Sunday, July 31, 2016

Supporting Donald Trump is incompatible with being libertarian

I have an acquaintance who calls himself a libertarian, and yet enthusiastically supports Donald Trump.  I like to call him out on how contradictory those two things are, so I recently posted this list of reasons Trump is unfit to be president to his Facebook wall.  Below is the conversation which followed.

Trump fan: Did you even read this or just assume that I wouldn't? FFS these are the stupidest and most misleading claims ever.


1. Political move, every politician does this
2. He said that NATO needs to be renegotiated. Currently the US defends basically all of Europe and picks up the tab too. This gives Europeans plenty of money to spend on socialist policies. This is only a good thing.
3. I dont know anything about the sexual harassment allegations except that they are being made like 10 years after the fact.
4. Good. Obama is corrupt and putting terrible people like Loretta Lynch in charge.
5. Quoted? Really? You believe this crap? That's why he hires black people all the time he thinks they're just lazy. Jesus.
6. Yeah? When Kasich is trying to take votes away from Trump he comes out saying something bad about Trump? Can you imagine my surprise?
7. False. Even if true, so what?
8. This makes him unfit to be president?
9. And?
11. Yeah? She deserves to be imprisoned. So?
12. Any entrepreneur of high up businessman will tell you the same thing, or at least "very little time". That shit take a long time and these people are very busy.


2. DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE? "His contempt for beautiful women who like to be abused is boundless..." He is literally talking about women who like to be abused ffs.
3. Trump likes spying. Sure, I don't like that about him. Congrats, 1 out of 15 when almost every other candidate would be just as bad.
4. He was correct. The judge is a member of La Raza. Go look it up.
5. He said the families usually know about the things they're doing. Go after their family for information since they won't give it and are allowing attacks. This is totally misleading.
6. Okay. This makes him unfit to be president? Really?
7. THAT'S WHAT A LAW IS. If you believe in speed limits you believe that people should be punished for going over the speed limit. If you believe abortion should be illegal you believe women should be punished for doing it. Are you serious?

No. I can't keep doing this crap. You clearly didn't even read this or research ANY of the claims made. It's amazing how these SJW sources work on conservatives too now days. Stop drinking the leftist kool aid

Trump fan (the next day): *crickets*

Me (the day after that): I work from 0600-1900, and we have a 13 hour time difference to navigate, so my apologies if my response wasn’t fast enough for your standards.

The beauty of a list of over 100 reasons why someone is unfit to be president is that even if it’s 99% bullshit, that person is still unfit to be president. Keep that in mind as we go here – if you lose even one of these, you concede the premise.

I’m relatively uninterested in the 12 “new” ones and don’t know why Slate chose to highlight them at the top of the article (maybe just to even out the vote exposure time disparity?). Your rebuttals are still mostly unconvincing. The plagiarism was far and above what most politicians commonly do and telling the world she came up with the same two paragraphs of text in isolation is a laughable lie; the comments about the system being rigged against him (when he inherited a real-estate empire worth hundreds of millions and got sent to an Ivy League school as a legacy applicant) are so preposterously out of touch that they indicate near total ignorance of the systemic problems a president will have to deal with; Erdogan is turning into a totalitarian tyrant, which probably shouldn’t be praised. But I do admit 10-12 are bullshit (which is probably why they’re down-voted and ranked last), and most of these do not make him unfit on their own. So for the sake of brevity, I plead no-contest on all 12 – we’re down to 141.

I will now start at #1 on the big list. Buckle up.


I did watch the video, and in that video he plainly defends and reiterates a desire to do two things: 1) torture enemy POW’s with waterboarding or worse, and 2) kill the unarmed families of terrorist suspects.

Both of these things are war crimes under the Geneva Convention and Uniform Code of Military Justice.  As soldiers, we are trained to never do these things, to disregard any order to do so, and to report anyone making such an order to the Legal Office for a criminal investigation.  Trump doesn’t need to explicitly say the term “war crimes” himself for his proposals to be no shit, full out WAR. CRIMES.

This makes him unfit to be the Commander and Chief of our Armed Forces on face.  Torture is not only horridly immoral and completely ineffective, but also strategically unwise.  It aids enemy recruitment far more than it helps us eliminate the threat, damages our national security and devastates our influence and moral high-ground abroad.  I made a brief moral and practical case against it here.  Opposing it strongly is a NO-BRAINER political position for anyone who fancies themselves libertarian.

