It struck me the other day, with a pellucid clarity, that the real reason Donald Trump got elected was because Ron Paul had laid the groundwork for his victory through the influence on the electorate that his two campaigns for the Republican nomination, in 2008 and 2014, had wrought.
Ron Paul was the psychological nerve-primer that prepared the American body-politic to accept the Trump offer to run the country. Paul’s infusion of Libertarian ideals and ideas rekindled the romance that was implied in the Jeffersonian Covenant with Mankind. For once the public had a politician who reminded them that the Republic was not about GDP or full employment or security but rather was about Human Adventure, taking the risk, and chasing the girl that was the Statue of Liberty and whose face used to be incused into the Silver Dollar of the United States of America.
That was before not only the womanization of America, but the womanization of politics.
Before that, Man chased the Woman, be it the girl on the other side of the class, or Liberty extended over a 3,000 mile-wide paradise stolen from the Indians. Since the Indians were only 0.5% of the population, and nobody outside of them mentioned the theft or seemed too bothered by it, the theft was institutionalized — after all, there were treaties, the White Man said. Everything was legal. And not even the Indians were calling for the expulsion of the White Man and his deportation back to the countries of his ancestors, which would be the obvious just solution. Libertarian theory requires at the least the restoration of stolen property back to the original owner. The penalty for theft is paying back twice the amount stolen plus something for the amount of fear or endangerment produced (for example, the fear generated by a child shoplifting a candy bar when the owner isn’t looking would call for far less fear-compensation that an armed robber using a gun).
So Ron Paul’s Jeffersonian alarum calls prepared America to hear a modified version of this philosophy coming from Trump. Trump, for example, scoffed at NATO, put down the FED, criticized the Nipponese whale-butchers for not paying their “fair share” while Americans subsidized the national defense of their extremely wealthy nation, and said “Let’s get along with the Russkies”, all positions from the Ron Paul Political Bible.
We even heard Mises member and perennial Libertarian, Llewellyn Rockwell, supporting Trump as a wild card that might be libertarian, as well as Ron Paul fellow economic-traveler David Stockman going over to Trump, and both bypassing the official Libertarian milquetoast candidate, Gary Johnson, as did Ron Paul.
Additionally, Trump was an unapologetic Capitalist, and obviously, with Ron Paul as a pro-free marketeer, and with the other side blatantly pro-socialist and big government, it was inevitable that a large part of the old Ron Paul support would seep into the vote totals of Donald Trump. And it did.
Another factor was that both Ron Paul and Trump were individualists in that they both went their own way and didn’t fret over what other people thought of them. Ron Paul was known as Dr. No when he was in Congress, often casting the lone “No” vote on a bill that he felt was either unConstitutional or anti-Libertarian. Trump, too, obviously didn’t care very much what people thought of his outlandish, boorish behavior, although in courtesy and refinement Ron Paul and Donald Trump couldn’t be more dissimilar. But they both obviously didn’t give a damn about what others thought of their political stances.
So the verisimilitude of Trump’s message and iconoclasm to that of Ron Paul’s was the factor that led many former Ron Paul supporters, frustrated by Johnson’s feeble campaign, to vote for Trump. And those votes, going to Trump instead of Johnson, were the narrow margin that Trump needed to drive a wedge into the cracked stump of the Clinton campaign, and split it into oblivion. Those votes were the razor thin edge that Trump needed to gain the White House, and possibly change the direction of America.
President Trump ought to say a prayer of thanks every day to the man whose philosophy got him elected: Dr. Ron Paul.
— Paul Grad, enviro-Libertarian