Bob Roddis, one of the best commenters here at Target Liberty writes:
I’m not sure anyone knows or cares what libertarians say or do about Trump or anything else. I’ve been saying for a decade that absolutely no one but us understands or processes anything we are saying even in long drawn-out internet debates. No one has tried to refute me on that one. It’s been time to have a panic attack about that problem for a long time now. The left controls the schools, the courts, the churches and the media. Further, which libertarian still supports Trump in the slightest after his demonstrated incompetence in foreign policy which was the sole basis of half-hearted support? The alt-right mocks us as “cucks” on immigration and the cultural and political problems of minorities such as the oncoming demographic minority majority. That does not seem to gain us any street cred with the Antifa gang. The left will hate and defame us no matter what we say or do to the slight extent anyone pays attention to what we say or do. There are more things to worry about than how libertarians should react to Trump.cheddarbob316 follows up:
Agree 100% that no one cares or knows about libertarian philosophy. It's deeply ingrained in just about everyone that you must have a state to perform certain duties.I believe a key point is being missed here. When I wrote:
The kids are being herded in the direction of socialism.I was not suggesting that a libertarian attack on Trump was going to push hordes of students in the direction of libertarianism. That is not going to happen. We are far from the time when that will occur. All we want to do is catch a few of the more intellectually intelligent and curious. That's how you expand the base.
Libertarians who fail to attack Trump are making a strategic error. Trump is not a libertarian. He does not appear to hold any libertarian policy positions beyond a desire to stop government regulation of transgenders in bathrooms. Students, with some justification, view him as at least sympathetic to the white supremacist movement.
He needs to be thrown under the bus. The kids need to hear that there is opposition to Trump that is non-Leftist.
In his unpublished strategy paper, Toward a Strategy for Libertarian Social Change, Murray Rothbard wrote (my bold):
In the first place, libertarianism is a set of ideas, and hence the original cadre is bound to be largely intellectuals, people who are professional or semi-professional dealers in abstract ideas. Mises and Hayek have pointed out how ideas filter out from original theoreticians to scholars and followers, to intellectuals as dealers in general ideas to the interested public.Rothbard wrote this in the late 1970s, just when the libertarian movement was emerging from his living room. We have come along way since then.
Thus, in the cardre, the body of intellectuals is of primary importance in influencing the general public, and the handful of systematic theoreticians is of decisive importance in influencing and molding the general intellectuals.
Of course, the ideas of intellectuals are removed in time from the attitudes held by the general public, and the systematic theories of scholars or political philosophers are still further removed in time, so that emphasis on intellectuals and scholars does not have an immediate "payoff" in social action; but their influence is far more powerful in the long run than immediate concentration on the public or political action...
[T]he classical liberals were trapped by their alliance with the "practical" men into foreswearing any sort of radical general principles in striking to the practical short run details, with ultimately disastrous results....
The early progress of the movement is necessarily slow; the number of converts is miniscule and the amount of effort in obtaining their conversion is extensive. In short, any cadre must begin slow with a tiny handful. A few rare individuals arrive with their own conversion in a self-contained way; but the vast majority have to be converted by others--either directly, through personal contact, or indirectly, through books or lectures. At first, the movement will be encompassed by a few living rooms or salons, then if the movement grows there will be the stage of local discussion groups... Hopefully, then, the cadre begins as a tiny few and then grows in quantity and impact.
But the advance of liberty will not be a straight line. The presidential run of Ron Paul 2012 played an enormous role in introducing many people to liberty. With the election of Trump, growth in the libertarian movement has entered a quiet period.
The idea of attacking Trump at this point is not because someone may or may not care about whether libertarians support Trump but because the more attacks that are made, from a libertarian perspective, against Trump, the more opportunities we will have created to "catch" some bright students that can be future leaders in the libertarian movement/
By failing to attack Trump aggressively, we are losing opportunities to deliver our message to the important second-hand dealers of the new generation.
There might be a case that could be made for keeping quiet about Trump if he was good on something other than transgender bathrooms but he is not. If he were actually going to take some steps in a libertarian direction perhaps we should be quiet to support those moves, but he is not. The establishment hating him is not enough. It means nothing policy-wise.
To advance liberty during this quiet period, it is going to be a long slog.
As I have said before, if you don't like the battle, the intellectual butting of heads against pretty much everybody--with tiny short-term payoff----you are better off spending your time watching ESPN. This battle is not going to be won anytime soon.
The long game is the only thing libertarians have right now. There is no short game for us. There are no big conversions coming. We are pretty much down to one on one debates with the limited few who have open minds. But it is a noble pursuit. We have truth, decency and principle on our side. These are powerful weapons to take into intellectual battle.
And at some point, an opening will emerge for us to advance aggressively thanks to the inevitable twirl and clash of events in a centrally planned world. The more people we already have on our side to take advantage of such an opening, the greater the advance will be at that time.
Ex glande quercus.