A Libertarian Analysis of the Election of 2016

From: J
Sent: Thu 3/17/2016 8:13 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Simple libertarian theory question

Hello Dr. Block,

I’m a fan of yours and own/have read several of your books.  I was visiting
New Orleans with my wife in 2013 and I really wish I would have said hello
at Loyola!  I even brought your book on road privatization for an
autograph, but unfortunately we did not have the time.

Anyways, my question is regarding libertarian voting.  I’ll preface by
saying I agree with your “defensive voting” position and your “Master
Goody/Baddy” analogy.

However, I may have found a flaw in your application of this argument to
supporting Donald Trump (or anyone, except Ron Paul) for president.

I’d be honored if you responded.  Here goes:

If Trump is good on issues A, B, and C, that’s great. Also, if he merely
keeps the status quo on issues D and E (i.e. he’s not “worse” than what is
currently being done), then I agree with you, he is “Master Goody”.

However, Trump will inevitably be WORSE on issues D, and E, etc.  If you
are willing to support a candidate that is likely worse on certain issues
that affect other people (e.g. immigrants), aren’t you making an
“interpersonal utility” judgement?

In other words, Trump may do something good, like lower taxes, but his
other policies affect other people.  How can we say we are better off with
lower taxes and stricter immigration laws without making an interpersonal
utility comparison? These issues effect different sets of the population.

Thus, the identity of “Master Goody” is a matter of perspective in an
election with so many variable policies (A, B, C, D, E…).

Please help me resolve this, as I am just a lowly biochemist, not a
libertarian theoretician!

Kind regards, J

Dear J, lowly biochemist:

You say “However, Trump will inevitably be WORSE on issues D, and E, etc.” Let’s stipulate that’s true. Say, he’s worse than Hilary on D, E. But, better than her on A, B, B. My response is, ABC are more important than DE. To me, A, foreign policy, is more important than everything else put together.

Here’s what my friend Ralph Raico has to say about this:

Personally, my main reason for endorsing Trump and praying for his victory is his opponent. The Queen of Chaos would be the most dangerous person ever to fill the office of president. Quite aside from the colossal corruption of the Clinton crime family, I believe she would push Putin to a nuclear confrontation.

Please consider joining Libertarians For Trump.

Best regards,



12:37 pm on January 25, 2019