Tag: donald trump potus

Yes, Libertarians Can Support Trump

By Atilla Sulker | United States

Recently, a fellow writer published a piece which stated that libertarians should not support Donald Trump. The article has some good insights, and it is quite obvious that President Trump is no small government advocate. However, this does not mean that to support him is to betray libertarian principles.

What does it truly mean to “support” someone? Would this mean that one’s policies are nearly or exactly in line with the candidate which they are supporting? Can one loosely back someone in an act of vengeance or in support of the “lesser of two evils”? We must ask these fundamental questions, for ignoring them would lead to confusion.

Murray Rothbard’s Support for Statists

In an attempt to answer these questions, let’s take a look at the political activist life of Murray Rothbard. Rothbard is easily one of the most staunch proponents of decentralization. But from the perspective that it is wrong to support an individual whom we may disagree with on a load of issues, Rothbard can be said to be betraying his principles.

Rothbard notably supported the efforts of the infamous Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy was the epitome of the danger of government violating our Fourth Amendment and First Amendment rights. Rothbard also backed protectionist Ross Perot and Democrat Adlai Stevenson, among others. So, why exactly did Rothbard support all of these individuals, whose visions for the country differed greatly from his own?

Anti-Establishment Sympathy

Regarding McCarthy, while Rothbard strongly opposed the use of propaganda to frame individuals as communists, he also loved the fact that McCarthy was mainly targeting the establishment. Though Rothbard admits that he later saw the connection between McCarthyism and the shift of the right towards an imperialist foreign policy, he nevertheless had good reason to support him at the time.

Foreign Policy Justification

The phenomena of supporting Adlai Stevenson and Ross Perot show a more developed Rothbard. He supported these candidates, as he saw their opponents as much more volatile in regards to foreign policy. One will see that foreign policy was a very big issue to Rothbard. Likewise, it should be for all proponents of decentralization.

What we now see is that Rothbard supported those whom he viewed as being against the establishment, even if their policy proposals were drastically different from his. He would have supported the anti-establishment progressive over the establishment, imperialist conservative.

Rothbard embodied true maverick qualities, unlike the phony doctrine of McCainism. What makes the latter phony is the fact that individuals such as John McCain were anchored in the establishment. So, to cross aisles is not significant if both parties embody nearly the same principles. Rothbard, on the other hand, searched for allies who he believed would not sell out on their principles, even if he did not agree with the principles themselves.

Libertarians for Trump

It is important to make the connection between this sort of Rothbardian way of thinking and libertarians who support Trump. Libertarians must always criticize Trump for his shortcomings. However, they must always remember that Trump constitutes a much greater threat to the Washington cesspool than a moderate establishment figure or even a beltway libertarian such as Gary Johnson.

Of course, candidate Trump was quite different from President Trump. But regardless of how much of his anti-establishment sentiment Trump has followed, we must always remember that supporting such individuals does not constitute a betrayal to libertarian principles.

A Chance for Libertarians

The realm of activism is quite different from the realm of developing and staying true to your ideas. In order for decentralization to come about, we must fight the establishment, the ultimate centralizers. Ideas in favor of small government render useless if they are not also attached to fighting the establishment. This is what has led to the phenomenon of the “sellout libertarian”, not supporting individuals such as Trump.

Rothbard acknowledged the importance of populism in fighting the establishment. Before nitpicking over what specific policies to implement, we must drain the swamp and clean the mess in Washington, while still remaining true to our principles. Only then will we win this battle. This is why supporting Trump for “some good things” is different from supporting Obama or Bush for “some good things”. I am not a Trump supporter in the traditional sense. But when the deep state is in panic mode, libertarians have the opportunity to take back control.

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Trump’s Protectionism Hurts his Rust Belt Base

By James Sweet III | United States

The 2016 Presidential Election was a monumental political upset in modern American politics. Donald J. Trump, the TV star businessman, became the first President-elect to have no prior political experience. The election saw the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania vote for the Republican nominee, the first time since 1992, with Ohio voting for a Republican, the last time being 2004. These three states, part of the geographical region known as the “Rust Belt”, were crucial in delivering victory to the Trump campaign, but with protectionist policies being enacted by the man they helped win, these states may be the reason that Donald Trump loses re-election in 2020.

Many countries have regions that can be labeled as a “Rust Belt”. These regions used to consist heavily of manufacturing, but have seen a sharp decline in manufacturing jobs and loss of factories. The states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which make up the American Rust Belt, saw this sharp decline begin during the mid-1900s, continuing to today.

According to an economic research paper by Lee E. Ohanian, a consultant for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the decline of the Rust Belt began in 1950, 30 years earlier than commonly believed. By 1980, the Rust Belt’s share of manufacturing jobs fell by 34%, and it’s overall share of the American economy fell by about 28%. In 1950, 33% of the population lived in the Rust Belt, but by 2000, only 25% lived in the Rust Belt.

