Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Post-Election Thoughts



This piece was published on the Libertarian Enterprise website on January 29th.  Read it all.

by L. Neil Smith

Okay, the 2016 General Election is well and truly over, and I fully intend this to be my final commentary on it. Many individuals have written to me or about me, denigrating, in various ways, my difficult decision to vote for Donald J. Trump. As I had already explained at some length on several occasions, whatever electoral pacifists may say, I believe in voting defensively; the prospect that Hillary Clinton might be elected—further extending the reign of vile, brutalitarian collectivism that began with the election of spymaster George H.W. Bush—was so bleak and repulsive to me that I would have voted for practically anybody to prevent the end of Western Civilization.

I awoke the morning after the election, filled with a relief and joy that I have never felt before. I’m still feeling it. I suspect that many of those writing to me experienced exactly the same joy and are now desperately ashamed of it. They don’t have to be. We won our first battle in a long time, and we still have the war to keep us going. At my age, those are both considerations.

It is true that Trump purposes to do many things—reduce taxes, abolish regulations—that I approve of highly. He has other intentions—dangerous, punitive tariffs, “enhanced interrogation” —that I had thought were thoroughly discredited by our national experience of history. But above all, he was not—and is still not—Hillary Clinton, with all of her evil ideas and dubious connections with the fetid underbelly of international criminal politics. I sincerely hope she gets on her bicycle and pedals away and that I never have to see her grotesque, greenish face or listen to her sinister cackling again. Or am I confusing her with Margaret Hamilton?

Some of my correspondents want to know why I didn’t just vote for the Libertarian Party candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. The simple reason is that he wasn’t a libertarian, even in the slightest. The Libertarian Party is dead. It’s one thing to vote for a Republican or a Democrat with whom you disagree on some issues (I would have been happy to vote for Ron Paul last time around), but quite another to knowingly vote for a candidate misrepresenting himself as a libertarian, and thus misrepresenting libertarianism. I have been studying and writing about libertarianism for fifty-four years, I have something of a personal investment in it, and I was not about to dirty myself on that particular candidate.

Washed-up statist former Governor Gary Johnson asserted that he would prosecute an innocent, humble cake-baker for refusing to bake a cake celebrating a ceremony (and a sacrament) he believed (erroneously, in my opinion) was sinful. So much for the First Amendment and freedom of association. He allowed as how there was truth of some kind behind the Global Warming hoax. He nominated a lifelong socialist—another washed-up statist former Governor and a notorious gun-grabber—as his running mate. He ran radio spot after radio spot that did not mention the Libertarian Party or libertarianism and never even once mentioned in my hearing the philosophical heart and soul of libertarianism, the Zero Aggression Principal.

What other alternatives were there? After fifty-four years, I was not about to vote Socialist or Green. How about my late grandmother’s favorite ticket, the Prohibition Party?

That left Donald J. Trump. During the campaign, the man was reviled and insulted by every mental and moral cripple I’ve learned to despise. And afterward … well, it’s clear that these shriveled souls are only capable of communicating with sour digestive fluids. Whoopie Goldberg, Cher, Madonna, and Lady Gaga weren’t too much of a surprise or disappointment, but Joss Whedon, Scarlett Johansson, and Ashley Judd sounded just like the good citizens of Berlin back in 1933 talking about Jews. Even so-called conservative Republican Sarah Michelle Geller let herself be brow-beaten into voting for Hillary. Meryl Streep, Shia LeBooboo: what else do I need to say? I will never knowingly contribute to their incomes again. May they die in poverty and obscurity.

On the other hand, the lovely and talented James Woods and Nicole Kidman have my rapt attention from now on.

It has become clear that the new President is never going to get a fair shake, or anything even remotely resembling the truth from the round-heeled Marxoid media—or even sources further to the right like FOX News. And because so much of what these tiny-minded critics say is untruthful or intentionally cruel to non-combatants like Donald’s youngest son, I am inclined to close ranks with the Trumps to the extent I can.

It’s only human.

The saddest part is that a few of my detractors have been self- described libertarians, individuals I once respected. One of them even tried to impose political correctness on me. He haughtily declared that “libertarians don’t say things like ’illegal alien.’” Hasn’t he been paying attention? They may still be busting people for politically naughty speech in Europe, but the Dark Age of Political Correctness in America is over. An alien, in this context, is a stranger, a foreigner. An alien who has not jumped through all of the prescribed hoops to be here legally (whether you approve of them or not), is illegal. Simple, descriptive words, and if you can’t understand them, you must be some kind of a retard (It’s so nice to have that useful epithet back again!).

Right or wrong, I have never said or written a damn thing I didn’t believe. I voted the way I did to minimize the likely damage to my liberty. If Trump actually does things I approve of (cutting economic regulation by 75% is a start), I will say so. If he does something I believe is wrong or evil (waterboarding), I will say that, too. At the beginning of the campaign, I compared him to James Taggart, one of the bad-guys in Atlas Shrugged. Later I said he reminded me of Herb Tarleck, the ad salesman on WKRP in Cincinnatti. I like him and his lovely family rather better now and hope he won’t do anything to disappoint me.

That’s the best I can do.

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