Friday, July 20, 2018

Wenzel vs. Amash on the Trump-Putin Helsinki Press Conference

At the post, The Strange Perspective of Justin Amash on the Helsinki Summit, where I object to Amash's position, commenter Francisco Torres argues that "Amash's position is actually not that different" than mine when I argued that from a strategic perspective a Hillary victory would have been better for libertarians than the Trump victory.

Torres continues that Amash is arguing that the unpreparedness and vacillation shown by Trump in front of Putin served only to provide the Neo-cons and hawks in the government, and conspiracy theorists in the media, further encouragement to keep beating the war drums.

But this is an incorrect view of my position.

I have consistently argued that a Hillary victory would be strategically better because there weren't significant differences between Trump and her and more people would hate her.

This is what I wrote on the day before the 2016 election:
I see no significant difference between Trump and Hillary. They are both interventionists who think they should be in charge of interventions. Trump mumbles something about reducing business regulations at the same time he warns businesses about opening plants in Mexico.

There is just nothing non-interventionist about this guy. Even from a political correctness perspective, he is weak. He wants to coerce employers to grant mothers  six weeks paid family leave after the birth of a child. It's the right thing to do, you know.

When you have two interventionists where the differences do not appear significant,(I would expect Trump to use American troops on the ground before Hillary) you then have to look at things from a strategic perspective. And from this perspective, Hillary is the preferred candidate.  There are literally tens of millions who will object to Hillary policies. It is extremely fertile ground for libertarians to provide the intellectual arguments to the anti-Hillary crowd,

A Trump presidency would be different. It would dilute the anti-interventionist roar of the crowd.
At the Helsinki press conference, President Trump was absolutely correct in attempting to move in a direction to ease tensions with Russia.  When an attempt is made to move us in the direction of peace and liberty, it should always be supported. Trump is a poor communicator when he is not in front of his kind in a stadium filled with tribalists.

He doesn't have the intellectual heft nor the knowledge of history to do battle in a non-coliseum setting. That is where Rand Paul, Tucker Carlson and the rest of us, who get it, come into the picture, to battle on the side of Trump when he is correct.

Amash is doing the opposite. He is bizarrely focusing on Trump's communication weaknesses and not on Trump's message.

Trump's message is correct. Indeed, if anything he should stick to the position and call in Rand Paul on guidance on how better to support his position.

This is about the only thing Trump has done right so far in his presidency and Amash is busting him because of his communication skills!

You will never find me in such a camp.



  1. Don't forget he pardoned the Hammonds.

  2. I agree with RW. It’s not so much that Trump *deserves* praise for not going out of his way to antagonize Russia. It’s just a matter of acknowledging that, in this case, he’s being way less insane than his critics are.

  3. Amash is just a coward lying out of spite for political gains like Jeff Flake.

  4. Robert, I didn't misunderstand your position, it was clear --leftists would not be able to blame Capitalism for the bad outcomes stemming from policies espoused by Obama and continued by Hillary if Hilary had won. What I argue is that Amash is not criticizing Trump for being inarticulate but for being stupid. That's all.

    1. I’ll take stupid over belligerent in this case.

  5. What the hell is wrong with what Trump said in the Helsinki press conference? All I heard was Putin begging Trump not to put "Rods from God" in space.