The candidacy and resulting election of Donald Trump has caused evident chaos and confusion among many in the libertarian movement. I've always maintained that support for Donald Trump from libertarians is a mistake and explicitly aligning ourselves with the emerging Alt-Right represents both a strategic and ideological betrayal of our supposed principles.
I voted third party as I always do yet I could appreciate some libertarians offering an extremely qualified preference for Donald over Hillary. I am thinking of people like Walter Block and the late, great Ralph Raico. The pre-election rhetoric coming from the Clinton campaign against Russia was extremely frightening. Substantial elements of the Deep State (in particular the CIA) and many Neo-Cons threw their support behind Clinton because they were desperate to continue arming the Al-Nusra front and other terrorist groups in Syria in order to overthrow Assad. Clinton and her handlers supported imposing a No-Fly Zone in Syria which would have required the shooting down of Russia airplanes. She could have bungled us into a Nuclear War and that is no exaggeration.
The best reason to prefer Trump to Clinton in my mind was the former's supposed desire to improve relations with Russia and tamp down the new cold war hysteria.
This was the main argument offered by Walter Block and can respect that though I think he was far too generous in his praise.
What I cannot respect, especially after the first month of Trump's presidency, is the more explicit and in many cases enthusiastic endorsement coming from people like Alex Jones, Chris Cantwell and, yes, Stefan Molyneux.
Consider this video posted right after the election results came in:
I find it extremely hard to understand how a supposed anarchist could be so euphoric over the democratic victory of a character like Trump without abandoning any lingering fealty to libertarian and anarchist principles.
I subscribe to a similar position as the one elucidated by Robert Higgs recently on Facebook:
No one is qualified to be president of the USA. The occupant of this office holds such incomprehensibly great power -- the power to wreak havoc on the entire human race -- that no one ought to be entrusted with it. But, sad to say, someone always does occupy the office. If I had to make a list of persons from the one I would most prefer to the one I would least prefer as president, Donald Trump would certainly stand at or very near the bottom of my list.
I find it nearly incomprehensible that so many people, even some who identify themselves as libertarians or (gasp!) anarchists, seem to have a positive opinion of this vile creature. And I regard it as an almost silly reason for liking him that he infuriates the progressives so greatly. He obviously conceives of the presidency as a position of elected dictatorship. He is as foolish and bloodthirsty in foreign relations as any establishment figure picked at random. He is an utter ignoramus in regard to economics. And his personal attributes are nothing short of a psychological train wreck. I hope my fellow freedom lovers will come to their senses soon. There are much more important matters at stake than simply discomfiting the leftists.
To preempt the inevitable, my citation above is not a fallacious "appeal to authority". I've got plenty of arguments of my own so I've no need for such appeals. I'm only using this quote to demonstrate what ought to be the plum-line, and correct, libertarian and anarchist position.
My concern is that some libertarians, including Stefan, appear to have thrown in their lot with the Alt-Right. Yet the Alt-Right represents it's own unique brand of authoritarianism. Or perhaps Stefan, since he is reliant on donations and YouTube views, has a monetary incentive for making appeals to Trump supporters since there are certainly more of them than there are of us.
The worst crime the State commits is to wage aggressive war. Trump's cabinet picks show that despite his alleged desire to improve relations with Russia, he clearly wants to wage war against "terrorists" using every unethical tool that Bush and Obama provided for him. Nearly indiscriminate drone strikes have been continuing constantly. A recent attack in Yemen included the murder of Anwar Al-Awlaki's 8 year old daughter and more than a dozen additional civilians. I'm sure this wasn't intentional, but this murder is extra concerning in the wake of Trump's campaign promise to "go after the families" of alleged terrorists.
He seems to want to provide so-called "safe" zones in Syria for refugees which could have a practical effect similar to the imposition of a no-fly zone. And with the ouster of Michael Flynn, the CIA may yet goad Trump into escalating tensions with Russia despite his campaign rhetoric!
To top that off Donald has spoken belligerently against Iran and may rip up the Nuclear Deal which would again pave the way for a war against that nation. This is something that Hillary would have been unlikely to do. Obama's single best accomplishment as president was the Iran Nucleal Deal in my view. The threat of launching a preemptive war against Iran was ever-present and this ostensibly took this option off the table. Trump may well undo all that. The effect of such a move would mean that, even if he himself does not launch a war against that country during his tenure, he will bear a good deal of responsibility should his successor wage aggressive war against that nation.
He doesn't understand the motivations for suicide terrorism in the least. He, like Bush, thinks they "hate us for our freedom". He has no knowledge of the research of Robert Pape who conclusively demonstrated through empirical study what should be obvious to any thinking person, that Muslim terrorists hate us for our foreign policy and our military and CIA's meddling in their affairs.
His penchant for writing Executive Orders like they are autographs show he has no appreciation for our Constitutional separation of powers. His actions reveal him to be an authoritarian through and through.
His advocacy for Protectionist Tariffs and could start a Trade War against China in addition to the military wars he intends to continue and start. He seems intent to make belligerent demands of private businesses who are threatened to comply with government edicts concerning where they may build and maintain their factories lest they face retribution and harassment
So what aspects of his presidency could possibly appeal to a libertarian that could even remotely excuse the above? His desire to build a Border Wall and control immigration? The border wall project will undoubtedly violate the private property rights of thousands who will have their land seized through Eminent Domain. Aggressive Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement will doubtless be given carte blanche to harass employers and peaceful immigrants.
The Border Wall project is likely to end up as one of the most infamous boondoggle infrastructure projects ever undertaken by our Federal Government.
There are a few (very few!) silver linings. His Supreme Court selection was likely better than anyone Hillary would have chosen.
Doubtless there is nuance to Stefan's argument in support of the Donald that I have missed. I know many, if not most, members of this forum are supporters to one degree or another of this president. I don't often have substantive debates with libertarians, so I'd like to see what ya'll think.
My hope, echoing Higgs, is that libertarians soon snap out of it. I'd rather we put forward plum-line libertarian anarchism.