billionaires with my ruthless tweets is a little hard to credit.

You're demanding a struggle session because someone openly supports one of the two candidates. The one that you don't like. What consequences do you have in mind for the millions of others that will vote Trump in November?

Don't you find it dangerous to try to witch-hunt individuals for their political choices?

That's not what he's doing. Paul Graham and Sam Altman have both openly repudiated Trump, not as someone whose ideas they disagree with but as someone whose efforts threaten the fabric of our society. Both Graham and Altman has publicly (and correctly) called Trump an aspiring dictator.

It is not then a "struggle session" when we point out to both of them that their actions and beliefs are incoherent: that they can comfortably disavow Trump while continuing to collaborate with one of Trump's chief enablers.

They are both, in a very small but (I think) meaningful way, working for the benefit of Donald Trump and the forces that make Trump possible.

If you support Trump, you are arguably in a safer moral position than Graham and Altman. Both of them believe you to be supporting a modern-day Mussolini. They have no regard at all for your politics. But they're both willing to continue profiting from and generating profit for Thiel through their entirely voluntary association with him.

(If you support Trump, I would implore you to reconsider).

I understand where you're coming from. That said, how do you recommend we heal what's dividing people? Do we stop associating with people that don't share our beliefs? What level of association is acceptable? I know I don't have the answer, but I don't think increasing the separation between people is a good general solution. I think calling out in a constructive way behavior we think is problematic is useful. And maybe there's a distinction to be made between someone in Thiel's position and someone who isn't so prominent.

If I'm putting words in your mouth, I apologize. And please don't interpret my comment as supporting one side or the other. And there's a significant number of people on either side. There's a lot of vitriol on both sides that I hope we as a society can overcome.

No, I don't recommend that. I don't think we should work to de-normalize Republicans. I don't think we should ostracize Republicans who vote for Trump out of genuine concern over the direction of the Supreme Court, or because they believe abortion is murder. I don't think we should ostracize Trump supporters.

But I think there's an obvious, material difference between the kind of support a voter might give Trump --- casting a vote, wearing a pin, putting up a lawn sign --- and what Thiel did. Trump is so troubling the the Republican party that they had to put Scott Baio on stage at their convention. Trump's most important GOP surrogate is the discredited former mayor of New York City. Every living former GOP nominee refused to speak for Trump at the RNC. Every living GOP president refused to endorse them. Thiel, though, did exactly that. He got up on the most public stage imaginable and told the American people that Trump was the only honest candidate in the election.

Months later, after Trump had pivoted his campaign to a strategy that depends on white voters presumption that black votes are illegitimate and that the election is rigged, after more than ten women came out to say Trump had sexually assaulted them, Thiel wrote a $1.25MM check for Trump.

I can tolerate Republicans voting their conscience about the Supreme Court.

I will not tolerate the people in the crowds whooping and cheering Trump's claim that some women are too ugly to have been assaulted by Trump.

Similarly, I will not tolerate Peter Thiel, Rudolph Giuliani, or Chris Christie, or any of the rest of Trump's high council of enablers.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I was hoping more about how we might bridge the gaps between people of differing opinions, but I understand that might be a little too far afield from the original topic. I do think it's important, though, especially going forward after November 8. No one is going to be going away just because the election is over.

Personally, I think we can start by continuing the work HRC and Obama were doing at the beginning of this election to separate Trump from mainstream Republicanism. They've stopped doing that, now that they believe HRC's victory is a foregone conclusion. Now they're trying to tether the GOP to Trump to help downticket races. I think they're making a mistake. I also think that the country needs a loyal opposition, and a voice for limited government and humility in the state's role in regulating behavior and business. And I say this as a loyal Democrat.

But that's exactly what we're saying here: support for Trump is not normal support for the Republican party and its ostensible ideals. Trump is an authoritarian white nationalist and a con-artist. He's unfit to be counted alongside Thomas Dewey, Mitt Romney, or Barry Goldwater. He victimizes those in "his" party who feel compelled to support him. His enablers, the Giulianis and the Thiels, bear a special culpability in attempting to normalize Trump to the Republican party. And Thiel's supporters bear some culpability in trying to normalize Thiel.

> I also think that the country needs a loyal opposition

I've been thinking exactly the same thing for a while now. Maybe it's time for bumper stickers!

As I don't have anything meaningful to add right now, I'll sign off. Thank you for the thoughtful, civil discourse. I appreciate it.

> But I think there's an obvious, material difference between the kind of support a voter might give Trump --- casting a vote, wearing a pin, putting up a lawn sign --- and what Thiel did.

What's the material difference?

> He got up on the most public stage imaginable and told the American people that Trump was the only honest candidate in the election.

That's speaking in support of the candidate. Literally thousands of people do it every day. Many of them use this exact phrase. What's so exceptional with Thiel? I can't help but this the claimed exceptionality is not with what he did, but that he did it for Trump. And, maybe, also because what he did has potential to make a difference, unlike putting up a lawn sign. Is the only tolerable opposition an inefficient one?

> I will not tolerate the people in the crowds whooping and cheering Trump's claim that some women are too ugly to have been assaulted by Trump.

Such people, if they exist, would be despicable, but this has nothing to do with Thiel. Thiel never said something like that, as far as we know, and mentioning this as something that is similar to what Thiel did do - namely, supporting a candidate he prefers, which is the most normal thing in US politics - does not bear minimal standard of proper argument. You basically said "I won't tolerate these people who are bad and because of this Thiel is bad and has to be ostracized". It doesn't work this way.

So Paul Graham has disavowed Trump. Thiel supports Trump. Paul Graham hasn't disavowed Thiel's support of Trump.

That seems an absurd expectation, to ditch someone for exercising their own agency legally and within the parameters of a democracy.

I don't support Trump. I also don't support the goading and lack of empathy towards those that do. Nor the guilt-by-association accusations being promulgated in this election cycle.

Thiel isn't merely a supporter of Trump. There are, as many have pointed out on this thread, tens of millions of Trump supporters.

But they are not all the same: some of them support Trump because they cannot in good conscience vote for a pro-choice candidate (they are wrong in this instance, but they are wrong in good faith). Others --- hundreds of thousands of them --- support Trump because they are themselves white nationalists who see in Trump the hope that America can revert itself to the social mores of the late 1940s. Some people put up lawn signs. Some people donate millions of dollars to Trump. Some people refuse to disavow Trump, because to do so would be to spend political capital to thwart an outcome that is already unlikely to occur. Others get up on stage with Scott Baio to shout their support for Trump into microphones and cameras.

Along virtually every axis you can come up with, Thiel's support for Trump exceeds the norms of our politics and of civil debate. Thiel is not a typical Trump supporter. I do not need to stretch to make this argument: it is clear and obvious.

Sam Altman and Paul Graham should acknowledge this. I don't care what else they do; I don't care if they "fire" Thiel. But they have to at least pay consistent lip service to the things they claim to believe.

* Some of them support Trump because they believe

> Thiel's support for Trump exceeds the norms of our politics and of civil debate. Thiel is not a typical Trump supporter.

But is this really so? That Thiel has the means to donate one million dollars while others must settle for lawn signs shouldn't determine how much ire we direct his way. You seem to be saying that having preference for a candidate is one thing but advocating and encouraging other people to have a similar preference is beyond the pale. Yet one seems a logical and natural consequence of the other.

Also I'm a little suspicious of DHH's intentions in his tweets to Graham (later picked up by Pinboard). Not that it negates the point he's making but it appears to be a long-standing vendetta masquerading as sanctimony: https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=from%3Adhh+to%3Apaulg

This is going to be my last comment. Too much politics is bad for you ;) Thanks for the alternative POV.

Yes, I think Thiel's enabling of Trump is materially different than a normal voter's support of Trump.

I understand the concern people would have about DHH and Maciej's opposition to Paul Graham. But DHH and Maciej aren't the only people that have this concern. They happen in this instance to be right.

Thanks for the civil disagreement!

> Along virtually every axis you can come up with, Thiel's support for Trump exceeds the norms of our politics and of civil debate

I don't see any shred of evidence for this. Donating money for a preferred candidate is completely normal for "our politics". Moreover, many establishments and persons donate money to both parties and sometimes even for both candidates. It's not only within the boundaries of normal, it is dead in the center of it - it's one of the most common things people do to support the candidate. Making it as if he did some outrageous thing that nobody ever does is completely disingenuous. He did the most normal thing everybody does.

> But they have to at least pay consistent lip service to the things they claim to believe.

That wouldn't be freedom of speech and freedom of political association, per chance?

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are two things Donald Trump has been campaigning against. Overtly. He believes that libel laws should be "liberalized" so that it's easier to sue the New York Times for publishing information about him. Just this week, he argued to a whooping crowd that the women accusing him of sexual assault should themselves be imprisoned.

All this, of course, after he took to the stage of a Presidential debate to argue in public that his political opponent should be jailed --- not investigated, but jailed. That is his rallying cry: "lock her up".

We are not required to tolerate intolerance when it actively jeopardizes the fabric of our civil society. Particularly when a movement towards intolerance is progressing so fast that there's little time for its adherents to be educated in the gravity of what they're doing before intolerance itself wins.

> Freedom of speech and freedom of association are two things Donald Trump has been campaigning against.

So did Clinton. To the point she promised first thing she would do is try to reverse Supreme Court decision which confirmed that people can organize to criticize her. And unlike Trump, which has neither the knowledge (President doesn't make laws, for starters) nor expertise not sound mind to actually produce anything but hot air on the topic, I fully believe she can do it - she can find a judge who hates the First Amendment, she can put him or, even more probably, her on the Supreme Court, and she can hurt freedom of speech and freedom of association for decades to come.

