Well, it took some time, but I’m finally here. I officially support Donald Trump for the Republican nomination and the Presidency of the United States.
I’m told by the MSM that demographically, I shouldn’t. Trump supporters are supposed to be poor and stupid. I am middle class with a post-graduate degree in Political Science. Granted, I didn’t go to an Ivy League school and am nowhere near the elite – and maybe that’s what they really mean when they dismiss Trump supporters. Anyone below the cosmopolitan and establishment elite is a stupid idiot by default.
We’re told Trump supporters are “angry” too, and I suppose a lot of them are. I used to be angry. Then I was cynical. Then I was numb. And now… I don’t even know, really.
So why do I support Trump for president? It has to do with why I don’t think I can call myself a libertarian. Specifically, I’ve gone from believing that the idea of “libertarianism in one country” (a phrase coined by John Derbyshire) is a legitimate branch of libertarianism to believing it is more a form of nationalism. The American idea of liberty, as we find it in the thought of America’s founders, has little in common with the idea of libertarianism today. Oh sure, there are right-wing libertarians like Hans-Hermann Hoppe out there who understand that the purely economic argument for open borders – correct on paper as it may be – is undercut by other ethical and political arguments. There are people who even call themselves anarchists, like Stefan Molyneaux, who are wide-awake to the dangerous realities of unchecked immigration. But these are few and far between. On the whole, the libertarian media establishment favors open or quasi-open borders and derides the very idea of nation-states.
What the right-libertarians understand is that liberty is fragile. It is a delicate flower. Everything about it is desirable and appealing. In full bloom, it is beautiful. But one misstep along the way, from its planting to its daily maintenance, and it will wither and die in short order. Thus in somewhat of a paradox (not a “contradiction”), the maximum amount of liberty we are actually able to enjoy is fenced in by the requirements of maintaining the basic soil in which it grows. Our choices are not between “all the liberty we can imagine” and no liberty at all. They are between all the liberty we can protect, and no liberty at all.
I made these points as a libertarian, and I make them as a non-libertarian. They were the lynch-pin of what I wanted to call “Libertarian Realism”, the title of this blog. When I started it, I fully intended to support Rand Paul. I was more libertarian at that time than realist, I suppose. I was even willing to look the other way on Paul’s spotty history of comments on the immigration issue because I rank foreign policy slightly higher on my list of priorities (apostasy to some on the right like Ann Coulter, but whatever). Rand Paul was for some time the best candidate on foreign policy, and Trump’s positions did not become sufficiently clear to me until recently.
But then Rand Paul’s campaign began to implode, and I would argue is gasping for its final breaths. It wasn’t just bad luck either. Rand Paul is a horrible candidate and a terrible leader. Do libertarians care? Many of them do not. Judging by my Facebook feed and my daily sifting of campaign news, Paul’s remaining supporters are completely delusional. There are also plenty of ultra-sectarian libertarians who never supported Paul, who may or may not support someone like Gary Johnson, or who in general don’t care about political victory.
And that’s why I no longer care about them. Having the “right” ideas (and they’re not all right ideas anyway) is worth absolutely nothing without the will to implement them. I will take a man with some ideas I like and some I don’t who will actually do the things I like than someone who has all the ideas I like but won’t realize a single one of them. There are still a lot of libertarians stuck in the high school version of their ideology: we don’t need “leaders”, man. We’re not sheep, bro. No, you’re not sheep; you’re ants, waiting to be trampled underfoot.
I think Trump would like to take America in a direction that, on the whole, I would also like to go. The few points of major disagreement I have with his policies are nothing compared to my disagreements with the neocons in the GOP or the neoliberals in the Democratic Party – those destroyers of nations, destablizers of regions, and servants of the Likud Party. Trump’s foreign policy orientation is realistic and smart. No more funding the lion’s share of Western Europe’s and East Asia’s defense. No more “world police” as he put it recently. Cooperation with the Russians against ISIS, no matter what Israel, the Turks or the Saudis – who are either indifferent to or indirectly supportive of ISIS – think about it. No more disgusting and shameful paeans to the greatness of “Bibi” Netanyahu. Trump is aware of the disastrous consequences of neocon narcissism, bluster, and blind devotion to Israel – a world now united against the United States and possibly plotting our demise. All of this has been pointed out by paleoconservatives for years, by Pat Buchanan above all. That Trump may actually take this worldview seriously is one of the reasons I think someone may shoot him before he ever takes office.
I also look forward to a President Trump emboldening legions on the right to go on the offensive against the totalitarian PC/SJW movement, which has infected every pore of our culture and society. Just as the Obama years emboldened left-wing totalitarianism, the Trump years will embolden right-wing resistance. The Obama machine – the myriad of institutions and sub-institutions and initiatives and sub-initiatives our nudger-in-Chief has established to further the PC agenda – will be gone. The Trump administration won’t be looking for thought crime in every nook and cranny. There won’t be any obnoxious and fraudulent “civil rights” investigations into cases already resolved by the criminal justice system. No one can expect President Trump to back their absurd SJW complaint or cause of the week. President Trump will never Tweet out “cool clock, Ahmed.” Frankly we don’t need a Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum to lead the culture war; we need a Trump, whose personal resistance to PC is mostly pragmatic and secular, but which religious conservatives can also cash in on.
As for the economy, I’m not a great fan of tariffs. I would prefer it if Trump focused on ways to make America attractive for business rather than making other countries unattractive for American companies. But whatever. You can’t have it all.
Trump will be different, if nothing else. With American politics so stale, boring and dull, who else could I support?