Clayton Hunt vs. Paul Frankel: Should Libertarians Secretly Root for Donald Trump?

Houston TX LP activist and voluntaryist Clayton Hunt at Libertarian Gaming:

I think Donald Trump is amazing.

I know what you’re thinking, “But he’s racist and hateful, ignorant and damn proud of it, can pretend to run a business, but doesn’t know anything about economics.”
You’d be right, but I think he’s amazing because of that, and one other thing…

He’s topping the polls of prospective GOP voters, with every incidence of him saying something stupid driving his numbers higher. Donald Trump is showing the sheer backwards nature of the GOP, he’s dragging what they say at their rallies, and to limited audiences of like-minded individuals, to the front page of America. They don’t even have the sense to pretend that it’s not what embodies what conservatism in America has always been. He’s shining a spotlight on the GOP and now everyone can see them, warts and all.

The only thing that would make me politically happier is if Bernie Sanders took off in the polls and shined a light on the ugly beast that is modern liberalism. Leaving people to choose whether they want a horrible Republican or a horrible Democrat, leaving the door open for our libertarian moment, as people become disenfranchised with the status quo, it’s our job to provide a message that sets us apart from the empty-rhetoric political hacks.

Read more….

Yours truly at A3PR, with a different opinion (note: NOT an IPR editorial):

No doubt breaking up the duopoly is a truly worthy goal, but if the only way to do it is by shoving a foul megalomaniacal billionaire riding a wave of bigotry, ignorance and hate into the mix, what have we really gained? Ideologically motivated, long term efforts such as LP and GP will be shoved even further to the sideline by the illusion of an anti-establishment option in the service of Trump’s limitless yet insecure ego.

[….]

What Trump will accomplish, if he gets in the debates, will be to allow the CoPD cartel to more credibly claim they really are open to non-duopoly candidates if they have enough support.

Alternatively, he may provide just the excuse they need to not make the debate inclusion criteria more reasonable or to make them even less so.

And that is if he doesn’t actually take the NSGOP nomination. If he does, he certainly won’t be cracking the duopoly unless it’s to send country club Republicans off to start a new party that sucks just as much as the existing Big Two, something along the lines envisioned by the Americans Elect bunch. Again, that would be no improvement at all over what we have now.

If he either wins the NSGOP nom or runs a Perot style independent campaign, he could actually win. And that would be really, really bad. With his itchy trigger finger on the nuclear button, the temptation will prove just too great for Trump to spell TRUMP in giant letters made of nuclear bomb craters on the side of Planet Earth to be prominently viewable from outer space after the first time some foreign leader pushes his buttons.

Read the whole thing….

For some other opinions on Trump from (L)ibertarian and alt party sources see:

Roger Stone Has Op-ed Published: How Donald Trump Can Win (the US Presidency)

Ralph Nader Praises Donald Trump as “Breath of Fresh Air”

Wayne Allyn Root Gives Campaign Advice to Donald Trump

Johnson Calls Trump Border Visit “Too Easy”

Spoiler effect and potential Independent campaign causes Trump vs. Paul fracas at Fox News Debate

Mark Wachtler: ‘Independents Sanders and Trump rocking the Establishment’

Gary Johnson: It’s not about Mexico, Mr. Trump

Gary Johnson: Trump appeals to “racist” voters, “I don’t want to have anything to do with it”

LP’s Sarwark calls out Trump on eminent domain at FreedomFest

Buchanan-Trump Embrace Recalls 2000 Reform Party Race

Donald Trump To Actually Run For President

Supporters of former Libertarian candidate Ron Paul and one time possible Reform Party candidate Donald Trump clash at CPAC

Trumpism: The Ideology by Jeffrey Tucker

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The Idiocracy Candidate: Donald Trump’s awful speech at Freedom Fest by Matt Melch at reason.com

Hey Donald Trump: Sanctuary Cities Are Safer Than Immigrant-Hunting Counterparts by Nick Gillespie at reason.com

Trump and the Myth of Immigrant Crime: Numbers about those who come to America show they aren’t the source of trouble by Steve Chapman at reason.com

Donald Trump Is A Blowhard Idiot: Especially on Immigrants; Republican presidential hopeful tells it like it isn’t on Mexican immigrants and crime by Ronald Bailey at reason.com

