Tag: trump. potus

Bill Weld Announces 2020 Exploratory Committee

Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Friday morning, Bill Weld officially announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee. The former governor of Massachusetts is looking to challenge President Trump in the primary. In late January, he declared that he would be considering a run. Not long before, he switched his party affiliation from Libertarian to Republican.

Continue reading “Bill Weld Announces 2020 Exploratory Committee”

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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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Is a “Libertarian for Trump” Really a Libertarian?

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

When looking at libertarians, it is first important to distinguish between the two key types. As a point of clarification, there is a difference between ‘libertarian’ and ‘Libertarian’. Much like ‘catholic’ and ‘Catholic,’ the two have some philosophical differences. ‘Libertarian’ with a capital ‘L’ is of the philosophy of Liberty and the official Libertarian party; ‘libertarian’ with a lowercase ‘l’ is a malleable philosophical adherence to Liberty.

Many of the organizations such as Cato, FEE, Mises Institute, Independent Institute, Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Liberty, etc. put ‘libertarian’ with a lowercase ‘l’ on their paperwork due to government restrictions for 401c3 nonprofit organization holders to not be affiliated with a political party, even though they are each advocating Liberty and mostly adhere to Libertarian ideology.

Libertarians (capital L) DO NOT SUPPORT TRUMP.

Any that claim the name ‘Libertarian’ and do support Trump, are completely LINOs (Libertarian In Name Only). Sure, there are things he has done that Libertarians will be happy about. But, that also goes for Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. The fact is, he is not consistently a friend of liberty at all. As the old saying goes, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

When I met Ron Paul almost a few years ago (2016), one of the questions a few of us asked was, “If Libertarians want to vote for one of the main 2 candidates, Clinton or Trump, which is better?” His response, that applause nearly drowned out, was this: “If they vote for Clinton or Trump, you know they are not actually Libertarian!” I couldn’t agree more.

Joshua D Glawson with Ron Paul
February 6th, 2016. Irvine, CA. Pictured: Joshua D. Glawson (left), Dr. Ron Paul (right).

On the other hand, ‘libertarians’ with a lowercase ‘l’ may be in the Liberty Caucus of the GOP. Or, they may be a part of the new growth called ‘libertarian socialists’. This, though is such a contradiction of everything each stands for and is philosophically at complete odds with liberty. So, ‘libertarians’ may support Trump, Clinton, Bush, Sanders, etc. but they have no philosophical consistency.


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Months After Damage Began, Trump Reverses Course on Tariffs

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

For months now, it seems that everyone but the president himself has been shouting about the harms of protectionist trade policies. Despite all the outrage, though, the President has stuck to his plan, slapping China and the EU with high tariffs.

The Harms of Trump’s Tariffs

Tariffs are harmful because they raise the price of inputs to production, such as steel and aluminum. This in turn raises the final price of goods and services. In order to keep up with increased production costs, companies often must lay off workers or cut hours. Additionally, some products may become too expensive for many, due to the increased cost.

These tariffs have done great damage to the auto manufacturing industry and hurt many farms. In fact, even President Trump himself recognizes such damage. But rather than scaling back tariffs, he is giving emergency aid to affected farms. Ironically, the places most hurt, South Carolina and the Midwest, voted heavily for Trump in 2016. Both regions went red, and played a great part in propelling him to a Presidential win.

However, rather than rewarding his supporters, the president has taxed them and other Americans twice. Tariffs are a tax on imports that consumers and businesses must pay. They impose no direct financial damage on countries that they target. In fact, the tariffs only harm the consumers, while the governments get to fill their coffers. In a world where countries have many different trading partners, one country placing tariffs against them will do no significant harm. Tariffs only harm the citizens of the country levying them.

Americans will also be forced to pay for the emergency aid for farms that have been hurt by the escalating trade war. The Trump Administration Department of Agriculture proposed a $13 billion package to bail out farmers, and with the government already so far in debt, Americans will eventually have to foot the bill somehow.

A Sudden Reversal?

After several months of executing this terrible trade policy, though, President Trump is starting to realize how harmful it is. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the EU and the US would try to work together and eliminate all barriers to trade.

This is a complete turn around from a tweet the president posted just 12 hours before, in which he praised tariffs and their outcomes.

This incredible flip in trade policy is exactly what America needs to fix the damage caused by the current protectionist policies. Free trade allows businesses to import inputs in production with lower costs, thereby decreasing the final price of the good or service. Free trade also involves no government intervention, helping to limit the size and scope of government in a time when government just seems to be growing by the minute.

Protecting an industry from competition makes it so that the industry does not need to improve and innovate. Competition is the number one driving force behind innovation. Companies invent new, better products because they want to attract customers. They are in a constant struggle with each other to gain the edge, and innovation helps this occur.

Trump’s flip to a free trade position is a much welcomed development. Unrestricted free trade will improve the quality of living for millions of people.


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