The Donald Trump presidential campaign is quickly going down the drain, and with it the dignity of all those who have supported him. Especially libertarians.
The brightly-burning, foul-smelling Trumpster fire captured the admiration and support of a bizarrely wide spectrum of voters. Strangest of these were self-professed libertarians, fans of Ron Paul and the limited, constitutionally-restrained government for which he advocated. However, as recent revelations of a conversation ten years ago (that was somehow worse than what the Orange One discusses on a daily basis) have sent Republicans scrambling to jump ship, the wisdom of the opportunist libertarian sellout appeals less sound than ever.
Some libertarians sold out to the most authoritarian candidate in recent memory
I’ve written before about how Donald Trump gained early traction with some Ron Paul fans for his same American sovereignty-first, anti-establishment rhetoric. As time wore on, however, it became increasingly clear that Trump was no libertarian. From advocating for the execution of whistleblowers (until they inadvertently helped his campaign) to want to carpet bomb foreign countries and engage in trade wars, his policies ring authoritarian in the extreme. Add his support for universal government healthcare, unconstitutional nationwide stop-and-frisk (including gun confiscation), totalitarian-style immigration and border control, increased government minimum wage, and stripping gun rights from citizens on an arbitrary terror watch list. On a personal level, Trump has shown his disdain for the rights of others, from shouting down and belittling opponents in debates to stealing private property through eminent domain, to his typical disgusting disregard for women as anything more than objects.
In short Donald Trump is probably the least libertarian candidate through-and-through in a very long time. However, all manner of so-called libertarians have rushed to defend his candidacy, from declaring with confidence that he would audit or end the Federal Reserve (despite being the “king of debt” who would just “print more money” to avoid a default) to calling him an anti-war candidate (hilarious), to even saying that he doesn’t mean any of his anti-liberty rhetoric. I have even known an acquaintance to declare him to be the most libertarian presidential candidate of his lifetime. Now, these supposed liberty lovers are caught in support of not just a candidate inherently hostile to human freedom, but a loser at that. Libertarians for trump have sold their souls for a failure, for nothing.
In the age of the internet, the black mark of their mistake is permanent
Any previous decade and temporary support for a reprehensible candidate would largely be water under the bridge. Today, however, the prevalence of social media has reached a new peak. Everyone’s opinions are not only made public, but are immortalized for future generations to see. The less diligent will have their former conversations and support for dirtbags publicly accessible for all to witness. Even the more cautious who have doubled back and deleted their posts displaying poor judgment may be vulnerable to screenshots. Make no mistake: those who supported the biggest embarrassment to American presidential politics in living memory will have to own it for the rest of their lives.
Libertarians for Trump sold out all the principles they held dear for the chance to be on the winning team. Now that strategic decision is looking more and more foolish. If the only thing worse than a sellout is a loser, how does it feel to be both? Burns, doesn’t it?