Trump Calls ‘Truly Weird’ Rand Paul a ‘Spoiled Brat’ Without a Brain; Paul’s effort to brand Trump a “fake conservative” earns angry Twitter tirade from “Trump,” who has begun putting his own name in scare quotes by Elizabeth Nolan Brown at reason.com

Don’t Fall for a Fake Conservative by Rand Paul

Surprising Similarities Between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump by Ira Stoll at reason.com

That Time When Donald Trump Praised Single Payer Health Care in a GOP Debate by Peter Suderman at reason.com

The Mindlessness of Donald Trump—and What It Reveals About the GOP: The candidate’s lack of a traditional political agenda is key to his anti-political appeal. by Peter Suderman at reason.com

Lew Rockwell’s Political Theater has been covering Trump quite a bit, mostly positively, in recent weeks.

What Howard Stern for governor can teach us about Donald Trump by Amber Phillips at WaPo (H/T Carla Howell)

Several threads where this is being currently discussed on facebook (some of this may require that you have a FB account, and/or join these FB groups, to be able to read/and or join these discussions):

Libertarian Cage Match

Our America Initiative Grassroots Task Force

LP Radicals

For those of you with FB accounts who aren’t in these groups but would like to be let me know and I will add you.

Obviously, there are many other relevant articles and discussions on this I haven’t seen or am not remembering at the moment.

Please add other such articles of interest, and your thoughts, in the comments.

36 thoughts on “Clayton Hunt vs. Paul Frankel: Should Libertarians Secretly Root for Donald Trump?

  1. paulie Post author

    I hope this is OK. I included my own opinion article excerpt, but only as part of a survey of various opinions, including several that disagree with me. I also made clear that part is not an IPR editorial.

    If too many people feel it is too editorial on my part despite that, I can change it to a different IPR author’s name with minor adjustments.

    Let me know what you all think.

  2. Dave %erry

    Deja Vous, all over again!

    He wasn’t widely seen as a power hungry racist, but someone putting Germany and ‘Germans’ first. Indeed, Hitler managed to look like someone who would unite Germany rather than push it to extremes: he was praised for stopping a left wing revolution by crushing the socialists and communists (first in street fights and elections, then by putting them in camps), and praised again after the Night of the Long Knives for stopping his own right (and still some left) wingers from starting their own revolution. Hitler was the unifier, the one who halted chaos and bought everyone together.

    Heil Trump!

    We have been here before. Do we REALLY want to go their AGAIN???????????

  3. Andy Craig

    Put me in the “he can’t be trusted with nukes, so nothing else matters” camp.

  4. Thane Eichenauer (@ilovegrover)

    I would assert that none of the past four presidents can be trusted with nuclear weapons nor naval destroyer vessels nor brigades or army soldiers and yet they were and only managed to misuse two of these three weapons of mass destruction.

  5. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree with Thane about the past 4 presidents.

    The very thought of Trump having to ability to use nuclear weapons is just about the scariest thought ever.

  6. paulie Post author

    I think Trump is less trustworthy with the nuclear button that all four of the last four combined, and then some. He is one seriously vindictie, thin skinned, grudge bearing, egotistical, escalation prone SOB. The very kind of person you should not want anywhere near that thing.

  7. Thane Eichenauer (@ilovegrover)

    There are plenty of heads of state that could request or order a nuclear strike. I personally doubt that any nuclear weapon head of state can actually order a nuclear strike without at LEAST two other people agreeing to light the match. I personally don’t think that Donald Trump is that much different that the nine or so heads of state that currently possess nuclear weapons. The United States has had nuclear capacity since 1945 or so, roughly 70 years. I don’t think that Trump is that much worse than any or the people and past US Presidents mentioned.

  8. Andy Craig

    “I don’t think that Trump is that much worse than any or the people and past US Presidents mentioned.”

    He’s a lot less mentally stable and a lot more ignorant and exhibits all of the red flags for a personality who would neither comprehend the magnitude of his actions nor appreciate the harm inflicted on others. In other words, an actual ego-maniacal sociopath. Not in the casual “oh look at the awful things they all do” sort of way, either. The others are at least constrained by their ability to rationalize their actions as being justified and net-positives, as well as by their cynical political motivations and desire for “legacy”. Trump has no need or desire to do that- if he’s going down, he might just take us all with him.

