Monday, November 23, 2015

On Trump and Ron

Douglas Delgado-Landaeta emails:
Dear Bob,

I would like to know your view on Trump's Charisma compared to Ron's. While I assume you have enjoyed Trump demolish the GOP establishment, I have noticed that he has the charisma that both Paul's don't have.

Rand, can be considered a lost cause, and the elder Paul, although was much better than The Donald, doesn't have the Charisma and does not inspire voters in the same way Trump does.


Douglas Delgado

Trump's charisma scares the hell out of me. It is very reminiscent of Mussolini and others who were able to stir the masses up into a frenzy, especially with divisive comments about various ethnic groups. It's what Hayek warned about in Chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom.

I consider Trump extremely dangerous. If he were to become president and get some crazy idea in his head, he would be able to get a large chunk of the masses to go along with it.

That's why I prefer Hillary though I view her as totally evil. She does not have the ability to get the masses into a fever pitch. She is absolutely terrible, but a lot of people know that and hate her. In positions of power, unless someone is clearly better on freedom issues. You want the most hated and inefficient in power. Between Trump and Hillary, that is clearly Hillary.

As for Ron and Rand, the advancement of liberty is mostly an intellectual revolution, not the changing of the person in power (Though Ron would have made a great president). As such charisma is not important. You want to reach out to the thinkers. Ron's principled libertarian message was great for that. Many. many have joined the libertarian movement because of Ron's presidential campaigns, and they are for the most part thinkers. An intellectual movement needs to germinate as thinkers study about a philosophy and then try different methods to communicate the philosophy to others.

A charismatic personality is not going to attract thinkers. He is going to attract the wrong kind of people, on the left side of the IQ bell curve. Indeed, even with Ron's campaigns you see some who are not thinkers, who have adopted what generously can be called libertarian-lite positions. They are not the deep thinkers that will advance the movement. Others have jumped to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Clearly these were just in the Ron Paul campaign for the adrenalin rush. It is another group that will never be important in advancing liberty.

What Ron did that was great is that he spread the seeds amongst truly independent thinkers, He reached many, many of them.  We will see how these thinkers, over time, will communicate the message.

Since a libertarian revolution must mostly be an intellectual revolution rather one of placing new people in power positions (where the libertarian position is that the power position shouldn't exist in the first place), Rand has to be viewed as a major disappointment for the libertarian movement, Instead of sticking to principle like his father, he has taken many positions that violate the non-aggression principle, so that he can gain power.

He is delivering no consistent libertarian messages to thinkers. No one is curious about his thoughts. He comes across as a typical politician who will say anything to get elected.

The libertarian movement has no need for the Trumps or the Rands of the world. It needs what Hayek called, "second-hand dealers in ideas," who can get the libertarian message out to the masses. And that will take an intellectual revolution given that most current day intellectuals are bought and paid for by the government and the crony establishment. A libertarian intellectual revolution will need tough, independent minds that refuse to be bought and paid for, or intimidated.



  1. I don't see Trump making divisive comments about various ethnic groups. I think he's showing how the taxpayer is getting screwed when other groups get their money or when other groups get their jobs, or get better trade deals, etc.

  2. I agree with your analysis of Trump. He can work a crowd.

    It is an intellectual revolution, but we need political control. We need Congress and the White House to actually change policies. Ideas are great, but they also need to be put into action.

  3. Good post. Ron didn't necessarily have the charisma of an orator or a strong personality like Trump, but what attracted people to him was that they could tell he said what he actually believed in, and could not be cowed to support anything he didn't want to. That's not really charisma, but more a kind of genuineness.

  4. "A libertarian intellectual revolution will need tough, independent minds that refuse to be bought and paid for, or intimidated." Only Mother Nature can provide this type of individual. Ron Paul was OK at preaching to the choir but the only lesson his career offers is that politics is not the answer.

    1. Completely incorrect. I have come across many, many who were introduced to libertarianism becasue of Ron Paul. I am talking huge percentages.

      Are you saying that no philosopher ever has an impact on an individual?

    2. I was also introduced to libertarianism through Ron Paul. Before him, I didn't even know such a philosophy existed.

    3. Even here in South Carolina - the most reddest of states - many people I knew who were die-hard republican cheerleaders changed their minds after hearing Ron Paul. They're still fans of the man to this day, and even changed their stance on the wars. The impact has been very real.

    4. If you mention Ron Paul to most Republicans they have 2 responses- "he's a fantasist" or "he really helped me understand what Republicans need to do and is a great man". Very few are indifferent. His impact on political issues will be around long after he is gone to his well-deserved rewards in heaven.

  5. Saying Ron Paul didn't have an impact on anyone but the "choir" is absolutely wrong.

    He has changed the whole of political speak. Things that people never talked about are talked about now, thanks to him.