Thursday, November 14, 2019

It’s Not the Most Important Thing

Walter Block is again asked about Judge Napolitano and his attacks on Trump.  A few months ago, this was brought up to Block: Napolitano – a good libertarian, yeah or nay?  Block responded “yeah,” albeit he disagreed with Napolitano’s views on the issue of Trump obstructing justice, etc. 

At the time, Block followed this up with some further exchanges on the matter – always addressing the “Napolitano as libertarian” question.  For the record, I agree with Block: Napolitano is a good libertarian – very consistent in this regard; I also agree with Block’s disagreement with Napolitano on Trump obstructing justice, etc.

But on to the recent email to Block.  This writer places the focus on Napolitano’s criticisms of Trump – criticisms with which Block disagrees, as do I.  There is little I will cite directly from the email, as it contains too many asterisks attempting to mask profanity that covers for poor vocabulary, but this part captures it:

You can have “Judge Andrew Napolitano is an Excellent Libertarian” Part M and it won’t change that most of us “libertarians” can’t stand him.

Whether the judge is or isn’t a libertarian or “anarcho-capitalist” or whatever big-brain terms you conjure is beside the point.

It ain’t hyperbole: there’s a war on. Like it or not…you gotta pick sides. Does my side suck? On a lot of things: yes.

This is the rub.  Setting aside the issue of if Trump is actually on “our” side – which is not clear at all – the writer points to the issue: there are much more important things in life than being a good libertarian.  If one is after liberty, theoretical purity isn’t going to be sufficient.

Whether or not Trump is following through with some 8-D chess (because we have already wrongly given him the benefit of the doubt on chess from 3-D to 7-D) is a separate issue: he was voted in based on his most basic attacks against the system: war and empire, central banking, Hillary is a crook and should be in prison, fix immigration.  These are more important to the people who supported Trump than is libertarian purity.

On at least one of these – war and empire – I offer two thoughts: first he hasn’t started a meaningful new war; second, he is doing a great job of accelerating the rest of the world’s movement away from the American empire.  Both are tremendous libertarian victories as far as I am concerned.

On the others, Trump has been pretty useless.


It’s in the title.


  1. There are some other issues on which Trump threw conservatives a bone or two. For example, he called out the climate emergency crowd on their hoax, and is trying to roll back the mandates that are strangling the car industry. Eric Peters wrote a post on that a while ago, called "elections matter" or somesuch.

    I wouldn't lay down my life for Trump the person, but insofar as he represents an insurrection against the fashionable decadence of our time... I can see the guy's point. It's just that... it's an itchy, uncomfortable thing that Trump, of all people, had to be the standard bearer for those who've had about enough. But at this point it hardly matters, I think. The thing has outgrown Trump.

  2. Mr. Trump, as with most people in power, is a self-serving sociopath. Given that, I voted for him rather than my normal "None of the Above" write-in because of the irresponsible war-mongering of Madam Hilary, who would have certainly plunged us into a war with Russia in the first few months of her presidency.

    I feel that my vote put me on the side of Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard in seeing war as the great issue of our time and a vote against war is a vote for libertarianism - and most certainly, contrived wars against countries like Russia who would otherwise be our friend is unconscionable.