    “There are plenty of heads of state that could request or order a nuclear strike. I personally doubt that any nuclear weapon head of state can actually order a nuclear strike without at LEAST two other people agreeing to light the match.”

    As a theoretical legal matter, in the US the order has to be confirmed by somebody on the pre-approved list, usually and preferably the Secretary of Defense, but any number of high-ranking Senate-confirmed national security officials can do it, and ultimately the actual power to issue the order is vested solely in the President as C-in-C. I don’t know exactly how many people are on that list, but I know it goes as far down as Deputy Secretaries and the Administrators of intelligence agencies, which means at least a handful, only one of whom has to confirm the order. Besides, do you really think Trump would appoint anybody who would ever say no to him as Secretary of Defense? As for if the orders would be followed, one would hope not if they came randomly out of the blue for no apparent reason. But with even the slightest pretext or hostilities, which is almost certain, I think the orders would be followed, and likely they’d be followed regardless.

    I’m not saying it’s *likely* Trump would use nukes, or even start a stupid war that could lead to nuclear use. But I’d peg the risk at in the range 5-10%, vs <1% for any other post-Truman President, including both Nixon and Reagan. Given what's at stake, that's way too big a risk for me. Moreover, I don't think he'd let fly against Russia or China, rather I think he'd unload on some third-rate power as an exercise in massive retaliation.

    As for the other heads of state who posses nuclear weapons, I don't get a vote in who controls other country's nuclear arsenals.

  9. Green_w_o_Adjectives

    Maybe I’m overly paranoid, but my perspective on Trump is that he’s basically a red herring and is part and parcel of the corporate public relations kabuki theater charade. Trump distracts people with superficial rhetoric which gets them to pay more attention to the Republican nomination race and less attention to Bernie Sanders or 3rd party candidates. Unfortunately the other Republican candidates are privileged corporate zombies, utterly alienated from the culture and concerns of ordinary Americans, and who sound as fake as television anchors. So Trump appears great in comparison and is actually getting grassroots support (including that of some of my relatives…facepalm). God help us if people actually believe the POTUS of this country is some kind of king who can just order the CIA and CEOs of Ford Motors and Goldman Sachs around.

  10. Jim

    Let’s not do another of those foolish 1964 anti-Goldwater commercials ending with a nuclear mushroom cloud. If anything, LBJ turned out to be far less credible and trustworthy about war-starting than Goldwater likely would have been, resulting in 50,000 American deaths (and far more than that of Vietnamese). LBJ did so badly, in fact, that he actually declined to run again, amounting to an extreme admission of failure. In fact, I believe that in the ’90s telephone recordings were released that showed that LBJ effectively started (at least, greatly increased) the Vietnam war KNOWING that we could never win it.

  11. paulie Post author

    Let’s not do another of those foolish 1964 anti-Goldwater commercials ending with a nuclear mushroom cloud.

    In that case it was hyperbole. In this case it’s not.

    If anything, LBJ turned out to be far less credible and trustworthy about war-starting than Goldwater likely would have been, resulting in 50,000 American deaths (and far more than that of Vietnamese). LBJ did so badly, in fact, that he actually declined to run again, amounting to an extreme admission of failure. In fact, I believe that in the ’90s telephone recordings were released that showed that LBJ effectively started (at least, greatly increased) the Vietnam war KNOWING that we could never win it.

    All True..

    I stand by my opinion of Trump @ http://amthirdpartyreport.com/2015/08/10/trump-in-giant-letters-made-of-nuclear-bomb-craters-on-the-side-of-planet-earth-to-be-prominently-viewable-from-outer-space/ .

  12. paulie Post author

    Maybe I’m overly paranoid, but my perspective on Trump is that he’s basically a red herring and is part and parcel of the corporate public relations kabuki theater charade. Trump distracts people with superficial rhetoric which gets them to pay more attention to the Republican nomination race and less attention to Bernie Sanders or 3rd party candidates. Unfortunately the other Republican candidates are privileged corporate zombies, utterly alienated from the culture and concerns of ordinary Americans, and who sound as fake as television anchors. So Trump appears great in comparison and is actually getting grassroots support (including that of some of my relatives…facepalm). God help us if people actually believe the POTUS of this country is some kind of king who can just order the CIA and CEOs of Ford Motors and Goldman Sachs around.