Intentionally killing the unarmed, captive family members of terror suspects is even worse than that, from both a moral and strategic perspective.  That he has occasionally backtracked from this in the face of massive public backlash does not console me, nor fool me into thinking he wouldn’t still secretly do it.  The comments alone have already done irreparable damage to our image abroad, and as someone who serves abroad, that makes my job harder.  I am embarrassed by the thought of what he might say – and even more horrified of what he might do – should he actually win.

Trump fan: Preamble: No, if one of these things is true about him that is not conceding the point. If one of these things are true about him that does not mean he is unfit to be president. Moreover, even if he is, then it's all relative. Nobody is fit to be president because there should be no president. So to say that in strict terms is useless. Really this is a question of strategy, who will be most useful to the cause of Liberty? Undoubtedly Trump.

1. "Said he would force the military to commit war crimes"
Wrong. He never said that. He said they would not refuse him.

You've made a lot of -opinions- about torture clear and so did that article. Sorry, statistics please. How you or others -feel- about torture is irrelevant when discussing whether it works. And an opinion about whether it is necessary (ie philosophically moral) is not relevant to whether he is unfit to be president.

Watch the video. Go after =/= kill. Watching that makes it clear that his intention is to not treat the family as though they are entirely innocent and ignorant of the terrorist plots.

5. He said the families usually know about the things they're doing. Go after their family for information since they won't give it and are allowing attacks. This is totally misleading.

No, that’s not what he said!  His original remarks were in December: the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.”

If you sit there and try to bullshit an explanation for how “take out” could be anything other than a euphemism for kill, in that context, you are transparently lying to yourself and the world.  And if you admit that Donald Trump proposed the killing of terror suspects’ families as a means of deterring terrorism, you admit that he proposed killing unarmed civilians (which is a war crime under the Hague and Geneva Conventions), and then defended that proposal for three months, only to reluctantly and temporarily retract it when it proved politically dangerous to him.

That is literally evil.  I joined the military on the supposition that should we ever go to war, we would be the good guys – not the ones killing unarmed women and children to send a message.  And he wonders how ISIS gets more recruits?

The most generous interpretation of this behavior is that he didn’t really mean it, but just has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about during interviews, so he rambles on spouting ideas to test the waters until he sees which poll well and which do not.  Even this, most generous characterization of such remarks renders him unfit to be president.

6. Okay. This makes him unfit to be president? Really?

YES. It really, really does. See point #1.


Me again: 3. “Trump likes spying. Sure, I don't like that about him. Congrats, 1 out of 15 when almost every other candidate would be just as bad.”

You cannot be fucking serious dude…This isn’t about spying.  The NSA is spying.  Obama and Hillary “like spying” too, maybe they are “just as bad” on surveillance issues.  That’s not what Donald Trump proposed.  Donald Trump proposed creating a database OF ALL MUSLIMS in the country, with legal requirements for them to check in with the government solely on account of their religion.


This violates so many constitutional provisions I don’t even know where to being.  Multiple clauses in the 1st amendment…probably 4th amendment unreasonable searches/probable cause, definitely 5th amendment due process rights, even 10th amendment reserving powers to states (it sure as hell isn’t an enumerated power)……Rounding up everyone of a certain religion, marking them as a potential threat that needs supervision, and burdening them with special legal requirements people of other faiths/races don’t have is like textbook Nazism in it’s infancy.

Whatever it is, it sure as fuck isn’t libertarianism.  It’s regressive, it’s authoritarian, it’s unconstitutional and it undercuts all our human rights advocacy aboard.  It’s a discriminatory, plainly bigoted disaster for race relations that stirs up statistically unfounded suspicions and racial division/hatred, at a time when more of that is the last thing we need.  It also plays off these baseless fears to justify new and ever-growing government agencies, and if you were a sincere advocate of liberty and small government all of this would make you sick to your stomach.  How can you support this guy so enthusiastically in one breath, and then call yourself a libertarian in the next, while keeping a straight face?

I reject the whole dichotomy of the two-party system and I don’t think “well at least he isn’t Hillary” is a good answer on any of these points.  You’re not holding your nose and complaining about this awful choice we have but reluctantly voting Trump, anyway – you’re all aboard this MAGA train and cheering him on.  But to the extent the comparison is relevant, it’s worth mentioning that no Democrat would dream of doing this.  Libertarianism is socially liberal, or at least socially tolerant, and this is about as intolerant as it gets.

Trump fan: Yes it violates the constitution, most things he says do. Same with every other president. Like every single one. Including George Washington. Trump wants to target an ideology (a religion is an ideology). Fine. Obama and Clinton label people who support the Constitution as potential terrorists as well.

