My Debate With Reason’s Nick Gillespie: Trump for President, Slavery, NYTimes

On November 1, 2016 in NYC I had a debate with Dr. Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine. The host was the Soho Forum. To see the background go here,; then go here for the formal debate: (the debate starts at around the 19 minute mark). The title of the debate was “Resolved: Libertarians should vote for Donald Trump for president.” I took the affirmative, Dr. Gillespie the negative. I won the debate since I converted ( more of the official voters to my side (9%), than he did to his (4%). But that is not the interesting part. That occurs in the last five minutes during which I explained why I refused to shake his hand either before or after the debate, which is customary on these sorts of occasions. Why did I refuse to do so? It was because he (publicly) spread false rumors about me. Let me explain.

Here is my summary of the debate, with reasons why I think I won:
1. Dr. Nick Gillespie has his own central planning industrial policy: factory jobs are bad.
2. He thinks the Supreme Court is unimportant. So what that Hillary will appoint more pinkos.
3. He denigrated free association as unimportant. It is irrelevant to libertarianism that the baker had to pay a fine of $130,000 for refusing to provide a cake for a gay wedding. Listen to his many jokes about cakes.
4. In his view, the rust belt had nothing to do with labor unions
5. He kept interrupting me all throughout the debate
6. He refused to rank Hillary vs. Donald
7. Dr. Gillespie is a thick libertarian: if you’re not wildly enthusiastic about inter-racial marriage, you’re really not a libertarian, in his view
8. He dismissed as any problem at all the rape-fugees now plaguing Sweden, Germany.
9. He supports political correctness
10. Most egregious, he refused to apologize in the venue he did this for repeating without demur the NYTimes smear that I think actual slavery was “not so bad.”
I would have been DELIGHTED to patch things up with Dr. Gillespie and shake his hand. The first time he apologized to me, it was in front of 3 other people. I said that the apology had to be a public one, and in the same venue as the offense took place (he wrote it in a Reason communication). The second and third times he tried to apologize, I again said the same thing. In none of these cases did he ever LISTEN to me. Instead, both privately, in front of the three people, and in front of the big audience, he kept interrupting me, saying he hereby apologizes, contradicting himself by saying he didn’t really owe me an apology since he was only quoting the NYTimes; he never got through his head that I wanted at the time (just merely the promise of) a WRITTEN, not just a spoken apology for spreading false rumors about me. It is difficult to talk to people who keep interrupting you, don’t listen to you.
If you want some background about my issues with the New York Times, here it is:

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Reply to the Scurrilous, Libelous, Venomous, Scandalous New York Times Smear Campaign.” January 30;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; (10:30 minutes);

NYTimes letters of support:

Block accused by New York Times of thinking slavery “not so bad”:

Tanenhaus, Sam and Jim Rutenberg. 2014. “Rand Paul’s Mixed Inheritance.” January 26;

Block’s reply to the New York Times:

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Reply to the Scurrilous, Libelous, Venomous, Scandalous New York Times Smear Campaign.” January 30;

Block, Walter E. 2014. “May I sue the New York Times? A Libertarian Analysis of Suing for Libel.” September 5;;

Loyola critics of Block for thinking slavery “not so bad”:

Wildes, Kevin. 2014. “Letter: Walter Block has made too many assumptions and contradictions.” February 6;;

Murphy, Laura, Anthony E. Ladd, Barbara Ewell, Charles Corprew, Laura Hope, Kathleen Fitzgerald, Angel Parham, Ashley Howard, Trimiko Melancon, Alex Mukulich, Patricia Boyett, Julie Thibodaux, Nicole Eggers, Ted Quant, Susan Weishar, Alvaro Alcazar, Lisa Martin, Judith Hunt. 2014. “Letter: Faculty says Walter Block’s claims were, once again, untrue and offensive.” February 6;;

Block’s response to Loyola critics:

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Wildes’ letter was based on a serious misunderstanding.” February 20;;;

Block, Walter E. 2014. “The faculty’s letter was misinformed and lacks integrity.” February 20;;

Defenders of Block (a small selection of over 100 letters so far posted):

Anderson, William L. 2014. “The Priest and His Clever Lie.” February 25;;

Beane, Larry. 2014. “In response to Wildes’ letter.” February 14;;

Cavallo, Jo Ann. 2014. “Slandering Walter Block.” February 16;;

DiLorenzo, Tom. 2014. “Fascism University: The Enemies of Freedom and Tolerance at Loyola University New Orleans.”;;

Gill, James. 2014. “Block raises controversy again.” The Advocate, February 20, p. 11B;;

Henderson, David. 2014. “Open Letter to President Wildes re Professor Block.” February 13;;

Landsburg, Steven. 2014. “Block Heads.” February 13;;;;

Lingenfelter, Jonathan. 2014. “Wildes’ letter assumed too much.” February 14;;

Wenzel, Robert. 2014. “The Outpouring of Support for Walter Block.” March 1;

Wenzel, Robert. 2014. “Distorting A Champion of Liberty: The Walter Block Controversy.” March 1;

Woods, Tom. 2014. “Jesuit University attacks libertarian professor; I respond.”;

Adams, Devinn. 2014. “Professor accuses New York Times of libel.” February, 20;

Morris, Robert. 2014. “Professor’s defense of segregated lunch counters creates controversy at Loyola University.” Uptown Messenger. February 20;

Cavallo, Christina. 2014. “Columbia Student Defends Walter Block.” February 20;

Wolverton, Joe. 2014. “NYT Smears Rand Paul with Claims of Racism, Religious Fanaticism.” February 1;

Lazarowitz, Scott. 2014. “Yes, Slavery Is Offensive.” February 24;
Light, Christian, Robert Wenzel. 2014. “Loyola University President Responds to Criticism Regarding His Walter Block Comments with More Outrageous Comments.” February 24;

Smith, Adam. 2014. “A Tulane Student Writes About His Interaction with Walter Block.” March 4;

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Sue New York Times for libel?!?!” February 1;;

Block, Walter E. 2014. “A Libertarian Analysis of Suing for Libel.” February 9;;

Block, Walter. 2014. “Seeking lawyer to sue my university for libel.” October 27;

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2014. “The Lying, Libelous, Leninist Louts at Loyola University-New Orleans.” October 28;;;;;

Murphy, Robert P. 2014. “Loyola University President Impresses With His Critique of Walter Block.”


11:25 am on November 7, 2016