A Libertarian case against Trump (A rebuttal to Libertarians for Trump)

In the 2008 and 2012 elections libertarians found themselves united in a powerful charismatic leader called Ron Paul who appealed to libertarians of all kinds. But in the 2016 election as Ron Paul left the political game it was expected that Rand Paul became the torch bearer of the libertarian movement. However campaign problems, bad luck, low polling, and failing to stand out like his father left the libertarians disapointed as they jumped ship and became divided over the front-runner of the Republican Party: Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has divided the libertarian community with libertarians such as Walter Block, Lew Rockwell, Stefan Molyneux, and Lauren Southern being on board with Trump while libertarians such as Ron Paul, John Stossel, Julie Borowski, Adam Kokesh, Jeffrey Tucker, Justin Amash, Thomas Sowell, and….pretty much every notable libertarian that isn’t the former being against him. The Trump supporters actually went one step further as Walter Block created an advocacy group called “Libertarians for Trump” which has seen very mixed reactions.

It’s sort of understandable why libertarians would be at least a bit attracted to Trump, as he’s charismatic, chaotic, and rebellious. Furthermore he also shares many libertarian enemies such as SJWs and Neoconservatives. But it’s far more understandable why libertarians want nothing to do with Trump whatsoever, because Trump holds many if not mostly authoritarian views.

He supports eminent domain, supports ground troops in the middle east, wants the government to create a massive wasteful wall, wants to deport 11 million people, promotes socialist economic policies on trade, wants to expand libel laws, promotes more spying and a bigger police state, advocates for torture of families, associates himself with authoritarians like Christie, Sessions, Giuliani, etc. Need I have to go on? There is absolutely nothing libertarian about Trump, if we’re really going by the lesser of two evils Sanders and Cruz would even be less worse than he is. And even those supporting Trump admit that he’s no libertarian by any stretch of the imagination.

But since I’ve already made by case why libertarians should be against Trump, let’s look at the arguments being for Trump. Spoilers: There aren’t many.
One of the poorest arguments I’ve heard for Trump for a libertarian perspective is that he challenges political correctness. Whoa there that completely changes everything, school yard cultural wars on the internet and chalk on campus are definitely super important compared to complex socio-economic issues. Even if Trump wasn’t a total hypocritical whiner who refuses debate when he gets slightly hard questions and would actually fight “political correctness” it’s really one of those issues that are at the bottom of my priorities list. When Trump’s massive tariffs could lead to a freaking global depression i’m not exactly interested in pety “culture wars”

The Libertarian for Trumps group gives a more coherent argument for libertarians to consider him to be the “lesser of two evils”, the three main arguments are this:

1. He’s the only anti-war candidate
2. Foreign policy is more important than social and economic policy
3. Any anti-libertarian positions he holds are not better with other candidates

So boiled down the only other arguments is that he’s “anti-war” and that everyone else sucks as well. That’s not very convincing in my opinion. For one he is definitely not anti-war, he could easily be classified as a neocon by his statements. Military boots on the grounds, promoting torture programs on families, and downright going as far as saying that we should invade the Middle East and take their oil which means he’s basically a caricature of the Neocon king Bush himself. Oh but he said that Libya was a mistake which means he’s anti-war now, because Obama saying the same thing about Iraq and that he would withdraw troops went so well right? In fact where was the “Libertarians for Obama” group during Obama’s 2008 campaign? Considering Obama was far more “anti-war” than Trump is presenting himself right now.

Furthermore the claim that foreign policy being more important than everything else is so flawed. Are you really willing to risk economic disaster on a global level and an unstable childish flip-flopping leader because he “might” just not be as bad on war as other candidates? That is just extremely unconvincing. And finally the idea that all the other candidate positions are just as bad as Trump is dubious. Sanders is far better for libertarians on civil rights than Trump, Cruz is far better for libertarians on economics than Trump. Even Clinton the least libertarian candidate i could imagine is at least better on trade than Trump is.

Overall not only is Trump not a libertarian candidate, he is not even “the least evil” candidate for libertarians. His anti-war record is completely bullshit, his anti-PC crusade is hardly a priority for a president, he constantly flip-flops on everything, he holds extremely authoritarian views on almost everything and when it comes to the lesser evil there’s a much better case to be made with other candidates. Sorry, but i will not be supporting Trump, nor ought any self-respecting libertarian.

