Constitution Versus Trump: A Libertarian Appeal
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Politics and Activism

Constitution Versus Trump: A Libertarian Appeal

A comparison of Trump and Clinton on civil liberties.

Constitution Versus Trump: A Libertarian Appeal
The Nation

A sizable portion of the right-leaning voting block in America defines their personal politics as libertarian. Knowing this, why is it that so many libertarians plan to vote for the biggest-government politician to ever be nominated? The answer is that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, has failed to distinguish herself from the image crafted over decades of a Democratic Party seeking to use government as a solution to all problems. Here I plan to clearly compare the consequences for libertarians that could come from both sides. This will necessarily be a lesser of two evils discussion because both candidates are definitively on the authoritarian side of the four-part political spectrum, and I intend to link all of my points directly to liberties that people generally care about regardless of my personal opinion on the issue.

I will get out of the way the one issue which Trump wins on: gun rights. Trump definitely believes in gun rights, and Clinton definitely believes in enhanced background checks and an assault weapons ban. Regardless of Trump's nominal protection of the 2nd Amendment, I think it is important to consider gun rights in context. Although you may have easier access to guns under a Trump administration, that is unlikely to be true if you are in any of the groups which Trump believes to be distasteful (Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, etc.) and the fire power of a deportation force will probably make any checks on government due to independent militias irrelevant.

Two issues which Trump could be considered to be ahead on relate to the First Amendment: Citizens United and non-profit political actions. I think basically no one actually believes that corporations should have the same civil liberties as people, so I do not count this as a victory for Trump. On the second issue, the question has been raised as to whether churches being able to get political is necessary to religious liberty, so I will leave that one be.

Now on to Clinton victories. First, the freedom of movement. Trump believes not only in a wall along the southern border and hard line, race-based exclusion, but also he likely would empower state enforcement to establish more checkpoints which blatantly discriminate based on ethnicity and religious beliefs.

Second, imminent domain. From real estate mogul to President, Donald Trump will no doubt continue his heavy-handed beliefs in removing those that stand in his way. Ignore the implications on political opponents for the moment and consider that Trump has already promised to vastly expand our domestic and foreign military presence; do you think he will ask politely to move the poor communities where he plans to build the bases?

Third, the police state. Trump has promised to vastly expand and empower our police forces, including distributing even more military weaponry to local police departments. For all the conservatives crying about the ATF, get ready for the biggest domestic occupation to ever face the free world.

Fourth, reproductive rights. Trump's running mate, the moral crusader Mike Pence, has guaranteed that his election will result in overturning Roe v Wade. Whether this means the issue becomes devolved to the states or becomes interpreted as murder depends on how far the court chooses to go, but as an objective measure, it will result in a decrease in civil liberties regardless.

Fifth, marriage equality. Pence has trumpeted the defense of traditional marriage for his entire life, and he seems intent on overturning the Hodges case in favor of a devolution of the issue to state governments. While it is not as far as the 2012 platform calling for a federal marriage definition amendment, it still will result in a roll back of civil liberties.

Sixth, internet freedom. Following the Republican Platform calling for more stringent attacks on pornography on the internet, there is no doubt that the social conservatives plan to use cyber operations to monitor and prosecute the average American for their use of undesirable material on the internet.

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