The American Election: For the Avoidance of Doubt

Sean Gabb

The Libertarian Alliance, being recognised as a charity by the tax authorities, is allowed to take, and takes, no view on any elections, in the United Kingdom or in any other country.

Therefore, if Ilana Mercer or some other person chooses to write in favour of Mr Trump’s campaign to become President of the United States, that must be regarded as a personal opinion. Its publication on this Blog is nothing more than part of our mission to encourage debate, within libertarian assumptions, on matters of public interest. The Libertarian Alliance itself remains absolutely indifferent whether Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton becomes the President in November.

This being said, and now speaking purely for myself, and not as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, if I were an American, I know which way I would vote. And I strongly hope that enough Americans will go out and vote for the only candidate even remotely likely to govern America in the interest of Americans, and to take a measured view on the nature and use of American power in the rest of the world.

I trust I have made myself clear.


  1. Do you know what Sean means and who he’d vote for Alana?

    I’m not certain. Charles is though. However Sean did get the EU referendum election result wildly wrong. Sounds like he might be edging his bet this time.

  2. ‘They Don’t Like it Up Em’

    By the standards of what American people are entitled to look for in a President, Mr Trump is a dimwit, and unworthy of filling the office. But the quality of the candidates on offer in this and recent American elections is abysmal. And it’s getting worse.

    Were I an American however, and given the poor choice on offer, I would unquestionably vote for Mr Trump. The checks and balances present in the American Constitution make it safe to do so. Having him in the White House, presents less of a continuing, threat to liberty than having Mrs Clinton as President. And the Republican majority in Congress is unlikely to roll over at Trump’s command.

    Sanctimonious, apparently morally unchallengeable do-gooding, on the part of the State is a much greater threat to liberty than is a bit of sabre rattling and the low level racist outbursts to which Mr Trump is susceptible. I suspect that after he’s been elected most that will all die down, and he’ll be seeking to behave like a ‘statesman’.

    And Trump is much more likely to held to account by the liberal media than Mrs Clinton is. Does anyone really imagine that the Watergate burglaries would have been investigated so thoroughly (or even at all), if Richard Nixon had been a liberal Democrat?

    A Vote for Trump can serve the same purpose for which some people in the UK, who had never voted before, voted to leave the European Union (EU). 2 Million new people went out of their way to come onto the Electoral Roll in the UK to cast their votes. That’s 10-11 million by US standards. It was the biggest % electoral turnout for 24 years and the numbers of votes cast to ‘Leave’ the EU were the most votes that have ever been cast for anything or any political party in UK history. People did so, to defeat the EU, which is itself, the arrogant, elitist, ruling class, incarnate.

    Since the Vote, the bad, and neo fascist, character of the ‘Remainers’ has been revealed for all to see. They completely refuse to accept the outcome, exhibit intermittent rages, and within hours of the Vote constructed transparent lies about the prospects for the UK economy following the result, every single one of which has been proven false within less than three months.

    So Vote Trump and give the American establishment the same treatment. It will be worth it just to hear the shrieks of abuse from the ‘liberals’ (sic) when they realise they haven’t gotten their own way. As a well loved British Sit Com character tells us in repeats of the show decade after decade ‘they don’t like it up em’.

    This of course is my own personal view, and not that of this august website.

    • Trump is not a “dimwit” and while I don’t wish to valorise him, I think he is of the required standard for a president, and if anything, is superior intellectually to previous candidates. Probably the only presidential candidates of recent times who could match Trump intellectually are Gary Hart (a Democratic primary candidate who was brought down in the 1980s by a sex scandal), Bill Clinton, and maybe Hillary Clinton herself.

      Trump has had a good education and a successful business, and he knows how to mix in the relevant circles. He is qualified. It’s normally metropolitan snobbery to assume that just because a candidate is a provincial and articulates the wishes of ‘ordinary’ people, this must mean he is a bit dim. George Bush Jnr. is an extreme example of this treatment, but looking back at Bush’s speeches from the 2000 election onwards, he comes across as somebody of normal intelligence. Another one was Dan Quayle, who was perfectly intelligent but was made to look stupid by the media.

      I think something more fundamental is happening than just an anti-Establishment vote. Politics is re-aligning away from globalism towards a sort of weak national-socialism.

      But Trump himself would best be described as a neo-nationalist – which is to say, in the sense that Tom Nairn uses the term to describe nationalism as a global capitalist phenomenon. Trump can be seen as just another globalist practising nationalism.

  3. I came to this blog to learn about libertarianism, and I’ve not been disappointed. It is of course perfectly proper for the LA not to take either side in an election. Neither candidate is a libertarian anyway.

      • Good point, but he has been mentioned in other articles on here (you’ll have to search, as I can’t remember which ones), and if my recollection is correct, he isn’t viewed favourably by British libertarians – but the LA would have to comment further.

  4. This reminds me to actually write something about the US Presidential Election. While I’m at it, I should write something about my disappointment with all the post-Brexit developments in British politics and the substance of my own disagreement with Sean over what he is prematurely calling the “June Revolution.”

    • “if my recollection is correct, [Gary Johnson] isn’t viewed favourably by British libertarians”

      He isn’t viewed very favorably by American libertarians either.