Why it’s too early to define the Alt Right

The 2016 presidential election has been one of the most bizarre elections i have ever seen, and the most notable thing to arise from this bizarre election is probably the equally bizarre Alt Right movement.

What exactly is the Alt Right? Well it’s a movement largely online based of young far-right white millennials who feel alienated from the political mainstream, and generally promote hyper anti-PC views and Machiavellianism to disrupt elitism in media culture. The movement also tends to be united in their support for white identity, nationalism and racialism which they describe as Human Biodiversity. The Alt Right pretty much sprung up out of nowhere as a notable political player in American political culture alongside progressivism, conservatism and libertarianism thanks to the rise of Donald Trump who is currently leading the Republican Party presidential primaries. I could go into detail about every single part of the Alt Right such as the internet “Chan Culture” behind it, the paleo-conservative magazines that give it a platform, their influences from the European Far-right and Neo-reactionary movement. But i feel like it would be redundant to do so at this point as i just want to focus on how the Alt Right is portrayed.

Despite the movement being small and mostly online based it has gained significant national attention and as a result there has been a lot of speculation on what the Alt Right is and what their goals are, and this has created quite a lot of divides and disagreements.
For example Breitbart duo Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari whom are known for explaining underground internet culture within the context of politics described the Alt Right as a harmless group of mischievous trouble makers who use black comedy, shock value, and culture jamming to upset the establishment. Freelance journalist Cathy Young however disagrees, believing that there is a very serious racist and anti-Semitic component that use their rejection of Political Correctness as an excuse to spread hatred and bizarre pseudo-scientific views.

I think however that both are missing each others point. The Alt Right is a grassroots online movement that’s leaderless, decentralized, has a combination of anonymous users & high profile spokespeople, is relatively new, and is debated on whether it’s simply fighting against elitism or whether it’s a hate movement. Sounds Familiar? That’s because this is the exact same description as another certain internet movement that was huge in Late 2014 and 2015: Gamergate. Now i am not saying that Gamergate and the Alt Right are the same or are misunderstood in the same way. But it’s very uncanny how similar these movements are.

Like Gamergate the Alt Right started off as something created by the anonymous internet community (though the term Gamergate was coined by Adam Baldwin), like Gamergate it started as a backlash against left-wing media culture’s hostility towards white men, like Gamergate it gained a mainstream platform through people with a public image (Gamergate via people like Christina Hoff Sommers and Alt Right via paleo-conservative sites like VDARE, Radix, Counter-Currents, ect), like Gamergate it’s so decentralized and leaderless that it’s very difficult to pinpoint what exactly their goals are. The biggest difference is that Gamergate mostly focused on a scandal where as the Alt Right has bigger plans, they want to become a player in mainstream politics.

This is why I think trying to define the Alt-Right as either Dennis the Menace or Adolf Hitler is too broad of a generalization. As a movement the Alt Right is simply too young and incoherent to really know where it is going. Some people who are more defined for their white nationalism like Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor want to use the momentum of the Alt-Right to grow their white nationalist influence, which in that case Cathy Young is right. Others, like many in the 4chan community, simply want to use the Alt-Right as shock humor to subvert media culture, in that case Yiannopoulos and Bokhari are right.

Before we can really consider the Alt Right a hive of white supremacists or the 21st century right-wing equivalent of hippie culture we’ll have to wait how it will develop first, will it even survive as a movement or fade into obscurity? Will the movement be defined by public figures such as Richard B Spencer or by anonymous internet users with Pepe memes and smug anime profile pictures? Will the movement take a more National Conservative stance or will they go full 14/88 neo-nazi?

I have no idea, but from a political science perspective there’s at least one thing i can say: The Alt-Right is a very entertaining addition into the Bizarre world of Social Media Politics.

My thoughts on the Stossel Libertarian Debate: Good and Bad moments of each candidate

So we had our first Libertarian Party national debate on John Stossel, a lot was at stake as this was really the first debate that caught the eye of the mainstream, being televised worldwide on Fox Business.

Sadly, I’ve seen all three candidates perform better in a smaller debate, that’s not to say they where bad, I’ve seen worse with the Democrats and Republicans. But it’s a shame, they need to get used to the national stages more.

I’m not going to rank which candidate won on here (I did that on twitter already) but I’m going to look at the good and the bad moments of each candidate.