And I must also remind that in the last scandal about freedom of association - namely, documented use of IRS powers for political purposes - nobody was seriously punished and no safeguards preventing it from happening in the future were instituted. Which means it will happen again. And history shows Clinton has absolutely no problem with (ab)using state power against her enemies.

> All this, of course, after he took to the stage of a Presidential debate to argue in public that his political opponent should be jailed --- not investigated, but jailed. That is his rallying cry: "lock her up".

While I oppose Trump on a very long list of points, and dislike him for even longer list of reasons, on this point he is completely right. If anybody else but Clinton or another high-ranking Democrat would do what she did - he would be in jail. Many were for less, and many still are. US government is highly intolerant to mishandling classified documents and trying to circumvent regulations, even for benign reasons, let alone for reasons of avoiding oversight. Government hates avoiding oversight. Unless it's some of the "special people" who's doing it.

Of course, election propaganda tries to present it as if Trump wants Clinton to be locked up for opposing him. Nope. She must be locked up for doing things every regular person - including me and you - would be locked up. Because right now we know for sure that there's one law for regular people and another law for top government officials. And it's not a country of laws that US is supposed to be, it's a banana republic stuff.

> We are not required to tolerate intolerance when it actively jeopardizes the fabric of our civil society.

I'm sorry, but I hear this bullshit every election - if a Republican gets elected, our society is ruined. Ruined I say! Everybody will be dead! US will be a nuclear wasteland!

I heard it for Bush, I heard it for McCain, I hear it for Romney, now I hear it for Trump. It's nothing but electoral bullshit.

Yes, Trump is a disgusting pig, a blowhard and a conman. No, he won't ruin our civil society. Not unless we first dismantle the safeguards that was built into the system - on which, btw, both Obama and Clinton are working vigorously, because those are the same safeguards that limit their powers. To be sure, Trump is no friend of the safeguards either - but he has much less chance of success on actually removing any of them, unless something huge - like 9/11 - happens. In which case Clinton would be probably even worse, as the press would attack Trump vigorously and would be (already is) very servile and docile towards Clinton.

This hysterical frenzy about ruining the society is impossible to take seriously, and I won't. Even less I would take it from the same people is completely silent in the face of a thousands of routine government abuses taking place literally every day (I don't mean you here, I don't know your history, I mean the press and the commentariat). Our society has a lot of warts, and a lot of problems, and still survives. It can survive Trump and not even break a sweat.

> Particularly when a movement towards intolerance is progressing so fast that there's little time for its adherents to be educated in the gravity of what they're doing before intolerance itself wins.

The mindset of "we're right, so we should not be bound by the rules" is the most dangerous mindset there ever was, bar none. If you think it's ok to suppress opposition because you're right and it's too important to let them oppose you - you are the problem. Maybe in one particular regard you would turn out to be right - but it never lasts and not playing by the rules always does.

As for implication that Trump supporters are mainly moved by racism - it is also an electoral canard. I could expand on this but it's already too long, so I'll just say that it's true that many racists do support Trump, but it's not the reason he won the Republican nomination, and way detached from the reason every single person I know that supports him and millions I don't support him.

"This bullshit" is an almost direct quote from _A Theory Of Justice_ (I think I altered the pronouns). You hear it regularly because it's one of the most important works of political philosophy in the modern American tradition.

I'm sorry, you mean "A theory of justice" as 1971 book? And it says that you have to hate Trump supporters? I must admit I fail to follow your argument here.

My point is it is routine for the elections to paint the opponent in the most apocalyptic tones, Republicans will always claim Democratic candidate would immediately build USSR-type socialism, import 20 millions of immigrants to subvert the elections, and ban Christians from going to church, and Democrats will always claim Republicans would starve all the poor, reinstitute slavery and remove all the taxes from the rich. There's a tiny amount of truth in both claims, but the other 99% of it is pure bullshit.

Quoting this routine electoral bullshit as if it would be whole truth and nothing by the truth is nonsense, unsupported by any reasonable evidence, and can not be taken seriously. And I don't see how the book you mention, however are its excellent qualities, changes anything in this regard.

Whatever the book says, Trump is not going to ruin our society, he is not Hitler and he is not an indulgence to abandon all reason. He is a blowhard conman that raised to prominence because our politics and government are deeply troubled and we weren't able to find a way to fix it so far. Having people associated with his supporters to undergo struggle sessions, disarmament before the Party and a ritual purification is not going to fix it either.

Look, it's clear what you're missing here.

If you yourself support Trump, or believe that he's equivalent to Hillary Clinton, that's fine. (I mean, it's not "fine", and I implore you to reconsider, but that's as far as it goes).

But Paul Graham and Sam Altman do not agree with you. They have said, publicly and repeatedly, that Donald Trump is far more dangerous than an ordinary political candidate; that he's a dictator, a modern-day Mussolini, someone for whom we'd need to create a "resistance" were he to be elected.

The criticism animating this thread is that if Graham and Altman truly believe what they are saying, they cannot coherently continue to support one of Trump's more important surrogates and enablers.

You are welcome to disagree with Graham and Altman (and me, and most other people on HN) about this! I do not challenge your right to do so.

But please address the argument that's actually being made.

Everyone who voted for Bill Clinton and who now is about to vote for Hillary Clinton supported sexual predator and are supporting a person who at the very best enabled, vigorously defended and comforted a sexual predator for years. They are completely fine with that. I guess you'd agree all these people have to "face consequences" too and the consequences should be the same?

You personally are not strongarming anyone. You are trying to organize others in hope you can strongarm YC into pushing out Thiel. So far you have very little success, it is true. That does not make the motives of the deed or its goal more noble.

Trump is a racist and a misogynist, a serial adulterer and a sexual predator, a pathological liar and a con-man. He is totally unfit to stand let alone serve. His supporters are mostly either alt-right racists or Republicans who don't have the guts to do the right thing and put their country before their party.

Dozens of senior Republicans have done this and are backing Hillary Clinton. Staunch Republican newspapers such as the Arizona Republic and the Cincinnati Enquirer have also endorsed Clinton.

The suggestion that there's a liberal conspiracy is a totally crackpot theory, like most of Trump's. In fact, Trump has got far further than anybody expected because the reverse has happened: Clinton has been attacked by the liberal media, which hates her, while Trump was -- until recently -- given a free ride.

When you have a candidate who lies all the time, boasts about not paying taxes (and won't release his returns), insults Gold Star families and vets like McCain, makes racist attacks on Mexicans and US-born Hispanic judges, admires dictators and spouts Russian propaganda, runs a crooked Foundation, is involved with fraudulent scams like Trump University, is a serial adulterer who boasts about being a sexual predator, and is accused of raping a 13 year old girl, you really don't need a conspiracy theory. No other candidate could have such an appalling record and still be in the race.

Trump is a blot on the character of anyone who still supports him, and globally, he's a blot on America's character. In the UK and Ireland, we put Trump's picture in urinals and piss on him -- a first for a US presidential candidate.





It's disgraceful that you would suggest someone be punished for a political opinion.

What's worse is that Clinton is a pathological liar supporting neocon policies which will likely lead to more conflict.

This whole anti-Trump atmosphere is very 1984.

It looks like a lot of people here don't understand how someone could possibly support Trump. If I were simply following the mainstream media's narrative, I'd be in a similar position.

If you're really interested in trying to understand a viewpoint that differs from your own (which I believe is healthy for anyone, even if you don't plan on changing your views), I would suggest beginning by listening to Stefan Molyneux (https://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot/). Label him as you will - at least he makes a lot of logically sound arguments in support of Trump (which I honestly can't say for a number of other Trump supporters).

" According to Jessica Roy of Time Magazine Molyneux argued that violence in the world is the result of how women treat their children, and that "If we could just get people to be nice to their babies for five years straight, that would be it for war, drug abuse, addiction, promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, ... Almost all would be completely eliminated, because they all arise from dysfunctional early childhood experiences, which are all run by women."

I fear for the future of society when 40% of the population are on that level.

I would have never thought I'd miss GWB. Now, it seems only a matter of time until all pockets of civilization are overrun by those peddling comspiracy-theories on youtube.

Spend some time looking at some of the most well respected and researched philosophers in history. Many of their views are far more extreme that that quote, yet they are embraced by the mainstream and high academia.

See, you're falling into the trap of trusting what other people say about a person, rather than actually listening to that person's viewpoint. If you were familiar with Molyneux and his full line of reasoning, you'd understand quotes like that in context rather than how someone in the media wants to characterize him.

There are literally millions of voices out there proposing different ways to look at the world. It's physically impossible to listen to more than a small proportion of that number in your lifetime, so it's reasonable to have your first level filter be "is it easy to find examples of them saying things that are very obviously stupid".

My point has more to do with the source of your information than the quantity of information you should consume. Regardless of your particular political views, you must acknowledge that the mainstream media is far from an unbiased source (recent leaks have made that clearer than ever). Thus, if your "first level filter" is only based on what the media says, you're looking at a small sample from a very skewed dataset.

Everyone uses filters and makes judgements on limited information; the point is, you'll be better off looking to primary sources and listening to some of what people actually have to say before drawing conclusions. The media at this point is essentially useless for that purpose.

If I were to judge your character based on a single quote from your lifetime, would you rather I ask your greatest enemy for that quote, or pick a random sample on a good day?

That's conspiracy hogwash. Replace "media" with "the medical community" and it sounds like a snake-oil salesman.

Journalism today is better than it ever was. The bias of quality journalism today is simply a general, tentative consensus that the political and economic system of what you'd collectively call "the west" is working quite well in principle.

