Another important difference between libertarians and conservatives is that the word conservative functions widely as code for Republican. Conservatives feel more involved in the contest for power. Libertarians sometimes come across as theoreticians who don’t concern themselves with the struggle for power and the process of actually making reforms. They are accused of being content to espouse liberalization yet failing to help bring them about. Libertarians respond by saying that insight and understanding are preconditions to reform, and that careful research and learning are crucial to wise leadership.
What is most alarming (and mortifying to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated) is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary knowledge about the nation’s history. As this column has said before, the problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.
Randy Holcombe is correct: “The best thing that government can do to promote economic growth is to protect people’s rights, and then step out of the way to allow individuals to engage in economic activity without government interference.”