    Yes and no. I agree that this is the role that various powers that be have scripted for him and that a lot of them may think he is still playing that role, and to some extent he is.

    At the same time I think he is just egotistical, combative, and clever enough to conceivably get in office, double cross them, and actually try to become the God-Emperor he has always believed he was destined to be. Should he find himself in that position, it will absolutely go to his head, and anyone who tries to tell him what to do or doesn’t show him what he considers his due respect – be it congress, special prosecutors, the CIA and CEOs of Ford Motors and Goldman Sachs, foreign leaders – will face his wrath. He’ll go over their heads and appeal directly to the people; he’ll issue executive orders left and right; he’ll declare a national state of emergency and send troops, drones and missiles around the planet at a hyperkinetic pace to show everyone he is the biggest, meanest kid on every conceivable playground – whatever it takes. But every step of the way he will persuade powers that be that he is just acting out his script at various levels. It will escalate and escalate, until it can’t. Look at a history of his business dealings for parallels.

  13. paulie Post author

    He’s a lot less mentally stable and a lot more ignorant and exhibits all of the red flags for a personality who would neither comprehend the magnitude of his actions nor appreciate the harm inflicted on others. In other words, an actual ego-maniacal sociopath. Not in the casual “oh look at the awful things they all do” sort of way, either. The others are at least constrained by their ability to rationalize their actions as being justified and net-positives, as well as by their cynical political motivations and desire for “legacy”. Trump has no need or desire to do that- if he’s going down, he might just take us all with him.

    Yep!

  14. paulie Post author

    As a theoretical legal matter, in the US the order has to be confirmed by somebody on the pre-approved list, usually and preferably the Secretary of Defense, but any number of high-ranking Senate-confirmed national security officials can do it, and ultimately the actual power to issue the order is vested solely in the President as C-in-C. I don’t know exactly how many people are on that list, but I know it goes as far down as Deputy Secretaries and the Administrators of intelligence agencies, which means at least a handful, only one of whom has to confirm the order. Besides, do you really think Trump would appoint anybody who would ever say no to him as Secretary of Defense? As for if the orders would be followed, one would hope not if they came randomly out of the blue for no apparent reason. But with even the slightest pretext or hostilities, which is almost certain, I think the orders would be followed, and likely they’d be followed regardless.

    Exactly.

    I’m not saying it’s *likely* Trump would use nukes, or even start a stupid war that could lead to nuclear use. But I’d peg the risk at in the range 5-10%, vs <1% for any other post-Truman President, including both Nixon and Reagan. Given what's at stake, that's way too big a risk for me. Moreover, I don't think he'd let fly against Russia or China, rather I think he'd unload on some third-rate power as an exercise in massive retaliation.

    I think it’s pretty much inevitable. And I do think he will take on China and Russia, too. He is all about being bellicose against China. It may start with a trade war, but it probably won’t end there. Putin is a one-upmanship kind of guy much like Trump; throw them against each other and it’s cycle of escalation time. Trump is all about trade wars, and when goods don’t cross borders armies will. Moreover, sooner or later someone will insult or disrespect him on the international stage, he’ll respond, they’ll respond back, etc. Trump vs Jihadis? Trump vs drug cartels? The possibilities here are fascinating. Besides, you know he has to brand the Trump name in huge letters on everything that is his, and what better way to do it on the entire planet.

    “Trump wuz here, and now there’s nothing left.” Like piss in the snow, graffiti on subways, feces smeared on public bathroom stall walls, or the Trump name in big letters on giant concrete and steel erections that block other people’s sunlight, only on a global scale with weapons of mass destruction.

  15. Andy Craig

    “And I do think he will take on China and Russia, too.”

    Yes, but I give both of those governments more credit for ability to avoid a nuclear exchange than I do Trump, including Putin. He’s a practitioner of brinkmanship, which requires awareness of there being a brink to step back from and enough intelligence and pragmatism to play up against it. And for him “the brink” isn’t a nuclear exchange or even a conventional shooting war with the West, it’s economic isolation that cripples the Russian economy.

