Trump To Address Libertarian Convention In Move That Has Members Debating Merits

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 02, 2024 - 09:40 PM

Donald Trump will address the Libertarian Party national convention, in a move that promises publicity for America's largest "third party" while giving Trump an opportunity to shake some non-uniparty votes in his direction.

At the same time, however, Trump puts himself at risk of enduring hostile elements in the crowd, aimed at a candidate with many decidedly non-libertarian tendencies. Trump's pending appearance has also exacerbated some divisions within the Libertarian Party, with some members are questioning the wisdom and propriety of putting Trump in the Libertarian spotlight, and others saying it's a smart move for multiple reasons. 

"For 50 years, we’ve been trying to get our candidates on the main stage with major party POTUS candidates and we’ve finally succeeded in bringing one to our stage," said Libertarian Party chairwoman Angela McArdle. "We will do everything in our power to use this incredible opportunity to advance the message of liberty.”

Trump, who will have a Saturday, May 25 slot at the 4-day Washington DC convention, described his upcoming hosts in glowing terms:

“Libertarians are some of the most independent and thoughtful thinkers in our Country, and I am honored to join them...We must all work together to help advance freedom and liberty for every American, and a second Trump Administration will achieve that goal.”

Libertarian Party conventions can get a little wild, so it's going to be interesting to see what kind of reception Trump receives. Here's a sampling of Trump resume items that repel many libertarians:  

  • Multifaceted gun control enthusiasm. Speaking approvingly of "red flag" gun seizure laws, Trump infamously set forth a mantra that could have come from the mouth of David Hogg: "Take the guns first, go through due process second."  His administration also launched a starkly unconstitutional ban on bump stocks via executive fiat. 
  • Fealty to the State of Israel. Non-interventionist libertarians oppose entangling alliances, but Trump went all-in on America's most entangling alliance of all -- moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the seized Golan Heights. 
  • Pathetic staffing decisions. After boldly denouncing the US invasion of Iraq, Trump proceeded to fill his administration with neocons who pushed it -- most notoriously, John Bolton. 
  • Drug war extremism. Libertarians generally view the drug war as a violation of personal autonomy and a precipitator of civil rights violations, but Trump has gone so far as to advocate the death penalty for dealers. 
  • Hostility to free trade. Demonstrating utter ignorance of basic economics and tax principles, Trump is a tariff enthusiast who fails to grasp that they're ultimately paid by US consumers in the form of higher prices for tariffed imports...and higher prices for domestic products facing weaker foreign competition. 
  • Intermittent Deep-State servant. Trump acquiesced to wishes of the alphabet agencies that targeted him -- by failing to issue pardons for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The convention crowd in DC will be particularly sensitive to the US victimization of Assange: His brother, Gabriel Shipton, will also speak at the event. 
  • Covid regime lockdown-monger. Trump embraced profoundly anti-liberty policies championed by the public health establishment, even claiming "total authority" over state decisions about lifting lockdowns.
  • Reckless spender. To relieve the economic catastrophe his Covid policies helped unleash, Trump not only championed the insanely irresponsible $2 trillion 2020 stimulus package (and more), but also declared that libertarian hero and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie should be primaried for merely having demanded a recorded vote on it. 

On social media, party members debated the wisdom and propriety of putting Trump in the Libertarian spotlight. Some opponents said it proved that the 2022 Mises Caucus takeover of the party was a MAGA conspiracy...

Dave Smith, on the other hand, told his Twitter followers to "ignore all the ridiculous conspiracy theories," calling the Trump appearance "undeniably a great thing...[that] will generate more attention on our party and the issues that we care about than we’ve ever had...This isn’t an endorsement of Trump, it’s an endorsement of relevance and a desire to engage with the real world."

    Trump isn't the only candidate cultivating friendly relations with libertarians. Having previously said that he's "always been aligned with libertarians on most issues," independent Robert F. Kennedy, Jr spoke at the California Libertarian convention in February and considered pursuing the party's nomination -- and its turnkey, 50-state ballot access -- before announcing he'd remain an independent