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David Boaz on Trump vs. Clinton

The hot-off-the-press issue of Reason (August/September 2016) has in it a few reflections of well-known libertarians on the relative demerits of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as prospective holders of more power than even the most saintly and most wise of human beings should be trusted to hold.  It’s not yet on-line, but I quote here most of what is offered by the Cato Institute’s David Boaz, whose observations are, in my opinion, spot-on:

I’ve heard libertarians say, “We know how bad Hillary is, so the mysterious Trump is a better bet.”  But we do know much about Trump.  He’s been clear and consistent on a few issues: banning and deporting Mexicans, building a wall around America, banning Muslims, and taking a sledgehammer to the world’s most important trading relationship (between the United States and China).  He’s indifferent to federal spending and against entitlement reform.  He thinks he doesn’t need advisers or policies or principles.  He has no earthly idea what he thinks about taxes, abortion, minimum wages, debt, health care, or most other issues.  Most disturbingly, he shows disdain for Congress and the Constitution.

A few libertarians have said that war is the greatest threat to life and liberty, and Trump is less hawkish than Clinton and most of the other Republican candidates.  True, he has criticized the Iraq war and nation building and even read a speech proclaiming that “unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct.”  But he has also promised to “bomb the s– out of” ISIS and “take out their families.”  And his ignorance, anger, and impulsiveness about trade and immigration would would surely make for rocky international relations.

(I add that I agree also with most of what the other libertarians in this forum say.)

Although I didn’t start off that way, I have become a committed member of the “Anybody-but-Trump” camp.  As much as I despise Hillary Clinton – and, omigosh, I do so thoroughly and without qualification deeply despise, loathe, and distrust that single-minded luster-for-power – and although I emphatically do not endorse her, were I a voter I would, with only the faintest hesitation, cast my ballot for her if the only other candidate on the ticket were Trump.  (Fortunately for me, I proudly do not vote, so I confront no such hideous choice.)

Wake me up at 12:01pm on January 20, 2021 – but be prepared with some powerful narcotic to return me immediately into a four-year-long coma!


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