Ilana Mercer is a “paleolibertarian” writer with whom we often closely agree. In an article at Townhall – where most of the conservative and Republican writers tirelessly abuse the Republican candidate for the presidency! – she praises the speech Donald Trump made in Mexico two days ago, and the speech he made later the same day in Arizona on the important subject of immigration:
Following Donald J. Trump’s sublime immigration address, critics — essentially all Big, Crooked Media — charged that Trump’s Arizona speech represented a sharp departure from the tone he took earlier that day, with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. A reversal, if you will.
Nonsense. With President Nieto, Donald Trump was at once patriotic, forceful and diplomatic.
In close to two decades of analyzing American politics, I’ve yet to hear an American leader address his Mexican counterpart as forcefully as Mr. Trump addressed President Nieto. Trump came across as a man-of-the world, to whom interfacing with foreign dignitaries was second nature.
It’s always been the case that Americans in power collude with Mexicans in power to bully and manipulate a powerless American People into accepting the unacceptable: The imperative to welcome torrents of unskilled illegal aliens, at an incalculable cost to the safety of America’s communities, the solvency of its public institutions, and the sustainability of the environment.
Strolling through the ancient Mayan and Toltec ruins with President Vincente Fox in 2006, George W. Bush was not talking up American interests. He was plotting amnesty with an unholy trinity comprised of John McCain, Ted Kennedy and Arlen Specter. Sly [Vincente] Fox was the silent partner.
What a pleasant surprise it was for this long-time political observer to witness a Mexican president, clearly cowed by The Donald, make no mention of America’s bogus obligation to take in Mexico’s tired, poor, huddled masses yearning for U.S. welfare.
If President Nieto harbored the urge to make manipulative appeals to American “permanent values”, so as to lighten his political load, there was no evidence of it. It’s fair to infer that on that occasion, a show of unparalleled strength and patriotism — Mr. Trump’s — extinguished the bad habit. …
Naturally, the network nits failed to notice just how reverential and conciliatory Nieto was. He expressed hope that differences would be bridged and that the ideas of freedom and prosperity would form that bridge. Indeed, a surprisingly respectful President Nieto voiced his wish to work constructively with the next president of the United States. There would be challenges to meet and opportunities to realize, but these would be met by the two nations as friends, neighbors and strategic partners.
And lo — again, it swooshed by CNN dimwits — Nieto even stipulated his willingness to review policies that had not worked and allay attendant misunderstandings. Here was an indication Mexico was no longer negotiating from the old manipulative position of strength, facilitated by America’s traitor class. For Nieto now faced a different kind of American leader, one who declared he was looking out for the forgotten American masses.
For the first time in a long time we heard how important the U.S. was to Mexico … and not only as a willing taker of those hungry, huddled, Mexican masses. While Nieto spoke openly about keeping the hemisphere competitive, he was willing to improve trade agreements to benefit workers of both countries. When President Nieto did cop to some disagreement with the Republican candidate, he nevertheless emphasized a willingness to find common ground.
As for the sui generis Trump: He went straight to the nub of the matter. He loves the United States very much and wants to ensure its people are well-protected. Yet poignantly did Trump acknowledge President Nieto’s fellow-feeling toward his people. The Republican standing for president then merged the aspirations of both leaders, by emphasizing their shared quest to keep “the hemisphere” prosperous, safe and free.
At the same time, Trump was uncompromising about NAFTA. He called for reciprocal trade and denied that the trade deal (really “a mercantilist, centrally planned, maze of regulations”) had benefited Americans at all.
What Mercer here put in brackets is the vitally important criticism of NAFTA that has long needed to be made.
As if to herald his immigration speech later that day, Trump then enumerated five shared goals. They are (not in the order presented):
- End illegal immigration, not just between Mexico and the U.S., but from Central and South America. It adversely impacts both Mexico and the U.S. For those embarking on the dangerous odyssey, it’s a humanitarian disaster.
