Walter Block, the imperturbable advocate of libertarianism, victim of New York Times misquoting, has thrown his support to Rand Paul.
One part of his article I found to be most effective and persuasive for why a libertarian should vote for Rand in spite of his recent wanderings in the wilderness (emphasis added).
If the master allows his slaves to vote between Overseer Goodie (who beats them once per week) and Overseer Baddie (who does so hourly), and they choose the former, they are making a reasonable choice. Goodie is not great but Baddie is horrid. Rand Paul is no Murray Rothbard, he is no Ron Paul. But the other Republicans, from a libertarian point of view are vile, disgusting, despicable. There is simply no comparison, even fully acknowledging all of Rand’s flaws from a libertarian point of view.
Yet, some libertarians are so disappointed in Rand that they have publicly stated they would vote for Hillary rather than him. This, surely, is pique, not rationality. This is the case for preferring Baddie to Goodie. This is psychological perturbation, not sensible libertarian strategy. This is barking madness.
….If Rand does nothing more than focus attention on his dad, his candidacy must be counted as a net benefit to our movement.
Of course, Block makes one big assumption about his audience: That they intend to vote.
I don’t intend to, though I might be inspired to fill out a ballot if the race were close enough in my state – highly unlikely – and there was a significant enough discrepancy between the candidates’ stances; also highly unlikely.
Block’s observation about libertarians supporting Clinton left me dumbfounded. Who are these clowns? Why any libertarian would vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? It is even more preposterous than if they were to vote for Trump (yet I can’t help but notice a lot of libertarians screeching about Trump yet quiet about Sanders).
It also demonstrates one’s inability to take libertarian principles and make it into an applicable philosophy in the real world.
I suppose if one were to vote, then Rand is probably the best candidate out there, despite my amusement at Trump’s antics. But it would be like discussing who would be better to use the One Ring of Power, Sauron or Boromir. The matter is entirely moot to me.
I wish I could be as optimistic as Block, but I’m not. Americans do not want the kind of message Rand is trying to deliver; they don’t care about civil liberties as much as they want to hear someone say they will solve all their problems. And remember, it is merely talk at this point. How well do the messages candidates spout during the election match their actual record once they enter into office?
If they actually wanted freedom and liberty, they would elect candidates who sell it.
People can talk about wanting something all day long but at the end of the day the market offers what people are willing to pay for. Politics are no different.
I obviously do not know what lurks in the heart of The Donald or what truly motivated him to run. But the fact that he is a successful business cannot be overlooked. He knows how to pitch. He understands the concept of supply and demand. One wonders if his campaign is purely opportunistic, focused on taking advantage of an untapped market.
In other words, what he says is a reflection of what many Americans demand. Adhering to the Constitution, as grotesque as that may sound to a lot of libertarians, would be a highly radical step toward freedom. Yet it is not even on the radar for Trump.
What does that say about Americans? Or our political system?
If people truly wanted to reduce government and return to the Constitutional rule of law, they would have supported Ron Paul’s campaigns in 2007 and 2011.
If nothing else, those campaigns will act as incontrovertible historical evidence that Americans had one final opportunity to make a slow, gradual turn away from totalitarianism, but instead they chose to keep going down the Road to Serfdom. His presidency would not have solved all the country’s problems, or many of them, but it might have laid the groundwork for actual reductions in government; it might have delayed the Day of Judgment. We can only speculate at this point, but it is evident we are on an unstoppable path irrespective of who gets elected.
The problems in this country are not going to be solved by “electing the right man.” It has to start from the bottom, the people, and work its way up. Unfortunately, I don’t see this occurring without some sort of collapse.