Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Case for Trump as a Libertarian Hero


I think there is one, and I think it's to be found by reading between the lines of this piece by Daniel Greenfield at FrontPageMag.

Most of the piece is nonsense on stilts, of course, but its central point -- that Donald Trump's candidacy has put paid to any libertarian influence in the Republican Party -- is, if true, worthy of celebration.

Greenfield's position, in a nutshell (paraphrased to accentuate the truthiness lamp he hides under a bushel when using his own words):

"Those mean old libertarians were more trouble than they were worth. Sure, they made for a good fig leaf to hide the Republican Party's authoritarian big-government essence, but dammit, they kept trying to make the GOP actually be libertarian. Good riddance to them, thanks to Trump. Now we can stop pretending to favor smaller government, more freedom, less regulation, etc., and just be our big, bad, ugly, fascist selves. 'MURKA!"

If he's right, I think that's a good thing. And if Trump is responsible, libertarians owe him our thanks.

There have always been libertarians who fall for the "libertarian Republican" guff, but the last two presidential cycles really drained lots of libertarian energy into that cesspool thanks to lots of activists falling for Ron Paul's doomed and pointless candidacies.

Coming into 2016 it looked like Rand Paul might have the same effect. Fortunately, he went out of his way to shed any libertarian cachet he might have been counting on before the cycle really got going. Libertarians were abandoning the Party of Big Government (R-Label Edition) even before Trump announced.

But I can buy the notion that Trump really sealed the deal. Thanks to Trump, we are virtually guaranteed that in next year's presidential election, neither major party will put up a candidate who even bothers to pretend he or she doesn't hate our freedoms.

Whether or not the Libertarian Party can bring itself to exploit that gift by offering a real alternative is another question entirely. But hey, we can always hope, right?

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