Libertarian Perspective of the Debate – September 26, 2016

I have suffered through another presidential debate.  This one was more like the Super Bowl.  In fact, the viewership compares only to that.

I will offer a libertarian perspective, but I also try to judge how a non-libertarian might judge the performance of the two candidates.

While there was certainly plenty of drama, it wasn’t as dramatic as what could have been.  We could have seen Hillary Clinton have a seizure or coughing fit on live television.

(By the way, I would not usually joke about someone’s ill health, but I view Clinton as vicious and evil.  Therefore, I have little sympathy.)

While Clinton held up on the debate stage, she looked rather shaky walking out there at the beginning.  I still believe she has some kind of a neurological disorder.

The debate started off with economics, which was just horrible to listen to.  Hillary Clinton’s answer is to hike taxes on the wealthy, to raise the minimum wage, to close the (non-existent) wage gap, and to spend more money.  She is the exact opposite of what a libertarian would want.

Donald Trump is bad on economics too.  He has been a successful businessman, but this doesn’t make him sound on economics.  I really don’t know if he doesn’t understand or he is just using rhetoric to appeal to voters.  When he talks about taxing imports, it makes me cringe.  Still, I think much of his rhetoric does appeal to middle America.

He is correct on jobs leaving the country.  But some of this should be done.  Some work is better done by non-Americans.  Trump needs to learn about comparative advantage in economics, among other thing.

Some companies send jobs overseas because of the tax and regulatory burdens in the U.S.  The answer isn’t to have import tariffs.  The answer is to dramatically reduce taxes and regulations.  To Trump’s credit, he did propose lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.

Trump attacked Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve, which was good to hear.  If he hadn’t said anything, you can be sure that the Fed would not have been brought up by Clinton or the moderator.

When they were talking about race relations, I found it rather hilarious that Clinton said that African-American and Latino males are going to jail for non-violent crimes.  Does this mean that she now favors getting rid of laws against tax evasion, all drugs, and prostitution?  It is a joke for someone who supports the federal drug war to make this statement.  Plus, other than actual crimes (murder, rape, theft, etc.), isn’t every crime a non-violent crime?  Every tax and regulation threatens to put people in jail if they don’t obey.

In terms of foreign policy, I think Trump could hit her much harder on the many disasters she has directly caused or contributed to in the Middle East.  It is unfortunate that Trump chose Pence has his running mate, as I believe it holds him back on this important issue.

In terms of style, I think the people who hate Trump will continue to do so.  The people who hate Clinton will continue to do so.  It will be interesting to see where the new polls come down, but I don’t think a lot is going to change.

Trump was aggressive.  Some will see this as toughness and a show of confidence and competence.  Others may see this as bullying.  I thought Trump made the mistake of interrupting too much at the beginning, but he got better as it went on.

Trump was more fun in the primaries when he was going against the entire Republican field and calling them names, but he was still a little entertaining in this debate nonetheless.

I understand that these are serious issues being discussed, but every major presidential candidate of the last several decades has been a complete disaster from a libertarian viewpoint.  So forgive me if I look for some entertainment within the disasters.

We’ll see what the next couple of months brings us.  There is still a lot that can happen.  There is Clinton’s health issues.  There is also the possibility that Wikileaks will release some damaging information.  And there is always the possibility of a major stock market crash or some other major financial or political event.

I am not voting for Donald Trump, but I am cheering against Hillary Clinton and everything she stands for.  With Hillary Clinton, we know it will mean more big government and war, although at least the Republican Congress will mostly oppose her.  Trump is a wildcard.  If he becomes president, I really don’t know what to expect.

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