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Trump, Ethics, the Left, and North Korea – Freedom Philosophy




I got involved with Being Libertarian mostly out of opposition to Donald Trump. His commitment to deficits, killing civilians, his campaign pledge to ban Muslims and his supporters’ eerie comfort-level with that, all struck me as something a libertarian should oppose. A healthy Trump supporter should stand back and rationally assess his presidential failures, but by the same logic, a healthy Trump critic should stand back and rationally appraise his successes.

Trump has an interesting set of ethics. Prior to his political ambitions, he came to my home province of New Brunswick to articulate his ethics in a speech to our business community. The ethics are very Nietzschean. He explained that when someone is good to him, he tried to be twice as good to them, and when someone wrongs him he tries to harm them doubly so.

The wronging comes across as childish when he’s in a twitter war. Some slight insult to him sets him off in an insurable rage hurling every insult he can fit into 280 characters. But even his doubling up on kindness appears bizarre as when he’s complemented by the likes of the KKK and he has an inability, seemingly stemming from his personal ethics, to insult them in return.

Unbeknownst to leftists (who pride themselves in multiculturalism) in Christian and post-Christian nations – an anathema to Nietzsche – this is actually the way most of the world thinks. If one examines the history of warfare in the Middle East, it’s characterized by intense tribalism. If one member of a tribe kills a member of another tribe, the victimized tribe will go kill two members of the aggressor’s tribe.

In the West, we operate differently. We tend to tolerate small acts of aggression, which come across as a weakness to our aggressors, who gain confidence to continue attacking until some catastrophic attack is carried out at which point we apply maximum force until the enemy is completely destroyed. Pearl Harbor and 9-11 are modern examples.

Trump’s extravagant displays of wealth, which are off-putting to most in the West, actually ingratiate him to most people in the world. His boasts of strength, which we deem dangerous, actually garner him respect. When the left criticizes Trump’s odd behavior (odd by our standards), they’re actually criticizing most of the world.

Contrast Trump with Justin Trudeau’s trip to India. He did everything in his power to show the Indian people he was multicultural and they had no respect for him. He had Indian clothes, he did yoga poses in the Taj Mahal, he did Indian dances, and walked away handing India $750 million Canadian investment and returned with a comparatively low $250 million investment for Canada.

Where JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama all failed, Trump has far surpassed them in North Korean success. There are many unknowns, more hurdles to climb, and more specific goals that require constant measurement of progress or underachievement. However, he started in one of the worst positions with North Korea being more belligerent than it has since the 1950 war, and he achieved more than any other president.

In spite of this success, I was hoping for another appraisal and turned to Trump’s least favorite news network – CNN.

Most headlines were about his gaffes, how this is upsetting allies (which it isn’t), and their objective analysis contained the absurd non-sequitur and irrelevant criticism, “And the carnival atmosphere in Singapore might also keep Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation out of the headlines for a few more days.”

They want to highlight his failures. They want their consumers to think of Trump as a failure. Deep down if you talk to a Western leftist about Trump’s achievement in North Korea, perhaps one of the greatest triumphs of peace, they would never admit this but both interlocutors know it’s there, there’s a strong part of them that wants to see Trump fail. If they were accused of it they sneer with a typical, “How dare you?!” but deep down, there’s a nagging feeling there.

The reason why the left wants him to fail isn’t because they love war. It’s because they love themselves more than peace. They’re madly in love with their view of the world. They enjoy talking down to others as it elevates themselves.

Socialists will deny the continued global annihilation of poverty at the hands of capitalism because they don’t want to stop preaching. It’s not the cause they love, it’s themselves.

Feminists will deny equality of incomes for new graduates because they don’t want it to be the case. There are Oscar night soapboxes, late-night comedians poking fun at others, their friends sharing memes; this has grown into an organic, self-gratifying, virtue signal.

It isn’t ethics that causes the left to criticize Trump for mocking the disabled reporter, else they would have criticized Obama for bombing a hospital in Yemen filled with disabled people; it’s self-gratification of talking down to one that isn’t their own. Trump’s success means they don’t understand other cultures to the extent they think they do, they don’t have the capacity for diplomacy that they thought they did.

I’ll resume criticizing Trump for his turn to a manufacturing economy during a time of unprecedented automation, his deficits, and his continuing of the brutal war in Yemen; I’ll do that next week. For now, I’m going to enjoy this brief triumph, though it may be false, and at the very least the hope for a better future, and invite the left to leave their world and do the same because if they can’t they’re as awful as Trump who can’t bring himself to praise an enemy or criticize an ally.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby is a philosopher, financial adviser, a founder of a local investment club, and he hosts regular symposiums in philosophy. He is also a member of Canada’s Libertarian Party.




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