        • He does seem to be taking more votes from Clinton than from Trump. But as far as doing well in the polls, he’s south of 5% right now. I predict 2-3% when it’s all said and done.

          • Ah, interesting….But that would still be a record for the Libertarian Party. They’ve achieved only 1% or less of the vote in the past.

            I think he was doing significantly better a few months ago, polling at around 7-10%, which would not be at all bad for a third party candidate. Probably his polled support has diminished due to the polarisation of the major candidates.

            Perot is the gold standard for third party candidates – but he was allowed in the debates.

  5. As I’ve said before, Trump is less evil than Clinton, even if only because he doesn’t have on his hands the blood of thousands of innocents in places like Libya.

    I’m not too sure about Johnson, and I don’t like much of what I hear about his running mate, Weld. So I think that anyone of a liberty bent, who can hold his nose long enough to vote, is going to bite the bullet, and vote against Clinton by reluctantly supporting Trump.

    But if I were American, I’d do what I usually do in elections. A plague on all their houses…

    • I’m not holding my nose and voting for Trump — I’m voting for Trump and holding my breath.

  6. You speak in riddles, o wise Dr Gabb, but my reading of the animal entrails tells me you are not endorsing the fragrant Mrs Clinton.

    • Veritably Delphic our Sean.

      But I think you are right.

      IMHO if we her Her it will be a rerun of “First Ever ……President”

      And then not much for 4 or 8 years

      But at least she is (afaik) 100% woman.

      And if we get HIM it will be


      For good or bad though ????

  7. As a British person living in the UK, I would vote (were I somehow allowed a vote in the US presidential election) for Trump. Not because I like him but because he would, in my opinion, be clearly less-bad for the UK than Mrs Clinton. In general, despite isolationist tendencies, it seems to me that Republicans are usually more pro-Anglophile than Democrats.

    I think that Trump’s attitude to Russia and Putin is also pragmatic and strategically sensible. Let’s not forget that Putin and his ilk are the enemies of what libertarians believe in. However, on the basis of the enemy of my enemy is my friend (pro tem), we (by which I mean the west) need Russia on-side. Looking at strategic directions, the streams of history so to speak, conflict with China is inevitable. Even as we are becoming economically dependent on them, outright and overt military conflict is become more and more likely. When (not if) that happens, the west needs Russia to be on our side. It would be in Russia’s interests to join us, too. But it will take the right US president to make it happen.

    For what it’s worth, if I was an American and not a Brit, my conscience would tell me to vote for Gary Johnson. Without some form of proportional representative in the make up of the executive I know that it would be a wasted vote but I would still feel that it was the right thing to do. My effective non-vote would benefit one or the other of Trump or Clinton but, regrettably, I suspect that there is no way to tell in advance which one it will be; it seems to me that the results of the election will be very close, whichever way it goes.

    • “…the enemy of my enemy is my friend pro tem” – good one.

      I also think you’re right about a close election. Unfortunately, a close election probably means a stolen Clinton victory. The “burn Bernie” episode shows her campaign already has machinery in place (and the political psychopaths to run it) to manipulate election results. And consider her allies in pulling off (and covering up) any “vote-shaving” effort: the Media, Academia, Tech Titans (and all their resources), Big Business, Big labor, Big Finance, and the political Establishment of both parties – not to mention nameless ranks of the clueless multitude.

      The underlying concern is that because of the polarization of American society and culture, regardless of who wins, we are in for a protracted period of conflict, unrest and upheaval, both political and civil.

  8. Sean and I, being the Trustees of the LA, are agreed that this organisation should take no official sides in this American election, regarding what we write on here, or in any other election. Those of you who know us better also know what we say on “other platforms”; and we do not always agree totally when debating on those either together or with any of you rowdy people, as is right and proper.

    This is why I in especial have said nothing on here about this particular matter, for I would not be able to restrain my langauge.

    But I would say that in my opinion, and having regard to the terms of the Charitable Trust, Ilana Mercer, or anyone else for that matter (other than Sean or myself) is free to publish what she/he likes regarding the American Election on here, provided that we the Trustees have made it clear that any views are not to be taken as representative formally of the Libertarian Alliance.

    I trust that I have been suitably Delphic.

  9. Political junkies are too easily distracted!
    Cut through the media static for a moment, get away from the obsession with personalities, and look at the big picture: This election is NOT about who is more qualified (or disqualified) to be President; it’s NOT about who has more experience – in government, or business, or anything else. This election is only about one thing, and it’s NOT even really about the choice between Clinton versus Trump. It IS about the choice between the Establishment versus the Populist Rebellion.

    Change, or no change? Obama’s third term, or a new direction? The same establishment in charge, or somebody different? That’s the whole ball of wax. If more of the same old, same old (unwinnable wars, unending casualties, unsustainable debt, rampant corruption, and a stunted economy) is good enough for you, then Hillary is your standard bearer. If not, Trump is leading the mutiny.

    Trump is a political wrecking ball – the political establishments of BOTH parties are wetting their collective pants at the prospect that he could win and upset their long-standing applecart. They are pulling out all the stops to propagandize naïve voters with his ”trumped-up” personal awfulness – AND THEIR UNITY IS HIS VALIDATION. Wake up, people! It’s not about personalities. It’s about re-setting the political fault-lines in America. Guess who doesn’t want that to happen – and why.

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