I'm not going to look at idiots ranting into their webcams on youtube. Considering how easy it is for something good to "go viral", I'm quite happy to wait until the good stuff gets separated from the 99+% that is idiotic.

I do talk to people, quite a lot actually considering a few volunteer engagements. Many of these people life vastly different lives than I do, from the homeless alcoholic to a guy who just inherited some 9-digit fortune.

I have learned that a drunk lunatic ranting on the subway /is not/ suffering from the pain of his insights into the conspiracy controlling everyone's mind. He's just drunk, and wrong, and annoyingly loud.

When I talk to journalists, they are almost without exception some of the most dedicated, well-educated, interesting and self-reflecting people. They mostly share a core set of believes ("no whiskey before noon", "someone bragging about sexual assault must never be president"), and I'm happy to share these with them, because otherwise they'd have to start every article at first principle.

Regarding that quote: It isn't just something he once said. It's one of his pet theories, and I doubt that a well-adjusted person could even come up with something like that.

You raise a good point in your last paragraph. When you said "If you were familiar with Molyneux and his full line of reasoning", it sounded like you were making the argument that you have to get deep into an author before you can judge them.

Oh who's this Stefan Molyneux character, let me just check out his Twitter...



Have you actually listened to a significant portion of what Molyneux has said, or do you routinely judge people 100% based on tweets out of context? Please, do yourself a favor and start listening to alternative viewpoints.

It's this kind of "let's judge a person by a tweet" mindset that is extremely dangerous to the pursuit of truth and improving society. The media thrives on one-liners (such as those found on Twitter), but I'd like to think we can do better.

Yeah, but you could say exactly that about the Pinboard guy and how much he hates Trump on his Twitter timeline. Just because they might be polemics doesn't mean they're wrong. It just means they have a strong opinion.

Here's a surprisingly fair attempt at understanding red-state Trump supporters from blue-state voter:


> [Trump's] position on immigration is the opposite of the tech industry’s

Is this true? I'm not familiar with Trump's policies because it doesn't sound like he talks about them in much detail. Isn't he all for "legal immigration" and was just extremely against illegal immigration? Has he even addressed H1B or T1 Visas?

Although he has mentioned making immigration harder through intensive testing/vetting, which sounds like it could filter out some smart people arbitrarily. Having personally experienced Canada->US secondary screening most of the questions were already very arbitrary. Especially those without great social skills who can't talk their way through immigration will be at risk. That will also hurt business travel if TSA gets even more power and becomes even more aggressive.

The vagueness of it all makes it a risky bet regardless. That being said, I'm not sure what's worse, vague policy positions with just high-level strategy and no details or over-promising everything in detail and not following through on the majority of them. But I'm generally cynical about all of this stuff.

Naturally he hasn't recently mentioned immigration because he's trying to move to the center.

During the primary, however, he wanted to block all Muslims from entering the country, as well as build a wall along the Mexico/US border.

Actually you're leaving key points out, like most people/media...

He wanted to temporarily block immigration from countries with islamic terrorism (syria / libya) until our country found a way to better vet them. American Muslims, or any other Muslims are not an issue. He also wants to protect our southern border with a wall to prevent ILLEGAL immigrants from easy access into our country.

Why is this alleged key point not included in the statement he made?

> Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.

via https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-...

That press release is from "December 2015". He's clarified this position after the backlash and impracticality of such a plan since then on a number of occasions. He now only apparently plans to block a few muslim-majority countries where terrorism is a problem (such as in Syria as the OP mentioned), instead of all muslims. This came up in the first debate. Although I'm not sure the executive branch even has this power.

This is one of the few things he's actually been somewhat specific about. His approach to legal immigration is still not clear.

Interesting to see that many comments on money buying influence. Yet no one seems to consider the possibility that the most pro-establishment candidate, with a proven track of money-for-favors trafficking is, in Thiel's opinion, a worse outcome.

I wasn't aware either had a proven record of money for favors. Except maybe Trump's donation in Florida.

You are joking? The Clinton Foundation has left an overwhelming trail of evidence that points to their wrong doings, whether it is in Haiti, at the WHO or through the pay-to-play scheme and deals they have with petro-monarchies like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The latest Wikileaks dump shows that Bill Clinton received a million dollar "birthday gift" through the Clinton Foundation directly from Qatar. At the very moment it was clear to the State Dept. that the governments (not private individuals or royal family members - this is a game changer) of SA and Qatar were actively funding ISIS, sunni militias and mercenary groups to destabilise Syria and Iraq.

We could talk about Haiti, the gold contracts landed to HRC's brother and the obvious collusion and conflict of interests she was part of during her time as a Secretary of State.

There's simply no proof for any of that. Specifically, there might be a pro but the quid's missing.

Considering US relations with Qatar and Saudi Arabia have always been good (in the 'he's a monster, but he's our monster' sense), there's just no reason to suspect any influence. Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11 was known early on by the Bush administration as well.

It is amusing that you think Bill Clinton actually received any of that money. Bill Clinton started the foundation for aids relief in Africa. None of the Clintons draw any salary from the foundation:


So any donation would have gone to aids drugs for kids in Africa. Haven't you ever told anyone "don't get me anything, just donate to charity"?

Like Matt said, there was no benefit to the Saudi's either. They have long been allies of the US and that means visiting the state department is a regular thing.

It looks good as a conspiracy on infowars, but the truth is not particularly scandalous.

It is sad that when a conspiracy theory doesn't stick beyond a fringe group that lack of traction is used to fuel the claim "See! The media is in on it too!". Rather than "oh, multiple Republican led investigations found nothing -- looks like that was wishful thinking"


This is neither civil nor substantive, like we asked. Please don't comment like this here.

I feel more people support Trump than we know. Probably many billionaires, but don't announce it because the people who listen to two minute sound bites in between their cartoons and reality tv will call them "racist" and the other ist words.

I just don't get how business people can support democrats when republicans are supposed to be more business friendly(for smaller gov, less regulations from what I've heard).

I think big powerful rich people supporting Hillary is just a PR Stunt, and they secretly don't want her to win. Just a hunch I have. I just don't understand how they can fulfill their fiduciary duties to their shareholders when voting for a party wanting more rules and regulations.

Correct me if I'm viewing this wrong, I've just never understood how Silicon Vally is mainly democrat, but focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. Sounds like it should be a republican area then?

There isn't a big dial labelled "regulations" that when you turn it up, the "economy" needle goes down. Business requires trust. Just as more and better deals happen when both parties believe that contracts will be enforced, when consumers can trust that the meat they're buying has been inspected, that there's no toxic materials in their mattresses, and that their bank deposits are insured, the whole engine of commerce runs better.

A country with an educated, healthy, and secure population will be a better place to do business than one which is plagued with social problems. So even if the billionaires of Silicon Valley are voting purely out of economic self-interest (which I highly doubt), it's still wise for them to vote for who they think will run the country better - across all dimensions, not just who wants less taxes and regulation.

And sure, you can argue that having less taxes and regulation in the manner that Republicans propose results in having a better country overall, but apparently most in Silicon Valley don't believe that.

Some good points. I liked Obama 4 years ago when I was old enough to vote for president the first time. Now 4 years later, I'm liking Trump. But I still think social issues and even things like basic income, and using technology to do work sounds interesting.

Trump says he'll tax goods made out of the US 30% more on import, he never said they had to be made by humans.

I feel regulations increase the cost of business within the US, and also why there's very few banks or cable companies. Then no matter how big the gov gets, it's still slow at approving things. It just feels like something isn't working. I guess we just need to find a balance between the two and simplify things.

Like for some things, you need a whole army of lawyers working for you. I just feel the world isn't meant to give the average person an advantage. Plus big companies can afford more regulations, to make it harder for smaller businesses to compete with them. I think over time it's going to get worse and worse for the amount of regulations. There's probably honest business owners that aren't even aware of all of them as they are scattered all over the place, and disorganized.

The trouble is that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, and more and more of our actions impact other people - the more contact we have, the more rules there's going to need to be. So "regulatory inflation" is not necessarily a bad thing.

But I don't think any one on the left or right would argue that regulations couldn't be improved almost everywhere. What I think the left worries about is that the only regulations that ever seem to be removed are the ones that stop powerful organizations from causing negative externalities.

To put it another way: would football be better with less or more rules? The answer can't be anything but "it depends". Every one of those rules is there for some reason, sometimes a very non-obvious reason, and sometimes to stop some rare but serious injury from happening. The "more or less" question isn't one that someone with a shallow understanding of the sport can have a reasonable opinion on.

It takes a wise and historically-informed team of people to remove regulatory clutter without allowing the problem that the regulations were originally meant to address to re-occur (if, of course, it actually addressed it). My point is that it shouldn't be a left vs. right thing, it should be a question of who has the wisdom to fix problems thing. And just as importantly, it should be made from an empirical basis, not an ideological one. Trump strikes me as an ideologue, but I have to admit I haven't paid much attention to this US election.

Transparency, thoughtful design, and good documentation count for a lot. Thinking in terms of "amount" would lead you to replace OpenBSD with MS-DOS (though our current government is more like Windows ME).

Its unclear what Peter Thiel is supporting with this donation. This candidate is highly inconsistent. Perhaps his bet is that if this candidate is elected, it will result in chaos. A sharp, rapid upheaval will enable him to accelerate his overall agenda. Given his net worth he is insulated from the negative effects this chaos will have on everyone else. Given his net worth he, and others who support his agenda can quickly capitalize.

