Whether you like it or you love it, the Trump era is upon us. There is no escaping now, and it’s going to be a wild ride. Many libertarians are finding it difficult to find where they fit within this new paradigm of excitement and insanity that the Donald has thrust upon us. There is no need to fret, though. Libertarians can easily find a juicy new angle that will allow them to promote their beliefs and keep them fresh as they wade into Trump’s unchartered waters.
Thus far, Trump has been a mixed bag from a libertarian perspective when it comes to his policies. He has signed an executive order ending the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), given repeated reassurances that taxes and regulations are going to be axed, and has a surprisingly qualified Supreme Court appointee under his belt. That is impressive, but not the entire story by any means. Trump has also indicated his strong support for civil asset forfeiture, furthered Saudi weapons deals, put Goldman Sachs goons in his cabinet, and continued interventionist drone strikes. If we are expecting him to be even half-way libertarian, we are fooling ourselves, and we are going to be very disappointed. Instead, we should find creative ways to tap into the populist fervor of the Trump phenomenon.
Some libertarians have struggled to find common ground between Trump and his supporters. They just aren’t thinking outside of the box. They have been watching too much mainstream media, and they have been manipulated by that drivel. In actuality, the Trump phenomenon is ripe for opportunity. Trump’s circus has bludgeoned many enemies of libertarians and opened up many opportunities. Whether you want to remain pure and principled, take the smart ‘America First’ route, or become a full-blown Alt-Right scumbag, Trump’s America is a land of milk and honey for the forward-thinking libertarian.
EMBRACING THE DARKNESS
The most enjoyable side-effect of Trump’s dominance is its effect on the moden left. Right now, the Left is in free-fall collapse mode. I have referred to leftists as being in a cult over the years mostly to mock them, but I never realized how correct I was in my judgment until recently. These freak shows with their safe spaces, gender fluidity, microaggressions, sex positivism, rape culture, patriarchy, and so on are clearly the most hostile forces to liberty in the world right now. They are devising schemes that are practically out of Orwell’s worst nightmares. This is the libertarian’s most imminent threat, and they are now vulnerable. Trump’s victory may have been a death blow to leftist supremacy, and the getting is now very good. Vicious, edgy, ruthless hyenas of the Alt-Right Twittersphere are setting up jagged rocks to brace the landing of the liberal free-fall currently in progress.
Any libertarian now has the opportunity to join up with Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInness, Paul Joseph Watson, etc. and become a prominent shitlord. Anarcho-capitalist youtube philosopher Stefan Molyneux has done this very effectively, transitioning to a more Alt-Right audience during the Trump era. This may not be the most principled route for a libertarian to take, but it is certainly the most deliciously audacious route. Besides, there is no reason to feel guilty or wrong. Liberals are reaping what they have sown right now. There is no need to build these cretins up. They wouldn’t return the favor. Libertarians should be reveling in their contemptible hypocrisy right now. Why not kick them while they are down? It’s very fun. Trump did it, and is a beloved national hero for what he has accomplished. Libertarians can become beloved by crushing leftists as well, and it’s easy pickens because these bums are finished.
THE EASY, SMART POLITICAL ROUTE
The easiest and smartest route for a libertarian to take in the Trump era is to tap into his mandate against globalism. “America First” is a very libertarian message that has obvious isolationist connotations. Libertarians could start a Pro-America Republican club and tinge it with a populist, non-interventionist message rather easily. Trump supporters desperately want to drain the swamp, but they need assistance getting there. Libertarians can educate Trump supporters about the nature of the swamp. Trump supporters are natural allies in libertarian battles against the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Federal Reserve. Fill the gaping leadership void, and become the leader that the Trump brigades desperately need. If you don’t guide them, statist political operatives of the power elite will be sure to do so. Strike while the iron is hot.
Libertarians need to understand nationalism as the means to an end. If power is centralized in the hands of international bureaucrats, that is as un-libertarian of a system that can possibly be imagined. Any fantasies of a world government imposing libertarianism upon society through force is laughable. If power can be nationalized and taken away from rapacious international interests, that is a form of decentralization that libertarians should champion. While Trump himself may not understand these issues personally, his chief advisor Steve Bannon is an expert. Bannon is close with UKIP (United Kingdom’s Independent Party)’s Nigel Farage and other figures around the world who have led on these issues for decades. These populist leaders will be working closely with Trump to ensure that the international order is rebuked. This should be cause for celebration for libertarians worldwide.
American nationalism also encompasses the Constitution, an incredible teaching tool for libertarians. It’s easy to inform people who have been sold on making America great again why the Constitution is integral toward making that happen. Trump’s populist themes are very libertarian as well. His final appeal to the voters before the election sounded like it was written by Ron Paul himself, for crying out loud. Instead of throwing tantrums, libertarians should take it as a feather in their respective caps that this sentiment is here to stay. Far from a fluke, the Ron Paul revolution and subsequent tea party movement were the dawn of a new era of politics that showed it could rock the world off its axis with Trump’s victory.
PURE AND PRINCIPLED LIBERTARIANS TO CLEAN UP THE MESS
Pure libertarians have a great opportunity as well. We all saw what happened when libertarians tried to “move on” from the Ron Paul revolution last year. First, Ron Paul was marginalized by his own son because it was believed that it would help Rand’s presidential chances. That disastrous mistake was compounded by the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld campaign that sent most of libertarian credibility that Ron Paul singlehandedly built straight down the toilet. These moves have damaged the libertarian movement a great deal, but it gives principled libertarians an opportunity to rebuild the wayward movement under their own terms.
Trump’s dominance has made the faux-libertarian sellouts look very weak and pathetic. Koch Brothers’ money doesn’t seem to buy as much influence as it used to. Those astroturfed conferences aren’t looking so impressive anymore. Corporate-friendly Washington D.C. libertarianism looks as old and moss-covered as the boring, stodgy conservative movement. It’s become little more than an artificial party scene for goof balls, weirdos, and creeps with very few tangible accomplishments to name. Now is the time for the pure libertarians to take the reigns from these frauds. Trump has done a great favor by weakening your enemies, now it’s time for blood.
In the Trump era, it is time for libertarians to find their killer instinct and pounce on their true enemies. The Ron Paul revolution may be over, and the Tea Party may have waned, but there are plenty of opportunities that still remain. There is no reason why libertarians should be sitting on the sidelines right now. Dive right in, and make the Trump revolution your oyster. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. The time for excuses has come to a close. There is no excuse for a libertarian not to be effective, and have a damn good time while doing so, in the midst of this tumultuous political climate.