    As for China, I don’t think even a full-blown trade war would prompt them to militarily attack the United States, or Taiwan, or any of their neighbors. That just isn’t their style or strategy, and their military power projection capabilities are near-nil outside of their immediate borders. Even their nuclear strike capacity on the US isn’t that large, and nowhere near parity (most of their arsenal is of much shorter range and directed north and west at Russia or south at India). They know we have a better-than-even chance of taking out their couple of dozen ICBMs that could reach the US, and their one or two deployed missile submarines, before they could use them.

    They’d sit it out and wait for Trump to leave office (one way or another), before they’d start a shooting war over it that would, if they were very lucky, reduce their diplomatic and economic standing to that of Mao-era international pariah state. Only about 20% of China’s exports are to the United States, and it would take the worst of trade wars to eliminate even half of that. It would be a huge blow to them, but it wouldn’t be an existential threat outweighing the risks of war. They could, and would, still trade with the rest of the world just like Cuba does, even assuming Trump could get any kind of trade war package through Congress, which is doubtful.

    The scenario I envisage is that there’s another situation like 9/11, or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, or something like that where Trump decides to look tough and make an example of some non-NWS that can’t retaliate in kind. At which point we might not face nukes raining down on American cities, but we’d instantly become an international rogue state, subject to the entire rest of the world imposing sanctions on the US and demanding our government’s senior leadership be hauled before the Hague for crimes against humanity. As bad as the American government’s global reputation is, even during the nadir of the W Bush years, I’d like to think we can still avoid “worse than Hitler”- which is what using nukes like that would make us in the eyes of the world.

    “I think it’s pretty much inevitable.”

    I like to think cooler heads would prevail, but I wouldn’t count on it. And when “cooler heads prevailing” means a possible military coup, that’s cold comfort.

  16. paulie Post author

    And for him “the brink” isn’t a nuclear exchange or even a conventional shooting war with the West, it’s economic isolation that cripples the Russian economy.

    BRICS could create alternative world reserve currency and trading blocs, etc. And Russia has been through far worse economic times and come through.

    As for China, I don’t think even a full-blown trade war would prompt them to militarily attack the United States, or Taiwan, or any of their neighbors. That just isn’t their style or strategy, and their military power projection capabilities are near-nil outside of their immediate borders. Even their nuclear strike capacity on the US isn’t that large, and nowhere near parity (most of their arsenal is of much shorter range and directed north and west at Russia or south at India). They know we have a better-than-even chance of taking out their couple of dozen ICBMs that could reach the US, and their one or two deployed missile submarines, before they could use them.

    Yeah? How about a proxy war? China gives nuclear missiles to Mexican drug cartels? Use your imagination here. All kinds of nasty scenarios could take place. China has that pesky male/female inequilibrium issue thanks to the one child policy, and growing internal rifts and pressures could force their regime to seek enemies abroad to unify their people behind them. Or they can make alliances, including perhaps with India and/or Russia and/or Caliphate or … well, use your imagination.

    Only about 20% of China’s exports are to the United States, and it would take the worst of trade wars to eliminate even half of that.

    With Trump, that could easily happen.

    It would be a huge blow to them, but it wouldn’t be an existential threat outweighing the risks of war.

    Again, fails to take into account various ways situations can escalate and dominoes fall: secessionist regions in China, new wars in Korea, wars between Korea and Japan… all sorts of things are possible. Many of them may not even be on anyone’s radar yet. What is on the radar is not the specific scenarios but the personality type and how it plays out on a world stage.

    They could, and would, still trade with the rest of the world just like Cuba does, even assuming Trump could get any kind of trade war package through Congress, which is doubtful.

    Forget congress. They answer to the CEO, Mr. Trump, or he tells them they’re fired. You got that?

    The scenario I envisage is that there’s another situation like 9/11, or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, or something like that where Trump decides to look tough and make an example of some non-NWS that can’t retaliate in kind.

    Yeah, it’s all fun and games beating up on the little kids. At least until China or Russia give Jihadis a few nukes to retaliate with. Those could be smuggled into or assembled in the US or maybe launched in a missile from Mexico or from a sub or whatever. Again, so many possibilities. How about germ warfare? EMP? Could get very, very ugly.

    At which point we might not face nukes raining down on American cities, but we’d instantly become an international rogue state, subject to the entire rest of the world imposing sanctions on the US and demanding our government’s senior leadership be hauled before the Hague for crimes against humanity.

