The libertarian case for Trump (doesn’t exist)

The Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin is no fan of Hillary, but argues that she’s by far the lesser of two evils:

Unlike Trump, Hillary Clinton probably will not try to deport millions of immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of children who have never known any other home. Immigrants will not be the only victims of such draconian policies. The liberties of native-born Americans will be undermined as well. Unlike Trump, she will not build a wall on the Mexican border that threatens the freedom of migrants and the property rights of large numbers of Americans.

Unlike Trump, she will not engage in massive discrimination on the basis of religion. Unlike Trump, she does not plan to order US troops to massacre innocent civilians, an proposal that is not only evil in itself, but could cause a dangerous crisis in civil-military relations. Unlike Trump, she is unlikely to adopt a foreign policy that will earn praise from the regime of Ex-KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin.

Free trade is another relative strength for Hillary. Her record here is admittedly inconsistent. On the campaign trail, she has tilted toward protectionism. But, when in power as First Lady and Secretary of State, she has generally supported free trade. The latter is probably a better guide to her intentions than the former, as was also true of Barack Obama, who advocated protectionism during the 2008 campaign but then generally supported free trade while in office.


Over and above specific issues, Trump is a greater menace to freedom than Hillary Clinton because his ascendancy threatens to Europeanize American politics by transforming the GOP into a a US version of neo-Fascist European parties, such as France’s National Front, whose policies are very similar to Trumpism. Like Trump’s agenda, they combine big government welfare statism with protectionism and xenophobia. If Trump is elected president on such a platform, that ideological transformation is likely to proceed apace. Parties tend to rally around the policies of their president. That means the GOP is unlikely to ever be a force for limited government for a long time to come. We might then be faced with a political system where the only major-party options are left-liberal statism and the neo-fascist kind.

Imagine being a supporter of limited government in 1994, or 2004, or 2014, being told that someday Hillary Clinton would be the “libertarian” candidate compared to the Republican.  But here we are.

Update: This year, man…


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