In some ways, Donald Trump is tearing apart the country. It seems most people love him or hate him, but there is definitely a middle ground too.
Trump is even dividing many libertarians. Some hate him. Some are supporting him. I am in the middle on this one. I am not voting for Trump, but I am cheering him on in some aspects.
There is a group that formed called “Libertarians for Trump”. They are supporting his bid for the Republican nomination because they consider him to be least bad. Tom Woods had a debate about this subject on his podcast.
I understand the reasons for rooting for Trump. He seems to be less interventionist in terms of foreign policy. He does not bow down to political correctness. He does not seem to take marching orders from the establishment. Best of all, he is driving the establishment crazy.
Still, I think “Libertarians for Trump” is a bad idea as a formal group. We already have to work hard enough in defending the libertarian name. We don’t need people assuming that Trump somehow represents a form of libertarianism. He is not even close.
On the other side, I don’t think libertarians should dismiss everything Trump says. I listened to a video of Ron Paul the other day (that’s right, I listened to a video). He was talking about the 2016 presidential election. (Note – the audio quality is poor.)
It is funny because Ron Paul will often avoid saying Donald Trump’s name for some reason, but it is easy to know exactly when he is talking about him. He cannot stand Trump. Maybe it is a personality thing. Maybe it is because Trump stole Rand Paul’s thunder in the campaign as the outsider candidate. But that is Rand Paul’s fault for trying to play all sides and running such a terrible campaign.
My position is that we should praise Trump for the good things he says and criticize him for the bad things he says.
Trump seems like a decent guy. Everything I have read from people that actually know him is generally positive. His employees and former employees say he treated them well.
If Trump is generally honest and decent, that puts him way ahead of everyone else right away. Maybe Bernie Sanders is decent, but even there I have my doubts. I could be completely wrong on Trump, but at least there is a chance of decency with him.
Trump is a lot like Pat Buchanan in terms of the policies he promotes. He is somewhat isolationist in the sense of foreign policy and economics. I don’t agree with Buchanan or Trump when it comes to certain economic policies, particularly free trade. Promoting or threatening tariffs is bad economically and morally.
But Pat Buchanan seems like a gentleman as well. And at least they are somewhat sensible when it comes to issues of war. Trump is certainly inconsistent, but inconsistency is better than being consistently belligerent. Again, we don’t know what Trump would do as president, but at least there would be a chance for some peace.
Trump is also exposing the corruptness of the whole system. Colorado handed all of the delegates to Cruz. When I say Colorado, I mean the Republican Party insiders. The general populace registered Republican did not actually get to vote.
If Trump is denied the nomination, maybe this will be good in the sense that it wakes people up. Maybe they will realize that the system is rigged against them. But until they stop asking the government to do things for them, not a lot is going to change.
In conclusion, libertarians can cheer on Trump without endorsing him.