This is my thinking too. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that he doesn't have anything closer to a consistent policy in his platform. To be fair, there is a lot of copy-paste from standard GOP platform, but his own speeches and interviews give out the impression that he doesn't have a handle on any of them. So to think that Thiel might have hitched his wagon based on ideology or policy is illogical. On the other hand, some of Trump's impulsive ramblings (dishonor NATO agreements, refuse to pay US debt, start a trade war with China etc.) shows that, if elected, he can potentially create huge massive disruptions to world order. Thiel might be thinking he can either benefit from that or that the status-quo deserves to be destroyed.

He has been consistent on almost all issues. He only modified the "muslim ban".

I've seen him flip flop on foreign policy. One day we're going to stop fighting wars abroad, revert to isolationism, and just focus on improving our own economy, and then at the second debate he was talking about how he was going to destroy ISIS. In a separate instance, when accused of disagreeing with his running mate, he admitted that he hadn't discussed much foreign policy with him. I enjoyed that honesty if nothing else.

Profiting off the chaos seems much more likely than relying on Trump to keep his word or re-pay favors. I'm not sure which is more reprehensible, actually supporting Trump's general platform, or 'merely' hoping his election destabilizes the country enough for Thiel to advance his personal goals.

The policies on donaldjtrump.com have been the same for a long time, and Trump has not contradicted them for the most part.

Yes, his campaign staff has a policy list. But does the man consistently stand by them and defend them each time? Nope[1]. Take the recent contradiction with Pence on Syria, for example. The traditional republicans are hoping he will implement their party's platform. But with a man so erratic and impulsive, and with mostly unchecked power of executive, how can anyone be sure?

[1] - http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/full-list-dona...

He's making a wise investment decision - if Trump wins he will probably gain a lot in favors. If Trump loses, he will lose a little bit of money and some goodwill of some people. I'm sure he can live with that. Cynical.

I'd absolutely agree if I thought: 1. Thiel needed favors 2. Trump was going to hand out favors 3. It wasn't too late.

#3 is really what gets me. We've got 3 weeks. Mail-in ballots are out in a bunch of states already. Peoples' minds are made up. The election is basically over. If you believe in extreme polling error, sure, Trump could win -- but, again, it's so late, will this have made the difference?

I almost wonder if he believes Trump will win, and thinks his last-minute donation will merely give the impression of having made the difference, when he was going to win anyway.

But again -- why now?

It's almost certainly too late to elect Trump, but it isn't too late to be a first investor in Trump Media, with Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon.

The favors you can get from politicians are never in short supply. Buy shares of them whenever you can.

But why is he making the donation now? That logic would have made a lot more sense when Trump's odds looked a lot better. You have to multiply the upside by its (low) probability. I also think the reputational cost is more severe than you let on: look at what happened to Brendan Eich, and his "crime" was a lot less than supporting Trump.

I didn't know about Brendan Eich. That makes me angry. He made a personal decision to donate a small amount to Prop 8, and extreme political activists completely annihilated him and forced him out of his job.

"Critics of Eich within Mozilla tweeted to gay activists that he had donated $1,000 to California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California until 2013, when it was declared unconstitutional and marriages were allowed to resume. Eich stood by his decision to fund the campaign, but wrote on his blog that he was sorry for “causing pain” and pledged to promote equality at Mozilla. Gay activists created an online shaming campaign against Eich, with OkCupid declaring they would block access to the Firefox browser unless he stepped down."

I was working at Mozilla when this was going on. I likely would've quit if Eich had remained.

I've written at length about Proposition 8 and the fact that it was not simply a matter of opinion or personal belief. It was, shorn of all the attempts to make it sound non-controversial, about taking a basic premise of a free society -- equality of all people under the law -- and putting it up for popular vote. Proposition 8 was literally a ballot measure to say "these people shouldn't be equal to everyone else". I am OK with applying social pressure to people who attempt that sort of thing, to make them feel as alienated from the core principles of society as they actually are.

> I was working at Mozilla when this was going on. I likely would've quit if Eich had remained

I don't know you or what you did at Mozilla: if it were up to me, I would rather had you quit than Eich (no offense). Frankly, Mozilla has lost focus and I think it would have done much better under Eich.

Edit: more thoughts on the politics. Eich's opinion was far from controversial- half of Americans held the same belief. I would guess half of Mozilla users in the US also had the same opinion: were those people also disposable?

Supporting prop 8 (to me as a lefty) is more benign than supporting Trump; yet I don't see any calls to boycott or quit companies with executives that support Trump.

Finally, it was a dangerous precedent for left wing politics to adopt, what if the right wing had adopted it and gotten someone fired for affronting beliefs held as strongly as yours?

Just to clarify, Eich did not get fired - he got pressured into resigning. Note that people in fact have been fired (in some cases, allegedly - I'm too lazy to verify all the stories I just googled) for being gay, supporting Occupy, supporting Obama, or more trivial reasons like bikini photos on facebook or because the employer found their short stories offensive.

As I've said in other comments, I think the line is when you decide to move from "I believe this" to "the law should enforce my beliefs on everyone".

There have been plenty of people calling to pressure people who support Trump; pg is one of them, and has been getting lit up on Twitter recently for continuing to work with Thiel.

Finally, you seem to think this is something unique to "left wing politics". Which is perhaps true: left-wing movements tend to resort to social pressure, boycotts and similar methods. Right-wing movements tend to attempt to outlaw or in some cases just literally exterminate the people who disagree with them. Which sort of world would you rather live in: the world where people who disagree with you simply refuse to associate with you, or the world where people who disagree with you seek to have your existence made illegal?

(and for the record, I no longer work for Mozilla, but that's unrelated)

>left-wing movements tend to resort to social pressure, boycotts and similar methods. Right-wing movements tend to attempt to outlaw or in some cases just literally exterminate the people who disagree with them.

Do you have any evidence that those politically aligned to the right are more accepting of, say, murder than those on the left? Because I don't believe it.

More red states have a death penalty than blue states; also, none of the perpetrators of these https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_State... could be characterized as a leftie

> I didn't know about Brendan Eich. That makes me angry.

It makes me angry too, but also raises (for me) some interesting political questions around what level of disagreement is "too far." I would never fire someone for being a Republican and personally/privately opposing gay marriage. But I would also immediately fire someone if they were a Nazi. So where is the line if what's an acceptable level of tolerance (and where does Trump fall on it)?

I'll just repost an old comment, advocating that the limit is: is it speech and ideas? Then do not fire.

"I fundamentally disagree with you about this very important issue, and we should still find a way to cooperate" is a crucial idea, hard won and, as we are seeing, easily lost. It underpins multi-religious societies, working democracies, and in general, any group of people that need to do something. Unfortunately, right now we have groups of people that say the polar oposite: "It is good and moral to shun people who disagree with X".

I totally agree with marriage equality. But I think it can be (and mostly was) won on dialogue, not shunning. And I will always be against the shunners (though I hope not to shun them :P).

btw, all I just said applies just as well to klanspeople/nazis: Are they harming the employees? No? Are they aligned with the mission? Them keep them. And tell them they are stupid over a beer. Talk the shit out, and fight their stupid ideas in the right places. Do not allow political disagreement, even of the most grievous kind, to cut oportunities for dialogue and cooperation.

> is it speech and ideas? Then do not fire.

How far will you take that principal though?

What if you have an employee who consistently comes in and talks about how he'd like to kill all the non-white people? What if he talks about how many guns he has? I think this would make the office an unworkable environment for most of my other employees (particularly any PoC) and I would be very justified in firing them.

So consider Proposition 8. This was a ballot measure whose sole purpose was to enshrine in law the idea that "this group of people over here aren't legally equal to everyone else".

Privately believing someone has done something wrong, or belongs to a bad group, is one thing. Trying to enshrine that belief in law and disenfranchise the targeted person or group is quite another thing, and if you honestly are unable to see the difference between the two I'm unsure how to assist you.

Look at the timeline. Eich donated after Prop 22 was overturned (Prop 22 restricted marriage to same-sex couples). He wasn't trying to keep the status quo, he was trying to change the California constitution to outlaw something that the court had previously deemed legal. The end result of that difference is subtle, yes, but I find the spirit of the difference significant. Which is to say...much worse.

I wrote something too long about your confused post (for example, you must have meant "opposite-sex", not "same-sex"), then set it aside. I'll just note that of course I supported Prop 8 after the California Supreme Court overturned Prop 22 in its May, 2008 "In re Marriage Cases" ruling. Prop 8 was not even on the ballot until June, 2008!

Your argument that my support was pernicious is based on bogus chronology.

As for "status quo", that was exactly the issue, or one of two big issues. Judges do not make law, they are not our dictators, not even in extremis. It's up to the people and the legislature to correct course, based on judicial review and judicial nullification at the limit, but with new law coming from the legislature and the ballot initiative process (in California, anyway).

A lot of us in California supported Mark Leno's work over more than a decade prior to 2008 to enact CA Domestic Partner law, precisely to address injustices, even as Leno, et al. did not attempt to redefine marriage. That we saw judicial overreach and moved against it does not make us opponents of the status quo.

(Speaking of status quo, Prop 22's definition of marriage is still in the California constitution: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_1 SEC. 7.5.)

If you think courts should rule us, just wait long enough. The "next Trump" may give you the judges you deserve. I sincerely commend rule of law and judicial restraint to your attention, even if you don't agree with me on anything else.

Thank you - I think that is the thing that pro-Eich people consistently ignore. The Prop 8 campaign to retroactively strip people of human rights once those rights were re-affirmed by the state Supreme Court was an act of pure malice and spite. I don't know what Eich's personal reasons for donating were, but it speaks very poorly of his character that he did.