Gary Johnson:

Good: When it comes to debating he comes over as the clear professional, he has the experience and substance and it shows, coming with clear concise answers on economics, he’s also very strong in regards to third party politics in general and is able to turn his marijuana use into something positive. He appeals to independents while still showing a strong record overall.

Bad: His answers in the last round really damaged him. He completely screwed up on the topic of baking wedding cakes which is just an absolute shame. He also flaunted and stumbled on the issue of privatized marriage. It’s clear that he wants to appeal as a moderate but it’s the libertarians that listen to this debate and as a last impression he just made himself look like too much of a fake and upon hearing his doubtful voice it seems like he knows it’s his Achilles heel.

John McAfee:

Good: That voice, oh god that sweet voice. John McAfee has the savvy, he knows how to lure you in and get the message across. He also pleasantly shows a clear libertarian message despite being someone who really just got into the movement. While Gary Johnson might be the professional, McAfee is the speaker.

Bad: His Belize controversy is just a complete anchor for him, and his answer on it was just very questionable. I know it’s difficult to having to explain this issue to people but it raises eyebrows for whether he’s candidate material. His explanation about China and cyber-security also sound rather paranoid, and he was wrong about the fact that China and Russia face no terrorism.

Austin Petersen:

Good: He clearly managed to take advantage of Johnson’s moderate stances to make himself look like the principled libertarian candidate, and with the last round that could not have been better for him. He definitely beat Johnson in the argument regarding wedding cakes. His penny plan is also a solid plan that I can get behind.

Bad: He’s absolutely the worst speaker of the bunch. Like Fox Business personality Kennedy said, he’s basically a bumper sticker. It’s like he pretty much took Rand Paul’s bumper stickers and turned them into a platform. His constant focus on hardcore constitutionalism also makes him sound more like a generic conservative than a libertarian, especially on the issue of war.

Overall Gary Johnson is definitely more “Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative” than Libertarian, which still makes him a strong candidate that appeals to both sides but can alienate more pure libertarians, John McAfee definitely earns the label libertarian in my opinion but he can be a bit too eccentric, Austin Petersen is a young Rand Paul clone who will likely appeal to constitutional conservatives but his overall charisma still feels fake and stiff.

I think all three would make solid candidates but they do need to polish their flaws.

A Look at the Libertarian Party Candidates

After Super Tuesday it seems pretty much set in stone that the Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton and the Republicans will nominate Donald Trump for the presidency.

If that happens it will be the perfect opportunity in history for the Libertarian Party to go mainstream, to be an actual contender, to get that magic 5%, and become a major party. I’m not the only one who thinks so, many media outlets have talked about the idea of a serious third party emerging. This is because a big portion of conservatives and Republicans are absolutely not willing to support Trump, commentators and even Republican congressmen have stated they’d be willing to support a third party candidate if Trump wins.

The #NeverTrump crowd, or the anti-Trump Republicans are the perfect coalition for the Libertarian party to take advantage off, because realistically for these people the LP is the closest to their ideals of a small constitutional government. Now think about it, last election the Libertarian Party got over a million votes or 1% of the electorate. That’s the most votes in LP history, and I’m absolutely certain that many of them came from the Ron Paul movement. People who where tired of having to choose between candidates like Obama and Romney. That’s 1%, 1/5th of our desired 5%, and that boost likely came from Ron Paul supporters. Now imagine having Cruz supporters and Rubio supporters combined as the #NeverTrump coalition, as well as the Rand Paul Conservatarian crowd, just a small portion of those voters could get us the 5% or even more.

So with that considered, with such an opportunity the Libertarian Party can absolutely not afford to screw this up. They need a political candidate who can keep up with the 2 parties, someone who actually presents himself as a serious candidate. And so I will be comparing five Libertarian Party candidates: Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Austin Petersen, Darryl W Perry, and Marc Allan Feldman. Why these five you ask? Because those where the five that got onto the main debate of the latest Libertarian Party debate.

Gary Johnson:
Johnson is the clear front runner of the Libertarian Party and when people think about the LP and a potential third party candidate, he is the guy that comes to mind. And it’s understandable why. Out of all the candidates he is the most recognizable as a political figured, he’s the former government of New Mexico where he held a strong successful libertarian record, he got the most Libertarian votes in the party’s history. His combination of pragmatic rhetoric to bring in independents with a principled political record to make libertarians trust him makes him a juggernaut in the party.

