The US Presidential Election is upon us.
Faced with a binary choice, a Libertarian would rightly consider voting for Mr Trump over Secretary Clinton. Ask yourself which of the two “candidates” has a proven track record of choosing war? Was the Libyan intervention in 2011 a war of choice? As President Obama stated at the Democrat Convention this past summer, no one ever running has been more qualified. That was a subtle statement that after the years of war, drones and regime change, Hillary Clinton is highly aware and capable of expanding the American military presence globally. She deserves no consideration from a Libertarian.
And what of Mr Trump? He has said many things, occasionally sounding isolationist and seeking to reconsider the American military empire. He has been a promoter of better relations with Russia to make them an ally in the fight against The Islamic State.
Yet he has no experience.Trump has no consistency on most issues, likely due to a lack of fundamental economic and political principles. Trump occasionally plays strongman and tough guy for example. Can you trust him as a clear advocate for peaceful compromise and a reluctance to use military force? It has been said that of the two, you are faced with certain death or a 50-50% chance of some restraint in war and in government. Sad indeed.
To run a successful national presidential campaign, Mr Trump would need to demonstrate aptitude, and a basic grasp of the legislation that would address his “issues”. Donald Trump would need to make Americans see him as a President in order to garner a coalition sufficient for 270 electoral votes. The job entails a bit of restraint and thoughtfulness. He has failed to run a successful campaign and is now certain of a crushing defeat. Trump will not win, and neither will Jill Stein or the Libertarian Ticket headed by Gary Johnson. The Libertarian is faced with a singular choice as the election of Hillary Clinton is inevitable.
The American Liberty movement is a principled one. A focus upon individual liberty and the constitutional limitations of the Federal Government. The corresponding socially “liberal” and economically “conservative” philosophy is indeed the future direction of the Republican Party. It always was, and the changing electorate demand it. That Liberty mantle is carried on within the Republican tent by men like Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. I would add that the modest successes of the modern Liberty movement owes to champions within the GOP. Men like Senator Robert A.Taft, and of course, Congressman Ron Paul, for example. The actual Libertarian Party has met little electoral success. But it’s presence must be felt for the good of all.
Which brings us to 2016. The GOP has wrestled with a big government, Neocon wing dedicated to enhanced military spending since the 2001 inauguration of one George W. Bush. Even to the point of accepting a greater welfare and surveillance state. Failures with “Establishment GOP” candidates McCain and Romney created a vacuum for the curious Jacobin type GOP candidate actually against free trade. As Milton Friedman said, you cannot have open borders with a welfare state.
Yet, the Libertarian believes that free trade enhances security and prosperity while fostering peace. Trump has argued for forcibly retaining domestic production rather than a more sensible incentives-based approach. Trump is not Liberty at his core.
Indeed, there is a very real issue that American citizens are not being heard nor served. This vacuum allowed the name recognized Trump to carry a nomination that will have serious baggage and consequences going forward after he exits the scene.
The issues of liberty, peace and prosperity must become the issues that become the GOP in order to adapt to the changing electorate. The Libertarian is a principled person, and this is an election to make the Liberty vote count. With a certain Trump defeat, I say we vote our conscience. Vote for what we believe in. As Trumpism fades in the coming years, the battle will once again be the establishment Neocons versus constitutional conservatives. Those constitutional conservatives carry much of the Liberty ideals. And they will need help. It is my hope that a solid Libertarian vote total will carry weight in opposition of a Clinton Administration and within the GOP.
It is my suggestion that the Libertarian reject the lost cause of Trump and vote on conviction. Consider the Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson, if you can consider the GOP a partial home. This would be the first step towards GOP change and ultimately promotes Libertarian ideals. The Trump vote would therefore be unconscionable as a wasted vote at a time that clear Libertarian principles must be heard.
This article was published not long ago, before the re-opening of the FBI investigation. For a more recent contextual discussion, see the more recent follow-up article in a few minutes!