> to retroactively strip

Prop 8 would not and did not "nullify" any marriages licensed by the state in the middle of 2008. See


Retroactive or ex-post-facto law is unconstitutional. I am a big fan of this principle. It protects all of us.

> it speaks very poorly

Speaking ill of me based on false information does not reflect well on you. Let's back off and perhaps we'll meet on better terms another day. (FYI, I do not support Trump.)

> Privately believing someone has done something wrong, or belongs to a bad group, is one thing.

Did I say they were the same thing? I absolutely think that "let's make gay marriage illegal" is categorically worse than "I don't like gay marriage."

As bad a Prop 8 was, the policies Trump advocates are 1,000 times worse, yet I don't see anyone working to boycott or quit his companies.

As I walked home from work yesterday I was listening to a podcast about economics which mentioned that the Trump brand has been permanently devalued by his campaign -- people no longer want to stay in a Trump hotel, for example. And people have been leading efforts to drive potential students away from his "Trump University", and potential customers away from his other businesses.

It's possible you haven't seen such efforts, but that is not identical with "no efforts are occurring".

I've definitely heard about direct economic effects for Trump (though I think he'll end up gaining a lot more economically from the massive diehard fanbase he has now built) but why hasn't there been more backlash against Thiel? In my book his cause is a whole lot worse than Eich's.

Would you feel comfortable working at Peter Thiel's company?

I would not work for Thiel.

Also there are people pressuring, for example, pg to dump his association with Thiel.

Out of curiosity, do you also oppose non-flat taxation, affirmative action, minority-owned business contracting priorities, etc.?

Non-flat taxation are an attempt to make the impact of the law be equal on everyone.

Affirmative action is an attempt to alleviate the impact of prior laws and practices which made people unequal.

I am generally fine with trying to redress previously-enforced inequalities, and suspicious of anyone who isn't (protip: Google "libertarianism, starting right now" for an explanation of why this is important that you're more likely to agree with if a "LOL look how hard I rekt that dude by shoving affirmative action in his face" type sound-bite is the first thing you reach for in this kind of discussion)

Maybe it's just practicality: there's not much business sense in having leaders that publicly work against some of the most deeply meaningful interests of a significant portion of their employees.


> Is Nazism really that bad?

Yes. Please take your Holocaust apologia elsewhere.

Killing millions of people for no other reason than that you don't like their ethnicity is pretty much the baseline of immorality. Heck, killing millions of people for more legitimate reasons (being Nazis) also would be pretty abhorrent.

Also, for the record, "we" are not generally okay with senseless wars. There's a reason that murdering innocent civilians is considered a war crime.

I wonder what kind of outrage will be exhibited, if any, in this case and which companies that Peter Thiel has stakes in would be boycotted en masse. My guess is nothing.

I'm not in favor of Brendan Eich's personal choice, but I feel the reaction was far too strong in that case. Here we have something more than a thousand times larger that supports many oppressive things.

So now you're angry when liberals exercise their right to free speech?

It's not just multiplying the upside by the probability. The upside depends upon how many people are in the crowd with you. Right now, everybody else is deserting Trump - and so if Thiel doubles-down on his bet, Trump and his loyalists will remember that all the moreso, and so if Trump wins Thiel stands out even more from everyone that deserted Trump but then came crawling back when times looked good.

Eich and Trump are in very different roles. Eich was CEO of a non-profit: as a non-profit, they depend crucially on his ability to fundraise, and so pissing off big Mozilla donors makes it impossible to do his job. Thiel is an investor of his own capital: pissing off other people is generally neutral to him, as he doesn't depend on anyone else for anything, and being able to piss people off allows him to take risks that are underpriced because other people are too afraid of pissing others off.

> It's not just multiplying the upside by the probability. The upside depends upon how many people are in the crowd with you.

Sure, it's true that his upside is greater thanks to Thiel's unitary status. But I don't think that effect is any greater now: Trump enjoyed 0 SV support a month ago, so the investment would have had just as much impact then as now, but the probability is much lower now.

> Eich and Trump are in very different roles.

Absolutely, Thiel and Eich have very different roles. But to think public image is unimportant to Thiel is also naive: I could easily see this having a negative impact on his deal flow, either because founders are personally offended or because they'e afraid of tainting their reputation. There's a reason that VCs have PR and at least pay lip service to things like Women in Tech.

This analysis in the purest form of just best business strategy is spot on. Little risk... big upside.

Everything has to be such a spectacle, so black-and-white and binary in the US.

The forum discussions, here and elsewhere, give outside observers this impression:

  |=============================X=| Candidate X: some minor flaws, but overall a great option
  |=X=============================| Candidate Y: the new Hitler, world falls apart if elected
For reference, here is how many people in (not only) Europe view this "great American match":

  |============================X==| amazing candidate
  |================X==============| acceptable candidate
  |=======X=======================| Clinton & Trump: dishonest, obviously manipulative untrustworthy crooks
                                    within rounding error of each other
Is the election system so broken that these two are the best USA can offer?

> For reference, here is how many people in (not only) Europe view this "great American match":

I have a lot of European/non-American friends and not a single one of them thinks Trump and Clinton are "within rounding error of each other."

It's fundamentally dishonest to compare a run-of-the-mill corrupt politician to someone who openly advocates nuclear proliferation.

Furthermore, most of the "Clinton = corrupt" stuff has been played in the US far harder than elsewhere in the world.

In my formative years, it seemed like I couldn't go a week without hearing a new "scandal" that the Republican party wanted to foist on the only President I really knew as a politically-conscious person.

I'm not saying they were dishonest or wrong, I'm just saying it felt a bit too much like the boy who cried wolf. It's hard to even bother paying attention to yet another person trying to claim another Clinton "scandal".

Especially when the people pushing it support, well.... Someone who literally parrots back every slight used against him to be used against his rival. I didn't realize "I'm rubber, you're glue" was a campaign strategy.

The only place where I've seen this "both are equally bad" false equivalence is US.

Most European media seems to like Clinton. Most definitely, she's preferred to Trump by a large margin.

The only (part) European country that I can think of with a prominently different internal opinion is Russia. But they don't go for equivalence either, they just root for Trump.

1. To answer your question, yes.

2. Putting Trump and Clinton on the same level simply isn't accurate. I would revise this:

|============================X==| amazing candidate

|================X==============| normally acceptable candidate

|============X==================| Clinton

|==X============================| Trump

Clinton is certainly worse than most candidates historically, but her corruption and scandals are par for the course. It's the underbelly of politics that has always existed. Trump is a new level.

Clinton has been exposed in plain daylight as having done things that would have made Richard Nixon blush. It's so bad that her campaign has been forced to hire a crew of dedicated astroturfers to cover for her, and they have no scruples over doing this either. How does that make her better than Trump?

Yes, she has. Hence why she is lower than the normally acceptable candidate. It doesn't make her equal to Trump, though.

1. Clinton has a platform that is static (even if it's crafted and not a personal belief). Trump's changes with his mood and is unclear on even the basic principles and topics he chooses to focus on.

2. Clinton has shown she can keep a level head, which is important when an outburst affects millions of people. Trump has not in the slightest.

3. Clinton has shown that she can hold a high position of power and not have the world blow up (quickly).

4. Clinton has shown an ability to be relatively truthful and consistent. When she lies, she carefully crafts them, even going so far as to avoid definition lying. We now have the email chains to back that up. Trump has trouble sticking to basic facts.

Again, Clinton is objectively worse than the majority of candidates. I think at this point, if you gave the US the option to elect Romney in lieu of voting for Trump and Clinton, you would have major support on both sides. Heck, at this point, (Romney = Clinton - scandals) in terms of policy.

None of this touches their specific policies or even personal biases such as Trump's sexism, racism, islamophobia and more. Sure, you can say that a candidate's personal beliefs shouldn't affect his policies, but we have seen by Trump's proposals that this does not hold. Trump has not shown the ability to separate his personality from his work - his business is entrenched in his personal workings, even so much in how it operates and his brand is crafted.

If you disagree with that last paragraph, scratch it. The numbered points are plenty difference enough, and again, do not touch policy or personal beliefs of the candidates.

gwb43.com has become a faint memory for many: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_email_contr...

"RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email, themselves."

And this country voted for Richard Nixon twice. Once in a historic landslide.

Do you feel that disqualifies Clinton from the presidency?

One wonders what Nixon's legacy would have been if he just hadn't gotten caught. He wasn't a complete fuckup, and did actually accomplish some worthy things, but Watergate casts a shadow over it all.

Meanwhile, look at his opponent in 1960. JFK is practically revered as a saint because he had his brains blown out on national television. We largely forget or excuse his intense sex addiction, or that he very nearly pushed the world over the edge of Armageddon, or that he was instrumental in escalating the Vietnam War. To the benefit of his legacy, at least, he was killed before his chickens came home to roost and became a martyr figure instead.

Nixon proposed universal health care 45 years ago.

Although some said he made anti-Semitic statements, he employed a Jewish Secretary of State, Kissinger who basically ran the international part of the presidency when Nixon was in the later states of the Watergate Investigation.

Over the advice of Defense and other advisors, he insisted on fully rearming a desperate Israel with a very, very impressive airlift during the Yom Kippur War (1973) when Israel was surprise attacked by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur.

EPA was created by Nixon administration, isn't?

Yes, you are correct! Interestingly, although a Republican, his creation of EPA and his desire to create universal health care is something we today associate more with Democrats.

The Clinton-is-dishonest narrative is a completely American fiction, created four of five years ago in some strategy meeting and popularized by repetition.

