Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul | commons, wikimedia

Libertarians argue over Trump

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump could be about to get some support from a surprising source: libertarians who think the Manhattan real estate developer represents their best chance of avoiding a potential clash with Russia.

Writing at the LewRockwell.com website, Loyola University New Orleans economics Prof. Walter Block says his new group, "Libertarians for Trump," will have "its work cut out for it in mobilizing massive support for Donald Trump within the libertarian community."

"There are several issues upon which libertarians do not and cannot support Donald Trump. For example, protectionism," he writes.

But those concerns aside, Block states, "it is clear that The Donald is the most congruent with our perspective ... mainly because of foreign policy."

He argues that of the major party presidential candidates, only Trump has questioned American foreign policy toward Iraq, Libya, and Syria and only Trump, Block argues, "went out of his way so as to not antagonize Russia and Premier Putin," and threaten what he says could be "World War III with Russia."

Block's effort has earned little sympathy in other libertarian circles.

David Boaz, executive vice-president of the Cato Institute, told AMI Newswire: "I see no libertarian case for Trump."

"His actions since December, especially with regard to actual violence at his rallies and threats of retribution to anyone who stands in his way, have not made him any more appealing to believers in ordered liberty," he said. 

Boaz added that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz "is definitely courting libertarians. He mentions them a lot as part of his target constituency."

Cruz and his surrogates began reaching out to libertarians in the wake of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's withdrawal from the presidential race after the New Hampshire primary.

Prominent Cruz surrogate and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an open letter to Paul supporters, urging them to switch their support to Cruz.

Cuccinelli argued that, of the remaining GOP candidates at the time, only Cruz would work "to protect your civil liberties, to roll back special interests and the Washington cartel, to reign in the Fed, and to advance criminal justice reform."

Boaz told AMI Newswire: "I’m not hearing any rush of libertarians to Cruz, and certainly not an avalanche of broader, libertarianish, fiscally conservative/socially liberal suburban Republicans."

Trump also cannot count on the support for 2012 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.  

The former Texas congressman, whose name still carries a great deal of influence in some libertarian circles, said Thursday in an interview on Fox Business News that he would not support Mr. Trump for president.  "I couldn't do that, because he's the opposite of a libertarian." 

Paul added that he saw little difference between the remaining Republican and Democratic presidential candidates "because they all endorse foreign intervention."

"We who believe in personal liberty and libertarianism," Paul said, "we don't have a heck of a lot of choices in picking someone between the Republicans and the Democrats."