    And Trump would do what, take that lying down? Not The Donald. No friggin way. He would tell them what to do, and they better do it, or he’ll do to them guys what he did to them other guys. Fuggedaboutit.

    As bad as the American government’s global reputation is, even during the nadir of the W Bush years, I’d like to think we can still avoid “worse than Hitler”- which is what using nukes like that would make us in the eyes of the world.

    Yep.

    I like to think cooler heads would prevail, but I wouldn’t count on it. And when “cooler heads prevailing” means a possible military coup, that’s cold comfort.


    …Before turning the nukes on himself…

  17. Thane Eichenauer (@ilovegrover)

    I’ll give Bernie Sanders a win over Donald Trump on one category. Bernie Sanders does not mention foreign policy at all on his issues page but at least his web site has an issues page.
    Bing sayeth “No results found for site:donaldtrump.com issues.”
    I looked with my eyes as well, no issues link was evident.

  18. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Presidents aren’t dictators. They don’t have all that much power. I don’t think a Trump presidency would be all that different from Bush or Obama — or Bernie Sanders

    Campaign rhetoric is always followed by same-old, same-old once in office.

  19. paulie Post author

    Presidents aren’t dictators. They don’t have all that much power.

    The presidency has become a lot more imperial over the years, but with Trump in office that trend would…how to put it…go viral. I think he would literally become a dictator. Just because it hasn’t happened to nearly that extent yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

  20. paulie Post author

    I’ll give Bernie Sanders a win over Donald Trump on one category. Bernie Sanders does not mention foreign policy at all on his issues page but at least his web site has an issues page.
    Bing sayeth “No results found for site:donaldtrump.com issues.”
    I looked with my eyes as well, no issues link was evident.

    Or as Trump apologists see it: https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/why-some-people-enjoy-trump/

    ‘Why Some People Enjoy Trump’

    Writes a friend:

    Love your Donald coverage. Murray would have loved it, too. Trump reminds me of Perot and Buchanan–a populist bad on trade–only more dangerous to the GOP and the whole establishment. No one cares about his lack of position papers, etc. We love his style, his manner of speech, and the fact that the pressure groups don’t own him. He might actually do something good, significantly good. He might stop the third-worldization of this country. None of the other candidates would ever do something good, let alone that. They’re all owned.

    Or, even more bluntly:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/since-policy-is-a-synonym-for-lie/

    Since ‘Policy’ Is a Synonym for Lie

    It doesn’t hurt Trump–perceived as uncontrolled and disdainful of the whole rotten political system–not to have policies.

  21. Matt Cholko

    I’m with RTAA. I doubt he would be much worse, or better, than anyone else.

    But, it doesn’t really matter. He ain’t gonna win the election.

  22. paulie Post author

    I don’t see why we should dismiss the possibility that he could actually win as an independent. Perot led Bush and Clinton before the whole weird dropping in and out thing he did. If Trump is running in the general election and competitive in the polls in October, he doesn’t get the traditional end of the election season dropoff, because he’s not seen as someone who can’t win and thus the wasted vote/spoiler myth does not come into play — which in a few rare cases it doesn’t, for example Ventura for Governor, if they are polling competitively and gaining momentum near the end, thus not seen as “can’t win.” And he has the money, name recognition and ratings to remain in the game til the end.

    Trump won’t necessarily pull from the Republicans more than from the Democrats. True, right now he would, but that is because he is marketing himself to a Republican primary audience. As an independent, he would be free to take any number of stances that he is far less free to take as a Republican (if he wants a chance at their nomination) and many of which he has taken in the past:

    * Pro universal mandatory government health insurance

    * Pro wealth tax to pay off debt

    * Pro drug legalization

    * Pro choice on abortion

    * Pro gun confiscation

    * Pro campaign finance reform (ironically)

    etc

    Some of his stances, while generally right wing, also appeal to some on the left – his trade protectionism has a lot of fans on the left, and his immigration views can draw support from blue collar Democrats and their supposed champions (e.g. Bernie Sanders, for example).

    It’s entirely plausible IMO that as an independent in the general election Trump could win away just as many votes from Democrats as from Republicans, just as Perot did (which unfortunately all too many people fail to recognize).

