There has been talk as of late about the possibility of libertarians and liberals uniting to ‘take down’ President Trump.
How this coup d’état occurs in the material world I’m not quite sure, but it is nonetheless an intriguing question.
Both sides have numerous qualms with the Trump agenda, some of which overlap.
The tightening of the immigration system, the travel ban, and a belief in the existence of authoritarian tendencies point to a teaming up of the administration’s foes.
However, the differences outweigh the similarities and I am far from convinced these two will form a successful resistance.
Libertarians pride themselves on individualism, abiding by the U.S. Constitution’s prescripts, and cherishing free market capitalism.
They support minimal taxation (if any) for all individuals and aim for a general disengagement between the government and the private lives of the people.
This includes very few economic regulations, a reduction to the welfare state, and a refrain from unnecessary international entanglements.
No limits to your speech and no antiquated social restraints.
Within Libertarianism is a codified system of beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, that aim to reduce the state apparatus and maximize the liberty of an individual to live as they wish, without inflicting harm on others.
An ideological line can be drawn straight from principle to policy.
Liberals, on the other hand, fail to present a systematic worldview which applies to the plethora of modern questions.
The most vocal left-of-center Americans have turned all of their attention to protesting whatever Trump does.
And as Trump doesn’t adhere to a concrete vision of government’s role in society, liberals follow him deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole.
They were aroused by the zeal of Bernie-sized federal authority, but tremble in the streets now that it has fallen in the hands of he who shouldn’t be mentioned (‘Calexit’ is the type of irony satirists have a field day over, as highlighted by Edward Morrissey in his piece, “California Has Lost Its Mind”).
Instead of formulating a legislative response to fight Trump’s immigration orders they demand a ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ approach to the law.
Even though changing immigration law is a monumental task, proposing such a change would be a more respectable reaction than the emotional response to border walls and ICE raids.
Apply this to another area of the law and it unfolds quickly.
We all want police officers to follow the law when carrying out search warrants or routine traffic stops.
In what universe would it be suitable for them to neglect the law?
By suggesting that we only follow some laws, the law-abiding argument no longer holds up.
On the constitution, liberals love to cite it when fighting Trump but too often refuse to accept its other necessities.
Staging a sit-in is the first amendment at its finest but allowing a conservative speaker on campus is a bridge too far.
Perhaps the point of greatest separation from libertarians is the way the American left thinks in term of group identity.
This collectivist mindset erodes the focus on the individual which is essential in libertarianism.
Ask your average liberal – millennial or not – and they will most likely describe our current state as a battle between the marginalized and the majority, a society divided among the oppressed and the oppressors.
You are Black, White, Latinx, Muslim, Evangelical, Straight, Gay, Cis or non-Cis, etc.
It’s not you who matters, it’s the group that matters.
This way of thinking appoints all of its resources towards the ‘common good’, a utilitarian goal but one that can easily lead to a starvation for freedom.
The individual becomes relegated to serfdom, pleading for liberties to the group or the state.
I have a hard time believing libertarians and liberals can unite for a common purpose to stop Trump.
Their missions are polar opposites, at times antithetical to the very existence of the other.
It is commonly thought that liberals and libertarians are very similar in their political leanings, but libertarians are simply more frugal with money.
This is a complete understatement of the fundamental differences by which these sides view the world and societal order.
Even if, hypothetically, these two did join forces to take down the President, there aren’t many avenues go down.
Impeachment would lead to Vice President Mike Pence stepping in, someone who libertarians and liberals aren’t too fond of either, or a 2020 defeat, which leaves four years minus a few months left for Trump in the White House.
Some fantasized outcome other than these, as unimaginable as I think it is, would require a serious rebuilding period with the victors sharing the spoils.
As the famous axiom of former Secretary of State Colin Powell (And Pottery Barn) goes, “if you break it, you own it”.
Libertarians and liberals would have a nation-sized divorce on their hands.
As they would try to divide up the assets, their quarrels would become insurmountable.
Unless the Senate Republicans buy into the theory that Trump is a Russian puppet, the Donald is here to stay.
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