But this is the bigger point, which would save us from having to go into all of this:

"I reject the whole dichotomy of the two-party system and I don’t think “well at least he isn’t Hillary” is a good answer on any of these points."

I am an anarchist. I don't believe in any government. Anybody I support I do so out of practicality. The Constitution means nothing, it is just a piece of paper that happens to be very old. I want to further the cause of liberty, and am looking for the most practical means of doing so. I don't like the dichotomy either, in fact I wouldn't like it if there were 100 different choices. It makes no difference. Gary Johnson is not practical, he will not win and if he does he will not further the cause of liberty. PRACTICALLY, having more socialist hispanics and islamists is going to result in a future where all of our rights are voted away and we are oppressed further. That is the future of an open borders policy. The best way to spread Libertarian ideals is to close the borders so that there is a fair playing ground, and try to convince people in America, who generally have a respect for the ideals of equality under the law, liberty, innocence until proof of guilt etc. Importing more people who will vote for cultural marxist ideologues will only serve to destroy Liberty. I never said Trump is a Libertarian and I never will, he is not, he is a useful means of securing Libertarian ideals for the future. That is all.

Me: "The best way to spread Libertarian ideals is to close the borders" may be the most ironic political statement I've ever read.

 “4. He was correct. The judge is a member of La Raza. Go look it up.”

First, no, he isn’t - you look it up.  The judge is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, which is non-partisan and completely distinct from the National Council of La Raza.

Secondly, Trump originally made no reference to the La Raza thing, he just said he was unqualified solely on account of his “Mexican heritage.”  That’s an interesting thing to say for someone who bloviates about how beloved he is by Latinos and insists his policies would be good for them.  It’s also completely preposterous, and literal de jure racism, to suggest that Mexican heritage should disqualify someone from serving as a judge in any case, but especially a case about Trump University that has nothing to do with immigration at all!  Even Newt Gingrich admitted Trump was totally out of line here.

Finally, even if he were a member of the real La Raza, and even if that were what Trump originally objected to, so what?  La Raza is not like some terrorist organization, it’s just a political advocacy group.  Judges are allowed to hold political opinions!  It’s ordinarily understood that they will be able to keep their opinions on political matters separate from the facts of a case, especially on unrelated matters.  Had a white judge presiding over an NSA spying case been discovered to be a member of the NRA, nobody on the Obama administration’s legal team would have dared suggest a conflict of interest; the NSA has nothing to do with guns, and judges are professionals, trained not to let personal vendettas against a defendant color their judgment.  For Trump to do otherwise when the issue is racial is to hold white and minority judges to a double-standard regarding how much their impartiality can be trusted, which adds to the enormous mountain of evidence that Donald Trump both bigoted and deliberately stoking racial tensions for political gain.  That is extremely unpresidential.

Trump fan: Typical unnecessary and unusually strict and narrow interpretation of what he says. He is a normal human being who talks like a normal human being. Yes he said Mexican. Any rational human being without an ideological brainwashing lens can look at what he said and understand what he meant.

Mexican heritage is not what disqualifies him, it's the political opinions that may cloud his judgment. But nitpicking his exact words is the only way to make a case against him so that is what you'll do.

“7. THAT'S WHAT A LAW IS. If you believe in speed limits you believe that people should be punished for going over the speed limit. If you believe abortion should be illegal you believe women should be punished for doing it. Are you serious?”

When abortion was illegal, that prohibition was enforced at the point of sale – doctors were prohibited from providing them, and punished if they were found to be doing so.  But even then, decent people recognized that those desperate women who sought dangerous, back-alley, coat-hanger abortions needed HELP much more than they needed jail time, fines and moral scolding.

I won’t get into the abortion debate here, but by analogy, another part of being libertarian is supporting bodily autonomy on drug use.  Ideally, this means legalizing all drugs, or at least marijuana for starters.  But as an interim policy, many states and countries are moving to “decriminalization,” wherein it’s still illegal to use and can’t be sold in stores, but those found to be using it are merely given treatment, or sent to drug courts with non-punitive aims.  This isn’t nearly as good as legalization, but it’s still preferable to War on Drugs style criminalization.

In the same way, supporting punitive measures for women who seek abortions amounts to CRIMINALIZING abortion, which is a much more severe position than merely prohibiting its legal sale.

To be fair, if you watch the interview in which Trump made those remarks, he seemed to not really know the difference.  This should not reassure you that he is qualified to be president.

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