Libertarians on Campaign 2016 – Super Tuesday Eve Edition

29 Feb
Bruce Majors
Washington, D.C..

Prissertarian – a libertarian who face palms with his liberal friends over Trump’s outrageous antics, instead of learning why they appeal to so many native or potential libertarian voters.

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Walter Olson
Howard County, Maryland
Donald Trump, speaking today: “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.” Trump also said of Amazon, whose Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post, a newspaper that just ran an editorial seeking to rally opposition to Trump: “If I become president, oh do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”
The President has no direct power to change libel law, which consists of state law constrained by constitutional law as laid out by the Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan. A President could appoint Justices intent on overturning the press protections of Sullivan or promote a constitutional amendment to overturn it. Assuming one or the other eventually was made to happen, further changes in libel law would probably require action at the state level, short of some novel attempt to create a federal cause of action for defamation.
But although Trump is unlikely to obtain the exact set of changes he outlines, the outburst is psychologically revealing. To begin with, it further confirms how if elected he intends to govern: Trump would rule by fear. 
Donald Trump has been filing and threatening lawsuits to shut up critics and adversaries over the whole course of his career. He dragged reporter Tim O’Brien through years of litigation over a relatively favorable Trump biography that assigned a lower valuation to his net worth than he thought it should have. He sued the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic for calling one of his planned buildings silly and ugly. He used the threat of litigation to get an investment firm to fire an analyst who correctly predicted that the Taj Mahal casino would not be a financial success. He sued comedian Bill Maher over a joke. 
Having written about the evils of litigation for 25 years, I do not want a President who embodies litigiousness.
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Bruce Majors
Washington, DC
One part of the Rand Paul campaign postmortem must be why an anti-American animus that seeped into the Ron Paul liberty movement prevented Rand from originating the slogan “Make America great again”

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