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There are several reasons for the decline of the Rust Belt, like the rise of the Sun Belt, a region spanning several South Eastern states. The Sun Belt offers better environmental and economic conditions for the manufacturing industry. One factor that was crucial in the decline was the lack of competition, something that protectionist policies such as tariffs actively discourage.

According to Ohanian, “there is considerable evidence of oligopolistic behavior as Rust Belt industries successfully lobbied Congress for protection against both competitors and antitrust prosecution.” With no competition to challenge the Rust Belt companies, there was no incentive to continue innovation, as the government-created monopolies ensured that their products would be bought in the region no matter what.

Looking at the above figure, it becomes evident that the manufacturing industry in the Rust Belt slowly stabilized after 1980. This is because the Sun Belt, a region that consists of southern states, began to attract manufacturing jobs. The region implemented right-to-work laws, which encouraged corporations to move down south from the labor union intensive Rust Belt. In a Forbes article written by himself, Adam Millsap states, “two of the largest and most powerful unions in the country were based in the Rust Belt: the United Steelworkers (USW) and the United Auto Workers (UAW). These two unions were able to use the threat of widespread strikes to obtain higher wages, which increased production costs for Rust-Belt firms.”

Ohanian believes that the Rust Belt can bounce back, “but if the Rust Belt is to thrive again, it must be able to compete and succeed in an exceptionally competitive national and world economy, something that the industries fought against for many years.”

So, how does this relate to President Donald J. Trump?

On the campaign trail, President Trump spoke of his campaign promise to return jobs to the Rust Belt and attempt to fight unemployment in the region. To achieve that goal, President Trump enacted a counterproductive policy, levying tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and Japan. The only nation that didn’t respond to American protectionism with tariffs was Japan. The remaining four nations levied tariffs against the United States, adding up to a total of $165 billion in tariffs levied by and against the United States.

According to Citigroup, “80 percent of ‘red’ states produce goods subject to retaliatory tariffs totaling 10 percent or more of GDP, compared to 10 percent of ‘blue’ states.” The Rust Belt is one of the most affected areas, with 48% of our exports to Canada originating from the Rust Belt.

Bernard Baumohl, chief economist at the Economic Outlook Group, stated, “More workers in the U.S. make products that are made from steel, than make steel itself.” Imports are necessary to the growth of these industries, and if protectionism gets in the way, President Trump may face a hard time getting re-elected in the areas that he is hurting.

The history of the Rust Belt shows that the decline of an industry is not because of unfair competition, but rather the lack of competition altogether. Perhaps our President can recognize that before skyrocketing prices of the intermediate goods essential to the manufacturing industries of the Rust Belt hurt the region and his chances of reelection.

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It’s Time To Reform How We Impeach A President

By Nick Hamilton | United States

Under the Nixon Administration, the 25th Amendment was crafted and ratified to the United States Constitution. It outlined the impeachment procedures for the President of the United States. However, due to changing times, it’s time to reform how the government impeaches.

Representative Maxine Waters, perhaps one of the most prolific Democrats in Congress, has called many times to impeach President Trump, due to his alleged collusion with the Russian Government. Representative Al Sharpton, who represents Houston, has motioned for Trump’s impeachment.  Both of their attempts, clearly, have failed. However, if Democrats were to win back Congress, President Trump could be impeached without committing a crime.

As of now, the Russian collusion investigation has yielded no direct evidence against Trump. That isn’t an opinion, that is a fact. During this investigation, we’ve seen numerous memos get released about intelligence agencies abusing their power with the FISA Courts. (Although, it’s not really unheard of for intelligence agencies to do unconstitutional things nowadays.) We’ve seen some Democrats basically ignore this memo, and continue to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump, even though, I say this again, there is no evidence of him colluding with Russia. The fact that they are jumping to conclusions this quickly has prompted me to write this article, which is calling for a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

First off, this amendment will not stop any President who has legitimately committed crimes from getting impeached. However, we’ve seen that members of Congress cannot be trusted to be fair to the other side, no matter what. As of now, Congress can impeach the President for any reason they want, as long as the Vice President is onboard. This should not be the case. First off, the Vice President shouldn’t need to be onboard with impeachment. What if they’re part of the corruption? If the Trump campaign seriously colluded with Russia, hypothetically, Vice President Pence would strike that motion for impeachment down.

Secondly, we’ve made it clear that the President is just as much a human as any one of us. Therefore, why doesn’t he have the right to a fair trial? What I’m saying is, the 28th Amendment should insist that all Congress can do is vote to send the impeachment case to the Supreme Court, by a 2/3 vote from both houses of Congress. It is then that the Supreme Court should run a trial, where an accuser should have to prove to independent justices that the President of the United States is unfit to serve. Congress shouldn’t be able to kick someone out of office due to their dislike of the President. That’s the voters’ job. The Supreme Court must come to a 2/3 majority ruling among the Justices. It is then that the Vice President takes office.

This would eliminate a lot of corruption within the impeachment process. It’s not American for our Congress to be this corrupt, and implementing this amendment would help limit this corruption.

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