Friday, April 8, 2016

Block-Wenzel Debate on "Libertarians for Trump"

Other versions are here.


  1. I side with Wenzel on this. Trump's ability to rile up a crowd terrifies me. There's no progress Trump might make on foreign policy that can't be undone in one bad day.

    1. I honestly don't believe Trump isn't going to do anything different on foreign policy. Wenzel has been right the entire time, people like Justin Rainmondo are going to get a rude awakening if Trump becomes president and then continues warmongering.

  2. Good job, Bob. Dr. Block admits that he is not good on marketing, but because of that fact I'm not sure he really understands how *terribly* NOT GOOD he is. Bionic Mosquito nailed it at his site pointing out that if libertarians want to be against NATO or foreign intervention, then perhaps they would be better off starting a group called "Libertarians against NATO", or "Libertarians against Foreign Intervention". What a much better position than "Libertarians for Whatever The Donald Decides to Be, Do, or Say Today (or Tomorrow)".

  3. Block "I don't care what people think, I just care about the truth."

    Block "Think of all the attention LFT is going to bring for libertarianism."

  4. What a fun debate- thank you both for participating!

    Dr. Block's position appears to require the libertarian to be politically involved- the libertarian cannot "sit it out". Notice in his Slavemaster Goodie vs. Baddie example, there is no choice to abstain. In the question part, Dr. Block presses Wenzel to choose as if a gun is to his head. Dom Armentano (a former LFT member) has said the libertarian who abstains from supporting Trump is giving support to Hillary. (Perhaps his view has changed on this?)

    Why are you LFTers talking this way? Can Block imagine any election where a libertarian is justified in sitting it out? I am guilty of being a bad boy libertarian, then, in every election since I was 18 (I was young and naive...)! How can I sleep at night, knowing that I didn't go vote all those times to "protect" my fellows? I contend this Republican race offers nothing to the libertarian to support that wouldn't be outweighed by the provacative foreign policy of each of the three remaining- with Trump out-hawking the lot! (See quotes in the links below for elaboration on this point.)

    Dr. Block believes that supporting candidate X will yield positive results for libertarianism, or at least not as negative, as compared to candidate Y if candidate X is closer to the "model libertarian" candidate. However, this is doomed from the get-go, as Wenzel points out, because no candidate ever does what they say they are going to do. In addition, it is embarrassing to be associated with said candidate when the person changes positions down the line. Trump seems particularly susceptible to this potentiality.

    I believe that Dr. Block and LFT are viewing Trump in the way that he presented himself at the time Donald Miller wrote the article that wooed Block into this position. I think that Trump's foreign policy position has become more clear since then, and if Block were more familiar with the specific things Trump has said he supports, that he would see the futility and counter-productivity of backing Trump. In the hopes that Block and others have an opportunity to see this information, these two posts have quotes from multiple sources on Trump's terrible foreign policy:

  5. A comment from Mark D. Hughes at

    "Walter is my very good friend and has been for 35 years. So please
    don’t slam me as a Block hater. I’m not! Sadly though, Walter is wrong
    on this, and here’s why: Donald Trump is the only candidate, Republican
    or Democrat, who has advocated a public policy of murdering completely
    innocent persons. I refer to his December pledge to kill the family
    members of terrorists [
    ] . Walter asks us to compare the candidates and judge, on balance,
    which is closer to the libertarian ideal. And that is fair. So lets do
    that. To my knowledge, Trump is the only candidate who advocates the
    explicit and purposeful murder of innocent people. There is no more
    definitive a violation of the Non Aggression Principle (NAP), the single
    and fundamental ethic that defines libertarianism. It is true that any
    one of the other candidates, if elected as president, will end up
    killing innocent people too (all presidents do) but only Trump has
    advocated it as a public policy. That position alone disqualifies Trump
    form any genuine libertarian consideration. One does not need to go any
    further in comparing the candidates from a libertarian perspective.
    Trump fails right out of the gate."

  6. Why don't Libertarians who actually understand Libertarianism run for president?
    Because they actually understand Libertarianism.
    One (and only) great exception, of course, Dr. Paul.

  7. Bob, I am holding a gun to your head, you have to choose one!
    Answer: pull the trigger.

    1. Exactly. You do what you must do living by your values. I'll do what I must do living by my values. Integrity.

  8. Since these elections can never have libertarian outcomes by definition, shouldn't we be saboteurs when we can? At the very least, a Trump nomination messes with the republican money machine.

    My idea of a good, albeit non-libertarian, president would be one that congress and the press dislike and distrust. Maybe congress would remember a thing called "checks and balances" and reduce the authoritarian power of the executive branch. Maybe the press would stop being White House press whores for a few weeks.

  9. Thanks RW for injecting a little sanity back into the matter. Your voice was much needed.

    Politics is intended to distract and ensnare good people to make them engaged and complicit with the process of their own enslavement. When a beloved exponent of libertarianism like Walter gets dragged into that process, an intervention is merited.

    The lesser evil, nicer slavemaster argument makes no sense when mere participation, not to mention actual advocacy of a non-libertarian candidates, contradicts the principles of libertarianism and sabotages the brand name of libertarianism. Obtaining a nicer master in the short run is no win where doing so undermines the path toward having no master in the long run. We must ask ourselves what we are trying to accomplish, essential liberty or a little temporary safety.