There's nothing there. Republicans spent thousands of hours in Benghazi and came up empty handed. Worst thing she apparently did was setting up a private mail server, as did her predecessors, Republicans included.

Europeans see Trump as an actual danger to peace and stability. He's assembling an angry mob spewing hate against minorities, women, people who think. He's peddling in conspiracy theories undermining democracy. He's treating the carefully adjusted balance of power in eastern Europe. In short: Europeans know his type quite well. He's no Hitler, no. He's Putin, Erdogan, Orban.

You know you sound exactly like the parent comment was describing, right?

> For reference, here is how many people in (not only) Europe view this "great American match"

It's difficult to generalize over Europe. For instance, I live in France and have no idea about the opinions of let say Romanians or Swedes. But my feeling is the opposite. I suspect that Trump has more supporters in the US (even on HN) than in France.

Here I don't see anybody enthusiastic about Clinton, but most people and media don't take Trump seriously (and that's an euphemism). However he has his supporters, essentially among right wing extremists (who tend to like Putin as well).

I've been watching pg complain about Trump on Twitter with some interest. It is mind blowing to me that he has said nothing about Thiel so far.

This recent exchange with DHH may give you some insights: https://twitter.com/paulg/status/787561745686618113

I used to work at a bank, which regularly required pre-clearance for employee donations to political parties and candidates to avoid conflict of interest issues.

If YC is saying Thiel can't be managed on that basis, he is a partner. And if he is a partner, YC can choose not to partner with him.

But is there a conflict of interest here? YC isn't exactly a bank, you realize. It wouldn't make sense for them to have to manage CoIs, as far as I can tell. And firing Thiel like dhh is describing in his tweets seems fairly illegal to me (tho IANAL).

"We deploy our own and other peoples' money to make broad spectrum investments in the technology industry."

I could see both Goldman Sachs and YC operating under this mission statement.

As much as PG wants him to be, Thiel isn't an employee. He's a partner in a partnership, and partnerships have been dissolved for worse reasons than "offending partner is an opportunistic bigot".

dhh needs to chill. I understand writing in the polemic style is something people do, and that it's not fair to judge people on it, but it's really not working in his favor.


The fact that PG answers DHH with another question to avoid the original question proves that he (PG) is uncomfortable with the subject. Though, this would better be asked to sama.

He's not avoiding the question. It's a stupid question. And this isn't nearly the first time dhh has butted heads with pg on Twitter (for no discernible reason other than to pick a fight).

DHH asks him if Thiel has invested more in Trump than in any other YC startup - implicitly asking PG if he's happy to have such a partner. PG retorts by asking if DHH would fire an employee who would be supporting Trump. How is that not avoiding the question?

I doubt it's even a question pg can answer though. I see it as pg getting to the crux of dhh's argument, without the foreplay. It helps show dhh's true beliefs. But sure, it is dodging the question.

This is a thing they have discussed before. If I were pg, I'd be bored with it by now.

Here in Canada, it is illegal to give more than $1525 per year to a political party. That would have saved this guy some money.

There are similar donation limits in the USA, but the recent Citizen's United supreme court ruling allows individuals to give large sums to "political action committees" which can act in support of a candidate as long as they don't get caught directly coordinating with them. This has lead to some pretty egregious influences on politics, especially in smaller races with less scrutiny where elections can now be bought for sometimes as little as $10k.

The words brave and courage do not appear in this threat. They should.

Mr. Thiel is standing up for his beliefs in the face of great personal risk.

I applaud him.

hackernews seems pretty confident that Hillary is going to win this election. If anyone would like to bet $200 against my $100 (my position being that Trump will win the USA popular vote), msg me. I'm not sure how we'll do the escrow, but I'm willing to place a few bets on the underdog.

There are betting markets which will offer significantly better odds in order to take your money. For example:


Why is this news when the fact Clinton received donations from major corporations, banks, and foreign governments isn't. It's like the media wants to paint a target on anybody openly supporting Trump.

He probably evaluated that if there's a 1/n chance of Trump getting elected, he'll be able to get favors worth $1.25m * k, with k > n.

Rich guy. Does whatever he wants with his money. 1M is chump change for him to buy influence.

Thiel seems a lot like Trump -- he won the startup lottery and acts like it entitles him to be taken seriously about politics and economics. My reaction is similar when some movie star endorses a candidate.

Has he spotted a political party that's to some extent going to be up for grabs over the next few years? Is the cash just so he looks like he's being loyal this election?

Maybe he is fighting the disgraceful shaming culture going on in this election.

By standing up and making a donation, he is forcing people to reconcile his success with his political views, creating real discourse, like this HN discussion.

I cant recall a single election that had so few lawn signs out and that people are afraid to admit who they truly support.

Everyone is over-weighting what Donald Trump says. This is a problem for both his supporters and antagonists. Between not paying back lenders and Trump University, I don't know whats left to claim credibility.

I think Thiel is hedging for both himself and as a proxy for Facebook. If Trump wins, Facebook gets the most favored corporation status currently awarded to Google. If Trump loses, Thiel perhaps assumes everyone will forget soon enough and Zuckerberg can diss-avow any Facebook connection.

It's fine for Thiel to prefer Trump's vision. I wonder if he had thought hard about whether Trump can deliver that vision. Trump didn't deliver well, historically. You don't get ten times return but you can destroy a country fast. Think Third Reich.

Wouldn't the most important information, though not news,be that you guys live in a country where companies pay to support candidates...

"Mr. Thiel is making his first donation in support of Mr. Trump’s election. He will give $1.25 million through a combination of super PAC donations and funds given directly to the campaign"

An essential ingredient for the breed of industrialists like Thiel, is the presence of tyrants to remove unnecessary impediments to commerce without dissent.

He's buying publicity.

Why are Clinton's wikileaked transcripts weighted down in addition to users' flags[1] while this story is being protected from flagging?

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12715222

Seems like it would be better to spend the money supporting imperiled GOP senate races. Trump can't win the electoral college. At this point his only hope is to win the popular vote and spend the next four years on Fox News whining about how the election is rigged.

It's pretty disappointing to see someone of Thiel's stature do this. Distasteful choice and motives aside, it's good to remember that the tech industry has a long history of forwarding poorly thought out political initiatives while underestimating politics as its own craft with separate and largely non-transferable skills. (Tim Draper's plan to split California into six states, two rich, four poor as dirt, being a relatively recent example of something that didn't work out so well).

If Thiel had really wanted to disrupt presidential elections, he could have thrown some money and social media connections behind Evan McMullin as a way of throwing a malotov cocktail into the race. It's his money, but if it were me I would not want to be associated with someone as vulgar as Trump.

Thiel thinks several steps ahead like a chessmaster. Donating to Trump is likely an effort to thwart the current money influenced political system not about morals.

IMO, Trump will stumble and fall with every step like he already is right now.

Perhaps a better supported Trump will continue to widen the gulf between the candidate and the GOP, and that in turn will create a vacuum of opportunity for change after the election.

The real mystery to me is the timing of this donation. At this point it's pretty unlikely(1) that Trump will win the election and 1.25M surely won't swing the outcome very much at all. What does Thiel gain by doing this? It seems like he has a lot to lose in terms of his reputation and business dealings with other people in Silicon Valley that don't share his politics.

1. https://www.electionbettingodds.com

The problem with Trump is that he is grossly inconsistent. Take his foreign policy; sometimes he wants to "get the hell out of Syria", which I agree with him on, but then he wants to "rip the Iran deal", thus escalating elsewhere (which I strongly disagree with him on).

That's why if you wanted positive change, you should've voted Bernie Sanders.

Make sense to me for YC. Whatever who wins, they ensure a connection.

How much power does the president of us as a person wield? The us has numerous powerful institutions and checks and balances. Thats probably why many people dismiss the fear of authoritarianism.


Alt-news folk backing Trump will have a heart attack upon seeing the steering committee head of Bildeburg back him.

Thanks for the flexibility (for context https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12716662).

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12716854 and marked it off-topic.

Not sure why we would turn off flagging, if it's doing its job keeping flame wars off of the front page.

The hypothesis is that the many flagged submissions and associated meta-discussion amount to more disruption than a single discussion thread which might otherwise have been judged as off-topic for HN.

Hence the experimentation and additional caveat by sctb.

Note that the flamewar detector may not have been turned off and is possibly punishing the submission otherwise.

I'm not very political and I haven't decided who to vote for yet, but I don't understand why the tech industry is so anti-Trump.

He seems like a relatively sincere and smart guy to me, and some of his policies seem to be better for business.

Is it because of tougher immigration laws? Are there other reasons based on his policies, or is it mostly just emotional?

> why the tech industry is so anti-Trump.

People don't risk openly supporting Trump unless they have the kind of fuck-you money/assets that allows them to do so. Truth is that the tech industry is probably leaning toward the Democratic party a lot less than it actually seems simply because of the politically motivated discrimination you would face should you endorse the wrong candidate (or embrace the "wrong" opinions in public).

I have seen what happened to a couple folks who told "unappropriate" jokes in a private discussion to their friends while at a public event. They lost their job.

I have seen how tons of progressives (not to say most) are so entrenched in their own bias that they fail to realize that dissenting opinions to their beliefs are not morally reprehensible. And that their cultish attitude with respect to diversity is as stupid as the white nationalistic obsession of homogeneity.

Finally, I have seen how the democrats/progressives systematically demolish the lives of the people who oppose them. That's why I will remain silent. Post anonymously and take action with my vote. And that's why everyone at my workplace believes I am a staunch HRC supporter.

