“Each of us has a natural right, from God, to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.” –Frédéric Bastiat, classical liberal and author of The Law
A Republican Renaissance
Donald Trump is bringing back the Republican Party. It had been lost to globalist elites, statist politicians whose philosophy had infused both the Democrat and Republican parties, but Trump is now giving it a rebirth, making it into the big-tent party that it once was and again deserves to be. The Republican Party, founded on individual rights and the abolition of slavery, was blending in with a Washington Establishment, the members of which were all being bribed by the same globalist players—Islamic OPEC countries and business alliances wishing to write the rules under which we live, all under the guise of “free trade.”
But how free are we, really, if all our individual rights must give way to a hive-mentality that overrules our natural rights at every turn? How free will we be, once the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty (the TPP) takes effect, and we wake up to find many of the rules written under the pact—and by which Americans will be required to live—are Sharia-compliant and outlaw criticism of Islam and other important freedoms, in public and on the Internet? Donald Trump wants out of the deal, and rightly so. Trump is a freedom-loving American—not a Sharia-compliant statist—who will say “no, thank you” to the TPP and send back the jihadist Muslims Obama has allowed to immigrate, unvetted, to our shores. Trump believes in free speech and the right to criticize any religion or religious practice. He is a Christian by faith, and his daughter is a convert to Judaism, which uniquely situates his sensibilities with regard to Judeo-Christian Western traditions.
Conservative Republicans Are “Classical Liberals”
Donald Trump, who believes in the right to private property, including freedom of contract and exchange and the free disposition of one’s own labor, is a classical liberal who believes in personal and economic freedom. Witness Trump’s scorn for political correctness—which our globalist media outlets so abhor—and his record as an unabashed capitalist—who has enriched himself, as well as many others. Historically, classical liberals have objected to overweening regulation by the state in the arenas of individual and economic liberty. Yet it is a broad philosophy incorporating the views of conservatives and libertarians within the larger framework of the “Conservative Movement.” The general view of classical liberalism is that individual autonomy of thought, speech, and action is a central consideration of public policy, as is the private control of property, the rule of law, and the freedom of contract that is required for innovation and the enhancement of life for all individuals. Classical liberalism is about an ongoing conversation along these lines among the people, not a collective mindset seeking to enforce some ideas while banning others.
Only recently, Ted Cruz accused Donald Trump of being “no different from politically correct leftist elites,” because of Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s new transgender bathroom law. “Leave it the way it is,” said Trump. “North Carolina, what they’re going through with all the business that’s leaving, all of the strife—and this is on both sides. Leave it the way it is. There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic—I mean, the economic punishment that they’re taking.” What Trump was objecting to was any state mandate or requirement forced upon individuals or businesses that would prevent them from simply working things out among themselves. Trump’s call for nonintervention on the part of government was more classically liberal than Cruz’s insistence of a statist solution that would dictate how the people should behave. Big-government power, in the hands of conservatives, is just as egregious and just as disempowering to individual liberty as when that selfsame power is brought to bear by progressives.
The Rule of Law
Trump has called out for immigration enforcement and for a wall to be built on our southern border with Mexico. This is not his original idea. US Representative Duncan Hunter proposed a plan for a border fence to the House of Representatives on November 3, 2005, that would authorize the building of a reinforced fence along the entire United States–Mexican border. On December 15, 2005, Congressman Hunter’s amendment to the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) passed in the House of Representatives. A version of that bill died in the Senate, but was later resurrected, passing into law as the Secure Fence Act of 2006; it was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2006. Trump is merely insisting that the law be followed and the wall be built. The American people, who originally wanted the wall built ten years ago, have not ceased in their desire for border security, so they appreciate Trump’s position. Any lesser position cannot be as classically liberal, or as politically conservative, as Trump’s. Cruz and others were late to the game, when it came to endorsing this idea. Again and again, Trump outflanked Cruz and his other political competitors, staking out the most conservative positions for himself, while everyone else played it safe for the politically-correct media, often coming too late to the party to receive credit.
Outflanked by Trump
In a May 4th, 2016, article, the Wall Street Journal editorialized that Ted Cruz, while pushing the narrative within the Republican Party significantly to the political right, could not move enough to the right of Donald Trump to win with the grassroots. Everyday Americans want border security, to halt drug-traffickers and jihadists; a freeze on Muslim immigration, in order to keep terrorists out; and an exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would bring Sharia Law into our Constitution by treaty and export American jobs to other countries.
According to the Journal, “[t]he billionaire became the more effective and polarizing outsider. He called for mass deportation and making Mexico pay for the wall. He doubled down on protectionism. Mr. Cruz tried to move further to the right on nativism and trade, including the spectacle of renouncing his endorsement of trade promotion authority the day before the vote, but he could never outflank Mr. Trump.”
Trump’s Critics on Trade
Critics of Trump, on the right, have criticized his protectionist tendencies; perhaps it might be appropriate to remind them that President Reagan protected Harley Davidson, along with American car-manufacturers, from Japanese competitors until a fair-trade arrangement could be made with Japan. Reagan said, “Japan is part of the problem. This is where government can be legitimately involved. That is, to convince the Japanese in one way or another that, in their own interests, that a deluge of cars must be slowed while our industry gets back on its feet.” Reagan imposed a 100% tariff on selected Japanese products, in order to enforce the “principles of free and fair trade.” Reagan also said, “It’s better policy to allow for presidents—me or my successors—to have options for dealing with trade problems.”
Warning: Don’t Throw Your Vote Away
Trump will need every vote he can garner in November to beat Hillary Clinton in what may well prove to be a close vote in the Electoral College. Throwing away your vote by not voting for Trump could have a devastating impact on the freedom of one and all, by allowing Hillary, a pro-Islamic statist, to win in November. It is no secret that Hillary favors outlawing criticism of Islam, as well as outlawing the Second-Amendment right to self-defense. If you find yourself in the conservative spectrum of American politics—even if your brand of conservatism does not match Trump’s—only a vote for Donald Trump can ensure that you will continue to maintain your right to continue the conversation about such things as Islam and the Second Amendment.
If Hillary Clinton is elected president, keeping the freedom to speak freely and defend yourself becomes problematic, at best. At least a vote for Trump will allow you to continue the debate with regard to the classically-liberal values you hold dear. A vote for a third-party candidate (or withholding your vote altogether) might, technically speaking, be different from a straight vote for Hillary Clinton. But if denying Trump your vote means keeping him from reaching the vote total he needs to beat Clinton, then your vote will have been thrown away in vain. You may have made your point by not voting for Trump, but if, as a result of making that point, you end up losing your right to argue for your brand of conservatism in the future, then you have only succeeded in cutting off your proverbial nose to spite your face. In the process, you will have abetted the likely loss not only your own liberty, but everyone else’s, to boot.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com