If you’ve followed the election in some more in-depth ways, you may have noticed that some notable libertarians have begun to back Donald Trump. Walter Block is the main starter of the group Libertarians for Trump, which is aiming to get libertarians to support a Trump GOP candidacy, and not some other route (such as not voting, or the Libertarian Party). However, I have some deep issues with this, and I’ll explain why using this from Walter’s article:
There are several issues upon which libertarians do not and cannot support Donald Trump. For example, protectionism. But, typically, regarding the issues where Mr. Trump deviates from libertarianism, so do the other candidates.
And, also, we readily admit that the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party (unless they nominate someone like, ugh, Bob Barr) will very likely have views much closer to ours than those of Mr. Trump.
But, the perfect is the enemy of the good. It is our goal to throw our weight behind the candidate who has a reasonable chance of actually becoming President of the United States whose views are CLOSEST to libertarianism.
To start off, you need to understand how I go about evaluating candidates. I cannot support a candidate when I disagree with their economic policy, so anything involving the economy is what I mainly look at. If I don’t agree with that person on that, then I cannot support them. Thus, when Trump spews out his rhetoric on protectionism, it only further seals how I cannot support him.
When he talks about raising tariff’s on Chinese Imports, which he wrongly says the Chinese, and not American consumers through higher prices will pay, I cannot support him. When he talks about bringing jobs back to America via putting a higher tariff on American companies who make their products outside the US, and how he’d slap them with a higher tariff, I cannot agree with him. When he threatens Apple for producing iPhone’s overseas, I cannot vote for him.
In addition, he talks about his tax policy, which is a continuation of the current progressive system we have today. But Trump somehow believes that raising the taxes on his hedge fund buddies (by 1.2%) will make things better. Notice that this is only after making a large cut from the top tax rate from 39+% to 25% (projected revenues aren’t looking too hot). The expected deficit from this plan would also be an increase from the current one the Federal Government carries now.
And if he really wants to cut taxes, then he needs to cut a lot of things from the budget and government overall. For instance, he would need to make cuts to entitlement programs. However, he has said he won’t touch them. Maybe cuts to defense spending? Not at all. In fact, he has said he will rebuild the military, which was the same thing Rubio wanted to do. How much will that cost? Trillions, more than likely. Yet Trump wants to do that. You cannot cut taxes and raise spending by the amount needed, and have the Laffer Curve on taxes fund everything! You cannot do it.
Here is federal spending for 2015. Take a look at this:
Explain to me how he doesn’t raise taxes, yet fund all of this? Oh, he’ll cut stuff? WHERE??? What does he cut? The biggest parts of the budget, practically more than 75% of this is OFF LIMITS to a Trump Administration. What do you cut? How is President Trump going to shrink government in any meaningful way? What will he cut? The Department of Education (the purple sliver), which only uses $80.9 Billion, compared to that of the Military, Social Security, or Medicare and Health? Congrats, you’ve only scratched the surface.
But I have a theory as to why he won’t cut entitlements. It’s because his he thinks there could be blowback on his protectionism, and that should a trade war ensue, he may need that welfare state to keep people from turning on him. It’s a theory, and only that.
In addition, as a libertarian, I support a person’s right to privacy, which Trump does not. Trump has come out in opposition to Apple keeping the encryption on the San Bernadino iPhone locked, and not helping the FBI. Trump has come out in support of the PATRIOT Act, as well as metadata collection by the NSA. This takes place in the United States on regular US citizens, and if you don’t believe somehow that China has ever gotten their hands on this information, you need to get out of the bubble you’re living in.
In addition to this, as a libertarian, I do not support the infringements on the rights of individuals who assemble. When Trump wants to shut down mosques, I can’t support him. When he thinks that Japanese Internment camps were okay under one of the biggest, and worst Presidents in the country’s history, I cannot support him. I don’t know how to say it, but these are simply gross violations of the First Amendment, yet Trump supports them.
Trump is terrible with the Constitution. He is willing to screw over the First Amendment. He is willing to further continue the screwing of the Fourth Amendment. I’m sorry, but those don’t look very good to me, and it should be concerning to libertarians, and constitutionalists and conservatives, but I guess that’s only if you still care about the Constitution.
So, when I hear that a libertarian wants to support Trump, it befuddles me. This guy doesn’t stand for smaller government, individual liberty, or even simply a set of guided principles. There is no concrete foundation to Trumps positions, and to me, that’s concerning. To me, that doesn’t give me a good feeling.
These are the reasons why I, a libertarian, cannot support a Trump candidacy. It amazes me that Walter Block (the champion of defending the undefendable) is backing Trump. But he believes that Trump will be good, but not perfect. I don’t even see how he could be good. I don’t see how he could even be okay. Perhaps Walter won’t support the Libertarian Party candidate, whomever it be (who would be infinitely times better than Trump), and that’s his choice. But, I will, and I will do what I can to help them grow and be more successful.