And before you accuse me of paranoia or to have a persecution complex I recommend you try to first figure out why so many people are behaving the exact same way I am: telling one thing in public (or to pollsters) and do another when they are protected by the opacity of a voting cabin.

edit: I posted this comment 4 seconds ago and it is already at -1. You read very fast!

I think you are correct that the Democratic Party is much more socially acceptable to support, and that especially today, the penalties for holding the "wrong" opinion are severe and cause people to retreat to the anonymity of venues like Reddit and the voting booth.

However, telephone polling generally matches actual election results closely enough to assume that people feel a similar level of anonymity in the voting booth as they do in a telephone poll. The dismal polling results for Trump in the Bay Area are not because of secret Trump voters, it's because even conservatives don't want to vote for a candidate whose capability, sanity, behavior, and temperament are so clearly unequal to the job at hand.

Also, "conservative" today increasingly means "socially conservative" which in turn often means "evangelical Christian", to such an extent that the terms are usefully interchangeable.

This is the result of a direct and honest strategy of courting socially-conservative religious people who believe the country is being dragged "in the wrong direction" by people with "a radical social agenda".

While there are people who disagree with the general mainstream of socially-liberal belief in this country who aren't motivated primarily by religious beliefs, they are rare enough compared to the religious majority to not be worth mentioning most of the time.

Many people have bet on the Bradley effect many times before, and they tend to be wrong.

Trump's results in the general election were bang-on with what the polls predicted.

The general could be different. But there's no reason to believe that it will be.

That said, I don't disagree that "polite" coastal society doesn't take kindly to alternative views.

It's a false dichotomy to suggest that opposition to Trump is either based on disagreements with his public policy statements or 'just emotional'.

Sometimes people are just not qualified for a position, even if they can occasionally say some of the right answers at the interview.

If a tech company is considering hiring a CEO or CTO who has ruined several companies, refused to do business with black people until specifically ordered by a court, sexually harassed dozens of subordinates, publicly and verifiable lied about important topics on a regular basis, or bragged about being exploiting his fame to get away with groping women, it doesn't really matter which tech stack they've been praising. Trump has actually done all of those things, if you don't already know.

He actually bought a teenage beauty pageant and then frequently ogled and sexually assaulted (nonconsensually groped and kissed) the contestants backstage. That should tell you everything you need to know about his attitude towards abuses of power and how he'd exploit the Presidency. Please don't dismiss this stuff as 'just emotional'.

And you can hardly tell what his policies are anyway because he contradicts his own statements on most topics.

On the policies that have been clear, the tech industry is opposed to Trump for the same reasons they're opposed to other Republicans. If you're wondering why he's more unpopular in the industry than a generic replacement-level Republican, it's for the same reasons that he's exceptionally unpopular among Republicans themselves.

Trump is orders of magnitude more qualified than Hillary Clinton.

Well that's just not true is it

Actually, it is. Prove that Hillary's 30 years of being a political stooge qualifies her to lead the largest democracy in the world? When has she ever created an actual job? How did she make her hundreds of millions of dollars? Did she produce anything? Did she build a product and sell it? Did she build a company? Did she follow through on her promise to create 200,000 jobs in New York as a Senator? How have her foreign policy decisions impacted the world in places like Libya and Syria? How did spending $500 million to train 60 Syrian rebels end up? The left is so hyper-focused on trying to assassinate Trumps character that they can't even talk about her dismal record as a career politician and complete lack of real leadership skills. Pathetic.

> When has she ever created an actual job?

The Clinton foundation employees 2,000 people for starters. I'm sure there is much more, shes been in politics 30 years. You don't go that long without doing something.

> The left is so hyper-focused on trying to assassinate Trumps character that they can't even talk about her dismal record as a career politician and complete lack of real leadership skills.

Despite the fact she hasn't got the best record it's still shiny compared to Trumps. Nobody is saying shes the best ever, but shes the best compared to Trump in every respect. And by the way it's not "the left", it's everyone but your bubble. It's the world, it's the left and it's most of the right. Who wants a fascist[1] in power?

> Pathetic.

Out of 320 million people it's pathetic that the best you can produce is two old, unhealthy liars. One a serial conman seemingly from another planet and the other a serial politician from somewhere just as bad.

1. https://www.reddit.com/r/EnoughTrumpSpam/comments/4teoxl/a_f...

Views on Global Warming:

"Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. ... "

"NBC News just called it the great freeze - coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?"

"I don’t believe in climate change."

"The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

Saying the Chinese invented Global Warming is batty, but it is certainly true that they have become more competitive in manufacturing by game theoretically "defecting" on it -- going crazy with cheap coal power to undercut all the other nations who have taken at least some steps to reduce CO2 emission.

Of course Trump's point was not that nuanced. He said the batty thing as near as I have heard, and I have not heard any substantial proposals on how he might correct the trade imbalance without wrecking the economy by starting a trade war in a fragile economy.

His "nuance" consisted of deleting the relevant tweets and then denying he ever said it.

The easiest way to make Trump lose a debate is to make Trump of right now debate the positions of Trump of five (seconds/minutes/months/years) ago.

I'd argue the opposition to Trump has very little to do with politics -- or, at least, no more so than the (generally Democrat) opposition to (generally Republican) candidates.

Most of the repulsion is due to his tone, his personality, his unpredictability, and how generally erratic he is.

Frankly, to the extent that you ascertain any coherent political principles he has, they're more moderate than the other candidates in the Republican primary.

On top of that, his tax plan, such as it is, would save many of us more money than that of many of the other candidates.

I think the reality is successful people hate uncertainty. If you're not doing well, you're more likely to roll the dice and say "what's the worst that could happen?"

People who have benefited from society as it is today (and, let's admit it, most of us in tech are in the top 5-10%) believe we have the most to lose from an erratic unpredictable leader.

And again, that's nothing to do with politics.

Politics is about access to power. Trump's views on women - pieces of meat that which he should be free to sexually assaulted - are a direct attack on the rights and power of women. Rights which were hard won over decades of political engagement.

Likewise his views on minority populations.

So yeah, many of us oppose him in political grounds. Because he's a misogynistic white supremacist, and having such a person in the White House would be a disaster for a huge swath of the population.

It's late, and I'm not quite sure how to reply as I absolutely agree with you, and I don't want my comments to be construed in any way as pro-Trump who I view as the absolute bottom of humanity's barrel, but I didn't want my comments to appear too "political" and not adequately rational. I apologize if politics got in the way of humanity.

My best way to describe it is that I was commenting about "politics" as a set of partisan principles; he is far less Republican than the average primary victor; far more moderate in terms of what policy positions he checks the box of. (The usual guns, abortion, marriage, gay, free speech, trade, etc).

That was not meant in any way to say that his views on women and racial minorities are "moderate"; clearly they are not, and clearly his own views denigrate him as a person in ways that no words I could ever summon would.

Might be that engineers prefer candidates who demonstrate logic and reason, vs enticing followers into an emotional frenzy. I was hoping for more intellectual debates, and analysis of the issues.

Can't speak for others, only myself.

To me he's an obvious off the charts narcissist... so much so that his narcissism actually seems extreme against the backdrop of Washington politics and the media. That's kind of amazing.

IMHO that disqualifies him from the presidency regardless of his policies. It's analogous to why you can't get a pilot's license with bad eyesight. A narcissist is a person with a dangerous addiction to domination, attention, and approval, and giving such a person the power to start wars is just irresponsible.

(Of course IMHO the president should have less power to act unilaterally with the military, but that's another matter.)

I am not much of a fan of his politics either, but he has said some good things. He is the only politician in the lineup who has made an issue out of the collapse of the American interior. That wins points with me and many other people. If he were constitutionally fit to be president I might consider it.

I also wonder if Thiel, being from Cleveland, is perhaps also affected by this last issue. I am also from Ohio and I can relate. You coastal types have no idea. I am not being hyperbolic with "collapse." Huge swaths of the American heartland are essentially de-developing. Maybe Thiel just wants to make some kind of point. He's rich and that's not a lot of money for him. Might just be a costly f-u.

RE: your point on narcissism. My perspective is that if he becomes president, his excessive narcissism might actually be good thing for the country. As a narcissist Trump wants his legacy to be remembered as positive. He doesn't want future historians to see him as a failure or some no name president. Trump's campaign is built on the promise of "Making America Great Again", and if he fails on that promise then history will see him as a failure, a real threat to his identity. Because of this, Trump does not want to be remembered as the president that caused WW3 or exploded the national debt. In my opinion, I think Trump will push for positive changes to the country as a way to protect his identity (and existence).

You're assuming a narcissist behaves rationally and thinks long term. Trump's overinflated ego causes him to vastly overestimate his abilities (eg. "I know ISIS more than the generals do") and makes him unable to admit blame or failure (eg. if I lose the election, it'll be because it was rigged), which is a terrible combination. If he was rational and wanted his legacy to be good he would improve on constructive criticism, but based on his campaign he seems unable of taking any kind of criticism. Trump is already remembered as the candidate for president who had a habit of starting unnecessary twitter feuds whenever he felt insulted. If Trump could do whatever he wanted as president, he would ban everyone from criticizing him. If he has to choose between a long-term benefit for the country and a short-term personal benefit, he will choose the personal benefit.

As for not causing unnecessary military conflicts: "And, by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people, that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water."

An alcoholic might seem like the life of the party, but only if you leave before they transform into bad drunk.

Same goes for narcissism in leadership. Superficially it can seem effective until you hit an issue that makes the narcissist choose between their duties and their fragile ego. Then the life of the party throws up on your shoes.

I too, am from Cleveland, and I can't say I've ever heard Thiel mention Ohio or the heartland/rust belt specifically.

Find Thiel's RNC speech on YouTube.