- Dismantle the drug cartels, jointly, and end their free movement across the Southern border.
- Improve NAFTA to reflect today’s realities, while keeping “our hemisphere” competitive and prosperous, with the aim of improving pay standards and working conditions within.
- Keep manufacturing capabilities in “our hemisphere”. Libertarians will disagree with Trump on this matter, but … prosperity in one’s own country makes the individual less likely to relocate in search of better economic prospects.
Ultimately, as long as the U.S. remains a relatively high-wage area, with a generous, tax-funded welfare system — it will experience migratory pressure from low-wage Mexico. … Migratory pressure flows from low-wage to high-wage regions; from the Third World to the First World. Alas, migratory equilibrium will be reached once First World becomes Third World.
This Trump seeks to forestall with his most important stipulation:
5. “Having a secure border is a sovereign right. The right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall” to stem the tide of illegal migration, weapons and drugs is incontestable and must be recognized.
Number 4 is a point of real contention. As she notes, libertarians will not agree with it. We do not agree with it. We are strongly for free trade; Trump is for protectionism. Mercer herself is for free trade. Her argument here seems to be that whatever makes the country more prosperous is good for the individual, and Trump’s protectionist proposals might do that. As the good of the individual is a chief concern of libertarians (and of us libertarian conservatives), it’s a good argument, but it depends on that “might”. The arguments for free trade deny that “might”. But certainly the rule-of-law nation-state is the best protector of the individual’s liberty, so nationalism – or call it patriotism – is perfectly consistent with libertarianism.
Mercer explains fully why she welcomes the arrival of a non-libertarian candidate for the presidency on the political battlefield in her book The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed, of which this is (most of) the Amazon blurb:
Donald J. Trump is smashing an enmeshed political spoils system to bits: the media complex, the political and party complex, the conservative poseur complex. You name it; Trump is tossing and goring it. The well-oiled elements that sustain and make the American political system cohere are suddenly in Brownian motion, oscillating like never before. An entrenched punditocracy, a self-anointed, meritless intelligentsia, oleaginous politicians, slick media, big money: these political players have built the den of iniquity that Trump is destroying. Against these forces is Trump, acting as a political Samson that threatens to bring the den of iniquity crashing down on its patrons. It is this achievement that the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed cheers. By [his] drastically diminishing The Machine’s moving parts, the author hopes Trump might just help loosen the chains that bind the individual to central government, national and transnational. In the age of unconstitutional government — Democratic and Republican — this Trumpian process of creative destruction can only increase the freedom quotient. We inhabit what broadcaster Mark Levin has termed a post-constitutional America, explains Ilana Mercer. The libertarian ideal — where the chains that tether us to an increasingly tyrannical national government are loosened and power is devolved once again to the smaller units of society — is a long way away. In this post-constitutional jungle, the law of the jungle prevails. In this legislative jungle, the options are few: Do Americans get a benevolent authoritarian to undo the legacies of Barack Obama, George W. Bush and those who went before? Or, does the ill-defined entity called The People continue to submit to Demopublican diktats, past and present? The author of “The Trump Revolution” contends that in the age of unconstitutional government, the best liberty lovers can look to is “action and counteraction, force and counterforce in the service of liberty”. Until such time when the individual is king again, and a decentralized constitution that guarantees regional and individual autonomy has been restored — the process of creative destruction begun by Mr. Trump is likely the best Americans can hope for. A close reading of The Trump Revolution will reveal that matters of process are being underscored. Thus the endorsement over the pages of The Trump Revolution is not necessarily for the policies of Trump, but for The Process of Trump, the outcome of which might see a single individual weaken the chains that bind each one of us to an oppressive, centralized authority and to the system that serves and sustains it.
And this is a quotation from its pages:
The D.C. Comitatus [is] now writhing like a fire-breathing mythical monster in the throes of death.
May Trump deliver the coup de grâce!