David Burns wrote an e-mail to both Walter Block, who justified “Libertarians for Trump” and Robert Wenzel, who rejected this notion.
It would be wise to read Mr. Block’s “logic” first. But Mr. Burns responds like this:
As voting “slaves”, what guarantee do I have the Goodie would follow up with his promise to whip us only once per month? What if our previous experience has been that all slave masters previous had whipped us much more often than promised? What if we had no evidence that either Baddie or Goodie could be trusted to only whip us, and that all experience shows us both will whip, beat, slap, rob, kidnap, cut, and maybe even shoot us?
This counter-argument is not only logical, but entirely empirical. It is the same argument that i applied to all those who were ready to vote for Rand Paul, showing their wishful thinking that he was merely “playing the game” and would turn out to be libertarian once elected.
I continue to find it extremely baffling that libertarians in general, but weathered libertarians in particular (such as Walter Block and Justin Raimondo) keep seeming to put trust in politicians doing what they claim they will do once elected. Have these liberty-minded people not been paying attention to politicians, elections, and presidential administrations during the course of their lives? One only needs to consider the very current example of Barack Obama campaigning as the “peace” candidate and the “transparancy” candidate. And what about the guy before him, George W. Bush, campaigning as the “non-interventionist” candidate?
How many more times do certain libertarians need to be reminded of the complete and total unreliability and untrustworthiness of politicians, especially those of the statist variety? Does the fact that the U.S. effectively has a duopoly – a bird of prey with a left and a right wing – not tell you something about the reliability of their campaign promises? What is it with this terminal naivety of people whom, as libertarians, ought to know better?
If politicians could be trusted, libertarians should always and forever vote Republican, because of their unending rhetoric in favor of small governments and free markets.
But don’t we know from experience just how vapid and mendacious that rhetoric always is? And yet, here are Raimondo and Block yet again, pretending that whatever a Rand or a Trump says, must be what he will want to implement, and that us libertarians should make decisions based on meaningless campaign rhetoric.
I would go so far as to say that the only reason i had to trust Ron Paul, was the fact that we could clearly see his moral and logical consistensy from his past behavior and record as a Congressman. Without such an empirical way to gauge his trustworthiness i would have had no more reason to trust him than any other politician. And bear in mind, Ron Paul’s rhetoric was actually libertarian, unlike Rand Paul’s and unlike Donald Trump’s.
To agree with Walter Block, is to agree with his terminal naivety that the “least of all evil” as judged by campaign rhetoric, would also be “least of all evil” as judged by reality, and ignoring the historical facts that politicians can never be trusted to mean what they say.
To sympathize with Trump’s campaign as libertarians is entirely understandable for various good reasons.
To endorse him and vote for him, as libertarians, is to deny reality.