If there would be any criticism I had to make of him it would be that he should stop talking about his athletic history during speeches. Furthermore, his pro-choice stance is something that could turn off a lot of the anti-Trump crowd so he’d have to play on his record of not supporting public funding of abortion and his record of banning late term abortion. But overall this man is a powerful contender.

John McAfee:
McAfee came along as a complete outsider of the party, formerly running as an independent on the “Cyber Party” ticket, he has decided to run on the Libertarian Party ticket due to the difficulty of getting ballot access with a new party. Despite not really having been part of the Libertarian movement, you can definitely see that he does understand what it means to be a libertarian and when you hear him speak you can feel the libertarian inside him. Rather than pushing people away by telling them that they’re filthy statists, he understands that everyone is libertarian in one way other another, they just don’t know it. McAfee genuinely wants people to know that, and that makes him endearing.

For me McAfee went from a protest candidate to a serious contender after the LP debate. However, the biggest shame, which is really a massive stab for his chances, is his history. His history is so controversial that it’s borderline criminal, if he actually became a serious contender there would be far too much dirt on him, for him to have a serious chance. That said, I would still support him whether he be the party’s candidate or a running mate.

Austin Petersen:
Petersen is probably the biggest libertarian candidate without name recognition. Though unlike the other lesser known candidates he has gotten some significant media coverage such as Fox Business and RT, but despite this many people would not likely known who he is. Despite this he believes that he can create a grand coalition to help the Libertarian Party get that 5%.
Indeed his candidacy can basically be considered a second Rand Paul run, his focus on the constitution and his pro-life views would likely give him the strongest appeal among conservatives which would be a significant ally for the LP. And he knows this as he has stated himself that he wants to create a new fusionism between all the forms of conservatives and libertarians. Furthermore he’s well experienced with social media and knows how to build up a fan-base online.

Petersen’s biggest problem however is his immaturity and poor debate skills. He has made immature remarks, such as calling Christopher Cantwell a “chubby fuck” and claiming that he “drowns in pussy.” He is very prone to stirring libertarian infighting such as exploiting child abuse stories to shame anarcho-capitalists, as well as clearly nitpicking Gary Johnson to stir a fight in the latest LP debate, which was obviously for attention. He speaks too fast, is too arrogant and his speeches often do not make sense. Despite the fact that I would not support him as LP candidate, I would not mind him being a running mate of another candidate. He would make for a strong backbone in the social media aspects of campaigning and would garner pro-lifer voters that are on the fence.

Darryl W Perry:
If you don’t know who Perry is, I don’t blame you, neither did I. Darryl Perry is a radio host who promotes Anarcho-capitalism and Voluntaryism. He is running for the Libertarian Party for one thing, not to get the 5% or for any party ambitions, but to simply spread his ideas of liberty. Darryl Perry represents the anarchist-wing of the LP, and that’s probably his biggest downfall. Not only does he hold very radical and unelectable views but really the only base that would support him are ancaps who mostly do not even vote in the first place.

I commend Perry for his principled stance, but there’s nothing more off turning than purism in political views, it pushes away moderates and makes you look fringe. He would simply not be able to bring in independents or  make people respect libertarians. He would, in all honesty, make the worst libertarian candidate.

Marc Allan Feldman:
Like with Darryl Perry, if you don’t know who this guy is I can’t blame you. Feldman is a physician who out of the minor candidates managed to get into the top 5 in the main debate. What makes Feldman most unique of the candidate is his Bernie Sanders approach of opposing big money in politics. Indeed, his campaign which is called “Votes Not For Sale” and basically only accepts five dollar donations, although you can donate more if you want to. He has said he only aims at representing those giving him small donations.

Whether this will appeal to independents, I don’t know, but this guy has a lot of problems. For one he’s kind of a goofball, as he wants Kanye West to be his running mate, despite the fact that he doesn’t get to choose his running mate, it’s decided by vote. In any case, Kanye West? Really? Second, he has almost no name recognition whatsoever. This is really important, you can’t expect the party to just carry you, it’s supposed to be the other way around. Finally, he’s a poor debater, which was especially shown when he got last place in the main debate. The best thing I can say about him is that he’s not as radical as Perry, so automatically more electable in that respect.

Those are my thoughts on the candidates, overall I think Gary Johnson is the best option for the LP to go with, building on to his already strong popularity. John McAfee and Austin Petersen would make solid running mates. Feldman and Perry however, just do not seem electable at all.