I think your last point holds a lotof the key. I'm technically coastal, but where I come from is more Rust Belt in character. Things used to be good, maybe not great, but a lot of people made a living doing honest work and supported strong communities a generation ago. People in those areas today look around and see a gutted, graying, opiod-dependent third-world wasteland where they used to thrive. Things are not better for them.

Has Trump provided a credible plan to help these people?

No, which is also why I would not vote for him.

It's a tough complex issue and Trump just has populist drool. That never works. See: Chavez, Hugo. (Populism tends to work out the same regardless of whether it's left or right. This is also why I got cold feet about Bernie pretty early.)

I'm not sure whether what he has proposed would actually be beneficial. But he's one of the few that hasn't told these people to go pound sand, and taken positions on issues that they see as impacting their livelihoods, like immigration, outsourcing, free trade, and tariffs that might possibly help them, rather than exacerbate their problems.

Because he's a bully with a dangerous trigger-finger mentality. He doesn't have any actual policies. There's the formal GOP policy which he frequently contradicts and his own viewpoints are extremely fluid as well. His only consistency is attacking those who he views as lower than him.

This explains why you won't vote for him, but that wasn't the question. The question is why the tech industry would differ from the population at large, where Trump has >40% support.

Because the US tech industry exists in socially progressive cities: SF/SV, Seattle, Austin, Portland, NYC.

Look at an electoral polling map.

I don't believe you.

There is no way you're incapable of making the distinction between Trump and HC. I can get why people would vote for Trump. He's obviously a dangerous idiot, put we all knew there's a market for that (though the size is somewhat scary).

It's simply not possible to be undecided between these two for anyone who has spent more than five minutes on it.

Regarding your question why people hate Trump: he's openly stigmatizing minorities including calls for violence against African-Americans at his rally. He's threatening to use his power as president for criminal persecutions of his opponents. He advocates for laws making it illegal to criticize him in the media. He has a history of ventures peddling get-rich-quick-schemes to barely literate people for tens of thousands of dollars. There are now more women accusing him of sexual assault than Bill Cosby. He has recently spend a week calling some woman nobody knows fat on Twitter. Reading any of his interview transcripts makes me doubt he'd pass a Turing test.

I upvoted you because I don't think you should be downvoted for stating a political opinion. Democracy is about everyone getting a vote, even if the other side thinks your vote is wrong.

From my observations, the tech industry leans pretty heavily liberal/democrat.

Tech leans liberal and highly-educated, demographically not a good fit for Trump.

Because voting behaviors and income levels are highly correlated. Stop right there if you believe that people dislike Trump because they are "smarter". It is a cheap to make you feel good about yourself.

I'm just pointing out demographics, no need to read into it more than what I said.

Please accept my apologies then, this is something that I have often seen followed by a direct attack on his electorate's intelligence and/or how democracy is not working since those poor uneducated masses are given a voice. Same happened after Brexit (and some lunatics arguing that London should become a city-state). So because it matched part of the pattern, I assumed this is where you wanted to take the discussion.

Anyway, have a nice afternoon.

Education level. Not intelligence.

I'm not sure why people don't bring up the fact that Trump has never done anything for anyone other than himself. When has Trump tried to help someone else other than himself? That is the test that both Mitt Romney and Trump have failed for me.

Secondly, this idea that they are great businessman because the regularly bankrupt businesses for a living makes me question their ability to actually run a busines and more so a government.

Mitt Romney has bankrupted loans from governments which makes me seriously question his actual strengths. Trump stiffs people who work for him which makes me question his strengths as it relates to helping people.

They've failed at the helping people level and they mostly used failing businesses as a vehicle to get rich without actually helping the businesses and their stakeholders.

How is a Trump going to balance a budget? He's never been able to with all the resources he's had available to him before. Why would he be able to now?


*Temporarily banning. He's since changed his tune, saying that we need to heavily scrutinize those coming from countries that are terrorist hot beds. Jimmy Carter did something similar, so don't say it's "unheard of."

Trump now wants a drug test for him and HC before the next debate.

I wonder if there's a way to get him to take a Turing test.


This kind of comment does not belong on Hacker News. Please comment civilly, substantively, and on-topic or not at all.

Not convinced this is Hacker News worthy. Let's keep politics in political forums.

This statement is absurd.

Hacker News has a very, very, very well-established history of political pieces. Everything from EU politics, tax policy, candidate elections, and law enforcement practices.

Peter Thiel is a YC advisor. This is both a tech and a political story.

But how is how Peter decides to spend his personal wealth and his political opinions on-topic?

Because this isn't just a private matter. Peter is very vocal about his vision of society - in which tech plays a big place - and this donation definitely gives some interesting color to that vision.

I would say so if he's a YC advisor. He doesn't have to justify his actions but it would be interesting to understand or at least try to understand his point of view. My guess is it has to do with taxes.

What people choose to do with their person wealth is important, when they use their wealth to influence elections.

Peter is free to support whoever he wants. Just because he is associated with YC, does not make his views YC's views.

And Sam Altman's BFF

Edit: In case you don't think that's relevant, go read this: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/sam-altmans-man...

From the article: "If the pandemic does come, Altman’s backup plan is to fly with his friend Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, to Thiel’s house in New Zealand."

Do you really think that Thiel's advice has no effect on Mr. Altman's decisions?

Wasn't aware of that. Sam's political views appear to be directly opposite of Peter's then if his Twitter is any indication.

That's why it's surprising. They're "I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with you if a world catastrophe happens" kind of buddies, according to this NewYorker Profile:


Their ability to remain friends despite political differences speaks very well of both.

Technology has always been political, even moreso today. to ignore that in search for purism around codebase discussions is at the peril of this forum.

I've enjoyed reading the well thought out arguments on this page. So, where is a better political forum? I've tired of reddit as the noise/signal ratio has grown intolerable.

True - still hoping it ain't so

I don't feel that discussions of what is appropriate to discuss on hacker news are Hacker News worthy. Let the chips fall where they land, I say.

Of course, there's an old adage about the ubiquity and quality of opinions

I wonder what his thoughts are about Trump nonconsensually groping women?

A libertarian could not support such violence/coercion.

[Edit: wow, off-topic?]

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12718512 and marked it off-topic.

Typical mod treatment.

Can't even put up an argument.

Thiel thinks the world would be better if women couldn't vote.

"Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron."

Basically, women don't vote for libertarian economic policies, and make it impossible to have a capitalist democracy, so he wants to get rid of democracy.

Source: https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/educatio...

You're getting downvotes here, but Tiel wrote his own manifesto, published it, and there isn't any ambiguity in what he wrote. He believes enfranchising women and "welfare beneficaries" was incompatible with his view of a well-run government, but it is now impractical to take the vote away from them.


You also did a terrific job as summarizing his idea of 'freedom' as the freedom a of a feudal lord to do as he pleases.

I haven't kept up, but have any of the accusations been proven yet? Last I checked they were all allegations.

There's a video of him saying he does it. That might not be enough to convict him in court, by personally I don't see why I shouldn't take him at his word on that.

There are many accusations that Trump engaged in the behavior he voluntarily described himself behaving in.

I don't think that matters though. He is already on the record encouraging (and bragging about) coercion; it is completely antithetical to libertarianism.

When just two people are in the room, you won't find it possible to "prove" anything.

But there is, of course, no reason to doubt the honesty of the women involved. Why wouldn't you trust them?

Because Donald Trump seems to call the accusations "completely fabricated". Why wouldn't you trust Donald Trump?

I don't trust him because of his repeated bragging statements about dishonest business practices and his habitual lying about things he's said in the past (e.g. recorded statement of him saying something, his future claim he never said it, etc)


Can you prove they are being blackmailed, bribed, want to be famous (several already are, of course, for their own careers and lives), or have a personal vendetta?

I mean, on the one hand, you have a lot of women who tell the same sort of story, and I trust people until I have an actual (not hypothetical) reason to assume they're lying.

On the other hand, you have the guy who brags about dishonest business practices and lies (and this is all on video) about his past statements. Trump has given me lots of reasons not to trust him. Starting now to trust him, because women are involved, that doesn't make sense to me.

There is also the blatant fact that allegations being made are exactly the behavior he voluntarily described himself engaging in.


A comparison between Trump and Hitler is ridiculous. There is simply no comparison, and the idea of is an insult to the millions slaughtered by Nazi Germany.

9 years before Hitler became president of Germany, he wrote in Mein Kampf: "the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew." and "Aryans were, and are, alone “the carrier of the development of human culture."

He foreshadowed the Holocaust by saying "that the ‘sacrifice of millions at the front’ would have been prevented if ‘twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas."

12 years later, he killed (among others) over 15 million Jews, gays, Russian civilians, and Roma people.

Trump on the other hand, has said "“total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” He also said "And by the way, many, many, most Muslims are wonderful people."

I challenge you to find a quote of Hitler saying something this nice about Jews.

I don't think the parent is saying that Trump is literally Hitler, but rather that his rhetoric targeting specific minorities is alarmingly similar to that of Hitler's and his National-Socialist party during their rise to power.

No doubt the Holocaust was one of the most horrific crimes ever committed -- should we not then be all the more vigilant in preventing such similar hate speech from entering the mainstream?

Sure, we should be vigilant against hate speech. But not by banning speech, and not by manipulating it. And saying that we shouldn't allow a specific faith into the United States, even on a temporary basis, is certainly against the American ethos. But it's not Hitler.

I would say a more apt comparison to Hitler is the language used in the parent to my comment: "If that's the man Thiel wants to stand with so be it. But I won't forget." An implied long-term threat against s