    Regardless of what ideological stances he takes, as Rockwell points out, he can give people style over substance and they eat it up. So why are we assuming he can’t keep that game up through the end and win?

    A lot of people thought Reagan, Ventura, and Hitler were buffoons who couldn’t possibly actually win, just sideshow clowns; yet they all surprised all those people and won. Why assume that Trump can’t?

  23. paulie Post author

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150813/NEWS06/150819661&source=RSS
    Rand Paul urges Libertarians to vote Republican

    (H/T Carla Howell)

    Carla writes to LNC:

    Interesting that Paul is staking out the Republican-loyalty position while Trump is staking out the non-allegiance-to-GOP position. On this point, Trump is decidedly more libertarian than Rand Paul.

    Being defeatist about alternative parties is outdated, not to mention highly dangerous, especially when the result is endorsing people like Romney and McConnell. You can’t get much more pro-Big Government than that.

    Public sentiment against Ds and Rs – and for third parties/independents – has swung significantly since his dad’s run as the LP POTUS candidate in 1988. Someone needs to point out to Rand (or to his target audience) that that was then and this is now.

    Carla Howell
    Political Director
    National Libertarian Party

    The article itself touches on many points that are relevant to this thread.

  24. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Paulie, you mention an “imperial presidency.” I’d say it’s more of an imperial executive branch. No one person controls federal executive power. The president is merely the figurehead.

    Let’s say a president ordered the immediate closure of all U.S. overseas military bases. Think his orders would be followed?

    Or if a president ordered an 80% reduction in Army personnel, on the notion that the U.S. should not have a peacetime standing army?

    Or if he ordered the cancellation of 80% of all military contracts.

    Presidents aren’t all that powerful. The military-industrial complex, the big media cartels, the Wall Street banksters … they’ll quickly stop any president that seriously threatens their interests. They don’t have to kill him. They have the financial and political muscle to get their way.

  25. Pingback: Rand Paul accuses Libertarians of being spoilers, says they need to “vote Republican” and “make the GOP bigger” | Independent Political Report

  26. paulie Post author

    RTAA

    On the other hand if the president inched us dangerously closer to wars on multiple fronts, at what point would the establishment rein him in?

    Consider too a president who is a populist demagogue and goes above the heads of congress and the bureaucracy to go on TV and make his case directly to the people on a regular basis. If such a president can stay popular by whipping up hatred against internal scapegoats and outside enemies (real or imagined), and by giving the economy a short term artificial boost by increasing military spending, could he really be reined in effectively?

    If he used these popular waves of fear and hatred to justify increasing interal espionage and suppression of opposition speech and activity, roundups of internal opposition and enemies real or imagined, and of groups of people he scapegoats, greater and greater abuses against civil liberty which all go to the benefit of the police-prison-industrial/heimland security complex, who would stop him, how, and why?

  27. paulie Post author

    Carla Howell for president!

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think she wants to give up her job to run for the nomination, especially but not only if she doesn’t think she can win that nomination.

  28. trying again

    Nixon walked around the White House drunk screaming at portraits and ghosts.
    Poppy Bush was strung out on his own Prozac drugs in the White House.
    HIllary would flip out and attack Bill in the White House, throwing ashtrays and such at him. (Though to be fair, she’s post-menopausal now so that is likely going forward.)
    Trump is not less stable than any of those people. I’d argue he’s also more stable than Baby Bush and his pointless invasion of Iraq.

    The idea Trump doesn’t care about his legacy is ridiculous. Of course he cares about his legacy. He has no reason to walk away from his multibillion real estate business, except to improve the country as he sees best and get credit (a legacy) for doing so.

    Trump is also talks up de-escalation with Russia and Putin every time he’s asked about it. It’s the Obama Administration and their Soros and neocon operatives (and the Biden family) who have been incessantly poking that bear the last several years. And every other GOP candidate with the exception of Rand Paul is far more likely to start shit with Russia than Trump.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Poppy Bush was strung out on his own Prozac drugs in the White House”

    Halcyon, actually.

    Could Trump be the real-life Greg Stillson? Maybe. But I’m guessing there’s less substance than style to him.

  30. Thane Eichenauer

    Paulie,
    What has Donald Trump done to make you think that he has an itchy trigger finger? I am not alone in noting that he has indicated that he would talk with Putin.

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