Donald Trump recently gave a speech on foreign policy. It has received a little bit of praise and a lot of criticism. But the criticism has been coming from both ends.
The entire establishment – which is made up entirely of war hawks – has been extremely critical of Trump. They absolutely hate him. It is for many reasons. He can’t be bought, and he doesn’t go along with the rigged game. But most of all, he has dared to question the U.S. empire overseas.
Knowing that the establishment hates him this much, it should tell us that he can’t be all that bad. At worst, he would be as bad as the establishment.
There is much debate within the libertarian community on Trump. I have already written that I am rooting Trump on, but not endorsing him. If he does become president, I will probably oppose most of what he does, yet remain hopeful that some sanity returns in the realm of foreign policy.
Justin Raimondo wrote about Trump’s foreign policy speech. While there were certainly parts he didn’t care for, he was optimistic overall.
Scott Horton, whom I also respect, was interviewed by Tom Woods on Woods’ podcast. Scott Horton absolutely blasted Trump.
Also on the anti-Trump side is Ron Paul. You can just tell that he can’t stand Trump. I haven’t disagreed with Ron Paul much in terms of his criticisms of Trump. It is just that he hasn’t pointed out the positive things that Trump has said, especially when it comes to getting along with Russia and criticizing the wars.
Ron Paul may just dislike Trump because Trump squashed his son, Rand Paul, like a little bug. Rand Paul was supposed to be the anti-establishment candidate, but he blew it. Trump criticized the Iraq War while Rand was too busy trying to appease both sides of the fence.
Even if Rand Paul weren’t a factor, I can still see where Ron Paul would dislike Trump. Trump has an alpha male personality. He talks tough and he isn’t afraid to get down in the mud and throw punches. Ron Paul is far more conservative (personality wise). He probably doesn’t care too much for Trump’s brashness.
I don’t think we have to take a hard stand one way or the other in terms of Trump’s views on foreign policy. He gets some things right. He gets some things wrong. He is unclear on some things. He is inconsistent on many things.
The thing is, I will take Trump’s inconsistency on foreign policy. It is better than the consistency of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, who both have a proven track record of supporting war and intervention. It is their default position. They are absolutely horrible people. At least with Trump, there is some hope for sanity.
Trump may be exactly what this country needs to get back to a sane and non-interventionist foreign policy. Ron Paul was consistent and principled, but he was criticized for coming across too weak. Trump talks a tough game, while still presenting a less interventionist policy.
This is in no way a criticism of Ron Paul. It is a criticism of the American people for not following his lead. They couldn’t just accept a new policy that is more rational. They need things wrapped up with a bow on them. Trump maintains that we are tough and strong, but at the same time manages to criticize the war making.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Trump won the presidency and then ended up just as bad as the most recent presidents. It will depend a lot on his pick for running mate and who he surrounds himself with.
Most politicians running for office end up being worse than how they campaigned. Bush ran on bringing a more humble foreign policy in 2000. Obama ran as the peace candidate in 2008. Once in office, the worst usually comes out in people.
This was part of Scott Horton’s point. He thinks Trump will not do all of the good things he says, but he will follow through on all of the bad things he says.
When Rand Paul was running for Senate 6 years ago, I was told by some libertarians that he just had to say certain things to get elected. But once he was elected, he would be a libertarian.
I then heard the same thing in 2015 when he was running for president. He just had to say certain things to be electable. Of course, that didn’t work out too well. But even if Rand Paul had been elected president, his foreign policy would have been terrible. Almost nobody is more liberty-oriented once they get into office.
So we really don’t know what a President Trump would bring. He could be terrible. But it is almost guaranteed that he would be no more terrible than Clinton or Cruz. At least with Trump, there is some hope for peace.